By Vaibhav Datar
Ganesh Chaturthi: Lord Ganesha is believed to be the sovereign of knowledge, with the whole universal intelligence inherent within him. He embodies pure consciousness that is infused within all elements, personifying phenomenal qualities and encapsulated in a majestic form.
If you pay close attention to Ganesha’s tales scripted in Hindu mythology, he is a patron of education, intelligence, learning, art, scribes and wisdom. Thus, he can be a remarkable guru to our children because his tales no doubt possess a great power to impart extraordinary life lessons.
Ganesh Chaturthi is a great opportunity to teach your child some of the greatest life lessons from lord Ganesha. Before we begin with the brief lesson let us first tell your child what each part of elephant headed Ganesha symbolises, so that children can relate to the deity.
· Big head: Think big
· Large ears: Listen more
· Small eyes: Concentrate
· Small mouth: Talk less
· One tusk: Retain good and discard the bad
· Trunk: High efficiency and strong adaptability
Here are some life lessons for kids:
Never give up
A very important life lesson can be learned by Ganesha’s broken tusk. Narrate the interesting story of how Ganesha wrote the scripture Mahabharata, which contains 1.8 million words and hundreds of stories and sub-stories. When Vyasa approached Ganesha to pen the scripture, he happily agreed but on the condition that he would be writing without pause. Vyasa wondered if he could match the elephant god’s speed, so requested that he not write anything unless he understood its meaning. Ganesha agreed, but wrote so fast that the pen broke. As per the agreement, he could not pause and not ask Vyasa to either, so he broke off his left tusk and started to write with it.
Lesson learnt: Don’t break your commitment and don’t give up no matter what.
Your parents are your world
You can narrate the famous story of Ganesha, which goes that when Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati challenged their sons Ganesha and Karthik to race around the world three times. The winner would be rewarded with a miracle fruit, which would grant them supreme knowledge and immortality. Karthik, eager to win, started off at once, Ganesha knew he wouldn’t be able to compete with Karthik’s agility due to his stout body and much slower vehicle – Mushakraj” (The Rat) – compared to the peacock his brother was riding. Ganesha put on his thinking cap, looked at his parents and thought: “For me, my parents are my world.” Thus, Ganesha circumnavigated around Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. Needless to say, Karthik lost the race, beaten wisely!
Lesson learnt: While this story teaches children to respect their parents and elders, it also encourages them to be creative and think out of the box during a difficult task. It also proves that a physical weakness should not be an obstacle in life and one can always rely on wisdom and intelligence to win against any trying circumstances.
Knowledge is success
Knowledge is like holding on to a straw while drowning in an ocean. Ganesha stands for knowledge, which means power. As parents, we can help children connect with new information and encourage activities to keep them engaged, introduce new vocabulary, practice reading and crossword puzzles, etc.
(The writer is a midlife coach author of Simplify Your Life.)