07 August, 2014

#SpecialFeature :: An #Excerpt from Rise of the Sun Prince

Now Presenting:
*** SPECIAL FEATURE - August 2014 ***

Shubha Vilas author of the book “Ramayana - The Game of Life” published by Jaico, holds a Bachelors of Engineering degree in Electronics and Telecommunications. He has also completed L.L.B (Specializing in Intellectual Property Law).
Shubha Vilas began his career with the Tata Group and later joined the international law firm in Bangalore which he quit to serve the society at large by taking charge of a publishing house Tulsi Books which has published over 10 books under his leadership.
Shubha Vilas now counsels and guides students in the area of leadership, overcoming failures, managing stress from various colleges like IISC, Bangalore, BITS Pilani, Goa, Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies, Sydnem College, etc.
His leadership seminars are popular with top-level management in corporate houses. He addresses their crucial needs through thought- provoking seminars on themes such as ‘Secrets of Lasting Relationships’, ‘Soul Curry to Stop Worry’ and ‘Work–Life Balance’ to name a few.
Shubha Vilas has also been assisting business leaders as their lifestyle coach, conducting regular classes on Spirituality and Management to help them live a wholesome life.
He also helps individuals apply the teachings of the Bhagavad Gita, the Ramayana and other dharmic traditions in dealing with modern- day life situations.
This book is the fruit of his deep study and understanding of lessons of Ramayan as it applies to life today.

An Excerpt from ‘Rise of the Sun Prince’

Janaka told his guests that no one had been able to lift this bow since it was brought to Mithila, not even the great demigods, gandharvas and kinnaras. Janaka fought back his tears at the thought of no one being capable of lifting the bow.  He became emotional because he was a father in pain, bearing the agony of being unable to give away his daughter in marriage. Only the one who could lift the bow could marry Sita. It had been years and no worthy suitor had come by to Mithila to claim his daughter. Many Maithils began whispering about Janaka’s foolhardy decision to keep such an impossible condition for his daughter’s hand. Though old, Janaka heard those comments and began doubting if he had any intelligence at all.

Was he really a fool? Janaka would often ask himself the same question. But the self-doubt would last only until the recollection of this startling incident from the past.

A young Sita had been playing ball with her friends. The flower ball She was playing with rolled into the room where the bow was kept. She ran into the room in search of her ball. Searching frantically for it around and under the bow, She finally located it under the bow. Almost as if it was as light as a feather, with Her left hand, She lifted the bow and with Her other hand, She picked up the ball. Then She put it back in place as if She had just lifted paper off the floor! Sita then went back to Her gaping friends who had been watching everything all the while. The friends, still astounded by what had transpired, rushed to King Janaka with the news.

Stunned as he was, Janaka decided that if his girl was so miraculously strong, there was no doubt in his mind that the one to marry Her must match Her strength. 

Through countless silent prayers and countless mental battles to continue backing hisjudgment and decision, Janaka just wished he was not wrong – for the sake of his daughter and for the sake of his citizens.*

* Life often puts us through tricky and sticky situations, where we cannot share our struggles and frustrations even with those we love. At times such as these, we look for an alternative to find hope; prayer is one such alternative.

Janaka looked hopefully at Rama. He then turned to Vishwamitra and suggested that if Rama were to lift the bow and string it, He could win the hand of the beautiful Sita.

Or, would it be wiser to just hand Sita over to Rama without making Him go through the bow-lifting exercise considering He was the most eligible by far and had come from such a distant land? Of course, there lay this possibility that Rama would fail to lift the bow and Sita would remain a spinster all Her life. But there was also this strong possibility that He would be victorious and Janaka’s precondition would be a success in that it would have helped find the right man for Sita. 

Lord Rama courted challenges. Besides, He, too, wanted to win Sita’s hand, although he was not yet quite sure if She was the one He had spotted in the balcony and lost His heart to. After a long, hard look at the bow, He turned toward Vishwamitra. He wanted His master’s approval to take a closer look at the bow. With Dasaratha absent, Vishwamitra took on the mantle of father. The brahmarishi had been waiting for this moment for quite a while now. He promptly agreed, showered his blessings and gave Rama permission to assess the bow. Rama then walked up to Vishwamitra, touched his feet and sought empowerment and began walking toward the bow.

Silence fell over the courtroom. The audience skipped a beat with every step He took toward the bow. Rama was confidence personified.  For the first time in all these years, everyone present in the courtroom was convinced that Rama would accomplish the impossible.*

*Blessings from well-wishers exude from every pore and gesture of one’s body as confidence. Confidence is not a solo undertaking.

He extended His arms, gripped the middle of the bow and again turned toward His teacher for permission to lift it.*

*Respect is the antiseptic that does not allow confidence to degenerate into arrogance. Rama was definitely confident of His abilities, but His confidence was exhibited very carefully within the confines of respect. He obediently sought permission at every step, not assuming sanction arrogantly. Continued respect assures continued blessings.

By this time, everyone had their hearts in their mouths. Excitement, anticipation and hopes had peaked. Anything was possible now. They soaked in every single moment through their eyes like a drunk would eye the last drop in the pitcher. Not for anything did they want to miss any part of the action. They all sat immobile, unblinking in rapt attention.

Everyone’s breath was held, their lungs constricted, their heads throbbing. Ah, the suffocation of anticipation! Lord Rama was all focus; the bow being the only thing on His mind now, He tightened His grip on it. A chorus of gasps filled the air as he lifted it off the casket as elegantly, gently and effortlessly as an elephant lifts a lotus from a lake. The bow had been lifted! Even before everyone could absorb the shock of what they saw, Rama had erected the bow on the ground with His right hand, held down the bulbous tip with His left big toe, pulled down its top with His left hand and strung it. The entire task was completed in crackling speed. All of it happened so fast that none could understand how He lifted the bow or when He strung it. Even as they wondered how everything happened so fleetingly, a deafening sound rent the air. The majestic bow of Lord Shiva, the pride of Mithila, had snapped right in the middle. 

“Bravo!” jumped up a beaming Janaka. Thank God! What a proud moment for Janaka: Rama had saved his face, prestige and fame. He was so overwhelmed with emotion that he could not find the right words to express his joy. Bursting at the seams with happiness, he brought forth his wealth and donated generously to the needy.*

*Janaka spontaneously shared the joy of his heart by giving joy to others. When you become the harbinger of joy to others’ hearts, your own joy multiplies; thus, in giving, you receive.

Contact the Author

Epics like the Ramayan have been recounted infinite times. Is there a need for another chronicle in the presence of so many? How is this one different? And is it relevant to our ever-changing modern lives? 
Yes there is a need; yes, this is different; and yes it is most relevant! This new series of books, each following one volume of the original Ramayana, decodes the eternal wisdom of that poetic scripture through gripping narrative and thought provoking instruction. In the time-honored custom of spreading wisdom through tales, every fascinating story in the epic is retold here and every character unfolded to captivate your heart and open your mind to life’s deepest questions. 
The narrative closely follows Valmiki’s Ramayana, gently weaving in folk tales as well as the beautiful analogies of the Kamba Ramayana. The first of the six-volume series, Rise of the Sun Prince, takes you through the divine story of Lord Rama from His birth up to His marriage. 
Through these pages are revealed the tales of  Dasaratha’s leadership, Vishwamitra’s quest for power and the intriguing story of a little-known stone maiden. Ramayana – The Game of Life has all this and much more – food for contemporary thought drawn from an enduring masterpiece. 

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