Book 6. The Family Book (2002)
Raising children in the Vedic culture
Mankind is ever looking for a perfect system of raising children. It endeavours to seek out the wisest teachers, and
then hands over its children to be raised by them. And you, Vladimir, in preparing to talk with your son, spent five years seeking out the best system of child-raising. A system capable of explaining everything to you and teaching you how to communicate with your own birth son. And you kept on asking advice from recognised teachers and various scholars. But not one piece of advice, not one system did you find satisfying or indicative of perfection. Doubts came to you with increasing frequency: If there did exist a perfect system, of education, many people would surely be using it. And somewhere on the Earth there would be living a people that is truly happy. But it seems that in every society all you find is the same or different kinds of problems. You have to search for a happy family — it is like looking for a needle in a haystack. So that means there is no miraculous system of childraising and there is no point in searching since there is nothing to search for.
Forgive me, please: I had no other choice but to keep track of your thought the whole time. I was trying to determine through you what leads people away from what is so obvious.
And then one day I felt you thinking: Lack of trust and fear of making a mistake are what make people hand over their children to schools and academies so that afterward they can blame their teachers — anyone but themselves.
On another occasion I saw how you turned pale and became scared stiff at the thought that children are raised by their parents’ and society’s lifestyle. Your thought was true and accurate. But you were afraid of it, you kept trying all along to forget about it. But you did not succeed in forgetting what is all too obvious.
Then you tried disagreeing with your own thought. You reasoned like this: How is it possible to become a scholar, an artist or a poet? How can one learn about astronomy or history without studying at a special school?
But you were thinking in terms of subject categories of knowledge, and they are not the most important in raising children.
Much more important is the culture of feelings, which are capable of compressing all knowledge into a tiny nucleus. You were in a position to understand this since you yourself are a vivid example of what I have been saying. After all, you were able to write a book without studying in a special school.
Yon and I spent only three days together in this glade, and now you are a writer, known in various lands. You can step out in front of a huge audience including prominent teachers, scholars, poets and healers. And you can go on speaking to them for as long as three hours or more. And people listen to you with rapt attention. You are often asked questions such as: How can you hold an infinite store of information in your me?n- ory? How can you recite pages of your books from memory without a copy in front of you? You generally responded to such questions with a mumble. But you concluded within yourself that I must have been working some kind of invisible charms on you. In fact, everything that happened to you is a good deal simpler than that.
During those first three days you were with me here in the taiga, on all three days it was the Vedic school that was exercising an influence on you. And it is certainly not pushy or intrusive, and it does not have any treatises or dogmas. It is capable of transmitting all information through feelings.
At times you would get angry, or get excited and laugh, or become fearful. And every time a new feeling arose in you, new information was taken in. That information was truly vast in scope. It is being revealed only later on, when you remember the feelings it aroused in you at the time.
Feelings, after all, represent a tremendous amount of con-centrated information. And the clearer and stronger the feeling, the more knowledge of the Universe it contains.
For example, remember that very first night in the taiga, when you awoke and saw the she-bear beside you. Right off you were frightened. Please take note and think about those words “right off you were frightened”.
But what is this feeling of fear? Let us try translating it into informational terms. What do we get then? You thought: Here beside me is a huge beast of the forest. It weighs considerably more than my body weight. Itspaws are far stronger than the muscles of my arms. A beast of the forest can be aggressive, it can attack me and tear my body apart. I am defenceless. I had better jump up and run.
To make logical sense of this whole tremendous amount of information requires not just a moment, but a considerably longer time. But this same information, when compressed into a feeling — in this case, fear — allows one to react instantaneously to the situation. When one experiences a vivid feeling, a large amount of information passes through Man in a flash. It would require a whole scholarly treatise just to describe it, which could take years to work out without the aid of feelings.
A correct complex of feelings sequenced in the right order can multiply a Man’s existing store of knowledge by a thousandfold.
For example, your fear of the bear passed as instantaneously as it arose. But what made it go away? After all, it was not natural for it to go away You were still in the taiga as before, still defenceless, and the bear was not far away — besides, there might be a multitude of other beasts out there in the forest.
But that sense of fear in you was instantaneously replaced by a feeling of security You felt this sense of protection even more strongly than when you were on your boat, or in the city, surrounded by armed guards.
This feeling of protection came over you just as instantaneously It came over you just as soon as you saw that the bear took pleasure in carrying out my orders, reacting to my words and gestures. The feeling of protection enabled you to perceive information in a whole new way A detailed description of everything that happened to you could fill a great many pages of a scientific treatise. And in your books you have devoted quite a few pages to the animals’ relationship to Man. But the theme is infinite in scope. In terms of feelings, however, it can be expressed in the twinkling of an eye.
But something still more significant took place. Within the space of just a few seconds two opposite feelings turned out to be in perfect balance. I became to you someone in whose presence you could feel completely protected, even though at the same time one you could not fully explain and even found a little frightening.
