Ramayana now has become the most-watched program on the Doordarshan since the lockdown has been implemented. The Ramayana does not require any introduction. The gist is well known to the majority of the people apart from the fact that it is one of the two epics of India.
The Ramayana gives several wonderful lessons which can be valued and implemented by each and every individual. Apart from the usual ones that ‘Truth triumphs’ here are a few:
- Like a flowing river, what has gone will never come back.
Time is precious. Utilize it wisely.
- Bad association only leads to misery
Kaikeyi loved Rama more than her own son Bharat. However, her association with Manthara led to her mind being poisoned and asking the two dreadful boons. Due to this, she becomes a widow and her own son disowned her due to the thoughtless actions.
- Be satisfied.
Rama was a satisfied man. Even when his father ordered him to live in the forests for 14 years, he did so without a complaint. When Bharat requested him to return, he told Bharat that he would be glad to serve the animal citizens of Dasharatha’s kingdom.
With this example, Rama also demonstrates the need to be devoted to service and not to the position. Though he was the crown prince, he didn’t hesitate to do his duties as a banished son. He was willing to become the king as a service to king Dasharatha. He was also willing to go to the forest as a service to his father.
Therefore, remember to do your duty because duties not performed will even invite the wrath of the good.
- Never think about your greatness.
Humility is a gem worn by the noble. No matter how much piety or success you have achieved, never praise yourself. Though Rama was an accomplished archer, he didn’t go about blowing his own trumpet. His actions spoke for him. For instance, he handled 14,000 demons in the Dandakaranya, single-handed. Therefore, speak less and do more.
- Treat everyone equally.
No one needs to be discriminated on any basis. Everyone has their own skills and behaviour. Rama had friends like Guha (a tribal), Sugriva (a monkey), Jatayu (a vulture) and Vibhishana (a demon) among others. All of the mentioned names were treated with respect and without any discrimination. He even ate berries tasted by an old lady, Sabari who had nothing else to offer. Therefore, Be polite.
- Attachment leads to one’s doom:
Sita’s attachment to the Golden deer eventually got herself kidnapped.
Ravana demonstrated this without an exception. His attachment to Sita’s beauty led to his destruction. He didn’t heed to good advice, either from his wife or his brother. Even when all of his greatest warriors including Kumbakarna, Indrajit and others died he still didn’t give up.
Therefore, don’t be attached to material things. They are temporary.
- Never make fun of the cruel and the ignoble.
There are several instances of how Ravana was humbled due to his arrogance. He insulted Nandi and Hanuman for instance (on separate occasions) and paid the price.
- Never feel ashamed of your progress.
Everyone has their own potencies. The pace of progress may be slow but as long as one is making progress, do not feel bad. The squirrel in spite of his small contribution of sprinkling sand to construct the bridge across the sea was praised by Rama even though others were throwing boulders.
- Do not remember what you give others as a favour.
Rama had never taken advantage of his friends throughout his life for returning the favors he has done. One must help without expecting anything in return- not even gratitude.
- Follow a code of ethics.
Rama was a man of his word. He did not let his adversities dictate his personality. He remained the same. He gave up all ties with his wife to perform his duty as a king and as a kshatriya. He broke all relations with his favourite brother just because he gave his word to Yama (The God of Death) during their conversation.
The point is, be a man of your word. Do not manipulate to suit your own needs.
- Magnify the good deeds done by a person.
As human beings, we all tend to make mistakes. It is easier to see the flaws in someone else than oneself. But what makes a person great, is the ability to see the goodness in the other person however minor it may be. For example, when Rama killed Ravana, in spite of all his doings, he asked his brother Lakshman to go and learn from Ravana because he was an exemplary scholar.
The most important of all!
Do not let adversities dictate your state of mind. Face them with courage. Rama is known as Maryada Purushottama (The ideal man). Definitely, we can’t reach the ideality in today’s world but we can definitely take up the good values he has imbibed and strive to live by it.