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In the Hindu epic the Ramayana, Prahasta (Sanskrit: प्रहस्त) was a powerful rakshasa warrior, chief commander of Ravana's army of Lanka and son of Ravana. In his next birth Prahastha was reborn as Purochana in the Mahabharata as Duryodhana's trusted aide and who was responsible for the Lakshagraha incident.
Prahastha leads Ravana's army in the wars against Yama, Kubera and the Devas, and the Asuras and Daityas, through which Ravana establishes his sovereignty over the three worlds. He also leads the initial Lankan response to the invasion led by Rama, Lakshmana, Sugriva and the Vanara army.
Prahastha was the younger brother of Indrajit, and died at the hands of Lakshmana on the first day of the battle between the forces of Rama and Ravana on the soil of Lanka. Some accounts mention him as the brother of Kaikesi, making him Ravana's maternal uncle.
Prahastha killed several important warriors of Sugriva's army and was actually proving to be a real threat to the army of Rama, so Lakshmana had to move in to the rescue of the beleaguered army, which was suffering at the hands of Prahastha (quoted directly from the Tulasidas Ramayana). As per Valmiki Ramayana, Prahastha was killed by Nila, a monkey warrior. Nila hurled a rock at Prahastha that broke his neck and killed him. (Valmiki Ramayana, book 6, canto 58, verses 53,54)
- Ramesh Menon (2001), The Ramayana.
- Rao, Desiraju Hanumanta. "Valmiki Ramayana - Yuddha Kanda - Sarga 58". www.valmikiramayan.net. Retrieved 2017-01-02.