Discipline

By Bhurijana dasa - 10.9 2016

Discipline: A Prerequisite to Krishna Consciousness

In Srimad-Bhagavatam (1.5.24), Narada Muni explains to Srila Vyasadeva how he attained, through the mercy of the Vaisnavas, an exalted spiritual position:

Although they were impartial by nature, those followers of the Vedanta blessed me with their causeless mercy. As far as I was concerned, I was self- controlled and had no attachment for sports, even though I was a boy. In addition, I was not naughty, and I did not speak more than required.

Srila Prabhupada explains in his purport:

But before the initiation, the boy became more and more advanced in discipline, which is very essential for one who wishes to make progress in the line. In the system of varnasrama-dharma, which is the beginning of actual human life, small boys after five years of age are sent to become brahmacari at the guru’s asrama, where these things are systematically taught to boys, be they king’s sons or sons of ordinary citizens. The training was compulsory not only to create good citizens of state, but also to prepare the boys’ future life for spiritual realization. The irresponsible life of sense enjoyment was unknown to the children of the followers of the varnasrama system. The boy was even injected with spiritual acumen before being placed by the father within the womb of the mother. Both the father and the mother were responsible for the boy’s success in being liberated from material bondage. This is the process of successful family planning. It is to beget children for complete perfection. Without being self-controlled, without being disciplined, and without being fully obedient, no one can become successful in following the instructions of the spiritual master, and without doing so, no one is able to go back to Godhead.

The relationship of discipline to Krsna consciousness is clear. Without it, we can neither be self controlled, obedient, nor a successful servant of our spiritual master. In short, without discipline we cannot become Krsna conscious.

To train a child in discipline is to train him to make proper use of his human life. Ideally, a student can be trained in discipline while living under the care of a qualified spiritual master. This is recommended in the Srimad-Bhagavatam (7.12.1) by Narada Muni, brahmacar_ guru-kule vasan danto guror hitam:

A student should practice completely controlling his senses. He should be submissive and should have an attitude of firm friendship for the spiritual master. With a great vow, the brahmacar_ should live at the gurukula, only for the benefit of the guru.

This is also confirmed by Srila Prabhupada in innumerable places:

The old system of gurukula should be revived. It is the perfect system, designed to produce great men, sober and responsible leaders, who know the real welfare of the citizens.

_Letter to Satsvarupa dasa, November 21, 1971

Purport: Children at the age of five are sent to the gurukula or the place of the spiritual master, and the master trains the young boys in the strict discipline of becoming brahmacaris. Without such practice, no one can make advancement in any yoga, whether it be dhyana, jnana, or bhakti.

_Bg. 6.13-14

To understand why so much emphasis is placed on a child’s living at the gurukula under the care of a qualified spiritual master, let us first explore the mentality that must be developed within a child before he can become trained in Krsna consciousness.

Srila Prabhupada compared the training of a student to the dealings between a tiger-trainer and a tiger. The tiger-trainer first beats the tiger and then he feeds him. Again and again the trainer beats the tiger and feeds him. After some time (a short time for some tigers, longer for others) the tiger realizes that his happiness or distress simply depends on the pleasure or displeasure of his trainer. This reverential and submissive attitude places the tiger in the perfect frame of mind to actually become trained.

Of course we are not suggesting a system of alternately feeding and beating our children, but, as Prabhupada’s analogy shows, a student must first feel dependent on his guru’s happiness for his own happiness and must simultaneously feel misery in causing his spiritual master displeasure. Only then can he become trained. The spiritual master-disciple relationship cannot be one where the disciple thinks, “It is not important whether or not my spiritual master is pleased with me. So many others (mother, father, friends, teachers, etc.) are pleased with me.” Prabhupada made similar points during a series of Bombay lectures:

A disciple is expected to live in gurukula, at the shelter of the guru, as menial servant, gurau suhrdha-sauhrdah. One who has actually the conviction, yasya prasadad bhagavat-prasado, one who is convinced that if I please my guru then Krsna will be pleased, this is called suhrdah, full faith yasyaprasadan na gatih kuto ‘pi. And if I displease my guru, then I have no place.

For any student to become trained, he must, like the tiger, be thinking that his happiness or distress simply depends on the pleasure of his guru. Srila Prabhupada confirmed the extraordinary depth of relationship needed within the gurukula between the guru and the disciple by saying:

It is not an artificial thing. The brahmacari, the disciple, must have genuine love for the guru, then he can be under control. Otherwise why one should be under the control of another person? This can be possible when one is really thickly related to the guru. Otherwise, ordinary relationship will not do.

