Sugriva also known as Sugriv, Javanese, Sugriwa was the younger brother of Bali (Vali), whom he succeeded as ruler of the vanara or monkey kingdom Kishkindha. His wifes name was Ruma. He was the son of Surya, the Hindu deity of the sun’s rays. Sugriv assisted Rama in his mission to free his wife Sita from captivity of Ravana.
Bali ruled the kingdom of Kishkindha and his wifes name was Tara. Once Bali chased a demon who fled into a deep cave. Bali entered the cave in search of the demon, asking Sugriva to wait outside. When Vali didn’t return and upon hearing demonic shouts inside the cave and seeing blood coming out from cave, Sugriv thought his brother has been killed. He came back to Kishkindha and assumed kingship.
Bali returned and seeing Sugriva acting as king, he figured his brother had betrayed him. Though he humbly tried to explain him, Bali didn’t listen. As a result, Sugriv was thrown from the kingdom, Bali forcibly took Sugriv’s wife, Ruma, and the brothers became bitter enemies.
Alliance between Sugriva and Rama
In exile, Sugriv made the friendship with Rama, who had been searching for his wife Sita. Ram promised him that he will kill Bali and would reinstate him as the king of the monkeys. He, consequently, assured to help Ram in his search. He and Ram together, went looking for Bali.
While Ram stood right back, Sugriva challenged Bali to a fight. Rama emerged with his bow and drove an arrow through Bali’s heart.Sugriv reclaimed the monkey kingdom, took right back his former wife, Ruma, and took over Bali’s wife, Tara, who became empress, and her son by Bali, Angada, who became crown prince.
Sugriva helps Rama to conquer Lanka and rescue Sita
He sent Hanuman to find out Sita’s whereabouts. Hanuman’s searched and found that Lanka king Ravana was holding Sita captive in his island fortress. Then he sent his army of vanars with Ram.
The army entered into Lanka using a specifically built bridge and laid siege to Ravana’s citadel. After a tough battle, the monkeys won over the devils, Rama slew Ravana, and Sita was freed.
In the battle, Sugriva almost came to a violent death when he decided to fight with Kumbhakarna, a brother of Ravana. Seeing the demon, he attacked him with the trunk of a sala tree. The tree, however, just broke over the demon’s head. Kumbhakarna then grabbed Sugriva and pulled him off but the timely intervention of Rama’s brother Lakshmana saved his life.