Episode # 547 – Selfless service towards our aged parents is very important – Sage Markandeya explains!!!

In the previous episode, we had witnessed Sage Maarkandeya’s accord on why Bhagawan Vishnu is being worshipped as Bhagawan Madhusudhana and the background story of how Bhagawan Vishnu destroyed the Madhu-Kaidavas. Subsequently, we’ve also commenced witnessing another important question that is being raised by Yudishtra to Sage Maarkandeya, and it is about two important aspects of “Dharma” – “Pathivratha Dharma” and the “Dharma” that all of us have towards our parents. Yudishtra asks a pertinent question here as to what are the benefits one would receive if he / she follows these two aspects of “Dharma” meticulously throughout their lives. This is going to invite a beautiful and a very detailed answer from Sage Maarkandeya and we’re going to witness this in today’s episode. 

Now as Yudishtra asks thus, Sage Markandeya commences his reply. He explains to Yudishtra thus, “Oh Yudishtra! You’ve asked a very important question. It is nowadays very rare to find people following these two aspects of “Dharma” in this world. However, let me first tell you something very important. What does a mother and a father do to their child in general? When it comes to a mother, a mother is always going to do whatever the child likes the most. However, when it comes to a father, a father is always going to do whatever is beneficial and good for the child. There is a slight difference here – For instance, if the child likes a particular food dish and when the child asks for it, the mother can’t hold herself back from preparing that dish. She is going to go to any extent to prepare that dish which the child is asking her. However, can the child take this same kind of liberty to its father? The father can be quite strict, as in many families, he would be the sole breadwinner. He will know what is good and what is bad for the child. Of course, not to discount, the mother also knows it very well, but when it comes to the implementation part, the father proves to be more strict with the child as compared to the mother. Thus, in the life of a child, both are important – The child should get what it likes, and at the same time, the child should not get over-pampered. For instance, if the child likes a sweet, the mother cannot keep making that sweet everyday for the child. It might cause a lot of problems. At the same time, just because discipline is important, the father cannot have the stick constantly in his hand to implement strictness. Thus, a blend of both is important for the overall personal growth of a child, isn’t it?”

Saying thus, Sage Maarkandeya continues further, “Oh Yudishtra! Thus we can see here how important are the roles of both the father and the mother towards the child. In return to this, what is the child expected to do as he grows up? Isn’t it his duty to take care of both of them when they get older? When this child was small, the parents took all the pains and efforts against so many odds to bring him up isn’t it? Now, when these parents are getting aged and when their mobility and physical health deteriorates with age, doesn’t the son possess the moral responsibility to take care of them in the best way possible? However, Oh Yudishtra! This “Dharma” is sadly deteriorating with time. Children are becoming more and more irresponsible and they discount their own parents for their personal joy and convenience!” 

We can see how pained Sage Maarkandeya is, when he narrates this accord. We should remember one thing – When Sage Maarkandeya is narrating this accord, this is happening during the “Dvaapara Yuga”. Now we’re in the Kali Yuga and we’re more than 5000 years into the Kali Yuga. Now we can imagine how the situation will be! If Sage Maarkandeya was getting pained at the situation during the “Dvaapara Yuga” itself, what would he say upon looking at what we’re doing today in the present “Kali Yuga”? It is indeed a sad state of affairs in many families today. The problem starts like this – As Sage Maarkandeya explained earlier, when the couple gets married, the girl’s parents start dominating a lot and they try all the tricks in the trade to separate the boy from his parents. The narrative that these girls’ parents are shamelessly giving is that their daughter wants to be in a “nuclear family” and she doesn’t like “extra baggage” to be with her! This is the starting point, and unfortunately in many cases, just because the marriage has to be protected, the husband has to start adjusting to whatever tunes the wife wants him to dance! Eventually, the husband ends up sacrificing his duties that he has to perform towards his parents, and in many cases, the couple goes to the extent of sending the aged parents to “old-age homes”! Such is the scenario in today’s “Kali Yuga” and of course, as Sage Maarkandeya rightly pointed out earlier, the situation is only worsening with days and years passing by! 

So for today, let us understand how important it is for all of us to respect and perform selfless service towards our parents when they get aged. At any cost, we should never compromise our parents for anything in life. Everything in life comes secondary – Including a marriage! According to me, it is even better to sacrifice a marriage, rather than sacrificing our own parents at a time when they need our services more. Service towards our aged parents is of paramount importance and we should never let go of them at any stage in our life. So let us realize this point very clearly and let us wait till the next episode to continue this discussion further! Stay tuned! 🙂 


Published by Dr. Jeayaram

Holds a PhD in Management Psychology from Universite Paris Saclay, Paris, France. Also an Asst. Professor of Human Resources management at Bharatidhasan Institute of Management (BIM) Trichy, India A professional South Indian classical musician (singer) performing concerts. Through this blog, I'm trying to bring out the richness of Indian culture & values and I request your support and feedbacks in making this humble effort a success!!

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