Some of the happiest moments of a child's life are those spent listening to stories that grandparents tell them. Reading tales from the Ramayana and Mahabharata can give children important lessons on dealing with their day-to-day lives. These stories help children appreciate values like bravery, truthfulness, honesty, goodness, devotion and justice.
But today, a lot has changed. Grandparents are often distant - both geographically and emotionally. There is a lot of information available but sometime not enough guidance in terms of the choosing and assessing.
In such a fast-paced world, with too much information and not enough insight, delivering the vision of the Gita, without coming across as preachy, can be a daunting task. When we decided to recreate the teachings of the Bhagavad Gita, we knew that we had to present these stories-the most influential stories ever told-in an interesting format. These stories have been repeated in inexhaustible variations and interpretations across generations, as timeless tales, lectures and anecdotes and even in movies, television shows and interactive games.
Addressing these challenges, we decided to create an engaging account of the fascinating messages this scripture delivers to people of all ages. The stories will help children comprehend the attitude of the people they meet in their everyday life, their own response to them and to life in general.
The Bhagavad Gita is a small book. Just 700 two-line verses divided into eighteen chapters. A sacred Hindu scripture, and amongst the most important texts in the history of Indian literature and philosophy, the Gita finds a place in the Bhishma Parva' of the epic Mahabharata. The Gita is a conversation between Arjuna, a supernaturally gifted warrior about to go into battle, and Lord Krishna, his charioteer in the Kurukshetra War. It is the collective wisdom of life and the ultimate truth delivered by Lord Krishna to Arjuna (a symbolic representation of the moral, ethical and spiritual struggles of human life) in what appears to be eons but was, in fact, a moment in time. Responding to Arjuna's confusion and moral dilemma about fighting his own cousins, Lord Krishna delivers the `Gita Gyan' and outlines the duties and responsibilities of a warrior as well as the essence of Vedanta.
It is believed that the Gita was first compiled by Sage Ved Vyasa and written by the Lord of Wisdom, Ganesha. But it was Adi Sankara-the philosopher and theologian from the eighth century AD-who revealed the greatness of the Gita to the world. Revisiting the Gita after reading through the mighty tomes of this scripture, his comprehensive commentary is relevant even today and is respected for its incomparable value.
The Gita was first translated into English by Charles Wilkins in 1785 and published by the British East India Company. The introduction to this version was written by Lord William Hastings, the first British Governor General of India. He prophetically wrote, `...Writers of the Indian philosophies will survive when the British Dominion in India shall long have ceased to exist and when the sources which it yielded of wealth and power are lost to remembrance ... I hesitate not to pronounce the Bhagavad Gita's performance of great originality, of sublimity, of conception, reasoning, and diction that are almost unequalled and is a single exception among all the known religions of mankind.'
It wouldn't be wrong to call the Gita a practical and comprehensive manual on how to live. It has a message of solace, salvation, freedom, peace and perfection, and helps one discover the beauty of intelligent living.
**Contents and Sample Pages**
Children’s Books (1707)
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