And Don’t Ask Any Questions
A mother asked whether she can force her children to accept Krishna consciousness unconditionally, and she was told that this strategy may not work. In today’s times parents have a tough job ahead when introducing their children to accepting spirituality as a important component of life. During Lord Krishna’s presence on this planet He once observed that His father, Nanda Maharaja and other inhabitants of Vrindavana were busy making preparations for a big festival. Krishna was unaware about this; so He went to His father and inquired, “Father, what are these preparations for? Whom are we going to worship?” Nanda Maharaja remained silent, thinking his little boy may not be able to understand the intricacies of this worship (puja). But Krishna persisted. Today a child psychologist may opine that Krishna underwent emotional abuse when His father refused to explain things in a way He can understand. When Krishna persisted with His inquiries, Nanda Maharaja finally disclosed that this was the annual worship offered by the cowherd community to Lord Indra, the rain-god.
Krishna said, “My dear father, for those who are liberal and saintly, there is no secrecy. They do not think anyone to be a friend, an enemy or a neutral party, because they are always open to everyone. And even for those who are not so liberal, nothing should be kept secret from the family members and friends, although secrecy may be maintained for persons who are inimical. Therefore you cannot keep any secrets from Me. All persons are engaged in fruitive activities. Some know what these activities are, and they know the result, and some execute activities without knowing the purpose or the result. A person who acts with full knowledge gets the full result; one who acts without knowledge does not get such a perfect result. Therefore, please let Me know the purpose of the sacrifice you are going to perform. Is it according to Vedic injunction? Or is it simply a popular ceremony? Kindly let Me know in detail about the sacrifice.” In this passage Krishna implores His father that he needs to take his son into confidence. Today it is more important than ever to take children in confidence before expecting them to take interest in any activity, especially spiritual life. In the USA one of the first things taught to kids is the helpline number, which they can call in case of a domestic emergency. To what absurd length this can go is illustrated by this story.
A young girl had the habit of sleeping till seven in the morning. One day when her father knocked on the door much before 7 o’clock, she warned him, “Dad, please don’t do that. The next time you do this I shall call the police.” Some parents may complain about the abnormal power today’s legislators have bestowed in the hands of children. But we also have to remember that every law enacted is a response to a crime committed.
In these days of advanced gadgets available for communication and retarded communication skills practiced by the majority, parents may well pay heed by developing good dialogue with their children. A few tips on having a proper dialogue with your kids:
1. Allow them to speak, and listen actively.
2. Paraphrase what they have to say in your language so that they confirm this is what they had intended.
3. Discuss the issue for possible solutions.
4. Be enthusiastic to follow the rules and regulations of spiritual life in your case; in the case of your children, remain patient.