Rama sends Angada to Ravana, to expostulate him and to bring him back to reason. Angada tries his best to convince Ravana, but in vain. This, after knowing that Hanuma and Vibhishana tried doing the same and failed.

Why didn't Rama follow the same standard in Vali's case. Is it because he already promised Sugreeva that he would kill Vali? What is (if there is) Rama's standard for sparing or punishing your enemy?

  • I think Sugriva had already exhausted peaceful resolutions with Vali. Aug 13 '15 at 21:37
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    Vali din't have any reason to give away something to Sugriva. On behalf of Sugriva, had Rama tried the negotiations then not only the fight between brothers would have converted to Vali-Rama fight but Vali would have seen enemy in Rama and could have possibly possessed his half of the strength. Just a thought.
    – iammilind
    Aug 14 '15 at 3:25
  • @iammilind I don't think the notion of Vali being able to take half his opponent's strength has any basis in Hindu scripture. Aug 14 '15 at 3:38
  • I came across this blog post while I was researching on Why did Rama use Brahmaasthra on a crow? and it explains a bit of Rama's danda neethi. Aug 14 '15 at 22:13
  • Namaste This episode of Lord Rama & Vaali in Ramayana is a contentious issue, unexplained satisfactory by many learned persons. While there are many versions of answers to this instance, yet they all fall short of universal acceptance.
    – Annonymous
    Aug 18 '15 at 1:39

There are a lot of differences in both the cases But in the end Dharma is the seed for any/all of Rama's decisions.

Please think along the following lines:

Case 1: Vali and Sugreeva - Vali and Sugreeva are own brothers.

Vali did ill things to Sugreeva in an unprovoked manner.

Vali was not any stranger to Sugreeva (which is the case with Ravana and Rama). He lusted for his own brother's wife.

And not just that - a brother also snatching all the material, emotional and social belongings of his own brother is in itself a crime.

So, the water had reached well above the nose - and hence it was a clear decision to make there.

Case 2- On Ravana and Rama

Ravana was a stranger, equally established, devotee and powerful emperor as was Rama.

Ravana might have been provoked by what was done to his sister.

Ravana was a mighty king himself and hence Rama spared him a chance to get educated...

And before sending Angada - Hanuma was sent to assess the strength of Ravana. And according to Hanuma - Ravana has not touched Sita at all - and he was willing to wait till Sita accepts him, by all means.

Had Rama approached Vali - he could have got Sita very easily, as Ravana got defeated by Vali.

But Rama chose Dharma and hence chose Sugreeva for help.

  • @@Sanjana - Vaali and Ravana became friends and both had taken a solemn vow like Raama and Sugriva, to protect each other's kingdoms. Had Raama approached Vaali for Searching Sita, there is also a possibility that he would have sided with Ravana.
    – user808
    Aug 19 '15 at 7:34
  • "Hanuma was sent to assess the strength of Ravana" - If I recollect correctly, Hanuma was sent to find Sita but in the process decides to have a dialogue with Ravana and convince him to return Sita; also tells him not to pick up a fight with the great Rama. Ravana doesn't listen, instead wants Hanuma killed. This is what I was referring to in the question - that Hanuma already tried his hand negotiating (...well not exactly negotiating because you don't kill a few kith & kin of your enemy before sit down to negotiate and offer advice!) Aug 19 '15 at 16:19
  • @Krishna I think Vali says to Rama when he's dying that if Rama had made friends with him rather than with Sugriva, Vali would have immediately defeated Ravana and rescued Sita. Aug 20 '15 at 4:52
  • @Keshav - Yes, i know that. it is statement of a dying man in death pain who is out of senses. But, you conveniently forget that Vaali and Ravana had forged friendship similar to Raama and Sugriva
    – user808
    Aug 20 '15 at 8:18
  • @Keshav - Moreover, hypothetically, let us assume Raama approached Vaali for help. Due to solemn friendship between Vaali and Ravana, even if vaali approached Ravana for release of Goddess Sita, there is high possibility Vaali would be forced to side with Ravana, because they had vowed that they will consider each others kingdom as their own kingdom.
    – user808
    Aug 20 '15 at 8:22

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