_Lecture, Bombay, April, 1976

Three Ingredients Combined Bring Uniform Pressure

Because of his “thick” relationship with his student, a guru can train his student for both success in eternal, spiritual life and in a practical vocation. This training, although especially facilitated by the Vedic culture, can even now be accomplished with relative ease. But certain ingredients are required. Training can be successful if: first, teachers are qualified sadhus; second, the student’s family has cared for the child during his formative years and will properly lend support to the educational institution during the child’s training years; and third, the surrounding culture favorably influences the student to surrender and accept training. Obtaining these ingredients in this day and age, however, is quite difficult.

Ingredient one: qualified teachers

Are our children trained by Vedic sadhus? Unfortunately, all too often, our gurukula teaching staff have proven to be far below the standard. Many of our teachers lack training and even Krsna conscious strength. Or worse still, some teachers have proven duplicitous or impure in their motives and actions.

The solution is obvious, although easier said than done: gurukula teachers must be serious, advanced devotees who have undergone training in the art of teaching. Gurukula teachers must be of high spiritual caliber.

Ingredient two: qualified parents

Many parents of gurukula children do not know how to properly raise their children in Krsna consciousness. Nor do many feel it necessary to give support to their child’s own teacher within the educational institution. The parents’ duty, however, is to train their children in Krsna consciousness and to support the educational institution.

I have seen one parent allow her three-year-old baby to play near an open, unguarded window on the eighth story of an apartment building! When I appealed for caution and common sense, the mother explained, “Prabhupada said that children before the age of five should be given the freedom to do as they like.”

I have heard a parent, with his seven-year-old child in tow, angrily chastise his child’s teacher for daring to purchase “his” child flip-flops (rubber thongs) as footwear. His child, as I heard, never would wear such low-class shoes!

How different from the Vedic standard. In India, I have seen an old-fashioned parent, also with child in tow, touch the feet of his child’s teacher. With heartfelt words, directly in front of his child, he praised and thanked the teacher for undergoing so much trouble to train his son.

An example of a father assisting his son in surrendering

A powerful example of a family assisting a student’s surrender is seen in the pastime of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura’s acceptance of Srila Gaurakisora dasa Babaj_ as his spiritual master.

Gaurakisora dasa Babaj_ had lived as a renunciate in Vrndavana for many years and was well known in Vrndavana as a liberated paramahamsa. He was not well-educated.

When Gaurakisora arrived in Navadvipa, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta, although a great scholar, became immediately attracted to the lotus feet of the renunciate. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta later commented:

“My spiritual master (Gaurakisora dasa Babaji) would go and visit Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, and many times would reside with him. Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, out of his compassion for other living entities, pointed out my spiritual master, Srila Gaurakisora dasa Babaji. Upon seeing my spiritual master, the extent of my worldly false ego diminished. I knew that all the other living entities who have taken the human form of life were also fallen and low like myself. But by gradually observing the spiritual character of my master, I realized that only a Vaisnava could reside in this material world and be of exemplary character.”

Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura eventually ordered his son to approach the Babaji for initiation.

Upon hearing Srila Bhaktisiddhanta’s request, Gaurakisora dasa Babaj_ Maharaja first expressed his doubts about an “illiterate” accepting such a great scholar as a disciple. “People will laugh,” Babaji Maharaja replied.

After Srila Bhaktisiddhanta pleaded further to be accepted, Babaji Maharaja said, “Mahaprabhu will be asked. If He gives permission, your desire will be fulfilled.”

The next time Bhaktisiddhanta met his spiritual master, he inquired, “What was Mahaprabhu’s order?” Gaurakisora dasa Babaji’s reply: “I forgot to ask.”

When Bhaktivinoda Thakura learned that Bhaktisiddhanta had not yet achieved the shelter of Gaurakisora dasa Babaji, he strongly instructed his son, “If Babaji Maharaja won’t accept you, don’t again return to this house!”

Bhaktisiddhanta approached Gaurakisora dasa Babaji for the third time. Babaji Maharaja responded, “I asked, but did not receive the command of Mahaprabhu.”

