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Srila Prabhupada on Children’s Education

Srila Prabhupada View

“I consider this Gurukula school to be one of our most important aspects of this movement and it should be given all serious consideration by the members. If we are able to make a whole generation of our children into fine Krsna Conscious preachers, that will be the glory of our movement and the glory of your country as well. But if we neglect somehow or other and if we lose even one Vaisnava, that is very great loss.”

“Srila Jiva Gosvami remarks in this connection that every child, if given an impression of the Lord from his very childhood, certainly becomes a great devotee of the Lord like Maharaja Pariksit. One may not be as fortunate as Mahäräja Pariksit to have the opportunity to see the Lord in the womb of his mother, but even if he is not so fortunate, he can be made so if the parents of the child desire him to be so.”

“There is a practical example in my personal life in this connection. My father was a pure devotee of the Lord, and when I was only four or five years old, my father gave me a couple of forms of Rädhä and Krsna. In a playful manner, I used to worship these Deities along with my sister, and I used to imitate the performances of a neighboring temple of Radha-Govinda. By constantly visiting this neighboring temple and copying the ceremonies in connection with my own Deities of play, I developed a natural affinity for the Lord. My father used to observe all the ceremonies befitting my position. Later on, these activities were suspended due to my association in the schools and colleges, and I became completely out of practice. But in my youthful days, when I met my spiritual master, Sri Srimad Bhaktisiddhänta Sarasvati Gosvämi Maharaja, again I revived my old habit, and the same playful Deities became my worshipful Deities in proper regulation. This was followed up until I left the family connection, and I am pleased that my generous father gave the first impression which was developed later into regulative devotional service by His Divine Grace. Maharaja Prahlada also advised that such impressions of a godly relation must be impregnated from the beginning of childhood, otherwise one may miss the opportunity of the human form of life, which is very valuable although it is temporary like others.”

“A person cannot be a teacher if he drinks or smokes. In the modern system of education the teacher's academic qualification is taken into consideration without evaluation of his moral life. Therefore, the result of education is misuse of high intelligence in so many ways.”

“Just like these children. They have taken birth now in the Vaisnava family. Father is Vaisnava, mother is Vaisnava. And they are taken care of. So very exalted life. From the very beginning of life, they are chanting Hare Krsna mantra, they are dancing, they are taking prasadam. The atmosphere is so congenial for spiritual life. They are getting chance. So this is a chance. These children are not ordinary children. Because they could not complete Krsna consciousness in their previous life, they have been given chance to take birth in a family [where] the father and mother, they're Krsna conscious.”

“‘What is the highest standard of education?’ Lord Caitanya began His inquiry, and Ramananda Raya immediately replied that the highest standard of education is knowledge of the science of Krsna. The standard of material education is sense gratification, but the highest standard of spiritual education is knowledge of the science of Krsna.”