So, we all have heard about the greatest Epic- Ramayana, right? Most of us have grown up reading or listening to the stories of the great warrior prince Rama, his brother Laksmana and his beloved wife Sita. In this book Stolen Hope, the third one in the series Ramayana-The Game of Life, author Shubha Vilas relates the events, trials and turbulences that the trio had to go through during their exile and stay in Dandakaranya or the forest of punishment. He also leaves valuable footnotes to relate those incidents with our lives to give us some good life lessons.
The book starts with their entry in the forest of Dandakaranya and the history behind it and it ends with the abduction of Sita by the Demon King Ravana and Rama’s encounter with the wonder monkeys Sugriva and his clan and his promise to rescue Sita from the clutches of Ravana. The monkeys will give him new hope to find the love of his love and rescue her, thus aptly naming the book- Stolen Hope.
The previous two books-
As mentioned above, Stolen Hope is the third book in the series- Ramayana-The Game of Life. The first two were Rise of the Sun Prince and Shattered Dreams. These two reflected the Story of Rama’s birth and the stories of his glory while still in Ayodhya until in Shattered Dreams he is exiled along with his brother and wife. We all know the story, true. But in these books, the author beautifully portrays the tale of the Sun Prince in a contemporary style without hampering its original essence.
There is nothing to worry if you have not read the previous two books. The author provides a short summary at the beginning of the Third Book to help you catch up with the story.
It has been quite a number of years since I read any book on Ramayana and by far, this is the best. I am absolutely in love with the way the author portrays the story of the trio- Rama, his loyal brother Laksmana and his beautiful wife Sita. Although they have been portrayed as gods and goddess walking on the face of earth, their lifestyles and values have great similarities to that of our lives. And that has been made prominent by regular footnotes on almost every page of the book which gives us valuable lessons about life, in relation to the incidents happening in the story. Some of my own personal favorites were:
- “If the spirit of giving is damp with pride, the desire of receiving is damp with denial.” In reference to Sarabhanga muni’s offering to Rama all of his possessions, “the results of his penances” as he puts it, which Rama very politely declined.
- “A longing heart leads to a clogged mind”- In reference to the Golden deer which Sita so wanted Rama to get for her.
- “To handle a dust storm a camel has three eyelids. Similarly, to protect one’s vision from the storm of confusion one needs to see beyond the layers of ignorance.”
Thus the book goes on giving us valuable lessons from the great epic. I never thought Ramayana was a source of so much inspiration that I can utilize in my day to day life. Thanks to the author for offering that to us in plenty.
One should read this book not only as a story of the Trio dwelling in the forests and living their lives in the midst of troubles, one after another, but also as a motivational book packed with interesting and unmatched lessons about our regular lives. You will definitely feel a lot peaceful and inspired once you finish reading it. At least I did.
Few lines about the author-
Shubha Vilas happens to be a motivational speaker and an ardent believer in spiritualism. Although he has an engineering degree and is also a qualified lawyer, he chooses the path to inspire people like us and give us the necessary motivation to enhance our lives. I will definitely be looking forward to his next book in the series Ramayana-The Game of Life.