वसुदेवसुतं देवं, कंसचाणूर्मदनम्।
देवकी परमानंदं, कृष्णं वंदे जगद्गुरुम्।।
I bow to the Jagadguru (Teacher of the world) Krishna, the son of Vasudev and the one who gave the feeling of eternal bliss to Devaki, the slayer of Kans and Chanur…
On the occasion of Janmashtami, plan to write on parenting. The reason lies in the above shlok which I have quoted. Krishna is the son of Vasudev and a son who gives the feeling of bliss to Devaki. We all know that they are His biological parents but it is Yashoda and Nand who took care of His growth during His childhood days. Krishna grew up in Gokul and Vrindavan. Here I want to clarify that many great thinkers have described Krishna as driving force of the Universe (Gokul). I bow down to these great thinkers but want to look at the God from the point of view of Humans, especially His Leela (play) during the Childhood days. My motive in writing this blog is just to point out about the outlook of parents the parents should have towards their kids during their growing days. So, my readers, this blog today, is for your parents and also for you to remember and live in that manner in your parental days. Krishna may be mythology for some and God for some but for me He is just a darling son. A friend.
Every child is born with a potential to do something in his/her life. The child needs to be nurtured in that manner. The first responsibility of a parent is to find out the kids capabilities and inclinations. We Indians, believe in Life after Death, so the child does get imprints of past life, when born. They, the imprints, can be a great help to us in the development of the child. To find these characteristics,
1. Listen to the child
2. Spend time with the child
3. Allow the child to express thoughts freely and in a manner possible.
4. Talk to child
5. Play games with the child
6. Trust your child
7. Never compare two children
8. Believe and live with the thought that every child is special
Krishna was lucky to get this all from his parents. They listened to him. And sometimes played with him too. They trusted him 100 percent. Basically they trusted their own self and their method of upbringing. Krishna’s life is under threat from his birth, yet he passes through the tests successfully. The reason being the trust his parents had on him. The question therefore we need to answer is that are we as parents willing to do the things listed out above? If yes, then even our child can and will be Krishna.
Let us get some of our facts correct/corrected. Let us, the parents, answer the following questions:
1. Do we give the time and space to our children?
2. Are we forcing a few things down their throats?
3. Do we see our children as a mean/instrument to fulfill our unfulfilled dreams and wishes?
4. Are we being too strict or too lenient?
5. Do we give them the freedom to speak their mind?
6. Do we ever speak negatively with them or sometimes? Or is it always?
7. Are we forcing them to follow things as a methodology or family trait or any other such reason?
There can be many more questions and also we need not follow the same chronological order I have given here. But we need to sit back and frame such questions, ask ourselves and give honest answers. Krishna was never forced. Krishna was never spoken to negatively. No methodology or family traits stopped him. Rather it was the other way around. He made his elders understand the importance of Govardhan, the mountain, and made them realise that it was the mountain which gave them the rains by stopping the rain clouds. And everyone from that day onwards started worshipping Govardhan. So let us learn to listen to our kids. We Indians believe that God speaks through our kids. Maybe through this, our elders wanted us to understand that we need to listen to our kids often.
Krishna had this unique quality of asking questions, which I find in every child including mine. Do we support this questioning or stop it? The inquisitive nature imbibed in every child needs to be nurtured. And if we cannot answer their questions, let us also make it our own quest and together find out an answer. My personal experience has been kids who ask questions may not score good marks in exams but they go a lot ahead in life. We may not like it nor have lived that way, but let us understand and allow the kids to ask questions. Let us not stop their quest “to know“, cause that is the right way to learning. A concept taught when a question is asked will never be forgotten. It still happens so with me that some questions from students compels me to stop my regular topic and talk about the various aspects about the questions asked. And my experience has been that the kids love it. They start taking interest and slowly develop a liking for a subject which they may have not liked till then. Many students come to me with a fear for science, but by the time they leave, the fear or non-liking of science is gone. My job is just to develop a liking for science, teach them the basic concepts and leave it up to them to find their own applications. Similarly there are many things in life which we as parents can facilitate our kid to ask and learn.
Krishna was given a group of cows and asked to take them to the natural surroundings for grazing. He is a cowherd. He leaves with his cows every morning and returns every evening. But what seems to us as a routine, has a deep meaning inside for me. He learnt from nature and how does one learn from nature? “By observing“. Shouldn’t we too as parents be like Krishna’s parents? Let our kids go. Let them observe and learn. Let them come out with their natural talent. I know our Seers say मातृमुखेन शिक्षणं (the child learns from the mother). But that is for a kid. Not for child who has grown up to the age of 8/9 years. In the olden days, the child was sent to the Gurukul. The child has to learn from the world. By living in it and observing it. Today when I see some over possessive parents, am pained to see them and don’t know whether to laugh or cry when they call themselves Krisha bhakts (Devotees of Krishna). One should care and it is our responsibility but that doesn’t mean that we encroach upon their space of development. “Caring needs to be done but without, the person being cared for, feeling any pressure.”
Krishna plays every day. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy is what we all have heard while growing up. Do we send our child to play often as we send him to various classes and tuitions to learn a new skill. I feel playground is one of the best teachers. Many things are learnt without being taught or told. Also the friends made at the playground are the friends for life. One fears to loose them cause one knows that they are the ones who have taught him the ups and downs of the game and also stood by you in all the aspects of the game. Am not against any parent sending their child to a skill learning or a skill development class. That is also a must. But this being done at the cost of field games is something which we all need to seriously think over. Let us all recall our childhood. We used to throw our bags around after returning from school, eat half lunches/breakfasts and run out to play. How many of us would again want to do it, if given a chance?How many of us see their kids do this? How many of us allow this?
My readers, there are many aspects of Krishna’s life which can be touched upon and thought and talked upon. Similarly there are many aspects of Krishna nurturing. But will leave it for some other day. In the meanwhile would request every parent to think over the things shared today with you and make suggestions for the same.
Let us all together let the Krishna within our child live, thrive and grow.
Let Krishna be born within us.
Let us all live the Krishna way, follow the Krishna way and nurture our kids the Krishna way.
Let the mantra “Shree Krishna Sharanam Mamah” (श्री कृष्ण शरणं ममः) regain its lost glory by accepting Krishna as our saviour in its true sense, the way He explains in Shreemad Bhagwad Geeta.
Let us all celebrate Janmashtami this year by looking into ourselves and trying to make those small changes to lead us onto Krishna way of life.
Let us together walk on this path and experience the bliss that Devki experienced.
नंद घेर आनंद भयो, जय कन्हैयालाल की ।
हाथी घोडा पालकी, जय कन्हैयालाल की।।
WISHING YOU AND EVERYONE AT HOME A VERY HAPPY KRISHNA JANMASHTAMI.