Should We Have Children?


I’m 37 and my wife 36 years, we have been married for 10 years and we do not know yet if we want to have children. Sometimes we will, but we think our life is already wonderful, and we are afraid to worsen it with a child. We often consider this selfish feeling, to not give chance to another soul incarnate. We would like to know the position of Kriya Yoga on the need to have a child for spiritual evolution in this life?

—Samuel Frederico, Brazil


Dear Friend,

There is nothing in Yogananda’s teachings that says it is selfish NOT to have children. It is selfish, however, not to serve in this world and do your part to make the world a better place in one way or another. More importantly: a couple in marriage should find ways to do this together (if possible). It is axiomatic on the spiritual path that those who choose NOT to have children should enlarge their hearts in service to a larger family (in some form or another).

So, don’t try to hang on to your enjoyment of one another because this will grow stale, spiritually, unless you find a way to expand your love to include others. If you hold on too tight to what you have, you will lose it. The law of life, of happiness, invites us to be “fruitful and multiply” our bounty, our blessings, our love, and happiness and share with others.

Don’t necessarily think in terms of having children; think in terms of expanding your hearts’ gratitude for the life and love you share with one another. No two people can be the summation of all one needs for happiness to just each other. That will tire, or fester, or be lost.

To know what to do in this regard, you each need to be calmly honest with one another. What if she, sensing your reluctance to take on the responsibility of children, is not expressing her desire for children; or, vice versa. So first you need, as a couple, to come to a consensus about having children. Time is running out, though adoption or foster care are options, as well.

If the two of you agree NOT to have children, then, spiritually speaking, it will be valuable to your relationship to take on some commitment to serve others: whether together, or each in your own way. Service can be in charitable ways or it can be in serving a divine work. In fact, there is no limit to the form of service because it is the attitude that counts, not so much the form. Service should, spiritually speaking, be rooted in love for God and love for others as children of God. Seek the love of God in meditation first; then, take that love and share with others.

[This is true of your human love for one another. You should try to see “enshrined in one another’s form” the Divine Mother or Heavenly Father; divine love and divine wisdom. Serve each other, too, in a spirit of divine friendship.]

Whatever you do, and if at all possible, it should be in agreement and harmony with one another. If one of you WANTS to have a child(ren), then the other should seriously try to be a willing and active partner in fulfilling that desire. Sometimes that is not possible. In that event, wise counsel should be sought (in addition to prayer and inner guidance).

Blessings upon you both in whatever direction you decide,

Nayaswami Hriman