The balance of feelings is very important. It is a confirmation of Man’s equilibrium, yet at the same time, as though constantly pulsating, feelings engender more and more streams of information.
The culture and way of life of each family in the Vedic civilisation, as well as the way of life of the whole human society of the time, constituted a most remarkable school for the raising of the next generation, an intense regime of self- perfection for Man, advancing him to the act of creation in worlds of the unfathomable Universe.
In the Vedic age children were not raised the way they are in our schools today, but through participation in merry festivals and rites. These were either celebrations within a single family or ones where the whole community took part, or several neighbouring communities together.
More specifically: the multitude of celebrations during the Vedic age were crucial tests for both children and adults, and a means of information exchange.
The way of life in the family and the preparation for these celebrations afforded the opportunity to acquire a tremendous systematic store of knowledge.
Children were taught without the compulsion they feel when they are made to sit and listen to a teacher against their will. The learning process unfolded moment by moment for both parents and their children, cheerfully and not obtrusively It was something desirable and fascinating.
But it did include some methods that would be considered unusual today. Ignorant of their tremendous significance for Man’s education, modern scholars might call parents’ actions during Vedic times superstitious or even occult-like.
For example,you thought that way and were very concerned when you saw our son, still so very young and helpless, as yet unable to stand on his own two feet, being picked up by the mighty eagle. The eagle held the little boy in its claws, and circled over the glade, rising and descending by turns.
That happened with children in all Vedic families, though they did not always employ eagles for this purpose. They might be able to show the Earth from on high from the top of a mountain, if there happened to be a mountain close to where they lived. Occasionally a father might take his infant son or daughter and climb to the top of a tall tree. Sometimes they would build a special tower for this purpose. And yet the effect was more dramatic when an eagle circled over the ground with an infant in its claws. In just a moment or so the child would experience a whole gamut of feelings, and in that very moment he would take in a whole multitude of information. And when he was older, he could discover this information within him through these feelings whenever he wanted, whenever the need arose.
Remember, for example, I showed you what a perfect design the handsome Radomir created together with his bride Liubomila for their domain. I told you that the most recognised scientists in the world today are unable to create
anything like that. They would not be able to do it even if they all joined together as one.
But how could the young man bring about such a miracle back then? Where did he acquire the knowledge of all the plants, the significance of the winds, the functions of the planets and so much else besides? After all, he never sat at a traditional school-desk. He did not study science. Then how did the young man learn the purpose of each and every one of 530,000 species of flora? He might make use of only nine thousand of them, but he could accurately tell the interrelationship each species had with the others.
Naturally Radomir had been observing his father’s and their neighbours’ domains right from childhood. Yet he never wrote anything down, and did not consciously memorise anything. He never asked his parents what grew for what purpose, and they would never vex him by preaching at him. And yet this young man in love still managed to create his own domain, and even a better one than his parents had.
Please do not be surprised, Vladimir! Try to understand. You see, Radomir did not set forth a logical plan for his garden, although indeed it turned out that way in his domain. What happened was that Radomir outlined through his feelings a splendid picture for his loved one and his future offspring. And in this his flight with the eagle over his family domain contributed to his impulse of love, to his inspiration.
During the time the infant Radomir looked down from the height of the eagle’s flight on the landscape of the domain, a picture was being imprinted on his subconscious just as on a reel of movie film. He was still not able to appreciate the beauty of the scene with his mind. But his feelings! His feelings were able to scan all the information from the variegated countryside below into a permanent imprint. And through his feelings, not through his mind or intellect, he was able to perceive what he saw as beautiful.
Not only that, but there amidst the beautiful landscape seen from the sky stood his very own Mama, smiling at him. What can be more marvellous for a little one than his mother’s smile? And his mother was waving to him. Yes, that was her! The one whose breasts contained warm, life-giving milk. For a suckling child, nothing could be more marvellous than that. And from the height of the eagle’s flight everything the young Radomir beheld seemed to him to be a single whole, inseparable from his Mama. In the twinkling of an eye the knowledge of this part of creation entered into him with a flash of exhilaration.
Young people displayed great competence in such modern sciences as zoology, agronomy and astronomy People also ap-preciated their artistic taste.
Of course, there were also professional teachers in the Vedic age.
During the winter, elderly people who were especially learned in various disciplines would come to the community. Each settlement had a common meeting-hall, where they could set forth their wisdom. And if one of the children listening to them suddenly showed a special interest in astronomy, for example, the teacher would go and talk to the child’s parents in their home. The teacher would always be warmly welcomed in the home. This scholar would talk about the stars with the child as many hours and days as the youngster wished. And there is no definitive answer to the question as to who learnt more from whom during these discussions. After all, it was with considerable respect that the great elderly scholar asked questions of the child. He could argue with him without being preachy. In the Vedic age there was no need to record the discussion, or the conclusions or discoveries arising therefrom. Free from daily routine and the multitude of concerns that occupy us today, the human memory could take in a great deal
more information than the best computers that have been invented in our times.
