Read Purans and biographies of Saints instead of Harry Potter story books !

         Children, stories of harry potter are imaginary, not real. Will these imaginary story plots ever become a reality ?  By getting deeply involved in reading such imaginary stories, do not forget the priceless literature available in our culture. We have so many good books like ‘Faster fene, ‘Panchtantra’, etc.  Not only this, but also we have real life heroes, that is, the revolutionaries, the national heroes and Sages. The whole life of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj is nothing but an adventurous experience. Read how Shivaji Maharaj made the Moghuls run for their life at a tender age of sixteen years. Study about the life of Saint Dnyaneshwar Maharaj, who at very young age wrote the holy book ‘Dnyaneshwari’.  Is not the story of Deity Maruti, who flew in the sky for devotion and service, more impressionable than the story of Harry Potter ?

         Parents might say, “Why should religion be a part of children’s stories? Literature does not have the barrier of country and religion.” However, remember that even stories help in shaping our sanskars (subconscious impressions). Western stories will have western customs, western ideals. So by reading such stories, we too will have Western ideals; infact, they become our ideals! Nowadays even the parents and the school teachers feel that the mystery stories of Harry Potter are delightful. However, the stories of our ‘Bal Krushna’ are not only delightful, but also courageous, mysterious, adventurous and they impart good sanskars to children. Above all, these are real stories and not fiction. This problem is not confined only  to a single story or children’s stories. Actually it is a huge one, and encompasses language, culture and religion. We have become so westernised that it has become an obligation for us to use English words, wear western clothes and eat western food. If this continues, then a few years down the line, even their worst habits will become a routine for us.

Read moral stories from Pancha tantra instead of watching cartoons

         Nowadays children watch meaningless cartoon serials like ‘Tom & Jerry’, made only for entertainment purpose for hours together. The cartoon characters of these serials are shown only to be fighting with each other; they do not have any moral content in them. Instead of this, if the children read stories from Pancha tantra, they will learn the ethics, have the practical knowledge and the common sense required in day-to-day life. Even some Sanskrut proverbs are taught in Pancha tantra stories. Many Western authors have been inspired from Pancha tantra stories and have written stories like ‘Aesop’s fables’.

Reading Purans, instead of comics will help in the all-round development of children !

Children are always on the lookout for comics wherever they go. However, these comics result in the mental, intellectual and moral deterioration of children. The mind, intellect and personality of the children become handicapped, lonely, insensitive and unpleasant on reading these comics. Children begin to feel that if they come across any problem in life, super heroes like Phantom and Superman will solve those problems instantly, within a blink of an eye. Due to this, they start to drift away from reality. Children begin to consider these superheroes with unimaginable courage as ideals. They are not ready to accept that these superheroes do not exist in reality. Other than this, the language used in these comics is vulgar, sloppy and many a times, grammatically incorrect. Comics contain more of pictures and less of written material. Pictures make children imagine different things. They do not have the ability of independent imagination and contemplation. Their grasping ability through the medium of vision starts becoming weak.

Why don’t we make our children read stories from the Purans? This will not only increase their knowledge, but will also help in their physical, mental and intellectual development. Children will develop qualities such as courage and valour. It will increase their eagerness and curiosity. Their mind will become huge like a sea.

– Gurudev Dr. Kateswamiji (Ghanagarjit, June 2009).

Read biographies of Saints and become ideal citizens of Bharat

         Bharat (India) is a land of Saints. It has seen many great Saints like Saint Dnyaneshwar, Saint Janabai, Saint Chokhamela, Saint Eknath, Saint Namdev, Saint Tukaram, Samarth Ramdas Swami, Ramkrushna Paramhansa, Swami Vivekanand, Tukdoji Maharaj, etc. In the following write up, we will see the benefits of reading the biographies of these saints.

Benefits of reading biographies of Saints

A. Choosing the correct ideals : Currently our society does not have any ideals or role models to whom we can look up to. Because of this, our society has become directionless. A few people consider authors, singers, music composers, etc. as their ideals, whereas some others consider business tycoons and people from the educational field as their idols. Above all, young children consider film stars and sportsmen as their ideals and try to imitate them. However, in reality, reading biographies of Saints help us choosing the correct ideals. Also, by following them, we get an idea about how to live an ideal life.

B. Choosing the path in our life:  From time to time, Saints have guided the society to the right path. By reading those examples, we too get inspired to choose and follow the path in our lives. For example, Saint Dnyaneshwar showed to the people that even animals have God within them and thus taught us to love every creature. Saint Tukaram, a great devotee of Lord Vitthal, taught people that we should remember God in all our joys as well as sorrows.

C. Read books written by Saints : Children, along with biographies of Saints, we should also read books written by them.
Dear children, read about the conduct and works of our Saints, their Spiritual practice and also how they served their Guru. Learn to follow them and behave like them and you will surely become ideal citizens of Bharat. Studying the biographies and thoughts of Saints helps us understand the importance of worshipping the God. Worshipping God helps us increase our virtues and merits and thereby makes our life Blissful.  Also, studying the biographies of our great National leaders and revolutionaries increases our pride for our Nation and motivates us to work for our Nation.