The best school that one can ever attend happens to be the school of life. We start learning right from the moment we are conceived in our mother’s womb. We learn from the environment, family and friends around us.
Then we are introduced to conventional learning in educational institutions. It is strange but true; most of us think that we are done with learning once we attain certain levels in structured education.
Only a negligible numberof people are open to learning the valuable lessons that life has to offer us. Among the few, there are only a handful of people who are ready
to face the facts of life and accept a sea change to takelife forward in a meaningful way.
The story of the original author of the Ramayana is one such interesting tale. It is said that Valmiki, who was known as Ratnakar or Prachetas, was a hunter with wayward ways. He did not hesitate to steal or kill from wayfarers in the forest.
One day when he accosted the illustrious seven sages known as the “Sapta Rishis,” they asked him the purpose of his atrocities. Ratnakar replied that he did it all for his family. The Rishis gave him a smug smile and asked him to verify his belief and also find out whether the latter’s family would share the responsibility for his misdeeds.
Ratnakar was confident about his kith and kin, nevertheless, he wanted to prove
to the Rishis that he enjoyed the love and support of his family.
He went along and met his people and asked them whether they would partake in the fruits of the sins perpetrated by him to sustain the family.
He was thunderstruck when his parents, wife and children told him that since they were not active participants in his crime, they would like to stay clear of the negative energy that emanated from his misdeeds. This unanticipated reaction set him thinking. He returned to the Rishis shamefacedly and confessed the day’s happenings. The pious men could sense his helplessness. They realised that the time was ripe to wreak a palpable change in his attitude and very character.
Accordingly, they instructed him the path of atonement. His involvement in the penance was so hard that an anthill grew around him.
In Sanskrit the term “Valmik” means termites, since he emerged from the termite hill, he came to be known as Valmiki and went on to write one of the greatest epics.
Man should refresh himself continuously and consciously by involving in the process of reinventing himself, lest he falls into the rut of life and carries on like a mindless zombie.