When traveling abroad, it's always a good idea to learn about theof the country that you'll visit. One good way to do this is by reading its holy books!
This is especially true if you're traveling to a country like India. On my first visit, I made a 13-hour train trip from Delhi to thecity of Varanasi. I used this time to read the and the — two of the most holy books in .
The Bhagavad Gita was written over 2,000 years ago and is part of ancalled the . The story opens on a battlefield. Two stand facing each other. One is the army of the Kauravas. The other is the army of the Pandavas.
The Pandava leader, Prince Arjuna, is deeply troubled. Why? Because many of the Kauravas that he's about to fight are his relatives. It's a!
Arjunahis to his driver. Luckily, his chariot driver is Lord Krishna, one of the Hindu gods. Krishna listens patiently, then spends the rest of the book teaching Arjuna about life, death, reality and .
, the Bhagavad Gita is a tale of war. On a deeper level, it's a discussion of eternal truths that inspired such as Gandhi.
The Ramayana is an adventure story full of good guys, bad guys, flying monkeys and more. The storyPrince Rama, his wife Sita and his monkey friend, Hanuman.
The tale begins with aqueen who Rama and Sita the forest. One day, Sita is kidnapped by the , Ravana, and taken to the island of Lanka (modern Sri Lanka). To rescue her, Rama, Hanuman and their soldiers have to fight Ravana's demon army.
During the battle, Rama's brother, Lakshmana,with a poison arrow. The only thing that can save him is a magic plant from a mountain. Hanuman flies off to this.
However, there are so many plants there that he doesn't know which one is the right one. He solves the problem by picking up the whole mountain and bringing it back to Rama!
Luckily, the story has a happy ending. Rama defeats Ravana, rescues Sita and returns home to.
The Ramayana is an exciting story that would make a great Hollywood! At the same time, it's a sacred Hindu text that important Indian values and ideals.
Reading holy books is a great way to gain knowledge of the world's religions. Studying the Ramayana, the Bhagavad Gita, the Koran, the Bible and thecan help deepen your understanding of the world's Hindus, Muslims, Christians and Jews.
So, the next time you travel overseas, take my advice. Bring along some holy books to read!
The Japan Times ST: January 20, 2017