By Urmila Devi Dasi
CAN WE MAKE OUR CHILDREN turn out the way we want?
Srila Prabhupada once said, “If you place a child in good association, he will act properly, and if you place him in bad association, he will act improperly. A child has no independence in that sense…. According to Vedic civilization, as soon as a child is four or five years old, he is sent to a gurukula, where he is disciplined.”
Anyone who has worked with children knows they are vulnerable to their environment. Yet children also carry from their previous lives a complex burden of good and bad karmaand a particular tendency of character. In fact, the mentality of the parents during conception attracts a particular souls’ with particular inclinations to become their child. Because of this, enlightened parents prepare themselves so that they can be in spiritual consciousness during conception. Thus their child will be receptive to the training they will give him. Srila Prabhupada says, “You can mold the children in any way. They are like soft dough.” So the mold is essential when considering the shape of the final piece of sculpture. But the quality of the material one puts into the mold is also important.