Our third book for youth begins a new series, Stories for Hindu Youth. This is Book One, Growing Up Hindu. Unlike our first two storybooks, Ten Tales about Self-Control and Ten Tales about Religious Life, which are for 8- to 12-year-olds, this series is written for youth ages 13 to 16 and deals with more mature topics. The teen years bring formidable opportunities and challenges. Facing them is easier when youth have tools to apply to their experiences, and well-established personal values and character traits.
Growing up Hindu has been in the works since 2010, written by Anuradha Murali and illustrated by Rajeev N.T. with the help of eight consultants among the help of eight Hindu consultants. The stories illustrate Satguru Bodhinatha’s Nine Parenting Guidelines: Positive Self-Concept, Perceptive Self-Correction, Powerful Self-Control, Profound Self-Confidence, Playful Self-Contentment, Pious Character, Proficiency in Conflict Resolution, Parental Closeness and Prejudice-Free Consciousness. We also added a tenth, Preserving Commitments because, well, we needed ten stories and only had nine guidelines!
For example, the sixth story, “How Ganesha Saved Usha,” illustrates “pious character.” It tells how young Usha had a vision of Lord Ganesha at the famed Siddhi Vinayaka temple in Mumbai and ever afterwards had a special fondness for Him. When she got into high school, wanting to get “in” with the popular girls, she hid her Hinduness and stopped praying daily to Ganesha. Then a situation came up when she was invited on a camping trip to Yosemite with the girls. Even though other parents were going along, Usha’s parents were reluctant to let her go. We don’t want to give away the whole plot, but suffice it to say that Ganesha came to Usha’s rescue and made her realize that befriending the popular girls was a poor reason to kick Him out of her life.
Other stories illustrate the importance of controlling emotions, correcting mistakes, appreciating close family life and living without prejudice. These are more than entertaining stories. They all provide needed strategies for applying Hindu ethical principles and religious insights to the practical problems of everyday life.
|As a young girl our heroine has a mystical vision of Ganesha at a temple in
India that greatly influences her life