We have often heard our grandmothers doing a Ramayan Paath. This Hindu epic has given us number of lessons that we mustn’t forget. These lessons help us better ourselves and emerge as refined and reformed human beings with each passing day.
There are various interpretations of the Ramayana. Here’s one way of looking at it:
Respect elders and be duty bound towards parents – Ram left for vanvas after his step-mother expressed her desire to see biological son Bharath as the future king of Ayodhya.
Remain united with siblings even during the toughest of times – Bharat refused to accept the throne after his father’s demise and waited for Ram to return from his vanvas. Lakshman accompanied his brother Ram for the 14-year-long vanvas.
Be loyal to your spouse – Ravana tried to lure Sita after abducting her. But Sita never let him succeed in his attempts. Ram didn’t remarry after Sita was forcefully abandoned by him even after conducting the ‘Agni Pariksha’. Being a King, he enjoyed the privilege of having many queens, but he chose to remain loyal to his beloved wife – Sita.
Be deeply committed to your duty – Besides being Sita’s husband, Ram was also the King of Ayodhya. And the duty of the king is to keep his subjects happy. And hence, he had to abandon his wife for the sake of the masses after they questioned her chastity. As a husband, he was duty bound towards his wife. But as a King, he had to think of his subjects’ wishes ahead of his personal ones.
Choose the path of righteousness – Vibhishana, younger brother of Ravana chose to not support his sibling in the war against Ram. He knew his brother had committed a sin by abducted someone—a married lady.
Remain humble no matter how powerful you become – Hanuman could have easily rescued Sita from Ravana’s Ashoka Vatika. He had the power to single-handedly fight against Ravana’s army. But he chose to surrender to Lord Ram’s divinity and let him do the needful.
Never consider anyone inferior – Mighty prince Ram took the help of Vanar sena (monkey army) to build a bridge (Ram Setu) so that he could reach Lanka to free Sita. The little monkeys not just helped him build the setu but also took part in the war against Ravana.
All that glitters is not gold – Sita got attracted to a spotted deer that looked incredibly beautiful. She wanted Ram to get the deer for her from the jungle. Actually, it wasn’t a deer, but Mareech, Ravana’s accomplice in disguise of the animal.
Embrace all irrespective of caste, creed or colour – Prince Ram ate fruits that were already tasted by Shabri, a poor old woman who had nothing much to offer but pure love.
Abandon the following– Kama (lust), Krodha (anger), Moha (desire), Lobha (greed), Mada (pride), Ahankar (ego), Irshya (jealousy), Jaddata (insensitivity), Ghrina (hatred), Bhaya (fear).