TODAY -

Some lessons from Ramayan

Oinam Nabakishore Singh *



Epics, scriptures, poems, fables, folk tales and many more are written to educate generation after generation of the values, ethics and lofty ideals to be imbibed and internalized by individuals and societies so that there is peace and dharma (righteousness).

Ramayan, attributed to the great sage, Valmiki, is full of anecdotes and conversations illustrating the right path and action in the course of life. Of course, it also portrays characters like Ravan and Manthara, who are embodiments of bad qualities. Anybody exposed to Ramayan stand to learn many lessons, which remain true over ages and useful.

In Manipur, some fifty years back, there was the tradition of narrating Ramayan to the audience, young or old, rich or poor, men or women on several occasions-auspicious events like Swasthi Pooja, Mera Tha, organized story telling for days, etc. I had listened to such story telling in my childhood. The stories were not only interesting, but they were also full of lessons on desirable values including performance of duties as expected of any person on account of birth.

Some of the anecdotes in Ramayan and their associated lessons are being shared. The underlying lessons and their understanding are subject to interpretation. When the king Dasharath of Ayodhya announced that his eldest son, Ram, heir apparent, would be crowned to be his successor, Manthara, maid of Kaikeyi, was filled with jealousy and ill wills. She somehow convinced Kaikeyi that the latter would become a dasi, maid of Ramís mother, Kaushalaya when Ram was made the king of Ayodhya.

In fact, Kaikeyi loved Ram loved more than her own son, Bharat. On the suggestion and guidance of Manthara, who was her own maid since childhood, Kaikeyi used the two boons promised to her by Dasharath when she saved his life in a battle between gods and rakshasa. In fulfillment of the boons, Dasharath was made to make her son, Bharat to be his successor in lieu of Ram and exile Ram to the forest(vanvas) for fourteen years.

Ram, who was all prepared to be crowned as king was summoned by Kaikeyi and informed of the boons granted by the latter. At that moment, Ram was very calm and composed and did not have any emotion of anger, unhappiness or frustration. Rather, he was quite happy to learn that his younger brother, Bharat, would be the king. The exile to the jungle for fourteen years as per the wish of Kaikeyi was considered by Ram to be a good opportunity to meet learned saints in the jungle and acquire knowledge.

The personality of Manthara is looked upon as someone, who was mean and selfish. She, in order to convince Kaikeyi of her plan, used an imaginary and atrocious possibility. The lesson is that any evil person can poison the mind of anyone, who trusts him or her.One is required to analyze any advice by using the lens of morality, accepted norms, propriety and consequences.

One should convince oneself of the right course of action. The conscience of oneself with power of reflection and reasoning should decide the final decision. Here, we find Kaikeyi to be convinced by her maid, Manthara, without any opinion of her own. Being a mother, her emotions appeared to have overcome her senses of rationality and propriety.

One can also see weaknesses of Dasharath in respect of his queen, Kaikeyi. He promised two boons to her without thinking about the nature and consequences of the boons. Perhaps he trusted her too much. Another aspect is that Kaikeyi was said to be very beautiful and Dasharath was charmed by her. When Kaikeyi pretended to be in sorrow by wearing no jewellery and lying on the floor unlike a queen, Dasharath went overboard to console her and promised to grant any boon by invoking the name of his beloved son, Ram.

Such acts and commitment without having a second thought about the consequences of such promises by a king looked to be too naÔve. Ultimately, he had to pay with his own life and exile of Ram to forest for the promises made without thinking about possible consequences.

Another example of loyalty and love for brother is exhibited by Bharat and Lakshaman. Bharat refused to be crowned as king and he went to the jungle to request his brother, Ram to come back and discharge his duties as king of Ayodhya. On refusal by Ram to keep the promise of his father, Dasharath, Bharat ruled Ayodhya on behalf of Ram and he worshiped the footwear of Ram by keeping it on the throne.

Lakshman, brother from queen, Sumitra left his wife and accompanied Ram and Sita to the fourteen year Vanbas(exile to jungle) to serve them enduring all the hardships and dangers. It is, indeed, a great sacrifice and exhibition of selfless dedication by Lakshman to his brother. There are several other anecdotes, full of lessons for everybody.

One quality which stand out for us to appreciate is arrogance of Ravan, who abducted Sita by disguising as a saint. In Lanka, Ravan kept Sita in Ashoka Van(garden) and tried to convince her to become his queen by promising everything possible. Sita being devoted to Ram in thought and action wholeheartedly refused the offer from Ravan.

