In this Post, I am going to tell you HOW TO DEVELOP YOUR CHILD AS A DEVOTEE OF KRISHNA. Please read them that will be helpful for the parents having small or young children.
Two women devotees had asked like this:
(1) Mother of a new born child:
“How should I make my baby krishna’s devotee, though in pregnancy I all the time chanted and heard and read shrimad bhagvatam”
(2) “Hare krishna anna i jus want to know whether horoscope shows any spirituality in future as i hv my 2 yrs old son i want him to start his devotional life frm this stage….as guide me how to guide my son i hv taught him mahamantra n he recite…so plz….guide me n my son….eagerly waiting for ans. Dandvats”
It is nice to see that your 2 years old son chants Maha Manthra. This is the right way of cultivating the children. Yes.. Horoscope indicates our passage of life including our interest in devotion. However, “our free will to do as we wish” too plays a role in the course of our life.
I have some advice and also warnings for you. Actually, children should be trained in Krishna Consciousness according to your priorities.
So, first decide one between these two:
(1) Whether you like to bring up your son as brahmachari or poojari or a full time devotee in temple.
(2) Or, whether you expect your son to study well, go to job/ business, marry and perform Krishna Consciousness as a perfect grahastha.
(1) TO BECOME A FULL TIME BRAHMACHARI DEVOTEE OF KRISHNA
(1) Allow him to freely mingle with the existing senior/ junior devotees in temple and allow him to attend all the lectures in the temple and also that of Srila prabhupada and spiritual masters of ISKCON.
(3) Let him chant as many rounds as possible now and let him increase his chanting periodically.
(4) Let him know all the secrets of Krishna Consciousness without limitations and offer .
(6) If possible, let him attend the special courses conducted by the sathsangha. For example, ISKCON conducts advanced levels of courses in its Vrindavan center. Basic trainings are given in special Bhakti Vruksha programs in the local temples/ centers. Let him attend them.
If he follows the above five things, he will become a good full time devotee for Lord and can serve the Lord in temples.
(2) TO BE A WORKING AND GRAHASTHA DEVOTEE OF KRISHNA
(1) Ask him to chant Hare Krishna as much as possible adjusting his time with his studies. Practice him to get up early from bed in the morning and chant.
(2) Ask him to memorize important slokas of Bhagavad Gita. Let him know the basic details of Bhagavad Gita.
(3) Do not load him with too much of advanced concepts of Krishna Consciousness except basic details. Because, if he enters into the advanced concepts in his childhood itself, he may prefer to avoid studies, job, etc, because, he can not learn balancing between spirituality and his daily duties in that childhood age. So, he may perform less in studies and taking efforts for jobs.
(4) Till he goes to a job, let him attend temples, take part in kirtans, have prasadam and come back. Keep on teaching him to remember his duties of studying, trying for good job, getting married to a devotee and leading a responsible grahastha life.
(5) Always tell him that Krishna wants us to do our assigned duties perfectly leaving the results to Him. Also encourage him that selecting a devotee wife and leading a grahastha life is not at all a barrier for advancing in K.C. Encourage him to read the chapter 2, 3 and 18 of Bhagavad Gita.
(6) Restrict his Krishna Conscious activities to sundays alone and on important festivals in temples. Let him involve in Krishna Consciousness seriously after attaining the age of evaluating good or bad.
(7) Get him/ her married in the young age finding a devotee girl/ boy.
(8) Encourage him to monetarily support the service to Krishna by earning well. Tell him/ her that this too is a way recommended for the working and earning devotees to take part in the services to Krishna.
WHY TWO TYPES OF ADVICE?
I have classified into two cases and advised because, I have seen some young devotees who hated and deserted their family in haste and come to Krishna Consciousness as a full time devotee and then regretted later.
Remember, I am not against becoming a full time devotee. Becoming a full time devotee is very fortunate decision, no doubt. But, it should be taken only if you have full conviction and your family background is suitable for it. This is my only advice for those who like to become a full time devotee of Krishna. Just ensure that no one will suffer badly in your family because of your becoming a full time devotee.
Personally, I do not recommend anyone becoming a full time devotee if he has no other person in his family to take care of his elderly parents and unmarried sisters.
I know a male devotee who was attracted to devotional way of life and settling in temples and hence he deserted his aged mother and settled in a temple. He was in his student age then. When I was talking to him on a Janmashtami day, he shed tears saying: “Prabhu…Today is the day on which my mother died last year. I tried for jobs and did not get one. So, I started to the the material world. At that time, I came across some devotees. So, I thought of devoting for Lord’s service instead of trying for job further. So, I left my home and my mother who had no caretakers, but living with small pension only and settled in this temple. She was living alone. When she used to call me over phone, I scolded her and shut the phone. She died of sorrows of my separation, I think. When she died, I got a call from my relative. I did not even go for seeing the body of my mother. I was that much adamently hating material life. But, only now, after reading and hearing the lectures, I realize that we we can also perform devotion while we perform our assigned duties in our family / work. Now, she is no more and I can’t see her again. She would have died scolding the entire devotee community for having separated her son from her. I could have remained with her and performed devotion. Now, I am pained with guilt.”
Telling like this, he shed tears. That is why, I have been advising all not to desert the family, but, desert only attachments. Do all the assigned duties without attachments. By living like this, you can avoid such guilty feelings later. We should not desert the people who are depending on us, but, we should desert only attachments.
So, if you expect your son to be with you, earn and support the family, advise him to balance his spiritual life as well as material life. The objective of my starting this preaching service is just to prevent innocent youth deserting their families and practising devotion. Even I myself lost my eldest sister because her husband did not care his family and went behind sathsangha (Not ISKCON) only all the time.
So, educate your son perfectly right from this childhood to practice Krishna Consciousness while performing his assigned duties also without attachments to results. That is enough. If you teach this, he will manage himself and successfully cross his life.
All the best.