Buddhist Meditation Centre

A place for mindfulness and seclusion

Children are our future leaders

Children are very precious. They are treasures too. They are worthy. Some may malignantly argue and viciously disagree with the above mentioned facts. But multitudes of parents fully agree with me wholeheartedly.
It’s deeply saddening to hear of the numerous news reports in both print and electronic media regarding suicide incidents connected to youth in Sri Lanka.
Unfortunately media institutes don’t attempt to launch any programme to prevent these catastrophic incidents. They are always inquisitive to report on tragic occurrences with the view of circulating and promulgating them around the globe as popular news. Educated media representatives should be very wise and compassionate to launch a pragmatic programme to educate youth and prevent or preclude such shocking circumstances.

Some victims are school children and most of them are teenagers. No one can predict the future of his or her lives.
However, they are our future leaders. They are our global leaders. They are our future innovators and reformers. We should guide and lead them to be virtuous citizens and kind leaders who’ll work towards the well-being and happiness of many in the globe.
Parents, school teachers and certain responsible individuals are liable and obligated in all respect for these tragic and distressing contingencies. Some may not agree with this at all, but inner voices may reveal the truth.


“Most parents arduously attempt and press children to complete professional courses in prestigious universities in the world. That is truly remarkable and should be appreciated, but very few instill spiritual values in their children”

I never enter into controversial dialogues regarding this issue, because no one is capable of adjudicating or disparaging the calibre of our children.
Parents are the most responsible individuals in our society. Some may highly and destructively criticize youth when mistakes are made in the vicinity of where children reside.
They are naturally subject to change during any circumstance. In simple language they are innocent, still learning and growing.

As adults we need to guide them and compassionately educate them. Most parents concentrate only on academic achievements and future prosperity regarding materialism. Unfortunately this is the catastrophic disaster in our society today. There is no training nor tuition programme to discipline children or youth and develop their minds. Most parents excessively encourage children to obtain only paper qualifications.

People destructively criticize every single government-both past and present-from the day we received independence. Criticizing has become a daily habit of many individuals. But as parents and religious leaders they have very important duties and responsibilities to perform. Some practical and suitable programmes must be carried out for our children in Sunday schools. Parents should also initiate some programmes to be implemented at home on a daily basis. Most children never miss private tuition, but show little or no interest for religious or spiritual activities; organised by their parents. Political leaders or the head of state aren’t totally responsible for every negative incident.
Principals and teachers should organize daily programmes in schools such as meditation and the discussion on spiritual matters, in the similar way others subjects are taught.

In western countries they do meditation and conduct leadership training programmes in schools. I have attended and conducted such programmes in both private and government schools. Now university students are keen on participating in such programmes every month.

I have seen positive results. Even though they are non-Buddhists, both parents and teachers highly appreciate such efforts without any discrimination and intolerance. During most programmes I have specified the importance of having a positive attitude and generating positive energy. These are important topics.
We are the people who have composed and constituted a competitive and relentless society. The present lot are not pursuing inner happiness or a righteous lifestyle, but lead lifestyles in search of material possessions.

Every parent has a religion or faith. Unfortunately, multitudes of people think that this is only for traditional or ceremonious activities. They practice some customs which they have inherited from ancestors. Some of them fear going to hell. In order to avoid this, they perform some religious activities to console themselves and avoid guilty feelings regarding their wrong doings and cruel activities.
The most important fact is the exemplary life of parents. Children follow and imitate their parents. Every parent must keep this in mind.



“Compassion, patience, tolerance, endurance, generosity, respect, gratitude and altruism are some innermost qualities which impeccably guide us towards a well-balanced life”

As mothers and fathers they must be very careful in the use of their words, when performing deeds and behaving. As matured husbands and wives, they must cultivate innermost qualities such as patience, tolerance, endurance, forbearance, righteous dedication, giving, being compassionate, practising equanimity, appreciating joy and many more. Most of them lecture, but rarely do they practise what they preach.
Mutual communication, mutual dedication, mutual understanding, mutual respect, mutual relationship and mutual unconditional love are key factors that enhance married life. These factors help produce good parents. They are classic and supreme examples to their own children. They can be virtuous and remarkable mentors for their own children. If they constantly argue with each other and exchange harsh words or brutally abuse their own partners, what a shame it would be! Bad conduct of parents must be termed as a disgraceful example set for children.
Fact-findings have revealed that some parents don’t love their children and brutally abuse them for minor mistakes or blunders. Competition and jealousy have wiped out healthy and solid friendships. Inner human qualities are essential. Kindness, compassion, generosity, honesty and humility are rarely visible in society. We should all take note of this tragic situation and educate our children to make their futures better and peaceful.


