What We Teach Our Children

By: Swami Kriyananda

What We Teach Our Children

Swami Kriyananda

One of the greatest predicaments we face in our modern society is the education that we give our young. Should we cram our children’s heads with facts, or educate them for success as human beings?
We teach children how to solve problems in mathematics, but give them nothing to help them solve the problems they face in their personal lives. We flood them with a tide of facts, then tell them, as we send them out the door with their diplomas, “It’s up to you to figure out what it all means.”
The modern age is addicted to factual information. By “addiction” I mean that the fascination has reached abnormal proportions. It is necessary for us, now, to emphasise that facts by themselves cannot bestow wisdom. A blizzard of unsifted information offers no sense of direction, nor any knowledge of where one might go to find inner peace, poise, and a sense of life’s deeper meaning and joyous possibilities.
We forget that the discovery of some new fact concerning a galaxy millions of light years away has very little actual bearing on our lives here on earth. Knowledge, on the other hand, of how to get along with others, and how to be happy, has a great deal of relevance.
Spiritual and moral laws, like the laws of physics, never change. The excitement of scientific discovery has captured our imagination, but the laws that rule human conduct remain unalterable. It is the particular genius of ancient philosopher-scientists that they expressed these laws in their clearest, most practical form.
It is time to approach science from a fresh point of view. Paramhansa Yogananda offered an amazingly simple answer to modern scientists who claim that all life exists only as an outgrowth of inanimate matter. Yogananda replied, “Matter, too, is conscious, however dimly so.”
Yogananda also suggested that the effect of moral values on human nature needs to be tested, as if in the laboratory, by observing their actual effects on people. He suggested that spiritual communities are ideal places for conducting such observation. We have discovered that “children who learn to love, love to learn.”
Teachers and parents may complain that if we spend too much time teaching children these personal skills, they will be left behind in the race to acquire the information that will fit them to compete in the job market after they leave school. But this is false reasoning.
Children who learn to concentrate, to increase their awareness, and to channel negative emotions into constructive outlets are able to handle all the factual information they’re taught in school far more effectively.
There is another important dimension that needs to be introduced into schools. Children are made to study the composition of the atom. The most important question of all, however, is: “How can one find happiness?” Schools, Yogananda said, should above all be treated as laboratories for solving this most basic of human questions.
Primarily, what is needed is a system of education that will prepare children for meeting life’s challenges, and not only fit them for employment or for intellectual pursuits. And we need to see the whole of life, beyond the years spent in school, as education.
For if indeed, as most people deeply believe, life does have an ultimate purpose and meaning, then its goal must be to educate us ever more fully to that meaning. And the true goal of school must be to help prepare us for that lifelong learning process.
Discourse by Swamiji, “Opening to God’s Grace” on Nov 17 November, Bhaidas Hall, Vile Parle, 4:30 pm. All are welcome. 9820322313 / 9819015539, mumbai@anandaindia.org


When Does the Soul Enter the Body?

A lot of people look for this article that I wrote some time ago – so I thought I would post it again here in this scribd format

I Come in Peace – Bears Large and Small

NOTE – Click on any photo to see it larger

Polar Bear: I come in peace….Unbelievable

Polar Bear: I come in Peace 

Norbert Rosing ‘ s striking images of a wild polar bear coming upon tethered sled dogs in the wilds of Canada’s Hudson Bay.

The Photographer was sure that he was going to see the end of his dogs when the Polar bear wandered in.

It’s hard tobelieve that this polar bear only needed to hug someone!

The Polar Bear
Returned every night that week to play with the dogs.

May you
Always have love to share,

Health to spare,

And friends that care

I just loved this…….. ……… …




“Until one has loved an animal, part of their soul remains unawakened.”

Remembering 9-11 with beautiful music by Enya

Saturday, September 11, 2010

I remember the shock of 9-11…
I direct a prayer ministry and about 6 AM I got a phone call (I live in California). It was from a local carpenter I know, urgently saying, “There’s some kind of F—ing war on! – a plane just crashed into the World trade Center in New York!”

You know – that language is not in my typical prayer request – but it seemed spot-on for that day. As the days wore on I was impressed that he got the gist of it right from the very first moments – right after the first plane crashed into the tower.

May all of the families who lost someone that day be comforted and blessed….

That first morning – I didn’t have the heart to tell my kids what had happened. I don’t normally listen to morning news – so I didn’t want to break our normal loving serenity. I thought, “They will know soon enough – let’s have one more normal morning.”

And on the next day, September 12, of course life was now different. We all knew… And I understood why, for the first time, that some mothers in France or Belgium or Holland feed chocolate to their children for breakfast. Life is short, life is precious – it can change in an instant. Eat your chocolate now. Celebrate life and love and family now – at the beginning of the day…

So I fed my kids some wonderful chocolate waffles for breakfast (first time ever) …There was a feeling of redeeming the sweetness of life anyway I could… to embrace them and the precious days…each day is so precious…The chocolate is only a symbol that says “Austerity has no place in my feelings for you…I celebrate you as my children and my family…”

And now – years later – I only rarely have a chocolate waffle or crepe for breakfast and I make it with cocoa powder and with mostly stevia so it isn’t really all that decadent. But it still feels like an extravagant celebration of life and love and family – with fresh strawberries on top….

I’ve “always” been on a diet as an adult – but in the three weeks or so after 9-11 – I just didn’t care one bit about those things…

PS – I saw this video and it helped me to tap into the deep feeling to pray once again for those families and souls…But – if your children are young…there is no need to bring them into this…Instead make them a lovely breakfast, and go out and celebrate the day with love and laughter. But in your own heart – give especially deep thanks to God for another beautiful day with your family.

Remembrance – “Only Time”


Prayers with kids: Gulf of Mexico

This simple but beautiful video can help you and your children send healing energy to the Gulf of Mexico:

You can learn more about teaching your children to pray by reading my chapter on “Prayer and Devotion

More Prayers for the Gulf of Mexico –

click here

Prayer-Demands for Children, by Paramhansa Yogananda

Healing Home: Spiritual Food

Free e-booklet on healing your family through putting loving vibrations into the family food as you cook…

Divine Mother Healing Prayer

Paramhansa Yogananda taught several healing prayer techniques., and this one is simple but deep, and  suitable to use at prayer time with your children.

You can learn more about “Prayer and Devotion with Children”  by clicking on the link.  It takes you to a chapter that I  wrote on this subject.  In it I  share many things that were helpful to our children, who are now grown up!

And, in closing, remember that Paramhansa Yogananda said,

“Healing depends on the power of the healer, and the receptivity of the patient.”

So simply do your best, and leave the rest in the loving hands of God.

God bless you all.


Mary Kretzmann

Ananda Healing Prayer Ministry