Lessons Found In The Ramayana

Ramayana is one of the most popular religious texts in the world. What makes it unique and very different than all sacred texts is that it is s story of a King, and a very interesting one as well. Yet, it has attained an everlasting popularity in Indian society and tradition because of its social values and the lessons that it leaves for all who go through it.
Lessons Found in the Ramayana
Source - Wikimedia Commons (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3AKilling_of_Rawana_Painting_by_Balasaheb_Pant_Pratinidhi.jpg)

It would not be wrong to say that the story of Rama has had an everlasting influence in setting up the ideal standards in Indian society. The extremely family centric values of Indian society are in accordance with the ideals of Ramyana, which narrates how a son, a husband, a wife and a brother commit themselves to their duty.

 

RAMAYANA is perhaps the most commonly read religious text of Hinduism, and the reason that has been so over the last few thousand years, is solely because of the lessons one can draw from it. It is the perennial Indian story

– a story of supreme sacrifice; a story of honour, promise and loyalty; a story of valour and courage; and more than anything else, a story of victory of good over evil.

Ramayana: One of the Oldest Epic in the World

Ramayana is the earlier of the two ancient Indian epics (the other being Mahabharata), which is story of king Rama penned down by sage Valmiki, in Sanskrit, between 4000 to 4500 years ago. It is a story that is prescribed as a religious text as all scholars, and therefore is probably one book that you will always find in almost all Hindu households.

The Story of Rama

Rama was the eldest son of king Dashratha of the Raghu dynasty. Dashratha had three wives and four sons from them. All the four brothers, when reached adolescence, were called upon by sage Vishwamitra, who took them to his ‘ashram’ the place in which saint scholars used to do their meditation. There all the four princes lived, served the sage as their teacher, and were taught by him.

Traditionally, in India, the eldest son used to inherit the throne of the king. However, Dashratha had once promised his second wife, KAIKAYEE that he will grant her two wishes whenever she wanted, as a reward for having saved his life during a hunting session. When the time came for accession of throne, Kaikayee, reminding the king of his promises, demanded that her son, Bharata may be made the king and Rama may be sent to the forest for fourteen years.

King Dashratha belonged to the Raghu dynasty, which was famous for always keeping their word. Thus for Dashratha it became a matter of his ancestor’s honour. Faced with such a request, he was faced with a very difficult dilemma, as he could neither punish his innocent son, nor get back on his word. When Rama came to know of his father’s dilemma, he decided to take the initiative himself fulfil his father’s promises. He abdicated the throne and went to the forest. His wife SITA and another brother LAKSHAMAN also decided to accompany him to the forest. Dashratha could not stop him, and died as a sorry father. Rama was very popular with people, who began to follow him to the forest and would not go back. Finally Rama had to scold as well as request them to go back; only then they could be returned.

When Bharat, his step-brother, who was away during all these happenings, came to know about all this, he scolded his mother and tried to bring back Rama, but Rama refused as he considered it his duty to keep his father’s promise and his ancestor’s tradition of respecting a promise even


at the cost of life. Later, in the forest, his wife, SITA, was abducted by demon king RAVANA, of Sri Lanka.

Rama along with his brother, were wandering in the forest, when they came across HANUMANA, the forest warrior with miraculous powers, who had heard about Rama, and he became a devoted friend of Rama. Later with the help of Hanumana, and his tribe, the VAN NARS, Rama found that his wife was abducted by Ravana. With an army of van nars, which had some very courageous warriors,  Rama attacked Ravana. Ravana’s younger brother Vibhishana, who was kicked out of Lanka for suggesting that a fight with Rama was against the interests of Lankans, also joined Rama in his war against Ravana. Finally, after a great war, Rama killed Ravana and thereby became an eternal symbol of victory of good over evil.

Lessons from Ramayana

The whole story of Ramayana provides innumerable ideals worth following in day to day life. Some of them are enlisted here.

Dashratha and his ancestors depict the truthfulness of kings, and the emphasis placed on honor by them. Rama is the example of an ideal son, who did not think twice before sacrificing his life for his father’s honor and reputation. He is also an example of almost perfect brother, as well as a perfect king, when he finally ascended the throne. His era is known as RAM RAJYA (Rama’s governance) the state of ideal governance. He is also the example of a perfect husband, who devoted himself to only one wife.  Thus Rama’s character has became an example for all to emulate in India, and his success denoted the fact that the one who follows the path of sacrifice and truth succeeds in the end.

Bharata, the son of Kaikayee, also proved to be the ideal brother. Even though he was a step-brother, and although he had got the throne due to his mother’s manipulation, he decided to return the throne to Rama, and when Rama refused, he took his shoes back to his capital. There, Rama’s shoes  were placed on the throne as a sign that Rama was the actual king. He managed the kingdom in the name of Rama, till he returned after fourteen years.

Hanumana is the example of a loyal and devoted friend who did everything a friend can do without ever expecting or asking anything in return. Sita, the wife of Rama, resisted all temptations thrown by Ravana, and refused to marry him, even when she was threatened with death. Lakshaman, the brother of Rama, who accompanied him to the forest, is another example of brotherly sacrifice and affection.

 All characters in Ramayana are examples of courage and bravery.
 



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