[Excerpts from articles and letters by Swami Chinmayananda]
CHILDREN are the “architects of the future world”. They are the builders of humanity. They alone are our only hope for the future. If the future is to be bright, we have to mould our children to think in a new pattern, with a new inspiration and a new vision in their minds. If the present children are moulded in their attitudes, in their values, in their ideas, and in their ideals, we can logically expect a better and more organised world of tomorrow and achieve the design for the world that we hope for at this moment. It is the most sacred task of the parents as well as teachers to mould their lives in accordance with the sublime Indian Tradition. The seed of spiritual values should be sown in the young hearts, and the condition should be made favourable for its sprouting and steady growth by the exercise of proper control and discipline. Cared for with warmth of love and affection, such a tree shall blossom forth flowers of Brotherhood, Universal Love, Peace, Bliss, Beauty and Perfection. Let us try to leave in them some higher and nobler values. This done — we have then educated them for the highest achievements.
Morals cannot be TAUGHT, they must be CAUGHT from mothers and the teachers, while the child is still young and is in his or her formative years. A true appreciation of the eternal values of life alone can make a child grow in the right direction. Children are not vessels to be filled in, but lamps to be lit. Never can children’s education be complete unless, we impart to them a true appreciation of the eternal values of life. It is our bounden duty to do everything to make children grow into beautiful beings. Children grow not only because of the food you give and physical comforts you provide, but their inner nature, emotional and intellectual, is moulded by the atmosphere at home we give them. Unless you walk out of your unproductive, stupid, thoughtless spirits of depression, you are providing children a very unconducive and unhealthy atmosphere to grow up. Unless our hearts are filled with love, this man-making programme cannot take off. We, the parents, must CHANGE. Children learn NOT from books. Higher values cannot be imparted to the children by institutions, by a society or a community. THEY IMITATE THEIR PARENTS.
At the early stages of childhood, every one is potential material which can be moulded with a little pressure of discipline into spectacular beauty and covetable perfection. Children growing up in a surcharged atmosphere of divine devotion cannot but grow up as the stalwart supports of our Culture and Religion. Children are the cleanest canvas on which to paint. Today’s children are completely in the hands of their mothers — to make or mar them. This is the time for you to start and sing to them the immortal beauty of our ancient culture, the perfections of our masters, the fullness of our kings, the heroism of our soldiers, the vision of our poets, the depths of our philosophers and the heights of our national character. Patiently ingrain into them reverence for our national culture, for the genius of the land, for the beauty of our art and the wealth of our literature.
It is not only sufficient to train the children in the higher values of life; we must teach them to have the courage and heroism to live upto their convictions. We have to take responsibility for moulding and beautifying the child, prepare him to face the world of tomorrow and to lead and guide the world of the future. Only then we have proved that today’s children are our future. It is the bounden duty of all parents to hand over the cultural inspiration of the country to the growing children of the nation.
To train our younger generation, to appreciate their culture and to inspire them to live it fully is to make a nation of ourselves, wherein everyone, without distinction of caste and creed, can sink their differences and come to live the glory that is BHARATIYA CULTURE. This civic education, and the cultural consciousness can be imparted from the nursery stage onwards to the growing generation — the Bharatiya Spiritual Thought and Culture. Man learns more with the eyes than by the ears. If the elders and leaders were to be more careful in their behaviour, they would be demonstrating the beauty that is the Indian Culture, and the vigorous youth of our nation shall readily imitate those beauties in their lives.
It is the obvious duty of parents and teachers to inculcate high-mindedness in the children, and pour their labour of love in lifting them up to be men of sterling characters. It is the duty of the educationists to see that they impart to the growing generation, not merely some factual knowledge or some wondrous theories but they must also instill into the growing generation ideals of pure living and train the children to live those in their individual life. A sincere group working with singular dedication cannot but bring about a gracious cultural atmosphere for our innocent children to grow up, proud of their heritage and self-confident in their cultural beauty. Highly inspired teachers working together as a disciplined army, dedicated to the sanctity of their sacred profession, with selfless and continuous enthusiasm alone can mould the spiritual beauty in the growing children. WE SHALL NOT FAIL THE NATION AND THE SILENT DEMAND OF THE INNOCENT CHILDREN GROWING UNDER OUR CARE TO MAKE A CULTURAL HISTORY OF TOMORROW!!
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