Spiritual Questions and Answers with Radhanath Swami

Radhanath Swami answers, ‘What’s the right age to build character?’

By on February 2, 2015 in Insights with 57 Comments

Question to Radhanath Swami: 1) How important is the role of a guru? 2)Also, to develop character, isn’t it important to start early in life?

Radhanath Swami Answers:

  • Importance of a guru has been sung throughout the ages – in tradition and scriptures – because gurus preserve the essence of a spiritual tradition. Otherwise, our egos can interpret what is given in the scriptures in so many ways, to meet our own purposes. Living examples are so important, for us to actually have faith and direction.
  • As parents, the greatest act of love to our children is to have them inculcate this culture of values – of integrity, of God’s grace, of bhakti – because that will give them real fulfillment, it will help them overcome every obstacle with dignity. Those values are sacred; it will bring them real happiness and make them instruments of happiness. And yes, when we are young, we can imbibe these virtues and these divine experiences before we get subjected to so many bad habits and distractions. That’s the advantage.

But at the same time, because we all are inherently divine, eternal parts of God, it really doesn’t matter when we start; the soul is always young. I have seen people in their 90s, who understood spirituality and character is what they want, and I saw them become perfect saints. Because of the quality of how they sincerely pursued loving devotion to God, they attained success. So we want to give the best to our children, but for ourselves – it’s never too late. It’s always the right time if we do it right.

 

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  • Abhinaw

    Prahlad Maharaj says:

    “kaumaram acaret prajno dharman bhagavatan iha
    Durlabham manusim janma tadapi adhruvam arthadam”

    We should start bhagavad dharma at the age when we are in “kaumara awastha”, i.e , tender age of 5 years

  • suresh

    thank you maharaj for your valuable answer, “but for ourselves – it’s never too late. It’s always the right time if we do it right” as earliest as when one comes across the opportunity to take to devotion life…,

  • Pradeep Iyer

    As parents one has to be responsible especially in the current times, such deep explanation by Swamiji here

  • Prahalad

    Radhanath Swami Maharaj given an important lesson for parents about giving the right kind of samskaras for our kids to see them strong devotees at a later stage.

  • Shubhda

    Very amazing answer on the importance of guru. To mold next better generation on the foundation of moral values, it really necessary to take path of devotional life as early as possible. Thank you very much enlightening wisdom.

  • Chandala Potdar

    Thank you Maharaj for answer. It is responsibility of parents to show the way in early age to our children for their future.

  • vidya karekar

    wonderfully explained the role of Guru in our life and the responsibility of a parent

  • NSP

    Great answer by HH Radhanath Swami Maharaj! Wonderfully explained!

  • Kalpana Kulkarni

    True! We definitely need a guru to show us the correct path and we have a responsibility to educate our children in correct values.

    • Laura Baker

      Yes…….to make progress on spiritual path , we really need person who will guide us. Our children are designer of future, so for better tomorrow we have to give them value education,

  • Sanjiv

    So important to follow the instructions of the guru

  • Sumit Sharma

    Wonderful answer by HH Radhanath Swami Maharaj.

  • Anand Patil

    Beautiful answer by HH Radhanath Maharaj. Thank you.

  • Ganesh lagad

    Importance of guru in our life is very well explained by maharaj. Guru knows that where we are going to divert from our real and spiritual path. They are giving examples from that example we have to learn and understand our faith and direction. Thank you maharaj

  • mandeep sidhu

    Simply Jai Prabhupada
    Jai Maharaja
    Hare Krishna

  • Sanjiv

    Being parents means big responsibility

  • Raju K Mewada

    Perfect answer to start learning spirituality. Yes there is no bar on age to start learning devotional service. But I have observed that earlier is better to fixed ourselves in proper consciousness. Because then only we can have sufficient time and strength to follow devotional service. Specifically I am talking about those people who think that devotional service has to be carried out in old age only. But at that time (very old) our own physical health may not help us. And second thing at very old age, controlling mind will be very difficult, as whole life spend without any practice to follow devotional service. As H H Radhanath Swami Maharaj has suggested, let us try practice devotional service ourself and try to teach our children to imbibe such qualities to learn spirituality in their life.

  • Vinay Malani

    HH Radhanath Swami is right. The children needs to be imparted spiritual & moral education at a very young age so as to build an impeccable character.

  • Pradeep Iyer

    ISKCON at Girgaum Chowpathy has a good set of trainers on this topic

  • Prahalad

    As explained by Radhanath Swami, as parents it is our utmost responsibility to give bhakti nourishment to our children right from early childhood.

  • Kishore

    Its a deep insight, such a rational answer!

