On Saturday, the five-judge Supreme Court bench led by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi read out a unanimous judgment and ruled in favour of the Ram Janmabhoomi. The Supreme Court heard the long-pending Ayodhya land dispute for a period of 40 days at a stretch and pronounced the historic verdict as the nation waited with bated breath.
There is not a single soul that I know of who has not heard, read or seen something from Lord Rama’s life and learnt from it. I heard stories from my grandmother sitting under the starlit sky as a child, taught it as a teacher of English Literature and as an avid reader went back to reading it time and again. Be it the 24,000 verses in seven cantos or the latest Amish Tripathi Ramayana series, the Ramayana has held me and millions of others captivated.
Lord Rama is a metaphor for the teachings of life, as Sri Sri Ravi Shankar says, “Your soul is Rama, your mind is Sita, your breath or life-force(prana) is Hanuman, your awareness is Laxmana and your ego is Ravana. When the mind was stolen by Ravana (the ego) then the soul got restless. Now the soul cannot reach the mind on its own, it has to take the help of the breath – the prana. With the help of the prana, the mind got reunited with the soul, and the ego vanished.”
The Ramayana with its timeless devotional principles woven in its stories stands the test of time because it’s not just a historical tale or a mythological parable but it teaches us a way of life that still has the power to inspire us to the highest human attainment and accomplishment. In the words of eminent literary historian AA MacDonell “Probably no other work of world literature has produced so profound an influence in the life and thought of a people as the Ramayana.”