The Ramayana is turned as one of the two Itihas-Granthas (Historic Epics) in Sanskrit literature, the other being the Mahabharata. An Itihas-Grantha is not merely a historical narration of events. It contains the condensed wisdom of Vedic knowledge, which guides an individual in attaining the ultimate aim of human life - complete freedom, peace and bliss - while living in this world. Lord Rama exemplifies the attitudes and perspectives for attaining this ideal by boldly facing the diverse vicissitudes of life. In success and in adversity, with friends and with foes, in peace and in war - His countenance shines with the benevolent effulgence of divinity. To His devotees, He points the way to achieve and manifest the divinity which is inherent in each human soul. Each chapter of the Ramayana sends out powerful vibrations of peace and joy which dispel the gloom encircling the human minds of the modern world.
D.M. Sinha has had a long tenure both in the State Civil Services and the I.A.S. A disciple of Rehana Tayyabji, a young Sinha learnt from his spiritual mentor about religion through a study of the Gita, the Quran, and the Bible Later, other saints and scholars at Rishikesh strengthened the foundations of his faith.
Proficient in vocal and instrumental music, he has also been a member of the Indian Mathematical Society. Now devoted to bringing out the inner meanings of ancient scriptures which help to resolve the conflicts and complications of modern life, he has authored Srimad Bhagwadgita - Jeewan Vigyan in Hindi, Bhagwad Gita for Changing Times in English and Folk Music of Uttar Pradesh.
"This legend also explains the mystery of incarnation. In the life of a human being, occasions arise when the mind is baffled and the thinking is confused about what is proper and what is not. The external environment, with its overflowing contents of deceit, selfishness and exploitation, also exerts mental pressures continually. In such times, the mind anxiously seeks guidance to preserve its balance of the path of righteousness. When it prays for guidance and succor, the grace of the Lord materializes in a human form
"The important thing in life is to kill the demoness of ignorance and delusion by adhering steadfastly to divine qualities of love, understanding, fortitude and perseverance. If carvings and aversions are replaced by a sense of propriety, the grace of the Lord makes life a sweet, harmonious experience, free of suffering, frustration, and failure. Dedicated and assiduous performance of duties is the Yagna which ensures success in life
"It is surprising, how the extremely troublesome conditions of the present day have been described so accurately in an ancient scripture like Ramayana. The panacea for all the prevailing ills, as given in this narration, is the easy method of chanting of the name of the Lord while performing all the duties righteously and with devotion. It would be effective beyond measure if care is taken to free the mind from the clutches of present day acceptances, which have been described as the prevailing values of the present age. For example, greed and selfishness are something held to be essential generators of material prosperity. But a little thinking would show that they are mental attitudes only
The Ramayana is an epic which was composed thousands of years ago by the sage Valmiki. Written in beautiful poetic verse, it contains the wisdom of the ancient and great thinkers of India. These thinker had engaged themselves in the task of finding solutions to problems which cause untold sufferings and miseries to mankind. After deep contemplation, enlightenment dawned upon them. This accumulated knowledge of enlightenment is enshrined in the four Vedas. Thereby they evolved four accomplishments of human life which enable a human being to attain happiness and perfection in this very life while living in this world. These accomplishments are Dharma(righteousness), Artha(economic betterment), Kama (fulfillment of desires) and Moksha(emancipation). The Ramayana lays down the technique of attaining these accomplishments. In doing so, it draws freely upon historical narrations and legends of ancient India, This is why it is called a historical scripture (Itihasa-Grantha). It is an excellent mix of history, poetry, legends, parables and sublime thoughts.
The narration revolves around the life and character of Lord Rama who was born to Dasharath-the King of Ayodhya. The life story of Lord Rama is full of important episodes. Its unique and poetical narration sometimes takes the reader to the dizzy heights of joy, and at other times plunges him in the depths of sorrow. But, in all such episodes of conflicting human emotions, Lord Rama is shown as the major protagonist with perfect composure. Worldly successes did not elate Him, nor did failures cause Him any frustration. His thoughts and actions always conformed to the dictates of righteousness, irrespective of worldly gains or losses. This is why He is held out to be an Avatara or incarnation of the Supreme God. In all His actions, He upheld the highest ideals of humanity and this is why He is known as Maryada Purushottam or the Ideal of Supreme Godliness.
There is different version of the Ramayana in India and in some other countries. But in all such variations of historical narration, the highest ideals of morality have been set forth for guiding personal conduct and social behaviour. These variations show Lord Rama as a defendar of righteousness in social and personal conduct. The narrative of His life serves as a beacon light for anyone treading the path of morality, spirituality and ethics. Temperaments of human being differ widdey. The different versions of the Ramayana provide ample scope to people to seek solutions to their problems and to select the right course of life. A careful and thoughtful study of any of these versions would instill sublimity in the mind of the reader and enable him to face the problems of life with courage, fortitude and cheerfulness.
The Ramacharitamanas, written five centuries ago by the great Saint-Poet Tulsidas is the most popular version of the Ramayana amongst the Hindi-knowing people of India. This book generally follows the pattern set by this immortal work.
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