Parents are the first and foremost teachers who teach ethics and etiquette. They must have a family conference at the dining table every night. They must discuss every matter with their children as parents. These discussions must not only address academic issues, but also touch on life. These discussions should target inner cultivation and development. If they have any conflict or dispute relevant to their surroundings, parents must compassionately solve them in a very impartial manner without hurting and discriminating against them. Conflict resolution should take place every single night before the day ends. Whether we have an issue or not, parents should have a discussion with their children about their studies, school, class, home work, activities and friends.
Every conversation and discussion should take place using kind words. Such words positively encourage children and help produce healthy attitudes. Parents must create a peaceful environment for children to enter into a mutual dialogue. Adults shouldn’t ignore or neglect children’s inquiries, curiosities, interests as well as other concerns.


People destructively criticize every single government-both past and present-from the day we received independence
As mothers and fathers they must be very careful in the use of their words
Fact-findings have revealed that some parents don’t love their children and brutally abuse them

We must deeply and thoroughly concentrate on their inquiries with patience and kindness.
As Buddhists they should regularly visit temples and associate with well cultured and well-disciplined monks. Others who follow different religions should go to their places of worship and associate with their spiritual teachers. This may seem a laughing matters for some, but personally I have experienced that this system works wonders.
When I was a child I used to visit Most Venerable Ampitiye Sri Rahula Maha Thera, the Late Most Venerable Madihe Pannaseeha Maha Nayaka Maha Thera and other priests like Most Venerable Kotugoda Dhammawasa Maha Nayaka Maha Thera. These great, eminent, and exemplary spiritual leaders compassionately advised me to implant human inner qualities and cultivate them. These venerable masters asked me to emphasize on discipline and use other guidelines which mould a disciplined society. I have applied the same principles during my monkhood. I have no words in my vocabulary to explain how these spiritual teachers advised me and guided me to step on the global stage.


We may say that currently it’s difficult to find good mentors in our society. But I am sure there are a few. If one seeks strenuously for such teachers you might be successful in your search. We should also constructively criticize undisciplined individuals.
Nowadays numerous monks advise people to accomplish supramundane goals. When we go through some discourses which the Gautama Buddha expounded for ordinary individuals we can understand how the great Master guided people towards inner happiness and innermost peace while they were leading their married and family lives. The most prominent and well known discourse is SIGALOVADA SUTTA. Renowned scholar Caroline Rhys Davids said that this particular sutta suffices to tread on the path of purification and achieve bliss of Nibbana. The late Mr. and Mrs Rhys Davids weren’t boasters and preachers, but were genuine scholars who truly devoted their lives to the Buddha, the Dhamma and the Sangha.
When we mindfully contemplate on what the Master Gautama Buddha expounded in his numerous discourses, even though his teachings are twenty six centuries old, still they are fresh and loaded with vital lessons.
The discourse which was delivered to youth called ‘son of Sigala’ has vividly elaborated on the most important guiding and training principles along with paramount duties and responsibilities that every single citizen should perform for the sake of peaceful, successful and harmonious human society.
Here are some guidelines given to parents regarding their duties toward the children in that discourse.

  • Discourage children from getting involved in unwholesome activities which make them feel remorse, regret and guilt and repent afterwards.
  • Encourage children to perform wholesome activities which make them feel happy here and hereafter.

These two guiding and training principles aren’t only for this life, but also for the next. This is the beauty of Lord Buddha’s pragmatic teachings. These profound teachings and ways of disciplining affirm and confirm that if one truly and veraciously invests in one’s life, the accomplishment of both a secular and spiritual life is guaranteed.
Give them a good education which provides them with security and makes them effective and eventually worthy citizens.
Most parents arduously attempt and press children to complete professional courses in prestigious universities in the world. That is truly remarkable and should be appreciated, but very few instill spiritual values in their children. True and genuinely loving parents must think about their children’s next birth too.


This is what the above mentioned two guiding principles explain. These effective and productive factors will definitely guide them to reach happy destinations.
Parents must be the role models and should set an example to their children. Children are prone to emulate and are susceptible to imitate. Parents are extremely responsible for their children. Children are innocent up to a certain age. If parents aren’t mindful of their children’s well-being and prosperity, they are completely subject to receive blame.
When we guide and educate them well with paramount values and morals, children will definitely lead impressive lives.
Morals, cultural values and religious ethics are the paving stones towards the path of happy and successful lives. Though some think that academically concluded aptitudes and materially achieved possessions may lead to a happy and successful life, the reality is that no one would complete that goal without spiritual energy.
Compassion, patience, tolerance, endurance, generosity, respect, gratitude and altruism are some innermost qualities which impeccably guide us towards a well-balanced life.
We must guide our children towards a bright future. They must be well cultured, well mannered, well-educated and well-disciplined and morally well trained. We must compassionately protect them.
They are our future leaders.

“One should first establish oneself in what is proper; then only should one instruct others. Thus the wise person will not be reproached”.
— Dhammapada —

“Children learn more from what you are than what you teach”
— W.E.B. Dubois —

This article was Published in Daily Mirror newspaper on 08 August 2017

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