Question: How does the soul of a parent relate to the soul of a child?
Answer: Spiritually we are all related. We are all God-brothers, God-sisters. We have our common Father who is Krishna. Krishna is the common Father of all living entities.
In our material lives, according to our karma, certain souls come together in a family relationship. One soul would play the role of mother, one soul would be in the role of father and another soul would be in the role of child. This is all material relationships. This is not a spiritual connection. We are spirit souls but we are connected materially. Our spiritual connection is: children of God. So it is our karma that brings us together as families.
And, of course, according to God’s material laws, we have obligations as parents. It has been arranged for a certain soul to be under our care and guidance. So parents have the responsibility to properly guide their children. And that responsibility is not only material. Certainly, we have the responsibility to feed them, to clothe them, to give them material knowledge, etc. But as parents we also have the responsibility to guide them spiritually. This is the parental responsibility. It is said in one of our scriptures, the Srimad Bhagavatam, that one should not become a husband, a wife, a parent, a father, a mother, etc., unless they can deliver their child from the circle of birth and death. That is the responsibility parents have. That is a spiritual responsibility. But if we do not have that knowledge ourselves, certainly we cannot fulfill that obligation.
In the Vedic society all the members of that society were trained in this knowledge. The fathers knew who they were, who their child was and how to help that child grow spiritually. So the Vedic system is a system where everybody understands their responsibilities. And if they are sincere followers, they try their best to fulfill those responsibilities. And as a result, the members of that society can be truly successful in life.
But we have lost that system. So now most time we do not have any idea who we are, who our children are, what we should do. The love and the desire to help our children may be there, we may care for them very much, many parents basically dedicate their life to their children, but they do not really know how to help them because they do not have that understanding, they do not have that education. That is why in we are trying very hard to educate people with this process of Bhakti yoga so they can live their life with knowledge.
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