Four Lessons I Learned from an Ancient Epic
by Linda Egenes, co-author of “The Ramayana: A New Retelling of Valmiki’s Ancient Epic—Complete and Comprehensive”
When writing a retelling of the Ramayana—an ancient epic that is considered a spiritual guide to over one billion people living in India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Thailand and Bali today—I found it was having a transforming effect on my own life.
The Ramayana is the most widely read epic in history, partly because it’s a gripping story. The central figure is the prince Rama, who is unjustly banished to the forest for 14 years on the very day he is to be crowned king. His faithful wife Sita and his devoted brother Lakshmana follow him, and the three encounter friends and foes—from forest sages to horrific demons to flying monkeys and wise bears. When his beautiful wife, Sita, is captured by the demon king, Rama must battle armies of demons to retrieve her, and in the process liberates the earth from darkness.
The Ramayana has been described as the original epic quest—something like Star Wars and Romeo and Juliet all rolled into one. Yet its spiritual wisdom goes much deeper.
For example, Rama demonstrates ideal behavior in many different relationships—as a son, husband, brother, ruler, student, friend, and enemy. Even as a child, the enlightened Rama is beloved by all for his gentle, truthful and benevolent nature. “Rama is delightful to gaze upon, like the full moon,/mighty, like the ocean,/firmly established in silence, like the Himalaya./Like the earth, he is patient/and devoted to the welfare of all.” Both Rama and Sita have been adored throughout time because even when pressed to their limits, they demonstrate tolerance, compassion and forgiveness to friend and foe alike.
Featured in the winter 2017 issue of Big Blend Radio & TV Magazine, Linda Egenes’ article “Four Lessons I Learned from an Ancient Epic” covers how she learned Tolerance, Perseverance, Compassion and Forgiveness over the course of 19 years of writing “The Ramayana: A New Retelling of Valmiki’s Ancient Epic—Complete and Comprehensive”, with her co-author Kumuda Reddy, M.D.
Read FOUR LESSONS I LEARNED FROM AN ANCIENT EPIC in Big Blend Radio & TV Magazine!