Insight: Raising Children As Good Hindus
Parents Are the First Gurus in Religion, Culture and Character
Many Hindu families visiting our Hawaii monastery, particularly those with young children, ask if I have any advice for them. I usually respond with one or two strategic suggestions. I always stress the importance of presenting Hinduism to their children in a practical way so that it influences each child’s life for the better. Hindu practices should, for example, help children get better grades in school and get along well with others. Of course, there is not enough time in a short session to present all the many guidelines that a parent would find useful. Therefore, I decided to write up a full complement of suggestions to be handed to Hindu families in the future who want to know ways to present Hinduism to their kids. You hold the results in your hands: a parent’s guidebook of minimum teachings to convey to children. It is based on the teachings of my satguru, Sivaya Subramuniyaswami, founder of HINDUISM TODAY, distilled from insights he gained from over 40 years of closely working with hundreds of families in a score of nations. This booklet presents a survey of character building designed to augment any Hindu tradition or denomination. The key is this: start teaching early and don’t stop until your children leave the home. Even if you did nothing more than what is outlined in these pages, that would be enough to send them on their way as good Hindus, well equipped to live as happy, effective citizens of the modern world.
By Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami