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

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.



By Radhanath Swami

You can find him on Google+