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*Question: *What are our responsibilities as parents towards our children?
*Srila Guru Maharaj: *It depends up to what age. Spiritually we have to see that our children end this cycle of birth and death. Materially we have to feed them, educate them, care for them, so many other aspects. But we want that they don’t have to take birth again. One of my disciples in Chennai, I asked him, ‘You have children. Sometimes people say that you should let the children do whatever they want. Its their life.’ So he said that “Well, I don’t want my children to complain to me that, ‘You dad, allowed us to go to hell. You knew better. You knew that Krsna consciousness is the goal of life. You knew what the purpose of human life was. We were just foolish children so we naturally went in the wrong way. You never stopped us, so it is all your fault.’ I’d rather have them at least saying, ‘Our dad gave us the best he knew about. He gave us Krsna.’ When they are 18 or 21, when they are adults and they don’t want it then there is nothing I can do about that. At least I did my part. I explained to them the best I knew about,
how to get through life, the purpose and meaning of life, all these
things.” Chanakya says that we have to be very loving to the children upto the age of 5. Be a bit strict with them from 5 to 15. And from 16 up be friends. So these are some ancient advice.
*HH Jayapataka Swami Srila Guru Maharaj*
Please accept my humble obeisances,
All Glories to Srila Prabhupada,
Hare Krsna! I just buy the book 'Homeschooling Krishna's Children' by Aruddha Dasi. I am reading. As I read, I can share with the parents here.
Responding your answer, I believe our children is our most important responsibility. They are our devotional service if we are devotee parents. Somehow, we are their first 'spiritual masters'. Let me try to explain my point of view:
Krsna is sending these children to us especially according to their past life deeds. He is trusting upon us to bring these children to the service of Himself. So, it is a truly specific service that is given to us by Krsna. A mission which we shouldn't fail. Because if Krsna choose us, meaning that He is trusting upon us and if we proceed seriously as He desires, clearly he will give us all the support for this particular difficult mission.
When it comes to the book, I just read that, nursery schools are not suggested because the children are growing up materialistically there with materialistic and vulgar children. So they should stay with us and copy/imitate our devotional service at home. Better an environment full of devotees, a community, a temple nearby. But if this is not available ( like in my situation), better to keep the spiritual practice full at home, be nice example and bringing the child to temple visits or community visits time to time will be beneficial. Also Prabhupada suggests that to give Radha and Krsna dolls or deities to the child to take care of. I think that is a wonderful suggestion. Srila Prabhupada asked to the householders to make deity worship at home. This is very important for children to develop Krsna Consciousness.
Your aspiring servant,
my humble obeisances dear Mutlu Mataji,
thank You for Your reply and for the promise which You gave about sharing that knowledge which You get from the book about kids!
You said that better if children do not go to social nursery schools. In the places like Mayapur Dham or similar dhams parents can give children to Gurukulas but in the places like my country every citizen most take secondary education from the age of 7 up to 17. So for sure the association won't be so nice. So what You recommend in this situation? Is it enough to make home a Temple or some more activities?!