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Sugriva / सुग्रीव

  • Sugriva was a monkey-king, son of Surya by Agni, and the husband of Ruma. He and his elder brother Bali were brought up in the hermitage of sage Gautam. Later, they were adopted by the monkey-king of Kishkindha. On the death of the king, Bali became the king of Kishkindha and Sugriv helped him in the administration.
  • Due to a misunderstanding, Sugriv assumed that Bali was dead, and the ministers installed him on the throne. Bali returned to find Sugriv crowned king and dethroned him. Threatened with his life, Sugriv took refuge in the Rishyamnk mountains, where he knew that Bali could not enter because of a certain curse.
  • On the advice of the demon Kabandh, Ram came in search of Sugriv and they became allies. Sugriv had full faith in Ram's abilities, but he still feared the strength of Bali and made known his fears.
  • To dispel his doubts, Ram kicked the carcass of the demon Dundubhi and sent it flying a hundred leagues into the air. When Sugriv was not yet convinced, he took an arrow and shot it at a tree. The arrow not only pierced the first tree but also six other trees that were behind it and returned to Ram's quiver. Sugriv was now reas sured and they chalked up a plan to kill Bali.
  • According to the scheme made, Sugriv went and challenged Bali to a fight. Ram was hidden in a tree. A duel began between the two brothers from Kishkindha and Bali, greater in strength, thrashed his brother.
  • Ram, who was supposed to shoot Bali from the tree could not make out the difference between the brothers who were identical in every way and from fear of shooting the wrong person, he refrained. Sugriv managed to make his escape from Bali's clutches, but was afraid that Ram had backed out from his promise.
  • Satisfied with Ram's explanation, he returned to challenge Bali once more, but this time with a garland of flowers, so that Ram could identify him. When Bali heard Sugriv challenge him so soon after his first defeat he was at first puzzled, but soon anger overtook him and he got ready to fight again.
  • Tara, his wife, warned him of the danger and counselled him to make friends with Sugriv, as she had heard that Sugriv had secured the help of Ram and Lakshman, the princes of Ayodhya, and surely danger was afoot. But Bali ignored her advice and went out to fight Sugriv, after promising to spare his brother's life.
  • This time Sugriv fought with reinforced energy but he could not hold his own for long against Bali's superior strength. Seeing the moment had come, Ram shot his arrow which pierced Bali and he fell to the ground. Bali and Sugriv forgave each other their sins and before dying Bali proclaimed his brother as king of Kishkindha and gave him the special garland of Indra which he (Bali) wore. Handing over the care of Angad and Tara to Sugriv, Bali breathed his last.
  • Sugriv was then re-installed on the throne and Angad was made crown prince. Ram had fulfilled his share of the promise and now it was Sugriv's turn. The rainy season had begun and therefore the search for Sita had to be postponed. Sugriv lost in pleasures had almost forgotten about the search for Sita.
  • Hanuman, his minister, reminded him and he despatched orders for all monkey-chiefs to come with their armies. Receiving no news from him, Ram sent Lakshman to threaten Sugriv and remind him of his promise.
  • Lakshman arrived angry and seeing his wrath, Sugriv begged forgiveness and after consoling Ram took immediate action. Sugriv divided his army into eight and sent each in eight different directions to look for Sita. After learning the where abouts of Sita from his spies, Sugriv and his army joined Ram and Lakshman to Lanka where they helped Ram defeat Ravan.
  • After the Ram-Ravan battle, Sugriv went to Ayodhya and after the coronation ceremony of Ram was completed, Sugriv returned to his kingdom. Later, he had been to Ayodhya to attend the Ashvamedh sacrifice performed by Ram. When he heard that Ram was renouncing his life, he installed Angad on the throne of Kishkindha, and coming to Ayodhya, renounced his life along with Ram.


Ahalya · Rama · Bharat · Laxman · Shatrughna · Dashrath · Kaushalya · Kaikeyi · Sumitra · Shurpnakha · Janak · Sita · Ravana · Urmila · Meghnad · Vibhishan · Angad · Hanuman · Kumbhakarn · Marich · Mandodari · Vasishtha · Vishvamitra · Bali · Sugriva · Sampati · Jambvan · Manthara · Jatayu · Shabri · Lanka · Neel · Nal · Panchvati · Lav Kush · Tadka