The foundations that are formed for a child who is raised within a Margi family are very beneficial. It presents a child with some amazing tools to move forward into such a changing and evolving world. Considering the way society is so rapidly making giant leaps into uncharted territory, it is even more important than ever that a child can navigate their way through all the different stimulus they encounter and be able to process what is useful and what should be let go.

Growing up as a Margii
Early on many aspects of a Margi family lifestyle might cause some conflict with a child, especially in the case where the majority of the children that they socialize with do not come from families with similar outlooks on life . For myself there were times especially as a teenager that I was faced with some conflicts with other students. I had always felt like I was somehow different and not normal. This feeling began with my name and the fact that it was always mispronounced. It made me an easy target for people to make fun of me. Unfortunately High school is a place where if you are not with the majority then you can be quickly marginalized and isolated. Throw in being the token Vegetarian there becomes another reason to be seen as different and outside of the norm. Forget even considering inviting other people home unless there was a deep trust and feeling of acceptance. Trying to explain to your friends why there was a picture of an old Indian man all over the house and our parents would go off to Meditate before dinner was a scenario that you would just rather forgo. In the long run as the world and myself have evolved, I have come to really appreciate how my parents have raised me and am forever grateful to have been introduced to such a progressive and dynamic way of life that is well ahead of the ‘Modern World’.

AM upbringing in a changing world
Now more than ever, teaching the benefits of Meditation, healthy Vegetarian living, practicing sustainable lifestyles and forming strong moral principals are critical to a child’s upbringing. There is a psychological shift in the world. A tug of war between pastand fast becoming outdated ideologies is happening. There are movements being formed and growing rapidly. Conscious networks are being formed and with the explosion of social media it is far-reaching and immediate in its communication with anyone who might listen. Through the use of You-Tube, Facebook and Instagram . I have seen time and time again now that people are creating channels dedicated to all sorts of activism supporting Animal and Human rights. Images are being posted showing the devastating impacts of climate change and articles are being shared expressing people’s views. It is easy to tell now from somebody’s Facebook page what their views are on the world just by following what their posts are. The ability to create a page or share a photo with a positive message and have the potential to reach thousands of people instantly is a powerful tool. It gives way for inspiration and access to tools such as guided meditations, talks and other pieces to read.

This is where the importance of a Margii up bringing is so critical to the development of the minds and psychic to children who are going to be pioneers in a brave new world.

  1. Ananda Marga Meditation is such a highly developed and advanced form of Meditation that if one is sincere and dedicated to their practice then they will have a foundation and the tools to combat all that life throws at an individual. Teaching this and explaining the relevance of it and how it can be applied to ones life is critical. A Margi parent needs to explain clearly and give meaning to the practice when they are introducing their child to the practice. Early on Meditation was just something that I did and it for a long time felt mostly like a choir that had to be done before dinner could be eaten. At retreats and DC there were times for Baba stories which were always exciting. While there was often frustration at having to do Meditation when I would much rather be playing or doing something else, deep down I always felt that what I was doing was special, it had meaning and that I was very lucky to have been born into the Family of Ananda Marga.
  2. Allow time for the child’s interest in AM philosophy to grow organically. Encourage them to study the practices of other cultures and religions to give them a chance to have a more balanced view.
  3. Teach both the rational and the devotional aspects of Ananda Marga philosophy. This is paramount.  Parents must then let go to the point where they can be content that the importance of what their child is being taught will not be lost to them and that through your own actions and sincerity to your own practice will inspire them to forge their own path.
  4. Apply a a more fine tuned approach when deciding how much information should be imparted to a child’s education. Because Ananda Marga is so broad and far reaching in the way it can touch people minds and inspire. Early on in their life, a Vegetarian diet, learning the basics of Meditation and teaching good morals are the essentials to be passed on.
  5. Teach a child how to cook and eat healthy. This is a life skill. It also teaches them to be creative, live in the moment and relax. In the process, clearly explaining to them the differences of the Sentient, Mutative and Static forces that are found in types of foods aids them greatly and makes them more aware of what they are eating when they are not at home and gives them an understanding of what they might choose to eat when they are making their own food choices.
  6. One of the common foods that are not consumed by Margis but are by most vegetarians and meat eaters alike is Onions, Garlic and Mushrooms. It can be confusing for people to understand why it is that those foods are considered harmful. As a child its just something that you have not eaten and because your parents are very specific when eating out for any food not to contain these items. But when you are around others who would consider these foods normal and beneficial to health trying to explain the subtler effects that these foods have on the mind and how it impacts ones ability to concentrate for Meditation. A clearer understanding of these foods properties and effects goes a long way in dealing with situations where this may arise.
  7. Morals can be taught in very simple ways. Teach them to always leave a place in the same if not better condition than when they found it could be applied to all aspects of life. As a child, whenever we would go away on family holidays it was always stressed that we should leave the place that we stayed at in a state that was as we found it if not better.- Share with one’s siblings or playmates at school.
    – Understand that everyone has chores to do and we all need to pitch in to help serve the community.
    – Take responsibility for our actions.
    – Learn the importance of working honestly and contributing to society. Not taking things to come as expected but earned.
  8. Through all this it should really be stressed that a child is allowed to be just that. A child. The world is full of so many terrible things that they do not need to know about it just yet. Let them play in the sun an live with a sense of joy and freedom.Let them find their own way. As a child grows into the mold of the person that they are going to be it becomes clearer what they might develop a natural interest in. From here encouragement of their strengths is vital and allowing them to express what speaks true to them becomes the way forward to becoming the person that they where meant to be. They will be firm in their thoughts and strong in their actions. Rising to great heights with the belief that they can achieve anything that they set their minds to.

For an individual on a purely personal level Ananda Marga is a journey. I have felt very lucky to be born into the Family of Ananda Marga because I truly believe it to be a Universal Family. My parents have often said that life will always throw things at you, all you can do is learn to surrender it to Baba, ask how best we can serve and trust that He will take care of us. Over our lifetimes we go on many different journeys. When one embarks on their path in Ananda Marga it is the first step for their final journey. For every person how long this journey takes will vary, there will be many clashes and obstacles along that path. They will be tried and tested many times before they reach the end. It is a necessary part of the final tests that one must go through. Only the individual can confront these and in their own time.

When one is born into a family of Ananda Marga it is because they want to be. They are ready to set upon that final journey. We around that individual must be forever loving and forever caring, be the strength for them because we know what an important journey it is that they are now undertaking. It does not matter how long it takes somebody to reach the end of their journey because from the moment they are aware of Ananda Marga they have now began that journey and it is a journey that only goes in one direction. There is no turning back. After all Ananda Marga is the Path of Bliss and ultimately that is the destination for us all.



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