Bhagavad Gita - International Gita Society
Bhagavad Gita - International Gita Society
 
Bhagavad Gita For Children


 Bhagavad Gita for Children - Chapter 9

Bhagavad Gita for Children
 
Bhagavad Gita For Children - Chapter 9

SUPREME KNOWLEDGE AND THE BIG MYSTERY

Jai: If God comes sometimes on earth, is He the same as we are, or is He different from us?

Grandma: This is a very good question, Jai. It has been answered both ways. For example, look at my chain and my ring and this gold coin. They are all made of gold, so you can see them as gold. And you can see everything else made of gold as gold. They are different forms of gold. But you can also think of them as separate things --- a chain, a ring, or a coin. The chain, the ring, and the coin are nothing but different shapes and forms of gold. In the same way, we can look at the Lord and His creation as nothing but an expansion of the Lord Himself. This viewpoint is known as non-dualistic (or Advaita) philosophy.

The other viewpoint sees God as one reality and creation as a different reality but dependent on God. This dualistic (or Dvaita) philosophy considers objects made of gold (such as a chain and a ring and a coin) different from gold. (Gita 9.04-06)

Jai: Is that what people mean when they say God is everywhere and in everything?

Grandma: Yes, Jai, God is the Sun, the Moon, and the wind; fire, trees, earth, and stones, in the same way as everything made of gold is gold. That’s why Hindus see and worship God in the stone and the tree as if these are God Himself in that form.

Jai: If everything comes from the Lord, then will everything become the Lord again, as everything made of gold can be melted into just gold again?

Grandma: Yes, Jai, the cycle of creation and destruction keeps on going. It’s like turning my chain and ring and coin into gold again and then using the gold to make new jewelry and coins. (Gita 9.07-08) The entire creation appears and disappears again and again.

Jai: If Lord is us, and we all come from the Lord, then why doesn’t everyone love and worship Lord?

Grandma: Those who understand this truth worship God. They know the Lord is our Lord, and we are from Him, for Him, and we depend on Him, so they love and worship Him. But the ignorant do not understand or believe in universal God.

Jai: If I pray to God everyday and love Him and offer Him flowers or fruit, will He be pleased and help me in my studies?

Grandma: Lord Krishna said in the Gita that He takes care of all the needs of His devotees who worship Him with strong faith and loving devotion. (Gita 9.22)

Jai: Does that mean that God loves only those who pray and worship Him?

Grandma: God loves all of us the same, but if we remember Him and pray to Him, we come closer to God. So we all should think of God, worship Him, meditate, and bow down to Him with faith, love, and devotion.

Jai: I would like to be close to the Lord Krishna, Grandma. How can I have more faith in Him and love Him more?

Grandma: Just think of all the nice things God does for us. He gives us so many different foods we enjoy. He gave us the Sun for heat and light. Look at the beautiful sky with the Moon, the stars and clouds in the night. This is all His beautiful creation, so think how beautiful the creator Himself must be! Worshiping God is saying thank you for His kindness. Praying is asking for what we need from God. Meditating is connecting with the Supreme power to get help and guidance.

Jai: If there is only one God who gives us everything, why do you have so many deities in your prayer (Pooja) room, Grandma? Why don’t you just worship the one Lord Krishna?

Grandma: Lord Krishna said: “Those who worship other deities, also worship Me through those deities.” (Gita 9.23) We can worship any deity we feel close to. That favorite deity is called IshtaDeva, our own personal god (or the guardian angel) who becomes our personal guide and protector.

Jai: Why do we offer fruits and flowers to God?

Grandma: Lord Krishna said in the Gita that anyone who offers Him a leaf, a flower, a fruit, water, or anything with love and devotion, He not only accepts it, but eats the offerings! (Gita 9.26) That’s why we always offer our food to God with a prayer before we eat it. Food offered to God is called Prasada or Prasadam. Anybody can reach God who worships Him with faith, love and devotion. This path of devotion is open to all of us.

Here is a story about the power of faith.

10. A Boy Who Fed God

A noble man used to worship his family’s deity everyday with food offerings. One day he had to go out of his village for the day. He said to his son, Raman: Give the offering to the deity today. See that God is fed.

The boy offered food to the deity in the shrine, but the image would neither eat nor drink nor talk. Raman waited a long time, but still the image did not move. But he totally believed that God would come down from His throne in heaven, sit on the floor and eat.

