Have you ever felt that there should be a book that bridges the gap between the loyal, traditional approach to the Ramayana and the twisted, modern but exciting approach to the epic?
If yes, your search ends here. ‘Ramayana – The Game of Life’ is a series that attempts to present an authentic rendition of the Ramayana in an absolutely modern and riveting manner. This book promises to enlighten the loyalists and entertain the modernists. Written in an edu-taining manner, the books guarantee satisfaction; a book series that will be a life-time companion, effectively interspersing the Ramayana story with thought provoking contemporary life lessons. As you flip the pages of these books, one thought is sure to pass your mind; never has the Ramayana been so life applicable!
If you haven’t read the first two books in the series, it doesn’t matter. When you bite into a cake, it hardly matters where you begin. But in order to help the readers get familiar with the story, there is a summary of both the books. However, after reading this book if you do feel that you have gained much, then make sure you grab the first two books, because you have then missed so much more.
In the last few years, I have presented a series of seminars based on Ramayana – ‘The Game of Life, where I expand on the innumerable life lessons presented in the books with a lot of practical examples and anecdotes. These seminars have made the book even more user-friendly and relevant to the thousands who have heard them. These seminars are freely available on YouTube.
Stolen Hope takes ‘Ramayana – The Game of Life’ series to another level. Action-packed from page one, it promises to be a suspense thriller in its own unique way. The background stories in the book will make you wonder if you know the Ramayana at all. As is the trend in the last two books, there is no single hero in this book also. Every person is a hero in his or her own way since they have the power to arrest the attention of the reader in different ways, at different levels and during different situations. Isn’t that how life is?
The book begins and ends with Rama and Lakshmana’s clash with two humongous demons Viradha and Kabandha that defy all levels of imaginations. Hidden within their gigantic size are innocent stories that change our paradigm of judging irrational people around us. As Rama, Sita and Lakshmana walk through the jungles of Dandakaranya, they meet fascinating sages fearfully engaged in austerities. Their deformed bodies ripped apart by terrorist attacks of the rakshasas provoke Rama to take a solemn vow to rid the forest of the rakshasa menace. The most fascinating of these sages is Agastya who everyone in Dandaka forest considered a super-sage. Being a perfect blend of vigor, humor, courage, intelligence, innovation and most interestingly culinary expertise, Agastya’s guest appearance in this book is indeed a highpoint.
The thirteen years of exile proved to be thirteen years of exclusive privacy for Sita with Rama. Their love grows to a whole new dimension until something happens. It begins as a humorous tug of war but ends up in a bloody gruel. The brothers realize that rakshasas don’t take humor lightly. Surpanakha’s entry into their life was a disaster. Within a matter of few hours Rama had annihilated 14,000 soldiers of Surpanakha’s brothers Khara and Dhushana. With that one heroic act, Rama gives a fitting reply to a challenge that Sita had posed 13 years back and Sita gets her chance to undo a mistake that she had been repenting for long.
While Rama and Sita are immersed in each other, Ravana begins to mourn the death of his trusted allies who had ably protected the rakshasa outpost in Janasthana. Instigated by his now deformed sister seething with revenge, Ravana decides to kidnap Sita. The 18 curses on Ravana’s head begin to haunt him as he muses over his decision. This little known aspect of Ravana’s life may come as a total surprise to an uninformed reader, redefining the image of the Lankeshwara. The episode of the abduction of Sita highlights the uncommon sacrifice of two martyrs; Maricha who died proving his loyalty to Ravana and Jatayu who died while trying to protect the dignity of a woman.
The kidnapping of Sita projects Lakshmana in a totally different light. His maturity in dealing with complicated situations with extreme delicacy leaves one awestruck. Clearly Lakshmana ends up winning many hearts. Giving hope and encouragement to his brother, he escorts him southwards as indicated by the weeping animals of the forest. From the beginning of this book, Rama has been nudged by different forces to slowly edge towards the southern direction, the strong hold of the rakshasas clan. The final hint comes through the simplicity of Sabari’s love.
The book ends at a cliffhanger when Rama and Lakshmana come across someone who appears to be someone else…
Links to buy already released book of RAMAYNA - THE GAME OF LIFE series :
About the Author:
Shubha Vilas, a spiritual seeker and a motivational speaker, holds a degree in engineering and law with specialization in Patent Law. His leadership seminars are popular with top-level management in corporate houses. He also helps individuals deal with modern-life situations by applying the teachings of the Bhagavad Gita, Ramayana and other dharmic traditions.