My Review: Ramayana – The Game of Life – Stolen Hope

ramayana

Name of the Book – Ramayana,The Game of Life – Stolen Book

Author : Shubha Vilas

Edition / Year : 1 / 2016

Publisher: Jaico Publishing House

ISBN : 978-81-8495-824-9

Ramayana – The Game of Life – Stolen Hope

This is the 3rd instalment in the 6 book series of Ramayana by Shubha Vilas. To begin with, I must say that the author had done a splendid job in presenting the Ramayana which corresponds with our day to day activity. The micro analysis of this great Epic, to my knowledge to coincide with present day life, to my knowledge, was not done by any one else earlier.

There are lot of things one must learn in this journey of life and I have learnt a few from the three books so far.

The story continues from the 2nd instalment where Rama was banished to exile along with Sita and Lakshmana. They reach Dandakaranya. This means “Jungle of/for punishment” and it was further cursed by Sage Gautam Rishi that it wuld be infested with demons and only when Rama arrives, this would be cleansed. This shows that all the events are interlinked and great sages were able to foresee the nature.

“Prosperity helplessly tags behind fortune” – A brilliant phrase used by the author and in fact h has used lot of phrases like this connecting with various events as and when it happened in the story.

Rama encounters Viradha where his name itself Vi-radha mens one without love. He was the son of Jaya and Satradha with power of 25,000 elephants and has the ability to defy weapons. He was one other than Tumburu, a Gandharva.

Fact #1 – In Ramayana, Rama had never killed anyone in front of Sita.

Author makes a brilliant comparison of Sun and Moon with Ram and Lakshman where Ram is compared to Moon for his calm nature and Lakshman to Sun for his fiery nature. Eventhough Sun and Moon avoid each other, Ram and Lakshman had never avoided each other.

Sarabhanga who Rama meet asks Rama to meet Suteekshana who could help Him and on reaching his place, He was refered to Dharmacharee,Rupa,Samahanana,Lavanya,Suvesa and Sita as Yashasvini.

One of the notable feature of this book is the author gracefully deciphers the real meaning of each name here Sarabhanga means one who demolishes his own body.

As the story progresses, Agastya Muni is introduced.  His conversation with Strutvan showed how much he is concerned about others rather than his own fate. He areed to marry Lopamudra who was created from his yogic powers and the birth of his son Tridasyu aka Tejaswi stands as a testimony to the fact.

Fact #2 – Agastya tricks Vindhya mountains to stop outgoing Meru by making it grow parallel rather than growing upwards.

Agastya goes ahead and does many wonders which included:

  1. Swallowed ocean to destroy Kalakeyas.
  2. Creation of Tamil Language and gifting it to Ram.
  3. Handing over 3 marital gifts – Set of Two Swords, Bow that has the luster of Lord Vishnu and energy of Sudarshan Chakra, Quiver that never ran out of arrows.
  4. Killing of Vatapi and his brother.

This story revolves around various events that had happened as I had mentioned earlier that all were interlinked.

The story also shows how when a power is misused can lead to one’s downfall. The classic example being Nakusha. This person rose to the position of Indira but lost it as he had lust to get hold of Sachi – Wife of Indira.

He was cursed to become a snake and only to regain his normal form when he was touched and answered by Yudhistir during Mahabaratha.

The story also mentioned about Five Banyan Trees which reminded me of my visit to the auspicious place and I had even seen the small cave like structure where Ram,Sita and Lakshman dwelled.

Tree 1

Tree 2

Tree

Tree 4

I missed clicking one of the trees. Never mind. I did see the place and that gives me ultimate satisfaction.

The story had few interesting points to note one of which is this ” When a bad person speaks good about someone, it has to be taken seriously”. This refers to Surpanakha talking about Vibishana to Rama. When Surpanakha meets Rama, it is the only place in Ramayana where “hasyarasa” or comedy was involved.

In this place, Rama did not refer Lakshmana as a Bachelor but the person who misses the company of his wife.

An interesting reference by author -> We sing hymns to make HIS heart melt and we also call HIM gracious, truthful, righteous like what Sita did to Rama.

Introduction of Ravana:

After the string of events, the author introduces Ravana who had 18 curses hanging over his head with one being Vedavati – daughter of Kushadwaja who is the son of Sage Brihaspati that she would be the cause of his death.

Ravana was cursed by Nakulvera that on the day he touches a woman without her consent, he will be dead.

 Though Ravana had got many boons by impressing Lord Brahma and Lord Shiv, he had to meet his fate due to his ill actions and behaviour.

Maricha who had escaped death couple of times in the hands of Ram tried to persuade Ravana not to have any vengeance with Ram. When Maricha could not convince his brother, he finally took the disguise of a golden deer and here Valmiki refer the deer as “Abhirama” because for the first time in her life, Sita desired something other than Rama.

At this juncture, author had kept a suspense as Rama took Sita inside the cottage before coming out to chase the Golden Deer. I am now awaiting to read Book 6 – Yuddha Kanda as this suspense would be revealed by then.

Maricha is being referred as “Parakayapravesha” – process of changing the form. It requires steadiness of mind. When Sita doubted Lakshamana’s integrity when Maricha lured Ram and later shouting in His voice, “O-Broad eyed” to establish the fact that she has Broad Eyes but NOT Broad Vision.

Fact #3 – Lakshman did not draw the Lakshman Rekha as per the original Valmiki Ramayana. However Tulsi Das’s Ramacaritramanas talks about Lakshman Rekha.

When Sita was abducted by Ravana, she threw all her jewels except her Chudamani(Tiara) since it was a symbol of her marital status.

When Sita was abducted, Jatayu put up a brave fight. When Ravana tried kidnapping SITA during Vindamuhurta because any valuable that is lost during this won’t be returned back to its owner but Jatayu who fought with him delayed it and hence it became Punarvasumuhurta which means anything that was stolen during that time, will be surely returned back to its owner.

Sati came in the disguise of Sita to console Rama but He recognised Her. Shiva disassociated with Sati since she too the form of Sita as He cossidered Sita to be His worshippabe mother.

Eventually Sati was born as Parvati on her next birth and married Lord Shiva.

Fact #4 – Monkey’s dont eat Sitaphal even to this day as they have vowed not to eat them since it was born from the tears of Sita when she was abducted by Ravana.

A beautiful wording used by the author here:

Deliberation in hindsight – Lamentation

Deliberation in foresight – Vision

Fact #4 – Rama blessed squirrel family which was weeping as they could not save Sita, that irrespective of the height that it fall from would never get injured.

Fact #5 – Rama was separated from Sita for about 10 months.

The author also teaches us the importance of how to respond but not to react when hurt.

Now Jatayu is dead but was happy to die on the lap of Rama. This sufficed the boon that he got from Dasaratha, that he wanted his Son which Dasaratha agreed by then as he never had a Son.

The story is now going to the next step where Rama is destined to meet Sugriya to seek his help in finding Sita. A story cannot be unfolded in any better way than this. Now I surely can’t wait to read the 4th Instalment 🙂

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