When a child is born, adults think that it is a helpless small person that they need to feed, educate and give love to. That is all correct. But not many people are aware of the fact that a child is in that perfect state of yoga; what we try to reach at the end of our path of Moksha or enlightenment. A child just comes from the source or God. Their hearts are completely soft and open; exactly what we try to accomplish with the path of Jnana, Karma and Bhakti Yoga. We clean our hearts of pain and anger so that love can shine again. That is why yoga is called ‘the art of opening the heart’.
When I see a child, I see God. A child is pure unconditional love. They are so amazingly open for all other people, they don’t see race, gender or social status; they see only love. And when a child gets older, this light shines less and less each and every day. That is because adults are trying to ‘educate’ them. They put in all kinds of thoughts and stigma’s so that their minds are building walls around their hearts. You can see it as if a child is running playfully on a beautiful green field of fresh smelling grass. He is running and dancing, rolling over and jumping in the air, he is making sounds and grasping for the flying leaves. He is in the moment, happy, enjoying himself. Pure. Then an adult comes around. He puts white marks on the grass and at two ends a goal. The adult throws a ball into the field and says: ‘Now you play soccer’. And all the children jump on the ball. But the parents aren’t that happy; ‘You need to play like this… and that… and like this… and that. Those are the rules.’ And those innocent children play by ‘the rules’. At first they don’t really like it, but after a while they get used to it and learn to love the game.
When that happens, a child looses his (or hers) natural feeling of being himself (or herself). A child is drawn away from its natural way of being, the inner self, the real self or the bright, pure soul; JivAtma. Some people like to call it ‘further away from their own authenticity’. Every day adults are very busy to put in some information in all those children, to teach them. Though what we really should do is challenge them, so that they can transform themselves into strong and beautiful characters to be able to stay true to their real inner Self. We have to inspire them so that their knowledge and wisdom (which they get from the Source), keeps being present inside of them. Or maybe call it differently: let them shine their inner light.
We should guide them in a way that they can reach their own inner wisdom with a path of yoga to open the heart. That way, their inner wisdom stays present actively; it will keep their light shining forever. So there is definitely discipline necessary, but this is a different kind of discipline, not imposing the rules to be able to play ‘the adult game’. It is the discipline to control their own thoughts, emotions and senses; that way they are not disrupted to reach their inner self, or the pure soul and are in contact with JivAtma at all times. We connect them with who they truly are, to have a constant interaction with their intuition or inner God. That should be our task as parents and teachers!
For me personally every child is a perfect yogi. If I need some advice, I would ask an innocent child, who has no prejudgements and sees the world with an open heart full of love. If children would rule the world, then there would be no war. Only pure love. Please let them shine! Let them be themselves. Let them be. Let them be unique. That way their inner child will stay alive, then… when they grow older, they themselves, will be able to independently keep their Divine light shining and accept others for who they truly are and inspire them to shine their inner light too.