The five Kutumba Sadhana are the five guidelines or instructions specially for parents. They inform parents about the most important points regarding teaching their beloved children the path of Hinduism, both verbally and through personal example. It is very important to understand that the responsibility of being a father or mother goes far beyond providing food, education, clothing and maintenance of children; the responsibility for moral, ethical, religious and spiritual education falls squarely on parents and guardians, as it something that is learned at home.
1. Dharmachara- more than words and sermons, our personal example is what influences the lives of our children. Whatever they see during their childhood will be the things that will influence their lives. Never argue or fight in front of the children. It is essential that parents maintain the four basic principles of religious life: no intoxication, no meat eating, avoidance of games of chance and illicit sex. It is very advisable that parents respect tradition in front of the children, with the father wearing a dhoti and the mother a sari, and both parents showing respect to God, the guru and the spiritual authorities.
2. Dharma Svagriha- parents should establish at home a separate place for the worship of God, and the study of the scriptures, and meditation. The best arrangement would be to have a separate room for this purpose. Display photographs of the family guru, as well as saints and sages that inspire us. It is important to maintain at home a place that will be a refuge dedicated only to spiritual and religious life.
3. Dharma Sambhashana- parents must make efforts to converse about religion and spiritual subjects, so that children can learn to contemplate and see life from a spiritual perspective.
4. Dharma Svadhyaya- parents who wish to educate their children within the tradition of the Vedic culture have to dedicate themselves to their own spiritual development and evolution by studying the revealed Vedic scriptures systematically and attending the temple, lectures and conferences of the guru or senior swamis. In order to educate them we have to educate ourselves first.
5. Dharma Sanga- parents and householders must choose a spiritual master or a guru, follow his guidance and instructions and help serve his lineage. A spiritual master offers the family his guidance, direction, advice and blessings.