Storytelling the Gita

Popular stories from Puranas, Upanishads and Modern Inspirations

Sujatha R
9 min readJul 22, 2020

Made this series for my MIL who has been podcasting stories in Telugu for Children allover the world. Story telling is a great way to enjoy and feel the message in the role play of the characters. A small attempt in making this collection. A few of them have been taken from the book ‘Bhagawadgita for Children’. Idea is to narrate the story, gently connect the Gita philosophy and give a hint of how we can learn from these teachings. I have not elaborated on the popular stories. Just an outline.

Yet to upload some of the stories..


1. Mr Truthful - The mental conflict
2. Arjuna and the Bird - Excellence in action
3. Robert Bruce and the Spider - Do your BEST and leave the REST
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UNDERSTANDING OUR BUILDING BLOCKS
4. Sir Alexander Fleming - Circle of Life
5. Sir C V Raman and the Inner Call - Swadharma
6. Likes and Dislikes - The twin obstacles
7. Story of Nachiketha - Taming the Horses
~King Janaka - Balancing Work and Devotion
Shankaracharya - Path of Gyaana
Dhruva - Path of Meditation
Transformation in the highway robber
~THE INNER PURIFICATION & LIBERATIONThe Four Blind Men..The salt doll - Beyond Name and Forms
Light O light
Story of Swethakethu
Bhakta Prahlada - Inner cleansing and devotion
~I played chess in my mind- Power of Will and Visualisation
The dog and the bone - Good and Bad Qualities
I am no Crane - No work is small
The Thirsty Crow - On Faith and Will

Short Story Line

Mr Truthful -The mental conflict

The sage is well known for speaking the truth. A merchant flees from the robber and approaches the sage’s cottage for shelter. The robber asks the sage for the directions and the sage gives in.. Which is a greater virtue? Saving a Life or Speaking the Truth?

Arjuna was a great archer. Day and night he trained himself. He had mastery over both his hands. He was the gudakesha, the savyasaachi. And yet the sudden visual of his favorite teacher and grandfather on the other side shakes him from inside.. His limbs start shaking and his hand trembling.. seedanthi mama gaatrani.. He surrenders to Krishna for advise.

Conflicts or Vishada can be turning point to introspect the purpose of life. We can turn to our parents, friends and teachers for help.

Arjuna and the Bird -Excellence in action

The teacher Drona calls for a test after the completion of military training. He places a duumy doll on top of a branch and the task is to aim at the head. Whne he questions the young Pandava and Kaurava princes what they see.. Yudhistira and the other princes says they see the blue sky, the tree the leaves, the bird, the wings and like wise.. Arjuna says he sees nothing but the birds head.. When asked on the colour of the wings he says all that is blurred out.. Such was his passion and concentration.

Krishna advices Arjuna in Gita about doing our work with excellence.. This is Yoga. Yoga karmasu kaushalam..

As children we should learn to concentrate like Arjuna and do our best.

Robert Bruce and the Spider -Do your BEST and leave the REST

Long time back, Robert Bruce was the king of Scotland. He got defeated by the King of England. Several times he tries to fight back with his army but is defeated. The sixth time he is batterred and excapes in the woods. He sees no future in trying again..

He takes shelter in a cave and it is raining outside. Suddenly he notices a spider trying to make a web and it was failing again and again to reach the other end. In the seventh time, it makes a leap with determination and successfully reaches the other end. The king feels a sense of motivation and with all might prepares his army and wins the battle.

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Krishna advises Arjuna.. The result is not in our hand. Yet we should try our Best and leave the Rest. What ever be the outcome Victory or defeat, profit or loss, good or bad.. Be untouched from within. Our senses and thoughts are like the turbulent winds which can throw off the ship in its journey.. When troubled by thoughts and visuals, retract your senses and mind like a tortoise pulling in its limbs.

ISRO launched satellites several times and all of them were not successful.. Yet they kept trying and improving. And they were able to launch Mission Mars in the first attempt.. Do your Best and leave the Rest..

Sir Alexander Fleming -Circle of Life

A poor Scottish farmer Fleming saves a driwning boy. The next day, the boy’s father a rich man comes to repay him. The rich man agrees to educate the poor man’s son just like his. The poor boy grows up to become the famous Sir Alexander Fleming, the discoverer of Penicillin.

Later on, the rich man’s son is struck with Pneumonia and Penicillin saved his life. He is none other than Sir Winston Churchill. What goes around comes around.

The oceans and the trees provide the water.. The rains produce food and we sustain on them.. We are a small part of this big cycle. Our parents, teachers, friends are all a part.

Enjoy and be a part of this cycle and help others.

Sir C V Raman and the Inner Call -Swadharma

C V Raman was working in Calcutta in finance department. It was a lucarative job but his heart was in Science.

Ramanujan for his math genius.. He was so engrossed in his works and enjoyed it. Galileo — People ostracized him. He stood for his theory Earth went around the Sun

Kabir was an poor weaver from Muslim family.. He wrote thousands of bold poems. Meerabhai gave up luxurious life of Rajput princess.. So strong was her Bhakthi for Krishna..

