Friday, June 4, 2010

Filial Love

There is no love more pure and holy than the love to a father. The parent's

word is as the word of a God to the dutiful child, and obedience to parents

is taught in all the sacred books. Many are the stories that tell us how the

heroes of old gave loving obedience to father and mother. The story of the

flower shows how a man became great in wisdom and goodness, by loving service

to his father and mother.

There was once a Brahmana named Kanishka, and although he had studied the vedas and performed many rites, yet he did not know what virtue really was. He was told that if he went to the city of Mithila he would find there a fowler who would tell him what was the highest virtue. He went to the city and saw its splendid palaces and rich men. It had good roads, and shops, and elephants, and cars, and many other things, and it was ruled over by King Janaka. Kanishka asked where the virtuous fowler was, and was told by some Brahmana where he was to be found. At last he found the fowler selling venison and buffalo meat in the bazzar, and as there were many people round him the Brahmana stood at a distance.

Then the fowler, knowing at once that the Brahmana had come to see him, went to Kanishka and said: "O holy one, I know why thou hast come; this is no fit place for thee, come with me to my house."

The Brahmana was surprised that he was known to the fowler and gladly went with him to his house. There the fowler gave him a comfortable seat, and water to wash his face and feet. And the Brahmana asked the fowler why he was engaged in such a trade, for it did not seem right him to be selling meat. Then the fowler said: "This trade is that of my family and my fathers. These are the duties belonging to me by my birth. I carefully serve my superiors and all those who are old, I speak the truth and never envy others. I never eat meat myself. It is because of my evil karma that I was born to this, and it is a sin to forsake one's natural duty." Then the fowler talked to the

Brahmana a great deal about virtue and said: "If thou wishest to see with thine own eyes the virtue I claim, and how I have reached this happy state, come with me into this inner apartment." The fowler then took the Brahmana into a beautiful part of the house, where there were lovely rooms, and comfortable seats and flowers and perfumes. There were his parents clad in white robes, and seated at ease. The fowler on seeing them saluted them and touched their feet with his head. And his parents blessed him saying: "As Rama the son of Jamadagni laboured to please his aged parents, so hast thou,O son, done to please us and even more."

Then the fowler presented the Brahmana to them, they received him with salutation, and he asked them if they were well. "These are my parents, O illustrious one," said the fowler, "these are the Gods that I worship; whatever is due unto the Gods that I give unto these. I seek to please them always with offerings of fruit and flowers and gems; they are to me as the three sacred fires, as sacrifice and the Vedas. All I have is for their service. I wash their feet. I give them food, they are as my highest guru. It is by this virtue that I have gained my spiritual knowledge, this is the meaning of religion, which you were told you would learn from me, the fowler of Mithila. Return to thy father and mother; they are aged, and they have almost become blind with sorrow for thy loss. It is not well that thou shouldst have left them. Do thou with-out delay return and console they parents; be quick and diligent in honouring thy father and mother, for there is no virtue higher than this, it is the eternal and unchanging duty of all householders." The Brahmana then said farewell to the fowler, thanking him for all that he had said. He went home, and from that time diligently and carefully served his old father and mother.

"Little by little," said a thoughtful boy

"Moment by moment I"ll well employ,

Learning a little every day

And not spending all my time in play.

And still this rule in my mind shall dwell,

Whatever I do, I will do it well.

Little by little, I'll learn to know

The treasured wisdom of long ago:

And one of these days perhaps will see

That the world will be the better for me."

Now, do you not think that this simple plan

Made him a wise and useful man?

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