Vibhishan, younger brother of Ravan was on the side of Dharma(righteousness) and he tried to convince Ravan to return Sita to Ram and seek his forgiveness. Being angry and unable to accept Ram as superior being as explained by Vibhishan, the latter was thrown out from the palace of Lanka by Ravan. Queen Mandodari, wife of Ravan, too pleaded several times to return Sita to Ram in order to avoid devastation.

His great son, Meghanath and mighty Kumbhakarna too tried to convince Ravan to do the same to save the clan and Lanka. Ravan was, in fact, blinded by the lust for Sita and his arrogance after triumph over the three worlds including that of heaven. All including Ravan were killed in the battle with Ram and his sena.

Not open to advice from relatives, ministers and well-wishers, Ravan, who was endowed with boons from Brahma and Shiva, and had the whole universe at his command had to face defeat at the hand Ram, considered to be incarnation of Vishnu in human form to get rid of the former. The worst quality of Ravan was arrogance, which made him blind to all reasoning and understanding.

Had there been quality of humbleness with Ravan, no one could defeat him. It was his arrogance that led to his end. There are several other qualities and values which may be enjoyed by reading or listening or watching videos of Ramayan. It is advisable for all to enjoy the amrita of Ramayan by frequently keeping in touch with the great epic.


Views expressed are personal.


* Oinam Nabakishore Singh wrote this article for The Sangai Express
This article was webcasted on January 27, 2019.



* Comments posted by users in this discussion thread and other parts of this site are opinions of the individuals posting them (whose user ID is displayed alongside) and not the views of e-pao.net. We strongly recommend that users exercise responsibility, sensitivity and caution over language while writing your opinions which will be seen and read by other users. Please read a complete Guideline on using comments on this website.




