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Do You Want Your Child to Be Non-Margii

Date: Sun Mar 27 2011 08:04:36 -0000
From: P. Maher
Subject: Do You Want Your Child to Be Non-Margii



We all want our Marga to grow and every parent in AM wants for their
child to become a dedicated sadhaka. After all, who does not want to
have a beautiful devotional and ideological flow under their own roof.
My husband and I certainly did.

Unfortunately, with our eldest child, we could not gain success - by
Baba's grace with our second, things have been much better in that regard.

Perhaps other parents have experienced or are experiencing similar
results as our family. The reality is that raising a margii child is no
easy feat, especially in this ultra-materialistic era. But it is not at
all impossible either. There are some excellent examples in our Marga,
all over the world. There are however, no shortage of cases where things
did not turn out too well.

Here I wish to share some of the errors which we made due to ignorance -
we were not aware, so I write today in hopes that others will avoid such
issues. Also I will offer what has worked for us with our youngest.

Of course, please, please, please, if you have anything to add - as I am
sure all parents do(!) - please write in about this crucial point. You
will be doing a big service to our entire Margii family. I look forward
to hearing about it...

                  THE MAIN MISTAKE WE MADE

Oh Baba, this letter is not easy for me to write as the growth and
development of our children has been quite trying for us.

On the one side, our eldest child is fine in many regards, but
admittedly he is not an Ananda Margii and at this point it seems that it
will take nothing short of a miracle for this to happen.

Here is the main mistake we made.

With our eldest - a son now 27 - we just naturally assumed that as he
got older he would see the value and rational approach of AM. We thought
that he would organically understand how doing meditation and eating
vegetarian was the best way to go - but it did not turn out like that at
all. This was a big blow to our psyche and to this day I regret the
choices we made in raising him.

I naively thought that I should not push him into AM and that it would
be "healthier" if this was something he decided on his own. After all,
that was how my husband and I came into the Marga. So we let our son
grow up in a "normal manner" - play, homework, video games, etc -
without forcing him to attend AM functions or going to Marga retreats or
doing sadhana together etc. He would go to friends' houses while my
husband and I went to dharmacakra or any AM function.

However, once on that loose leash, my eldest child just strayed farther
and farther from the path. Today he drinks alcohol, eats meat, is
covered by multiple tattoos, and has even experimented with being gay.

I love him dearly, but I see that without my pushing and insisting when
he was young (i.e. in his early childhood years), he just got pulled
into the dirty current of materialism. It is those values and choices
that govern his day to day life - not the ways of Ananda Marga.

This has been the cause of so much tension, arguing, and regret in our
household. Now he even criticises us for being in Ananda Marga - he
thinks we are ignorant. It is a headache to live together or even visit.
In the kitchen he eats meat and smokes cigarettes in the house. I cannot
even begin to tell you all the problems. I really wish I knew back then
what I know now.

It is very painful to see and even more painful to admit. What was the
point in my becoming a parent if I could not raise my child(ren)
according to the precepts of dharma.

Somehow it all got away from us.

                     THE ROLE OF SAMSKARA

One of the reasons I am writing about this is to recount the day Dadaji
stayed with us for an entire week. Dada came at our request when I told
him that our child could not be controlled. At the time our eldest was
14 and he was not listening to anything.

We had known Dadaji for years and had complete trust in his evaluation.
He could see very clearly what transpired within our family - with
respect to our eldest. And he pointed out one key mis-step that my
husband and I tripped over long ago.

Dada reminded us that samskara plays a huge role in life. That is not to
say that everything is pre-destined and that we should just be passive
observers. Rather the opposite is true. Without a very positive samskara
then coming into AM is not easy - a lot of help is needed. This is the
point we missed.

Rather than doing lots of kiirtan and sadhana with our oldest child when
he was young, and always taking him to dharmacakra, we just let him play
etc. We were too relaxed, when it was in those years (from 0 to 12) that
we needed to instill the values & practices of Ananda Marga.

