It has already been pointed out that according to the teachings of the sages and our Divine Master, Sri Swami Sivananda, God dwells in all names and forms. That is why our Spiritual Darlings are taught to respect and treat with care even inanimate objects like a chair, table, etc. If such is the case, care and respect for animals, birds. and plants should be even more so.
Parents must inculcate in Spiritual Darlings reverence and protection of nature, and love and kindness for birds, animals and plants. Kindness and compassion for all dumb creatures should be developed from early childhood. Any type of cruelty to animals indulged in by children in early life will have a repercussion in later life.
There have been many cases reported where children who were cruel to animals, later turned out to be murderers. When Spiritual Darlings commence to be cruel, whether in relation to their playmates or towards animals and birds, it is a sign that should alarm their parents.
Allowing Spiritual Darling to be cruel to animals will root out from their tender hearts every feeling of compassion and pity. It is true that treatment of animals has an influence on the character of the Spiritual Darling.
Parents should take time off to teach their Spiritual Darlings how to be kind to animals. They should be taught that kindness and mercy to human beings are virtues of true manhood and womanhood. Regular daily prayer, Bhajan and attendance at the Yoga Camps will be futile if Spiritual Darlings practise cruelty towards animals and birds.
The practice of kindness to helpless creatures is of greater value in the formative years than arithmetic, reading and writing. Such training would make Spiritual Darlings more responsible individuals, nobler adults and better citizens.
Animals are part of our world. They feel pain and hunger just like human beings. The life of our Divine Master, Sri Swami Sivananda, is a most illuminating example of how to show kindness and compassion to animals, birds, snakes and fish. He upheld the rights of animals, and showed strong disapproval if anyone infringed upon their freedom.
Spiritual Darlings must be taught that every kindness shown, every service rendered, either to a person or to a dumb creature, does them more good than the one for whom they do it.
Under no circumstances should parents allow Spiritual Darlings to undertake animal experiments at school. The vivisecting of small animals is a ghastly deed, and destroys all sentiments of love, compassion and kindness in the hearts of children.
Learning to be kind and just to all helpless life, will help Spiritual Darlings to develop their character. It will instil in their young hearts a sense of responsibility, pity and compassion, thus preparing them to become nobler citizens.