Question: Why is it important for a kid to be conceived in love?
Acharya Prashant: Because, when the kid is conceived in love, then you will not want to possess the kid. When the kid is not conceived in love, then you would want to own the kid. For the sake of the kid, conceive the kid only in love.
You see, what is happening. When you conceive the kid in love, then love is sufficient. Now you do not want returns from the kid. Now, you are not hungry anymore. The moment of love was sufficient. The love itself was sufficient.
Now you will not say that something is left unfinished and this kid is now responsible for finishing that. Now the kid is just a gift. Now the kid is not an organized activity. Now the kid is not an investment. Now the kid is not the output of your plan. If there was a plan, the plan was love.
The kid just happened, as a gift, as a bonus, as a blessing, as something additional. When you get something additional, you do not place your hopes on it, do you? It would be very cheap, to start placing expectations upon gifts. The gift is anyway an additional bonus. Now, why demand too much from it? Thank God, he just came. What more is to be wanted from him? Thank God he just came. We were never expecting him, we never planned for him. Planning was for something else and that was wonderful. And after that, this one, “Thank you so much.” Now you will not say that the kid is responsible for realizing all my unfinished dreams. Now you will not say that the kid bears the brunt of all your social aspirations, social morality and respectability. Love is complete unto itself.
If you will observe, you will find that people who are living most contented lives do not find it necessary to intrude in the lives of their kids, their sons and daughters. Because they are complete and satisfied in themselves. If they have to do something, or get something, or act something in a particular way, they place the responsibility on themselves. They would not say that that which is unfinished in my life must be taken forward by my offspring.
And on the contrary, people, who themselves are frustrated, incomplete, insecure, barge just too much into the lives of their sons and daughters. And if somebody is intruding too much in the life of someone else, it is a sure shot proof, that the intruder is not joyful within himself. Because if you are not joyful within yourself, hence you feel the need to poke your nose everywhere. And because kids are easy targets, they live under the weight of morality, so you exploit them.
All of you, parents, or going to become parents, I must ask, are you sure, you know for yourself what is wrong and what is right? Are you sure you know for yourself, what is meant by a right life? Then why do you act as custodians of your children’s life? Are you an exemplar of what it means to live beautifully? And if you are not, then must you not first discover this for yourself, before you impose yourself upon anybody else, be it your husband or your wife, or your child?
You look at your life, you look at the quality of your decisions, and you look at the quality of your Mind. Have you settled down? You know what settling down means? Have you ever driven a vehicle on a dusty road? Have you seen how the dust rises after your vehicle passes? And then it settles down.
Have you ever stirred a pot containing some precipitate? When you stir it, the whole thing rises and the mixture becomes opaque and dirty looking. And then you leave it still and silent and then it? Settles down. And when it settles down, you find that the solid has again separated from the liquid and the water is again now, transparent, pure, and beautiful. That is what it means to settle down. To become silent. So, that you regain your purity. Have YOU settled down? There is dust all over in your Mind, where is the question of settling down? But then why do you keep phoning your kids? Why do you keep making their lives miserable by asking them to settle down quickly? Have YOU settled down? First go and settle down, then advise somebody else to settle down.
You are so unsettled. Your face bears the mark of a refugee crisis. You look like wanderers and strangers – homeless, displaced. First of all, you find your own grounding, your own home and settle down there and then go and advice somebody else to settle down.
Be kind towards your kids.
L: But Sir, parents say that we have given you security, finances, all our life…
AP: Is that so? Would you do that for your kid? But these are good things to tell your kid. To burden him under the weight of obligations and responsibility. All of you who are not yet parents, seriously tell me, would you give your life to your kid? Nobody does that, come on. Nobody ever did that. That’s a nice thing to tell someone. To make him feel guilty and burdened.
There are many exploited groups in the world – ethnic minorities, lower castes, tribes living in secluded regions, people with physical disabilities, people who are exploited in the name of race, or skin color, or religion. But if there is one group of people that is the most exploited and can’t even complain, because it is in no position to complain, it is KIDS, the child.
The child is the most exploited person in the World, ever, and since always.
This morning Sampada ji said, “She feels bad about those mules. They are made to stand there and carry those stones against their wish.” You feel bad for those mules and you don’t feel bad for kids. What are they carrying? You know what are they carrying, against their wish? When their wish is not even being formed. And these mules, they would be offloaded in a while. And then they can relax. Because the burden upon them is merely physical. But the burden that we gave to our kids is mental and they carry it for their entire lives – concepts, lifestyle, morality, religion, obligations, duties, responsibilities, patterns of thought, deep lies, distorted histories.
