Rāmāyana | Yuddha Kaṇḍa | Chapter 20

20. Rāvaṇa 's Attempt to Influence Sugrīva

[One spy informs Rāvaṇa about the might of the monkey army. He sends a spy called Śuka to influence Sugrīva to go back. Śuka is caught by the monkeys.]

After that a valorous Rākṣasa called Sārdula came and saw the army under the command of Sugrīva which was ready for the battle. 20.1

He was the spy of Rāvaṇa , the evil natured king of Rākṣasas and after seeing the army of monkeys from all the sides, he returned back speedily to Lanka and told the king. 20.2

"A very huge army of monkeys and bears, which is boundless and immeasurable, which is like a second ocean is approaching Lanka." 20.3

"The brothers Rāma and Lakṣmaṇa who are the sons of Dasaratha who are excellent men endowed with beauty have come in search of Sītā and they are keeping on the shores of this great ocean. 20.4- 20.5

"Oh king, that army is spread out for a distance of ten Yojanas [Twenty miles] and you can swiftly verify this truth." 20.6

"Oh great king, you need to send your messengers quickly to verify the truth. Under these circumstances conciliation, surrendering and sowing dissensions are the only options." 20.7

When Rāvaṇa the king of Rākṣasa heard these words of Sārdula, he was disturbed and swiftly decided about the course of action and spoke to the Rākṣasa called Sukha who is best among those who know their duty. 20.8

"You go to Sugrīva quickly on my behalf and under my command and in a gentle voice tell him these words of mine." 20.9

"Oh king, you are very strong and born in a great family, being the son of Riksharaja, From this battle you are not going to gain anything, Oh lord of monkeys, you are like a brother to me." 20.10

"Suppose I have abducted the wife of that great prince, it should not matter to you at all and so you go back to Kiṣkindha." 20.11

"This Lanka cannot be reached by monkeys at all. Even Devas and Gandharvas are not able to reach it and so how can men and monkeys reach here?" 20.12

Thus ordered by the king of Rākṣasas, that Rākṣasa Śuka assumed a form of the bird and started flying in the sky. 20.13

Proceeding in the sky continuously over the ocean, he stood on the sky and told Sugrīva the following words. 20.14

Śuka repeated the words of that wicked Rāvaṇa , as it was told to him and at that time the monkeys were trying speedily to reach for him in the sky to tear of his wings and to strike him. 20.15

Those monkeys forcibly caught that Rākṣasa on the sky and brought him down forcibly to the earth. 20.16

When the monkeys were troubling that Śuka, he told Rāma, "Oh Rāma of Kākutstha clan, messengers are not killed and so please restrain your monkeys." 20.17

"A messenger would tell only the opinion of his lord and never talks about his opinion. But there are other messengers who speak about their own opinion and they deserve to be killed." 20.18

Hearing words of Sukha and the nature of his complaint Rāma told the monkeys who were trying to kill him, "Do not kill." 20.19

Seeing that there was no fear from the monkeys, Sukha who had become light feathered, stood in the space and started taking again. 20.20

"Oh Sugrīva who is in rich in courage and who is very strong and valorous, "What shall I tell Rāvaṇa , who makes the world cry?" 20.21

Hearing these worlds, that chief of monkeys who is the bull among all monkeys and who was very strong., told these words to the Rākṣasa called Sukha who was the spy of Rāvaṇa and who was blameless. 20.22

"Oh Rāvaṇa neither are you my friend, nor do you deserve my sympathy. You are not dear to me and you have never helped me. Since you are the enemy of Rāma you along with associates deserve to be killed like Vali was killed." 20.23

"Oh king of Rākṣasas, I would kill you along with your sons, relatives and clansmen, I would come to Lanka along with my great army and turn the entire city in to ashes." 20.24

"O, foolish Rāvaṇa ! You along with your younger brother will not be left alive by Rāma, even if you are protected by all including Indra or even if you have disappeared or obtained, the solar orbit or entered the nethermost subterranean region or even if approached the lotus feet of Shiva." 20.25- 20.26

"I do not see any one including the ghosts, Rākṣasas, Gandharvas and Asuras in all the three worlds coming to protect you." 20.27

"You killed the extremely old Jatāyu in war but why is it that you did not try to abduct Sītā who is with broad eyes in the presence of Rāma and Lakṣmaṇa." 20.28

"The noble of the Raghu clan who is great, very strong and who cannot be even defeated by devas whom you do not know properly would kill you." 20.29

The good monkey Angada who was the son of Vali told," Oh intelligent Sugrīva, He does not appear to be a messenger but a spy." 20.30

"Standing there in the sky he has estimated the strength of our entire army. Let us arrest him and let him not go back to Lanka and this finds favour with me." 20.31

Commanded by the king, the monkeys jumped up in the air and caught hold of him and tied him securely and becoming helpless, he started wailing loudly. 20.32

When Sukha was harassed by those monkeys who were fierce, he cried loudly to attract the attention of the highly principled Rāma, who is the son of Dasaratha. 20.33

"My wings are being pulled out forcibly. My eyes are being pierced. If I die, all the sins incurred by me between my birth and my death would fall to your share." 20.34-20.35

Rāma who heard his wailings, did not allow him to be killed by the monkeys as he had come only as a messenger. 20.36

This is the end of Twentieth Sarga of Yuddha Kanda which occurs in Holy Rāmāyaṇa composed by Vālmīki as the First Epic.