Srila Prabhupada’s Instructions for Devotees to Become Responsible Parents

“A child is a rare gift given by Krishna, but at the same time a great responsibility; every parent has the responsibility to see that his child grows up Krishna Consciousness. I know that you understand this, and will always make Krishna the center of your home.”
– Srila Prabhupada’s Letter to Hamsaduta- Vrindavan, 15 August, 1967

“This is the ideal householder’s life. The husband and wife live together, and the husband works very hard to secure paraphernalia for worshiping Lord Visnu. The wife at home cooks a variety of foods for Lord Visnu, and the husband offers it to the Deity. After that, ārati is performed, and the prasādam is distributed amongst family members and guests.”
– Caitanya Caritamrta, Madhya Lila, 3.41

“If parents simply give birth to children like cats and dogs but cannot save their children from imminent death, they become responsible for the activities of their animalistic children. Lately, such children are turning into hippies. Similarly, if a spiritual master cannot direct his disciples to become free of sinful activities, he becomes responsible for their sinful acts.”
– Srimad Bhagavatam 4.20.14, Purport

“The word abhijātasya in reference to one born of transcendental qualities or godly tendencies is very significant. To beget a child in a godly atmosphere is known in the Vedic scriptures as Garbhādhāna-samskāra. If the parents want a child in the godly qualities they should follow the ten principles recommended for the social life of the human being. In Bhagavad-gītā we have studied also before that sex life for begetting a good child is Krsna Himself. Sex life is not condemned, provided the process is used in Krsna consciousness. Those who are in Krsna consciousness at least should not beget children like cats and dogs but should beget them so that they may become Krsna conscious after birth. That should be the advantage of children born of a father and mother absorbed in Krsna consciousness.”
– Bhagavat Gita 16.1-3

“Kardama Muni desired to beget a child who would be a ray of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. One should beget a child who can perform the duties of Visnu, otherwise there is no need to produce children. There are two kinds of children born of good fathers: one is educated in Krsna consciousness so that he can be delivered from the clutches of māyā in that very life, and the other is a ray of the Supreme Personality of Godhead and teaches the world the ultimate goal of life.”
– Srimad Bhagavatam 3.22.19, Purport

“One should not strive to become a mother or father if one cannot save one’s dependent son from the impending danger of death. A parent who does not know how to save his son has no value because such fathers and mothers may be had in any form of life, even among the cats, dogs and so on. Only a father and mother who can elevate their son to the spiritual platform are bona fide parents. Therefore according to the Vedic system it is said, janmanā jāyate śūdrah: one is born of a material father and mother as a śūdra. The purpose of life, however, is to become a brāhmana, a first-class man.”
– Srimad Bhagavatam 6.5.20, Purport

“The basic idea of raising children as they are described in the Vedic literature is that from birth till the age of five years the parents may be very lenient with the child. From the ages six to ten they should tighten the discipline of their child, and from the ages of ten till the sixteenth year the parents should be as strict as a tiger with their child so that he will be afraid to be disobedient at all. Then after the sixteenth year the parents shall treat their child as a friend, and the child is allowed to gradually develop his adult responsibility and independence.”
– Letter to Vibhavati- Los Angeles 15 July, 1969