Tradition, Indoctrination, and Your Children

haumanWhen a culture is healthy, the wisdom of the ages is passed down from one generation to the next as tradition.  If a culture becomes unhealthy, the wisdom underlying the traditions becomes lost or misunderstood.  Unfortunately, those echoes of the underlying truth are still perceived as truth.  Echoes of truth, perceived as truth, hold truth at bay.  At some point, the younger generation cries fowls and rejects the traditions all together.  Cultural decay is the result.  This is why, as Adi Shankara said, the Knowledge must be regenerated by every generation.  That is the deeper meaning of the word, “generation”!

Each child must find truth within himself.  If they are merely indoctrinated into echoes of truth, traditions will eventually be rejected.  Society will ‘throw out the baby with the bathwater”.  The underlying wisdom of the ages will no longer be passed down from generation to generation.  The result is social decay.

So how can we help our children find truth within themselves?  We must understand the modern mentality.  All parents sees their children, to some degree, being influenced by the current social mentality.  With the expansion of the Internet, television, etc. those influences are becoming ever more pervasive.  Though real knowledge is eternal, the way it is expressed must change eternally to interface with the mentality of the times.  We live in a time of logic and science.  To be embraced, things must make sense.  If they do not make sense, they will be rejected.  This is what is happening to religion.  It has ceased to make sense to the younger generation.  Having to choose between faith and logic, they chose logic.

In one sense, I was lucky.  Though religious, my parents were by no means fanatical.  Furthermore, my father, being an electrical engineer, instilled in me a deep appreciation for logic.  I was then, perhaps unintentionally but quite naturally, left to myself to figure things out… and I was passionate about doing so, combing the worlds of philosophy, physics, spirituality, etc. to find truth from within myself.  I was not encumbered by indoctrination.  It was through my inner searching and struggles that I came to conclusions about the nature of life and existence.  Imagine how thrilled I was to find that Vedic Knowledge was there, expounding with great detail and precision, what Truth I found within myself.

Presenting this Knowledge to the world has been fascinating to me.  I come up against indoctrination on a daily basis.  Many find Vedic knowledge too foreign to the traditions and indoctrinations they were brought up with and therefore reject it.  Interestingly enough, people who were brought up in the Vedic tradition often are simply indoctrinated into it and have not really looked deeply into it… though they would disagree, they have not really found it within themselves.  It is really just that the indoctrination has reached deeply within them.  Their children may, even if those parents do not, see it as indoctrination that makes no sense and those children therefore reject it.  They throw out the baby with the bathwater.

Vedic Knowledge, when not found within, over time reduces down to indoctrination, just another religion.  The knowledge then, as Adi Shankara said, gets lost.  No culture should ever let that happen, but as surely as the Sun rises and sets, every culture does.  It is time for the Sun to rise once again.  Truth is revealed to the Self, by the Self, and through the Self.  Each generation, each child, must find it within himself.

In the larger sense, all members of humanity are children.  In the deepest sense of the word, Veda is, by definition, Truth.  Parents must facilitate the process of Truth-discovery in their children, in all children, young and old.  Mount Soma was created to help humanity achieve that goal.

© Michael Mamas. All rights reserved.


  1. Todd and I were walking down the Temple stairs when a child passing by asked her parents: “Why are there English people visiting the temple?” The parents appeared embarrassed and hurried the child on. While I sympathize with their discomfort, we were not offended. In fact, the child’s question is delightful. I look forward to the days when parents can turn to their children and easily explain how and why a Vedic temple works. Its value beyond cultural would be plain, and those children could be proud of the gift their ancestors preserved for humanity. This blog reminds me of Maharshi’s commitment to bringing that time forth and I’m grateful for his teachings.

    FYI Some earlier blogs I recall where Maharshi explains the universal value of a Vedic temple:
    Śrī Someśvara Temple

    What is Vedic Technology?

    Temple Ceremonies: What Are They Really?

  2. I feel so blessed that I wasn’t indoctrinated into Vedic knowledge. Over the years, I would read a book such as the Mahabharata and would not understand its depth at all. But Maharshi eventually would teach something that clarified the book perfectly. How fortunate that my learning about the Veda comes from Maharshi and always makes sense.

  3. Mark,
    Without first reading and understanding the blog, someone might take offense to the phrase ‘indoctrinated into Vedic Knowledge’. Certainly we can all understand that. However, in the context of the blog the phrase makes perfect and most reverent sense to and for the Vedic Tradition. Your comments are always appreciated.

