This is the third story in the series Ravana Humbled where Ravana is humbled by a mere monkey.
Ravana was once flying across Kishkinda in his Pushpak. As he was deciding to land, he saw the monkey king Vali sitting on a rock facing the river Pampa and offering his morning prayers. Ravana landed at a short distance from him and walked out of his aircraft. Vali was deeply engrossed in his prayers so much so that he did not notice Ravana. Ravana got angry. “What impudence! This puny monkey pretends not to have seen me! He deserves to be humbled for this. I shall catch his tail which is the matter of pride for all these vanaras.”
Ravana then sneaked behind Vali to pull his tail. He caught the unusually long tail in the middle with his right hand and to his horror, the tail wound around his right hand! He raised his left hand to free his right hand and the tail wound it up too! “Hey! Hey!” he shouted, but it was of no avail. He then sat down and tried to use his legs to free his hands, but to his dismay, the tail wound them up too. He was left hanging like a bundle to Vali’s tail.
Ravana thought that Vali would turn back after his prayers were over. But to his dismay, after the prayers were over, Vali stood up and increased his size massively and took to the skies flying towards the southern shore where the three seas met. He plunged into the sea and stood in the water offering prayers whilst Ravana was struggling to keep afloat in the water as he was bound by Vali’s tail.
Vali again took off and this time it was the eastern shore. Ravana, dripping wet and shivering could not even shout. With the dipping ritual over, Vali headed to the Himalayas. He circumambulated the Kailash still with Ravana hanging on his tail. Ravana was out of his wits and did not know what to do. He waited impatiently. Vali now headed back to Kishkinda. As he got down to Kishkinda, Ravana gathered all his might and shouted loudly yet sounding so weak, “Help” he said,” Let me go! Please let me free!” Vali turned to his side and saw but he could see nobody. “Whoever you are come in front of me!” roared Vali. “I can’t, I can’t” groaned Ravana “Errrrr… I am caught in your tail.”
Vali turned around and saw Ravana’s plight. Immediately he uncoiled his tail and surprised at seeing Ravana , asked with concern, “Are you not King Ravana? How did this happen??” Ravana was too ashamed to tell him the truth and said sheepishly, “Well… it was an accident. Let us not talk about it…”
Vali entertained Ravana as a king would be entertained and sent him home with lots of gifts after forging a friendship. Ravana returned on his Pushpak, humbled once again.