There is something about mythology that piques everyone’s interest every time one hears about it. The heroic tales of warriors; the internal politics played by the leaders; the lives that should not be lost but do. And listening to these tales we draw inspiration, strengthen our faith, and aspire for something far greater than we could ever want for ourselves.
Ramayana: The Game of Life: The Rise of the Sun Prince by Shubha Vilas is one such book. A book filled with surprises from start till the end.
Even though it ultimately tells the tale of Ramayana, the story in the novel is inspired from 2 different versions i.e. Valmiki Ramayan and Kamba Ramyan. The story starts with a very interesting question about ‘Is there a person in this world who is full of good virtues and is at the same time powerful, grateful, truthful, determined and also compassionate’? It seems impossible but Narada muni begins thinking about it and that sets him of on a journey of finding a man with such qualities. Especially a hero who can not only commit to his duties but also be a good man in every decision he makes.
The book 1 in the 6-part series begins with telling the tale of Rama. It starts long before his birth and winds down just when he meets Sita. The characters in the story are amazing. You would think Rama would be the highlight as he is the hero but the other protagonists contribute a lot more to the story too. Like King Dasharatha and his wives trying to find an heir, there are various viewpoints as you try to find the lineage of the grand dynasty.
As you keep reading, you learn about how Vishwamitra takes Rama and Lakshmana under his guidance and trains them to face the evils of the world. Vishwamitra is one of the most interesting characters in the book. You see him taking the role of a teacher, a guide who directs Ram and Laskhmana on the path of life by teaching them of the positive and negatives of war and life.
One the aspect which I really liked about the book is the detailed explanations in every page. It’s a novel, but it’s also like a self-help book which you can read to know how the ancient teachings can be applied towards today’s situations and problems. As a reader, I was fascinated to read these notes that explain in-detail about virtues like anger, generosity, hate and many others. I had many favorite lines, one that included ‘A student learns by listening to a good teacher and observing a great one.’
As an author, Shubha Vilas, has caught the attention of the reader by matching ancient teachings to modern lifestyle of people. The book is not just about the king Vishwamitra going on to become a sage, it’s about transformation and the changes that tend to relay on the life of hundreds of others.
Not only is The Rise of the Sun Prince an inspiring book, but a very thought-provoking one. You will learn many new things and will question some long-held beliefs that are dear to you and that’s a good thing because knowledge always leads to the path of enlightenment.
I rate this book 3.5 stars out of 5. Pick it up today, you will not be disappointed.