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Thread: Sanatana Dharma for Kids: One God, many gods

  1. #1
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    Sanatana Dharma for Kids: One God, many gods

    The family was at the dining table. Mummy, and the twins Arvind and Padma, were happy that daddy was back home early for dinner. When everybody was seated, mummy served the first course of dinner--roti, dal and onion raita--and took a seat near Arvind. Padma sat near her daddy, who seemed very relaxed that evening.

    "Daddy", began the kids together, "can we ask you something?"

    "Shoot it", said daddy.

    "We're really confused, daddy", began Padma. "Our class teacher said today that we Hindus have really only one God named Brahman and not many Gods as we think."

    "Before the teacher could explain it", Arvind added, "the bell rang and the class was over."

    "Daddy", said Padma, "is it true that we have only one God?"

    "No, we have several in the Puja room!", pleaded Arvind. Counting on his fingers, he continued, "Ganesha, Shiva, Vishnu, Muruga, Rama, Krishna, Durga, Lakshmi, Sarasvati and many more!"

    "And Ganesha is our favourite God!", said Padma.

    "I don't know who is Brahman." said Arvind. "I have not seen him. How does he look like, dad?"

    "I am not giving up Ganesha for Brahman", said Padma sternly.

    "Or any other God for that matter", said Arvind.

    "Don't worry, I will explain to you." said daddy. "What did your mummy say to your question?"

    "Well I said, just like we are a family of four people, the one God is a family of many gods."

    "We will put it this way. Padma, who are you?"

    "I am a girl, daddy."

    "Who are you to me?"

    "I am your daughter."

    "So, Padma has two forms, a girl and a daughter. She is a girl basically, but to me and mummy, she is a daughter."

    "Same way, I am a boy and a son", observed Arvind.

    "You understand? Now, Padma, do you have any more forms?"

    Padma was quick to grasp the idea. Nodding her head, she said, "Yes daddy, many more! I am a sister to Arvind, a student in the class, a friend of Valarmathi, a granddaughter to my four grandparents..."

    "Are you the same or different in each form?"

    "The same, of course!"

    "No she is different", corrected Arvind. "She goes to school smartly dressed, she is often naughty to me, a helping daughter at home and, always the pet granddaughter!"

    "You both are right. Padma looks different in each form or role, but she is the same girl in all of them. In the same way Arvind, you are what Padma is in each of your roles, but only your form is different."

    "I understand that dad," said Arvind. "But Padma and I are different, aren't we? She is a girl and I am a boy."

    "Yes and no. You are a boy and she is a girl alright, but both of you, and me and mummy too, are humans. Therefore, all of us are human forms."

    "But dad", said Arvinid, "Is God a human too? Because every God we have is in the human form."

    "Except our Ganesha", said Padma. "He is special. He is a human with an animal head."

    "Yes, God takes a human form when He wants to take a form. Because a human is the best of all the forms that God has made in this world."

    "But aren't these forms different, dad?" said Arvind, "just as you and mummy and Padma and I are different?"

    "Yes Arvind. The God forms are different, but the God in them is the same One God, whom we call Brahman."

    "But daddy", asked Padma, "why do we worship God in many human forms when He is Brahman, the only one?"

    "This world of ours is a colorful world. We have different types of humans here. Some want wealth, some want health, some knowledge, and some, nothing except what God would give them. Since God creates, gives and controls everything in this world, He appears as Lakshmi to those who want wealth, as Ganesha to those who want health, as Sarasvati to those who want knowledge, and so on; generally, as any personal God according to human nature."

    "We have many Gods in our Puja room", said Arvind. "Does this mean that we want everything dad?"

    Daddy laughed. "You are right in a way. For you and Padma, Ganesha is your favourite God. In the same way, everyone has a personal God, an Ishta Devata. But since we all love everyone of our God forms, we worship them in many forms."

    "If Lakshmi gives wealth and Sarasvati knowledge, what do Shiva and Vishnu give daddy?" said Padma.

    "That will be a long discussion. We can have it some other day. For now, you understand two things: firstly, God is only one, called Brahman, but is worshipped by us Hindus in many forms. And secondly, though we worship God in many forms, we know that God is only one."

    "Yes, we now understand Daddy", said the children in chorus. Arvind continued, "Dad, if God appears in human form, then we are God, too?"

    "Yes we are, basically, but most of us don't realize it. That is why we think of ourselves as separate human beings."

    "If God is human, then daddy is my favourite human God!", said Padma.

    "And mummy is my favourite human God!", said Arvind.

    "Don't forget your teacher and the guest", said mummy, who was listening to the whole chat with interest.

