Respect for parents

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths. What can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
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Respect for parents

Postby clw_uk » Sun Jan 25, 2009 12:54 am

Hi all,

Just wanted to get some advice from some fellow buddhists. The buddha stressed that one should have respect for ones parents but i feel this is something that challenges me quite often. You see i have a father who is, on most occasions, quite offensive and selfish. He is a victim of anger so regulary will verbally abuse me even when he has asked me to help him with something. He also tends to laugh at me following Lord Buddhas teachings, stating things like "the buddha didnt exsist" or laughing at notions of kamma etc saying how stupid and backward it is. Basically just making the buddhas dhamma sound small.

I dont tend to take to much offence most of the time and i do try to practice kindness and compassion but i find this difficult at times. Most difficult is when he makes fun of the buddha and the dhamma. I find it really hard to have respect for him when he does this.

Just wanted to hear your feedback on my dilema :smile:

Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken

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Re: Respect for parents

Postby Ben » Sun Jan 25, 2009 1:08 am

Hi Craig

There is no need to engage in discussions of religion or defend the Buddha and the Dhamma if you know the other person is just using the opportunity to bait you. When dealing with your father, remember your paramitas and try and develop patience, loving kindness, tolerance, equanimity. Let your actions speak for you. ... tions.html

Kind regards

“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

(Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • •

e: [email protected]..


Re: Respect for parents

Postby Element » Sun Jan 25, 2009 1:23 am

My parents have what I regard as unwholesome qualities. From a young age I perceived these unwholesome qualities and vowed not to be like them.

As a result of this, my relationship with my parents was not strong. When I went to Asia to practise Dhamma for some years, in that mediation space of mind, it was as though they never existed nor needed to exist. I thought I had Dhamma in that meditation mind.

However, one day, due to certain circumstances, I saw their wholesome qualities, what they had contributed positively to my life and developed gratitude.
What I considered to be 'Dhamma vision' suddenly changed very profoundly. I must reiterate, profoundly.

When I see my parents now, I still see the same unwholesome qualities but those qualities have ceased to form the basis of my relationship or view of them.

Try to see your father's good qualities. Try to see what good things he did for your life.

Buddha said about wrong view: "There is no gift, there is no offering, there is no sacrifice. There is no mother and no father (no benefactors)".

Buddha said about right view: "There is gift, there is offering, there is sacrifice. There is mother and father (benefactors)".

With metta


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Re: Respect for parents

Postby jcsuperstar » Sun Jan 25, 2009 1:32 am

i had (still have with my father) problem with my parents. one day i was sitting in my room however and it dawned on me i had a choice. i can have a grudge or i can have a mother. i chose the mother. this means bitting my tounge at times, but we have to do this in most public forums anyways. just dont bring up topics that you know will start fights or bring critisism. and just shrug it off when they start, find a way to go to the bathroom or change the topic, leave whatever.
สัพเพ สัตตา สุขีตา โหนตุ

the mountain may be heavy in and of itself, but if you're not trying to carry it it's not heavy to you- Ajaan Suwat

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Re: Respect for parents

Postby dhammatrophic » Sun Jan 25, 2009 1:58 am

1. turning, changing, or reacting in a particular way
2. attracted to, having an affinity for, or moving toward a particular thing
3. acting on something specified, or in a particular way
4. relating to a specified kind of nutrition.

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Re: Respect for parents

Postby Cittasanto » Sun Jan 25, 2009 9:41 am

He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.

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Re: Respect for parents

Postby bodom » Sun Jan 25, 2009 1:57 pm

To study is to know the texts,
To practice is to know your defilements,
To attain the goal is to know and let go.

- Ajahn Lee Dhammadharo

With mindfulness immersed in the body
well established, restrained
with regard to the six media of contact,
always centered, the monk
can know Unbinding for himself.

- Ud 3.5

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Re: Respect for parents

Postby Will » Sun Jan 25, 2009 2:49 pm

A bodhisattva does not become weary of evil beings nor does he commit the error of bringing forth thoughts inclined to reject them and cast them aside. Avatamsaka Sutra, ch. 25

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Re: Respect for parents

Postby clw_uk » Sun Jan 25, 2009 8:56 pm

Thank you all for your replies i really appreciate it :smile: You have all been very helpful i think i now know how to approach these situations better

Craig :namaste:
Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken

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Re: Respect for parents

Postby Justin » Fri Jan 30, 2009 12:02 pm

Here's a sutta passage that echoes issue that you are facing, and the Buddha's advice:

"Monks, if anyone should speak in disparagement of me, of the Dhamma, or of the Sangha, you should not be angry, resentful or upset on that account. If you were to be angry or displeased at such disparagement, that would only be a hindrance to you. For if others disparage me, the Dhamma or the Sangha, and you were angry or displeased, can you recognize whether what they say is right or not?"

"No, Lord."

"If others disparage me, the Dhamma, or the Sangha, then you must explain what is incorrect as being incorrect, saying: 'That is incorrect, that is false, that is not our way, that is not found among us.'

