Bruce and I are continuing on with my SLE inspired reading list by reading the Ramayana for Children. Our family belongs to the United Methodist church, so introducing Hinduism to my six year old might seem a bit odd. But the motto of my church is “Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Doors”, and this is something that the Bardsley household tries to follow. We have enough confidence in our own beliefs to boldly explore onward with our children! (But not Jenna yet. She’d be too confused.)
Here are the Learning Goals for my SLE Inspired Reading List:
- Understand that people from other countries, cultures and religious traditions might have different core beliefs and thoughts about the world than we do.
- Identify, explore and evaluate those beliefs, and consider how they influence action and practice.
Here are the Values I would like Bruce to take away from the Ramayana
- Think carefully about the consequences of the promises you make.
- There is honor in doing something because it is your duty, not because you are going to be rewarded.
- The concept of filial piety.
Here is the version of the Ramayana we are using:
Here is the version I wish we were using. Or maybe one of these:
Should-a, could-a, would-a right? I purchased the version by Swami Raghaveshananda because the price was right, and I was already spending so much on the rest of our reading list. I am very happy with the illustrations, but less so with the prose which includes odd syntax that sounds funny at times to the American ear.
Here are some examples of the illustrations:
Right now Bruce and I are at the part where Sita has been captured by Ravana. Bruce has looked ahead to the pictures and is very excited to discover “what’s going on with the monkeys?” I have looked ahead and was very pleased to find that this version of the Ramayana has somewhat of a happy ending. Rama casts Sita out once she is returned because she has lived in another man’s house for a year. But then Sita jumps into a fire to prove her purity, is unharmed, and everyone lives happily ever after. This is the Thai version of the epic, which seems a lot more reasonable than Sita being banished to the forest by herself and becoming a single mother.
When we are all done reading the Ramayana, we are going to watch the 1995 movie version of The Little Princess. A retelling of the Ramayana is woven throughout this film.