Radhanath Swami on the Essence of Education

Radhanath swami on parenting

I remember when I was young; parents would read stories to their children as they fell asleep. The bedtime stories were very sweet, pious tales. Some excitement and adventure may be there, but there was always a lesson, a clear moral to convey higher values. The mother would reveal, that beyond the greed, envy and arrogance surrounding us, exists higher values like compassion, tolerance and integrity. When conveyed by those they love and trust, such values build a healthy emotional and moral foundation within a child’s fertile consciousness.

Radhanath Swami elaborates on  parent’s duty

To a child the parent is like a guru, a wise authority whom they can trust. If children see their parents living according to higher values, it creates a very strong foundation. If however, they hear these values, but see the parents acting against them, they see it as hypocrisy. Their response: rebellion. They rebel against the values because they feel cheated.

 Thus the parent’s most essential duty is to first imbibe true values within themself and then to serve as a just and loving guide for their children. – Radhanath Swami

This is the highest expression of love a parent can provide for their child, for it is only through adherence to real values that their children may find that actual deep satisfaction of the heart. When a child is nourished by a parent’s positive influence then he or she can come to provide the same positive influence for the world.

Radhanath Swami on “The Importance of Values”

Values are like a building’s foundation. All of the professional information we provide for children, mathematics, engineering, science and so on, adds many valuable assets to the building. But values are the foundation. In a beautiful building, nobody says, “What a wonderful foundation you have in this building!” The furniture and the architecture are what catch the eye, but without a strong foundation, one passing storm can ruin it all. And this world is full of storms; it’s a bumpy and unpredictable road for everyone. There will always be massive temptations and massive fears. The tables will turn perpetually, whether we are politicians, businessmen, educators or swamis.

Thus each child should receive a complete education–– learned in material sciences and realized in culture. – Radhanath Swami

Being thus grounded in both aspects of life, they may remain fixed in their duties even when the going gets rough. I think it’s essential that the faculty regularly discuss the true meaning of education and prioritise culture as a foundation for our schools.

Radhanath Swami explains a parent’s impact

Educating the parents is a key aspect of educating the children. Parents, being the child’s most personal and trusted authority, have a huge impact in a student’s studies, their values, and their life. So at our school Gopal’s Garden we have workshops for the parents. They are not mandatory, but many parents are quite enlivened to take advantage of the unique facility provided. We present the same principle, that the cultivation of values, ethics, and compassion is a necessity in education–– not a detail. What will become of this world if moral codes are made a detail? If the future leaders of the world have all the power, but no sensibility, there will be unrelenting chaos. But so often in schools, if moral principles are even mentioned, they’re a detail. Therefore it is imperative, now more than ever, to take the time to culture our child’s character.

Being authorities, if parents emphasise higher principles of life to compliment their academic studies, each child will receive the highest benefit and become empowered to carry on the same crucial values for generations to come. – Radhanath Swami

Universal Values = Universal Prosperity

These are universal principles. We may take the Hindus, the Muslims, the Christians, the Jews, the Sikhs, the Jains, the Parsis–– universal values are foundational to all these great religions. These are the principles that our children have to learn if they are to become empowered instruments for positive change in society. In our Bhagavad Gita, we learn that true wisdom is to see every being with equal vision.


braahmani gavi hastini

suni caiva caiva-svapaake ca

panditaa sama-darshina

(BG 5.18)


This means, a true “pundit” (or learned person) is one who recognizes the living force, the atma, within the heart of everyone. He sees that there are different dresses; American, Indian, male, female, Hindu, Muslim, black, white and so on. But the living force, that is seeing through the eyes, hearing through the ears, tasting through the tongue, smelling through the nose, thinking through the brain, loving through the heart is a part of God, it’s a divine being. When we actually recognise that divinity within ourselves, then we can recognise it wherever there is life. And naturally there is love, naturally there is compassion. And what’s the result of such understanding? Unconditional love for your neighbour as yourself.And Everyone is our neighbour! We all share the same planet. With today’s global economy and global community, the need to understand this principle is urgent. When there were problems on Wall Street, it created a situation that reverberated all over the world. When the World Trade Centre was attacked, it affected the economy of the whole planet. So nowadays, whatever happens somewhere, affects everywhere. Everything is so interconnected. So it’s crucial that we actually look for that essence, that we see the brotherhood and the sisterhood of humanity.

The purpose of spirituality, in its true form, whatever our religion, is to cleanse the heart of misconceptions. Through our practices, our prayer, our association, our values, and the principles that we build our life upon we develop that inner love.

