Where is your house? Where is your home? What is the difference?
These are simple questions. Simple enough for a Balak or Balika to understand. However the implication are deep. We once asked this question in Bal sabha and Rohan, age 10, whose dad was a financial consult proceeded to remind the sabha that a home is any structure that you can live in while a house is when a home starts "generating income." When we inquired what "generating income" meant he said, "I don't know. You have to ask my dad." Fair enough.
This weeks Balika/Bal 2 syllabus topic looks at this distinction to show why Maharaj chose Gujarat and Saurashtra as his "home." Let's look at breaking this down using our three step guide.
Step 1: Synthesize the simple statement
- Maharaj chose Gujarat and Saurashtra as his home because of the devotion and love he was surrounded by.
- Maharaj chose Gujarat as a place where he would carry out His divine mission of spreading Ekantik Dharma.
- Ask the balaks/balikas to draw their home (Most likely they will be similar)
- Then, have them list what makes their “home” their home. (i.e. is it their bed, their toys, their family?)
- Talk about the difference between a house and a home.While the physical drawings of our home may seem similar, our real homes are much different. I’m sure you’d agree that a home isn’t just the cozy bed that you could sleep on every night. It isn’t the chair you sit in everyday where you can eat your breakfast.
- Start off with the prasang of Ghanshyam climbing up a tree, looking in the West Direction, saying, “I can see that there are many devotees in the West. They have been waiting for me to come. One day, I will surely go there and fulfill their dreams.
- Talk about Shriji Maharaj’s greatest devotees, one of them: Dada Khachar. Despite Maharaj’s many “tests”, Dada Khachar was determined in his devotion to Shriji Maharaj.
- The actions of devotees like Dada Khachar won over the heart of Shriji Maharaj. In essence, Shriji Maharaj also believed that home is where the heart is. In fact, it was in Gujarat that he had founded the Swaminarayan Sampraday. It was in Gujarat where he built 6 magnificent mandirs, and it was in Gujarat where his heart laid. And as the saying goes, “home is where the heart is”. For Shriji Maharaj, Gujarat was where he would find the devotees that loved him and were willing to do anything for him.