Well, another thing I was wondering is how parents could raise their children differently, or treat their children differently as they’re growing up – to reduce all the conditioning and the oppression that we then struggle with as adults.
A few guidelines can be given.
One: they should not make any effort that their children become carbon copies of themselves. And every parent is doing just that, trying to make the child a carbon copy. If you love your children, that is the first thing to be stopped – completely stopped – for the single and simple reason that nature does not accept carbon copies. It accepts only the original.
And they should ask themselves what have they gained in their life: what are their blessings, what are their songs and ecstasies? There is nothing – their lives are empty deserts, and still they are trying for their children to live according to them. One thing is certain, that their children should not live according to them. That should be their basic approach, because they have achieved only misery, anguish, anxiety, all kinds of suffering. But they are completely unaware that they are again preparing another generation for the same kind of experiences.
When I came back home from the university, my parents were naturally concerned about my marriage. My mother asked me first, because my father was always very cautious about asking me anything – because once I have said anything then there was no way to change it. So first he tried through my mother, “You should find out what he feels about marriage, because once he has said no to me, we would have to drop the subject completely! So, just to feel out his mind…”
When I was going to sleep, my mother came and sat on my bed and asked me, “Now you have finished your education, what do you think about marriage?”
I said, “I would like to ask you, because I have never been married before so I don’t have any experience. You have been married, you have raised eleven children. You are an experienced person – I seek your advice. Has this life been a life of blessings? Have you not thought many times in your life, that if you had not married it would have been better? And I don’t ask you to answer right now; I give you fifteen days to think it over.”
She said, “This is really strange. I was going to give you time to think about it, and you are telling me to think about it!”
I said, “Yes, because I don’t know. I trust you. If after fifteen days you say that yes, your life has been a life of tremendous joy and ecstasy, of course I will get married. But remember, I am trusting you so much, I am giving my whole life into your hands, in trust.