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A very personal guide for parents with Indian heritage who are rearing Indian children in America. This challenge brings all the problems, conflicts, and advantages of blending the two cultures in a positive way to enrich the lives of the new generation of Indo-Americans. As the author stated in the Introduction, the parents want to preserve their cultural background in the home with Indian values and customs and prepare their children to live successfully in the competitive western world American way of life outside the home.
This is a very comprehensive book of guidance from a successful father and pediatric sub-specialist who has sincerely written in a very personal style. I commend the author for the time, effort, concern, and worthy goals of assisting parents to take advantage of the rich Indian traditions and customs and intertwine these with values and realities of the current American way of life. He outlines worthy goals of parenting and strongly recommends the active role of all family members, from India and here in America. As a professional woman physician who is a pediatric subspecialist, mother and grandmother, I appreciate the need for bonding to our children and grandchildren early in their life. However, in the competitive western society and demands of American medicine presents a dilemma for the professional mother and wife as well as the physician father in balancing their medical and family life.
As the Author concisely phrased his advice to parents in the introduction, there is no perfect pattern for parenting and each parent has to evaluate and meet the needs of what is best for each individual family. Love, concern and commitment to parenting to prepare our children for productive, satisfying, and moral lives and successful futures in the society of the world is the ultimate objective of parents from any culture. The future hope for all societies lies in the time, effort, and success of all concerned parents of our children.
Bettina Hilman, M.D.
Louisiana State University Medical Center
Since 1993, I have visited several universities as a visiting professor of philosophy and religion, and had several occasions to address Indo-American parents, intellectuals, youths, and children. What I found all these years is that most of the members of the Indo-American community are going through cultural and religious turmoil, confusion, and conflict.
Members of the first generation Indo-American community who came here, made bright careers, and are well-settled, now think that their children and grandchildren are becoming cut off from their cultural roots and deprived of the wisdom of their glorious heritage. For this condition, parents themselves are responsible, because of their lack of proper knowledge of our culture, information, and benefit of inculcating our cultural values in day-to-day life. Parents are not in a position to convince their children with reasoning why they should follow our culture and religion.
This book of Dr. Bhat's is certainly a path-breaking work of enormous significance to guide Indo-American parents who want to rear their children in America. This book has the most practical value, because it is from the pen of a knowledgeable Indo-American practitioner who faced this dilemma of rearing children in America and researched the problem extensively, and presents his findings and solutions in this book.
Dr. Bhat's solutions to problems exactly follow a medical pattern: a disease is identified, its cause is diagnosed, a remedy is declared to exist, and then that remedy is prescribed. This is not written for scholars, but is a most practical guide, keeping in mind the common Indo-American people. It is a down-to-earth book. It focuses on the most important aspects of life and demonstrates its relevance to the current Indo-American community and individual life in the modern West.
The book covers basic medical questions as well as addresses the special needs of Indian parents who find themselves without the proper resources of their culture in rearing their children. It covers vast aspects of life. Its significance can be realized going through its contents. It covers not only cultural, religious, or meditative aspects, but all aspects of child-rearing, from conception to the teenage years.
As a doctor, the author begins his book with advising newly-married couples how to bring healthy babies into the world, how to take care of your children, when to begin teaching cultural and religious values, when and how to guide your children to lead healthy, happy, and peaceful lives. More than twenty chapters of this book are applicable to all kinds of people in this society, irrespective of their race, religion, sex, and creed. These chapters are based on medical grounds.
Chapters on meditation, family prayers, an introduction to yoga, and yogic postures explain how these techniques are helpful to calming down the agitated mind, reducing tension in day-to-day life. These also explain how many diseases can be cured by applying yogic techniques, and how pain of different kinds can be reduced, and how they are helpful to maintaining a sound body and mind. Different kinds of meditative techniques, aids to meditation, steps of meditation, and medical benefits of different kinds of meditation are nicely explained by the author in these chapters. The main teachings of the Hindu culture and the reason behind the celebrations of different Hindu festivals are also given in two chapters.
This book is lucidly written, concise, easy to understand and practice. Dr. Krishna Bhat has done a great service to Indo-American parents through writing this book. It is my fervent hope that this book will be welcomed not only by Indo-American parents, but by all those who want to rear their children in the right way and make their lives healthy, happy, and peaceful.
Professor Dr. Yajneshwar S. Shastri
Visiting Professor of Philosophy and Religion
Loyola Marymount University
Los Angeles, California, USA
Chairperson, Department of Philosophy