Chapter 23: Trees Grow without Being Taught
This should be the principle: children should be helped to listen to their bodies, to listen to their own needs. The basic thing for parents is to guard that the children don’t fall into a ditch. The function of their discipline is negative.
Remember the word negative - no positive programming but only a negative guarding - because children are children, and they can get into something which will harm them, cripple them. Then too don’t order them not to go, but explain to them. Don’t make it a point of obedience; still let them choose. You simply explain the whole situation.
Children are very receptive, and if you are respectful towards them they are ready to listen, ready to understand; then leave them with their understanding. It is a question of only a few years in the beginning; soon they will be getting settled in their intelligence, and your guarding will not be needed at all. Soon they will be able to move on their own.
I can understand the fear of the parents that the children may go in a direction which they don’t like - but that is your problem. Your children are not born for your likings and your dislikings. They have to live their life, and you should rejoice that they are living their life - whatever it is. They may become a poor musician..
I used to know a very rich man in the town who wanted his son to become a doctor after matriculation. But the son was interested only in music. He was already no longer an amateur; he was well known in the area, and wherever there was any function, he was playing the sitar and was becoming more and more famous.
He wanted to go to a university which is basically devoted to music. Perhaps it is the only university in the world which is devoted completely to music, and has all the different departments - dance, different instruments - but the whole world of the university is musical.
The father was absolutely against it. Because I was very close to his son, he called me and he said, “He will be a beggar all his life” - musicians in India cannot earn much. “At the most he can become a music teacher in a school. What will he be earning? That much we pay to many servants in our house. And he will be associating with the wrong people” - because in India, music has remained very deeply connected with the prostitutes.
The Indian prostitute is different from any prostitute in the rest of the world. The word prostitute does not do justice to the Indian counterpart because the Indian prostitute is really well versed in music, in dance - and India has so much variety. If you really want to learn the deeper layers of music, of singing, of dancing, you have to be with some famous prostitute.