Book Review : The Gita For Children
Bhagavad Gita for Children
The Bhagavad Gita is one of the oldest, sacred books in the world.
It is fatty, full of shlokas in Sanskrit. So is it only for old people to read? It is too complicated for children, so how can such an old book be useful to us?
Wait- Stop right there!
Here is the version of The Bhagavad Gita for children, delightfully written by Roopa Pai and absolutely meant for the younger audience.
What do we know?
The Gita is a conversation between Lord Krishna and Arjuna right before the great war of Mahabharata. Arjuna realises that he might be doing wrong by going to war with his family and friends and is confused. So Krishna wants to help Arjuna be sensible and put his mind at peace. That is what makes the Gita.
What interest does a child have in such a boring and long conversation?
The Gita has learnings and insights for all age groups. It is the author who makes this conversation modern and relevant for today’s younger lot by simplifying the text and making comparisons through anecdotes, trivia, modern music etc. In one chapter she gives an example which has J.K Rowling’s Harry potter in it! She even compares Krishna to Batman, a silent guardian; a watchful protector of humanity; a dark knight.
Of course, just having faith isn’t enough. You should also be prepared to back the faith with tons of hard work. You need to be able to make all the sacrifices it takes, and yes, you need to be able to do your work with no expectation of reward’.
In one chapter where Krishna talks to Arjuna about all actions bearing consequences and it is the intent that is good or evil, not the action- the author gives the example of a soldier who fights war and it is his duty to kill the soldier of the other side- this action is not driven by anger or greed or desire. The action is not bad, as it brings inner peace to the person.
The lessons Krishna gives in the Gita are relevant for children. Retold in a conversational manner, author Roopa Pai succeeds in making the shlokas of Gita understandable. She also mentions all the shlokas in their original form and asks the reader to read them loudly and enjoy how they sound.
So, what does God want?
If one offers me a leaf, a flower, a fruit or a little water with devotion and a heart that is pure, I will accept that gift of love.
God belongs to everyone, not only to the privileged. All God needs is love.
You don’t need to worship God to be dear to Him. Just following the ‘good person’ rule is enough.
Here the author simply gives an example of believing in God as someone who is guarding us just as we believe in our parents, friends or Santa Claus. The basic thing is to find contentment in oneself. And as an exercise the author wants the readers to make a list of all things that would destroy your peace of mind and contentment.
The Gita for children is an interesting read and quite different from other fiction and children’s books. It deepens the value system, makes readers understand the true meaning of our existence and brings back the thought process in the young generation.