Ramayana : The Game Of Life Book 2 : Shattered Dreams

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About the author: Shubha Vilas, a spiritual seeker and a motivational speaker, holds a degree in engineering and law with specialization in Patent Law. His leadership seminars are popular with top-level management in corporate houses. He also helps individuals deal with modern-life situations by applying the teachings of the Bhagavad Gita, Ramayana and other dharmic traditions.

Blurb: Shattered Dreams is the sequel to the national bestseller, Rise of the Sun Prince, in the new spiritual and motivational series Ramayana – The Game of Life. Twelve joyful years have passed in Ayodhya since the wedding of Rama and Sita at the end of Book 1. Now, in Shattered Dreams, Shubha Vilas narrates the riveting drama of Rama’s exile. Through tales of Rama’s unwavering and enigmatic persona, the book teaches us how to handle reversals positively; through Bharata’s actions, it teaches us to handle temptation; and through Sita’s courage, to explore beyond our comfort zone. This complicated family drama provides deep insights on how human relationships work and how they fail. With Valmiki’s Ramayana as its guiding light, Shattered Dreams deftly entwines poetic beauty from the Kamba Ramayana and Ramacharitramanas, as well as folk philosophy from the Loka Pramana tales, to demonstrate how the ancient epic holds immediate relevance to modern life. Experience the ancient saga of the Ramayana like never before.

Review: “Shattered Dreams” is the second in the series of Ramayana-The Game of Life by Shubha Vilas. This book like the previous version has tales from Valmiki’s Ramayana, the Kamban with dash of folklore which is what makes it worthy of the mythology famished reader. I am not a huge fan of this genre but I don’t mind exploring by reading. The story this time is about Rama’s planned coronation, subsequent banishment to the forest and Bharata’s efforts to bring him back.  The romance part of Rama and Sita is also quite very well depicted. Just like the previous (part one) this story has also been embellished and narrated with a fervour that keeps the reader enthusiastic. The story takes off with Dasharatha’s foreboding of evil which prods him towards a hasty decision to coronate prince Rama to be the ruler of Ayodhya. There is jubilation in the city with this news, the evil Manthara plots scheme to displace Rama as the crown prince and appoint Bharata. This sparks off a chain of proceedings that shape the destiny of many lives and kingdoms thereafter. All the characters in the story Dasaratha, Kausalya, Sumitra, Kaikeyi, Lakshmana, Bharatha, Shatrugna, Urmila, Manthara, Sumanthra, Guha, Anasuya, Vasistha and have innumerable things to teach us. We all have heard and read about Ramayana, but what makes this book different is the detailing and the elucidation which contributes to initial our own viewpoint about the epic. The stories how people earned their names, situations that rose and what made people behave the way they did is what the book presents. The only thing which troubled me, while reading this book are the portions of footnotes and explanations (but they make for excellent reading to understand the fundamental meaning behind each of the stories in the Ramayana) which made me miss the flow of the story.  The same thing happened with me while reading the first part and now it repeated but keeping the interest in the story I tried to cope up with the confusion part and finished the book. I would only advise this for people who are interested in looking at Ramayana as our story. To keep a reader of the modern times hooked to the story like this is not easy.  Many incidents in the story are linked to various life lessons that it is meant to communicate and the author has coherently construed diverse aspects with equivalence and examples. Lessons of five management mantras towards effective leadership, solutions to success, and the six anarthas to conquer make for interesting reading as do the notes on understanding ideal behaviour.

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