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Ramayana relevant in today’s times too

Life&More February 9, 2019
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Saurabh Tankha

Ramayana is the saga of Lord Rama’s life. It is one of the greatest Indian epics offering not just lessons on statecraft and administration that transcend time and space but also on life and relationships. These are as relevant today as they were back then.

My naani (maternal grandmother) often turned to Ramayana (and so did my mother later) whenever she got stuck in a situation. In fact, she always advised us to do the same. “Ramayana has answers for everything,” she often said. As a kid (must be when I was around six or seven years old), I didn’t pay much attention to her words then but they did get imprinted in my mind, somewhere at the back.

My interest in Ramayana began when I was in class 6 and we had Sankshipt Ramayana as our Hindi course book. Of course, at that time I read it as a story but believe me, I found it so interesting that I picked up the Ramcharitmanas by Tulsidasa my mom had and read the entire epic in one go. Though there were a number of portions that I didn’t understand but they did leave a deep impact. Since then, I have read the book many times over, each time drawing a new meaning from its words.

I have often turned to Ramayana whenever I have found myself stuck in a certain difficult situation in life, just like my naani did. But then Ramayana is a hefty book. In today’s fast-paced life wherein there is an eternal shortage of time, youngsters may find it difficult to find time to consult it. This often bothered me. An epic that transcends lives and times and has such a treasure trove of knowledge is not being read just because it is lengthy.

So when Fingerprint sent across, Wisdom From The Ramayana, written by Chaitanya Charan, my happiness knew no bounds. For this is a book that discusses the ancient wisdom found in various stories of the timeless Indian epic.

That the author is well-versed with Ramayana can be seen from the way he has presented it. He has picked up the main stories from the epic, each dealing with a different aspect of life like relationships, fear, morality, love, respect, trust and ascribed a chapter to each. And every story is then discussed threadbare, helping the reader understand the hidden wisdom and also explaining how to implement that learning in our modern-day life so as to improve its quality.

In all, there are some 20 incidents from Ramayana that are narrated and analysed for practical life lessons like overcoming misunderstandings in relationships, responding maturely to others’ harsh words, understanding when to accept things as destiny and when to change them as duty, taking our devotion above the play of our emotions, Learning to see opportunity in adversity, how selflessness in our relationships can strengthen them, How to acknowledge, introspect and apologise to better sour relationships,  significance of Ravana’s 10 heads and more.

Just like the Ramayana, Wisdom From The Ramayana is a treasure trove of knowledge and just like the epic, this one too doesn’t come across as a book of sermons. It is rather an interesting story, written in such a lucid manner that a common man can easily understand it too. Even those who might not have read the original Ramayana will find it easy to grasp.

Some life lessons that literally jump out of its pages are:

Elders and be duty bound towards parents just as Rama.
Remain united with siblings even during the toughest of times just as Bharata.
Be loyal to your spouse just as Sita.
Be deeply committed to your duty just as Lakshmana.
Choose the path of righteousness just as Vibhishana.
Remain humble no matter how powerful you become as Hanumana.
All that glitters is not gold: Mareech was a ploy to kidnap Sita.
Embrace all irrespective of caste, creed or colour like Rama embraced Shabri.

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