We are pleased to participate in the A to Z Blog Challenge (http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/). The Story Crossroads theme for this year is Kindness Across Cultures: Stories to Prove We Care. Each post highlights present-day and folktale examples.
Hinduism brings about images of Ganesh, the elephant-headed Lord of Good Fortune. He is the most worshiped in Hinduism and at times images of Ganesh are made from mud and then dissolved in the water. This picture of a boy reaching for Ganesh was in Mumbai, India and taken by Steve Evans. He has granted permission for Story Crossroads to use this image.
Present-Day Harmoniousness & Humility
Sewa International is a Hindu-based nonprofit that focuses on disaster relief. Sewa International is active in 20 different countries. While this particular Sewa International is based in the United States, this organization has brought about rehabilitation in Colombia, Guyana, India, Kenya, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. They also work with families on improving health, education and the empowerment of women. You can find out more here: https://www.sewausa.org/.
Past Harmoniousness & Humility (Folktale)
Stories abound in Hinduism. This particular story is called “The Ideal Son, Sukrama.” A video was created to tell this story: https://kids.baps.org/storytime/idealsonsukarma.htm
Here is a summary:
Sukrama was the son of a Brahmin named Kautiyla. Sukrama obeyed his parents and there wishes for him to be happy, study hard, and become a scholar. Meanwhile, there was a Brahmin named Pipplad who lived a life of prayer and solemnity. Due to such strictness in living, Brahmaji-the four-headed God-offered Pipplad whatever he wanted. Pipplad wished to control anyone he wished and to be the greatest scholar. All was granted. One day, a crow made such noise that Pipplad insulted the crow and reminded the crow he was a great scholar. The crow insulted Pipplad back and said that Sukrama was the greatest scholar. Pipplad wished to meet this Sukrama. When he approached a home, Sukrama recognized Pipplad and said Pipplad had come because of a crow. Sukrama complimented Pipplad’s many years of austerities. Pipplad was amazed Sukrama knew. Pipplad asked what God he had served and for how many years he had done austerities. Sukrama said that he did not serve any of the Gods though saw his parents as equal to any heavenly being. By serving them and following their ways, he became what he was today. Pipplad bowed down and knew he heard wisdom.
Interesting Notes on Kindness
- Sukrama placed kindness to his parents above all else
- Kindness to his parents brought about happiness and wisdom for Sukrama
- Pipplad lacked kindness even with hard austerities performed and blessings granted
- Crow (nature) recognizes that kindness is a type of scholarship
- By placing his parents equal to Gods, Sukrama became more kind
- Pipplad, who started egotistical, felt fulfilled by witnessing Sukrama’s kindness
What stories of kindness do you know associated with Hinduism? Anywhere in the world – past or present? Please share in the comments…or anything on your mind.
While you enjoy this blog, Story Crossroads has year-round offerings including the culminating Festival on May 23, 2018 (see schedule here: https://storycrossroads.com/2018-schedule/).
We thank our funders such as the National Endowment for the Arts, the Utah Division of Arts and Museums, the Western States Arts Federation, Utah Humanities, the City of Murray, the South Jordan Arts Council, Utah Valley University and many other individuals. Join us in the support by attending or donating or both! (Click here to donate or get tickets.)