Episode # 523 – Long-term development of “Dharma” & “Bhakti” in children & youth – How is it possible???

In the previous episode, we had witnessed the continuation of the discussion on how Yudishtra gives his 100% effort in following the path of “Dharma” meticulously. For this to happen, we’ve witnessed how “interest” is very important. If we have that interest in us to explore and follow “Dharma”, automatically we would find our own ways to implement it with our dedication. This is exactly what happened in Yudishtra’s case as well. Right from day one, we have witnessed how Yudishtra was steadfast in his path towards “Dharma”, no matter whatever happened to his life. We’re currently in the midst of a conversation between Bhagawan Krishna, Yudishtra and Co., Draupati, Satyabhama and Sage Maarkandeya who is going to join all of them in a bit, wherein Bhagawan Krishna is praising Yudishtra for his meticulous following of “Dharma”. In this context, we’re seeing its applicability in today’s scenario, wherein we’re currently discussing how to develop this “Bhakti” and “Dharma” in our children and next generation. 

Given this context, we’ve to remember one thing very importantly here – If we’ve to develop that interest in the younger generation today, patience is extremely important. Because, given the amount of distractions and the so-called “Westernization” in today’s world, youngsters are bound to get carried away by it when they reach the age of 16 to 20 or 25. Given the fact that most of the youngsters are working in big corporate multinational companies, their work environment, the nature of colleagues with whom they work, etc. have a huge impact on their life. As parents, we might have instilled all the principles of “Bhakti” and “Dharma” during their childhood days, but when they grow older, it would seem to us as if they’ve forgotten whatever we’ve taught them. Actually this is not true. Even though the children do not show it out, they would definitely have these basic principles of “Dharma” instilled in them somewhere deep within. Of course, they might run around here and there due to their adolescence and youth, but at a later stage, say after 30-35 years of age, they would slowly start coming back to their basics. Once they get married and start having their own family, they will slowly realize the importance of our “Sanaathana Dharma” and would definitely start searching for it more meticulously than before. This is because, till their childhood days, we would be feeding them with a lot of lessons, but now, as they grow up, they themselves will start referring to books, discourses, etc. and commence their research into this. This is what we call “long-term and sustained” growth! Hence, for this to happen, elders should exhibit a certain level of patience and perseverance as well. Of course, we should create that environment at home, which would stimulate their interest into “Dharma” and “Bhakti”, but we should leave it at that. We should never start forcing children to do things, unless and until they have their own liking towards it. If we do so, things would backfire and chances are very high that children will move away from “Dharma”. This is why we see in a lot of families, things are getting into a disarray and a mess. This predominantly happens because parents start getting agitated to see their children not following what they want them to follow. We should always allow the individuality of children to come out. We should always remember this point – Every human being has his / her own individuality and we should never try and suppress it. Of course we shall try and advise them, correct them if they are wrong, etc. We can shape up their individuality as parents, but we should not go to the extent of completely dominating them to an extent that they cannot even take basic decisions for their own lives! This is where parents need to draw the line. 

Another important problem in today’s scenario is that parents dominate over their children to such an extent that they “shield” them from the outside world completely! For instance, some parents are so “protective” of their children in such a way that they would not allow their children to even move with friends and mingle with them. They teach the notion to their children that friends can be extremely “dangerous” and they can lead them down a bad path in life! This is quite unwanted! It is extremely unfortunate that parents today are taking this extreme route! Of course, I can understand the psychology of parents too, given the amount of distractions that we have today, however, we should understand one thing clearly – For how long can we shield our children from all this? If we do so, do we think that the children will not understand current happenings and the distractions around them? Of course they will! If we’re so strict with children in this way, children will find their own ways to go behind distractions! Thus, after a point in time, things will become huge and will burst out in a big way, after which, parents might feel very sorry for whatever had happened! This kind of a situation happens often in many families in the case of children getting addicted to drugs, gambling, etc. The parents might think that they’re extremely strict and their children are following their strictness. However, behind the door, the children would slowly start getting addicted to unwanted things, which the parents cannot even trace! I’ve seen many families go down this dangerous path, and when the situation goes out of control, parents realize their fault, but it is too late by then! 

Hence, the point here is that, “Dharma”, “Bhakti”, “Shraddha”, etc. will take time to build in children and as parents, we’ve to give them that time, rather than forcing things on them. So for today, let us understand this point very clearly and let us wait till the next episode to continue this discussion further! Stay tuned! 🙂 

Published by Dr. Jeayaram

Holds a PhD in Management Psychology from Universite Paris Saclay, Paris, France. Also an Asst. Professor of Human Resources management at Bharatidhasan Institute of Management (BIM) Trichy, India A professional South Indian classical musician (singer) performing concerts. Through this blog, I'm trying to bring out the richness of Indian culture & values and I request your support and feedbacks in making this humble effort a success!!

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