Reviewing Book 1 of the Ramayana: the Game of Life series
The First installment of the Ramayana: The Game of Life, Rise of the Sun Prince is an enlightening tale by Shubha Vilas. One of the most revered religious texts, Ramayana is slowly losing its sheen amongst the new generations. It is this young population that this series of Ramayana aims to attract.
The author does not go all heavy with the text, instead attempts to explain the text in simple easy to read language. Although Valmiki was a great sage and writer, his version, the original one seems to be little tough for the modern day readers, mostly because of the pathetic education we receive. So to read this book is an excellent way to get close to the ancient texts.
And how can one not mention the pearls of wisdom, the informative footnotes which tell us so much about the story.On each page, very patiently the author explains the why and hows of the events which are unfolding in front of us. That is in a sense the beauty of Ramayana. The hidden meanings, the deep nuances, the lessons to be learned. It is its mystic and fantastic quality that attracts so many readers to it. By explaining it in detail, the author makes the reader understand the text.
The story revolves around the growing up years of Lord Ram, one of the incarnations of the God Vishnu and his journey towards fulfilling his objectives and the prophecies associated with his birth. The book also throws light on the great King Dashratha, father of Ram, and his governance of the great kingdom which he ruled. It also tells us about the idealistic city of Ayodhya which was in its time unrivaled by any other city in terms of security, grandeur and prosperity.
For young citizens of the World, this book is an eye opener. It holds your hands and guides you into the treasure trove built by the great sage Valmiki.
The wisdom which it beholds is as relevant today as it was way back in the times when it was written. The author very craftily links the lessons that are learned here with the lives that we lead. It answers so many questions that we may have. The doubts which bother us, nag us in our daily lives are all answered here.
My personal favorite part is where the great sage Vishwamitra asks King Dashratha for help. He would only take Ram with him, but Dashratha couldn’t bear to send his twelve year son to fight demons, even for a great sage like Vishwamitra. But the sage is adamant for he knows the worth of the boy. The father in Dashratha is baffled for he has deep love for his son and wants to protect him at all costs. So he offers himself to protect the sage from demons. The whole scene is so dramatic yet so true, two powerful personalities arguing and both of them right in their own way.
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