LATEST IN E-PAO.NET
  • Lui-ngai-ni @Senapati #2: Gallery
  • Police check @Jirimukh, Jiri : Gallery
  • Marriage : Zeliangrongs & Tais #2
  • Solid waste to Energy
  • Cry of a Dying River - 66 :: Poem
  • RPL trainees of Garo Hills
  • On MHA notification about AR
  • Traffic haunt continues
  • Eyes on BJP, Congress
  • Nongkhrang Ehanba @Lilong #1 : Gallery
  • RS adjourned without CAB: What now? #1
  • Indie films: Loktak Lairembee & Soni #1
  • Inner Line Permit (ILP) Demand :: Timeline
  • Mother language is a carrier of values...
  • 71st Zomi Namni at Singhat
  • The Rohingya Crisis : Paper
  • Everyone shows concerns on pollution but..
  • HSLC exams underway
  • RN Ravi arriving Nagaland to brief hohos
  • More powers under CrPC to Assam Rifles
  • Traditional Raas Dance #1: Gallery
  • Boinaoton, Achamba :: eMing
  • Schemes of Panchayati Raj #1
  • Ego that pushes one out of the rapport
  • Meitei in Scheduled Tribe list, what ?
  • Patriotic Youth of DBC with the Nation
  • RPL trainees of Meghalaya
  • Fate of Manipur
  • No over the top glee at Meghalaya
  • Symbolism in the Tribal Art #3
  • Zasigi coIroL :: Seireng
  • CAB: Imphal I/W [12 Feb] #3: Gallery
  • Overboard 2018: Skateboarding competition
  • Palliative care as career option
  • Importance of health screenings for women
  • Intimidating media: Think before you lift
  • ST demand for Meiteis hotting up
  • Rajkumar Singhajit : Tagore Award 2014
  • Eyek Tamba :: Learn Manipuri script
  • CAB: Khwairamband [10 Feb] #2: Gallery
  • Tribes India [Exhibition] #3 : Gallery
  • 'The Wishess' wins 1st NE Multimedia
  • Why Manipur is a self-alienated society ?
  • Antibiotic mismanagement- sleeping bomb
  • Rejoinder to NDPP :: NPF
  • The unwanted season for no good reason
  • 8 in the race for Cong ticket in Inner PC
  • Mukna - Indigenous Games : Gallery
  • Internet shutdown- only solution for govt ?
  • Keisham Priyokumar's short stories? #2
  • Revive Tabanglong Village
  • Without a Womb :: Poem
  • RPL trainees of Ziro, Arunachal Pradesh
  • CAB award goes to CM ?
  • Demand release of Student Leader
  • Veewom's arrest: mockery of rule of law
  • Arduino & Raspberry-Pi workshop at ADBU
  • Lui-ngai-ni @Senapati #1: Gallery
  • Republic Day - Tableaux : Gallery
  • Marriage : Zeliangrongs & Tais #1
  • My Story :: Poem
  • Naga Peace Process :: News Timeline
  • Quest for Federalism in Myanmar : Paper
  • Gatekeeper's management mantra
  • From Democracy to Dictatorial govt
  • Fresh twist to Citizenship Bill
  • Dzukou Valley, Senapati : Gallery
  • Demand for ILP :: Articles/Photos...
  • Rules of the Road at Silicon Valley
  • What is a school meant for ?
  • Why meiteis should not be ST #3
  • Release Thokchom Veewom - II
  • Release Thokchom Veewom - I
  • Face scrubs to avoid dirt & dullness
  • SM4E Awards 2019 : Nomination open
  • After effect of CAB collapse
  • Need to look beyond CAB
  • Panel seeks support to save NH
  • Amuktang-Ga Haikho #2 : eRang
  • Exam Centre allocation for HSLC 2019
  • 3rd World Bamboo Workshop #2 : Gallery
  • Cry of a Dying River - 65 :: Poem
  • DIPR facts on Census confuse Pangals
  • Manipur Tourism: Global Mice Congress
  • Coping up with examination stresses
  • On Govt inability to present CAB
  • Breather for the North East
  • Henjunaha #2 :: Funga Wari
  • Sangai Chef: Season 1 : Gallery
  • CAB: Imphal I/W [12 Feb] #2: Gallery
  • Lui-Ngai-Ni -Naga Seed Sowing Fest
  • Different opinions on CAB 2016
  • Change of B Voc Examination Schedule
  • Nagaland MP will vote against CAB
  • Overshadowing issues by CAB
  • RS adjourned till February 13
  • CAB: Imphal I/W [12 Feb] #1: Gallery
  • CAB: Blockade [7 Feb] #2: Gallery
  • Keisham Priyokumar's short stories? #1
  • Just a beautiful lie :: Poem
  • World Wetlands Day 2019
  • Protests against Union HRD Ministry
  • 'PDA trying to confuse Naga people'
  • The 'ban' of Internet
  • Setting date with February 12, 2019
  • NSCN (I-M) elects new leaders
  • Scientific Knowledge in Manuscript
  • Poppy destruction @CCpur : Gallery
  • Kishorechand Wangkhem's case
  • 70th Indian Republic Day #3 : Gallery
  • Hinduism and Indianess
  • CAB: Maharaj & Xenophobia :: WJ
  • Deciphering a laboratory test report
  • Stop discrimination against women
  • The falls of protracted leader
  • More than hinting CAB will be tabled
  • CAB: Khwairamband [10 Feb] #1: Gallery
