Children will be childish, but parents don’t have to be childish

Children are temperamental, mischievous, rash. They may want to stick their neck out of a car, but their parents are meant to stop their foolhardiness. However, if the parents become childish and join their children’s foolhardiness, the result can be disastrous. Parents are meant to help their children become mature, not to become immature themselves.

Chanchala, which means childish, is a characterizer the Bhagavad-gita (06.26, 06.34) uses for describing the mind. Like a child, our mind is fickle and foolish. The Gita (06.26) echoes our experience with children when it states that the mind wanders here, there and everywhere. Just as we expect children to be restless and prepare ourselves to manage their restlessness, we need to be similarly realistic in dealing with the mind. Thus, we can avoid the frustration coming from unrealistic expectation.

Significantly, the same Gita verse urges us to act like a grown-up and parent the childish mind – to refocus it whenever it wanders. Knowing that we can and should be like parents, we don’t just let the mind wander or, worse still, ourselves wander with the mind. Instead, we conscientiously refocus it on constructive things. The most constructive activity, the activity that most accelerates the mind’s growing up, is contemplation on Krishna. Such contemplation gives us access to higher spiritual happiness, thereby gradually shifting the mind’s focus from matter to spirit.

When the mind develops a taste for Krishna, for remembering and serving him, then it has grown up. With the mind’s maturation, our inner struggles ceases. And we experience relief and relish – relief from the struggle of battling with the mind, and relish in connecting with all-attractive Krishna uninterruptedly.

By avoiding the extremes of unrealistic expectation and spineless capitulation in mind management, we can persevere towards authentic transformation and enduring satisfaction.

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2 Comments

  1. Hare Krishna CCD Prabhu 🙏🏼
    We are blessed at the Leicester UK Sangha to receive your wisdom every day.. our Sangha group members are now sharing this knowledge everyday with family and friends as far a away as New Zealand. Long may it continue.
    Ys
    Paresh

    Post a Reply
    • Dear Paresh P
      Happy to be of service – thanks for sharing the Gita’s wisdom with others so extensively.
      ys
      ccdas

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