10 Lessons from the Ramayana for NDA Cadets

"Lord Ram led a deeply spiritual life, cadets need to be taught, how and why constant short cuts, cheating or managing can over the years diminish their sense of propriety"


10 Lessons from the Ramayana for NDA Cadets

1) During Induction do not be overtaken by undue pride that you are someone special. Be loyal to the Service you intend to join and do not think what position can be obtained (Appointment etc). Be attached to the service and not to the position: Lord Ram was willing to become the king as a service to Maharaj Dashratha and he was also willing to go to the forest as a service to his father.

2) NDA is a tough place, Lord Ram in his growing years stayed with his brothers and fellow students in Sage Vashistha’s Ashram undergoing a rigorous spartan routine. Leading the life of a scholar/soldier. Mission of life should be to learn with humility and constantly be part of the learning curve: Lord Ram’s purpose was to use his skills to slay demons (anti-nationals/enemies) and it was fulfilled by his banishment to the forest. (postings- away from the comfort of your homes for a national cause)

3) Extreme reversals if taken in the proper spirit will help us fulfill our mission in life: For example, General Slim’s Defeat into Victory. Space has zero gravity, Earth does not. Mind does not follow the law of gravity, so also does spiritual consciousness. Lord Ram one evening prospective King (Yuvraaj), next morning banished to the forest for 14 years.

Recruits charging ahead in mock drill

4) Ram or Aaram, a test for every seeker: Each cadet has to choose either of the two (work hard or sleep walk through the training) NDA has a scientific, progressive and structured training routine. Supervised by the best in their fields, unauthorized training without a guru or mentor has to be given a short shrift, Sage Vashistha and Sage Vishwamitra were the perfect mentors, adept in imparting in- depth knowledge of all facets to raise scholar / soldiers, Lord Ram did not learn war fighting/soldierly qualities or got trained by his contemporaries/colleagues.

5) Alertness in Spiritual Life: Lord Ram led a deeply spiritual life, cadets need to be taught, how and why constant short cuts, cheating or managing (stealing items of kit?) can over the years diminish their sense of propriety (right from wrong) and lead to disastrous judgements when they rise to positions of power.

6) The goal is to follow correct orders of the superior, for Bharat, he wanted to stay in the forest which was easier than to return and rule the Kingdom but he did it on the instructions of Lord Ram. Harder right than the easier wrong.

7) All power is transitory: As a cadet and later as an Officer fulfill your duties in a balanced manner, Bhoktaram Yajna Tapasam (Bhagavad Gita 5.29). All power and pelf is transitory, what is important is how it is exercised. Bharat was ruling the kingdom on Lord Ram’s behalf by keeping the Paduka’s ( footwear) on the throne. We are only caretakers, He is the real proprietor, He can give and take away. The caretaker acts to the best of his abilities as a true Karmayogi (duty bound)

Discipline is the foundation upon which all soldiering is done

8) Patience, Determination & Enthusiasm: As a cadet there will be extreme demands on each physically & mentally. Only the strength of your spirit will carry you. Examples of Shabari/Hanuman/Vibhishana/Angad.

9) Arrogance cannot understand well-wishers: The world is a mirror of our own consciousness. Learn to cultivate persons around you, who exercise their own mind in overcoming adversities. A yes man can lead to inglorious defeat. None among Ravana’s ministers could speak the truth, Ravana despite good counsel did not pay heed to Vibhishana and Mandodari.

10) Always stand by what is right: Jatayu’s integrity. Real success is to do your duty with devotion. Jatayu lost his life fighting for Lord Ram (faith/belief/duty) but achieved the purpose of his Life to die in the name of a higher calling (in this case Lord Rama). It is better to lose and win than to win and lose.

(Col PK ‘Royal’ Mehrishi (Retd), an alumnus of the NDA, has been an active Infantry combat leader for 28 Years. A qualified clinical psychologist, he is a prolific writer, author of several books, a TV panelist and a motivational speaker. In addition, he is a Harvard Business School product, certified in ‘Expert Negotiations’. He can be reached at Email: pkradventurer61@gmail.com. Views expressed are the authors own, and do not reflect the editorial policy of 'Mission Victory India')


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