Do you yearn for celebrating Dussehra and watching Ramleela an epic show which was staged across cities at various vantage points?
In Mumbai, Ramleela is held at Chowpatty while in Delhi it is staged at Lal Kila. The last day which marked the burning of the evil king Ravana was the highlight where 1 arrow of Ram set the effigy of Ravana in flames.
Today in our hectic lives our children fail to know about this epic, what they learn is through the antics of Hanuman on the telly or YouTube. How about letting your child learn about the classic Ramleela?
8 learnings from Ramleela for your child
Travelogue of the past showing cultural diversity
Do you know Ramleela was first played in the 16th century as during those days it was the only source for kids’ travelogue? Now we have travelogue from National Geographic and Lonely Planet for toddlers. But till date we can use it to understand the culture and values during ancient and modern world.
As Rama travels through the forest with his wife Sita and brother Laxman, they see the forest and wild life of that area.
As Sita who gets abducted by Ravana is carried away by him in a chariot, she calls out to the wildlife and describes her fate to vegetation, birds and animals.
As Rama travels to Sri Lanka to get his wife back, he comes across people with different values and culture. This demonstrates cultural diversity and tolerance to different cultures even during those times.
You can teach your child about social equality through Ramleela as Rama treats all his warriors with same regard.
Ramleela has always been traditionally a great leveler between the rich and poor and segments of society as people from all the segment of society come together to watch Ramleela.
Values and culture
With the advent of digital world and availability of humungous number of cartoon series, video games, it is difficult to teach our children about rich Indian values and culture. Ramleela is not just a story, but also an educational medium to demonstrate the importance of values such as loving and respecting your family, keeping your promises, protecting the weak.
In a world where algorithms are used to build ideal relations, Ramleela depicts that during ancient times also the girl had liberty to choose her groom in swayamvar and even after leading a luxurious life of a princess follow her husband while in exile.
Ram Leela also depicts characters that we should aspire to be like, such as the ideal father, ideal son, ideal brother, ideal leader, ideal wife, etc.
Demarcate Right and Wrong
Ramleela can help you teach your child the difference between right and wrong and always choosing right path no matter how tough it is.
Even in doer of evil, resides a pandit Ravana, who was a learned king. But his one wrong act caused his decline and made it a punishable offence.
When Rama was banished from Ayodhya, Bharat could have easily accepted the throne rather when he learnt the reason for Rama’s exile, he performed all the duties of a king without accepting to be the crowned king.
Thus, proving that even if something is extremely desirable, one should still distinguish between right and wrong and accept the most lucrative thing in a fair way.
Value your words
Ramleela can be a great source to teach your child the importance to keep your words at any cost.
Dasharatha had granted Kaikeyi two boons when she had saved his life on the battlefield. When Kaikeyi asked Dasharatha to make Bharat the new king and send Rama to exile, no matter how hard it was for Dasharatha to send his beloved son to exile. He just kept his words and did as asked, setting perfect example of how to keep your words at any cost.
Love and Respect for Parents
Ramleela is a perfect fable to teach the child about loving your family and respecting their decisions. Rama’s insistence on keeping the promise made by his father also shows the deep love and devotion that he had for his parents. He willingly chose to spend 14 years in exile in a forest to protect his father’s much respected honour.
Protecting the Weak
From Ramleela child will learn to stand for protecting the weak.
Jatayu, an aged demigod in the form of a vulture, witnessed Ravana kidnapping Sita and forcefully taking her to Lanka. Jatayu tried to save Sita by fighting Ravana valiantly but failed. Rama and Lakshman came across him where he was lying breathing his last. Jatayu informed Rama about Sita’s whereabouts and Ravana’s plans before breathing his last. Moved to tears by the gallantry and courage of the aged Jatayu, Rama gave the bird its last rites as though the bird was his father.