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 6 – Treat everyone equally
The epic shows us that one of the main reasons everyone was so fond of Lord Rama was because he treated everyone, regardless or caste, age or station, equally. This is why everybody from his brother in the palace, to the fisherman Guha, loved and respected him.
This is one of the key lessons students can learn from Ramayana. In the rush to score marks and win competitions, children start treating those who lose or those who fall behind in marks as different. This creates social divisions among students and the tendency to refuse help to others when they need it. Being kind and treating your classmates as equal is as important as studies and scoring high marks.
Lesson 7 – Help those who need it
Rama protected and served everyone who needed it, just like a king would. The way Rama stood up for Jatayu is one example of that. He protected his friends and even offered help to strangers who asked for it.
When your friends and peers ask for your help, it is the right thing to do to help them. For example, if somebody is weaker than you in English or Maths, and they ask for your help before an exam, you should try your best to help them improve.
Lesson 8 – Treasure True Friendship
True friendship comes by once in a lifetime. As important as it is to choose your friends carefully, it is equally important to treasure those friends. Look at the friendship between King Rama and King Sugreeva. Rama agrees to help Sugreev with finding his brother Bali and Sugreev in return agrees to help Rama in searching for Sita. And they both fought against Raavan, together.
True friends will always seek to improve you and help you get further in your work. A true friend will not disturb you around exams and instead seek to help you with notes and engage in group study sessions so that you both can perform better.
Lesson 9 – Stay away from distractions
Trouble began when Sita spotted that beautiful deer and asked Ram to go get it. This led to Sita stepping out of the Laxman Rekha and getting kidnapped by Raavan while Ram and Laxman went after that deer which was actually Raavana’s accomplice, Mareech in disguise. One distraction ended up costing Ram, Laxman and Sita a lot.
In a student’s life, he or she must be wary of distractions. If you are preparing for any competitive exam or for your school exams, design around yourself your own Laxman Rekha and stay away from distractions. Distractions will come as they are ever present in today’s time. The phone alone is a source of hundred distractions.
Lesson 10 – Your duty comes first
Your primary duty during your student life is to study and score better. There might be other priorities and demands of you during this time and you might feel the pressure to fulfil all of them. You have your tuition classes, extra-curricular activities, social relationships, yearly competitions such as Olympiads and others. No matter what it may be, do not let it compromise your studies.
In the epic, Lord Rama was deeply committed to Sita but he was also the king of Ayodhya. When his subjects began questioning Sita’s chastity after her extended captivity, he decided to placate the masses and asked her to perform the well known agnipariksha. While this example is too extreme, it does put forward the necessity of understanding what one’s prime duty is and performing that with the utmost reverence.
The Ramayana is an epic that every Indian household knows and every child growing up is bound to hear. The poem uses dramatic instances, emotions and a sense of honour, sometimes bordering on the extreme, to convey beautiful lessons for every kind of situation and for people of all ages. For students, this can be a goldmine of such life lessons and other gems which they can use to guide their actions towards a better and more fulfilling life.