About Living in Family and Raising Children

Satsang text of Spiritual Teacher Shri Prakash Ji

It is very important for parents that their children chose the right path. Otherwise they will never rest, because most people are attached to their children, no matter if they are good or bad. But when your children have good qualities, you will be relaxed about them and their future. Thoughts of them will bring you joy, and you will be able to devote yourself to something else. In this case, attachment to each other will bring joy and be an incentive to live for both parents and children.

But if the children are not on the right path, parents will always worry about them and will not be able to think about anything else nor do other things. Such attachment and concern for children makes life very difficult for the parents, and in such condition life is not joyful for them. Thus one needs to raise children well, developing their good sanskars (habit, disposition).

Yashoda was Krishna's mother. She raised him and was attached to her child as a mother: cared for him, looked after him. But in this case the word "attachment" is not appropriate. Her son was a God, brahma-gyani and Yashoda was his bhakt (a person, devoted to his spiritual ideal) and was very tied to him through her love. When a person loves such a high soul, it is not attachment, but deep feeling and it is called bhakti. This feeling gave her liberation.

I sometimes listen to the official data on how many children and adolescents now drink, smoke and use drugs. This is a very big problem and a big concern for the country. It cannot be dealt with quickly and easily: a lot must be rearranged in family and in society, and for this people need spiritual knowledge.

Why do people develop bad habits (e.g. smoking, drinking, drugs) that affect health, mind and eventually lead to the destruction of the personality? From birth people look for joy, peace and love; when they do not receive it from such sources as parents' care and attention, true friendship, sincere and pure love, they try to find it somewhere else.

For example, a child does not have a full family, where he could get love from both mother and father; or the parents live together, but they drink, swear, and hit each other. The children see all that. Then how would they respect parents and other elders? For that they need a good example. Otherwise the child begins to look for joy and love among the peers. If he finds good friends, settles in a good company, he will go down the right path; but if he gets in a bad company, you could say that his life is ruined. When a person falls into a deep pit, it is very difficult to pull him out of there.

Parents can have a lot of money, a house and an expensive car, but if the children do not choose the right path, the parents will not find peace of mind. And if the children grow up to be good people, even when the parents earn a little, they live like in paradise and have a special kind of inner peace and joy. Parents need to learn to restrain their feelings: love children, but do not spoil them. If the family is wealthy enough, it can happen. Up to a certain age children should be controlled so that they know the price of everything and learn about spirituality. Many of my disciples live a family life, which is why I say this.

If you live in a family, you need to learn to give something in return, or in some situations, to compromise. Before taking any major decision regarding the family (e.g. divorce), one needs to estimate everything, consider the children and their future. You have your family by your karma, and your task is to try to save it. It is your responsibility to God. Some of my disciples were on the verge of divorce, but after realising their mistakes and correcting them, they were able to save their families.

For a person who is following the path of grihasth-ashram, family is the foundation of a happy life. And if you do not create a spiritual atmosphere in the family, living there will be hard. Anyone who follows the path of sanyas-ashram is free. For him there is only himself, God and spirituality. In the old days, those who wanted to pursue spiritual practice, sadhana, seriously, decided to live alone, so that attachments would not disturb them in the path towards God. But if there is a spiritual atmosphere in the family, it brings joy and inspires the person on his spiritual path; then these same circumstances would not disturb him. And then there is no special difference between and grihasth and sannyasi.


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26-28 December in Vilnius Centre of Spiritual Culture "Shri Prakash Dham"
The programme includes events such as Dipavali Festival, satsang, several days of individual meetings, as well as two evenings of guided meditation.
9 July, approximate start 8.45 London time