Gita-nagari Every time before I

April 23rd, 2001


Every time before I leave Gita-nagari, I visit Kaisori’s house on my way out to hear how her ten-year old daughter, Kalindi, has progressed in viola and also to encourage her. Years ago, to teach a child anything outside of direct Krishna consciousness would have been condemned, but in the absence of a viable Krishna conscious culture, it is sometimes difficult to satisfy a child’s healthy passions, give them a reasonable dose of culture, and instill within them a healthy self-esteem. Kaisori is not, however, neglecting her daughter’s Krishna consciousness. They share a very spontaneous and beautiful worship of their Deities. Next year, to give Kalindi a firm basis of transcendental knowledge, Kaisori will start her daughter’s sastric studies.

Kalindi expertly performed a beautiful concerto for me and then explained what she had just played?although, frankly, her explanations were so technical that she might as well have been speaking another language. After hearing her perform, I could understand what a dedicated and accomplished musician she has become. She has already gone on an international tour last year and, this year, she has a scholarship to study in California.

Kaisori is a thoughtful mother and an experienced teacher. She has taken full responsibility for her child. She has done whatever it takes to provide what Kalindi needs for her proper development, including arduous biweekly two-hour round trip visits to State College for her music lessons. In the absence of a workable devotee school, she has home-schooled her daughter, but in a progressive way, so that in addition to her academic studies, Kalindi has been able to satisfy her practical interests. This time, Kalindi also showed me an intricate and exquisite quilt that she had hand sown for her own use.

I was impressed with Kalindi’s healthy pride in self-improvement and the personal values imbibed by her training. Her mother has read and discussed with
her a study on the deleterious effects of television. When I asked Kalindi about it, she honestly expressed, and more importantly, understood the harmful effects
of television in terms of her own development?especially that it was a waste of time for someone with so many healthy interests to master.

Kaisori has understood an important feature of child development that I wished we had realized in pioneering gurukula:

?In a world as empirical as ours, a youngster who does not know what he is good at will not be sure what he is good for.? ?Edgar Z. Freidenberg, ?Emotional Development in Adolescence; The Vanishing Adolescent?

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