Visakha Dasi has released a new book entitled Virtues for a Happy Life: Bhagavad-gita for Children. This beautifully designed volume makes the wisdom of the Gita easily accessible through photographs, paintings, and straightforward language as it explores four virtues found in the ancient text. “For me, the four virtues highlighted in the book are foundational teachings of the Gita,” said Visakha, “equal-mindedness (seeing everyone as an atma or soul), healthy-mindedness (understanding Krishna’s presence in our lives), wisdom (accepting scriptural teachings), and courage (embracing our own insignificance). There’s no doubt that many other vital virtues could be drawn from the Gita‘s teachings.”
It complements an earlier work of Visakha, “In 1996 (Srila Prabhupada’s centennial year), I published a Bhagavad-gita for children called Our Most Dear Friend. Since then, from time to time, I have met devotees who are now in their twenties who tell me that they grew up with that book, and it impacted them favorably,” she continued, “From that sort of feedback, I felt encouraged to make another Gita for children some 28 years later – better late than never.” Our Most Dear Friend is still available in several formats and in multiple languages.
When asked to share with ISKCON News readers a little more about the four central themes, Visakha said, “Equal-mindedness means seeing past all the temporary, material externals to the very source of life and consciousness, the soul. Every living being is a God-given gift, and everyone has something valuable to offer.
“Healthy-mindedness: Krishna is ananda, joyful, and we, as part of Krishna, are also joyful by nature. Unfortunately, the world is often so disturbing that we lose touch with ourselves; we lose our sense of wonder and gratitude for Krishna’s creation, which gives rise to joy.
“Wisdom: to regain our original consciousness of Krishna, we need guidance. Accepting guidance from the scriptures and qualified persons who are living the scriptures is the essence of wisdom.
“Courage: to actually accept that I’m small and Krishna is great is an act of courage because it means I recognize Krishna’s extraordinary, transcendental nature. Compared to Him, I’m insignificant. It takes courage to accept my smallness and to humbly hear from Krishna and His representatives, the devotees.”
The 40-page paperback is designed to reach a wide range of ages, said Visakha, “Small children can appreciate the pictures as their parents read the text to them, while older children can grasp the concepts themselves.”
To order Virtues for a Happy Life: Bhagavad-gita for Children, please visit her website, where you can also explore other books and reflections by Visakha Devi.
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