Pursue hobbies that inculcate virtues !

Every child today has different hobbies. The hobbies include maintaining a herbarium, philately, numismatics, carpentry, music, art, writing stories, embroidery, reading, bird-watching etc. Such hobbies are nurtured for entertainment and fun. Instead, if hobbies that help in personality development and inculcating values are pursued, they will be more beneficial. This is illustrated below –

1. Hobbies which will nurture virtues are backed by God’s blessings; these virtues will help make our life blissful.

2. Nurturing such hobbies will prevent children from wasting their spare time, indulging in useless talk or treading a wrong path etc.

3. Spiritual hobbies always encourage children to learn something new. These help develop or increase self-sufficiency, and thus make them blissful.

1. Some hobbies that help inculcate values

1 A. Planting trees and offering their flowers to Deities : Instead of buying flowers for daily worship, plant tulsi, jasmine, rose plants etc. near the house. Children will derive pleasure in watering the plants, nurturing them and offering their flowers to Deities. Such activities will also inculcate values of 'caring', 'sharing' and 'being in learning mode'.

1 B. Hobbies to inculcate patriotism and love for Dharma : The activities that are listed ahead will help the children inculcate patriotism and also love for Dharma. Dear Children ! Perform these activities in your spare time or during holidays !

1 B 1. Collecting Deities' pictures and those of national heroes : Collect pictures of Deities, Saints and great Hindu kings and make placards or stick them in a note-book. You may ask for help from elders to display these images the walls of your house, school and classroom so that they constantly serve as good ideals.

1 B 2. Collect information on Nation and Dharma : Collect articles on importance of Religious festivals and Holy festivals, education on Dharma, guidance by different Saints, speeches of famous revolutionaries, categorise and paste them in a scrapbook. For example

Glorious tradition of Saints – Saint Dnyaneshwar, Saibaba, Sant Kabir, Purandardasa

Valorous Hindu Rulers – Queen of Jhansi – Rani Lakshmibai, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, Maharana Pratap, Krishnadevaraya

1 C. Art

1 C 1. Drawing

Children should sketch images of ideals : Draw or paint pictures of national heroes, revolutionaries, freedom fighters and Saints. For painting the pictures, the following link is available – Colour these pictures. These pictures can be saved on a computer and can be painted on.

1 C 2. Rangolis : Sweeping and washing the front courtyard and decorating it with a rangoli in the morning has been a practice in Hindu culture since times immemorial. Children should learn to draw sattvik rangolis that will attract Deities! Also by avoiding drawing fashionable rangolis (spiderman, pokemon, popular movie star or politician) the children learn to abide by Dharma.

1 C 3. Preparing sattvik greetings cards : Prepare greeting cards that have pleasant meaningful images (instead of cartoons); write an educative spiritual message on it. You may then gift such cards to your teachers, relatives and friends on their birthdays or to greet them on account of some festival.

Parents, encourage your children to pursue useful hobbies!

Parents should also encourage their children in nurturing hobbies that will help the development of their personality, while inculcating virtues of patriotism, caring, sharing etc.​