  4. And you found truth within in you and then you learned about vedic knowledge.
    Plss make your bio in a ebook i really want to read.
    And very nice blog by the way

  5. To me the line between Truth and indoctrination is very fine and elusive, a true razor’s edge. How easy is it to slip into indoctrination (the familiar fold) and not even notice it. Or worse, not ever experience Truth. Great blog, I hope I will always keep that in mind on my path as a student.

  6. Movement and change seems to be the experience we all want. Its what I want. Feeling the unfolding. Some folks like change a lot more than others. But It requires starting somewhere and moving from one set of beliefs toward different evolving perceptions. So isn’t it all good? It all can be fun.
    It seems I will not get all the way home while I’m here while in a body. Though I suspect otherwise. Regardless I left there to experience here. And a big part of here are the experiences that come from being “wrong”. I sure remember my wrong moments long after. And I also get that on some level its all wrong, except that I am and everything changes.
    So. Perhaps I learn and grow much more from within an indoctrinated state than I would otherwise. Perhaps my ride to enlightenment will be more dramatic and exciting starting in such a restricted place to a sudden place of enlightenment. Like a big bang instead of many reasoned steps. And like a rubber band stretched to its limits, when released, it will provide the power to move past certain blocks that small epiphanies just can’t bridge.
    So I think it could be that many want to experience the “oh wow” of the giant leap from the place of extreme indoctrination to recognition of their own divinity all at once. What a ride that would be! I guess my point is I have no clue what anothers life choices were, so I hesitate to have an opinion about their beliefs. Though examining other beliefs makes me wonder about my own. So thanks once again. John

  7. John,
    I remember a joke from childhood… something about beating your head against the wall because it feels so good when you stop. You can justify anything and the intellect, and people do.

    The Guru comes in two forms. Saturn teaches life’s lessons through pain and hard knocks.
    Jupiter, the benefic Guru, offers them though wise teachings.
    The choice is yours.

  8. I like Jupiter myself, but seems like Saturn has a mind of its own about whom it picks to teach. Thanks John

  9. I do my best to side step Saturns stern teachings and also do my best to help others do the same. But as I say, most karma people have is between their ears and in their hearts, i.e. not outside of them but inside. So you could say Saturn picks them, or they pick Saturn… depending upon how you choose to look at it.

  10. I like taking the responsibility. That way I can respond instead of just being Saturn’s victim. I have slowly begun to see that if I respond by forgiving I see it differently. Then it disappears. It actually leaves my life.

    I feel that the “religious” forgiveness that I know of, says events come from outside of me. But now for me, true forgiveness comes from understanding it all comes from within me, so there is nothing really to forgive. Understand and learn from sure. But we are all just characters in a Karmic play.

    So I do a good job of not making it real now. Its just like my dreams at night. I sure don’t hold the weird stuff that goes on in them against anyone. When I take the same approach to “real” life i do better. It sure can throw me though when my buttons gets pushed and it all goes flying out the window. Oh well, I forgive myself. Sometimes it feels good to rant and rave.

  11. “In human intercourse the tragedy begins, not when there is misunderstanding about words, but when silence is not understood.” 
    ‎—Henry David Thoreau

    John –

    My fellow students and I have toiled and sacrificed for decades, centuries, millenia, to have even a few moments in the same space with a true Teacher…  

    These moments are rich with knowledge that could fill volumes. Yet this knowledge blossoms in the pregnant silence between words.  That silence is rarefied, transcendental.  

    Sometimes that space is disturbed or fractured by someone – ‎usually only because the awesome pregnancy of the Silence is simply too much to bare…to hold.  That is forgivable, understandable.

    All of us long time students have all disturbed that space in one way or another.  Each of us came in with our own smoky reality and perceptions.  Sometimes with the attitude of a stoner going to art, music or philosophy class.  Sometimes with the purests of priestly attitudes and saintly states.  But both can equally distort the Knowledge that lies in the Gap…  

    Today, we enter this classroom ‎with the same respect afforded the highest caliber of teachers and the same reverence for the most sacred of shrines.  We enter filled with anticipation and careful attention on cultivating a single opportunity, a simple moment, where we may transcend toxic intellectual noise to discover and to gently touch the sublime being of Knowledge.  

    It is a rare and almost unimaginable experience.   


    It is helpful to know the people to whom you are speaking too…and speaking among.

    It is helpful to have spatial awareness.  

    This space equally deserves the respect of the most sacred of places….a thousand church doors be opening.   

    Please understand it.  ‎Please take another look. 

    Philos Maximus