Faith

Duty of the parents

Alavandar, in his Stotra Ratnam, sees Nammazhvar’s feet as his mother, father, wife and children, said Valayapet Ramachariar, in a discourse. A mother plays the most important role in the life of a person. The Sastras, therefore, place the mother above everyone else. The father providing for and protecting the child comes next. Kalidasa, in his Raghuvamsa, says King Dileepa was like a father to all his subjects, because he taught them humility. It is a father’s duty to inculcate good values in his children. With Dileepa taking care of this, fathers in his kingdom did not have much of a role to play in bringing up their children. A young man is attracted to his wife, and reserves a special place for her in his heart.

Alavandar sees Nammazhvar’s feet as taking the place of a wife too. None can be dearer to an individual than his children. In his Devanayaka Panchasat, Vedanta Desika prays that his words must be listened to by Lord Devanatha, in the manner of a father listening joyfully to his child’s lisping. But Alavandar sees Nammazhvar’s feet as his children too. A man may have doting parents, a loveable wife, and adorable children, but can he enjoy any of this, in the absence of wealth? Alavandar says vibhuti (wealth) too is Nammazhvar’s feet. He says the Lord accepts the service of Nityasuris and of others happily. Rama was pleased both with Lakshmana’s service and with that of the monkeys. Having said all this, Alavandar finally says that Nammazhvar’s feet are ‘sarvam’ — everything, for him. Parents, wife and children all pertain to this world. When Alavandar says ‘sarvam’, after having spoken of all worldly relations, it shows, that to him, even moksha is Nammazhvar’s feet. He says it is so not only for him, but for everyone associated with him.


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Printable version | Oct 26, 2021 3:13:39 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/society/faith/duty-of-the-parents/article36392149.ece

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