Rāmāyana | Sundara Kaṇḍa | Chapter 51

Chapter: 51
Hanuman’s Advice

[Hanuman points out to Rāvaṇa, the prowess of Rāma, Lakṣmaṇa, Sugrīva and other monkeys and advices him to give back Sītā to Rāma to avoid destruction of Lanka, death to him and his near and dear ones. Then Rāvaṇa sentences Hanuman to death.]

That valorous Hanuman stared at the greatly valorous ten headed one and without fear told the following meaningful words. 1

"Hey, King of Rākṣasas, I have come here to your place because of the orders of Sugrīva. The King of monkeys told me to inform you of his welfare." 2

(Since Bali and Rāvaṇa had signed a treaty of friendship, Sugrīva becomes like a brother to Rāvaṇa.)

"Be pleased to hear the words of the great Sugrīva, who is your brother, which would be useful to you in this and the other world." 3

"There was a King called Dasaratha who was equal to Indra, who had an army with chariots, horses and elephants and who was related to the world like a father." 4

"Rāma, his greatly resplendent son, who had great arms, who did good to all people and who was a lord ordered by his father, chose the path of justice and entered the Daṇḍakāraṇya forest along with his brother Lakṣmaṇa and his wife Sītā." 5-6

"His wife Sītā, who never left the company of her husband and who was the daughter of Janaka the great King of Videha, was lost in the forest." 7

"That prince along with his brother, searching for that lady, reached Riṣyamūka and became a friend of Sugrīva." 8

"That Sugrīva promised him to search and find out Sītā and Rāma promised him the Kingdom of Monkeys." 9

"Because of that that prince killed Bali and Sugrīva was appointed as the King of all the monkeys and bears." 10

"You know about Bali for a long time. That monkey was killed by just one arrow by Rāma in war." 11

(When Rāvaṇa went to war with Bali once, he caught hold of him and hung in the cradle of his baby Angada as a plaything. Brahma interceded and got him free. Rāvaṇa from that time was exceedingly afraid of Bali. It should be also noted that Rāma did not kill Bali in war but sent an arrow from hiding.)

"The monkey King Sugrīva, who is steadfast on his words, carefully sent monkeys to all directions to search for Sītā." 12

"Tens, thousands and millions of monkeys are searching in all directions, top and bottom as well as the sky for her." 13

"Some of them who are powerful are equal in prowess to Garuda and some like wind can travel to even nooks and corners with great speed." 14

"I am the son of wind god and am known as Hanuman. For the sake of Sītā and to see her, I crossed with speed this ocean, which is one hundred yojanas long and have come here. I searched for her hither and thither and found her in your home." 15-16

"Hey, very intelligent King, you know well the path of justice and you have achieved great heights by penance and so you do not merit to steal other peoples wives and keep them under custody." 17

"Intelligent people like you would not stick on to actions, which are against justice, which would lead to several dangers and which would destroy one completely. 18

"Who is there among Devas or Asuras who can stand before arrows sent by Lakṣmaṇa and those arrows sent by Rāma in anger?" 19

"Hey King, once a bad deed is done to Rāghava, where can you live with pleasure and I feel nowhere in the three worlds." 20

"So please understand what I say, as the one which leads to good in past, present and future, one which is according to the path of justice and one which leads to good luck. Let Janaki be returned to the God of the world." 21

"This holy lady has been seen by me. Whatever was extremely difficult has been achieved and whatever remaining in this is to be done by Rāghava himself." 22

"This Sītā has been found by me with indescribable sorrow. You do not understand that she is a five headed serpent in your house." 23

"Like the rice which is laced with poison and which was eaten in plenty cannot be digested, Asuras and even devas cannot digest her with their valour." 24

"It is not proper for you to waste away, this lucky life earned by you, by control of senses and by doing just deeds." 25

"You are thinking with courage that you will not attain death from devas and asuras because of the strength of your penance. But this is not sufficient enough reason." 26

"This Sugrīva is neither a Deva nor a Rākṣasa nor a Dānava nor Gandharva nor Yakṣa nor Pannaga for Sugrīva is but a monkey King. And that Rāghava is but a human being." 27

(Rāvaṇa asked Brahma for a boon of deathlessness which he refused. Then he requested for deathlessness from all known type of people except monkeys and men. Hanuman is pointing out to him that the people who are opposing him are monkeys and men.)

"So King how are you going to save your life. The result of just action will not save you from the sins of unjust action for just action would only give its result." 28

(What he means that by doing some good things, the result of sinful action cannot be washed way.)

"You have already enjoyed your life which is the result of just action and you are going to immediately suffer for your misdeeds." 29

(If you want to wash away the sin of stealing Sītā, you have to do the just deed of returning her. No other just action is going to help you.)

"Please remember the war of Janasṭhāna, the killing of Bali and the treaty between Rāma and Sugrīva and decide what is good for you." 30

(In Janasṭhāna Rāma alone killed a huge army of Rākṣasas stationed there by Rāvaṇa.)

"I alone could have destroyed the city of Lanka with its horses, chariots and elephants. But this is not his wish." 31

"It has been sworn before the assembly of monkeys and bears that the complete destruction of those people, who were the reason for abduction of Sītā, would be done by Rāma alone." 32

"Even if bad is done to Rāma by real Devendra himself or anyone else, he would not be able to live happily. What about a person like you?" 33

"Understand that she, whom you think as just Sītā and who is under your custody, as the intense dark night who is going to destroy the entire Lanka." 34

"So please stop the impending destruction by Sītā, who is like the rope of God of death, which you have put as garland round your neck. Think of what is proper for your welfare." 35

"Think in your mind immediately that this city, which is full of palaces, towers and spires as already destroyed by the power of Sītā and is burning because of the anger of Rāma." 36

"Please do not allow the destruction of the city of Lanka as well as your friends, ministers, forefathers, brothers, sons, dears, pleasures and wives." 37

"Hey Rākṣasa King, understand clearly that this advice as coming from me, who is a monkey and a servant of Rāma, who has come as an emissary, as based only on just action and follow it." 38

(He calls himself as "servant", because he knows the power of Rāma, "emissary" because he is relating a message and "monkey" because he is neither a Rākṣasa nor a man and can be impartial.)

"Rāma is capable of destroying very easily the entire world with its beings, with its movable and immovable assets and create them again and he is famous beyond the speed of the mind." 39

"There is none among Devas, Asuras, Kings, Yakṣas, Rākṣasas, Vidyādharas, Gandharvas, Uragas, Sidhas, Kinnaras, Birds and not only that but among all beings, in all worlds, in everything, in all directions and for all time, who can oppose and wage a war against Rāma who is equal to Lord Vishnu." 40-41

"After doing this bad act to Rāma, who is the King of all worlds and who is the lion among Kings, for you it is impossible to keep your soul intact any longer." 42

"Hey King of Rākṣasa, even if all the devas, asuras, Gandharvas, Vidyādharas, Nagas and Yakṣas joined together they will not able to withstand the war with Rāma." 43

"Even the four headed Brahma, who created himself, the three eyed Rudra, who burnt the three cities, Indra who is the King of Devas and who killed Vritrāsura cannot save one whom Rāma has decided to kill." 44

(Commentators believe that because Hanuman did not include Vishnu, he must be knowing that Rāma is Vishnu himself. But this is contradictory to his calling Rāma equal to Vishnu in śloka 40-41.)

That incomparable Rākṣasa with ten heads and with rolling red eyes due to intense anger, finding that the cleverest words delivered with fearlessness by the monkey not suiting to his taste, sentenced the monkey chief with death. 45

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