This morning at the temple, a father had his 6 year old daughter lead the singing. I appreciated his fathering. He started her off on each line and then let her go on alone. When she found her voice and rhythm, he stayed quiet. When she wobbled, which was only once, he got her back on track. In the end she felt she did it all by herself, which is what great parenting does. Close enough but not in the way.
In Krishna Book, we find a beautiful dedication by Srila Prabhupada, the author, to his father:
“To My Father, Gour Mohan De (1849-1930 - A pure devotee of Kṛṣṇa, who raised me as a Kṛṣṇa conscious child from the beginning of my life. In my boyhood ages he instructed me how to play the mṛdanga. He gave me Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa Vigraha to worship, and he gave me Jagannātha-Ratha to duly observe the festival as my childhood play. He was kind to me, and I imbibed from him the ideas later on solidified by my spiritual master, the eternal father.”
‘He was kind to me’. Kindness is the quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate. When a child is treated with kindness, he learns to be kind. When our efforts to help others are done with kindness, it’s a double result. The help may be seen on the outside, but the kindness nourishes within. Kindness makes people feel valued, feel seen.
Krishna, the supreme father, is known to be kind to everyone - “The Lord is equally kind to everyone, as the sun is equal in distributing its rays over everyone.” Also it is said that “the Lord is equally kind to everyone because He treats every living being as a friend yet maintains Himself as Paramatma regardless of the circumstances of the living entities.” 5.18
What a great Father we have! The Paramatma, the supersoul in our heart, is close by, and ready to nudge us to remembrance of what we have forgotten. That’s a gift we have, not just on Father’s Day, but everyday.