Books #2015 Vol. 1 – “Ramayana The Game of Life – Shattered Dreams” by Shubha Vilas

Ramayana The Game of Life - Shattered Dreams by Shubha Vilas book review

An entire month without reading a book?? Whoa, I am getting older. Did you ever hear them saying your concentration decreases as you grow older! That is what is happening to me. And, then, time seems to fly away all the time.

About the Author

Honestly, I have not heard about the author before I came across the book. Among both the great epics, I have always loved Mahabharata more than Ramayana but the premise of the book made me pick it up for review.
How does one prepare for a danger one knows nothing about? – The easiest way to forget your limitations is to shift focus from self-absorption to active-facilitation. Dasaratha had not realized his shortcomings because of his absorption in his responsibilities.

There is not much information about the author online but goodreads mentions him to be a spiritual and motivational speaker who holds both an engineering degree and law specialization.  

About the Book

Okay, so let me start with the book. This is the second part in the series.
I have not read the first book but it was all about the birth and childhood of the sons of Dasaratha culminating in their marriage.
This second book takes off from the decision of Rama’s coronation to twelfth year of the exile period with a peek into Ravana’s psyche and life.
Half the night had been damned by despair and the other half buoyed by hope. Wasn’t this what life was all about?

Dasaratha is sad and suffering from nightmares. He has a sense of impending doom but is unable to figure out the reason. Due to his unstable mental state, he decides it to be the correct time to coronate Rama as the new king and take off time to spend his last years in spiritual contemplation.
Before proceeding, I would like to add that I have just reached pg. 120 and the story has just reached the scene of Kaikeyi asking her boons from Dasartha for Bharata’s coronation and Rama’s exile. In between, there was a bit of introduction of Ravana’s character and how his sins were one of the catalyst in maligning Kaikeyi’s mind.  
Ramayana has been retold many times and we are all aware with it. What makes everything different is the interpretation of different authors.
Decision-making is akin to breathing. Just as in breathing there is careful balance between inhalation and exhalation, decision-making must be a careful balance between personal benefits (taking in or inhalation) and communal harmony (giving out or exhalation).

My Verdict

The author has tried to simplify some of the obscure events in the epic and justifies the philosophical importance behind each event in the footnotes on each page.
Some of the points made by the author are extremely prudent and force you to rethink. And, this is something which I found very interesting:
The word mantra is a combination of two words – man meaning mind and tra (from trayate) meaning control. Mantra literally means that which controls the mind. Mantras are subtle sound waves that soothe the subtle mind. 

I had been researching on the same topic – how chanting mantras affect our mind and body so this piece of information was extremely useful. 
From the point of editing and grammar, I found the book to be very mature except for a few phrases which were a lot cheesier than I would expect in a philosophical manuscript. For example, 
Praise is the temperature at which any human melts. It is the garment that warms a cold body. It is a password to log into the software of any heart.

Death is a universal virus installed in every individual, programmed to terminate and dissolve the machine itself.

I know that the aim of this book is to align it to today’s life but the technical terms in it look really weird and I felt that they break the flow of the book. But, then, that is my opinion. Otherwise, yes, it is a good read. Do try it out!

So, what do you say? Do you prefer Ramayana or Mahabharata? Have you read any of Shubha Vilas’s book? How did you like it?

Related Posts:

“God is a Gamer” by Ravi Subramaniam
“Perfect Digestion” by Deepak Chopra
“7 Secrets of Goddess” by Devidutt Patnaik

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