The questioning of Hanuman by Prahastha

Fiftieth Chapter

The questioning of Hanuman by Prahastha

(Ravana orders his minister Prahastha to question Hanuman. Hanuman replied to him that he is the emissary of Raghava.)

The long armed Ravana 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? The God Nandi must have personally come here. 2

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

(See note under Sloka number 52 in chapter no. 3.Banasura is a thousand handed Rakshasa who was the son of Mahabali.)

 That king with red eyes due to anger addressing Prahastha 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 was his purpose? And what did he get by scaring the Rakshasis 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 Rakshasas? 6

Hearing the words of Ravana, Prahastha 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 Ravana, 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 Kubhera or Varuna 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 Ravana? 11

 Then the monkey who has been questioned thus addressing the chief of Rakshasa group replied as follows.” I do not belong either to Indra, Yama or Varuna. 12

 I do not have acquaintance with Kubhera. 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 Rakshasas this garden was destroyed by me for seeing him. 14

 Then those strong Rakshasas 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 Brahmasthra and as soon as I was troubled by the Rakshasa, I was free of Brahmasthra. 17

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

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

 Besides, Oh, king, be pleased to hear my words which would bring good to you. 20

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

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