Now imagine, one year olds, two year olds, five year olds, standing there and carrying those stones. How does the visual look? Scary.
People come to me and have their one on one sessions and there are many ways in which I meet people – Camps, sessions, otherwise, travelling, meeting. If someone were to ask me, “What is the one thing that I am always doing?” The one thing that I am always doing is relieving people of the burden that was imposed upon them since their childhood. All spirituality is about that only.
If you sit somewhere and find yourself confused or afraid, don’t you see, where all of that is coming from? Don’t you see how humanity has been cruel towards the child? Don’t you see, how the markets, the media, education, all play havoc with the tender mind of the child? Those of you who have studied marketing would know, that kids today, comprise a major target group for marketers. And different and specific targeting techniques are used to encircle and pin down kids. Such heartlessness. The fellow is four years old, his brain is not yet fully developed. And you are tempting him, telling him lies, seducing him, so that he may buy your product.
L: Is it a mere coincidence that since the session has started none of the parents here has participated, asked any question or commented?
AP: That’s not a significant difference or categorization. Parents do not just emerge from some dark caves. Young people like you, like so many others sitting over here, become parents. And the same darkness that engulfs our lives, becomes the darkness that surrounds the child as well. You won’t even know when you become a parent. It just happens.
Parents are not a separate ethnic community or something. Their DNA is not different. They do not live in separate countries reserved for parents. It is a matter of time, you are a parent, he is a parent, she is a parent, everybody is a parent. And if you do not know yourself, you will also not know your child.
A parent is first and foremost a person. And the person is responsible to first of all, discover the Truth for himself. And if you have not done that, then you will fail in all your roles in life. You will fail in your role as a husband, as a parent, as a wife, as an employee, as a friend, as a member of community, you will fail in everything.
The man whose Mind is not in the proper place cannot be a good anything. He cannot be even a good idiot. He cannot be a good painter and an artist, he cannot be a good sportsperson, he cannot be a good dancer, he cannot be a good anything. How will he then be a good parent?
So, do not restrict your question to parenting. It is about being the right Mind. And then you will also be the right parent.
L: People like me, who are not yet parents, society gives a lot of chances to be a parent. For example, when we go to take classes, I catch myself doing exactly the same thing.
AP: See, that’is an important dimension. Even if you don’t biologically give birth to a kid, still you would be in positions of responsibility where somebody else’s upbringing depends on you. You would be a counselor, a teacher, a manager, an adviser, a relative, anybody. So, even without giving biologically birth to someone, you would still find yourself defacto in the role of parenting. And if you have not set your Mind rightly, then you will fail in that role as well; you can’t be a good teacher.
Being a good teacher and being a good parent are so much one and the same thing. If you can’t be a good parent how will you be a good teacher and if you are not a good teacher, how is it possible that you will be a good parent?
And both of them stem from first of all, being good. Let that goodness prevail, let that goodness dominate your life. Then you will be a good everything. Then even your gossiping would be good. You would be a good idler. Who is he? He is a good sleeper. He sleeps very well. Maybe you would be giving sleeping lessons to somebody. Whatever you would be doing, would carry the fragrance of goodness.
What is he doing? Well nothing. And he is doing that so very well. To be good at doing nothing is such a great art. We all are pathetic at doing nothing. You can try this exercise this evening. Let us all do nothing for half an hour. And you will see how you fail.
And do not be surprised, if the one who excels in doing nothing is also the one who excels in the most energetic action. Do not be surprised if you find these two as one.
L: I already have children. Whatever damage I have already done, I have done. And it is only now that I am trying to become less and less involved in their life. But there is no way I can reverse the damage I have already done. Or is there?
AP: You see, again you are asking a question with respect to somebody outside of you. You are asking, “What do I do with my kids now?” Why don’t you first ask, what do I do with myself? The right action, comes only from a right Mind. You are asking about a right action without asking about the right Mind. Would the question get you what you really want? It won’t. Take care of your life first and you will find that you are improving as a mother as well.
There is no bigger curse than being a mother and no higher blessing than being a mother. It depends on you.
Three years back I was speaking to girl in a college about a similar thing. I remember telling her, first of all you give birth to yourself. Before asking so much about motherhood and kids, why don’t you first give birth to yourself? I don’t yet see you as born, and when you are yourself not born, why do you talk so much about motherhood.
-Excerpts from a ‘Shabd-Yoga’ session. Edited for clarity
Watch the session: Acharya Prashant: Conceive the child only in love
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