Bhaktisiddhanta was heartbroken. He had neither a spiritual master nor a house to which to return. He pleaded, karuna na hoile kandiya kandiya prana na rakhibo ara: “If there is no mercy, I, weeping and weeping, cannot sustain my life any longer. If I do not receive your mercy, I do not see any need of holding onto life.” He then prepared to end his life by jumping off a high bridge.

Gaurakisora dasa Babaji, seeing Srila Bhaktisiddhanta weeping and begging for mercy, relented and agreed to become the spiritual master of the great scholar. In this way, Srila Bhaktivinoda, the father, forcefully assisted his illustrious son to properly and humbly approach the lotus feet of a bona fide spiritual master.

What are we suggesting? Parents should become serious devotees and awaken to their Krsna conscious parental responsibilities.

gurur na sa syat sva-jano na sa syat

pita na sa syaj janan_ na sa syat

daivam na tat syan na patis ca sa syan

na mocayed yah samupeta-mrtyum

One who cannot deliver his dependents from the path of repeated birth and death should never become a spiritual master, a father, a husband, a mother or a worshipable demigod.

Purport: First the father, spiritual master or husband must be able to release the dependent from repeated birth and death. If he cannot do this, he plunges himself into the ocean of reproachment for his unlawful activities. Everyone should be very responsible and take charge of his dependents just as a spiritual master takes charge of his disciple or a father takes charge of his son. All these responsibilities cannot be discharged honestly unless one can save the dependent from repeated birth and death.

_Bhag. 5.5.18

Ingredient three: a culture supportive of Krsna consciousness

Just as the family applied pressure on an individual, so also the Vedic culture applied pressure on the individual to surrender to its sastrically-based norms. For example, if a young girl stayed out alone and un-chaparoned for one night, no man would accept her as a wife. For one night’s indiscretion, a girl’s entire life could be ruined!

According to the strict Vedic system, if an unmarried girl leaves her home even for one night, no one will marry her.

_Teachings of Queen Kunti, p. 85

Harsh? Cruel? No! Rather, strong and merciful! Few girls, due to this pressure, stayed out and became victimized.

How the Vedic society differs from today’s society, which is not based on sastra and the goal of self-realization, but rather on economics and a philosophy that aims simply at sense gratification: “You are your body and your business is to enjoy. Your time is short, so start early.” Is there even a single place where one can find shelter from the influence of violent and sensual television, low-mode rock ‘n’ roll music, and billboards advertising liquor, sex, and licentious movies?

Rather than supporting a spiritually-oriented education system like the gurukula, contemporary society opposes it. The gurukula’s simplicity and discipline appears quaint and old-fashioned to modern man with his over-stimulated senses. He sees gurukula as being diametrically opposed to current values.

Solutions to the problem of an opposing culture

There are three obvious, alternative solutions to the problem of an opposing culture. All three are difficult to accomplish. But all three are recommended by Srila Prabhupada:

1. Let a Krsna conscious culture prevail throughout the world, or at least within one’s own country.

2. Set up a sub-culture within the main opposing culture, such as self-sufficient farm communities, where devotees are satisfied in Krsna consciousness and depend on nature within a simple agrarian village.

3. Establish exemplary gurukulas in India’s holy dhamas, where the spiritual nature, not the material, is dominant.

Great Obstacles to Overcome

One committed to training children in Krsna consciousness may feel helpless and may not know where to begin. He is faced with immature teachers and parents who often lack both spiritual strength and the requisite skills to train a child in Krsna consciousness. He is also faced with an appealing barrage of sense gratification from the outside culture.

My suggestion is that every concerned adult, especially a teacher, at least learn the art of discipline and thus maximize his own ability to influence and train children in Krsna consciousness. Keep in mind that Srila Prabhupada didn’t teach leniency in training; he taught that affection for one’s child is manifest by taking the trouble to properly train the child to go back home, back to Godhead.

Why should the parent not feel attachment for their children? That is natural, but our affection is not simply sentimental. We offer our children the highest opportunity to become trained up in Krsna consciousness very early so as to assure their success in this life in going back to Godhead for sure. That is real affection.

_Letter to Satyabhama-dev_ das_, March 23, 1973

Toward this end, learning the art of discipline, “training that brings self-control,” is essential. Although the obstacles to training children in Krsna consciousness are formidable, they are not impossible to overcome. As Srila Prabhupada said, “Impossible is a word in a fool’s dictionary.”

