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Religion is an important aspect in a persons’ life. Every individual, at some point of time, realizes the immensity of its presence, either too early or at the right time or too late. But realize, he does.
Its our responsibility to inculcate this faith and hope in our children, from a religious aspect. Not in the form of elaborate prayers and rituals, but little things that go a long way in shaping their life and belief.
I made an effort right from the beginning, when my son was in his 3rd month. Every evening during the ‘aarti’ time, my mom used to make sure that he was there when the evening lamp was lit. It’s a small ritual but nonetheless, laid the foundation. Slowly I started teaching him 2-line shlokas. Now, everyday he chants a short shloka as soon as he gets up and he repeats the same at bedtime too, without me reminding him. Now that’s an achievement!! And whats more rewarding for me is that my 5.5 yrs old kid recites ‘Hanuman Chalisa’ on his own. And he won the pre-primary shloka competition in his school, for 2 years in a row.
Few months back, an incident took place that made me wonder why shouldn’t I teach my son to be proud of being a Hindu? I was never very particular about flaunting my caste and religion but my son said something that made me think otherwise.
There are a couple of kids (say X and Y) in his school bus who travel with him everyday. They are also 5 YO. It seems one day they showed their church (which they visit) to my son and told him that they don’t go to temple but a church. At that time he didn’t know much about the differences between a temple, a church, a mosque, etc (he still doesn’t, but that’s different). I am not aware when this incident happened in his bus. Then one fine day, during Christmas, we were passing by a nicely decorated and abundantly lit church. I suggested to my son that we go inside and have a look, since it was pleasing to the eye. I told him that this is a church where some people pray, just like we pray to our God. Sonny surprises me by saying that he doesn’t want to go inside. He did not show any enthusiasm, very firmly stated that he is not interested. I asked him why. He said, “Why should I go to X and Y’s church when they don’t go to our temple?”. That really changed my perspective.
Now, I stress the importance of our religion when I talk to my kid. Once in a while, I tell him stories how our God is Supreme. I think its important to instill the religion factor among kids, so that they don’t become confused adults. Looking at the rate of fake conversions that are happening all over our country, wonder how the situation will be in the next 15-20 years. But never indulge in bad mouthing other religions. Let them grow up into intelligent and peaceful individuals who will be bonding with each and everyone.
What do the other parents think about this? Please let me and others know.