The message of the Ramayana
KAMBA RAMAYANAM Two Volumes: Thirumuruga Kripanandavariar; Bhaarathe Pathippagam, 126/108, Usman Road, T. Nagar, Chennai-600017. Rs. 150.
THIS WORK is an exposition of the Kamba Ramayanam, interspersed with quotations from the original. Written in a simple style, the important episodes in the epic have been explained and their significance alluded to. Detailed descriptions of events mark the work. The devotion aspect also finds expression.
There are touching descriptions such as Rama's ruminations, Dasaratha's plea to Kaikeyi, and the conversations between Rama and Sita, Bharata and Kaikeyi, Rama and Vali. Similarly, Lakshmana taking the blow when Ravana hurled the spear at Vibhishana in the spirit of protecting one who had taken refuge and after coming to from his stupor enquiring about Vibhishana's welfare, arrest one's attention.
New explanations have been attributed to the Ahalya episode, the cause of Dasaratha's death, the name "Jatayu", the reason for Rama's sorrow, Rama striking Vali from behind a tree and the name "Choodamani". Rama's message to Sugriva through Lakshmana has been given a dozen interpretations.
This is a very useful work in spreading the message of Ramayana. However, there are certain areas that are not quite clear, like Suka and Charana's words to Rama, Lakshmana removing arrows stuck on his back after the initial fight with Indrajit, which would mean that Lakshmana had retreated during the fight, his utterance that Indrajit be killed as he was tired, and the reference to the death of gods. The popular belief is that gods are immortal.
The reader can gainfully fill his knowledge gap from the episodes in this epic. The volumes detail the right type of life that one should lead. After all, the Lord's incarnation as Rama was only to provide a role model for humanity.
C. L. RAMAKRISHNAN
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