Tuesday, October 19, 2010

How to Treat Parents When They are Old

In India, the concept of old age homes is becoming relevant due to the emergence of more and more nuclear families. However, it is not considered a socially acceptable solution as such. The laws in India require well settled individuals to ensure and pay for the 'maintenance' of their aged parents and they can be sued to ensure this is implemented. The typical family set up in India is a very emotional one. For the same reason, you may find many young people suing their parents for partition of property but you will rarely find parents suing their kids for securing any monetary benefits. That is how it is and has always been in India.

As a follower of Sri Sathya Sai Baba, I want to share one of His most profound teachings. You don't have to be a believer to practice this teaching. His teachings are typically relevant to non-believers too irrespective of country, religion or financial background:

He says,

"You will find at home pictures of God, kept in a special place for worship. In every home, however, there are living gods, whom the sages ask you to serve and worship. They are your parents. They gave you life. You owe your health and happiness to them. They love you, they serve you, they give as much as they can and even more. Yes, they often take less food, so that you can have your fill. They try to save money through various means so that you can be at school, or live in a hostel, or attend a festival or go on a school tour...Let your mother be your God. Let your father be your God. That is the teaching. How else can you thank them? What else can you give in return other than your love and service? Be kind, be soft and be sweet to them. Do not be rude and raw. Try your best to make them happy, obey them, for they know much more than you, of the world and its dangers. That is the way to worship them."

12 comments:

chitra said...

Very true parents are Gods on earth who are visible to us. We must respect them, love them unconditionally, that is how they bring us up. The beautiful quote must be taught in each and every school.

SG said...

I agree with the whole post. We have to respect our parents. We have to take care of them in their old age. They gave love and affection. No doubt about it.

But I have a small difference of opinion on one point. They gave life. Yes. But did we ask them to give us life? I think being born is a sort of serendipity.

This is not a smart alec remark. Just wanted to state my opinion.

Sanand said...

@Chitra - I agree with you absolutely. This message has more relevance today because the attitude of children, once independent,is to cast off parents like unwanted garments, which is so unforgivable.

@SG - Interesting to read your opinion as varied perspectives are bound to emerge on this topic.

sm said...

what we give
will come back to us with interest.

....Petty Witter said...

For personal reasons that I don't want to dwell on here I can only agree with so much of your post. Very thought provoking though, I thank you for sharing your opinions.

Stranger said...

Very true...

I try my best to make my Mom happy since she is all I have now...

but I dont expect my kids to take care of me when I am old. they didnt ask me to bring them to world so it is my duty to take care of them as best as I could. I agree with SG on that... though to my parents and in-laws, I tried my best to make them happy...and still do..

Sanand said...

@sm - that is the law of karma and nature.

@Petty - thanks for your inputs.

@Stranger - thanks for sharing your thoughts too.

Kiran Bajaj Sawhney said...

Seeing your blog for the first time. Checked all your posts on the first page- About Kochi, helping your child with his HW, tumler etc. Interesting. Will keep coming again. I think I like it.

NRIGirl said...

Hi Sanand! You make a good point, we need to respect and love our parents as they age.

However I believe it goes beyond my imagination to call them "God".

~ NRIGirl

Sanand said...

@Kiran - I feel honored by your feedback and hope you will continue sharing your thoughts on this blog. Thanks for the encouragement.

@NRI Girl - Appreciate your inputs and thanks for commenting openly.

Here are my thoughts around the topic though I could be wrong. The best thing about being a parent is that one realizes imagination has no boundaries except when the barriers created by the mind set them. That is why children have wonderful imagination, to some extent. Their innocence and openesss enable them to do so, unlike in the world of adults where reason, motives and self interest usually come first because we have our priorities, whether it is in relationships or the work that we do. Sometimes we have permitted our past experiences or even life's circumstances to dictate our priorities, which may not always be the right thing and thereby, we ourselves create stumbling blocks to imagination. Somewhere down the lane, we lose the symbiotic ability to nourish the sources that nurtured and nourished us, perhaps it is the law of life or perhaps it is a reflection of what we have experienced in our self evolution towards growth. I guess it differs from person to person.

R. Ramesh said...

what a wonderful post..hey i must ask my daughters to read this too..haha waht say? btw, thanks buddy. U R sweet boss:)

Sanand said...

@RRamesh -thx,btw, i am sure that your daughters adore you and hang onto every word, coz that's the kind of personality you have. Thanks once again!