Question: In today's society, which is filled with lot of negative influences from the media and elsewhere, what message do you have for the children of our world so they can have a more harmonious future?

Sri Chinmoy: Forgive me, but parents have to take — I do not dare to say full responsibility — a considerable amount of responsibility for bringing up their children. First of all, the parents should not impose anything on their children. They should only expose their children to light or, let us say, wisdom. Parents know that they themselves have many good qualities and many bad qualities. They will be able to offer their good qualities to their children not by talking, not by advising, not by instructing, but only by praying to God to bless their children with the same divine qualities with which He, out of His infinite Bounty, has blessed them.

From the very beginning, children have to be taught the language of the heart. The language of the mind automatically they will learn. But the language of the heart they have to be taught. The language of the heart is love. They have to be instructed every day, without fail, to love themselves properly. If they do not love themselves properly, they can never love anybody else on earth, not even their parents. When I speak of loving themselves, I am not talking about any narrowness of the mind or meanness of the vital. I am talking about the feeling that each child should have that his life is a beautiful flower.

A child has to be taught at every moment that his life is nothing other than a most beautiful flower. When his parents are talking to him or touching him, he should feel that his parents are completely satisfied. Such a beautiful flower they are speaking to and touching! How can they not be satisfied? The flower is not only beautiful, but also fragrant. If the parents remain in the outer world, they enjoy the flower's beauty. But when they dive deep within, they enjoy the flower's fragrance and feel this fragrance inside themselves. The child is a beautiful flower growing inside the parents' heart-garden, and vice versa.

When we touch a flower, we feel its inner existence, inner light and inner divinity coming forward and giving us joy. Again, when we touch a flower or one of its petals, we have to know that the flower also is getting tremendous joy from our loving touch. So when the parents touch their child, they have to do so delicately, lovingly and smilingly — as though he were a flower. Then they will get tremendous joy and the child also will get tremendous joy.

Also, a child has to be taught by the parents that his body is composed not only of muscles bones and nerves. He has to be taught that his very existence is made of God's Dream, God's Sweetness, God's Fondness, God's Affection and God's Self-Offering. The child has to be taught that God is blossoming at every moment inside him. Then the child will remain pure in his mind, in his heart and in his life. Purity is the only thing that always welcomes divinity. At every moment purity says to divinity, "Come, come, come, be my guest, be my guest!" When we do not have purity in the mind, in the heart and in the physical existence, we do not welcome divinity. As soon as we see somebody coming, we take him as a stranger and close our door. But when purity is there, we see God as a divine Friend, a Guest who has come to give us joy, and we welcome Him at every moment.