Besides, any discoveries made, provided they were rational, were at once shared with everyone to use and put into practice.
The parents and other members of the household might also listen to these scholarly discussions, and sometimes even contribute to them, albeit tactfully. But still, it was the child who was inevitably the centre of attention. When a budding astronomer came to what the adults judged to be a wrong conclusion, they might say something like: “Excuse me, I can’t understand you.”
The child would try to explain. And it often happened that the child would prove himself right.
As spring approached each year, all the residents of the set-tlement would gather in the common meeting-hall and take note of their children’s most recent achievements. Reports were given during these days. A six-year-old lad, for example, might astound everyone, telling about the meaning of life like a philosopher. Children might show everyone the marvellous things they had made. Others might delight the gathering with a song or an unusual dance. You could call these acts a kind of test, or simply a time of fun for all — the label was unimportant. What was important was that everybody derived joy from the act of creating. The stream of positive emotions and revelations during this event were joyfully put into practice. To the question as to who remained the most important figure in the raising of children, one could confidently answer that it was the culture and way of life lived by families in the Vedic age.
What lessons can be drawn from that culture for children of our present day? Which of our current systems of child-raising is the best, can we say? Judge for yourself, none of them is perfect. Mind you, when we distort the history of mankind, we cause children to lie to themselves. And we force their thinking into a completely false way And that is why we suffer and cause our children to suffer too.
Above all, everybody ought to know the truth about themselves. Without truth, life bogged down in false dogmas is like a hypnotic sleep.
The sequence of three pictures in children’s textbooks needs to be rearranged. The history of people living on the Earth needs to be presented to children correctly, for a change. First of all one must verify in one’s own heart the accuracy of what has been reported. And then once children have learnt the essence of this history undistorted, a new path must be selected in consultation with them.
Children’s books about the history and development of the Earth and its people tend to feature three pictures that are far from harmless. Consider what these pictures impress upon them from a very young age:
The first picture shows an impression of Primitive Man. Take a look at how he is portrayed: he stands there all covered with thick hair, with a beastly grin and a dumb expression on his face, holding a wooden club and surrounded by the bones of the creatures he has killed.
The second picture features a Man clothed in armour, carrying a sword, a dazzling decorated helmet on his head. He is off to conquer cities with troops under his command, while a crowd of slaves bows low before his hand.
In the third picture Man is shown with a noble face and an intelligent expression. He is healthy-looking, and dressed in a suit, and surrounded by a multitude of appliances, contrivances and mechanical gadgets to boot. Happy and delightful is the overall impression of modern Man.
All three pictures are false, as is the sequence in which they are arranged. This whole lie is stubbornly, rigidly and deliberately drilled into our children. Later I shall be able to tell you who is responsible and why they find this lie so indispensable. But first I want you try to verify the accuracy of these three pictures using your own sense of logic.
Judge for yourself: the trees, bushes and grass you can still see today in their primitive form. Even though they are billions of years old, you can still look at them and delight in their perfection.
What does all this tell us? The works of the Creator were made perfect right from the very beginning. And so? Did He make Man, the favourite of all His creations, to be some kind of monstrosity? Of course not! Right from the beginning, Man, the most perfect work of the Creator, was the most glorious creation on the Earth.
The first picture ought to show history as it actually was: it ought to show a family of happy people, with a look on their faces expressing both intelligence and child-like purity. And love on the faces of both parents. Human bodies in harmony with their surroundings, striking in their beauty and graceful power of spirit. A flourishing garden all around. Creatures always on the alert to render service with gratitude.
The second picture, too, should present to children an image of historical fact — two armies in monstrous armour rushing at each other, their commanders standing on a height of land, being entreated by priests. Some of their faces show fear and disorientation, while those of others, after yielding to the priests’ entreaties, are inflamed with a beastly fanaticism. In just a moment a senseless slaughter will begin. People will start killing their own kind.
The third picture shows people in today’s world. We should see a group of people of pale and sickly countenance in a room filled with an array of artificial things. Some have extremely obese figures, others are bent over, faces are full of heaviness and gloom. The kinds of faces you see on most passers-by along big-city sidewalks. Through the window one can see cars exploding on the street. And dirty ashes raining down from the sky
All three of these true pictures of history should be shown to the child and the question asked: “Which of these lifestyles would you like to live?”
The pictures are only arbitrary illustrations. Of course the child should also be told the true account, sincerely and skilfully presented. The child should know the whole history of the human race without misleading distortions. Only after that can his actual education begin. The question should be asked: “How can we change the situation today?”
And the child will come up with an answer — not right off, not in the twinkling of an eye. But he will find it! Another thought will take over — a creative thought. Oh, the raising of children!... You see, Vladimir, just a single sincerely asked question, together with the parents’ desire to hear their child’s answer, is capable of uniting parents with their children — of making them happy — for ever. This joint quest for happiness is infinite. But even the beginning of the quest can be called a state of happiness.
Everybody today should learn their true history