“I am seated in everyone’s heart, and from Me come remembrance, knowledge and forgetfulness. By all the Vedas am I to be known; indeed I am the compiler of Vedanta, and I am the knower of the Vedas.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 15.15)
सर्वस्य चाहं हृदि सन्निविष्टो
मत्तः स्मृतिर् ज्ञानम् अपोहनं च
वेदैश् च सर्वैर् अहम् एव वेद्यो
वेदान्त-कृद् वेद-विद् एव चाहम्
sarvasya cāhaṁ hṛdi sanniviṣṭo
mattaḥ smṛtir jñānam apohanaṁ ca
vedaiś ca sarvair aham eva vedyo
vedānta-kṛd veda-vid eva cāham
It’s supposed to be the other way around. They are called dependents for a reason. They depend on other people to maintain life, both in terms of health and continuing forward in a progression towards adulthood. The children don’t know any better. The adults are there to provide guidance.
From the Shrimad Bhagavatam we learn that a person should not put themselves in a position to have dependents unless they are ready to rescue from the cycle of birth and death. No more swimming in the ocean of suffering. No more spinning on the wheel of attachment and aversion and every other duality found in a region governed by illusion.
Yet the reverse is possible. The dependent can help to liberate the guardian. A child can remind a parent of the Supreme Personality of Godhead in so many ways.
1. Something amazing coming from nowhere
Life changes after the first child enters the family. In fact, the word “family” really takes on meaning once there are children. Previously, the husband and wife spent time together, planning trips and so forth. They passed the time a certain way each night, after the day’s responsibilities were taken care of.
After the birth of the baby the change to daily life is so drastic that the home itself feels different. The first day returning from the hospital it is like the home has transformed. A brand new life to enter into. No more just thinking for yourself. It is time to provide constant attention, from morning until night, and then even through the night into the morning.
The familiarity grows to the point that the parent forgets what life was like prior to having the child. Then they start to wonder:
“Where were you before? What was your previous birth? We are so thankful to have you in the family. It is a miracle from God that you came to us, seemingly from nowhere.”
Obviously, there had to be action, namely the combination of the male and female. Still, combining two entities doesn’t always produce this result. There is no guarantee of a specific person arriving every time. This is surely God’s work at play.
2. Showing intelligence right from the start
The infant is the essence of innocence. They don’t know enough to be dangerous. They are not malicious. Neither are they spiteful or jealous towards others. They need help in practically every department of living.
Yet there is still some inherent intelligence. They begin to smile when seeing a familiar face. One day they learn to turn over. Soon they are crawling and then trying to stand up. How did they learn? From where did they get the idea to extend the arms forward in order to raise the head? What is the source of the intelligence?
Bhagavad-gita says that Shri Krishna is the source. From Him come remembrance and forgetfulness. The child’s every moment is living proof of this truth. There has to be an intelligent source in the background, since we know that randomness cannot produce intelligence.
3. Dancing to sankirtana
In the fortunate case the child shows an affinity for bhakti practices right from the beginning. As much as you show them Mickey Mouse on television as a soothing mechanism, it is only bhajans glorifying Hari which make them happy.
Then one day you witness something amazing. As if preferring songs in praise of the Supreme Lord weren’t enough, now the child dances to the beat when the tempo of the song picks up. It’s like they are anticipating this part. It must be memory at play, since they’ve heard this song so many times.
It’s not a random occurrence, either. They dance every time they hear this particular section. They truly have spontaneous attraction to the Supreme Lord. No one has yet provided instruction on dharma and the need to avoid sinful life. An infant who cannot even walk, they are not aware of the concept of Divinity when juxtaposed with the ignorance of atheism.
They know what they like and they are not afraid to show their enthusiasm. How can the parent not be reminded of the Almighty when witnessing this behavior? The same Divine force serves as the spark of life in every area where it is evident. Each person has their own genius inside. Life itself is a miracle, and with the child a parent can be reminded of Bhagavan every single day.
Husband and wife no more alone,
Welcoming new child to the home.
One amazing thing to see,
That further reminded to be.
Since from out of nowhere coming,
And slowly more intelligent becoming.
Meaning only that God’s work at play,
Reminded by child in every way.
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