Sugreeva is well known for his friendship with Rama. He was the younger brother of Bali and his wife was Roma. After the death of Bali, Sugreeva became the King of Kishkindha and Tara, Bali’s wife became his second wife. Dadhibala was his son, who later killed Narantaka, son of Ravana.
Sugreeva was born as a fragment of Surya (the Sun God). The story of his birth is amazing. One day Brahma was seated on Meru Mountain in his assembly. Suddenly a tear, a divine drop fell from his eyes. Brahma threw it on the surface of Meru Mountain. From that teardrop, a monkey appeared. One day the monkey was strolling on Mount Meru and he saw a cool, clear pond of water. When he went to drink water, he mistook his reflection for another warrior.
To kill him, he jumped into the water. But when he came out, he found that he had become a woman. The woman began to stroll around near the lake. When Indra saw the lovely lady, he was so impassioned that his semen fell on her hair, from that, Bali was born.
Similarly Surya (the Sun God) saw the beauty and was enamored of her that his energy fell on her neck. From it Sugreeva was born. With the two sons, the lady found a comfortable place to rest. When she woke up, she found herself back in the monkey form.
After her death, Bali and Sugreeva lived amicably together like brothers. Bali was married to Tara and Sugreeva to Roma. Bali became the king of Vanara or monkeys and his capital was Kishkindha. Sugreeva lived respectfully doing his brother’s bidding. Hanuman was a minister and dear friend of Sugreeva. One day a danava named Durmad challenged Bali to a fight. Bali was angry and gave him such a blow that he fell down in a swoon. Then he ran and hid in a cave in the hills. Bali ran after him, with Sugreeva in tow. Bali was about to enter the cave when he told Sugreeva, “If I do not come out from here within a month, consider me dead.” After a month a stream of blood flowed out of the cave. Sugreeva thought that Bali had been killed. To prevent the demon from escaping, he shut the mouth of the cave with a huge cliff and returned to Kishkindha. The monkeys declared him to be the new king and coronated him.
But Bali had not been killed. He killed Dhrupad and tried to come out of the cave but he found the entrance blocked. He was filled with rage. Somehow he managed to remove the rock and returned to Kishkindha. When he saw Sugreeva seated on the throne, his anger knew no bounds. He leapt to attack Sugreeva. But Sugreeva took to his heels. He ran all over, but Bali was close at heel. Sugreeva got weary of running when Hanuman suggested a way out. Bali could not go to Rishyamukha Mountain, the abode of Matanga Rishis, because of a curse placed on him. Therefore Sugreeva could find a safe place to stay there. Sugreeva and his followers began to stay on Rishyamukha Mountain. Hanuman, Jambvant, Nal, Neel were with him.

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One day Hanuman was sitting on Rishyamukha Mountain with his companions. Just then Ravana was carrying Sita away in his chariot via the aerial route. Sita was crying bitterly and calling out. The five monkeys seated on the Mountaintop were visible to her. So she threw some of her jewels down to them. Sugreeva kept them safe with him.
When Rama and Lakshmana came there in search of Sita, they went to the ashram of sage Matanga. They met Shabari who advised them to meet Sugreeva. Hence Rama went to Rishyamukha Mountain with Lakshmana. Sugreeva saw them coming from afar. He wondered if they were spies sent by his estranged brother Bali. So he sent Hanuman to them to find out. Hanuman took the guise of a Brahmin and spoke to them. After he knew who they were, Hanuman introduced Rama and Lakshmana to Sugreeva, who showed them the jewels thrown down by Sita. Rama recognized them as hers. Sugreeva offered to help Rama in his search for Sita. But he said, I have to stay hidden here for fear of my brother. He narrated all the events leading to the animosity between the two brothers. Rama heard his tale and offered to kill Bali and get Roma, Sugreeva’s wife who had been taken away by Bali.
Sugreeva said that to be able to kill Bali there are some tasks you must be able to complete. First is lifting the carcass of Dundubhi demon and the second is piercing seven saal trees with a single arrow. Shri Rama lifted the skeleton of Dundubhi with ease, using just the big toe of his foot and threw it into the sea. Then with one sharp arrow, he pierced the seven-saal trees at one. So, Sugreeva was assured of Rama’s prowess.
Sugreeva and Rama pledged their friendship with fire as their witness. Rama said, “Now you challenge Bali to a wrestling match and I will kill him.” Sugreeva called Bali to fight and the two were engaged in a battle between equals. Hurt by Bali, Sugreeva fell near Rama. Now Rama said, both of you look so alike, I cannot tell you apart. How could I aim my arrow? So Rama put a garland of flowers around Sugreeva to identify him. Now Sugreeva fought Bali again. Rama aimed an arrow at Bali’s while concealed behind a tree. Bali fell down unconscious.
Bali asked Rama, “Why have you killed me when I have not done you any harm?” Rama said “Sugreeva is your younger brother and his wife should have been treated like a daughter by you. But due to your animosity, you have taken her away and kept her as your wife it is because of this grave sin and my friendship with Sugreeva that I have killed you.” Bali asked for forgiveness. He placed his wife Tara and son Angad in Rama’s care, then respectfully bowing to Rama’s feet, he breathed his last.

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Rama made Sugreeva the King of Kishkindha and Bali’s son Angad was declared Yuvaraj (prince designate). Sugreeva lived happily with his wife Roma and Tara who was also with him. Sugreeva gathered monkeys from all over and sent them out to search for Sita in all directions. Under Angad’s leadership the team headed for the South including Hanuman and Jambvant. Hanuman leapt over the ocean and searched for Sita and set Lanka on fire. Under Sugreeva’s command, Nal-Neel made a huge bridge across the ocean and Shri Rama with his entire army crossed over to Lanka.
Ravana was being entertained with song and dance in the evening when Sugreeva reached him in one leap and stood before him. He pushed Ravana off his throne, kicked and boxed him and returned to the camp.
The battle between Rama and Ravana began. When Sugreeva led the army and killed the son of Kumbhakarna, named Kumbh Mahodar and Virupaksh were also killed by him. In the end Ravana was killed by Rama. Sugreeva maintained his friendship with Rama and proved to be a true, reliable ally.
Sugreeva – Ramayana Characters

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