Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Rise of the Sun Prince : A book Review

Title: Ramayana - The Game of Life: Rise of the Sun Prince
Author: Shubha Vilas
Publisher: Jaico Publishing House
Genre: Mythology
Price: Rs 250
Pages: 252

The book review program from Blogadda handed over a pearl to me this time. It was a pearl from the ocean of ancient wisdom, the first book of the Ramayana: The Game of Life series, the Rise of the Sun Prince, written by Shubha Vilas, a spiritual seeker and motivational speaker. Add to it, it is a first edition, autographed with a message from the author.

Jaico publishers has given an alluring cover to the book and the book delivers what it has promised. It will not be a onetime read; the reader can turn to it for advice and inspiration throughout his life.

I had got it during the Malayalam month of Karkidakam when the ritual of reading Ramayana is supposed to be a cleansing act to the spirit and the individual. I feel lucky to have found it.

The book chronicles the life of Maryadapurushotham  Ram, from his birth up to his marriage, in a way that is entertaining to the heart and enlightening to the intellect. This book equips us with valuable tools to deal with the various twists and turns in our lives. The simple wisdom to be found in this enchanting story is relevant and gives us the clarity often needed as it is rooted in time-tested traditional values.

On every page, the reader can find footnotes in which practical wisdom gleaned from the various facets of the story. These are pearls of wisdom, which are timeless and we can use them effectively in our daily lives.

Some of the pearls that I found from these footnotes are:

1.     Negative words that are hurled at others boomerang and hurt oneself the most.

2.     The  one who allows anger to affect him reacts, and the one who shield himself from anger responds. The one who reacts suffer alone, and the one who responds can alleviate others suffering.

3.     Promises should be made in accordance with one’s capacity to keep them and not with overconfidence.

4.     A person worthy of respect is a person worthy of being followed.

5.     The need to be heard runs very deep in all human beings. This need becomes more pressing when one is discontent. The prime duty of a good leader is to make every subject feel heard.

6.     The nature of attachment is such that the mind justifies our attachment and hides our weakness. The nature of attachment is also that the longer you struggle to get something you are attached to, the more painful is the fear of its loss.

7.     Respect is natural when one sees divinity in everything and everyone. The outcome of such respect is gratitude.

8.     Focusing on the goal while on the path of success could lead you to ignore minor details. These minor details could end up swallowing the pride of achieving your goal.

9.     Looking for shortcuts is a symptom of the diseases of intolerance and impatience.

10.  Pride in education, vanity in personal beauty, intoxication of wealth and influence over people are four chemicals that, when combined together with the catylyst of disrespect, create an amalgam of arrogance.

11.  The curious mind convinces you to blindly follow its lusty proposals, promising joys that in actuality may be beautiful packages of sorrow.

12.  Often in life we are busy pursuing our short term goals so that we do not find any time to pause and reflect on the direction we are heading toward. Life gives us many hidden doors, which become visible only if we pause.

The narrative closely follows Valmiki’s Ramayana, gently weaving in folk tales as well as beautiful analogies of the Kamba Ramayana. The author takes us through the tales of Dasaratha’s leadership, his struggles as a father and king, Vishwamithra’s quest for power, the coming together of myriad forces that leads to the rise of Rama as a perfect hero and the story of Sita, whose life revolves around a bow.

In the time-honored custom of spreading wisdom through tales, the author retells every fascinating story in the epic in this book.  The language is simple enough to be understood by the layman and the narration has a flow, which makes the reader turn pages. Though I have read the Ramayana before, this book takes a fresh look at the story and is packed with plenty of excitement and drama through the various connecting episodes involving many of the characters.

 The story also tells us of the struggles of an imperfect teacher, Vishwamithra who relentlessly fights his internal battles to rise above his shortcomings. As the sage mentors his pupils, Rama and Lakshmana, they too, mentor him on another sphere. He turns into a focused spiritualist and becomes a perfect student of laws of progressive living.

I would recommend this book to anyone who loves to collect the pearls of wisdom hidden in our epics and scriptures. This book is worthy to be part of any library especially home libraries. Eagerly awaiting the next five volumes of the Epic to add to my collection. The next book of the series is Shattered Dreams, which will take us through the next intriguing phase in the life of Lord Rama.

This review is a part of the biggest Book Review Program for Indian Bloggers. Participate now to get free books!

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  1. I really liked reading this review, Preethi, particularly the way you have culled out the gems of wisdom from the book. And what a wonderful thing to have read this during the special month! Someone up there is really looking after you, girl :) Thanks for giving a good peek into this book.

  2. Thank you Beloo. This book is a treasure indeed.

  3. Nice review Preethi..I shall be writing it soon too... :-)

  4. very nicely done here .. I have heard good things about this book