August 24, 2011
Health Sciences Campus, Kochi
What is the significance of conducting a quiz competition based on the Ramayana at Amrita’s Health Sciences campus? What does this great Indian epic have to do with students in a modern academic institution?
The answer to these questions could be found when nearly 800 students and faculty members came together from the School of Medicine, School of Dentistry, School of Pharmacy, School and College of Nursing to participate.
“Ramayana teaches us the importance of human values,” stated Sri. Ramesh of the cultural education team on campus. His team organized the quiz program on August 10, to coincide with the Karkkidaka month, and to help inculcate the best values in students.
“During the Karkkidaka month, our forefathers would recite the holy epic Ramayana to ward off evils and bring forth prosperity and happiness,” explained the quiz master, Shri. Hariharan.
“We conducted the quiz to convey the significance of the great epic and to make students aware about the importance of our ancient culture.”
The significance and symbolism of the epic was elucidated also by Swami Poornamritananda Puri, whose presence blessed the occasion.
“Ayodhya, the birth place of Lord Rama, represents a mind without conflict. In such a mind, Rama, the lord, can take birth,” Swamiji said.
“Valmiki refers to the state of a person who has gone beyond attachment to the body-mind complex. Ravana, the Dasamukha, represents the state of a person who is under the control of the five jnanendriyas and the five karmendriyas.”
“Only when one gets rid of attachment to the body and the mind, can he or she begin developing attachment to the Self.”
“From the quiz program and from Swamiji’s words, we could understand the significance of knowing one’s Self, the real importance of the family and the sanctity of society,” stated participants Vaisakh, Aswathy Chandran and Atul Sangith from the Amrita School of Pharmacy.
The team of three won the first prize in the quiz competition.
Student teams from the Amrita College of Nursing and the Amrita School of Medicine came in second and third respectively. Winners received their prizes from Swamiji.
“By attending the Ramayana quiz and listening to Swamiji’s talk, we could understand better the principles of truth and righteousness inherent in the Ramayana,” stated a student representative.
“The relevance of the epic to today’s modern life is immense,” summed up Sri. Ramesh.