Srila Prabhupada on Gurukula

72-02-16 Letter: Satsvarupa
Please accept my blessings. I beg to acknowledge receipt of your letter of January 20, 1972, along with pictures, floor-plan, and tape, and I am very very pleased that you have been able to secure that place for our Gurukula school and temple. I am enclosing one letter to Chaya dasi in this respect, to clear up a few points, namely, that we should concentrate on training these children up in Krishna Consciousness, not so much by formal, academic education–a little reading, writing, mathematics, that’s all–but more by giving them facility to follow the examples of the older devotees in the regular KC program, namely, rising early, arati, chanting, reading, street Sankirtana, preaching, distributing literature–like that. These children can be trained in that way, by participating in all of these activities throughout the day, and always the focus of attention will be on Krishna. So you kindly see that these programs are carried on nicely, that is, in the matter of our routine KC program, and let the children learn in that way. Not much time should be wasted giving so much academic knowledge, a little reading and writing, that’s all. Let them be able to read our books very nicely, and that will be their higher education. Keep them always happy in Krishna Consciousness, and do not try to force or punish or they will get the wrong idea. By and by, if they are satisfied in this way, they will all grow up to be first-class preachers and devotees.

72-01-10 Letter: Aniruddha
The children should be trained in early rising, attending mangal arati, some elementary education: arithmetic, alphabet, some of our books, like that. They should go to bed by 8 p.m. and rise by 4 a.m. for mangal arati, getting 8 hours sleep. If they take 8 hours sleep, they will not fall asleep during arati. When they get up they should wash with a little warm water, at least three times wash face. They may sleep one hour in the afternoon and there is no harm. Encourage them to chant as much japa as possible, but there is no question of force or punishment. If there is need you may shake your finger at them but never physical punishment is allowed. Try as far as possible to discipline them with love and affection, so that they develop a taste for austerity of life and think it great fun to serve Krishna in many ways. Rising early and mangal arati, this is enough austerity. Besides that, let them learn something, chant, dance, eat as much prasadam as they like, and do not mind if they have playful nature–let them also play and run, that is natural. It is nice if they eat often–if children overeat it doesn’t matter, that is no mistake. Boys and girls should be educated separately

75-03-14 Letter: Tirthanga
Regarding sending children to Gurukula, that is also optional, not compulsory. The most important things are that you follow very carefully all of the rules and regulations such as rising early, and having mangala arati and classes, etc. and that you chant at least 16 rounds daily without fail. These things are most essential for your spiritual advancement and then everything will be alright.

74-12-28 Letter: Jagadisa
Regarding Gurukula I am very happy to hear that the financial crisis has passed. That is very good. This is real management. As far as the children are concerned, people are accusing us sometimes that our children are undernourished, underfed and not cared for properly. So it is good that you are seeing that they are happy and healthy. They should be given milk at least 8 ounces a day if possible 16 ounces a day. Dahl, capati, rice, vegetable this will keep them fit. If possible a little bit of fruit also. As for fixing up the Deity house in Dallas with marble altars, this is not necessary for now. We shall see later on. For the time being organize the health, education and care of the children and continue the Deity worship as it is going nicely now. Deities are satisfied with bhakti not marble. Therefore try to increase the bhakti. Conversations
Prabhupada: So far gurukula is concerned, that also, I have given program. They have given the name of “girls.” We are not going to do that.
Prabhupada: Girls. Boys and girls. That is dangerous.
Prabhupada: Girls should be completely separated from the very beginning. They are very dangerous.
Prabhupada: No, no, no. No girls.
Prabhupada: Yes. They should be taught how to sweep, how to stitch…
Prabhupada: …clean, cook, to be faithful to the husband.
Tamala Krsna: They don’t require a big school.
Prabhupada: No, no. That is mistake. They should be taught how to become obedient to the husband.
Prabhupada: Little education, they can…
Tamala Krsna: Yeah. That they can get at home also.
Prabhupada: They should be stopped, this practice of prostitution. This is a very bad system in Europe and America. The boys and girls, they are educated–coeducation. From the very beginning of their life they become prostitutes. And they encourage.
Prabhupada: They distribute pills. I have seen the boys and girls dancing together, embracing, in the school film. That ruins the career. Both of them are ruined. That is very regrettable. Then you shall require this sterilization, pills, another big program. They are creating animal civilization, and when the animals are disturbing, they are trying to find out some other means. This is their program. First of all create animals. Then, when the animals behave like animals, then another program. Why do you create animal? Woman brahmacarini, this is artificial. Conversations
Prabhupada: So our gurukula should be ideal. Not all these boys… You should take care of these things from the very beginning–if you want actually spiritual life. If you want to progress like animals, that is different thing, as the whole world is doing. We want to maintain an ideal institution. People may see. In Christian idea also, the nuns were separate.

Srila Prabhupada’s instructions are my solace as I struggle to raise my children. While some may see his words as irrelevant to today’s world or in light of the failure of the ISKCON gurukula system, I don’t.

Does anyone who claims to be a devotee of Krishna, a Prabhupadanuga, actually beleive that Srila Prabhupada did not know that Kali Yuga was going to progress?


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