On that occasion, Dada warned if we are not strict strict with our
second child then our youngest will also fall into problem, but if we
instill AM values early then everything will be fine. That was 13 yrs
ago. And I have to say that Dadaji was absolutely right. Today our
youngest is 17 and all is well, whereas I still regret how I raised my
eldest, now 27.

                  THE ROLE OF SAMSKARA (Cont)

Here is more of Dada's explanation - via a short synopsis. Then I will
tell more of my story...

All over the globe there are millions and billions of people who get
caught up in the social norms of the day, and comparatively few who
break away from those dogmatic traditions and steer clear of
pseudo-culture and come into AM.

Dada told that those not born in margii families and enter into AM is
due to their extraordinary samskara combined with Baba's divine grace.
These sadhakas had such a remarkable samskara that no matter what life
situation they were born into, they would have come into AM.

Then Dadaji explained that most of the population is not like that -
including many of our margii children. For such persons to enter AM, it
will take a huge amount of support and guidance from the parents from
infancy through their childhood. Regular kiirtan, telling devotional
stories, coming to dharmacakra, making friends with other margii
children - all of these things and more are needed in order to bring our
own children into the Marga.

When I heard this it was as if I swallowed a rock.

It seemed so plainly obvious when Dada explained this, but somehow as
parents we missed the boat on this one. My entire adult life I assumed
the opposite. I figured, "Oh, of course our child will choose AM" - and
I waited and I waited and I waited, but it never happened. And now my
oldest is far past his formative years, and he is making his own life
decisions, and AM does not even come into the picture.

When he was a teenager I tried to guide him but by then it was too late.
I would give advice and he would argue and quarrel. It was then that
Dada told me that I had to teach all this when he was young - then he
would listen. During his teenage years when he was rebelling was not the
time to teach - it just created more fights.

Thus it was when my oldest was 13 and my youngest 3 that I made the
switch in my approach. The result being that now nearly 15 yrs later, my
oldest is far, far from the Marga and our younger son is an inspired and
true Ananda Margii. I will tell the story about my youngest down below.

So now I clearly understand that had I adopted a proper parenting
approach then both my children could have become margiis. By Baba's
grace that is what has happened with our youngest. And it could have
been that way with our oldest, but I naively assumed that he would come
on his own. I failed to realise that without an extraordinary samskara
this would never happen.


Baba guides us that we are to guide our children along the path of
morality and spirituality from a very young age.

Baba says, "One should follow bha'gavata dharma from one’s very
childhood, because human life is rare and is very precious...So a wise
person should get initiated and should start sa'dhana' in his very
childhood, or kaoma'ra." (SS-21)

So Baba's guideline is that from the very birth of their child, parents
should be very sensitive to the needs of the child and guide them along
the path of sadhana.

Baba says, "Parents will have to take on most of the responsibility for
the moral and spiritual education of the child." (HS-1)

And indeed, during DMC and general darshan, Baba always welcomed mothers
who brought their young infants. Baba's teaching is that from the
earliest age children should be raised along the tenets of dharma and
when they are old enough to go to school, then they should go to an
Ananda Marga school. Because the mind is very impressionable at the
tender age of 5. What they are taught they will remember and follow with
implicit faith and trust.

For these reasons and more Baba guides us that parents must introduce
their child to spiritual ideals very early on - further down in this
email is that very beautiful account from Baba about how the great saint
Madalasa raised her children.

Then in addition to parenting, a proper education is needed that
instills the right values in life.

                     Sa' vidya' ya' vimuktaye

Baba says, "The real meaning of education is trilateral development –
simultaneous development in the physical, mental and spiritual realms of
human existence." (PNS-18)

For this reason Baba was vigilant that AM should establish primary
education schools all over this earth, in every country, region, city
and village. Baba's point is that from their birth right up through
their childhood is when our children formulate their ideas and visions
about the world and how they will live their live. What our children see
and hear at that age makes a huge impact on who they become later in life.


While our Marga is the voice of bhagavata dharma, the various religions
indoctrinate young minds into their dogmatic ways. And they do this by
employing the very same techniques Baba recommends. They misuse this
method to suite their own needs and interests.