Krishna tels Arjuna.. We all have an inner aptitude ‘Swadharma’ which is easy to follow. No work seems like work if we follow our passion. Just like water flows in the river and birds fly. Sometimes we feel like leaving our swadharma and follow others paradharma.. This path is full of fear for we are faking.

Likes and Dislikes - The twin obstacles in our journey

Story of Nachiketha -Taming the Horses

Young Nachiketha is upset over the doings of his father. He has a conversation with Yama. What is the ultimate purpose of life?

Our body is like a chariot and the senses are like the horses.. They guide and drive us in this world. The mind is like the reigns and the intellect like the driver of the chariot.. In order to have a peaceful journey, the body mind senses have to be well trained and disciplined..
The senses are like the horses and always run behind things.. Need to be trained..
Mind always thinks here and there past and future.. It needs to in the present.
The intellect always has to decide between good and not so good.

Arjuna asks Krishna.. If each of us have a happy nature.. then why do we do wrong?

Krishna replies.. It is due to our desire.. Our desire is deep rooted in our body mind senses.. Only when the desire is in cotrol is the truth unveiled.

King Janaka -Balancing Work and Devotion

Shankaracharya -Path of Gyaana

Shankara was born into a pious family in a quiet village called Kaladi in Kerala. It is said Shiva himself was born as Shankaara. At the early age of 8, he mastered the vedas. One wanted to become a monk. One day while taking bath in the Purna river, a crocodile holds his legs. He begs his mother if he could become a monk and his mother agrees at that point.

In those days, by foot he travelled to Sringeri, Kashmir, Kashi, Puri by foot. It is said he wrote commentary on Gita and Upanishads in Badrinath in Vyaasa guha.. the same cave where Vyaasa is said to have composed the Gita. He was a great teacher and composed several songs including Bhaja Govindam. He walked the path of Gyaana and lived a short life.

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In darkness when one suddenly steps over a rope, we assume it to be a snake in panic. Slowly when light falls on it and examine it carefully to realises it to be just a rope. Knowledge helps us to see the truth. Like a bird seeing another bird in a mirror and struggling to get rid of it in different ways. When it gets the knowledge that it is just a mirror, it evolves instantly.

Great people like Shankaracharya, Vivekananda evolved in every experience of their life. They walked the path of Gyaana.

Krishna tells Arjuna..Gyaana is like the boat that can cross darkness. It is that light which purifies us and shows the path when in doubt. And when one is ready and has that will and shraddha, he gets this knowledge.

Dhruva -The Path of Meditation

Unhappy that he is unable to get attention of his father, the little boy leaves for the forest and starts intense meditation over Lord Vishnu. “Om namo Bhagawato Vasudevaya”.. Pleased with him, when the lord asks him for his wishes, Dhruva is speechless and asks for no wish.

Krishna tells Arjuna..In a quiet corner with an erect posture, practise meditation.. Like a lamp kept in a shelter, our thoughts have to be steady and unwavering. It seems difficult but can be obtained through practise and detachment.. abyaasam vairagyam

Transformation in the highway robber

Valmiki used to rob the wealth of travellers. One day sage Narada was passing by and Valmiki tries to rob him. Narada asks him why and he says to support his family. Narada tells him.. “You will be sinned for this. Is your family ready to share the sin with you?” Valmiki asks his family and he is surprised.. They do not want to share the sin.. It is his duty to support them. Valmiki wants to atone for his mistake and Narada shares the “Rama” mantra.. And Valmiki becomes the famous poet who writes the Ramayana.

The bitter Angulimaala changes when he meets Buddha.. Ashoka is fed up of the blood shed and transforms..

Krishna tells Arjuna.. Once there is an inner realisation.. Even if we have done a mistake in the past, we can have a new beginning.

The Four Blind Men..The salt doll -Beyond Name and Forms

Light O light

Story of Swethakethu

Bhakta Prahlada -Path of deep cleansing and devotion

Vibhuti Yoga

I played chess in my mind- Power of Will and Visualisation

Natan Sharansky was a chess prodigy. To keep himself active, he played a game of chess in prison. He beats grand champion Garry Kasparov. He later becomes a minister in Isreal.

Beethoven was deaf but he could compose on Piano with visualisation.

Picture is worth a thousand words.. Visualisation..

Krishna enables Arjuna to feel the light of a 1000 Suns and see the forms of the lord.
Have a will, visualise and succeed..

The dog and the bone.. Good and Bad Qualities

The dog gets greedy and angry seeing its reflection in the water.
Our bad qualities of anger, greed can pull us down.
Ravana, Duryodhana were pulled down due to their arrogance and greed.

I am no Crane- No work is small

Sage Kaushik is proud about his knowledge.

The thirsty Crow-The strong Will

When in difficulty, one has to keep the calm, faith and keep trying. And then the solution turns in. Shraddavaan labanthe gyaanam

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Sujatha R

I write.. I weave.. I walk.. कवयामि.. वयामि.. यामि.. Musings on Music, Linguistics & Patterns