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DIVINE LIFE FOR CHILDREN
by Swami Sivananda
Table of Contents
Dedication (5) Publishers’ Note (6) Prayer (8) Voice of the Himalayas (9) Guru Bhakti (10) Glory to God 21 God Is Love 21 Morning Prayer to God 22 Night Prayer to God 22 Week-days’ Worship 22 God Loves You 23 Mother Gayatri 24 Beauty Is God 24 Only One God 25 God Is the Centre 25 Sri Vasishtha Maharshi 26 Sri Vedavyasa 26 Lord Buddha 27 Sri Sankaracharya 27 Sri Vidyaranya Muni 28 Guru Nanak 29 Lord Jesus 29 Study the Lives of Saints 29 Goswami Tulasidas 30 Ajamila 30 Purandara Das 31
INDIAN HEROES AND HEROINES
Rama and Krishna 33 Sri Hanuman 33 Bhishma 34 Become Like Bhishma 34 Draupadi 34 Shine Like Sita 35 Lord Krishna and Arjuna 35 Karna 36 Sakuntala 36 Savitri and Satyavan 37 Nala and Damayanti 37 Story of Dhruva 38 Story of Prahlada 38 Sibi 39 Sabari 39 Story of Ambarisha 40 Harischandra 41 King Vikramaditya 41
EPICS AND PURANAS
The Great Mahabharata War 43 The Pandavas 43 The Kauravas 44 Study Ramayana 44 Essence of Ramayana 44 The Gita 45 Sri Krishna and Uddhava 46
HEALTH AND BRAHMACHARYA
Health Is Above Wealth 48 Brahmacharya 48 Fast for Health 49 Human Body 49 Always Be Neat and Clean 50 Best Six Doctors 50 Antidotes for Indigestion 51 Sunlight Improves Eyesight 51 Learn First-Aid 52 Cheap Little Doctors 52 Treatment for Shock 53
Time Is Most Precious 54 Be Punctual 54 Do Your Duty Well 55 Become a Hero 55 Proverbs 56 Golden Rules 57 Increase Your Earning Capacity 57 Rise Early 58 Do’s and Don’ts 58 Become a Good Boy 59 Simple Living and High Thinking 59 Adapt Yourself 59 Be Honest 60 Stick to Mottoes 61 Become a Professor 61 College Girl 62 Good Manners 62 Become a Patriot 63 Divine Insurance 63 Obey Your Elders 64 Be Clean 64 Character 65
65 Real Greatness 66 Keep Good Company 66 Do Not Imitate 67
Spiritual Guide 68 Kirtans 69 Have Faith in God 70 Power of Prayer 70 Daily Duty 71 Study Books 71 Study Gita Daily 72 Mother Ganga 72 Write Mantra 73 Service Is Worship 73 Theist and Atheist 74 Rules of Speech 74 Satsanga 75 Inner Ruler 75 Be Moderate 76 What Is World 76
A Greedy Boy 78 Never Tell a Lie 78 A Clever Monkey 79 Urmila and Uma 79 Wisdom of Buddha 80 Ant and Grasshopper 80 Autobiography of Laddu 81 The Race of Life 82 True Friendship 82 The Dog in the Manger 83 Give Up Greed 84 The Wolf and the Lamb 84 Rajamani 85 Mind Your Own Business 86 Self-reliance 86 Parent-worship 87 A Divine Herb 87
Who Is a Sadhu? 89 Ancient Rishis 89 Five Elements 90 The Himalayas 90 The Vedas 91 The World 91 India 92 The Four Yugas 93 The Biggest 93 Great Inventors 94 Riddles 94 I.C.S. in Summer 95 Man 95 The Best Things 96 Man Is Superior 96 Hindu Scriptures 97 Numbers 98 The First 98 The Sun 99 Seven Wonders of the World 99 Hinduism 100
Keep Daily Routine 102 Be Industrious 103 The Proud Crow 104 A Greedy Dog 105 Do Not Be Narrow-minded 106
The Body 107 Be a Good Child 107 Words of Wisdom 107 You Will See God 108 Gems of Knowledge 108 Do’s and Don’ts 109 Don’t 110 You Will Be a Good Child 110 God Will Love You Intensely 111 God Is Everything 112
Sparks of Wisdom 113 Siva’s A B C for Children 113
Haste Makes Waste 116 Pride Goeth Before a Fall 121 Indiscretion Has Its Tolls 125 Selfishness and Mean-mindedness Lead to Suffering 128 Temptation Involves One in Trouble 132 Return Good for Evil 137 Do Unto Others As You Wish to Be Done By 144 Kindness Brings Its Own Reward 148 Regularity and Punctuality--Two Keys to Success In All Walks of Life 156 Manners and Cleanliness Impress Everyone 159 Trust in God and Do the Right 164 A Guilty Conscience Dreads Its Own Shadow 169 Mutual Help and Co-operation Lead to Happiness 174 Out of Good Life Comes God-Life 178 An Evil Action Recoils on the Head of the Evil-doer 182 Appendix: Riddles 189
The Citizens of Tomorrow,
The Future Hope of the World
The child is the father of man. It is often the first ideas which strike the mind of a child and the nature of the impressions and thought-waves coming in contact with the tender intellect for the first time that make up and contribute to the being of the later man. It was the perfect all-round training that Shivaji received from his mother since his childhood that moulded him into a jewel among Indian heroes.
