Saturday, November 17, 2007

Parenting with Truth: The legend of Vishnu-devotee Prahlada

Children have to be brought up in an atmosphere of truth. In a spiritual context, this may be more important than loving your kids. Communicating wrong information to children may temporarily disconnect them from reality, creating chaos in their mind. Even if you feed your children with accomplishments you never actualized, just to gain some praise from them, you may be hurting your children in the long run. In Vaishnava mythology, this is exactly what the asura king Hiranyakashipu tried to do with his son, Prahalada. He desired to establish a wrong notion in Prahalad’s mind that he was the supreme person (God), the controller of all worlds. And when his child negated him, the evil king tried to execute his son as a result of his false pride. Fortunately, Prahalad had already been enrolled by Lord Vishnu as one of His most preferred devotees and was protected again and again by the Lord Himself.

In the contemporary real world, because our teachings as parents may not be so ridiculous, the unfavorable consequences from improper guidance may take a long time to get noticed. Even if adding wrong information to a child’s database does not make a difference in the material world, full of competition and trickery, it may block access to the eternal source of truth to curtail his or her spiritual progress. And every child may not be as lucky as Prahalada.

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