An Overview of Discipline

In a Bombay lecture, Srila Prabhupada said, “Obedience is the first law of discipline. Without obedience, there can be no discipline. And if there is no discipline, you cannot manage anything. That is not possible. Therefore this is very essential that the student be very disciplined. Disciple means one who follows discipline.”

If all students were to follow this principle of obedience, discipline problems would obviously vanish from all school systems. But what induces obedience within a student? Is it sufficient for a teacher to demand obedience on the basis of his authority and the superiority of his position?

In a different age we could unequivocally answer, “Yes.” Certainly, in Vedic times a student’s surrender to his teacher was a prerequisite for learning. Students were even required to render personal service to their teacher as a part of their studentship! The Manu-samhita tells us that just as a man digging earth with a spade reaches water under the hard crust, so a student attending and serving his teacher with obedience enters the heart of the teacher through reverence and thus obtains the knowledge possessed by him. The Mahabharata states that no progress in knowledge is possible without service in the house of the preceptor.

Teachers in Vedic times simply would not instruct undisciplined students or students without the qualification of strong character. The Svetasvatara Upanisad says, “This profound mystery should not be given to one whose passions have not been subdued, nor to one who is not a son or a disciple.” A similar restriction is imposed by the Maitraya Upanisad, “One should not mention this profoundest mystery to anyone who is not a son, or who is not tranquil.”

In the Sruti mantras, Vidya (knowledge) tells a brahmana to impart her only to one who is qualified.

yameva vidya sucimapramattam medhavinam brahmacaryo ‘papaSSam

yaste na duhyet katama¤cana ha tasmai mam vruyah nidhipaya brahman

“Whom thou knowest to be pure, of subdued senses, intelligent and chaste, and who does not offend thee, declare me to that careful brahmaSa who will protect your treasure.”

The Chandogya Brahmana says vidyaya sarddham mriyeta na vidyamusare vapet: “One should rather die with his learning than impart it to an unworthy person.”

In the Upanisads it has been stated again and again that knowledge should only be imparted to deserving aspirants who are endowed with santi (peacefulness), danti (sense control), uparati (detachment), titiksa (tolerance), and sraddha (faith).

The general rule followed by all Vedic teachers was to not teach an unqualified student, because “a little knowledge in the wrong hands is a dangerous thing,” as the common saying has it.

Lack of obedience and intense discipline problems in schools have increased with the influence of Kali-yuga. Not many years ago, in every country of the world, students were naturally submissive and respectful to their teachers, and, for that matter, to every adult.

Today is different. Most teachers find obedience and discipline do not come easily. True, teachers can still demand respect, but students often do not comply. Out of all teachers in the United States, only 14 percent reach 20 years of experience. Just 15 years ago, the figure of those that reached 20 years of experience was 28 percent, twice as much. Two-thirds of all teachers currently teaching in the United States regret their choice of vocation. The greatest reason given for their regret, and for teachers fleeing the teaching profession, is the disruptive behavior of their students.

The “big question” therefore is how to easily obtain obedience and discipline from one’s students. We’ll begin answering this question with a compilation of Srila Prabhupada’s direct quotes on the art of discipline.

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Quotes from Srila Prabhupada on Discipline

1. Ordinarily, if a child is rebuked as a rascal or a fool, he smiles and does not take such insulting words very seriously. Similarly, if words of honor are offered, he does not appreciate them. (Bhag. 4.8.27, purport)

2. A child can be stopped from engaging in nonsense by being engaged in superior activities. (Cc., Preface, p. XI)

3. A child is sent to school by force to receive an education, but when he gets a little taste of education at an advanced age, he automatically participates and becomes a learned scholar. One cannot force a person to become a scholar, but sometimes force is used in the beginning. A child is forced to go to school and read and write according to the instructions of his teachers. (Cc., Madhya 22.109, purport)

4. Encourage them to chant japa as much as possible, but there is no question of force or punishment. If there is need, you may shake your finger at them, but physical punishment is never allowed. Try to discipline them with love and affection so that they develop a taste for austerity and think it great fun to serve Krsna in many ways. (Letter to Aniruddha dasa, January 10, 1972)

5. Avoid using physical punishment to train children. Better use sweet words. If absolutely necessary, show the cane, but do not use it. (Letter to Svati-devi dasi, January 20, 1972)

