shinetrough wrote:Hello to everyone. I have a question, how do Buddhists view father-son relationship? Or parent-child in general? Does the father required to provide and take care of his child?
Although this is a "mahayana" buddhism forum, the answer is pretty much the same for all forms of buddhism.
The first questions, maybe a quote of a well known sutra is in order: "In five ways, young householder, a child should minister to his parents as the East:
(i) Having supported me I shall support them,
(ii) I shall do their duties,
(iii) I shall keep the family tradition,
(iv) I shall make myself worthy of my inheritance,
(v) furthermore I shall offer alms in honor of my departed
"In five ways, young householder, the parents thus ministered to as the East by their children, show their compassion:
(i) they restrain them from evil,
(ii) they encourage them to do good,
(iii) they train them for a profession,
(iv) they arrange a suitable marriage,
(v) at the proper time they hand over their inheritance to them.
"In these five ways do children minister to their parents as the East and the parents show their compassion to their children. Thus is the East covered by them and made safe and secure.
So yes, the parents are responsible to look after the children when the children are young, but the children are responsible for the welfare of the parents in their old age, too. The relationship works both ways.
Let's say a man who is an avid follower of Vajrayana Buddhism fathered a son outside of his marriage, he then explains that he can't be in this child's life because of his religious beliefs.
If the father was a practitioner of Vajrayana (or any form of) Buddhism when he "fathered a son outside of his marriage", then the father has transgressed one of the basics of Buddhist ethics, that against sexual misconduct. Such an explanation that he therefore cannot help that child is a load of nonsense. He has done the deed, which was bad enough in the first place, but to then neglect the child is just making more bad karma. Perhaps he doesn't want to admit that he made the mistake in the first place, so there may also be some covering up of the original transgression, which is also not good. Best to come clean, painful though it may be.
If the father had the child before he practiced Buddhism, well still not so good. He should also have the courage and compassion to look after his own child. If the parents don't look after children, who will?
Citing he cannot as against "religious beliefs" is just hypocrisy!
He says that he doesn't want to create an attachment to a child. Is he following the path of dharma or does he create the negative karma?
Could anyone comment on the issue, I'm lost.
Sounds like he is using certain Buddhist phrases like "no attachment" as an actual excuse to not be responsible. If he was really interested in non-attachment, he wouldn't be engaging in the actions that would lead to children in the first place. Now that he has done it, best to take responsibility for those actions.
If it is possible that the child can be well looked after, while the father practices the Dharma, and this is the real reason for the father's actions (rather than just an excuse), then some good may come of it. However, the father as a full time Dharma practitioner should also still be a spiritual father, and be able to guide the child on the path. (This is basically what Siddartha Gautama, the Buddha, did.) If one neglects the child's physical and mundane welfare, as well as spiritual welfare, then that is shirking responsibility.
Karmic results tend to be like their causes, though this is very general and so complex that it is impossible for regular people to predict at all. For instance, the actions of the father may mean that he will be neglected by his own children during this life, and may be without a father in future lives. Not the best way to start a happy life in this world as a child.