Archive for February 9th, 2009

We had earlier seen Rama aiming at Vali in the amazing miniature from Darasuram. To see the next part of the story we travel to Cambodia. We have seen many panels from the Banteay Srei complex. This is another excellent one.

vaali + sugreev 33

We see the story progressing left to right ( right to left as you view it)

rama n lakshmana - notice the bow string

Watch carefully the pose of Rama - he has just discharged his arrow. The right hand is a definite give away ( look at the delightful detailing of the bow - even to the knot at the bottom)

vaali +sug 75
vaali n sugreeva
vaali vs sug 10
vaali vs sugrev 16

Lets look at the two fighting brothers - that they are monkeys is obvious, but see the masterly depiction of their feet - monkey feet. The hands are depicted as humans though. See Vaali’s clenched fist ready to deliver a massive blow to Sugreev. The ferociousness of the battle has been superbly caught by the sculptor in the face of the two fighting brothers.

fallen vaali with arrow in his heart

The next scene in the storyboard is also shown - Vaali is felled by the arrow, mortally wonded, he is shown grabbing the arrow. Who is holding him up - he seems to have fallen down and is held up protectively - is it his Tara. ( see the slight differentiation between the two facial features). A standing Sugreev is shown looking over at his slain brother.

vaali fallen

Vali is shown with a questioning look - he seems shocked and very angry. To understand what transpired, we need to look back at the text of the Ramayana. The southern version ( tamil) says that Vaali was very angry with Rama for having shot him from an ambush position, which doesn’t quite befit a noble warrior. He has a heated argument with Rama and Lakshmana, questioning the disgraceful act. Rama then goes on to explain to him his need to uphold righteousness and how Vaali has turned against the right path and banished his own brother and usurped his wedded wife!

vaali +sug 75
vaali vs sugre 8
vaali vs sugree 8
vaali vs sugreev 3
vaalivadham cambodia

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