By acting as instruments of that love in our business, in our politics, in our family interactions and so on, we assure the prosperity of our children and consequently the prosperity of the world to come. – Radhanath Swami


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  • Kalpana Kulkarni

    Very true! It is the responsibility of all of us as parents to first imbibe spiritual values and then inculcate the same in out children/grandchildren and others in society. Then the society and country as a whole will witness a spiritual change.

  • CS Sandeep S. Shinde

    Very inspiring article. Thank you very much.

  • Sanat Swain

    Beautiful article

  • Satish Rane

    thank u maharaja. it is very impt for us to walk our talk or to live by spiritual values. thank u maharaja hare krishna

  • CS Sandeep S. Shinde

    Thank you very much for such a nice article.

  • CS Sandeep S. Shinde

    Very nice article. Thank you very much.

  • vani

    HH Radhanath swami has beautifully explained that the foremost duty of parents to their children is to give them higher values & positive culture by their own example.Thak you very much Swamii.

    • Piyush Singh

      So True.

    • Ram Mohan Gupta

      True. Thanks Radhanath Swami.

  • Balkrishna

    HH Radhanath Swami ki jay

  • Raju K Mewada

    Very genuine concern for moral development for the children and so for development for society which values for morals and ethics. Most important matter H H Radhanath Swamiji has pointed out is to imbibe such values by all parents and then they can inspire their children to follow the path of morality and ethics. But very crucial question is about time that every parent should dedicate for family and children. We all (as parents) running behind to get more material opulence but at cost of family time. So if parents themselves are not able to give priority to practice spirituality in their life how children will learn from them. It is our first duty to learn spirituality first and put it in practice and then let us inspire our children, by our behavior, to follow it with full confidence and trust in such fundamental principles.

    • Y Raja Shekar

      I agree with you Rajuji. It is said whatever we do in our home, it will become a culture and whatever we don’t do also will become a culture. So we as parents are responsible for everything happening and not happening also.

    • Ram Mohan Gupta

      True. Sharing time with family members is very much needed today. Thanks Radhanath Swami.

    • Anand Patil

      very true.

  • Satish Rane

    maharaj in class also tells us to become instruments of compassion in the hands of great souls.. hare krishna

  • vidya karekar

    wonderful article

  • Rakesh Pandita

    I think all criminal , terrorrism and other immoral acts are because of lack of moral values which sometime in past were learned from our adult family members, from scriptures and gurukuls(Sanskars) and all these sources for building values are somewhere lost , however thanks to HH Radhanath Swami and Srila Prabhupada to rejuvenate all these institutions for welfare of whole world.

    • Ram Mohan Gupta

      True. Emphasis on moral values along with material education will go a long way in shaping the world. Thanks Radhanath Swami.

  • CS Sandeep S. Shinde

    Thank you very much for explaining Universal Values.

  • biswajit

    Parents are first guide to a child

  • vilas bhujbal

    Highest expression of love a parent can provide for their child, “adherence to real values”!!! Radhanath Swami has given very nice example in question answer session in following link.Please hear Easy Addy episode. http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swami-speaking-about-intuition-at-ey

  • Raju K Mewada

    H H Radhanath Swami Maharaj has given deep lesson for all parents. If we wish to have our children educated with morality we need to imbibe the same in our life. It is the first duty of every parents. Thanks..we will try to teach our children by our own examples..Children learn more by observing our behavior rather than our advice.

  • Kalpana Kulkarni

    True! It’s the duty of every parent to inculcate values in children specially nowadays when there are so many distractions and peer pressure.

  • Sumit Sharma

    Parents are first guide to a child and with it comes great responsibility on them to nurture him spiritually.

  • brajswaminidd

    It is so important that parents live by the values they want to see in their children. It is only if a parent is a good role model that children there are less chances that children may pick up some wrong role models.

  • Sanjiv

    Beyond the greed, envy and arrogance surrounding us, exists higher values like tolerance, compassion and integrity

  • Sanjiv

    THis is so very important – If children see their parents living according to higher values, it creates a very strong foundation. If however, they hear these values, but see the parents acting against them, they see it as hypocrisy. Their response: rebellion

    • Piyush Singh

      Very well concluded Sanjiv ji. The children really get confused in such situations.

    • Anand Patil

      Good point Sanjiv ji.

  • Piyush Singh

    Very practical advise by HH Radhanath Swami. Parents must cultivate high spiritual and moral values, which will lead the children to follow them as examples. Thank you very much for this wisdom.

    • Sanjiv

      Yes Piyush ji, this is indeed the need to the hour in today’s society.

  • NSP

    Excellent article! Essential read for the parents! Thank you so much HH Radhanath Swami Maharaj

  • Y Raja Shekar

    The importance of parents role in their children’s life is well stressed by Radhanath Swami in this article.