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Storytelling is a great way for grandparents to spend time and connect with grandchildren. Short stories often imbibe morals in an interactive manner that doesn't feel like a lecture.
The next time your grandchild asks for a bedtime story, instead of racking your brains to make something up, consider taking a leaf out of the book of mythology.
Why Read Mythological Stories to Your Grandchildren?
Here are some memorable stories from Hindu mythology that inspire and carry strong moral lessons.
Sudhama and Krishna - The Value of Friendship
The story of Sudhama and Krishna shows the significance of true friendship. Sudhama is extremely poor and can barely feed his children. He visits Krishna to ask for help and takes rice cakes wrapped in a rag as a gift. On arriving at Krishna's palace, he is ashamed of his gift and tries to hide it. Krishna forces Sudhama to give him the rice cakes and they thoroughly enjoy each other’s company.
Sudhama cannot bring himself to ask for help, but before he reaches home, his wife and children are already given a new home and saved from poverty.
Ganesha - Quick Thinking Saves the Day
The sage Ved Vyas approaches Lord Ganesha to help him write the text of Mahabharata while he narrates it.
Ved Vyas has one condition though - the story should be written in one go without any pause. However, while writing, the quill with which Lord Ganesha is writing breaks. Since he wasn’t allowed to get up, Ganesha breaks one of his tusks, and uses the sharp end to write the rest of the epic story.
Abhimanyu - Till His Final Breath
“You are always in the truth; And the truth is always in you.” – Abhimanyu
Abhimanyu was the son of Arjuna and Subhadra and one of the greatest warriors in the Kurukshetra War. When he was in the womb, his father narrates the Chakravyuha war technique to his mother. Abhimanyu learns the entire technique but falls asleep right before his father explains how to counter it.
During the war, Abhimanyu wreaks havoc on the Kaurava army. Although, he gets trapped in a Chakravyuha formation, and dies fighting for his parents and family. The story of Abhimanyu's sacrifice can teach your grandchildren the importance of never giving up and always fighting for their family.
Rama - Virtuous at Heart
The Ramayana is one of the most narrated mythological stories. Rama is forced to leave his kingdom and is sent into exile with his wife, Sita and his brother, Lakshmana. As the exile ends, Ravana, the king of Lanka, kidnaps Sita. Against all odds, Rama battles against Ravana and his massive army and rescues Sita.
Time and again, Rama stands out by refusing to do what’s wrong. This epic has many small episodes that teach kids the importance of staying loyal to their values and the importance of brotherhood. Characters like Lakshmana and Hanuman also set ideal examples for children.
Durga - The Strength of Women
Mahishasura, the asura-king defeats Indra, the king of the gods, and takes his place in heaven. The gods combine all their divine energies and create the great goddess Durga as their last hope against the demon king. She takes on Mahishasura, defeats him and his entire army to save the world from the asuras.
This story plays a pivotal role in establishing the importance of equality between men and women. It demolishes all stereotypes that women are weak and cannot fight their own battles.
Arjuna - Victory Through Sheer Concentration
The young Pandavas were trained by Dronacharya, the master of all combats. Drona puts his pupils to a test when he places a toy bird on a tree and challenges them to aim their arrows at the bird’s eye. Before starting the test, he asks each of them what they could see when they looked at the target.
The Pandavas give different answers, including the bird, the leaves, the tree, and so on. Only Arjuna, without any hesitation, says he saw nothing but the eye of the bird. Drona asks Arjuna to take his shot. Without skipping a beat, Arjuna hits the toy bird’s eye.
This anecdote from the Mahabharata shows the importance of having a fixed goal and staying determined. It teaches children that there will always be distractions but only the one who can keep their mind on the target will succeed.
Hanuman - When There’s a Will, There’s a Way
In the Ramayana, Lakshmana had been gravely wounded in battle and could only be saved by a rare plant called ’Sanjeevani Booti’. Hanuman takes responsibility and flies to the Himalayas only to realize he didn't know what to look for. Thinking on his feet, Hanuman carried the whole mountain back and helped save Lakshman’s life.
Our culture is diverse and offers many interesting mythological stories through which children can understand morals that can help them navigate a complex world. Narrate these stories to your grandchildren and make their next summer vacation unforgettable.
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