Never be untrue to children

Osho A-Z

Osho speaks on ‘Children’; “Once a child comes to know that his parents are untrue, his whole trust is lost.”

Children interacting in supermarket

[To a sannyasin, whose son had just been initiated into sannyas, Osho said that one should respect one’s child, and that now her son was a sannyasin, she should regard him as a brother… ]

A child is born to you, but he does not belong to you. Always remember that he has come through you. He has chosen you as a passage, but he has his own destiny.

So giving him sannyas does not mean that you have to structure him. You are not to force anything on him. Sannyas is freedom, so give him freedom to be himself, and be alert not to impose anything. Love him as much as you can, but don’t give your thoughts to him. When you meditate, just persuade him to be with you. Sometimes dance with him.

And children can go into meditation very easily – one just has to know how to help them towards it. They cannot be coerced; that’s impossible. Nobody can ever be coerced into meditation, because coercion is violence. How can one coerce meditation? It comes when it comes. But you can persuade.

You can just invite him with tremendous respect. Dance with him, sing with him, sit in silence with him. By and by he will start imbibing it. By and by he will start enjoying the play of it. It cannot be a work for him. It cannot be a serious thing for him – it should not be for anybody. It can only be a play. So help him to play meditation… Let it be a game. Make it a game with him, and by and by he will start loving it. He will start asking you, ’When are we going to play meditation?’ And once he starts learning some ways of silence, then meditation has started working on him, and one day you will see that he is deeper in meditation than you had ever expected. So you have to make a meditative atmosphere.

To make somebody a Christian is easy. You have just to impose a certain ideology, a catechism. You have to teach him that God is a trinity, and that Jesus is God’s son and things like that, which can be learnt very easily, and which are very destructive, because the person will never be free to explore. These prejudices will always be there.

So when I give sannyas to a child, it is not that you have to impose an ideology on him. You have just to persuade him towards meditativeness. It has nothing to do with any ideology – Christian, Hindu, Mohammedan; they are all irrelevant. It is more like love… it is a feeling. And if he can learn something of it, then it starts growing on its own. One day he will be grateful for it – that you helped him. Right now he cannot understand, so the whole responsibility is yours.

And this is my observation – that if grownups are a little more meditative, children imbibe the spirit very easily. They are so sensitive. They learn whatsoever is there in the atmosphere; they learn the vibe of it. They never bother about what you say. What you are – they always respect that. And they have a very deep perceptivity, a clarity, an intuitiveness. You may be smiling but they will immediately know that it is false, because your eyes will be saying something else – and even more than that, your whole body will be saying something else, your gesture will be saying something else – that you are angry, that you are just pretending, that it is just a policy.

They may not be able to formulate it in so many words, but they immediately feel it. So never be untrue with children because they will immediately know it. And once a child comes to know that his parents are untrue, his whole trust is lost. That is his first trust in life, his very base, and if that is lost he will become a sceptic. Then he cannot trust anybody. He cannot trust life, he cannot trust God, because those are very far away things. Even the father deceived, even the mother deceived; even they were not reliable, so what to say of anything else now?

Once a child learns… and every child is going to learn; it is impossible to deceive a child. There is no method discovered up to now on how to deceive a child. He simply knows where you are, who you are. It is intuitive – it has nothing to do with his intellect. In fact, the more intellectual he will become, the more he will lose this intuitiveness, and he will not be able to see things as they are. Right now a child is immediate. He simply looks through and through. He looks at you and you are transparent. So never be deceptive.

[Osho went on to reiterate what he had said to a sannyasin at a previous darshan (see Dance Your Way to God, August 19 {corr.}, 1976 {Ch 23} ) — that one should not pretend to be a god, but should express anger if that’s what one was feeling; even to hit if necessary, but to hit warmly.]

Love him and allow him to be a little meditative, and much is possible.

That’s why I say it is a great responsibility you have taken upon yourself. I cannot give him sannyas directly. It is through you, via you. So now you have to take care of two sannyasins — yourself and him.

Osho, The Passion for the Impossible, Ch 20

Quote published in The Book: An Introduction to the Teachings of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh
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