Talk about Children and Indian School

Rome (Italy)


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Transcript, Talk About Children and Indian School, 1991-02-14 or 1986-05-04

[note for 1986-05-04 date – I would suggest that the date of the talk would be later than that attributed to it as the children are already in India when Shri Mataji is speaking, and I think they first went to India a little later than this]

I wanted to tell you about our schools in India and what is our idea is about those schools. It is better to understand why we took this measure. It was felt by so many Sahaja Yogis that in the West there is no proper atmosphere for children and they should go to India. And in the beginning, I must say, in the beginning when the children came they were very funny and very troublesome to the teachers. They didn’t have proper respect; they didn’t have proper understanding and very bad manners also. Of course, Guido had worked very hard on them but as soon as they went to India they found that the teachers were rather very mild with them and kind to them, so they started really torturing the teachers. So one month they were so fed up they wanted to give up. Now you have to talk to your children and tell them that, ‘…your work is much more, you are not going to waste your life, you are sahaja yogis, you are born for a special cause, as our life was wasted, because we didn’t have proper guidance, we do not want your life to be wasted in this horrible atmosphere and conditions. And that you have to be something very special and great.’ Right? The children must understand that, ‘…you are all sahaja yogis and you all have to be something very special.’ Alright? So, you have to learn everything with care.

Another thing we have found out that the children from the West do not have much appetite for studying or learning. Very surprising compared to Indian children. Indian children it is just the other way round, they want to study, they don’t want to waste their time. They’ll play for a while and then they must come to studies. They want to show that they have learnt something. The other way round, we found, with the children in the West, they are more playful, they want to play. Very surprising! I used to think that they would be much more in their studies as the life in the West is much more sort of active. So all this was rather a surprise to us. So now you have to make your children study. They must understand that if they are just vagabonds, if they will just waste their life on the streets, what is going to happen in the future? They’ll be useless for Sahaja Yoga. Whatever mistakes were committed by the group before, the parents, like they became hippies, they became drunkards, they became this and that, all this should be avoided.

Thirdly, some children went to American schools and things like that, also English and other schools and we found them extremely funny, very violent, beating each other, and had also very funny complications. We had to send away one child to Belgium. It was absolutely incorrigible. They were behaving like grown up women and grown up men in a very funny way. So I think we must understand the danger these children are facing and that’s how we started this idea of a school in India, which, of course, is going to work out in a way that we’ll have to create very dynamic children. Very dynamic. Sturdy, healthy children. Now the children who came didn’t have very sturdy bodies, very delicate bodies, perhaps because people eat here from the tins and all those things. Very delicate bodies, very surprisingly, they couldn’t walk for more than one furlong, while, I can’t understand, why can’t they walk when they eat so well, they live so well? Because, I think, too much of pampering, maybe? I don’t know… whatever it is. So, it started a good scheme,  that they go to a river to have a swim, and then walk back. Now the children have become stronger they have become healthier, because we found they were liverish, very thin, and had no strength and used to be very tired, easily. Perhaps they were thinking too much or I don’t know what was it. So this was also reported about them. So now we have to understand that, if we have to make our children something special, if we really care for them, and if we really love them, then you must take a new perspective about them and understand. That we are not going to waste our children just pampering them and loving them and keeping them with us. Another thing is the way that here children always say, ‘I want this, I want that’.  It is never encouraged in India. Whatever is cooked for the whole family they have to eat, because such an attention is wasted, then they become very obstinate if you don’t give them, at that time. It started also there; they wanted to have Western food. Western food in India is very expensive, apart from that, it’s all in tins. They wouldn’t take the fresh food. Gradually we had to bring them round, that you must eat fresh food. If they don’t take fresh food how can they have a healthy life? Because very artificial the preservatives and all that. So also that, they should not grudge Indian food if they have go to India. Supposing they have to go to Italy they have to eat Italian food, if they go to India they have to eat Indian food. Of course, it would be nourishing, good and healthy .

