In the previous episode we had witnessed Vidura’s important words of caution wherein he explains that we should be extremely careful in evaluating those people whom we should seek help from. This is like a double-edged sword – One one hand we should realize that people in this world (a vast majority of them atleast) are opportunistic in some form or the other. At the bare minimum level, they would expect something in return for the help they do for us. This return might even be a courtesy gesture. Very few people in this world would offer us help in an unconditional manner. Hence given this fact, we should be prepared to offer a reciprocal help to those people who help us today.
On the other hand, there might be few people who would try to take an advantage out of this. These crooked people might take our inability and weakness and would demand some unrealistic and/or unethical favors from us at a later stage. If we’re unable to give in to their demands at that stage, they might even start blackmailing us with regards to the help that they offered to us previously. At this point we would have no other option but to give in to their unrealistic/unethical demands. This is exactly what Vidura indirectly explains here – He says that if we’re receiving help from someone, we should prepare our mind to reciprocate them at a later instance of time. However, before we go for help to someone, it is always better and wise that we evaluate that person in detail for his nature and character. This is just to avoid some unpleasant experiences with that person in future.
Now moving on further, Vidura explains the next point. Here he talks about the important duties of a parent. He says thus:
Uthpaadhya puthraan arnaamcha kruthvaa!
Vrithhincha thebhyaha anuvidhaaya kaanchith!!
Sthaane kumaarihi prathipaadhya sarvaaha!
Aranya samsthobhi munirbhubhoosheth!!
Here Vidura explains that if we’re a father of a boy, it is our parental duty to provide him good education and a good standard of living so that he would be able to lead an independent life of his own, along with his wife and family. If we’re a father of a girl. It is our important parental duty to marry the girl to a good boy when she attains the age of marriage. This is of prime importance of being a parent.
Of course if we compare Vidura’s explanation that was 5000 years ago with our present day lifestyle, there might be a minuscule change that may be warranted to this sloka. In those days, the main parental duty in the case of a girl child is to get her married as quickly as possible. Things however have changed today. Nowadays we talk about lot about gender equality and woman empowerment 🙂 Hence women are given equal importance in everything and everywhere in this world. Thus nowadays it is becoming very important for modern-day parents to give good and high quality education to girl children too and thus this sloka warrants a small change. Having said that thus, the important duty of the parent to find the suitable groom for the girl still remains. There is no change in that. Thus as parents we should never compromise our duties towards our children.
More than the education and marriage part, there is a more significant duty for us as parents. Along with the modern day mainstream education, we should also inculcate our rich cultural and value systems into our children. We should make a meticulous effort to teach them the various aspects of Dharma and habituate them into following the Dharma meticulously in their every day routine life. The younger generation should be nurtured and developed in the righteous way so that they would be able to appreciate and follow the value systems of our Sanaathana Dharma in future.
Having said that, I do understand that this is not going to be an easy task for us in today’s world, given innumerable channels of exposure our children are prone to. It is becoming increasingly difficult for parents to make children understand our traditions and cultural values, given the broader and deeper penetration of “westernization” in almost everything that we do today. It should be noted here that I’m not against westernization, however, what I’m stressing here is that, we shouldn’t compromise on our traditional value system to adopt something new. We can very well follow both at tandem in whatever we do. By this, we would be able to differentiate ourselves from others in the world.
Many of our readers might wonder the reason behind my deep emphasis on this point. This is primarily because in today’s changing lifestyle, we’ve almost forgotten our basic value system and Dharma in our routine life. Of course many of us today work in several western countries and we’ve slowly adapted to their culture and their way of living. But we should remember one basic element – It should be clearly understood that companies in the western countries employ huge numbers of Indians only because of the fact that we are an intelligent lot of people and perhaps the best intelligent lot in the entire world. Now how did we Indians get this intelligence, which might be lesser or absent in many other people from other parts of the world? Isn’t it only because of the meticulous implementation of our rich cultural and value system? Isn’t it only because of the fact that our forefathers and people of our previous generations have meticulously followed their Dharma in life? We should deeply ponder over this point and this would make us realize that if we still keep running this way for the next 100 odd years, this rich intelligence that we had obtained through various generations, would start diminishing and eventually vanish out of us!
Hence there is a dire need for all of us to change back to our Sanaathana Dharma and appreciate its significance. Of course I’m not saying that we should dump the western culture completely. We can take so many positives from their culture and I’m never against that. However, what I’m saying is that we should make it a point not to compromise on our “Sanaathana Dharma” and go searching something good from the west. Thus the message here is that we should know our duties as a parent towards our children and should be able to inculcate the “Dharma” of our Bhaarata Desha into the young minds, so that this can serve as an “eye-opener” for them in future. Apart from providing education and getting them married, we as parents should focus on this particular point with dedication.
So for today let us think and ponder upon this important point. We shall wait till the next episode to witness Vidura’s next point of explanation. Stay tuned! 🙂