Spirituality in children is highly recommended in modern lifestyle where inner peace and satisfied feeling is lost in hustle bustle world. Spirituality is the way to live life for self-growth and better future.

Spirituality in Children
Spirituality in Children

Namaste!

Welcome back our enthusiastic readers! Today, we are talking about spirituality for those little souls running and screaming around you when you are reading this blog. Yes, you got it right, your wonderful and innocent children.

Introduction

Although, Childhood and spirituality seems to be two ways apart for many of you. But, they are related. Spirituality is more than religion. It connects you to the universe and let’s you observe the world. Guess what? All this oserving from a distance and still you are grounded. This is the power of spirituality.

Spirituality in Children

And, spirituality in children means their inner capacity of exploring and knowing the deeper aspects of life beyond the materialistic reality.

Spirituality does not mean that the child should wear bhagwa (safforn) colored clothes and start chanting mantras.

However, spirituality is the way to connect to the world and self within. It gives the direction to their curosity. Children learn values, ethics and spirituality from their parents, peers and home environment.

Benefits of Spirituality in Children

a) Firstly, spirituality helps the children to develop a sense of purpose and moral compass. Meanwhile, it is our duty to encourage them to indulge in charity, selfless work and other helpful work so that they explore their own beliefs.

b) Secondly, they can connect themselves to the universe and nature around them.

c) Thirdly, they get to know the power of affirmations.

d) Lastly, it promotes mindfulness in children.

The Indian Way of Nurturing Spirituality in Children

In our Indian culture, spirituality is a big thing which plays a quintessential role in the lives of many people. Moreover, Indian traditions ingrain the spirituality into children in following ways.

Rituals

We, Indians have many religious rituals and ceremonies, both at home and in places of worship. Since my childhood days, I have been always spiritually inclined towards our age old rituals. For many people, they are outdated, but if you go deep within and do research, you will find meaning behind everything. From aarti, circumambulate around Tulsi, lighting a diya and others, they all holds value and importance.

Children are encouraged to participate in these rituals from a very young age. This conditioned them to witness and experience the spiritual practices of their community vividly. Also, at very young age, they start developing a sense of reverence and connection to their cultural and religious heritage.

Stories and Mythology

India is a country of stories and folklore. Most of its stories and mythology are based on religion.These religious stories convey spiritual and moral teachings. Eventually, parents and elders at home often share these stories to children through oral tradition and through books. Namely, it is their sincere effort to imbibe spiritual wisdom and values in children as a legacy. Stories of Hindu gods, Hindu goddesses, and moral figures tells children about love, compassion, integrity, and the nature of the divine.

I still remember how fantastically my grand maa used to recite small chapters of Ramayana to us in the evening at our aangan (open central premise of Indian house).

Furthermore, kids learn the love for nature and connection with other living beings other than humans. By worshipping tulsi, peepal and Gaumata (cow as mother) they get to know the spiritual side of Hinduism too.

What is Vasudhaiva Kutumbkam?

Vasudhaiva kutumbhkam is a sanskrit phrase which means “this whole Earth is our family”. It is a spiritual concept. Indeed, Indians believe in the concept of joint family. Even I grew up in a joint family with all my uncles, aunts, cousins and grandparents living under one roof.

According to Upnishads, Vasundhara is our Mother Earth and every living being on it, is our sister or brother. It teaches us love, compassion and sense of unity and non violence for each other. Infact, our children learn this spiritual aspect of non-violence and aparigraha (non possession) from Vasudhaiva Kutumbhkam only.

Meditation and Mindfulness

My childhood rituals were mainly reciting gayatri mantra and practising maun (silence) for 5 minutes daily at home. I am sure, every Hindu devotee had almost similar childhood memories. However, practices like meditation and mindfulness are must in our homes. Apparently, Indian children are introduced to simple breathing exercises, chanting, or visualization techniques to cultivate inner calm and focus at a very young age. These meditation practices help children develop a sense of self-awareness, emotional regulation and a deeper connection to their inner selves. We will be covering meditation for children in our upcoming blog.

Bhajans and Mantras

I clearly remember how my grand parents taught me and my brother the value and significance of Hanuman chalisa. As, Lord Hanumana is a Hindu God of vigorous strength and fearlessness. In the past, whenever I felt anxious and fearful, I did chant Hanuman Chalisa as a child. Thus, this is how every Hindu household has this norm to teach children chants and bhajan at very tender age.

Specifically, it is a common practice to sing Bhajan and chant mantras in Indian spirituality arena. Children are taught simple bhajan and mantra like Gayatri Mantra to recite in religious gatherings at home. Hence, devotional music also develops a sense of spirituality, sense of unity and harmonious atmosphere. You can also read about the importance of sound Aum in our previous blog and get to know the relevance of chanting.

Festivity in India

No one can deny the fact that India is a country of festivals. Certainly, all the festivals have their own religious and spiritual significance.

However, children always show a higher level of enthusiasm and active participation in celebrations of festivals. Further these celebrations includes rituals, puja, devotional music, dance, chanting mantras and performing havanas too with storytelling.

Likewise, these celebrations and observance of festivity promotes a sense of connection and spiritual bonding between children and their cultural traditions.

Selfless Service

Indian traditions and rituals teaches children the selfless serving side of spirituality. Gradually, they learn karsewa and serving food to all even at a smallest family gathering. Also, they imitate their elders in selfless work like kindness, charity, offering food and water to needy people on festivals and other religious functions.

As a result, these children learn the values of humility, generosity and empathy by helping others and practicing empathy.

Guru Shishya Ritual

From the vedic times till now, relevance of guru shishya (teacher and disciple) concept is prevalent in India.

Additionally, In Indian spirituality, the relationship between a guru (spiritual teacher) and a disciple is highly valued. Children may learn from a spiritual teacher who guides them on their spiritual path. Thus, the guru imparts knowledge, wisdom, and spiritual practices to help children develop a deeper understanding.

Conclusion

Spirituality in children is greatly influenced by ideas and beliefs of their immediate family. There are many religious and cultural differences all over India but, we Indians still imbibe a sense of wonder, curiosity and eagerness in them.This leads to opportunity for young minds to explore and expediate more on spiritual realm and divinity.

Have a blessed day.

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