Saturday, September 20, 2008

Gods in our homes

Question: (unedited)

I don't known if it's possible to throw some light into this matter. I would like to know, briefly if it's possible, the basic teaching/behaviour or concepts of people towards their parents, or old people in general. Of course, in a Buddhist perspective. All the best......

My comment:
The Buddha reminded us that there were gods (Brahmas) in our homes. We are supposed to pay great respect to them. These "gods" or Brahmas are our parents. Need we elaborate further?

As a good Buddhist, one is to practise compassion for all. It is most pertinent to pay more attention to members of our family. Respect of elders is deeply ingrained in Asian cultures.

However, with the changing trend of modern life-style, the family unit is under pressure and being challenged. People just cannot find enough time to care for one another. Everyone is so busy trying to make ends meet, trying to better one's standard of living, finding financial security to safeguard old age. In everyone's mind, the fear of being neglected by family members when one is old and useless, creates enormous pressure to seek financial independence.

In developed Western countries, this problem may not be so apparent as the social security and care for the aged are well organized and implimented. Taking care of our aged parents is not much of a problem if they are healthy. The big problem comes when they are frail and cannot take care of their personal hygiene. This will be a big test in our compassion and love for our parents. It will test our resilience and affect our financial position if we are not financially sound. And if brothers and sisters are not staying together, the big question of who is to take care of mum and dad.....????

How good a Buddhist will reflect on how much one can cope with the above scenario.


A true Malaysian said...


Gods in our homes, i.e. our parents. That is very true indeed. Just imagine, if our parents do not exist, where would we be? One can argue that, we may be the sons or daugthers of other parents. But I choose to believe that 'rebirth' with a purpose, i.e. one wish to be born as a son or daugther of a 'close' one in our previous life which may be very long long ago if base on human's time frame. This is just my believe and this may be wrong in Buddhism perspective.

To people of other religions, their 'God' is greater than their own parents, which I found it unbelievable.

Also, to some extent, for certain couples, they choose not to have children. Do you think such couples are 'selfish' ? Do they disrupt the process of 'rebirth'?

Selfish in the sense that, if their own parents had such believe, the couples choose not to have children may not be exist in this world at all. Agree?

Justin Choo said...

A True Malaysian,

"Selfish in the sense that, if their own parents had such believe, the couples choose not to have children may not be exist in this world at all."

They would have sought rebirths through other parents.

Those who choose not to have children may have good reasons. We don't know. Perhaps they could spend more time helping others. By the way, those having children may not be good and responsible parents.

It takes all sorts in this world!

A true Malaysian said...


You got the point here. I agree.

Being a parent carries a huge responsibility to be a good parent. I did not think of this point when I commented on the 'selfish' sense. I just love being a father, a good father. Just like what my father did to me.

Thanks for 'enlightened' me.

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