It is said that you cannot begin too early in training the individual. Also education without the true religion is a mere husk, the dead bare bones of culture. Moreover, the child-mind learns more from examples than from naked truth.
Bearing all these points in vision, Sri Swamiji felt the absolute need for such a book for little children, as would help them to grasp the truths of ethical and spiritual culture in an easy manner. Himself being a firm believer in the truth that childhood is the foundation of the larger nations of the world, Swamiji has produced an excellent marvel to the young students of lower secondary and elementary schools in particular.
This book contains lessons on practically all that a child has to understand in the beginning of his studies in life—lessons on divine truths, saints, sages, devotees, epics, Puranas, health, character, morality, general knowledge, Bhakti, Yoga, Sadhana, etc.
We are sure that this wonderful guide-light to the real regeneration of education and culture of young boys and girls would find a necessary place in the curriculum of studies in all schools.
—THE DIVINE LIFE SOCIETY
I worship the lotus feet of Ganesha, the son of Uma, the destroyer of all sorrows, who is served by the host of Devas and Bhutas and who takes the essence of Kapittha and Jambu fruits (resembling Bilva fruit).
I bow to that Sri Guru who himself, is Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesvara, and who is in reality the Supreme Para Brahman.
I bow to that Lord Vishnu whose form is Peace, who is sleeping on the bed of snake (Adisesha), who has lotus in the navel, who is God of gods, who is the support for this world, who is like ether, whose colour is like cloud, whose limbs are beautiful, who is the husband of Goddess Lakshmi, whose eyes are like lotus, who is obtained by Yogins in meditation, who destroys the fear of Samsara and who is the one Lord of all the worlds.
VOICE OF THE HIMALAYAS
1. The cause of death is birth.
2. The cause of pain is pleasure.
3. Righteousness forms the bedrock of all religions.
4. Righteousness is the divine path.
5. Bliss is for him who is righteous.
6. Desire is poverty.
7. Meditation is a positive vital dynamic process. It transforms man into Divinity.
8. Be good. Do good. Serve, love, give, purify, meditate, realise. This is the religion of Siva. This is the religion of the members of the Divine Life Society.
9. Be kind. Be compassionate. Be honest. Be sincere. Be truthful. Be bold. Be pure. Be wise. Be virtuous. Enquire: Who am I? Know thy Self and be free. This is the summary of the teachings of Siva.
10. Dedicate your entire life to the Lord. He will surely look after you in every respect and you will have no more worries.
11. Divine Life is a life of love, wisdom and light.
12. Awake, O aspirant! Do vigorous Sadhana. Burn all impurities. Attain illumination through meditation.
"Spiritual truths will stand revealed only unto him who has great devotion to God and has as great a devotion to his preceptor as he has to God," declares the Upanishad. The Reality or God that is beyond the mind and senses, reason and intellect, can hardly be understood by man by reading books or indulging in intellectual gymnastics even for a hundred lives; the Reality will even then have such significance to him as the characters of the Chinese alphabets to an illiterate African aboriginal.
On the other hand a word from the master’s lips, a touch of his divine hand, a thought from his mastermind, would be enough to enlighten the aspirant’s intellect, to bestow upon him an intuitive realisation of the Reality or God, if only the aspirant had qualified himself for a spiritual communion with the preceptor. How is he to qualify himself? Says the Lord Krishna:
"Know That by prostrating yourself before, serving, and enquiring of, the Great Sages of Self-realisation. They will enlighten you."
