Since they have 35 children and around 100 grown-ups living in the nearby village, the topic was highly relevant to this community. Here, the devotees arrange for schooling under the umbrella of home-schooling, offering lots of nice activities for the children, including music lessons and fun activities. There is an exceptionally good cooperation and mood amongst the ladies, with the children eating sometimes here, sometimes there, and also staying overnight in their friend's house. Very much like a real village!
One of our topics in our seminar was the highly important role mothers play in raising children. As we all know, she is the first Guru to a human being, planting the seed of religious life and spirituality in the child's heart. It is the mother who makes this most valuable contribution to humanity - not the father...!
A woman's instinct is to be a mother - she is ordained by Krishna for physical and spiritual motherhood and has the spirit of sacrificing herself in love and selfless care. Mothers can be seen as sculptors - shaping the character of the child, which requires deep contemplation and prayer.
Raising a child is part of her sadhana and requires a mature balance between devotional practice and child care, so that neither is neglected. This is only possible if she has regular association with serious devotees. Mothers also need some time out in order to recharge, otherwise she may develop resentment towards the child for not allowing her to sometimes turn towards her sources of inspiration.
A mother creates the atmosphere of the spiritual world around her child, with her sincerity, her devotion, honesty and prayer. The first 6 years of a child are especially crucial; during these years a mother's love and care builds the foundation of the child's character and establishes the personal emotional health and strength which remains for the rest of this life. An affectionate and caring mother produces a self-confident, emotionally strong and secure adult.
Her roles are multifaceted: she is a cook, a confectioner, a nurse, a teacher, a mentor, an event manager, an artist, musician, singer, story teller, designer, masseuse, friend, advocate, researcher, etc. If anyone takes being a mother to be boring, they have no clue what it means to be a good mother! Her service requires creativity and imagination and a tremendous ability of multi-tasking, executed with unconditional love. And Krishna gives us women the perfect abilities so we can execute this important role - that's why women as a rule are great at multi-tasking!
A mother's cooking is of the greatest importance to the entire family. Her love and devotion goes into her cooking and affects the consciousness of the whole family. Whenever the children come home, the first question is: "What's for dinner? And is there a sweet?"
A mother also teaches the deeper meaning of chastity and submissiveness by demonstrating those important virtues. She shows a healthy respect for her husband, not engaging in arguments or physical violence, not answering back to him but rather being obedient and adjusting, thus allowing him to take charge.
By wearing chaste clothing she already trains a girl at a young age to cover her body nicely. Let us imagine what a wonderful impression it creates on a girl's mind if she grows up without ever showing her legs in public! In this way, a mother teaches the importance of shyness rather than showing off, bringing attention to herself and pushing herself to the forefront. She practically demonstrates how to serve as the auspicious source of energy and inspiration to her husband, by her devoted service and her chaste submission.
All glories to our mothers....!
After visiting the preaching centre in Prague city and conducting the Saturday program I moved on to the temple in Luzce, around 40 minutes drive from Prague. I spent four days there in wonderful association, offering several SB classes and the Sunday feast lecture, and took a train to Vienna/Austria.
It was a truly enlivening visit to Czech Republic....!
Your servant, Devaki dd