Each and every one of us can learn a lot from the epic poem that is the Ramayana. Being one of the oldest and most valued scriptures, it reflects our strong Indian culture. The characters in the epic such as Lord Ram, Goddess Sita, Hanuman or Sugreev are ideal depictions of what people in their respective roles should be like. While the standards they have set are impossible to match in today’s world, students can nonetheless try and learn few of these gems and implement in their lives.
Lesson 1 – Love and respect your parents
The love and respect shown by Lord Rama for his parents is one of deep love and devotion. It was out of respect for his father’s last wishes that he chose to spend 14 years in exile rather than ascend to the throne as the rightful heir. All of this in an attempt to protect his father’s honour.
Children need to understand that their parents love them a lot and will continue to do so no matter what. It is, in turn, the duty of children respect their parent’s wishes, study hard and make them proud.
Lesson 2 – Look before you leap
King Dasaratha’s made a grave mistake when he agreed to fulfil Kaikei’s wishes without thinking and that ruined the last moments of his life. In an instant Kaikei wished for a 14 year vanvas for Rama and the crown for Bharat.
This useful little gem is something every student should take up. Students need to think before they make decisions or make promises to their friends that they cannot keep. If one’s duty is to study and focus on one’s career, then decisions should be made in accordance to that.
Lesson 3 – Bad Company will ruin you
A person becomes like the company he or she keeps. Kaikei’s mind was poisoned by her maidservant Manthara and she went from loving mother to one who sends Rama away for 14 years. Your company can turn you from the best to the worst.
This is especially important for students. Friends who do not encourage you to become better, study and improve yourself are the ones you should stay away from. A fun friend is not always a good friend. Seek friends who are better than you and you will improve just by being in their company.
Lesson 4 – Don’t judge on appearances
When fisherman Guha helped Rama, Lakshmana and Sita cross to another side of the Ganga, Rama overwhelmed with emotion accepted him as his brother. In another instance, Shabari, an elderly ascetic woman of low-caste tasted every fruit before offering it to Rama to check if it is sour. Rama in turn, accepted her as a mother to him. This shows how great a person was Rama.
Students at school are sometimes quick to judge based on appearances and marks alone. All children come from different walks of life and from different strata of society. One should always remember to treat everyone as equal and not differentiate in any sense.
Lesson 5 – Doing the right thing is the best policy
Often times we make the easy decision rather than the right one. When Bharat got the throne due to Kaikei’s manipulation, he could have easily sat on the throne and ruled instead of Rama. However, he didn’t. Instead he kept his brother’s sandals in front of the throne and he himself sat in a smaller chair beside it.
Doing the right thing is not always easy but it can bring peace to yourself and respect from others. You do not need to do only big things right. You do small things the right way, every day. Be kind to everyone you meet, do your studies on time, listen to your parents and respect your elders.