9 Indian mythological folktales that you should familiarise your kids with
There is an abundance of mythological folktales that have circulated in India since time immemorial. These stories are packed with numerous morals and ethical ways of life. These values can be imparted to your kid through these tales which will with them throughout their life.
Moreover, these tales will help the kids in establishing a connection with their own diverse cultural heritage and identify its roots from an early age.
Here are ten of such stories that are celebrated for their potential for moral and ethical education:
Story – It is a story of a young boy Eklavya who wanted to become the best archer in the world under the guidance of the great teacher Drona. When he is denied any to get guidance under Drona due to his low status, he builds a statue of him and practices in front of it. Slowly and steadily he masters the art of archery and does actually become the greatest archer in the world. However, when Drona chances upon young Eklavya and witnesses his skill, he fears that Eklavya would defeat even his best student, Arjuna. To hinder that from ever happening, Drona asks for Eklavya’s right thumb as a payment for his supposed guidance. Drona, without and reluctance, presents the guru with his right thumb as a gesture of gratitude.
Moral – This story would teach your kids the importance of dedication to achieve one’s goals and also teach them to respect their teachers or educators.
Story – This is one of the most famous folktale that finds its source in Hindu mythology. It is a courageous story of Lord Rama who rescued his wife from the shackles of the evil Ravana. Rama along with his brother fought the gigantic army of Ravana to safeguard his wife.
Moral – This story will teach your child how he or she can overcome any problem if they act with courage. It highlights the importance of brotherhood and a sacred husband-wife relationship as well.
Story – This story is about a young devotee, Prahlad who lives with his atheistic uncle, Hiranakashyap. Prahlad is subjected to the outrageous and mostly lethal actions of his uncle who hates Lord Vishnu and in turn, hates Prahlad’s dedication towards the Lord. This story focuses on the Narsimha (half human, half lion) avatar that Lord Vishnu takes to save Prahlad from the clutches of his uncle and death.
Moral – Like most Indian mythological fold tales, this story is about the victory of good over evil. It also teaches the essentiality of faith and tolerance in one’s life.
Story – This is a story about a lazy man who eventually denounces his lethargic and ungodly ways and becomes a dedicated devotee of Lord Vishnu. He starts living a simple and peaceful life and works hard for it.
Moral – This story would teach your kid about the importance of leading a simple life based of hard work.
Story- Surdas’s story is that of devotion towards Lord Krishna. He is a blind poet who writes thousands of devotional songs for Krishna. When Krishna blesses him with eye sight and he sees the Lord he worships, he asks to be blind again because he didn’t want to see anything else.
Moral – This story will teach your kid to give their heart and soul to the things they care about.
Story – Goddess Durga is said to be created by culminating the vitalities of all the Gods in Heaven. When the king of Gods, Indra is defeated by the demon Mahishasur, it is Goddess Durga who eventually defeats the violent demon and his army. Goddess Durga is the one who gets heaven back from the clutches of demon.
Moral – It is a great story that teaches kids about the strength that a woman possesses and the courage they show in times of dire need.
Story – The story of Sita when she is banished from Rama’s court on account of staying with another man is remarkable. Even though she was forcefully taken away by Ravana, she accepts her banishment and goes on to live in a jungle where she gives birth to two sons and takes care of them all by herself.
Moral – This story is a statement about the power of women and how their capacity for endurance can help them overcome any obstacle and still retain their integrity and honour.
The Story of Krishna and the Mountain
Story: The story of Lord Krishna lifting up the Govardhan mountain on the tip of his finger is very well known by almost all the Indians. The interesting part of the story is that he did it to save his village, Gokul, from Lord Indra’s furious might. Lord Krishna saved Gokul from drowning as Indra instigated torrential rainfall over it for days when its people hurt his pride by not worshipping him for rains. He did it by shadowing the entire village under the mountain.
Moral: It can highlight to your kids that pride is never a good thing to hold on to and it can easily be overcome. It can teach your kids to be humble and loving towards people.
Story – It’s a story of a loyal and devoted son who carries his old and blind parents on his shoulders to take them on a pilgrimage. On his way he crosses Ayodhya and is struck by an arrow shot by king Dashrath by mistake. Even in his dying moment he asks the king to give water to his parents.
Moral – This old tale will teach your kids the importance of compassion in one’s life especially towards one’s parents. It is a tale of kindness and love that every kid should know.
So get on with opening the mythological folktale world for your kids!