RAMAYANA : A Source of Life Skill Development
The Ramayana is the first epic poem ever written. It was composed with the noblest intension of elevating the rustic beings into satvik souls. Along with the Hindus all over the world, many others also firmly believe that the Ramayana is the holiest among written and circulated stories. There may hardly be any populace, place, culture or language on the earth where the Ramayana is not taught or discoursed.
The Ramayana is a classic that belongs to the ancient or Vedic literature. It is worshipped with such devotion and awe, for; its admirers believe that chanting the Ramayana at one’s death-bed causes liberation of the passing spirit. In almost all temples in Kerala, one full month of a year is celebrated as ‘Ramayana month’. This text is an El Dorado, a reservoir, of great moral values. It enlightens the mind of the reader with duty consciousness or dharma, inspires him to do his duty with fortitude and guides him as a beacon as he finds himself directionless.
This immortal story was conceived and delivered to mankind thousands of years ago. Printing was not invented then. Writing paper or printing ink was not in existence. It was composed in mind and delivered orally. Palm leaf scripts were made and preserved later. Down from hand to hand many interpolations have occurred in this great work. Many commentaries, narratives and purports have been penned by great scholars.
This work, unparallel in human history, was originally composed by saint poet Valmiki. His followers retold the story according to their own school of thought, taste and philosophy. There are many versions of the Ramayana today, apart from that of Valmiki: Vaasishta Ramayana, Krithivasa Ramayana, Tulsidas Ramayana, Kambar Ramayana , etc. All these versions are extremely beautiful in poetical skill and style of narration, except a few distortions. For example, some scholars from Kerala have been propagating a strange and fancy meaning to the very name Ramayana. They swear that the word is a combination of two: Ra + Mayanam.
According to them Ra is ratri, night or darkness. The other Malayalam word mayanam means to dispel or vanish.
The darkness from human hearts should disappear. Good. But one question. Did the poor old saint knew the Malayalam word and its usage Mayanam ?
Ramasya ayanam – Rama’s journey – Rama’s story – is the explicit meaning of the Ramayana. The Ramayana is the best study material for any student. A student of life or a student of management.
I have noticed that most people do not possess our Puranas iota of knowledge about our culture, heritage, the rich Indian philosophy. Thanks to Maculay our system of education even after long sixty seven years of independence continues to be hostile to our own culture. What hurts a true Indian is that our younger generation having lost their aim is wandering way-ward.
What is the future of a country where even the Chief Justice had been under the cloud of corruption?
Revival and popularisation of our Puranas, the great Indian Vedic literatures, and the deep wisdom immersed in them, I thought, would serve our next generation at least partially.
There is a great number of soft skill and life skill modules subtly inter-twined in the Ramayana that will transform the qualities of a student in character formation, body
language and even in employability enhancement.
The Hidden Treasures of Ramayana :
For example, take Adhyatma Ramayana, Valmiki’s Ramayana retold by the great Malayalam poet Thunchath Ezhuthachan. In the first canto Ayodhya Kanda he emphasises:
- Those who do not attach value to time, will not reap Vidya (knowledge) – line 355. The importance of time awareness, time consciousness, is depicted here.
- Those who do not count small losses, will not become wealthy – line: 356
- Those who do not give heed to God will obviously fall – line: 357
-K K Shanmukhan(To be concluded)