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Ramayana, new craze among women

Ramayana, new craze among women

Author: TNN
Publication: The Times of India
Date: September 9, 2011
URL: http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2011-09-09/mysore/30134382_1_ramayana-morals-women-professionals

There is a new craze among women to learn Ramayana and Mahabharata and understand the relevance of the epics in today's materialistic life. Women professionals, who are taking up courses or examinations on the epics, feel that the contents will be a guiding spirit in their stressed lifestyle.

Last year, 365 women, most of them doctors and lawyers, took up the examination conducted by Samarpana, an organization run by Sudha Paneesh, a social activist. Tulsi Vijaykumar, the wife of a jeweller from city, stood first in Mysore and Bangalore centres.

Many may be skeptical about Samarpana's efforts because Ramayana is considered a part of Hindu mythology but women who have passed the examination refuse to look at it from a religious angle. "For us morals of the epic are important," claims Dr Rajani, a medical officer from the city who passed the examination last year, describing Ramayana as a way of life.

Dr Rajani says that when many aspire to lead a materialistic and highly commercialized life, Ramayana comes as a great relief to their disturbed minds. Ramayana is a formula of life and one can lead a peaceful life with high moral values, she says appreciating Samarpana for making them study Ramayana.

UOM teacher Jyothi Shekar says morals of Ramayana are a panacea for all the problems of a turbulent mind and learning Ramayana will go a long way in leading a peaceful life besides helping them make their children aware of moral values.

Sudha Paneesh, who runs the course in alliance with a trust in Bangalore, claims nobody will learn Ramayana if it is told and retold. The examination format attract them more in addition to making them feel that they are involved in a competition. "Our aim is to deduce morals of Ramayana and make efforts to apply them to people's lives," she said.

"We are targeting women because they are the teachers in their homes," she said justifying her decision to have the course exclusively for women.

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