Raising Krsna Conscious Children in the Age of Kali
We all want the best for our children and for them to succeed in this life in every way possible.
Parents are frequently challenged with materialistic influences of society affecting their children and are often faced with numerous problems which can sometimes lead to conflicting and contradictory behaviours. Raising children in today’s world is a difficult task, but raising children to be Krsna Conscious is even more so. So what can we do, when we are faced with the reality of raising Krsna Conscious children in the Age of Kali?
Creating a favourable environment for effectively raising and guiding children in Krsna Consciousness is a continuous endeavour and at the same time, a great opportunity to please Śrīla Prabhupāda. By helping these little Vaiṣṇavas start, continue or complete their journey back home, back to Krsna, we are contributing to a better future for everyone in this world.
This book, Our Future Hope, has been compiled for parents, carers, family members, teachers, and anyone who has a service related to children; with the intention of enhancing their Krsna Consciousness. Children need to be given support, protection, and care at home, in school, and by the community. As the saying goes, it takes a village to raise a child and this book has the support and advice we all can take advantage from, to ensure that our children have the best chance for a Krsna Conscious life.
These children are given to us by Krsna, they are Vaiṣṇavas and we must be very careful to protect them. These are not ordinary children, they are Vaikuṇṭha children, and we are very fortunate we can give them the chance to advance further in Krsna consciousness. That is a very great responsibility, do not neglect it or be confused. Your duty is very clear.
– Śrīla Prabhupāda letter to Arundhatī—30 July, 1972
Our Krsna Conscious Village
This book is a collection of several articles from renowned ISKCON devotees, who have devoted decades of their lives to support the learning and development of devotee children, such as, Urmila Devi Dasi, Aruddha Devi Dasi, Sri Rama Dasa and other experienced devotees. We wanted to propagate some of the vital wisdom and insight they have gained.
This book covers essential topics such as, encouraging and building a strong foundation in Krsna Consciousness, the principles of parenting and teaching, imparting and developing character values, finding the balance of discipline, and encouraging children in their spiritual life.
It includes Krsna Conscious resources and products, activities for children, as well as inspirational quotes by Srila Prabhupada, which are the most treasurable source of encouragement.
Our Future Hope has been compiled by Gourangi Gandharvika Devi Dasi, a 2nd generation devotee, and disciple of HH Jayapataka Swami, under the “Children Services” department within ISKCON’s Congregational Development Ministry (CDM). The objective of CDM is to support our worldwide network of devotees with one of our main focuses being families. Our goal is to assist and support parents, teachers, and children to develop their Krsna consciousness.
That is the success of the movement, because younger generation, they are the flowers, the future hope of the country, of the world. If they take this movement seriously then the whole world will be happy.
-Śrīla Prabhupāda Lecture—20 July, 1972
Bringing our Children closer to Krsna
Srila Prabhupada strongly believed that ISKCON’s children are the future not only for the Krsna Conscious movement but for the whole world. He nurtured and inspired the younger generations and saw hope and potential in them.
Our children are indeed very special souls, but we as parents, have the serious responsibility of guiding and protecting them on their journey back to Krsna. Accordingly, it is important to provide them with a positive Krsna Conscious environment and the appropriate education right from the beginning. This will definitely contribute to their journey to become well rounded Krsna conscious individuals in the future.
In this book, Our Future Hope, we can be assured of practical and sound guidance in abundance. You will find the tools, techniques, principles, and guidelines which will help us connect our children with Krsna in a real and natural way, bringing them closer to Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
Yes, the proof of your teaching method shall be seen in the spiritual improvement and fresh enthusiasm exhibited by the children. If they are allowed to worship the Deity by practicing performing ārati very seriously, plus always be engaged in different various activities centered round Krsna, then their education will be completely successful. The children should always be instructed by taking advantage of their playful mood and teaching them to play Krsna games like become cowherd boys, cows, peacocks, demons and in this way if they always think of Krsna by playing just like they are actually present in association with Krsna then they will become Krsna conscious very quickly. In addition, there should be a little ABC, then prasāda, then worshiping the Deity, then more playing Krsna games, some kīrtana, a little more ABC, like that. In this way, always keep their minds and bodies engaged in different activities because children are restless by nature so they will want to change often.”
Srila Prabhupada letter to Stoka-krishna—13 June, 1972