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  Why did Shri Rama deceive Bali?  


By: Saumitra Sen
April 10, 2006
iews expressed here are author’s own and not of this website. Full disclaimer is at the bottom.


There is an episode in Ramayana in which Shri Rama deceives Bali in order to kill and end his tyrannical and corrupt reign.

This episode has been criticized by many (mainly the modern political motley crowd of Marxists, Socialists, Communists etc.) as immoral or at least not befitting the stature of Shri Rama. In fact this episode has been the whipping boy of its opponents.

But if we will think a little on the topic then we will understand its importance.

In that era, there was a clear distinction between dharma and adharma, good and evil. There was no confusion regarding what is what is dharma and what is adharma. Adharma had to be defeated by any means. There was no compunction in using even deceit to defeat dharma, as it was considered dharmic and nyayasangat to defeat adharma by any means.

So that is the reason why Shri Rama used deceit to defeat Bali.

This episode sends a clear signal to us. It exhorts us to recognize and defeat adharma by any means possible.

However, in Kali Yuga we have lost the distinction of dharma and adharma. We can no longer differentiate between them. We are confused by the mindless slogans raised by opportunist politicians and half-baked thinkers, like Secularism and sarva-dharma sambhava.

We have accepted the half-baked socio-political idea given to us by Mr. Gandhi, without even enquiring about it. We have lost our distinguishing powers. We do not realize that under this cover of sarva-dharma sambhava, there may be lurking adharma in order to overcome dharma.

One of the most hallowed slogans of 20th century India is ‘Sarva-dharma sambhava’. However, the term has many anomalies with many presumptions. The term pre-supposes that there are various dharmas, hence accepting its multiplicity automatically and then adjoins that we must keep the same respect, feeling or reverence, toward every dharma as they all say the same truth, though in different ways.

But although it declares that there are various dharma and implores us to keep no distinction between them, it does not gives us any criteria to judge that what is “dharma” and what is “adharma”. So in practice ‘Sarva-dharma sambhava leaves its adherents or believers defenseless against any political ideology like Islam and Christianity. Consequently a believer in ‘Sarva-dharma sambhava’ can’t judge whether a particular ideology is really a dharma or not. He treats both dharma and adharma alike. So ‘sarva-dharma in practice becomes ‘dharma-adharma sambhava. Therefore before going for sarva-dharma sambhava we must first analyze it.

Returning to the topic, there is another topic from Ramayana which commands attention in this article and which is also ridiculed and attacked by the Secualrist brigade. Vibhishina having become convinced of the evil and adharmic intentions of his brother Ravana, decided to side with Rama rather with his own brother, his own blood. This episode also illustrates to us that any blood tie is not above one’s dharma. If they come between our following and supporting dharma then we must not give them importance over dharma

But we have lost our sense of duty towards dharma. We have forgotten what Shri Rama conveyed to us by defeating Bali.

Some say that Hindu Civilization is immortal and indestructibele. Yes, regarding the enternal nature of Hinduism we can say that. But that is not an excuse of inactivity and negligence of our dharmic duties. And when we talk about civilizations then it is not the same. Civilizations like humans are mortal. Their continued existence cannot be taken as granted. We will have to strive hard in order to save it from degeneration.

We will have to stand again with dharma, against adharma to fulfill our duty to Shri Rama.

Saumitra Sen

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