After Dasaratha ordered Rama to go to forest for 14 years, Kausalya, the mother of Rama who couldn’t bear leaving Rama argues that he need not obey his father.
Rama told Kausalya, “I have no power to violate my father’s words. I wish to go to the forest. I bow to you to secure your blessings. As the one who knows righteousness, I have to carry out my father’s orders. In the process of carrying out King Sagara’s orders, none of his sons who dug through Earth, returned alive. In carrying out sage Jamadagni’s orders, his son Parasurama axed his mother Renuka. Devi! persons who were equal to gods and many others had not allowed their father’s words to go in vain. I shall do what father has asked me to do. Carrying out orders of father is not an act performed by me only. This has been accepted and adopted before, by many. One who carries out his father’s orders will not suffer any loss.”
From the book “Pure Gems of Ramayana”.
How can parents instill spirituality in their children?
It is the duty of parents to inform and educate their children about our culture from a tender age. For example, as children, we were regularly told stories from the Puranas, Ramayana, Mahabharata and Bhagavata. We took in these stories and their morals and ethics. The glory of God, how He saved and elevated His devotees, the way devotees sought Him–these were etched in our minds. It made us resolve to live the same way, carrying these values, as our ancestors had done before us. Thus, whenever any Western hero is highlighted, we were certain that nobody could be greater than our own Rama. And not just at home. These stories were taught to us in our textbooks when I was in school–Ramayana, etc., as well as stories of the great pilgrim centers of our land. I don’t think there are any lessons in our textbooks today that highlight and showcase our culture. This is a very serious setback. If an environment to understand our culture is created at home and school, then elevating our children and making them worthwhile citizens is possible. But the situation is now the diametric opposite. Children do not learn our culture at home or school, and are being instead exposed to alien and contrary cultures through TV and cinema. Under these adverse influences, they are becoming rebellious and treating their parents with disregard.
What is your advice for Hindu parents in other countries?
Haven’t these parents come from here, India? Whether they are in America or in London, our culture does not change–praying to God, keeping a tulsi plant in front of the house, touching the feet of parents–these are simple things. The parents have grown up in Hindu culture and should carry it and inculcate it in their children wherever they are.
This summer season, many summer camps are held for children. Things like abacus, spellbee, swimming, music etc. The objective is to ensure that children learn something without wasting summer holidays. They are anyway in a bigger rush to learn things during their school days. The parents are so anxious to make children learn so many things so that they win the rat race that they are running in the current society. The children are in a rush to learn many things and are always occupied with something or the other.
But the question is, ‘when do they think?’
By pushing them into so many things, we are only ensuring that they don’t have time to play or spend time with friends and relatives. In that process, we are also ensuring that they don’t have time to think. In other words, we are mechanizing their brains.
Marks, marks and more marks…
While it is good to get good marks, getting good marks only is not good enough to survive in this world. It is far more important to think. It is far more important to have common sense. It is far more important to face new challenges with confidence and find simple solutions to complicated problems. Above all it is far more important to be more sensible and responsible. All this comes with thinking. And the current generation of kids, sadly, seem to be losing the ability to think.
Do you agree?
Probably many parents don’t agree with me. Some might agree in principle reluctantly. In any case, our goal is to find out what is the best thing that we could do to our kids. We are trying to do some study and provide more information on this topic, but before that want to hear from. Please provide your thoughts, preferences and any other comments.
Angada in the darbar of Ravana
(story as told by Swamy Ranganadhananda of Ramakrishna Math)
This story was from Ramayana. Rama along with his monkey forces crossed the ocean and reached Lanka. The war was about to begin between Rama and Ravana. Rama wanted to make a last attempt for peace. He sent Angada, who is son of Vali, as a messenger to convey his message of peace to Ravana. Vali (father of Angada) was killed by Rama earlier in Kishkindha Kanda. Vali when alive was a close of friend of Ravana. However, Angada was a staunch supporter of Rama and a trusted soldier of Rama.
When Angada reached the darbar of Ravana, Ravana wanted to remind him that his father was killed by Rama and hence his support to Rama was a disservice to his father. The plan was to put Angada on a defensive mode and make his mission weaker.
On seeing Angada, Ravana said, ‘welcome Angada! you are my best friend’s son. How is your father?’.
His plan was to make Angada tell him about his father’s death in the hands of Rama. And then make him guilty of representing his father’s killer.
Now, see the beauty of Angada’s reply. He said, ‘Ravana, you will get the opportunity to directly inquire his welfare face to face, if you don’t listen to my words now’. In other words, Angada said that Ravana would die and meet his father if he didn’t listen to him. Not only he effectively defeated the purpose of Ravana asking that question, but also conveyed the message of Rama in the same answer. A best example for effective communication. Our children can learn much more personality improvement skills from our epics than what then can learn from the modern day books. We just have to introduce them to those great epics.
Young Indians today are ruder than they were 10 years ago
Claimed by recent article in ‘Times Of India’ which further says: “all because of poor parenting”.
As an Indian and as a parent, nothing can be more offending for me than blaming Indian parenting. But is there any truth in what they are saying or is it completely baseless allegation?
There were many instances of children behaving erratically pointing fingers at Indian parenting. So, there is some truth in the allegation that Indian parenting is not up to the mark. Do you agree?
- How come the parenting that gifted Mahatma Gandhi and Swami Vivekananda to the world, became poor parenting now?
- How come the land of Rama and Buddha is not considered as a place for best parenting?
- How come the home to the only religion that worships females as goddesses is losing its ground as a home for best morals?
Probably, we are moving away from our roots
We are not telling our children about our rich culture and heritage. We are not teaching them about our values and morals. We are not introducing them to our great treasures of wisdom like Ramayana and Panchatantra. Even if we are doing to some extent, we are not doing enough to make them understand our value system.
The issue is, in the current digital world where the kids are addicted to gadgets, how to attract their attention towards story listening? Very difficult. How do we get their attention?
We need to tell them in their language. i.e. digital language. Through modern methods.
Here is the article that talks about poor parenting making Indians rude