“First a child is shown the branches of a tree, and then he is shown the moon through the branches. This is called shakha-chandra-nyaya. The idea is that first one must be given a simpler example. Then the more difficult background is explained.” (Shrila Prabhupada, Chaitanya Charitamrita, Madhya 21.30 Purport)
Not simply for literary embellishment, analogies play an important role in understanding the world around us. Understanding is the building block for escaping the cycle of birth and death, for which the human being has the best chance.
Higher topics like the changing bodies, the distinction between individual and matter, the relationship to the Supreme, the onset of seasons, the illusion of sense gratification, and so forth usually cannot be taught as is, in the beginning stages to the interested seeker.
A child of six months or younger may know a few words…
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