A shining illustration of this grand truth we have in Sri Trotaka, one of the four great disciples of Sri Sankaracharya, who was more intent upon serving the illustrious master than on studying the Scriptures; through a mere Sankalpa Sri Sankara bestowed the highest knowledge upon Trotaka who gained all knowledge of the Shastras by mere personal service of the Guru.
Therefore it is that a sincere Sadhaka firmly believes:
The Guru’s Form Itself is fit to be meditated upon; the Guru’s Feet are the object of the Sadhaka’s worship; the Guru’s words are gospel-truths; and the Guru’s Grace is the bestower of Immortality.
Chapter OneDIVINE WORSHIP
Glory to God
God created you, your brother, sister, father, mother, friend and your relatives. He created the sun, moon and the stars. He created the animals and the birds. He created the mountains, rivers and trees. He created this whole world.
He dwells in your heart. He is everywhere. He is all-pervading. He is all-knowing. He is all-powerful. He is all-merciful. He is all-loving. He is all-blissful. Your body is the moving temple of God. Keep the body pure, strong and healthy.
Pray to Him daily. He will give you everything.
God Is Love
God is Love. God is Truth. God is Peace. God is Bliss. God is Light. God is Power. God is Knowledge. Realise Him and be free.
Do Kirtan daily morning and night. Pray daily. Offer flowers to Him. Prostrate before Him. Offer sweetmeats to Him and then eat. Place light before Him. Burn camphor before Him. Do Arati. Put garland on Him.
Keep a picture of God in your room. Worship Him daily. All your desires will be fulfilled.
Morning Prayer to God
O Lord of this world! Prostrations unto Thee! Thou art my Guru, real Mother, real Friend and real Guide. Protect me. I am Thine. All is Thine. Thy Will be done.
O Adorable God! Salutations unto Thee. Give me pure intellect. Make me pure. Give me light, strength, health and long life. Make me a good Brahmachari.
O Almighty Lord! Remove all my evil qualities. Make me virtuous. Make me a patriot. Let me love my mother-country.
Night Prayer to God
O Sweet God! Forgive my sins and wrong actions. I thank You for all Your gifts. You are very kind to me. Let me remember You always.
Make me dutiful. Give me success in my examination. Make me a good, brilliant boy (Make me a good, brilliant girl). Adorations unto Thee.
Give me good memory. Let me love all. Let me serve all. Let me see You in all. Make me prosperous. Protect me, my father, mother, grandfather, grandmother, brothers and sisters. Glory unto Thee!
Worship Lord Surya on Sundays. Repeat Om Mitraya Namah, Om Suryaya Namah, Om Adityaya Namah. Lord Surya will give you good health and vigour and good eyesight.
Worship Lord Siva on Mondays. Worship Devi on Tuesdays and Fridays. Worship Guru on Thursdays. Worship Hanuman on Saturdays.
You will get plenty, peace, prosperity and success!
Lord Brahma is the creator of this world. Sarasvati, Goddess of learning, is His Sakti or energy or wife. Lord Vishnu is the preserver of this world. Goddess Lakshmi is His Sakti, energy or wife. She is the Goddess of wealth. Lord Siva is the destroyer of this world. Uma or Parvati is His Sakti, energy or wife. Lord Ganesha is His eldest son. Lord Subrahmanya is His second son!
Lord Ganesha removes all obstacles. Lord Subrahmanya gives all success and strength. Worship them with faith and devotion. You will get Bhakti, Bhukti and Mukti.
God Loves You
God loves you. He gives you many good things. He gives you food to eat and clothes to wear. He has given you ears to hear, eyes to see, a nose to smell, tongue to taste, hands to feel and work and legs to walk.
You cannot see God with your fleshy eyes but He sees you. He takes care of you. He knows all that you do.
He is very kind to you. Love Him. Praise Him. Sing His Name and glory. Pray to Him to keep you away from all sins. He will be pleased with you. He will bless you.
Gayatri is the blessed Mother of the Vedas. She is the Mother for your mother also. She is a Devi.
Repeat Gayatri daily morning, noon and evening if you wear holy thread. Do Sandhya-Vandana regularly. Offer Arghya to sun.
"Om Bhur Bhuvah Svah, Tat Savitur Varenyam, Bhargo Devasya Dheemahi, Dhiyo Yo Nah Prachodayat." "Let us meditate on Ishvara and His glory, who has created this Universe, who is fit to be worshipped, who is the remover of all sins and ignorance. May He enlighten our intellect."
