Bringing Children into the World (12/04/12)
I have received your letter and read the contents with interest.
Regarding your question of bringing children into this world, I have often wondered myself why any sane person would want to do so, especially considering that it is Kali-yuga. Life for most people in Kali-yuga is just a struggle against all types of suffering – physical, mental, political, economical and social. In the end all is lost when cruel death arrives.
Your question can be answered in two ways:
1) The usual reason children are born.
2) The real and only reason to bring children into this world.
1) For the most part, children are born in this world as a result of lust and material desire. In western countries it is usually out of lust for sexual engagement between male and female that children are born. And for sometime children provide enjoyment to their parents watching them grow, learn and eventually repeat the same process producing grandchildren.
In eastern cultures there is strong family attachment and a material sense of duty towards family. A couple without children is seen as a failure. It is also a financial consideration that children means someone is there to take care of me when I am old, etc.
Basically the cause of family (lust]) and the material enjoyment of family are an illusion presented by Māyā to keep the souls of this world in a perpetual state of bondage to birth and death. That is called saṁsāra.
2) If one is enlightened, knows the true purpose of life and can raise offspring to also become enlightened in spiritual knowledge, then it is glorious to bring children into this world. This however is very rare. Often neophytes in spiritual life take advantage of this and say they want to bring children into this world so the children can become enlightened. However, this is often just an excuse…the parents themselves, not actually being enlightened, can do very little to enlighten their children.
The results of the above can be seen clearly. The world is overcrowded with what the Vedas call “unwanted population.” They live like cats and dogs in this life and in the next life they fall down to take birth in the species of cats, dogs and other lower life forms. This is the lamentable situation in Kali-yuga.
OM TAT SAT,