Question: As a teacher, I become impatient for the children to do well. I do not want to discipline them outwardly, but I find that I am unable to bring about discipline in any other way.

Sri Chinmoy: You want perfection from your children and the other children whom you teach. Let us say that early in the morning you sowed some seeds in the garden. You do not expect the seeds to germinate in the afternoon! No, you have the patience to wait for quite a few months for a little plant or sapling to appear. Then again you wait for the plant to grow and grow. And again you have to wait for the plant to become a tree and produce flowers and fruits. Then you are quite happy. In the beginning, you planted the seeds and you wanted to pick the fruits immediately. But you knew that it was not possible. At the same time, you knew that there would come a time when the tree would produce most beautiful flowers and delicious fruits, so you waited.

This patience is what we call the wisdom of the heart. Outwardly you may say, "Oh, how long do I have to wait?" But if you have the wisdom of the heart, you will see that it is only a matter of time.

In your case, you are asking the children to do the right thing, but they are not listening. Here you have to apply the same wisdom that you did for the tree. Outwardly we call it patience; inwardly we call it wisdom-light. If you use your wisdom-light, perfection will dawn one day.

Every day you can try to watch the children to see whether they have improved or not. Suppose one child is not listening to you at all. No matter what you say, no matter how sad and mad you become, this child does not listen. You can try to discipline the child outwardly, by scolding and so forth. This is one method.

Another method is this: look at the eyes of the child and show your utmost compassion. Do not bring forward any anger or frustration whatsoever, only utmost compassion. Try to make the child feel that you are at his mercy. Definitely you are stronger than the child. You can give him a smart slap, you can do many things. But you are not going to do that. You have to make the child feel that he is superior to you, you are at his mercy, and he can do anything if he wants to. You are absolutely helpless, so you are begging him to show you compassion. In this way, you will touch his heart and he will not be able to go on doing the wrong thing.

It is like this: a child is holding a ball. You can easily snatch the ball away from him, but you are pretending that you are helpless, that you are weaker than him. And you are begging him to give you the ball. If you snatch it, then he will cry, he will do many things, he may even try to strike you. But if you offer tears, crocodile tears, if you say you are at his mercy, then if he gives you the ball you will be the happiest person.

When you are trying to discipline a child, you can do the same thing. You used one way, but it did not work. So the other way is to touch the heart of the child. Not to discipline with the hand, but with the heart. If you can touch the heart of a child with your wisdom-light, that same child will become perfect. Always you have to be wise. If one method does not work, then let us adopt a new method.

When I was very, very young, I was quite naughty, to say the least. Now I have developed some peace of mind, I am not restless, but in those days it was a different story. My sisters and brothers were all older than me. Unnecessarily, I used to pinch them, box them, everything. But they were so kind to me. They never, never punished me. Then, when my mother caught me red-handed, just a few little tears in her eyes were enough for me. I immediately became calm and quiet. Her tears had infinitely more power than her scolding. My mother's tears had infinite power inside them.