Book: Scion of ikshvaku
Ram Rajya. The Perfect Land. But perfection has a price. He paid that price.
3400 BCE. INDIA
Ayodhya is weakened by divisions. A terrible war has taken its toll. The damage runs deep. The demon King of Lanka, Raavan, does not impose his rule on the defeated. He, instead, imposes his trade. Money is sucked out of the empire. The Sapt Sindhu people descend into poverty, despondency and corruption. They cry for a leader to lead them out of the morass. Little do they appreciate that the leader is among them. One whom they know. A tortured and ostracised prince. A prince they tried to break. A prince called Ram.
He loves his country, even when his countrymen torment him. He stands alone for the law. His band of brothers, his Sita, and he, against the darkness of chaos.
Will Ram rise above the taint that others heap on him? Will his love for Sita sustain him through his struggle? Will he defeat the demon Lord Raavan who destroyed his childhood? Will he fulfil the destiny of the Vishnu?
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My review and learnings
This book has characters taken from Ramayana. But unlike the Ram in Ramayana , Ram here is a prince who was considered responsible for the Ayodhya’s fate as he was born on the same day as Dasaratha’s defeat. Ram is the main protagonist.This book also throws light into many social evils .
I personally liked Shiva triolgy better. But the qualities depicted in the character Ram and his wisdom and thinking is certainly appreciated.
There is a conflict between law and morality in many instances. Ram, unlike his brother blindly sticks to the law whereas his brother Bharat belives that the law can be bend depending on circumstances. There is an instance where Rohini a female doctor is raped and Ram refuses to give death sentence to the convict as he is a juvenile. In yet another instance he decides to punish himself to exile for using the Vayu-astras which is against the law.
Ram is portrayed as a good leader who leads by example. His down – to- earth nature and honestly makes him the adored prince of Ayodhya. His high emotional intelligence is reflected by his calm demeanour. He says
“But the strange thing about anger is that it is like fire; the more you feed it, the more it grows. It takes a lot of wisdom to know when to let anger go.”
Whereas Prince Bharat gives more imprtance to flexibility in rule , individual freedom and rationality. He feels rules may not always be the right Dharma. Dharma is subtle
Whereas Shatrugna is a nerd and Lakshmana a loyal brother.
Eventhough the book lacks the flow and suspense as in Shiva triolgy, you can learn a lot from this book. It is overall a combination of philosophy and ethics . Determining what is right becomes difficult when it comes in conflict with laws.
Overall a book worth reading. And you will need to read it if you want to get the continuity in the next book Sita which is certainly a wonderful book.
My rating : 3.5/5
Some good quotes
“I guess what I’m trying to say is that I want a woman who is better than I am; a woman who will compel me to bow my head in admiration.“-Ram
“One of the few advantages of being disliked is that you don’t need to fret over what others think about you.“
“If karma is giving you a negative signal repeatedly, then it is not testing you, it is trying to teach you.“
A real leader doesn’t choose to lead only the deserving. He will, instead, inspire his people into becoming the best that they are capable of.