Religion for Children in a “Liberated” World?
Posted on: September 8, 2021.

Author: Prabhukrishna M, Content Creator/Chief Editor, Yokibu Editorial

Is it necessary—or rather practical—to teach one’s religious faith, values, and practices to his/her children, in today’s “liberated” world? Does it have a positive influence on children, or nurtures a narrow mindset?

Is it imperative or compelling for educational institutions to play a part in inculcating religious values, ethics, cultural knowledge, nationalistic spirit, and such, in students?

These questions are being raised in respect of children in their formative age/education which, especially thus, makes the subject even more relevant.

Harping blindly for adoption of the westernized way of living has, in the general opinion of the society, dominated the mindset of today’s younger generation, and become the ‘bane of cultural degradation’.

Ironically, however, Western societies—mostly the United States—have been drawn towards India’s own rich cultural legacy and religious spirit, while large sections of India’s youth have been drawn away from it.

To understand that GOD is the supreme motivating power—not imported material, fashion, lifestyle, and money—a child’s progress should be driven by cultural/religious/spiritual values, faith, practices.

Furthermore, there also those who feel that religious celebration will adversely influence a child’s capacity for love, affection, and perception of social status…

…confining them to the limits of their own religious values and practices—and make them oblivious to the universality of fraternal love.

Communal harmony—not personal identity—should be the goal of projecting religious faith, practices, and values, dutifully, by parents, schools and the community at large.

Thereafter, no matrimonial columns would be filled with mundanity such as a family of one caste seeking a bride/groom only from that particular caste if universal practices of Faith can be inculcated in children.

Religion and Politics not being free of controversy is a fact many would agree with, and the critical consensus is that the importance of Spirituality, brought forth and spread across, would do greater good.

Spirituality—and not religions faith, value, and practices—would help children feel compassion, understand the pain and suffering of others…

…and to share, care, forgive, love, be charitable, have no bias and hatred against other religions, and to live in the true spirit of humanity.

Only the moral values—the deep inner meaning as to why it is being framed or practiced—that all religions have in common are to be taught to children.

Also, the values necessary for life were told through religious methods suitable for those days—hundreds of years ago—which are no longer practically sustainable, as times have radically and drastically changed.

Those methods and ways must be modified and adapted—without changing the core moral, social, and spiritual values—and taught to children by the parent, teacher, or moral institution.

The origin of religions has always been for the “well-being of the inner self”—far beyond religious practices and catalyzing the “God Complex”.

The secularity of religious teachings, imparted to children with the proper understanding of its universality, will surely influence their way of living in a very positive way.

The new breed of parents are able to clearly understand the importance of teaching their children to realize the one true God, more than the auspices of religion itself.

“God is present in every Jiva; there is no other God besides that. Who serves Jiva, serves God indeed”, says Swami Vivekananda.

It is important to make children understand that God is the soul that lives in every other person, child, animal, plant, and all living things. Inanimate things too have a life, as Cosmic Energy flows in them.

While bursting crackers on festive occasions, God is in giving a few to the poor little boy who cannot afford it and making him feel happy and accepted—if not, it is mere religious practice with no spiritual aspect.

Performing puja and listening to puranas were for us to understand the means to emulate God. It is important, therefore, for us parents to sow the seed of love in our children, for everything in this world.

With love comes concern…

…with concern comes responsibility

…with responsibility comes self-discipline,

…and a morally-enhanced generation of children.

What do you think? Does teaching one’s religious faith, values, and practices really help shape the future of one’s child?

Share your thoughts as comments below.

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