6. The proof of your teaching method will be the spiritual improvement and fresh enthusiasm exhibited by the children. (Letter to Stoka Krsna dasa, June 13, 1972)

7. The children should be trained so that they enjoy austerity. We should not spoil them by offering them sense gratification. If they are obedient, they will be disciplined. Without discipline, managing them will be very difficult. So first you must master how to evoke obedience in the children. You cannot always punish or force them. Sometimes you can show the stick, and sometimes you can trick or cheat them into happily obeying. (Letter to Stoka Krsna dasa, June 20, 1972)

8. Srila Prabhupada said that sticks should be carried by the teachers only in the classroom and used only for showing. To teach children properly requires tactics. The tiger is controlled with a whip by the trainer. He never strikes the tiger but only cracks the whip in a very fierce manner. Teachers should be expert enough to not have to resort to striking the children but should be able to influence and control them by being staunch in their own behavior. These children are unwieldy and untrained, so it will take time, kindness, and perseverance to make them Krsna conscious gentlemen. But if you make the regulation too strict or punish them too severely, you will not get the children to become Krsna conscious devotees. If the teachers are not qualified to handle the children, they – not the children – should be beaten with the stick. (Letter from Srila Prabhupada’s secretary to Stoka Krsna dasa, October 8, 1972)

9. Children should not be beaten at all. They should simply be shown the stick. If someone cannot manage in that way, he is not fit to be a teacher. If a child is trained properly in Krsna consciousness, he will never give up devotional service. He must have two things: love and education. If a child is beaten, he will find it difficult to accept in a loving spirit, and when older, he may want to leave Krsna consciousness. That is the danger. (Letter to Bhanutanaya-devi dasi, November 18, 1972)

10. The children should be engaged so that they can somehow or other remember Krsna at every moment. Devotional service is not a mechanical process by which we can force them to be Krsna conscious. We are persons and Krsna is a person. Our relationship with Krsna is always a voluntary agreement. The voluntary attitude, “Yes, Krsna, I shall gladly do whatever You say,” is only possible if we have love for Him. Forcing them will not make them obey, but if they develop love, they will gladly obey. That is Krsna consciousness.

If we train the children by developing and encouraging their propensities to love Krsna, we will be successful in educating them to the topmost standard. Then they will always very happily agree to do whatever you ask them. Do not beat the children with sticks. You may threaten them by showing them a stick, but it is a better art to somehow or other, even by tricking them, avoid force and rather induce them to obey out of loving spirit. That is successful discipline. (Letter to Rupa Vilasa dasa, November 18, 1972)

11. A child is mischievous, so you can trick him to obey by making up a little story; but never apply force, especially to his chanting and other spiritual training, because that will spoil him so that in the future he will not like to perform devotional service. (Letter to Brahmanya-tirtha dasa, December 10, 1972)

12. Srila Prabhupada: The routine work must be forced. They must be afraid; at least they should think, “If I do not do it, I’ll be punished.” There is no question of punishment. Just as a serpent does not bite, but threatens. Then they will be respectful (Makes like a cobra with his hand, warning.) They are children; as with animals, sometimes force is required. The basic principle is be gentle, but sometimes artificially they may be threatened. Yasodamayi also used to do that with Krsna.

Question: What if one of them is especially mischievous and disrespectful?

Srila Prabhupada: Then you must punish. Stop his mischievous activities.

Question: What is some good punishment?

Srila Prabhupada: Slap here (He motions to his own cheek.)

Question: Slap them on the head?

Srila Prabhupada: No, here (He motions to his cheek.)

Question: How about on the rear end? It is an American custom to spank on the behind.

Srila Prabhupada: That is not very good. Slap here (He motions to his cheek.) (Conversation with teachers in Dallas, March 4, 1975)

13. JAGADISA: Srila Prabhupada, this would indicate that the atmosphere here must be very strict.

Srila Prabhupada: It is on the basis of love. Stricture is not very good. They should do it automatically, out of love. Superficially there may be some stricture. Be simply situated on the platform of love. There are so many regulative principles: “If you do not, you’ll be punished,” but they should develop the idea of love.

JAGADISA: Part of loving the children is forcing them to act according to our Krsna conscious discipline.

