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Ramayana Reflections – 10

Ramayana Reflections – 10

Values taught in Ramayana – 1

There are too many to be covered in this article. A few that stand out are:

Relationships v/s Money :

The prominent characters in Ramayana teach us to make personal
sacrifices for the welfare of others. Lakshmana accompanied Lord Rama
to the forest for fourteen years although he was not obliged to. He
considered his service to Rama as his greatest wealth; he gave up food
and sleep during the exile to serve Rama and Sita.

Rama’s wife Sita is another example of one who left her comforts to
assist her husband.

Bharat could have taken over the kingdom of Ayodhya, claiming it came
to him, without his asking. However he not only relinquished his right
to the throne, he performed severe austerities to atone for Rama’s
banishment. In fact, while Rama enjoyed a variety of fruits and roots
in the forest as food, Bharat survived fourteen years only on a little
Barley mixed with cow urine. He also dug a hole in the ground and
rested a mere two hours at night. His reasoning was: “When Lord Rama
sleeps on the earth, I can’t sleep on a bed. Rather I would lie lower
than the earth.”

He would go to river Sarayu to take bath around 2.00 am- the time when
the water would be biting cold in winter. It’s said that the river
water would be so ice-cold that elephants would rush out no sooner
they entered it. Yet, Bharat’s understanding was that he is so sinful
that he caused Rama’s banishment and therefore he wouldn’t want
citizens of Ayodhya to see him first thing, early in the morning.
Therefore he rushed to take bath when everyone else slept.

He held himself responsible for Rama’s exile, and served the citizens
of Ayodhya in absence of Rama without taking any facilities for his
own enjoyment.

This is exemplary because many people prefer to take facilities and
avoid responsibility. Bharat was the exact opposite. Nowadays when
people are conscious of their rights and privileges, Bharat taught us
a leadership lesson of being wary of our duties and not the enjoyment
we think we deserve.

Forgiveness:

After Ravana was killed by Rama, Hanuman approached mother Sita to
convey the good news. He then asked her permission to kill the various
demons who harassed her during her imprisonment in Lanka. Sita
refrained Hanuman from doing that; she explained how her suffering was
due to her own destiny, and those who perpetuated violence towards her
need to be forgiven. And since Ravana was killed, she said it serves
no purpose to attack the demons. She thus taught the need to avoid
unnecessary violence.

To be continued…

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