    "Yes mom", said the children together. "We now understand what you often tell us. Matru Devo Bhava; Pitru Devo Bhava; Acharya Devo Bhava; Athithi Devo Bhava.".

  2. #2
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    Re: Sanatana Dharma for Kids: One God, many gods

    Quote Originally Posted by saidevo
    --------
    "We're really confused, daddy", began Padma. "Our class teacher said today that we Hindus have really only one God named Brahman and not many Gods as we think."

    -----, God is only one, called Brahman, but is worshipped by us Hindus in many forms. And secondly, though we worship God in many forms, we know that God is only one."

    -------
    "If God is human, then daddy is my favourite human God!", said Padma.

    "And mummy is my favourite human God!", said Arvind.

    "Don't forget your teacher and the guest", said mummy, who was listening to the whole chat with interest.

    "Yes mom", said the children together. "We now understand what you often tell us. Matru Devo Bhava; Pitru Devo Bhava; Acharya Devo Bhava; Athithi Devo Bhava.".


    Felt very good reading it.

  3. #3
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    Re: Sanatana Dharma for Kids: One God, many gods

    namaste.

    I am posting my compilations about SanAtana Dharma for kids here:
    http://www.indusladies.com/forums/mi...-for-kids.html

    Members might fight it helpful in their task of dispensing knowledge to kids. Feedback is welcome.
    रत्नाकरधौतपदां हिमालयकिरीटिनीम् ।
    ब्रह्मराजर्षिररत्नाढ्यां वन्दे भारतमातरम् ॥

    To her whose feet are washed by the ocean, who wears the Himalayas as her crown, and is adorned with the gems of rishis and kings, to Mother India, do I bow down in respect.

    --viShNu purANam

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    Re: Sanatana Dharma for Kids: One God, many gods

    namaste,
    Thank you for this thread. Many blessings to you.
    Most humbly,
    Rich

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    Re: Sanatana Dharma for Kids: One God, many gods

    namaste everyone.

    I am planning to evolve the contents of this thread, possibly with some other contents I have been posting here and in other forums, into a HTML-driven Website that I shall share progressively, for everyone's benefit.

    To start with, here is a sample: I have made the shlokas section interactive, added some more shlokas and uploaded a zip file of the entire contents here:
    http://www.esnips.com/doc/284c55e3-1...sgHtml20110810

    Installation guidelines:
    1. Download and unzip the contents to C:\ which will create the folder C:\sgHtml and its subfolders.
    2. Use the 'Sanskrit 2003' font in the C:\sgHtml\fonts folder.
    3. Keep JavaScript option turned on in your browser.
    4. Click the file 00indexbAla.html in the C:\sgHtml folder to launch the current homepage and then navigage via the links.

    I shall be periodically updating this local Website via the zip file tagged with the date of updation. Your feedback on the use of the website in your localhost is welcome. You might share the file with your kith and kin subject to the condition of indicating me as the source.
    रत्नाकरधौतपदां हिमालयकिरीटिनीम् ।
    ब्रह्मराजर्षिररत्नाढ्यां वन्दे भारतमातरम् ॥

    To her whose feet are washed by the ocean, who wears the Himalayas as her crown, and is adorned with the gems of rishis and kings, to Mother India, do I bow down in respect.

    --viShNu purANam

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    Re: Sanatana Dharma for Kids: One God, many gods

    Vannakkam Saidevo: Here is the link to Himalayan Academy's current curricula for children. An addition for your library.

    http://www.himalayanacademy.com/resources/children/

    Through reading other's accounts, and watching, the methods of instruction between India and the West are quite different. As a former teacher here, I'm not sure if I could ever adjust my teaching strategy and methods to those differences. in that sense, I think the more variety the better.

    Aum Namasivaya

  7. #7
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    Re: Sanatana Dharma for Kids: One God, many gods

    namaste EM.

    Thank you. Yes, I am aware of their resources and have been browing them off and on, and their large collection of Hindu pictures. As for my compilation for kids, I used to distribute them in the form of a magazine in the past but found it tedious, so I have resorted to this method, in response to the desire of some members in some forums to use them. As you say, the traditional Indian and Western teaching methods are different, but variety for the best is always preferable.
    रत्नाकरधौतपदां हिमालयकिरीटिनीम् ।
    ब्रह्मराजर्षिररत्नाढ्यां वन्दे भारतमातरम् ॥

    To her whose feet are washed by the ocean, who wears the Himalayas as her crown, and is adorned with the gems of rishis and kings, to Mother India, do I bow down in respect.

    --viShNu purANam

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