Teaching Dharma to a Child

Teaching Dharma to a Child

Date of Advice:
January 2017
Date Posted:
September 2018

This advice about parenting was given to a student who asked Rinpoche about having a child. The student had been very ill but was attending a retreat, which had been difficult in the past.

Lama Zopa Rinpoche gives a toy koala to a child at Chenrezig Institute, Australia, Sept. 2014. Photo: Ven. Roger Kunsang.

My dear one,
You are coming to the course, that’s amazing!

Regarding having a child: if the baby hears a lot of Dharma words, somehow that baby will grow up with a lot of Dharma [understanding]. You can slowly teach the child how to do prostrations to the Buddha with two hands, and you can teach the child about Dharma, whatever the child can learn.

There are many different things you can do, such as offering a flower or biscuits or chocolate to the Buddha. Each time a piece of chocolate or a piece of biscuit or a small flower is offered to the Buddha you avoid the cause of rebirth in the lower realms and you create the cause of receiving happiness, not only in this human body but also in future lives. As you have experienced happiness from beginningless rebirths up to now, that much is to be experienced in the future, and not only that, you will become free from samsara forever.

Not only that, the last one is that you will achieve sang gye, the total cessation of obscurations and completion of all realizations. Not only that, you can free the numberless sentient beings from the oceans of samsaric suffering, and not only that, you can bring everyone to buddhahood.

When you do that, only then are the benefits of offering one small biscuit or a small flower to the Buddha completed. Therefore, do this three times each day or once a day at least, then the child will have a lot of good karma. Then everything will go by naturally, without worry.

Please understand this. There are many other things you can do in your life if you have a child. Some of this advice is online already and you can read it. [See Joyful Parents, Successful Children by Lama Zopa Rinpoche.]

Thank you very much.

With much love and prayer ...