Every person must adhere to dharma. There are many Sastraic prescriptions, but we may wonder how we can follow all of them. We can and must at least try to follow a few, said Ilampirai Manimaran, in a discourse. A story is told of a sage, whose garment was ruined by a bird’s droppings. The sage burnt the bird simply by looking at it. He then went to a house to ask for some food. The lady of the house said she was busy serving food to her husband and that the sage would have to wait. This angered the sage. The woman then said to the sage, “Did you think you could burn me as you burnt the bird?” The sage was astounded. How did the woman know of what had happened in the forest? She said that she had only one dharma, which was to take good care of her husband. But she said if the sage wanted an answer to his question, he should approach her guru. As it happened, her guru was a meat seller, called Dharmavyadha! And Dharmvyadha asked the sage if the woman had sent him to her. Again the sage was taken aback. He had told Dharmavyadha nothing. How did Dharmavyadha know of the sage’s visit to the woman’s house, and what had happened there? Dharmavyadha replied that he adhered to dharma and that therefore he had knowledge of things he had not been witness to. And he said that the dharma he adhered to was the care of his aged parents. We may not be able to do all that is required of us. But surely each of us can adhere to at least a few of the Sastraic prescriptions.
Caring for the elders in the family, whether they are parents or grandparents , is an act of great merit, and service to others is emphasised in sacred literature.