18 August, 2014

Ramayana - The Game of life : Rise of the Sun Prince - [Book Review]

Book details:
Title: Ramayana :The Game of life 
         Rise of the Sun Prince
Author: Shubha Vilas
Publishers: JAICO
Genre: Mythology
No. of pages: 252
Source: A free copy for review from blogadda.com


I have been listening to Ramayana tales from childhood from my father and also watched them in television. Even though iam reading Ramayana again after so many years, i remember each and every small story of it. Those stories and  characters settled in my mind permanently. So, i was not sure initially if this book would interest me to complete till the end, as i hate reading known stories again and again. 

My expectation was to get a different perspective on the tale that i know from long. A different thought process which would help me to correlate with the current scenarios and problems of our country. Iam expecting to learn something new out of old story, which is not very preachy . So, let me tell you if this book really met my expectation :)

My take on story:

This is first part of the 6 book series of complete Ramayana and covers the story from the birth of Lord Rama to his marriage. Basically, story is taken from Valmiki Ramayana and Kamba Ramayana, though few tales are collected from other sources. It is good that author touches upon other characters in detail along with main characters. Actually, Author mentions that Viswamithra is the hero of this story as Balya kanda emphasizes mainly on how he transformed from a jealous king to Brahmarshi and other lessons he learnt in his journey. 

As a reader, we would surely love the extra information from footnotes, but at the end, we feel that there is too much information to comprehend from foot notes. I felt, few foot notes are unnecessary and very preachy. Liked these tidbits which are very less known facts from Ramayana :):

  • Dasaratha had 353 wives!
  • Dasaratha's wives bore the divine children Rama, Laxmana, Bharatha and Sathrughna for 12 months!
  • Lord Rama's childhood is covered in Ramayana only in 10 verses!
  • The famous Suprabhataham song 'Kaushalya Supraja Rama' that we use now for Lord Venkateswara is first sung my sage Vishwamithra to wake up Rama from sleep in the forest!
  • When Lord Vishnu killed Khyati, wife of sage Bhrigu, Brighu maharshi cursed Vishnu to appear on Earth for 10 times, which are famously known as Dasavathara (10 incarnations)!
Also, liked these lines about special attributes a man should have to marry in Sita's opinion

"He must be valiant or have the ability to protect
He should be prudent and have the ability and wisdom to say the right things
He must have self control or the ability to resist temptation and control emotions"
And these lines about marriage
"Marriage works best with happy cooperation. Hearts are broken when couples compete. To avoid heart break, a couple must cooperate and complement each other."
So, overall, other than the story, we have lot of things to take away from this book. The Ramayana is not a book; it is a way of life. The next book in the series is 'Shattered Dreams'.

I would recommend this to:

  • Children who want to read Ramayana for the first time
  • Elders, who know Ramayana and want to read it to get another perspective and learn about other characters
  • Any book reader who is interested in mythology and want to learn something new
My rating:
To get this book from flipkart for just Rs.159/- follow this link.

Until next time,

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