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A child is like a sapling. In the

beginning, as he establishes a

foothold in this world of adults

he spreads his branches out

wide in all directions. He

questions about and everything.

‘Why this?’

‘How does that work?’, ‘What is

over there?’. He does so hoping

to reach the sky which of course,

is the answer to everything.

In his innocence he doesn’t

realise that the sky is still well

beyond his reach. If his questions

are not answered with love and

patience, we make break his

tiny, fragile branches, and his

eagerness to learn about life and

understand ‘Why?’.

With a broken spirit the

child grows up to be a man with

little eagerness in life. He has no

branches, thus disabling him

from reaching out to others, and

most important, he has no shade

to protect the next generation of

saplings from the scorching sun

which is the bad in our society.

Swamishri always has time for

children. Not just to play with

them, but also to guide them

and teach them. His answers

reflect patience and concern.

He takes them seriously

because he takes thefuture

seriously. And so, through his

answers we can see him -

‘Sowing the seeds of our future...’
    Swamishri With Children
    Question 15
American culture is based on the need to know ‘What?’ and ‘Why?’. Children are encouraged to ask questions, to explore and to find a reason for everything. However, religion is something which cannot be understood by logic alone. Thus Satsangi children face a dilemma, for they have to live according to a culture which they know very little about and in which many things do not have logical explanations. Despite not understanding ‘What?’ or ‘Why?’, these children still have a strong connection with Hinduism, through their love for Swamishri. This alone is what keeps them attached to a culture which would otherwise be alien to them. However, problems do arise, as the children are torn between two very different cultures, often causing conflicts between family and friends. But no matter how strong the pull towards an American lifestyle, the children cannot let go of Swamishri... Here children pose questions to Swamishri during special assemblies with him.

Atlanta Balaks : What is bhakti?

Swamishri : To love God and only God.

When was your first experience of Akshardham?

Swamishri : When I met Shastriji Maharaj and Yogiji Maharaj. By their darshan I experienced Akshardham.

How long does this feeling stay with you?

Swamishri : All the time. It’s not as if it comes for a while and then goes again. Because we keep God with us all the time, and in whatever we do we remember God, the feeling always remains. All day we talk only of God, do only His bhajan and sing His kirtans only, so it stays.

With which thought do you not become egoistic?

Swamishri : The thought that we want to please God. And the thought that God does not like ego.

How can you work here and in Akshardham both at the same time?

Swamishri : It’s God work. God does everything. What are we capable of? It’s a case of here but also there, and there but also here. God works through us.

Rashmi Parikh : What is Yogiji Maharaj doing right now?

Swamishri : He is sitting right here talking to you!

(26 June 1994, Atlanta)

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