Hindu shastras have provided knowledge on code of duties (Manusmriti), medicinal practices (Ayurveda), archery science (dhanurveda), kamasutra, secrets of cosmic creation and likewise many more subjects. I am curious to know what our shastras have written and recommended on subject of raising a child? Like when it is appropriate to be strict and when to behave as a friend? What kind of teachings are parents responsible to provide to their children?

  • @UdayKrishna Thank you. could you please add it as answer with references
    – Ketan
    Oct 2, 2018 at 18:01

2 Answers 2


Swami Vivekananda speaks of the duties of a householder in his Complete Works. He quotes the MahaNirvana Tantra. He says (Complete Works, Vol. 1, Karma Yoga, Each is Great in His Own Place):




The four stages of life in India have in later times been reduced to two — that of the householder and of the monk. The householder marries and carries on his duties as a citizen, and the duty of the other is to devote his energies wholly to religion, to preach and to worship God. I shall read to you a few passages from the Mahâ-Nirvâna-Tantra, which treats of this subject, and you will see that it is a very difficult task for a man to be a householder, and perform all his duties perfectly:


The following are duties towards children:

A son should be lovingly reared up to his fourth year; he should be educated till he is sixteen. When he is twenty years of age he should be employed in some work; he should then be treated affectionately by his father as his equal. Exactly in the same manner the daughter should be brought up, and should be educated with the greatest care. And when she marries, the father ought to give her jewels and wealth.

Then the duty of the man is towards his brothers and sisters, and towards the children of his brothers and sisters, if they are poor, and towards his other relatives, his friends and his servants. Then his duties are towards the people of the same village, and the poor, and any one that comes to him for help. Having sufficient means, if the householder does not take care to give to his relatives and to the poor, know him to be only a brute; he is not a human being.


  • I've shortened the blockquote. The question was only about duties toward children, not overall duties of a householder. Also, it's Vol. 1, not 2. Oct 2, 2018 at 17:42

Parents must do required samskaras for children, starting with Garbhadana (before conception, vedic mantras to be chanted, for birth of pious child), upanayana (sacred thread), till Vivaha (marriage according to Brahma rite is preferred).


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