May Mother Gayatri bless you with health, long life and prosperity.
Beauty Is God
O David! Look at the rose! How beautiful it is! What a fine fragrance it has! You love it. You pluck it and smell it. Can a scientist produce a rose? You can make a paper-flower which may look beautiful but it has no sweet smell.
The rose soon fades and loses its beauty and fragrance. You throw it away. It is perishable. Its beauty lasts for a few minutes.
Who has created the beautiful flower? This Creator is God. He is Beauty of beauties. He is everlasting Beauty. Attain Him. You also will possess eternal beauty. Beauty is God. Always discriminate between the real and the unreal.
Only One God
There is only one God. But names and aspects are endless. Call Him by any name and worship Him in any aspect that pleases you. You are sure to see Him and get His grace and blessings.
Brahma, Vishnu and Siva are the three Forms of the one God of the Hindus. Allah is the God of the Muslims. Jehovah is the God of the Jews. The father in Heaven is the God of the Christians. Ahura Mazda is the God of the Zoroastrians.
Purity, charity, control of the senses, penance, truthfulness, renunciation, compassion to all beings, courage, fortitude, absence of hatred and pride will help you to attain God.
God Is the Centre
God is the Aim of all religions. Every religion points out the way to attain God. God is the central topic of every religion.
Do not fight with your Christian friends. Do not fight with your Muslim friends or Parsee friends. Their religions also lead them to God just as your religion does. You can reach the same destination by travelling through any of the paths leading to it. "All roads lead to God." Bear this in mind.
SAGES AND SAINTS
Sri Vasishtha Maharshi
Vasishtha is the most powerful of Brahma’s sons. He was born from Brahma’s Prana or life itself. He was a born Brahma-Jnani. No Rishi or sage is equal to Vasishtha in spiritual energy. He is God Himself. His strength is indescribable.
Vishvamitra, another Rishi wanted to conquer Vasishtha. Vishvamitra did many thousand-years’ Tapas and got all divine weapons. Then he fought with Vasishtha. Vasishtha consumed all those weapons by mere Will. Vishvamitra could not do anything. Vishvamitra’s army and his hundred sons were destroyed by Vasishtha’s Will-power. Glory to Vasishtha’s Will-power. Glory to Vasishtha.
Vasishtha is an ideal Maharshi. Worship him daily. All his teachings are found in the Yoga-Vasishtha.
There was a great sage called Parasara. He had a powerful son called Dvaipayana through Sri Satyavati Devi. Vyasa was a famous Rishi. He wrote many books. He edited the four Vedas, Rik, Yajus, Sama and the Atharva. He compiled the Vedas. Therefore he was called Vedavyasa.
He wrote the great epic, Mahabharata. It contains the whole wisdom of the world. He wrote the eighteen Puranas. He wrote the Vedanta Sutras. He was a great Jnani.
He had a son called Suka. He was also a very powerful Rishi. He could see God everywhere.
Worship Vyasa as your Guru. He will bless you. Become a saint like Suka.
There was once a Shakya king called Shuddhodana. He had a son called Siddhartha. Siddhartha was very soft-hearted from the very beginning. He was very kind to all beings. One day he saw a corpse being carried. He came to know that he too would die one day in the same manner. Another time he saw a hawk eating a dove mercilessly. He saw many pitiable incidents like this.
Siddhartha grew restless and impatient when he saw the miseries of the world. He grew dispassionate. One night he stole from his bedroom leaving his family and the kingdom. He sat under a Bodhi-tree for austere practices. He got enlightenment and was called thereafter, the "Buddha".
He preached to the world the law of Ahimsa or non-injury. Possess the heart of Buddha. Buddha is one of the most conspicuous figures in the history of the world.
Sri Sankaracharya is the greatest philosopher of India. He is the Avatara of Lord Siva. He took Sannyasa at a very early age. He was highly intellectual. He knew the real nature of God. He gave new life to the dying Hinduism, which was under the influence of atheistic doctrines. He was the upholder of Advaita Philosophy.
He wrote commentaries on the Upanishads, the Brahmasutras and the Bhagavadgita. Before his sixteenth year he had mastered all knowledge. He defeated all Pundits and scholars in argument. He wrote the Vivekachudamani, a very inspiring Vedantic text for beginners.
Sri Sankara wrote about 108 works. He is one of the greatest sages India has ever produced. He passed away at the age of 32. He elevated the whole of India in this short period. Glory to Sankara!
