Luke 11:7 Train up a Child

Trouble me not: the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed;

I cannot rise and give thee.

            The education of a child in the East is quite different from that of a Western child. When the child is a baby, he is "salted and swaddled", the ancient rite of dedication for newborn children. A Hindu mother often says to the child, "You were salted to pray seven times a day; you were swaddled not to be crooked." These mothers truly believe the saying,


Proverbs 22:6

Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.

            At the age of five, some Hindu boys are taken to the temple for dedication to God, according to their caste. The ceremony includes piercing the lobe of the ear with a hot needle; the child is now "earmarked" to serve God in the role to which his caste is assigned by tradition.

            Now the boy is given to the grandfather of the family for religious training. The grandfather acts as the family priest and part of his duties are to teach the young children. Each night another grandson and I went to bed with Grandfather, one on each side, and we were taught before we went to sleep. The next morning when we woke up, about
five o'clock, we were required to repeat the lesson. There was a cane on Grandfather's pillow for use in case we did not remember the lesson (I remember the cane VERY well).

            This custom of teaching children in bed is mentioned in Luke 11:7, when the friend comes at midnight asking the loan of three loaves for the unexpected guest, and the man says,


Luke 11:7

Trouble me not: the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give thee.


            After the lessons, Grandfather bathed us, and as we washed, we sang a song from the Vedas which entreats God to wash away our sins while we are washing the body. Next we sat cross-legged on the carpet, said our prayers, and had breakfast.

            The grandfather also accompanies the Hindu children to school, watching carefully that they do not misbehave along the way. In
India, any adult may correct or punish any child in the street who is misbehaving. In fact, the parents will come and thank the person who does so.

            This is the sort of training which I received as a Hindu boy in
India. As a religion, Hinduism is probably as good as any and better than most. After all this wonderful training, I was still not at peace with myself. I was spiritually bankrupt; I had no peace in my soul. All of my religion was outward action and my faith was pinned to works.

            Jesus Christ came into the world at a time when three powerful religions were available to the worshiper: Judaism, Buddhism, and Hinduism. If religion had been enough, God would not have sent His only begotten son to us. Jesus did not say, "I have come to give you another religion!" He said, "I am come that ye might have life and have it more abundantly" (John 10:10). Christ is the Truth and the Life, and the truth will set us free. "Religion" never set anyone free; only Christ is able, and him crucified. God bless you.


Bishop K.C. Pillai, D.D.