All the religions - Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism - preach and
teach their kids those principles from a very early age. They understand
well that what a child sees and experiences in those younger years (from
0 - 12) will stick with them their entire life. Christians put their
kids in Sunday school, Jews use Hebrew school, the Muslims put even
their 2 year olds in madarsa (Islamic faith schools). In that ways they
are able to indoctrinate their children into their dogmatic faith.

While we are still struggling to implement Baba's ideas within the
Marga, we need look no further than the dogmatic religions to see this
approach in action. Unfortunately, again, the various religions employ
this method to spread their dogma - not the glorious ways of bhagavata

Thus our AM approach is grossly needed on this earth.

                       MORE REFLECTION

So it is really a question of parenting & schooling for those with
regular samskaras, like my children. If they are guided in a particular
direction they will have those experiences and ideals for life. Children
remember and learn so much in those early moments. Now I really wish I
always kept my oldest with me on my lap or nearby when doing sadhana. I
did that with my youngest but not my older one.

Coming into the Marga lies almost cent-per-cent with the families and
then with the schools later on.

Once again we can look to the dogmatic religions for proof.

These days many Christian families are less strict than before, and the
degree to which they are remiss is the degree to which the church loses
followers in that area. This has happened to a large extent in Europe.
In contrast, to the degree that parents are strict in their households -
as is the case with many Muslim families - is the degree to which their
children get fully indoctrinated into that approach.

As parents in the Marga we should clearly understand this issue and put
it into practice. Because unlike the dogmatic religions, we have all the
wonders of the universe to share with our children. Our Marga is the
path of dharma. Yet without our prompting and clear cut approach, our
children will continue to miss out on this opportunity. And this is an
injustice to them - and it is not the way we are to raise our children
in service to Guru Dev.


                    IT IS THE MAIN THING

Part of the problem that can happen is that we may feel that AM is
something above and beyond the rest of life. There is so much to do as
parents that we can get caught up just following the basic worldly
checklist without putting proper emphasis on AM. When in fact it is the
spirituality of AM that is the essence of life - not all that other stuff.

We missed this lesson with our oldest child and instead got caught up in
general societal values and in result our son did not develop into a
sadhaka. We paid attention to his physical and mental (mostly)
development like clockwork, yet never inculcated the spiritual side into
his daily life, neither as an infant nor as a toddler and young boy. And
now the sad reality is that this is not part of his life.

I would not raise this point if I did not see this happening with other
margii families. Many of the parents in my circle of communication are
in the midst of similar circumstances - they openly say so.

I suppose the main thing is not to rely on the idea that somehow
magically our children will walk into the door of AM at the age of 18,
when up until that time Ananda Marga has not been a major factor in
their lives.

                       THE MAIN ISSUE

Here again Baba points out that root cause of the problem

Baba says, "The main point is this: for want of a little care, children
are deprived of the opportunity to become complete human beings, even
though they have a human structure." (HS-1)

Thus to bring our children onto the path of AM we cannot merely
passively wait for that magic day to happen as if they will realise it
with their own rational approach. Rather we have to be assertive and
inculcate spiritual values within our children on a daily basis.

If we do that our children become opponents and hate AM. That is what
happened with my first born and I feel the fault is entirely mine - not
my son's.

The problem has escalated to such a degree that he does not merely
passively oppose AM, but actively by eating meat, smoking, drinking
alcohol and speaking badly about Ananda Marga.

In India there is a saying that I have heard, "Those who kept their
babies away and did not bring them to DMC etc , then those children got
lost, never made it into AM and the whole house became hell."

This happened with many margii families within in India and the essence
of that problem has occurred with many families outside India, including
my own.

The point is that we must bring our young ones into the fold by
including them in all Marga activities and building a strong social
network for them. By Baba's grace we did this with our youngest and it
worked out great.


Here is a short list of things we can do as parents to ensure our
children grow to be strong sadhakas and active Ananda Margiis. Please
add your suggestions too.