Again and again he prayed to the deity, saying: “O Lord, please come down and eat the food. It is already very late. Father will get angry if I did not feed you.” The deity did not say a word.

The boy wept and cried: “O Lord, my father asked me to feed you. Why won’t you come down? Why won’t you eat from my hands?”

The boy wept for some time with a longing soul. At last the deity came down smilingly from the altar in human form and sat before the meal and ate it.

After feeding the deity, the boy came out of the prayer room. His relatives said: “The worship is over. Now bring the Prasadam for us.”

T he boy said: “God has eaten everything, He did not leave anything for you today.”

They entered the prayer room and were speechless with wonder to see that the deity had really eaten every bit of the offering.

The moral of the story is that God does eat if you offer food with full faith, love, and devotion. Most of us don’t have the faith Raman had. We don’t know how to feed Him! It is said that we must have faith in God like a child or we shall not enter the supreme abode, the house of God.

Jai: Grandma, what if a person is a sinful thief or robber. Can that person also love God?

Grandma: Yes, Jai. Lord Krishna has said in the Gita: If even the most sinful person decides to worship Me with loving devotion, such a person soon becomes a saint because he or she has made the right decision. (Gita 9.31)

Here is a story about such a robber.

11. The Great Highway Robber Sage

We have two very popular epics or historical tales. The first one is the Holy Ramayana. The other one is Mahabharata. The Bhagavad-Gita is a part of the Mahabharata. It was written about 3,100 years B.C.E. Originally, the Holy Ramayana may have been written about 1.75 million years ago, according to latest findings of NASA. The original writer of Ramayana was a sage named Valmiki. After Valmiki, many other saints have written Ramayana, the story of Lord Rama that all children should read. The legend is that Valmiki was given the power by sage Narada to write the entire episode before the event actually happened.

In the early part of his life, Valmiki was a great highway robber. He made a living by robbing travelers. One day, the great celestial saint Narada was passing by when Valmiki attacked him and tried to rob him. Narada asked Valmiki why he was doing that. Valmiki said that this is how he supported his family.

The sage told Valmiki: “When you rob a person, you commit sin. Do your family members want to share that sin also?”

The robber replied: “Why not? I am sure they do.”

The sage said: “All right, go home and ask everyone if they will share your sins along with the money you are bringing home.”

The robber agreed. He tied the sage against a tree and went home and asked each member of his family, saying: “I bring you money and plenty of food by robbing people. A sage told me that it is sinful to rob people. Will you share my sins?”

No one in his family was willing to share his sin. They all said: “It is your duty to support us. We can’t share your sin.”

Valmiki realized his mistakes and asked the sage what to do to atone for his sins. The sage gave Valmiki the most powerful and the simplest “Rama” mantra to chant and taught him how to worship and meditate. The highway robber gave up his sinful activity and soon became a great sage and writer by the grace of guru Narada, the power of mantra, and his sincere spiritual practice.

Here is another story, Jai, that you should always remember. It illustrates the verses of the Gita that say Lord Krishna takes care of all of us. (Gita 9.17-18)

12. The Footprints

One night, a man had a dream. He dreamed he was walking along the beach with the Lord. Across the sky he saw scenes from his life. For each scene, he noticed two sets of footprints in the sand; one belonging to him, and the other to the Lord.

When the last scene of his life came before him, he looked back at the footprints in the sand. He noticed that many times along the path of his life there was only one set of footprints. He also noticed that it happened at the very lowest and saddest times in his life.

This really bothered him, and he questioned the Lord about it.

“Lord, You said that there is no one hateful or dear to You, but You are always with those who worship You with love and devotion. (Gita 9.29) I have noticed that during the most troublesome times in my life, there is only one set of footprints. I don’t understand why, when I needed You most, You left me alone.”

The Lord replied, “My dear child, you are my own soul. I love you, and I would never leave you, even if you leave Me sometimes. During your time of trial and suffering, when you see only one set of footprints, that was because then I carried you. When you have trouble, it is caused by your own Karma. That is when you are tested and can grow stronger.”

The Lord Krishna said in the Gita: “I personally take care of the needs of devotees who always remember and love Me.” (Gita 9.22)

Chapter 9 summary: The dualistic philosophy sees God as one reality and creation as a different reality dependent on Him. Non-dual philosophy sees God and His creation as One. God loves all of us the same, but He takes personal interest in His devotees because such a person is closer to Him. It is like one gets more heat if one sits close to the fire. There is no unforgivable sin or sinner. The fire of sincere repentance burns all sins.

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