Duties towards children in Grihastha ashram
Young children are like sponges. They soak up Krishna consciousness and there is practically no need to expose them to anything but Krishna consciousness.
Children should be protected from worldly pleasure by cultivating a joyous Krishna conscious atmosphere in the house so that the children are completely satisfied and their creative abilities are properly channelised. Unfortunately, in the modern society, parents have no time for their children. They give them comforts but not abundant affection and concern, which are needed at all the stages in their life.
Children should be handled with affection and discipline. Canakya’s instructions that children be given abundant affection till the age of five, disciplined, if necessary, till they attain the age of ten and a child be treated as a friend once he attains the age of sixteen, should be used with circumspection.
Parents should not subject their children to excessive academic pressure. Every child has God given intelligence and ability. The parents should constantly endeavour to create the right conditions for a child’s physical, intellectual and spiritual progress.
Parents should try to bring out the best in their children by developing a relationship of love and trust, respect the feelings of the children and at all times and make sincere efforts to inculcate good values in life.
Never humiliate a child in presence of others or make odious comparisons. This can have adverse psychological influence on the child.
Parents should not fight or argue in the presence of the child and also not criticise other devotees. A child has a natural instinct for admiring his\her parents and often a child regards parents as role models. Therefore ,one should not have arguments in the first place and most certainly not in the presence of the child.
How to sustain and safeguard Krishna Consciousness of devotee children?
One of the major concerns of devotee parents is to provide a conducive spiritual environment to facilitate the child’s Krishna consciousness. Every living being is a child of Krishna and has an independent free will. One cannot force one’s child to serve Krishna. The best and the most merciful thing one can do is to be as perfect an example as possible in one’s own life. Then the child will take the instructions of parents seriously. Parents must preach to their children and do everything in their power to attract them to Krishna. The children will take your instructions seriously to the degree that they see their parents seriously following the principles of Krishna consciousness in your own life.
If somehow or the other the children become attracted to friends who are devotees, that would be a great benefit to them. One should orient them in this direction and place them in a proper environment by which they become pure devotees of the Lord. This is the foremost responsibility of the parents. However, it must be realized that as a child gets older and reaches his mid-teenage, he may develop the ability to do what he wants independently. The child who once accompanied his parents to the temple in a disciplined manner may now not cooperate. If one tries to force the child to be Krishna conscious, he may rebel against Krishna consciousness and even reject it. It is possible that such a child may visit the temple with his parents but will internally resent it. So the parents have to use their intelligence and assess whether by enforcing discipline the child is coming closer to Krishna or going away from Krishna.
If the child is really fixed on materialistic association, all that the parents can do is to explain to the child what is right and what is wrong in a loving way. The parents through their words and example, can point out to their children what is best for them and what will be the consequences of their going astray. Parents as a society should work together to create an environment for Krishna consciousness in such an attractive, exciting and dynamic manner that the children will be attracted to it. If after this, the child does go astray, all that the parents can do is to be a good example, give good instructions and pray for their children. One may also consider moving the family to a more conducive location.
It has been found that children raised in Krishna consciousness, who at some stage in their life go astray to experience first hand what is material life, come back to Krishna consciousness and become excellent devotees appreciating that Krishna consciousness is a matchless gift.
If the parents do not give their child proper affection and concern, then the child will feel an emptiness within his heart rather than fullness, even in the environment of Krishna consciousness. Therefore, giving care, time and affection to ones child is one of the most important aspects of raising a child in Krishna consciousness. However, if the parents do not have time for their own sadhana, do not have time to attend satsangs and associate with devotees,they will not be able to inculcate a high quality Krishna consciousness in their child despite their affection. Therefore raising children in Krishna consciousness is a matter of an intelligent and mature balance.
Srila Prabhupada in his Srimad Bhagavatam purports [1.5.24] has stated that an irresponsible life of sense enjoyment was unknown to the children of the followers of the varnasrama system. The boy was even injected with spiritual acumen before being placed by the father in the womb of the mother. Both the father and the mother were responsible for the boy’s success in being liberated from the material bondage.That is the process of successful family planning. It is to beget children for complete perfection. Without being self-controlled, without being disciplined and without being fully obedient, no one can become successful in following the instructions of the spiritual master, and without doing so, no one is able to go back to Godhead.
In one letter [To Bhaktin Toni; Sydney 73-02-18], Srila Prabhupada has compared the children of one of his disciples to the Deities in the temple. Just as some devotees have to devote full-time to taking care of the Deities in the temple, some devotees have to dedicate much time to taking care of their small children; and they are not ordinary children, they are devotees. Serving, guiding, and training Krishna’s devotees will make you very dear to Lord Krishna..
domingo, 29 de abril de 2012
Duties towards children in Grihastha ashram