Children are the Foundation of Cultural

May - Jun 2003

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Even after a hard penance and deep repentance a person of advanced age, carrying the burden of accumulated errors, mistakes and sins is not likely to become pious and noble in the short time left to him. On the contrary, a young child, given proper guidance, training and education can become a paragon of virtues and noble character. Whenever animal instincts hidden in inner psyche find favourable circumstances they create terrible tribulations in the mind which generates uncontrollably dirty and dissolute thoughts and emotions in adults and the persons of advanced age. This makes the purification and control of mind very difficult. Hence the Indian sages had stressed that character can be made strong and noble in childhood only. Advancement in age makes the character traits very rigid. Only those who went through a regimen of self-control and self refinement in childhood can become great, intelligent and spiritually elevated. So long as this tradition continued properly there was no lack of happiness, peace and prosperity in society  which is a collection of individuals. This important aspect of character building in children is neglected to-day, which is a matter of deep concern. Seeing the speed with which moral crimes are increasing in children, social reformers are bound to be worried. When hatred and vices get deeply rooted in nature at young age no reformative programs would give desired success even after great efforts. Practical difficulty is that the guardians do not bear this responsibility consciously and seriously. Most of them do not even know how to inculcate nobility of character in children. Self-willed children adopt only evils and vices of society because they are surrounded by them only. Formation of personality starts in womb itself. Keeping in mind this fact Indian rishis introduced ritual system ( sanskars). This gave the children moral training in a natural manner. A lady went to Socrates and asked, "Sir! When should I start educating my son?" "What is the age of child?" asked Socrates. "Four years" the lady simply replied. "Then your are lagging behind by four years and nine months," Said Socrates. Instincts of the child start forming by mothers daily routine hence it will not be exaggeration to say that childrens education should be started right from pregnancy. This system was methodical and scientific. This was the reason that spiritually evolved children like Dhruv, Prahlad, Bharat, Abhimanyu used to be born in many families. Today there is an urgent need for revival of these traditions. Foundation of cultural elevation should be started with upliftment of children, only then will nobility of character prosper in society. Practice of making children cultured should be started right from their conception. Mentality of parents affects the mentality of the child. His body is made with the flesh and blood of mothers body. Subtle effect of the way of living of the parents affects the soul-development of the child. Hence parents should practice purity and piety in their eating and drinking, way of living and behaviour as soon as the child is conceived. Mothers who eat chilly spices, sour, acrid, stale food would give birth to children who are mostly hot tempered, wicked and vile. Clothes, ornaments, language spoken, etc. also affect the child in womb. If there is no warmth and love in the relationship between husband and wife, children born to them are likely to be vicious, atheist, and of irritating nature. Parents should definitely be aware of these plane facts. From birth to adolescence the child is mostly under the influence of his mother. During that period the child keeps observing very minutely the attitudes and activities of his mother, hence the mother should behave very responsibly during this period. During this period it is harmful to inculcate fear in the children, to keep them dirty, to give them drowsy drugs to sleep, etc. Sexy gestures, anger, quarrels etc. are bound to make children impertinent and self-willed by nature. Hence one should always be cautious not to act or behave in a way, which may leave a baneful impression on the delicate mind of the child. On attaining five years of age childs thirst for knowledge starts increasing. Now he starts becoming curious about the things and the environment around him. At this age children learn rapidly through pictures and stories. Their interest is aroused for lullabies and sweet music. At this time children should be shown beautiful pictures containing portraits of great persons and natural scenes etc. House should be decorated with artistic things and children should be made to have interest in them. Biographies of great persons should be narrated to them in easily understandable and interesting way. Pathetic, peace-inducing and entertaining lullabies amuse children, encouraging emergence of noble instincts in their inner being. At this age a child can be made to apply his mind in any direction. At present the only aim of education is to develop the capacity to earn lot of money hence Gurukul tradition can not be suddenly introduced but guardians can at least train them in self-control, altruism, compassion and caring concern for all sentient beings. It is a blunder to marry them so long as they do not become mature, responsible and self supporting; otherwise they may prove as miserable failures throughout their lives. The condition of family, whose members neither know the art of living nor have the requisite knowledge and experience of life to opt for it, is as miserable as that of a chariot having un-reined horses. What sorts of conflicts are going on in the families of today running on the pattern of blind beliefs is known to every body. Education is supposed to have a cleansing, uplifting and refining effect. If this education system is enlivened by inclusion of moral, ethical and spiritual values, it will lead to training a new generation of young persons sizzling with zeal to embrace and uplift the lowliest and the lost by voluntarily educating them in an exclusive pattern, inculcating in them qualities of love, kindness, compassion, sharing and caring. Earth can thus become a place worth returning again and again. For social progress and national uplift also every citizen should compulsorily be educated in ethical, moral and spiritual values. Education develops a persons intelligence and makes him fit to earn worldly as well as spiritual boons. There can be no other better way for overall development of life. For cultural elevation, we should develop our life by introspection and purification but should not forget that with this much only it will not be possible to raise our culture to a per-eminent place in the world. The greatest need of today is the character development of our children. The day our children get morally and ethically elevated the time will not be far when dignity of our society will again start attracting world attention.

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