  • Jhon

    wonderful insight…

  • Rahul

    Thank you for letting us know the importance of spiritual values in life!

  • Santosh Biradar

    very valuable text!

    • Charles Taylor

      indeed. I wish someone would have told me this earlier. I came to understand the right philosophy and application a bit late, after high school. now its such a challenge to apply things in life. with all the conditionings in my behavior its a big challenge.

      • Kevin White

        never too late to begin mate.
        when you open your eyes, thats your start. tough people face tough challenges

  • Raju K Mewada

    With grace of the Lord and Guru Maharaj, we can understand spirituality and can walk on the path of spirituality. Without such grace, I feel, it is impossible to have correct understanding of the spiritual path. So first requirement to start journey for spirituality is to have faith in words of guru and sastra (scripture). Then only we can grow on spiritual path.

    • Kevin White

      good thought raju,
      i am impressed by the answer of Radhanath Swami, his clarity of thought and way of explaining is simply great. thnx

  • Rahul Gupta

    Its true that you can mold a wet clay, but not the dry one. Radhanath Swami gave so apt answer.

  • Rajeshlk

    Very True. It is never too late if we do it right. Thank you.

  • Laxmikanth

    really well said

    • George Martin

      very true. today we are lacking living examples, i liked the point – Living examples are so important, for us to actually have faith and direction.

  • George Martin

    better late then never is rightly said and proven here by radhanath swami well done.!

  • Prahalad

    Important lesson spoken by Radhanath Swami on taking up to spirituality and awarding it to our children right at early age.

    • sagar tiwari

      because we all are inherently divine, eternal parts of God, it really doesn’t matter when we start; the soul is always young.

  • CS Sandeep S. Shinde

    Very nicely explained by HH Radhanath Swami Maharaj.

  • Lisa Perez

    As parents, the greatest act of love to our children is to have them inculcate this culture of
    values – of integrity, of God’s grace, of bhakti – because that will give them real fulfillment, it will help them overcome every obstacle with dignity. Those values are sacred; it will bring them real happiness and make them instruments of happiness. And yes, when we are young, we can imbibe these virtues and these divine experiences before we get subjected to so many bad habits and distractions. That’s the advantage…… These words are most significant to build up good character.

  • Arun Pagare

    Really true…

  • Donna Nelson

    Age doesn’t matter much but touch of spirituality does matter, off course if we gave them spirituality at small age only, then it will be more easier

  • Kevin White

    what a deeper understanding of a guru to preserve the essence of spiritual tradition.

  • Donald Green

    thats good news for everyone. age no bar …..!!! time no bar….!!!

  • sagar tiwari

    As parents, the greatest act of love to our children is to have them inculcate this culture of values – of integrity, of God’s grace, of bhakti – because that will give them real fulfillment…..very

  • Lisa Perez

    This article gave me a very good insight of parent’s role in building up the child’s character. Thank you

  • Donna Nelson

    how radhanath swami gave justification for the need of guru. perfect!

  • Vikas Rana

    As age is no bar in reviving our spiritual values, but child hood is still the best time to actually build our character. Very nicely explained by Maharaj.

  • George Martin

    thank you very much for the information. its important

  • Swapnil Gaonkar

    Radhanath Swami’s statement “The soul is always young” is very striking. Thank you for this encouraging post.

    • Pradeep Kumar

      Yes very true at least it gives me motivation that it is not late for me as well.

  • Yamini

    thank u

  • Lalit

    Thank you Radhanath Swami Maharaj for giving us hope.

  • amit

    A wonderful explanation.Thank you for sharing.

  • Rahul

    Radhanath Swami Maharaj gave a new vision to me. Often, I lose hope and interest in reaching out to old people, considering them rigid, difficult and sort of stubborn. But I realize this is due to my own lack of patience and attachment to the results. The soul is always young. So, it only requires for us to walk that extra mile. Thank you Radhanath Swami.

  • Archana

    It is never too late.. it is always the right time if we do it right. Thank u Radhanath Swami.

  • margaret anderson

    Thank u radhanath swami for such a deeper insight

  • william miller

    I m very much influenced by the answer as my doubt about when to start is clear. Thank you Swami Ji

  • Kalpana Kulkarni

    Guru is very important for our spiritual progress. Yes, the earlier we start inculcating spirituality , the better it is. But as Radhanath Swami says any time is a good time – Better late than never!

  • Keshav Kishor Das

    So true. If we do not accept Guru, then our false egos can interpret what is given in the scriptures in so many ways, to meet our own purposes. This excerpt touched my heart. we very much need “Role models”.

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