Children should not be interfered with much with the parents. …spoilt, you spoil their chances of improving. I don’t know about the Western schools, but in the Indian schools, wherever you are, in a hostel or anywhere, parents are not at all allowed to interfere, nothing, they are kept out. You can see the children, meet them and the children if they complain they say take them, we have nothing to do, take away your child. Because you are Sahaja Yogis you are close to us, but it doesn’t behove for parents  to go on complaining about anything that is happening in the school. Everybody is alert and working it out. Because now I am starting a bigger one, a middle school. That’s why I’m putting this before you that it is for the benevolence of the children; you have to have faith in people who are doing it. It is also to make them dynamic, great people, great orators, people of learning. I mean I see children here don’t read much, they don’t like to study. The first thing they said to me, ‘Mother, we don’t want to study,’ and the last thing they said, ‘Mother, we don’t want to appear for an exam.’ I mean, I cannot imagine because you would never have that in India. On the contrary the parents will threaten,’ if you do like this we’ll take you away from the school’. ‘ If you behave like this we’ll not allow you to go to school’. It’s a big threat on children. So the attitude of the children has to be changed by talking to them. That you have to tell them, you have to be great, you have to read, you have to understand life and you have to do the work of Sahaja Yoga. You have to equip them. Otherwise, if you do not equip them, they will go again into the imbalances, as so many of them have gone and are lost, are recluses, some of them did come to sahaja yoga so they are saved but I don’t know how many are lost; generations after generations. So we want to give our children that solid background, solid foundation because we love them and we care for them, they are born realised children and to us they are very precious. So parents should leave it into the hands of people who are trying to organise it and work it out. Otherwise if they give up, I don’t know what will I do. It’s not proper to interfere with them, let them do it and let them look after and also must know that you should see from the progress of the children. The children who came to India, didn’t know much to write, much to calculate, no mathematics, nothing. Now, within this short time, they can write well, they can write Hindi also, they can read well and also they know mathematics.

So, you are not going to give democracy to little children. No. That is a wrong idea. That has ruined your children and don’t ruin now your children by giving them democracy, at a time when they are not mature. Children have to mature enough as to know what freedom is. Because I think here the parents want to escape the child, they don’t want to face the child and that’s why they said,’ do what you like’ Bring them lots of toys,put them with the toys, finished. Don’t face them, don’t talk to them, don’t educate them, don’t take any responsibility. ‘You like this cloth? Alright, have it’. Then ego breaks out, and the sense of collectivity becomes much less. All the time we find the children were hitting each otherand we couldn’t understand, why are they hitting? Or pulling someone’s hair, not paying attention. It was very surprising. So, I think it is the atmosphere, the inherent problems of the West, perhaps, are doing all these things and the children are not developing the way they should develop. Now these are precious children and so we have spent all the money, taken all the  time and so much of labour just to get these children there to educate them. But, if supposing you do not want to send your child then you don’t send the child. It will be much better. We are not at all anxious to have your children, it is of no value to us, but, if it is value to you then you have to abide by the laws of the school, of proper parents. But if you don’t want to send your child, then we have nothing to say, but then we are not responsible. We are not responsible for your children, how they behave, how rude they are, what they have got it. That is not our look out. This is very, very important for us to understand. If you all understand that, we can manage. Also about the fees, many are talking that the fees are too much, but for smaller children it looks the fees are too much, of course, because they don’t consume so much. In the beginning they said there were only ten children and they had to build the whole of the building and everything and all the things to be brought, whatever it is. Then they removed…there are more children and now he was telling me that he’ll be now saving money out of it to build up for the higher classes, because for the higher classes you need laboratories and you need all those things. So, the first thing you must understand, it is your school, is only made for you people, and it’s going to work out for you people, and nothing has been done by you, as such, as it has been done by those who are working it out. If instead of feeling gratitude for them you start grudging them and finding faults with them, they will give up. So it is important that you understand that it is for the good of the children that are our children and we have to give them their due. And they’ll thank you for that. But supposing, out of your love you spoil your children, tomorrow they’ll come back and say, why did you spoil us? What business did you have to spoil our children like this? You see. The relative difference will be so much. You see, Guido has seen how much they have grown in India, how wise they have grown, have sensible they have become, how responsible they have become, so, there’s a way of looking after the children. In the West even the teachers are fed up absolutely of the children because the children are pampered by parents and the children are extremely rude, so they also don’t pay any attention. So first thing is character building, proper value system and secondly the dynamism. All this will come once they are settled in Sahaja Yoga. All of you should give your ideas; write to us what you want. Not about particular child but in general, whatever ideas you have they will go through it and see it. But I personally think that the Western education system is absolutely destructive for children. They have no satisfaction, that is they don’t study, they have no involvement. So I had to tell you sometimes to you. This is the best time I could tell you that is the position of the schools in India, we have a beautiful school now built up and it will be starting next year. But this has to be told, not as a …, I did not want to send a notice to you all. You must understand what is good for your children and you must not be selfish, and you should not be selfish about them, to ruin their lives. Right? Thank you very much.