Children, in the olden days in our country, awareness of the spiritual principles was considered the most important aspect of life. However, today, material knowledge has superseded spirituality in importance. There is no point in trying to turn back the clock. Such efforts will only result in disappointment. What’s important now is to learn how to move forward without allowing what remains of our good culture to be destroyed.
A long time ago, children were sent to school only at the age of five. Today, we enrol children in nursery schools when they are even just two and a half years old. Until children turn five, we must only show them love. We shouldn’t obstruct their freedom in any way. They must be able to play as they wish. All we have to do is to pay attention to their safety—protect them from being burnt or wandering into ponds. No matter how mischievous they may get, we must only show them love. Even when we point out their wrongdoing, we must do it with extreme love. Just as they lived protected in their mother’s womb for nine months, for the first five years after their birth they must remain protected in another womb—a womb of love. But, today, this is not the situation.
In the name of education, we put so much of burden on our children—way more than they can carry. At a time when they should be playing with their friends, we have trapped our children in classrooms, like birds in cages. Furthermore, if the children do not get first rank starting with lower kindergarten, the parents become filled with stress. The parents then put even more pressure on their children.
Children live in a world of total innocence. They grow up telling stories to flowers and butterflies. Looking at their world we have such a feeling of wonder! Their nature is to be happy and spread happiness to others. But instead of imbibing their children’s innocence, parents are more interested in dragging their children into their own world—the world of competition and frustration.
Amma remembers a story. Two neighbouring children were playing, and one of the children’s hands happened to get slightly hurt. Seeing this, his mother scolded the second child’s mother. When the argument got out of hand, both the husbands and neighbours started taking sides. Matters escalated. In the midst of all this, someone started looking for the children. When he found them, he saw them happily playing together, having forgotten all about their fight.
These days, parents neither take the time to explain the goal of life to their children nor do they help their children adapt a lifestyle that leads them to the goal. No one seems to take the time to recognise their child’s innate interests and encourage and foster their latent talents. Healthy competition in school can help children improve in their studies and reach their potential, but the level of competition we see today only leads to stress. If they are unable to fill the expectations with regards to their exams, they become overwhelmed mentally, and the rest of their life they confront disappointment.
Children, we must think about the purpose of education. It is true that modern education makes it possible to get a degree and land well-paying jobs, but will this give us lasting mental peace? If we are unwilling to inculcate cultural values along with modern education, we will be fostering Ravanas not Ramas. Awareness of cultural values is the foundation of peace and happiness in our lives. Only through spirituality, can we find supreme culture and wisdom.