"But, monks, if others should speak in praise of me, of the Dhamma or of the Sangha, you should not on that account be pleased, happy or elated. If you were to be pleased, happy or elated at such praise, that would be a hindrance to you. If others praise me, the Dhamma or the Sangha, you should acknowledge that truth of what is true, saying: 'That is correct, that is right, that is our way, that is found among us.'"

(DN 1:1.5)

Even if your father never acknowledges it, your patience and charity towards him under trying circumstances is bound to come to his attention sooner or later. Think of it as planting a kammic seed for his welfare. Strive on with dilligence! :smile:

With metta,
Cultivate generosity, the life of peace,
and a mind of boundless love.

Itivuttuka 16

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Re: Respect for parents

Postby Annapurna » Fri Jan 30, 2009 1:16 pm

AN 2.31-32

Kataññu Suttas

Translated from the Pali by
Thanissaro Bhikkhu

"Monks, I will teach you the level of a person of no integrity and the level of a person of integrity. Listen & pay close attention. I will speak."

"As you say, lord," the monks responded.

The Blessed One said: "Now what is the level of a person of no integrity? A person of no integrity is ungrateful, doesn't acknowledge the help given to him. This ingratitude, this lack of acknowledgment is second nature among rude people. It is entirely on the level of a person of no integrity.

"A person of integrity is grateful & acknowledges the help given to him. This gratitude, this acknowledgment is second nature among fine people. It is entirely on the level of a person of integrity.

{II,iv,2} "I tell you, monks, there are two people who are not easy to repay. Which two? Your mother & father. Even if you were to carry your mother on one shoulder & your father on the other shoulder for 100 years, and were to look after them by anointing, massaging, bathing, & rubbing their limbs, and they were to defecate & urinate right there [on your shoulders], you would not in that way pay or repay your parents. If you were to establish your mother & father in absolute sovereignty over this great earth, abounding in the seven treasures, you would not in that way pay or repay your parents. Why is that? Mother & father do much for their children. They care for them, they nourish them, they introduce them to this world. But anyone who rouses his unbelieving mother & father, settles & establishes them in conviction; rouses his unvirtuous mother & father, settles & establishes them in virtue; rouses his stingy mother & father, settles & establishes them in generosity; rouses his foolish mother & father, settles & establishes them in discernment: To this extent one pays & repays one's mother & father."

Another good one is this: ... eznbj.html

My peersoal comment:

My parents are both dead.

My father passed away unxepectedly when I was 25. I screamed and cried when I got the bad news in university. Too late to pay him back all the kindness he gave me, too late to even say "Thank you".

It can be too late anyday.

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Re: Respect for parents

Postby clw_uk » Fri Jan 30, 2009 4:00 pm

Thank you all so much for your posts you have been most kind and helpful :smile:

Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken

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Re: Respect for parents

Postby minthukyaw » Mon Mar 28, 2011 4:19 am

Hi all,
just wanna share a link that

if you 're interested to read and listen about Buddha 's sermon for Theravada Buddhism.
I m a native Buddhism .but not native speaker in English , it is so difficult to advice and explain Buddha 's sermon in English .

I see clw_uk 's situation . Like ben said , the best way is to develop patience . To do so , we need to be strong mentally . I have been trying that way since I learn Buddha ' sermon . It is so difficult .

In my opinion, western people are materialism . if you tell about Buddha , they could not believe .

Above the link that I shared , They all are brilliant monks and able to speak and explain Buddha 's sermon in English .

I recommend Monks U Nyanissara (D.Litt) ... nglish.htm

Thanks Google for found this forum .

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Re: Respect for parents

Postby Jhana4 » Mon Mar 28, 2011 12:55 pm

I had problems understanding the worth of the Buddha's teachings for gratitude of one's parents.

I've had life long problems with my parents.

People often say that they don't fully appreciate what their parents have done for them until they support themselves, buy their own homes, pay for a degree themselves or have children of their own.

I am not sure how that helps meditation or detachment, but I think it is the mark of a more expansive mind to have an appreciation for where things come from and what it took to get what one has received.

Outside of extreme situations, there is always someone who has had worse parents than you. The things your parents did right made a huge contribution you and the happiness in your life, happiness you might never have had a chance at having if it wasn't for them.

There is also having the sense of the hard work your parents put in providing for you. Then there is the other things they gave up in their life. Ask any parent, raising children is time consuming and there are pursuits in life you just have to give up. Even finding better, but less stable jobs. Then there is the stress of being responsible for another human beings needs.

I still have problems with my father and I still struggle in managing my emotions in dealing with him. However, I think working to have an appreciation for the things I mentioned has made me a more mature person. When the time comes for us to part I am also hoping to be able to take solace in the fact that I at least tried.

I've seen too many devastated because their parents died while they were estranged from them or that their last conversation with their parents was a negative one.
In reading the scriptures, there are two kinds of mistakes:
One mistake is to cling to the literal text and miss the inner principles.
The second mistake is to recognize the principles but not apply them to your own mind, so that you waste time and just make them into causes of entanglement.

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