Bali , the king of Kishikinda was the son of Dev Raj Indr and brother of Sugriv. Known for his might, Bali was so powerful that during the Samudra Manthan, when the Manthara mountain was stuck and the devas and asuras could not move it, Bali came and spinned it with ease, thus freeing it.
Pleased with this, Brahma Ji bestows on Bali , the power of seventy thousand elephants and a boon that nobody could win Bali in a face to face battle as the opponent would lose half his strength to Bali . Thus, Bali becomes very famous for his valour. He once humiliates Ravan, wherein he catches hold of Ravan under his arm and takes a dip all the four seas. Ravan becomes fascinated by his power and becomes a friend of Bali .
Though Bali was a mighty warrior, he had a habit of having opinions of his own, without listening to wise counsel. He comes to a self-biased opinion that Sugriv wanted to de-throne him and closed him in a cave where he was fighting with a demon Mayavi. He banishes Sugriv from Kishkinda and also snatches his wife Ruma. This action of Bali gives a significant reminder that one should never come to hurried conclusions which later result in dire consequences.
Seeking revenge for his brother Mayavi’s death, Dundubhi comes and challenges Bali for a fight in form of a wild buffalo. However, Bali kills him easily and hurls the corpse which falls in the premises of Rishi Matang’s hermitage. The Rishi gets enraged by this and curses Bali that he would die if he wandered around the hermitage premises. The curse on Bali becomes a safeguard to Sugriv and he starts residing on Rishymuk Mountain which stands close to Rishi Matang’s ashram.
Sugriv’s life takes a positive turn when Shri Ram and Lakshman come in search of Mata Sita and make friendship with Sugriv. Shri Ram promises to kill Bali and restore Kishkinda and Ruma to Sugriv. As planned, he asks Sugriv to challenge Bali for a duel fight. But the first time, he is unable to kill Bali , due to the identical features of both the brothers. The second time, Shri Ram garlands Sugriv for identification and Sugriv challenges Bali once again. Bali ’s wife Tara and Son Angad advise Bali not to fight, as they are aware of Shri Ram helping Sugriv. But Bali does not pay heed to their words and in the fight with Sugriv, gets shot by Shri Ram’s arrow.
Bali aghast by this, questions the act of Shri Ram. Shri Ram says that it was right to punish Bali as he snatched away his brother’s wife which was totally wrong. Bali realises his mistake and asks for forgiveness. Although Bali could be healed, instead he requests Shri Ram to grant him death, as he knows that it is only rare that one gets a privileged death in the hands of Almighty himself. Before dying, Bali entrusts the care of Tara and Angad to Sugriv and counsels Angad to follow Sugriv’ word and believe in Shri Ram. Thus, the mighty warrior breathes his last.
It is often thought as to why Shri Ram approached Sugriv when he could have taken help from the powerful Bali . But for Dharma, Shri Ram helps Sugriv. To serve justice, Shri Ram punishes Bali and personifies that Dharma always wins, sooner or later and hence one needs to believe in it and always follow it.