Kindness, Love and Humility Always Beat Pride and Arrogance

Kindness and Humility Always Beat Pride and Arrogance

By Jayaram Rajaram

Narrate the following story to your child:

Kubera, the God of wealth went to to Lord Shiva and Parvati in Mt Kailash to show off his wealth to them. He invited Shiva and Parvati for a meal so he could show off all that he had. Since Shiva and Parvati were busy, they offered to send Ganesha for the meal. Shiva warned Kubera that Ganesha ate a lot. But Kubera haughtily and in an arrogant tone said “Let him eat as much as he wants!”.

Lord-Ganesha-Eating-Sweets

When Ganesha started eating, he ate and ate and ate till he ate up all the food. He then ate the furniture and Kubera’s palace and was still hungry. Kubera realized his foolishness and ran to Shiva and begged for his forgiveness. Kubera promised never to be so haughty and arrogant again. Pleased with Kubera’s realization, Shiva gave him a fistful of rice and asked him to give it to Ganesha. When Kubera gavve Ganesha the fistful of rice with love and humility Ganesha was satisfied and returned all his wealth to Kubera.

Ask your child: Are people important or things/toys?

If your child says “Toys”, ask him /her “Who gives you the toys?”

Your child will invariably say people. Then ask again -“So are people important or toys?”

Ask your child: Is showing off good?

Do your friends show off?

Do you like it when they show off?

You show off too sometimes.

Will Umachi / Bhagwan (God) like it if you show off?

Do you want to make the same mistake Kubera made?

What will happen if you show off?

Always share with your friends and be kind, or like Kubera you will lose friends and all your good things/toys.

Tell them: If you do good, you get good. If you do bad, you get bad. This is the rule of the universe and it is called Karma! Ask your child to repeat after you.

Image Credits: www.enjoyfestivals.com

Parents Are Our First Gods

Parents Are Our First Gods:

By Jayaram Rajaram

Narrate the following story to your child:

Lord Shiva and his beloved wife Parvati were sitting in their celestial home Mt. Kailash with their children Ganesha (The elephant God) and Murugan (Karthikeya). Lord Shiva decided to test his children and told them that the person who goes around the universe 3 times and comes back first will be the winner of the day’s competition.

Murugan immediately whizzed away on his peackock (Murugan’s personal vahana) , while Ganesha sat happily eating laddoos and modhakas (Kozhakattais or white dumplings with sweet coconut filling). When Shiva asked Ganesha, why he hadn’t started on his meek vahana the mouse (Rat)? Ganesha slowly finished eating his favourite goodies and walked three times around Shiva and Parvati.

Ganesha going around parents

After walking around his parents, Ganesha bows down, prostrates and tells Shiva and Parvati that his parents are his universe. Shiva is mighty pleased with Ganesha’s intelligence, wit and knowledge and hugs him. Murugan comes back to find Ganesha happily sitting there. He wonders allowed how Ganesha’s mouse could have gone around the Universe faster than his peacock? Shiva explains to Murugan what Ganesha had done and declares him the winner and as an award, grants a boon to Ganesha that he will be the remover of all obstacles for anyone who prays to him. Hence people in India pray to Ganesha first for success of any task and even before any Puja.

Now tell your children that your parents are your universe and mean the world to you because without them you (the parent) will not be here. The very reason for our existence is our parents.

Ask them how would they feel if they were alone in this world without Amma (Mom) and Appa (Dad)? Tell them many children live in orphanages without their parents and that we can visit them and play with them sometime. Take your child to these orphanages once in a while to make them feel grateful for what they have.

Merely telling our kids this is not enough and as parents we must live this truth by caring for both (yours and your spouse’s) our elderly parents (if they are still around) daily. Your kids learn more by watching you rather than listening to you.

Tell them that in India there is a lofty saying: ‘Mata, Pita, Guru, Deivam, indicating the importance of ones parents, teacher and God’.

Note:

While you should not ask your children to respect you, you can tell them that you set the rules and are often strict with them so they grow up to be good human beings. Parent by example and communicate regularly by referring to the Ganesha story above.

We must do our parenting duty and serve our own parents well without expecting our kids to take care of us in our old age. Parenting and life is all about giving and duty for the sake of duty. What we get is merely a byproduct of what we give and this is the Nishkama Karma philosophy in the Bhagavad Gita.

As per Indian parenting styles and even Chanakya’s advise we must love our children and spend as much time with our child from 0-5 years, be strict and teach them right from wrong between 5 years and 16 years and then be their friend after that. There is a lot of wisdom in age old Indian traditions and philosophy that we must take advantage of.

Image Credits: tonmoygoswami.com