Rāmāyana | Sundara Kaṇḍa | Chapter 50

Chapter: 50
Prahasta’s Questioning of Hanuman

[Rāvaṇa orders his minister Prahasta to question Hanuman. Hanuman replies to him that he is the emissary of Rāghava.]

The long armed Rāvaṇa, who was habituated to make the whole world cry, stared at the yellow-eyed monkey standing in front of him and became immeasurably angry. 1

Seeing the enthusiastic chief of monkeys, he became thoughtful out of fear and thought as follows, "What? God Nandi must have personally come here." 2

"He must be the same one who cursed me, when I shook Kailāśa mountain long ago and who has taken the form of a monkey or is he Bāṇāsura?" 3

(See note under Sloka 52 in Chapter 3, Bāṇāsura is a thousand handed Rākṣasa who was the son of Mahabali.)

That King with red eyes due to anger addressing Prahasta, who was his minister in chief, told the following words which were very timely and meaningful. 4

"This bad person may be questioned as to where from he has come? What is his purpose? And what did he get by scaring the Rākṣasīs and destroying the garden?" 5

"This bad character may be asked, as to what benefit did he get in entering my town which cannot be entered by any one and what was the purpose of killing the Rākṣasas?" 6

Hearing the words of Rāvaṇa, Prahasta spoke as follows, "Hey monkey, there is no reason for you to be scared. You would be safe." 7

"Hey, monkey, if you have been sent by Indra to the house of Rāvaṇa, please tell the truth. You would not face any problem and you would be released." 8

"Did you come to our city assuming the form of spy for the sake of Yama or Kubera or Varuṇa or where you sent by Vishnu who is desirous of victory?" 9

"Hey, monkey, I think you have assumed the form of monkey, for when we think of your valour, we do not feel that you are a monkey. Tell the truth and you would be immediately released." 10

"If you tell a lie, it would be very difficult for you to continue to live. So what is the reason for your coming to the city of Rāvaṇa?" 11

Then the monkey who has been questioned thus addressing the chief of Rākṣasa group replied as follows: "I do not belong either to Indra, Yama or Varuṇa." 12

"I do not have acquaintance with Kubera. Vishnu has not sent me. I, who have come here, is really a monkey only. This is my caste." 13

"Since I could not personally get an interview with the King of Rākṣasas, this garden was destroyed by me for seeing him." 14

"Then those strong Rākṣasas, who were desirous of war, came before me and I fought with them for protecting myself." 15

"I cannot be tied by either the devas or asuras with their arrows. I also got this boon from Lord Brahma." 16

"Because I was desirous of seeing the King, I obeyed the Brahmāstra and as soon as I was troubled by the Rākṣasa, I was free of Brahmāstra." 17

"I have come before you for the purpose of another King." 18

"Be pleased to know that I am the emissary of Rāghava, who is immeasurably strong." 19

"Besides, Oh, King, be pleased to hear my words that would bring good to you." 20

Thus ends the fiftieth chapter of Sundara Kanda in the Rāmāyaṇa which is the first epic written by Vālmīki.