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India-Gods's Abode

The Finest Present one can give to a child

Essentially, the only thing you should do assiduously is to teach them to know themselves and choose their own destiny, the path they will follow; to teach them to look at themselves, understand themselves and to will what they want to be. That is infinitely more important than teaching them what happened on earth in former times, or even how the earth is built, or even... indeed, all sorts of things which are quite a necessary grounding if you want to live the ordinary life in the world, for if you don’t know them, anyone will immediately put you down intellectually: “Oh, he is an idiot, he knows nothing.” But still, at any age, if you are studious and have the will to do it, you can also take up books and work; you don’t need to go to school for that. There are enough books in the world to teach you things.

The Mother
(Ibid. Vol. 18, p182, vol.12, p.167)

It is an invaluable possession for every living being to have learnt to know himself and to master himself. To know oneself means to know the motives of one’s actions and reactions, the why and the how of all that happens in oneself. To master oneself means to do what one has decided to do, to do nothing but that, not to listen to or follow impulses, desires or fancies.... The finest present one can give to a child would be to teach him to know himself and to master himself.

To love to lean is the most precious gift that one can make to a child,
to learn always and everywhere.

Children must be taught:

a) not to tell a lie, whatever the consequences;

b) to control violence, rage, anger.

If these two things can be done, they can be led toward’ super humanity.

There is an idea that if one breaks conventions, restrictions, one is free from the limitations of ordinary humanity. But this is wrong. Those two things must be achieved to be able to be what may be called “superman”: not to tell lies and to control oneself.

A complete devotion to the Divine is the last condition.

but these are the first two things to be achieved.

The things to be taught to a child

1) The necessity of absolute sincerity.

2) The certitude of the final victory of Truth.

3) The possibility and the will to progress.

Good temper, fair-play, truthfulness.

Patience, endurance, perseverance.

Equanimity, courage, cheerfulness.

For the children, precisely because they are children, it would be best to instill in them the will to conquer the future, the will to always look ahead and to want to move on as swiftly as they can towards... what will be - but they should not drag with them the burden, the millstone of the whole oppressive weight of the past. It is only when we are very high in consciousness and knowledge that it is good to look behind to find the points where this future begins to show itself. When we can look at the whole picture, when we have a very global vision, it becomes interesting to know that what will be realised later on has already been announced beforehand, in the same way that Sri Aurobindo said that the divine life will manifest on earth, because it is already involved in the depths of Matter; from this stand- point it is interesting to look back or to look down below - not to know what happened, or to know what men have known: that is quite useless.

The children should be told: There are wonderful things to be manifested, prepare yourself to receive them. Then if they want something a little more concrete and easier to understand, you can tell them: Sri Aurobindo came to announce these things; when you are able to read him, you will understand. So this awakens the interest, the desire to learn.

-The Mother
(Ibid. Vol.12-pp155-56,p152,pp404-05)