your mission is peace in the world. Of late, my feeling is that the
beginning of peace in the world comes from the family
culture isn’t right. It’s always good that parents teach their culture to
their children. Once that doesn’t happen, the children get spoiled. It’s up
to the parents to teach children the culture. It would be very good if
parents teach their children.”
What sorts of things
should parents be teaching their children?
“Getting up in
the morning. Keeping them in spiritual life. Teaching them their exercises.
You have to put them in the proper line.”
Swamiji advises us to take
care of children and parents, but people having families today are those
whose parents were not around when they were growing up. Does Swamiji advise
those in the middle of the problem to take care of both children and
tells people to take care of their children and to take care of their
parents also. He is very hard and strict about it. You give a hundred
complaints about your mother but Swamiji would still tell you to go and bow
your head to her.”
What can we do to get
smarter, besides meditate?
“You have to lay
a proper foundation. If you look after that carefully and put your children
on the right path, then they will grow on the right path and remain there
always. If the parent is not right, how can the child be correct?”
In America we are so
culturally diverse that children face adults with very different demands and
different attitudes. That is our richness but it is also very difficult.
“That in itself
is because you do not have a strong foundation. You will have to learn. If
you make the foundation strong then the nation will develop a lot. Otherwise
it will deteriorate and you will not even know who is your mother, father,
Which are the biggest
obstacles to spiritual development and how to get over them?
mother; wife and children. These are the obstacles in the spiritual path.
You will have to keep your mind right, use your intellect, and go ahead.
That’s the way to overcome the obstacles.”
Swamiji, can you talk
about relationships and how they can help or hinder the spiritual path?
progress is furthered by people taking care of each other and having good
relationships. If people do not agree and go in different directions, then
their spiritual paths will be affected. You will have quarrels. Both
spirituality and daily life will suffer greatly if the relationship is bad.”
What does Swamiji think
about the love between a man and a woman?
happiness. A man should love only one woman and a woman only one man. If you
remain like that, it will help you a lot. That is good.”
Swamiji talks about
foundation, and India has the old traditions. Do we need to be doing puja
(worship) exactly the same way as it is done in India?
“No, that’s not
the foundation. Foundation is not puja,
mantra and Sanskrit. Swamiji means that a man should stay with only one
woman, and a woman should stay with only one man as her husband. If all men
and women stay with only one partner, then the culture will continue. The
blood carries the culture through. If the father was devoted in his
spiritual life, then his son gets that blood; he inherits that devotion and
spiritual attitude. That continues through generations and generations
provided the people stay like that.”
carried over on a foundation of the way you live life. If the way you live
is not proper, the culture does not get carried on properly. It gets broken
down and lost.”