As Hindus, we had always been taught that books are God – specifically, the Goddess of Learning, Saraswathi – and, therefore, must be treated with respect, and handled with care.  I personally think that this is an excellent philosophy – giving education, learning, and the tools of learning the deserved reverence. 

Looks like the kids in little A’s class (most of whom are of Indian descent – after all, this is NJ) have heard this concept from their parents.  Imagine, then, the consternation of the 6 and 7 year olds when class teacher Mrs. S nonchalantly steps over books and walks on top of paper that might have fallen on the floor of the classroom!  I mean, I cringe when I just hear about it.  So, little A and a couple of her friends took it upon themselves to explain to Mrs. S that books are Goddess Saraswathi, and that it is really bad to step on paper on the floor.  A flabbergasted Mrs. S apparently shook her head and told the kids “Girls, that doesn’t make any sense. I really don’t understand what that means.”

So much for avoiding religious talk in public schools! 🙂


3 thoughts on “Saraswathi

  1. Haha. A goes to Bal Vihar and last year, they covered Dasha avataram; I guess I don’t quite realize how much the stories stays with the kids, ‘cos one day, when I told A to treat her books with special respect and not step on paper etc, A responded, “Amma, God is in everything, like Prahladha said, and so we have to treat everything with respect”. I was a lil’ speechless, but then little A came to my help and said, “”Yes, but maybe books have 2 Gods: Vishnu AND Saraswathi, so they should get more respect.” My response: “Errr..yeah..what the little guy said!”

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