Rāmāyana | Yuddha Kaṇḍa | Chapter 29

29. Rāvaṇa Sends Another Group of Spies

[Greatly angry with Śuka and Śarana for praising the enemy Rāvaṇa dismisses them. He sends another spy to study about the habit of Rāma and Lakṣmaṇa and other commanders. They are also caught and released back by Rāma.]

Seeing those greatest of the monkey leaders pointed out by Śuka-viz. the most valorous Lakṣmaṇa who is Rāma's right arm, his own brother Vibhīṣaṇa standing close to Rāma, the terribly powerful Sugrīva the king of all monkeys, the strong Angada grandson of Indra the wielder of Vajra, the powerful Hanuman, the invincible Jambhavan, Suṣeṇa, Kumuda, Nila, Nala the excellent of monkeys, Gaja, Gavaksha, Śarabhā, Mainda and Dvividhaḥ- that heart of that became agitated a little and he was enraged and then abused those two ministers Śuka and Śarana who had told him in detail about them. 29.1-29.5

To that Śuka and Śarana who saluted him with face looking down Rāvaṇa spoke very harsh, merciless, angry and excited words. 29.6

"It is not befitting for ministers who eke their life out of me to utter such unpleasant words, since the king has the power to give them any type of punishment or reward." 29.7

"On those enemies who have come to war with us and who are adverse us, you both have showered your praise. Is it proper?" 29.8

"You have served your teachers, elders and old people in a non-effective manner and it is clear that you have not grasped the essence of principles of political science." 29.9

"But suppose you have understood them, it is clear that you have forgotten them. And you are carrying a great burden of ignorance. In spite of such foolish ministers like you, If I am still the king, it is a great miracle." 29.10

"Why is it that you are not fearing death after telling such harsh words to me, who judges about good and evil by my tongue?" 29.11

"In spite of outbreak of fire in the forest, trees may survive but those who commit treachery against the king cannot survive." 29.12

"Had not my anger been mellowed down by the earlier service done by you, I would have killed both of you for praising my enemy?" 29.13

"Keep away being near to me. Go away from here. I do not desire to kill you because of good service done by you earlier. I consider both of you as dead because you were ungrateful and unfaithful to me." 29.14

After Rāvaṇa told like this to them, both Śuka and Śarana felt ashamed to see Rāvaṇa and went away after saluting and greeting him saying, "Be victorious." 29.15

Then Rāvaṇa told Mahodhara who was standing near him, "Go and immediately bring me spies who are expert in justice." 29.16

Mahodhara immediately ordered that spies should be brought and as per the orders of the king the spies came there and they saluted him and wished him victory. 29.17-2918

Then Rāvaṇa, the king of Rākṣasas told the following words to those spies who were valorous, devoted him, and free from fear. 29.19

"Go from here and investigate the activities of Rāma and also find out his advisors and intimate friends and also those people who joined with him because of liking him." 29.20

"Find out when he sleeps and when he wakes up and also about what he intends to do now. And you have to come back after intelligently understanding everything about him." 29.21

"Even a learned enemy who is the ruler of earth, if studied well by using a spy can easily be defeated without much effort." 29.22

The spies agreed with the sentiment expressed, saluted the king of Rākṣasas and after going round him, with Shardula as their leader left that place. 29.23

Those great Rākṣasa spies after going round the great Rākṣasa king started to the place where Rāma and Lakṣmaṇa is there. 29.24

They went after disguising themselves went and saw Rāma and Lakṣmaṇa along with Sugrīva and Vibhīṣaṇa near the Suvela mountain. 29.25

When they saw the great army, they were fear stricken and they were seen by the great Rākṣasa who was the chief of Rākṣasas [Vibhīṣaṇa]. 29.26

Accidentally they were seen by Vibhīṣaṇa who said about Shardula, "This person is a wicked person" and he alone was seized. 29.27

When the monkeys were about to kill Shardula, Rāma saved him and that very kind Rāma got released the other Rākṣasas also. 29.28

Harassed by those courageous and fast paced monkeys, though they lost their consciousness, they somehow returned back to Lanka. 29.29

Those Rākṣasa spies who normally moved outside, told the very strong Rāvaṇa that Rāma was camping near the Suvela mountain. 29.30

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