Today is Ram Navami, the festival which celebrates the birth of Lord Rama. Rama’s story is one of sacrifice and courage. He was born with a silver spoon but destiny turned against him and he was banished to the forest, along with his wife Sita. His brother Laxman followed him and, together, they stayed away from their kingdom for fourteen years.
Here are some things to learn from Rama’s story:
1. Triumph of good over evil
This is the overarching theme of the Ramayana — the triumph of good over evil. Rama ultimately defeats Ravan, and rescues Sita. He ultimately reclaims his kingdom, which he unfairly lost.
2. The importance of duty
In today’s world, it is easy to think only of oneself. However, Rama never forgot his duty towards his family, no matter how trying and difficult the circumstances. He never let emotions get in the way of serving his people. He didn’t care about titles as much as he did about service to his father and kingdom and when Kaikeyi banished him, he willingly left.
3. Being respectful to everyone
Even through Rama was a prince, he never acted entitled, or that any job was beneath him. He never treated anyone as less than him, and showed compassion to every single being. In one instance, when the Vanarsena was building the bridge towards Lanka, he saw a small squirrel also putting in effort. So Rama picked the squirrel up and patted it to show his respect and compassion.
4. Motivating one’s team
The Ramayana is a goldmine of leadership lessons. In the battle against Ravan, Rama tells his army that apart from strategy and skills, the restraint of ego is very important to win. At the same time, he never forces his point of view on anyone. He inspires them to fight for a cause because he has a clear vision.
And let’s not forget what we can learn from Goddess Sita!
“In the older, ancient versions of the Ramayana, written by Valmiki, Sita is a warrior, and she is the one that kills Ravan, after taking her true form as Maa Kaali, and I find that version very inspiring,” says author, Amish Tripathi.
“Sita is a warrior and a feminist,” he says.
Also Read: This Festive Season, Reimagining Indian Goddesses