Sri Vidyaranya Muni
Sri Vidyaranya Swami is otherwise known as Madhavacharya. He was next to Sankara in Advaitic knowledge. He wrote the famous commentaries on the four Vedas. He wrote the Panchadasi, Anubhutiprakasha, Jivanmuktiviveka, etc. He was a great Tapasvin. He won the favour of Gayatri Devi. Gayatri Devi showered golden rain near Hampi in Karnataka.
He founded the famous Vijayanagara Empire through the two brothers, Hukka and Bukka. Hence, he is regarded as a nation-builder. He saved the people from the tyranny of the rule of Mohammed-bin-Tughlak and his successors.
Vidyaranya was an ideal sage. Become like Vidyaranya in Tapas, righteousness, wisdom and sacrifice.
Guru Nanak was the first of the Sikh Gurus. He was born at Talwandi in 1469. This place is now called Nankana Sahib. He is the founder of the Sikh religion. He was religious-minded even when he was a boy.
His father Kaloo wanted to make Nanak a shop-keeper like him. Nanak gave up his studies and spent his time in the company of holy men.
He composed many songs in praise of God. These are collected in a book called the Granth Sahib. The Sikhs worship this book. He tried to unite the Hindus and the Muslims. He died in 1539, at the age of seventy.
Lord Jesus is the founder of the religion known as Christianity. He was a great Yogi. He was a great prophet or messenger of God. He did many miracles. He served the poor and the lepers. Virgin Mary was his mother.
His wonderful message is known as ‘The Sermon on the Mount’. He had twelve devout disciples who preached to people the way of God as taught by Jesus.
Study the Lives of Saints
Study of the lives of saints will elevate you. You will become a very good boy. You will develop virtues. You will see God face to face.
Tuka Ram, Jnana Dev, Ekanath, Nama Dev and Rama Das were the great saints from Maharashtra. Lord Gouranga was a great saint from Bengal.
Mira Bai and Sakku Bai were great lady-saints. Guru Nanak, Kabir, Narsi Mehta, Sur Das, Tulsi Das were also great saints.
Saint Joseph, Saint Francis, Saint Patrick were great Christian saints.
May these Saints bless you all!
Goswami Tulasidas was a great devotee of Lord Rama. He had direct Darshana of Lord Rama through intense devotion. He was very much attached to his wife. His wife became his Guru.
He was born in 1589 in Rajpur in the district of Banda in the Uttar Pradesh. He was a Brahmin by birth. He was born with all the thirty-two teeth intact. He did not cry at the time of his birth.
The great Ramayana of Goswami Tulasidas in Hindi (Sri Ramacharitamanas) is a masterpiece. This work is very popular and is studied widely in North India.
Study the Ramayana daily. Get by heart some Chaupais and sing.
Ajamila was a pious Brahmin. He daily worshipped God. He was very kind towards all. He was very regular in his duties. He observed fast on Ekadasi. He was an ideal man. He was a great devotee of Lord Narayana. He was very regular in his prayer.
One day he went to the forest. There he met a beautiful lady. He fell in love with her. He married her. From that day he left his worship and prayer. He was very much attached to his wife. Eight sons were born to him. He became a Nastika (atheist).
At the time of death the messengers of Yama appeared before him. He was frightened. He cried aloud. He called his youngest son Narayana to come for help. At once the messengers of Vishnu came to the spot and drove Yama’s messengers and took Ajamila to Vaikuntha.
Repeat always the Names of Lord Narayana. Ajamila reached the abode of bliss by unintentional repetition of Hari’s Name. How much more will be the effect of repeating His Names with faith and devotion!
There was once a Brahmin in Purandargarh. He was a very greedy miser. Lord Krishna wanted to test his greed. He came as a beggar to the Brahmin and asked for alms. The Brahmin refused to give anything and asked him to come the next day. The beggar came the next day also. The Brahmin asked him to come still another day. The beggar persisted every day like this for months together.
The Brahmin at last grew angry and threw a pie on the beggar’s face. The beggar left it and went behind the Brahmin’s house. The beggar got as alms the nose-ring from the Brahmin’s wife. The beggar sold the ornament to the same Brahmin for money and went away.
The Brahmin grew angry at his wife. He asked her: "Where is your ornament?" She said she would bring it from inside. She wanted to take poison in fear. But she found the ornament there. She gave it to her husband. He was wonder-struck. He became a saint and a devotee from that day.
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Last Updated: Tuesday, 16-Jun-2020 21:15:16 EDT
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