Srila Prabhupada: Forcing should not be ordinary. Sometimes superficially you have to use force, but the basic principle should be love. It is not material force. Sometimes the father forces the son to do something. That does not mean the father is the enemy of the son. For the benefit of the son, sometimes he forces, sometimes he chastises. That is superficial. That chastisement, or force, is out of love. Children are innocent. As you teach them, they learn. Sometimes force must be applied, but everything should be on the basis of love. That requires experience. The rules and regulations will teach him automatically. Here it is said, sayam pratar upasita gurv-agny-arka-surottaman, sandhye ubhe ca yata-vag japan brahma samahitaŸ. (Bhag. 7.12.2) These practices should be taken up: japa, early rising, then offering oblations, Deity worship. These things should be practiced, then automatically they will develop.

JAGADISA: Sometimes unless we encourage them very strongly, they don’t want to chant japa.

Srila Prabhupada: Tell them, “Chant Hare Krsna!” You should chant, they will chant. You should behave yourself very strictly on discipline, and they will follow.

DVARAKNATHA: It seems that we must become humble. We must become servants to them in the sense that we do everything that we can to facilitate their service. Then when they see we are surrendering to our service, they will surrender to us.

Srila Prabhupada: Very good idea. Example is better than precept. You should all be personal examples, and they will do that. If you do not practice, if you simply force them, that will not be good.

JAGADISA: The teachers are setting a good example in that way.

Srila Prabhupada: Then the children will follow. You rest assured.

JAGADISA: But sometimes a teacher feels reluctant to encourage the children strongly to participate in the devotional activities because he doesn’t want to force them to do devotional service.

Srila Prabhupada: No, that should be done. Teachers must do and students also must do. CaNakya PaNdita said, lalane bahavo dosaH. If you love them unnecessarily, to make them stupid, that is not good. Lalane bahavo dosaH. But if you strictly induce them, forcibly, to be disciplined they will develop good qualities. Lalane bahavo dosah tadane bahavo gunah/ tasmat putram ca sisyam ca tadayen na tu lalayet. Therefore, sons, disciples, and students should always be strictly forced. Don’t be lenient. Why should we be lenient? That is not good. They are, after all, children, so if you become lenient, they will think this is the practice.

JAGADISA: We see that when they are given good discipline in that way, they respond nicely . . .

Srila Prabhupada: Yes. Why should you be lenient? That is your fault. Out of “love,” we shall see our sons or disciples go to hell. That is not good; that is foolishness. (Conversations with teachers in Dallas, July, 1975)

14. Don’t say “No.” If there is a taste for the good, then it will be automatically “No.” If you say “No,” they’ll usually rebel. All “No’s” is very difficult. If they develop Krsna consciousness, it will automatically be “No.” Don’t bring many “No’s,” but give them positive life. If you say “No,” there will be a struggle. This is the psychology. If we are attracted by devotional service, other things will be automatically “No.” Param drstva nivartate. (Conversation with a group of disciples, New Mayapura, July 31, 1976)

15. JAGADISA: One of the boys is more or less a bad boy. He terrorizes the other boys. He misleads them, lies.

Srila Prabhupada: How old is he?

JAGADISA: He’s thirteen.

Srila Prabhupada: So, he cannot stay. He must go away. We cannot spoil the other children.

RUPA VILASA: They are being spoiled . . .

YASODaNANDANA SWAMI: He does not make an effort to better his behavior. He does not chant his rounds. He rarely comes to the kirtana. When he comes to the kirtana, he does not chant, he simply plays and makes fun. He has a very bad influence on the other boys.

Srila Prabhupada: Then he should be sent home, or he can be sent to the farm. Let him work on the ground. Send him to work in the field on the farm. He’s meant for sudra’s work. You cannot expect that everyone is a brahmana. He has got sudra mentality, so let him till the ground for Krsna. He’s fit for tilling, so let him till and produce grain for Krsna. He should be given hard work.

BHAGATJI: How to mend him from lies?

Srila Prabhupada: By your good association. What lies will he tell? Don’t believe him at all. That’s all. Take it that he speaks only lies. Don’t believe whatever he says. You force him to do. Take it that he speaks only lies. Why should you consult him? He’s a liar. But see that he’s working, that’s all. (Conversation with teachers in Vrndavana, November, 1976)

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Our study of the art of discipline will cover both basic theory and practical techniques. By this study, we hope to equip teachers with greater expertise in eliciting obedience and Krsna consciousness from the hearts of their students. As effective classroom management minimizes discipline problems, we will first discuss management skills for teachers.