Question: How do we introduce our children to spirituality?
Sadhguru: It is natural for human intelligence to seek what is life and beyond – to look at life and to long to know. So how can you avoid spirituality? You have managed to avoid it for a long time because you are deeply attached and identified with things that you are not. When I say things that you are not, it includes your body and your mind. Once you are identified with something that you are not, your intelligence is twisted out. It cannot see anything straight because from then on, it works only from that identity. Suppose you say, “I am a woman,” the way you think, the way you feel, everything is like a woman. You got identified with a few body parts. Your intelligence cannot see anything straight.
This is the reason a “spiritual program” becomes necessary. If people were not twisted out, spirituality would be a natural thing. It would not be something that someone has to teach you and remind you of. It is very natural for you to look around and see that there seems to be something beyond the physicality of life – it is so simple to know it. It is unbelievable how such a large segment of population goes without noticing it. If you just close your eyes for two minutes, you can see that you seem to be a little more than a body. So why does someone have to come and remind you?
Anyone can see it, but just a handful of people do, because right from childhood, everybody around you is a vested interest. Everybody is encouraging you to get identified with them. Your parents want you to get identified with them, your teachers want you to get identified with them and their kind of education, your leaders and others want you to get identified with their nation, caste, creed and whatever else, because everybody has their own agenda, their own desire to gather people and use them for their purposes.
I am not saying all the activity that is being done is of no worth. There is worth to it, but just because you are doing something, there is no need to be identified with it, even if it is extremely useful. The moment you get identified, you get twisted out, and twisted out human beings cannot truly bring wellbeing to people. The moment you are identified with something, you split the world into a million pieces. Once you split everything in your perception, everything that you do will only enhance that split and that is not for the ultimate wellbeing of humanity at all.
So you don’t have to teach any spirituality to children. Un-teach all the nonsense, all your tricks that you have taught them, get them off it and they will naturally turn spiritual. If you can help a child grow up without identifying with anything – even with you – if a child grows up without any identification in his mind, he will naturally turn spiritual; nobody has to teach him any spirituality. It is like teaching a plant to flower – it’s just crazy. Some gardeners believe that it is because of them that the flowers are blooming; it is not so. It is the nature of the plant to flower. If they were in natural conditions, they would have anyway flowered. Everything is in full bloom in the forest.
In a way, it is really a shame that we have to go about reminding people about their spirituality. We want the spiritual process to become a part of living culture. Like how a mother teaches a child to brush his teeth, we want the spiritual process to become like that – without any effort, without the mother knowing about it, she teaches her child the spiritual process. It was so in this culture just a generation or two ago. Even today in India, the essence of the spiritual process is not controlled by any one organization. There is no one guiding and controlling it as it is done in other parts of the world. It is just a part of one’s life. Everyone teaches it the way they know it. The spiritual process was made so much a part of life.
It has been left unregulated like this because it was never an organized process of religion. It was just various methods for one’s evolution. This country is the only godless country on the planet because there is no concretized idea of God here. Anyone can worship whatever they feel like. People are worshipping all kinds of things. There is no such word as “heretic” in India because every human being has some sense of love or devotion towards something. Somebody loves their mother, somebody loves their god, somebody loves money, somebody loves their work, somebody loves their dog, somebody loves their cow. It does not matter what, he is on the spiritual path. The question is just whether his spiritual path is feeble or strong; but there is nobody who is not on the path. Everybody is on the path in his own erratic way.
So if you want to bring it to your children, don’t start a teaching at home. Your children are not going to like it if you go about telling them, “Be spiritual, love God.” Just make every aspect of your life conscious. Bring a certain gentleness, gracefulness, love and care into your life. They will also become a part of it because there is no human being who does not want it. Who does not want pleasantness around and within him? Your children also want the same thing. If you create that, they will love and imbibe it.