Currently the management of the ashram/Resort impose quite strict rule about children, (I am told.) . Children below 12 can only enter at lunch times for an hour. This doesn’t seem to me to be altogether a bad thing!
It has set me thinking about my own experience as a teacher in Medina in the eighties, and someone who some children found a way to in Pune one.
Many today, for example Arun, in his latest book, basically condemn this rule, but I think he is not thinking deeply enough.
The children in Pune one, and who were in the communes like Medina were not universally happy, though he and others claim this. They were not happy because many of them needed some boundaries, but were not given them. They were not universally loved, and some treated poorly by their parents.
A recent German movie called Summer in Orange, partly tells the story of one particular sannyasin daughter who definitely does not get an easy ride in a sannyas commune at the time, circa, 1980, and frankly it has the ring of truth. It is worth a watch.
Children in the Poona One ashram
On the Ranch for example children were often completely ignored, and spent their waking hours just walking around, some of them quite lonely. (though not all).
Hence I would say this is a more complicated sort of discussion than people like Arun might entertain.
The sons and daughters of early sannyasins do not universally praise the treatment they received. Many blame their parents for not being clearer, in the intense struggle many experienced between trying to show care for their children, and putting their care for their own growth ahead of that.
I am told by Sufi friends that often the rule within Sufi communities of old was no children, as it was felt this defocused those who wanted to go beyond the smaller self.
Any which way I wanted to discuss this, as it seems to me that sometimes the children of early sannyains had a rough time, and not some idealised account, such as the Aruns of this world, now propagate.