Improve Decision-Making & Critical Thinking Skills Through Ramayana & Mahabharata

Based on the parenting and upbringing, their surroundings, their life experiences; children develop an unsaid framework for decision making in life

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Your child’s success in life depends on how wisely they decide for themselves. Every moment in life we make some decisions for them. Some small decisions and some big ones. From what to eat, what to wear today and where to work, whom to partner with, whom to marry, whether to take a job or start an enterprise – many of these important decisions that parents take shape up of what she or he becomes and achieves in life. Based on the child’s parenting and upbringing, their surroundings, their life experiences; they develop an unsaid framework for decision making in life. Over the years in schools and colleges, they get rigorously trained in maths, science, languages and coding in the classrooms, in tuition centres and through various online EdTech programs. But they never really get formal training in decision-making, critical thinking and collaboration. Ramayana, Mahabharat and other ancient Indian scriptures come to our rescue and aim to do just that – format train the future generations to become effective leaders and think differently. 

Even as a top-notch CEO, life will not stop posing complicated emotional conflicts to your child. Are we preparing our children adequately to deal with those situations? As a home-schooling parent of two, I and my wife believe that if you can provide a robust, ethical and value-led framework of decision making to your children, it will be a lifetime gift for them. While starting Ramayana School, this was the philosophy that guided us – that the millennia-old texts like Ramayana and Mahabharat serve as a great tool to provide children with a robust ethical framework to take life decisions, manage stress, re-gather after failures, make alliances and chase material, emotional and spiritual success relentlessly.

Edtech companies like The Ramayana School have used guided pedagogy techniques to drive the best of the life skill lessons from ancient Indian scriptures relevant for modern times. Using an Edtech learning management system (LMS) like Moodle, we added a layer of 4Cs of modern learning – Creativity, Critical Thinking, Collaborative Skills and Communication Skills to learning methods of ancient Indian scriptures. Now through a mixture of live interactions with subject matter experts and gamified tools, children can learn the essential life lessons through Ramayana, Mahabharat and other scriptures. Thus, children can now learn Morals before Maths and Character before Coding.

While engaging with the text of Ramayana there are multiple moments and sub-stories which drive quintessential life lessons, which children can imbibe very smoothly. Lord Rama spent 14 years of grit and determination in exile. The qualities he exhibited there made him God Rama from King Rama. He faced the worst of the challenges in those 14 years, what one can possibly face in one’s life. He lost his kingdom; he lost his wife and he almost lost his life during the war. But he did not take the shortcuts, he did not lose his honesty, his goodness, his righteousness and finally won the war over Ravana. After the initial agony of his wife’s kidnap, Rama calmed himself. He strategized based on whatever resources were available to him. He made local allies in form of Hanuman and Sugreeva. He used all the skills he learned from the various teachers in his life. He did meticulous human resource and talent management – Hanuman helped him search his wife Sita, Angad helped him in diplomatic peace mission, Jambavan helped him to keep the team motivated, Engineers Nal & Neel helped him to make the Rama Bridge cross the sea to Lanka, Vibhishan helped him to penetrate through the secrets of the opposition army. In the end, Rama and his vanara army won against the mighty Ravana and his resourceful, well-equipped army. Edtechs have now codified these micro-lessons from Ramayana within the learning framework, to deliver Creativity skills, Critical Thinking skills, Collaborative Skills, and Communication Skills to children

Ramayana and Mahabharat both encapsulate multiple conflicts between different characters. Righteous characters like Rama, Krishna, Yudhishtar, Bheeshma, etc are faced constantly with conflicting rules and principles. It’s interesting to observe that Rama followed almost all the rules to uphold the principles, whereas Krishna broke many rules to uphold the larger principles. Duryodhana broke most of the rules and never cared about the principles whereas Yudhistar and Bheeshma got stuck in following the rules and got deviated from upholding the broader principles.

If unpacked properly and added with a layer of technology and guided pedagogy, Ramayana, Mahabharat, Panchtantra, Chanakya Niti and various other Indian scriptures can provide a robust platform to train our children in important life skills like empathy, decision-making, collaboration and critical thinking.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house

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