Today, in an all new session of THE READING ROOM, we are going to discuss about ‘Rise of the Sun Prince’ (Book 1) from the Ramayana: THE GAME OF LIFE by Shubha Vilas.
One of the World’s Great Literary Masterpieces, Skillfully Retold for Modern Audiences
Epics like the Ramayana 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 khand of the 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 this 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 of this and much more – food for contemporary thought drawn from an enduring masterpiece.
To know more about the story, grab your copy and enjoy!
There are numerous renditions of this grand epic, Ramayana. So what makes this book different? What makes this book standout is that it is written in utter simplicity, incorporating with elaborate explanations.
I was skeptical in reading a book on Ramayana because:
- I THOUGHT I knew the whole story.
- Secondly, scriptures and epics are very difficult to understand.
But this book proved me wrong. The crisp derivations in the story, part by part into the beautiful chapters are the thing to watch out for. This enables even a casual reader to easily understand the book. This book can be read by one and all and is an amalgamation of soulful and meaningful words. The narration does not sound like a commentary but it is like an involvement of the narrator with the reader. There is one chapter were the author tries to explain and compares how even the objects (weapons) in those days were personified and in current world, people are treated like objects. This is so very true!
Each page has footnotes were the author interprets the parallels with the every incidents taking place in the story. The first quarter focuses on the Kingdom of Ayodhya and King Dashratha. Second quarter focuses on Lord Rama’a childhood. Third quarter and according to me my personal favorite chapter focuses on Sage Vishwamitra. ‘You rise when your pride falls’ is according to me the best chapter were a King after his repeated failures and drawbacks tries harder and harder with shear perseverance to become a Brahmarishi. This chapter is too inspiring! Fourth chapter focuses on Rama’s snapping of Lord Shiva’s bow and his marriage with Sita with his subsequent encounter with Parshurama.
The way the Kingdom of Ayodhya used to function, which is neatly described in the book should be learnt by the current rulers, lawmakers of any country. There are countless instances which warrant a re-read.
But there are also certain things which failed even my imaginative power. Lord Rama is a God and that is very fine but he also was a 12 year old human. But the way the character was being treated by other characters (Other than King Dashratha) during his snapping of Lord Shiva’s bow is something unbelievable. Also King Janaka speaks about the difficulty in marrying Sita for long days seems to be unreal because though her age wasn’t specified here but we can consider that she was near-about of the same age as that of Lord Rama.
The conclusion chapter focuses on the prologue to the next part, i.e. Book 2. The prologue promises that the Book 2 will be even more intriguing with freshly woven story with a ten on ten researched detailing. Can’t wait!
That aside, Book 1 is truly, truly engaging and doesn’t need a book-marker since it is a page turner. I recommend this book to all those who love to read some real Mythological Fiction.
My rating: 4.5 on 5
Title: ‘Rise of the Sun Prince’
Author: Subha Vilas
Publisher: Jaico Publishing House
Buy this book online
Reviewed By: Rahul Marar
So here we come to an end to today’s session of Reading Room