Sugreeva narrated the story of his life to Rama--
He and his elder brother, the mighty Vali, were once devoted to one another but through no fault of Sugreeva, fate had made deadly enemies of them. Once a Raakshasa named Maayaavi came at midnight to the gate of Kishkindha, their capital, and challenged Vali to instant combat because of an old quarrel.Vali, who never refused a fight, rushed forth followed by Sugreeva. Seeing them, the Raakshasa became afraid and fled. Pursuing him they saw him disappear into a great cave. Vaali ordered Sugreeva to wait at the entrance for him and entered the cave after the foe.
Sugreeva waited long, but Vali did not come out. Then he heard shouts and groans, which seemed to him to be his brother's and soon there gushed out of it blood which made him sure that Vaali had died in the struggle with the giant.
To make sure that the victorious Raakshasa would not rush out and destroy Kishkindha, Sugreeva blocked the entrance of the cave with a huge rock and returned to Kishkindha with his tale of Vaali's death. He was persuaded by the ministers and elders to become the king in Vali's place.
In fact, Vali had been victorious and came out, removing the rock with his great strength. He thought Sugreeva had betrayed him and drove him out of Kishkinda. Sugreeva was forced to take shelter in the area near the ashram of Maatanga Rishi. Once, the Rishi had cursed Vali that he would die if he set foot on the land; Sugreeva therefore felt safe from Vali living near this ashram.
Sugreeva concluded his story with an appeal to Rama. "For fear of Vaali I am a wanderer in the forest. I live concealing myself here. Will you kill Vaali and restore to me my kingdom and my wife?" Rama answered: "Certainly I will. Be assured."
To prove his strength, Rama bent his bow and, pulling the string to his ear, sent forth an arrow. It pierced a tree pointed out by Sugreeva and six other trees standing behind it. Piercing the seventh tree, the beautiful arrow touched the earth and returned to Rama's quiver. Sugreeva was now assured and he made ready for battle with Vali.
Sugreeva went to Vali's palace and shouted for him to come out to fight. In great anger, Vali came out and fought a great battle with his brother. Since they both looked alike and were close together, Rama could not send his arrow towards Vali; he was afraid he might hit the wrong person. Sugreeva was forced to retreat. Rama advised him to challenge Vali again; bu this time, he should wear a flowery creeper around his neck so that Rama can identify him.
The next day, Sugreeva again challenged Vali, wearing the garland around his neck. Vali's wife Tara understood that the great Rama was behind Sugreeva; but Vali would not listen to her and went to fight with his brother. A great battle ensued and Sugreeva appeared to be losing. Raama who was watching from behind a tree with ready bow knew he could not wait much longer; placing a deadly arrow on the string and pulling it to his ear, Rama sent it at Vali's mighty chest. Pierced by that irresistible shaft, Vali crashed down to the earth.
Vali reproached Rama thus: "While I was absorbed in a battle with my brother, you came unseen and, hiding from behind, shot a fatal arrow at me. If you had asked me, I would have helped you to find and recover Sita. Why did you kill me in this manner?" Valmiki in his Ramayana has said that Rama spoke to Vali and explained to him his action and that Vali was satisfied.
Hearing the news of Rama's arrow slaying Vali, his wife Tara came with her son Angada. Vali, who was still conscious, consoled his wife, called Sugreeva near and spoke to him thus:
"Brother, we two could have been friends and reigned happily over the kingdom; but it was not given to us to be so wise and happy. I am more to blame than you, but why talk about that now? Hereafter you shall rule the kingdom. I have entrusted to you Angada, my son, dearer than life itself to Taara and me. He is a warrior equal to you in prowess. Be a father to him and look after him with kindness.
This is my only request to you. And be kind to Taara who was not only a blameless and affectionate wife, but also a very wise and far-sighted counsellor. Whatever she foretells is bound to happen. Do not disregard her advice on any matter. Here, take the necklace that Indra gave me and take with it its secret power. My life is over and so is my resentment. May you be happy!"
Thus the generous Vaali blessed his brother Sugreeva, took leave of his wife and son, and died.