  • Gaan-Ngai @Majorkhul #2 : Gallery
  • Human trafficking at Moreh
  • Why meiteis should not be ST #2
  • The Dark Light :: Poem
  • Exclusion of Pvt Teachers from HSLC
  • Pan Meetei met Ex Dy CM
  • NSS special camp 2019 concluded
  • NE to Bangkok flight from March
  • CAB: Khwairamband [9 Feb] : Gallery
  • Thamoise Foidattuna :: e-pao Radio
  • CAB Meira Rally #4 [30 Jan] : Gallery
  • Prof T Kameshwar: Reminiscence
  • Bamboo Cooking Competition: Final Day
  • Tips for healthier skin this winter
  • Sincerity matters
  • Awaiting final pact with NSCN (IM)
  • CAB: Blockade [7 Feb] #1: Gallery
  • 3rd World Bamboo Workshop #1 : Gallery
  • The panic radiated at War-Torn PAD
  • NE- Socio-Economic Development: Book
  • CAB- Consequences in Manipur
  • [ST] Demand for Constitutional Safeguard
  • 'ArP to observe Black Day during PM visit'
  • CAB date with RS on Feb 12 ?
  • Check Post (ICP) @ Moreh : Gallery
  • Tribes India [Exhibition] #2 : Gallery
  • Citizenship Bill, 2016: What to do now #4
  • It's a privilege to be a Rongmei
  • A Saviour Of My Own :: Poem
  • North East Startup Summit 2019
  • Budget : Full, half or quarter ?
  • BJP shows no concern for NE states
  • Mission schools under threat again
  • CAB : Blockade @Tiddim [6 Feb] : Gallery
  • Dolaithabi Barrage: Concealing Facts
  • 70th Indian Republic Day #2 : Gallery
  • Marketing Associates @ PiCiDi Systems
  • CAB, Political Parties and Manipur
  • The Novels Of BM Maisnamba #2
  • Employment in non-Govt sectors in Manipur
  • The board exam festival
  • NE voice on CAB: no worry for the BJP
  • Alienating natives & embracing foreigners
  • Henjunaha #1 :: Funga Wari
  • Movement against Citizenship Bill in NE
  • Bamboo Cooking Competition: Day 1 Report
  • Konthoujam Maikel (Painter) :: Profile
  • CAB Meira Rally #3 [30 Jan] : Gallery
  • Business as usual will fail on cancer control
  • Citizenship Bill: Thinking with ethics
  • STDCM reasserts Demand for ST
  • Nepal to SE Asia: Trafficking via Moreh
  • Symbolism in the Tribal Art #2
  • Aribam Syam return Padmashree to Govt
  • Cry of a Dying River - 64 :: Poem
  • Impact of AI and Robotics on Society
  • New MSAD Executive term 2019
  • Rejoinder from Shurhozelie Liezietsu -Feb 3
  • Festival to promote NE trade, tourism
  • Onetwo Okram : Singer- Profile :: eRang
  • CAB : Film Forum Protest : Gallery
  • Cultural: Republic Day #1: Gallery
  • Why Manipuri people oppose CAB? #2
  • Noting anti-CAB stand of NPP, NPF
  • CAB Gen Strike #1 [31 Jan] : Gallery
  • Match: 4th Women's Polo #3: Gallery
  • Citizenship Bill, 2016: What to do now #3
  • Truth of Manipur is inherent in nature
  • JRF required at IBSD, Imphal
  • Imoinu Erat Thouni #3 : Gallery
  • February Calendar for Year 2019 :: Tools
  • CAB Meira Rally #2 [30 Jan] : Gallery
  • The Novels Of BM Maisnamba #1
  • Screen time, effect on speech & language
  • Trainees Certificate of Lunglei, Mizoram
  • ST: Unfounded fear psychosis being spread
  • CAB Meira Rally #1 [30 Jan] : Gallery
  • CAB Protest #1 [29 Jan] : Gallery
  • Fellowship Meet of Maring Naga
  • Legal Awareness for Women leaders
  • Flowers for beauty
  • Opposing ST demand of STDCM
  • Gaan-Ngai @Namthanlong : Gallery
  • Why Manipuri people oppose CAB? #1
  • Citizenship Bill, 2016: What to do now #2
  • Oinam Shilla : Society Development Award
  • MIK (Manipuri in Kolkata) : Gallery
  • Match: 4th Women's Polo #2: Gallery
  • Why shouldn't Meitei be included in ST
  • Combing Operation @Hatta : Gallery
  • Laishram Bombayla : Padma Shri Award
  • Maisnam Renuka (Painter) : Profile
  • Thank You Note: Khumukcham Sanjita
  • Gaan-Ngai - festival of Kabui #2
  • Imoinu Erat Thouni #2 : Gallery
  • Rongmei and Kabui are one
  • Rani Khidir : Kalaritu (Laiyekpa) : Profile
  • Match: 4th Women's Polo #1: Gallery
  • Ranjit Ningthouja : Profile of a playwright
  • Imoinu Erat Thouni #1 : Gallery
  • Dr Thokchom Asha: Teacher Award
  • Purnima Ngangom (Printmaker) :: Profile
  • The Killing Fields 2013-18 : News Timeline
  • New Year picnic at Sekmai #2: Gallery
  • Manipuri Calendar for 2019 : Download
  • Featured Front Page Photo 2018 #6: Gallery
  • Irengbam Bedamani - Actress :: eRang
  • List of Restricted Holidays for 2019
  • List of Public Holidays for 2019
  • List of General Holidays for 2019
  • Fabrics of Bangladeshi Manipuri: Download
  • Old Manipuri Movie #1 :: eRang Classic
  • SPONSORED ADS