is a game that could make the pathway to spirituality fun.
Devised by Nirankar S. Aggarwal, there are two games: One based on
the story of the Ramayana and the other on the teachings in the
to the Hindu tradition, the very utterance of the Lords name is
prayer. That is why children are of ten given the names of God so
that by calling them, man is actually calling out to the Lord Himself
and adding to his spiritual treasury. Man also personalises the deity
and, in turn, the name lends the person with many attributes. If this
is to be true, An India map locates the epic geographically and many
scenes from the Ramayana form the cover of the game. A large board
has miniature paintings all along its border. It begins at the right
hand side corner with the first square showing Brahma, Narada and
Valmiki. The story begins with Narada and Brahma appearing before
Valmiki and helping him to recognize poesy, entrusting him with the
job of writing the Ramayana.
next block shows the birth of the four princes, Rama, Bharata,
Lakshmana and Shatrugana. The third square shows Vishwamitra asking
Dasaratha to send his sons to the forest while he performs the great
yagya (fire ritual). Ramas slaying of Tadaka, of the fight with
Marichan and Subahu and finally the breaking of the bow at Mithila
are the scenes that follow. Then come the festivities in Ayodhya due
to the marriage celebration of Rama and Sita. Then comes the Ahalya
episode, followed by Manthara creating mischief in Kaikeyis
mind. Rama, Sita and Lakshmana are exiled. Their journey through the
forest leading to the abduction of Sita, the meeting of Rama with the
monkeys, Hanumans search for Sita, finding her and finally the
coronation are all picturised in 70 squares.
illustrations are simple and yet traditional. The episodes in the
story itself have been beautifully selected. To a person who has read
Valmiki, it will seem like a lot of it is coming alive. Like an
episode where demoness Singhika is said to capture Hanuman by
catching his shadow. The detail is so charming that it captures a lot
of the spirit of the original.
began researching for this in 1996 and it has taken me four years,
says Nirankar and one can well see the effort taken to present a
cogent story, picking out the exciting parts and yet maintaining
the story on the board, the game begins. There are 2 dice, 6 game
pieces, 72 Flower Cards, 64 Joy Cards, 12 Jewel Cards, 24 Fate Cards,
72 Valour Cards, 36 Sorrow Cards and 8 Rama-Sita-Lakshmana Cards. Six
game pieces means that six people can play at a time. Each player
chooses a game piece. The fate cards are to be piled up on the board.
The rest of the cards are to be kept in a kind of a bank. With the
rolling of the dice, the game begins. The score is determined by the
difference between the marks on the two dice. If one dice has number
4 face up and the other has number 1 face up, then the score is 4
minus 1. The player hence moves three steps.
certain places, the player receives a card. Like where fes-tivities
are being celebrated in Ayodhya, the player gets a Joy Card if he or
she reaches there. The Joy Cards express different kinds of joy. It
could be merry-making, it could be feeling buoyant or it could be the
joy emanating from a celebration. Each card has different words for
the different kinds of joy thus expanding the childs
the very next square you get a Fate Card. This fate card is already
piled on the board. Pick one and it captures a particular situation
from the Ramayana, and therefore, dictates your fate. Like one card
says that Hanuman was given the boon to live as long as the story of
Ramayana is recited on earth and this Fate Card helps you escape the
demon in square 44. In some squares you have to fight to move ahead.
The instruction leaflet tells you what you have to do at each fight.
Valour Cards are gained by winning the battles against the demons and
here too the different forms of valour have been explored.
the place when Sita gives Hanuman a jewel, you too earn a Jewel Card.
Without a Jewel Card you cannot win, so you may have to take many
rounds of the board before finishing the game. The instructions for
winning a Jewel Card are given along with the game.
there are Flower Cards too. These are given by sages or celestial
beings. They have botanical names, Hindi names and common names. A
fourth idea in each card describes the emotion associated with the
card as given by the Mother of Aurobindo Ashram. Like cotton
represents material abundance and turmeric, peace.
game is well presented and colourful. It is available at the shop in
Aurobindo Ashram and is definitely worth its price.