SRILA PRABHUPADA SPEAKS
ABOUT THE HARE KRISHNA CHILDREN
The important matter is that the
children are taken care of nicely
The important matter is that the children are taken care of nicely. Bhavananda was talking with me that in New Vrindaban students were very much neglected. Therefore they were immediately transferred to New York. Every parent wants to see that their children are taken care of very nicely. That is the first duty. If they are not healthy then how they can prosecute their education? If they are undernourished it is not good for their future activities. They must have sufficient quantity of milk and then dhal, capatis, vegetables, and a little fruit will keep them always fit. There is no need of luxurious fatty foods but milk is essential. A big building is also very good for the children's health. They can move freely and run and jump.
[Srila Prabhupada Letter to: Satsvarupa Nairobi 9 October, 1971]
These children are given to us by Krishna, they are
Vaisnavas and we must be very careful to protect them.
My dear Arundhati, Please accept my blessings. I am in due receipt of your letter dated July 19, 1972, and I am simply surprised that you want to give up your child to some other persons, even they are also devotees. For you, child-worship is more important than deity-worship. If you cannot spend time with him, then stop the duties of pujari. At least you must take good care of your son until he is four years old, and if after that time you are unable any more to take care of him then I shall take care. These children are given to us by Krishna, they are Vaisnavas and we must be very careful to protect them. These are not ordinary children, they are Vaikuntha children, and we are very fortunate we can give them chance to advance further in Krishna Consciousness. That is very great responsibility, do not neglect it or be confused. Your duty is very clear. Hoping this will meet you in good health. Your ever well-wisher, A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami.
[Srila Prabhupada Letter to: Arundhati Amsterdam 30 July, 1972]
Forcing will not make me agree. But if there is
love, oh, I shall gladly do it. That is bhakti,
that is Krishna Consciousness.
I am very glad to learn that the children at Gurukula school are making good progress in their Krishna Consciousness education, that is very good news. Yes, if we simply train them properly they will come out just to the highest standard of Vaisnava devotee. And what is that training? Simply they should be engaged in such a way that they are somehow or other remembering Krishna at every moment, that's all. It is not something mechanical process, if we force in such a way they will come out like this, no. We are persons, and Krishna is a Person, and our relationship with Krishna He leaves open as a voluntary agreement always, and that voluntary attitude--Yes, Krishna, I shall gladly co-operate whatever you say--that ready willingness to obey is only possible if there is love. Forcing will not make me agree. But if there is love, oh, I shall gladly do it. That is bhakti, that is Krishna Consciousness. So similarly, if we train children by developing and encouraging their propensity to love Krishna, then we shall be successful in educating them to the topmost standard. Then they shall always very happily agree to do whatever you ask them. So I have heard that there as been some beating with sticks on the children. Of course I do not know, but that should not be. You may show the stick, threaten, but better art is to somehow or other, even by tricking them, avoid this matter of force and induce them to obey out of loving spirit. That is success of disciplinary method. Hoping this meets you in good health. Your ever well-wisher, A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami.
[Srila Prabhupada Letter to: Rupa Vilasa Hyderabad 18 November, 1972]
If we want them to become great devotees, then we must
educate the children with love, not in a negative way.
Regarding your question should force be used on children, no, there shall be no forcing the children to do anything. Child should not be forced. This is all nonsense. Who has devised these things? If we want them to become great devotees, then we must educate the children with love, not in a negative way. Of course, if they become naughty we may show the stick but we should never use it. Child is nonsense, so you can trick him to obey you by making some little story and the child will become cheated in the proper behavior. But never apply force, especially to his chanting and other matters of spiritual training. That will spoil him and in the future he will not like to do it if he forced.
[S.rila Prabhupada Letter to: Brahmanya Tirtha Ahmedabad 10 December 1972]
Now the thing is, children should not
be beaten at all, that I have told.
Now the thing is, children should not be beaten at all, that I have told. They should simply be shown the stick strongly. So if one cannot manage in that way then he is not fit as teacher. If a child is trained properly in Krishna Consciousness, he will never go away. That means he must have two things, love and education. So if there is beating of child, that will be difficult for him to accept in loving spirit, and when he is old enough he may want to go away--that is the danger. So why these things are going on _ marching and chanting japa, insufficient milk, too strict enforcement of time schedules, hitting the small children? Why these things are being imposed? Why they are inventing these such new things like marching and japa like army? What can I do from such a distant place? They should run and play when they are small children, not forced to chant japa, that is not the way. So I have given you the guiding principles, it is not that I must be consulted with every small detail, that is the business of the in-charge, but if no one is there who can manage in the right way, what can I do? Now if you have got the right idea how to do it, you may go there again and take some responsible post for correcting the situation, that will be your real duty, not that there is some disagreement and I go away disgusted, no. That is not Vaisnava standard. Standard should be that, never mind there is some difficulty, my spiritual master has ordered me to do like this, now let me do it, that's all.
[Srila Prabhupada Letter to: Bhanutanya Hyderabad 18 November, 1972]
These children are the future hope of our Society
Now I am concerned that the Gurukula experiment should come out nicely. These children are the future hope of our Society, so it is a very important matter how we are training them in Krishna consciousness from the very childhood.
[S.P. Letter to: Satsvarupa, New York 11 April, 1973]
Gurukula is our most important project. If the children are given a Krsna Conscious education from early childhood then there is great hope for the future of the world.
[Srila Prabhupada Letter to: Dayananda, Nandarani Calcutta 27 January, 1973]
The children of our devotees may live with their parents
perpetually because you are all living in the temple
and already engaged in devotional service.
So far your son leaving you, his parents, at 5 years, that is not necessary. Especially our Krishna Conscious children; they are already living in a asrama. The children of our devotees may live with their parents perpetually because you are all living in the temple and already engaged in devotional service. Other instructions are for those not engaged in Krishna Consciousness. Any family engaged in Krishna's service is living not in this material world. Such a home is considered as Vaikuntha. [the spiritual world] That is the verdict of Bhaktivinode Thakura.
[Srila Prabhupada Letter to: Indira London 15 August, 1971]