(Kadamba Kanana Swami, 28 April 2017, Radhadesh, Belgium, Srimad Bhagavatam 7.15.50)
Question (paraphrased): We did not grow up in a culture of free mixing of men and women, the way that maybe it should have been. Now I am thinking of my children. Even if we put our children in the Krsna schools, it is not always ideal and sometimes even wilder than in the outside world so what should we do?
You have children and you are very idealistic. You have this dream that you want to give them the very best and then after a while, you realise that you cannot. You cannot! They may be your children but their lives are not under your control. They are in this material world with their own karma and they are also part of a greater society and there is nothing you can do. Nothing you can do…
Like for example, in Norway, if your kid behaves bad and if you give a slap to that kid, the kid can turn you in to the police. You can get arrested and get put into jail. Yeah, imagine! In some countries, it is different. You know, my mother used to have a table tennis bat. I was always kicking my little brother under the table and she knew it. So then you know… I survived it. It was okay. I never needed a psychologist. I still like table tennis (laughter). It is okay. So, it is alright. There is nothing wrong with giving a loving slap.
But after a while, you realise that you cannot give your children an ideal education. You are not even sure if your “little Cintamani” (fictive name), who was like just straight from the heavenly planets would even chant Hare Krsna. Oh yes, she even had her own deities as a child but you cannot even be sure if little Cintamani is going to be a devotee when she is twenty-one!
This is how it is. I have seen fathers sitting there saying, “My little Cintamani!” She came to daddy and said, “Daddy, I am not going to be a Hare Krsna but I need support for my studies.” And daddy forked it up. I know devotee fathers who would faithfully, every day drive their non-devotee children to school and pick them up as well. That is a lot of purification. I wish you well. Maybe in this way, some men will say, “I will take sannyasa,” and then they have to preach.
Yeah, so that is how it is. All you can do is give blessings. Try to bless your children as much as you can. You cannot change their lives so much – a little maybe – but give them as many blessings as you can. That is what you do as a parent. It is also what you do as a spiritual master. Like I have many disciples and I have no grip on their life. I cannot control their life. I can only give blessings and I try. And for the rest, good luck!