1. Create a community of friends by having our margii children play with
other margii children;
2. Bring children to DC and organise a children's dharmacakra;
3. Have them in the room with you when you do your personal sadhana;
4. Sing kiirtan & bhajans with them throughout the day;
5. Tell them Baba stories before bed;
6. Inculcate a spiritual outlook in life;
7. We must remember that our kids see what we do and follow accordingly;
8. If child gets bullied or taught to be fearful of ghosts, then that is
a lifelong problem; similarly if child gets raised in AM then they will
think AM is their home and they will follow the basic do's and don'ts
their entire life.

Finally, may we all remember that we cannot teach someone about the
danger of drowning after he has already drowned. Similarly we must not
passively watch our children grow thinking that by their samskara alone
they will make it into AM. We must be vigilant to guide them every step
of the way they moment they emerge from the womb - and even before then.


Baba tell us that forming children into proper human beings is a big
job, whereas producing children is often care-free and frivolous
behaviour whereby children are often just a by-product of sex. The most
difficult task is to make children into proper human beings.

To do that we must follow the example of the great mother / saint
Madalasa who taught her children from their very infancy about, "Why you
have come into this world and what is your goal."

Baba says, "“Dear son, although you are but a child in a small human
frame, you are the veritable expression of the Supreme Consciousness.
You are an ever-holy, ever-enlightened entity. As long as you think that
you are only a small child, you are spiritually ignorant, but when you
realize that you are a part of that Supreme Entity, you become that
Supreme Entity, you become spotless (nirainjano’si).”...“My dear child,
there is no black spot in your mind. You are spotless. You are
unassailed by any kind of sin.” Sam'sa'ra ma'ya' parivarpito’si: “You
are beyond the spell of the illusory ma'ya' of this mundane world. You
are the embodiment of the pure and unblemished self.”...“This is how
Mada'lasa' teaches her son.” (AV-7)

                        BABA'S BLESSING

By Baba's grace we must teach our children about AM from a very early
age. When we go to our Marga functions then all families should bring
their children. If we instill the values of AM early then even if those
children want to give up and walk away from AM then they will not be
able to do it. Because that AM ways of life will be in their blood. In
contrast, if keep our children separate then only those few exceptional
children with only the greatest of samskaras will become Ananda Margiis,
and all the rest will be lost in the sea of materialism and dogma.

Baba says, "Children will become assets of society in the future to the
extent that their parents or guardians discharge their duties properly."


Note:             STORY: MAN ABOUT TO BE HUNG

Once there was a man who was about to be hung for the many crimes he
committed. Before the hanging, he was granted one last wish and he
requested to talk to his mother.

When his mother arrived he asked her if he could whisper something in
her ear. She said, "Why of course my son" and and leaned towards him.

Then the man bit his mother's ear.

The mother cried out in pain and asked, "Why did you do that?"

The son replied, "Because you are the cause of my imminent death. All
those years when I was a young boy stealing and thieving you never
disciplined me nor told me that what I was doing was wrong. Because I
did not get that important teaching, I grew up to be a criminal. And now
today I am going to be hung."

Here the whole point is that as parents we have a huge effect on what
our children become in life. It is out duty to do right by them and
bring them along the path of dharma, otherwise they will meet all kinds
of troubles and even blame us for their problems - and rightly so.

Baba says, "The mental outlook of children has already been moulded in a
particular fashion by the influence of their family environment before
they start school...Drawing on what they have learned in the family, the
immature minds of children begin to learn about the world and understand
it, and to receive ideas and master language so that they can express
those ideas. Unhesitatingly they adopt their elders’ way of looking at
the world. Hence the primary responsibility for acquainting children
with the world lies with their parents or guardians." (HS-1)

                     PRABHAT SAMGIITA

"Stabdha ma'navata' ja'galo go ja'galo..." (PS #366)


The humanity which has been sleeping since ages in a deep slumber
and being sunk in dogma was not able to think about anything. That
humanity could not understand what is proper and improper-- nor could
they follow any do's and don'ts or protest against injustices. Today,
however, that humanity has become awakened by His grace. Those who were
unable to speak, such persons got the courage to speak against negativity.
All this happened by the showering of His grace, which touched the inner
core of everyone and gave strength to one and all. The Cimmerian
darkness of Amavasya is fading away. This all happened by His divine

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