About the Book
The rich reservoir of ancient knowledge contains the wisdom which can help solve our present day problems. The seven traits of Rama are ingrained in every human being as a son, brother, husband, warrior, a bit of ruler and a rishi; the blending where of leads to perfection. The author deplores the intellectual bankruptcy which is creating a vacuum in the personal, social and political lives resulting in mediocrity projecting itself as the savior of mankind and thereby befooling generations.
Rama, the `Maryada Purushotama', as an epitome of perfection provides an ideal and a reliable source of inspiration, through the life he lived, to resolve issues pertaining to inter-personal problems and make the society a place worth living. It is a bold endeavor to elevate the great epic, Ramayana, to a higher pedestal which takes it way beyond just depicting through Ramleelas, TV serials or keeping wrapped and worshipped as a matter of routine. The reader is sure to benefit from this precise and thought provoking treatise.
About the Author
Maj Gen Amil -Kumar Shori is the Additional Director General of Army Postal Service Corps, Indian Army. Gen. Shori is an enthusiastic learner, who has always been keen in updating himself on all aspects and has attended various training courses in India and abroad. He has authored two books titled An Alphabetical Compilation of Idioms and Expressions", comprising more than 11,000 English idioms with sentences and "Indian Rajarshi and Greek Philosopher King", a hook on Principles of Good Governance released last year.
It is not very often that one finds a senior officer of the Indian army dabbling in the study of mythology. Reconciling the busy schedule of an army officer, who has the responsibility of shepherding a corps and an analytical study of mythology which is purely an academic activity, is difficult indeed. But Major General Amil Kumar Shori wears both the caps, those of a soldier and a scholar, with great élan. That is why I do not find it surprising that Gen Shori, an able administrator, a fine sportsman and a person of great erudition, has been able to produce such a valuable document as this in-depth study of certain important aspects of Ramayana.
Ramayana is one of the most read, respected and for that matter, worshipped epic in the world. It is a story of love, sacrifice, determination, chivalry and of course Dharma (righteousness). Sri Ram represents a virtuous personality embodying multiple shades of human character. The overarching system of social and personal values that the Ramayana projects through the actions of Rama involving sacrifice, determination, valour, love and administrative qualities of a warrior and king need to be emulated and internalized. But it is surely not an easy task.
Generally speaking, one is familiar with the glamour and drama of Rama's life as depicted through the electronic and print media, specially the T.V. serials. The philosophical aspects, the insights that the epic projects, in fact, the essence of thoughts which turns a simple story into an epic, remains somewhat obscure. People are aware of a few shades of Rama's personality, i.e., as a son, husband and a brother, but the other shades of his personality, viz., a hero of the battlefield, an administrator and a person of great insight and knowledge which turn him into a Rajarshi, are not seen clearly. The concept of Ram-Rajya has been used as a symbolic slogan and rhetoric, but the principles on which Ram-Rajya functioned is not known.
Valmiki's Ramayana is a masterpiece of poetry, philosophy and wisdom. To summarise the huge epic and project the multidimensional personality of Sri Ram in various shades is not an easy task. Yet, Gen Shori has made an excellent effort to depict those shades of Sri Ram through this book and has shown how the six shades culminate in the Seventh Shade i.e. Maryada Purushottam. Most importantly, Gen Shori has established an equation with the contemporary world - how these values are still valid in the present socio-political set up of our society. He has shown in an elaborate yet simple manner that these ancient values are still relevant and if these are followed sincerely, Ram-Rajya will not necessarily be a utopian concept.
Ramayana is one of the most widely read, respected and worshiped epics and Rama is considered rather worshiped a hero par excellence, being the best among males and hence rightly known as the `Maryada Purushottam'.
The epic story of Ramayana is by and large known to everyone and a good number of people remember it by heart also. Yet, I feel that what we know about Rama is an abridged and adapted version meant for depiction in TV serials/ films or Ram Leelas. Rama is Maryada Purushotam because He is not only an ideal son, brother and husband; rather an ideal king also. He is the `Rajarshi' i.e. the King who possesses qualities of a Philosopher.
With this in mind, an effort has been made to bring forth different shades of his personality in this book so that the rationale behind His thought and philosophy could be understood. The research is primarily based upon Valmiki Ramayana (published by Gita Press) as it throws light on the multifarious angles of Rama's personality in minute details. Hence, the Canto and Sargas referred to in the book have been taken from Valmiki Ramayana.
A lot of thought process has undergone while reading the great epic and I had to frequently consult a good number of learned persons. I owe special thanks to Dr. Ashutosh Angiras and Maj Gen S K Sen, VSM for keeping me on the right tracks and giving me valuable suggestions. I am also thankful to Col Suresh Gupta, for his quick and efficient editing. My special thanks to my wife and children for putting up with my moody behavior.