The topic today is mentoring. Young people need someone to show them what the world is like. A mentor is like a private tutor and friend. Young people need to be taken to many different places so that they can broaden their lives. Gurudeva asks if we feel we are too busy to fill the role of mentoring youth and tells us we need to reverse this situation. Gurudeva explains what young men learn when they come to live at the aadheenam for a time. Real learning is what is learned through observation. Expose your young people to bring out the great potential of their soul.
Today at Kauai Aadheenam. November 5th. We began the day, awakening at 3:45, as usual. So wonderful to breathe the morning air. It has something different in it than later on in the day. Try it some time, if only for a minute before you go back to bed. This is a time to perform sadhana, to get the most out of your meditation.
Well, then we had a beautiful fire puja invoking God and the Gods. We welcomed formally Paramacharya Bodhinatha and Sivanadiyar Nilakantha, back from a two-month journey to India, Malaysia, Singapore, and Mauritius. They had a wonderful time.
We still have two mathavasis, these are monks, in California fundraising for the Iraivan Temple. They are very successful.
Today we want to talk about 'Mentoring'.
We feel that every young person needs a mentor. This means someone to show them what the world is like. A mentor is like a private tutor or a friend who is an adult. I had several mentors when I was growing up.
Young people need to go to factories. They need to visit the county jail and talk to the warden. They need to go on a cruise ship. They need to go into kitchens in a restaurant, to see what that is all about. Their questions need to be answered. They need to be taken to big hotels and shown how the rich live. They need to be taken to the slums and shown how the poor live. They need to be taken on the streets at night, to see how the street people live. They need to be taken here, there and everywhere.
One of the trainings we have for our mathavasis is to go to court. The low court, the medium court, the high court, appellate court; listen to trials. They have to go to funeral parlors and look at corpses. They have to broaden their mind and find out through observation what life is all about.
Are we doing this to our children in our homes, all of you in Cyberspace, looking in to our Ashram today? Probably not. Probably, mother is too busy with her occupation working for other guys and Dad is too busy in his occupation working with his secretaries. The home is like a hotel. But not like a hotel because there is no staff. Coming home is chaos and the children are in the middle of that chaos. They are growing up, with one part of their brain developed and the other part of their brain, brain-dead. One part is creative and the other part keeps track of what has been created.
We have to reverse the situation. We try to do this here at Kauai Aadheenam. We have young men coming from our church families. We are in our third generation now. They are coming for six months and they are visiting our five family schools. They spend about one month in each school. Surely they use their talents and help a little bit but they are observing how 'Hinduism Today' is created, how a cow is milked, how a garden is planted, how money is budgeted. We are on a cash basis. We don't run up debts, we don't run up bills, we don't make a credit card charge that we do not have money in the bank, a month before to pay for it when the bill comes in - and that money is gaining interest. How about that! Is that good management!? They learn that. They learn how to receive a guest, how to entertain a guest, how to feed a guest, how to perform holy sacraments and ceremonies within their own home, how to give a talk, how to speak out, how to sit quietly for a half hour or 45 minutes or a hour during our morning meditations, how to chant in Sanskrit, the food-blessing chant. They learn all these things quite naturally in an informal, non-threatening way. We don't have any serious classes. People aren't lined up in front of teachers. Everyone is helping everyone else, especially the young people.
Mentoring is an important part or the most important part of education because real learning is through observation and then developing what has been observed from within oneself. Real education is not simply memorizing from a book and then repeating it back. What kind of a person does that create? A robot person? An emotionally immature person? Yeah, you got it. That's what it creates. Think about exposing your young people to bring out the great potential of their soul, rather than forcing them into one position or another even if it does not suit their nature.
Well, I'll be seeing you. Meditate on this subject of mentoring or caring for the next generation, so we have a better world tomorrow. I'll be seeing you in our familiar place which is right here, through your computer screen.