The Forum dedicated to Arunachala and Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi

General Category => General Discussion => Topic started by: Anand on September 07, 2011, 09:47:52 PM

Title: dealing with aged parents in an indian context
Post by: Anand on September 07, 2011, 09:47:52 PM
dear friends,
I have found that as our parents  get older and we ourselves are also atleast middle aged ,say in our forties ,our attitude towards our parents changes vis a vis say our spouse and kids.This may be a personal observation,I am not sure.
While we seem more receptive to our spouses's matters, we get irritated with our old parents' issues.Isnt this somewhat reflective of the great irony of our lives that we are sometimes shy away from those hands that once held us .
Sometimes this may be because we blame some of the problems in our lives on our parents sometimes justifiably so  ,sometimes irrationally .
So while we take care of our parents , if we do not treat them with love and give them attention , then I think it is meaningless.At the same time our spouse and children deserve our time.

So what is the right way to go about such matters.

Regards,
Anand.
Title: Re: dealing with aged parents in an indian context
Post by: Nagaraj on September 08, 2011, 10:30:59 AM
Dear Anand,

I feel proper discernment and understanding of the Truth would always keep oneself in peace. Who are we really related to? what is relation? We have the notions such as "my wife", "my children", "my parents", "my relatives", "my friend" and so on; But actually we still don't really know who this "my" really is? i.e. "who am I?" it boils down to this!

There is an interesting observation that I read in some purana. It says that we are like the logs of tree wood that is pulled away from the banks of a powerfully flowing river from the mountains and they travel together along with the currents of the river and then eventually get separated where the river changes to various different directions. Our relations, our family are just like these woods that meet at some point and travel for some time and then go on their own journey.

Another easy example is like the people we meet in a train! So many people come into the train from somewhere in order to travel somewhere and people get to know each other just during the journey and when each of their destination arrives, then they go along their own journey and we ours! Wife, children, parents, friends are all just like these passengers and they will get down when their station arrives and we will continue with our journey and they theirs!. It is the wrong identification with our bodies that is leading us to "attachment" which is the root cause that leads us to such differentiation such as my wife, my children, my parents, my friends. If we look very carefully, "my" is different "wife" is different; "my" is different "children" is different; "my" is different "parents" is different and so on - so there is separation here from "my" and "wife". It is the wrong notion or "avidya" that binds both together which is what is called "hrithaya Granthi" and we look and enquire and find who this "my" is, then parents disappear, children disappear, wife disappear and friends disappear as what remains is just the "my alone". Bhagavan Ramanr quotes from Upanishad:

Bidhyate hridaya Granthi Chidyanthe sarva samshayaah Sheeyanthe cha asya karmaani Tasmin Drishte Paravare

The knots of the heart get broken, All doubts vanish, all karmas lose their effect for a person who realizes the Atma-Brahman Aikyam or that I am Self or Brahman.”

We are all here with family due to our prarabdha karma, we should perform the ordained duties like the Lotus untouched by water even being in water. We should be like the Swan which is said to able be able to separate separate water and drink only milk if milk is said to be mixed with water.

As we get more clarity and complete understanding and discernment of this truth, then we would be able to handle our family ideally. We will have utmost clarity and we can give enough space to both parents, wife and children. Its only because we are under equipped or because we lack proper clarity that we are at times unable to handle the needs of parents, children and wife.

Its more so important that we first make ourselves stronger by Strong enquiry of Self. Sometimes in our day to day life, since we are in samsara, Self enquiry may be difficult. We may not have sufficient time or mind space to sincerely do a proper self enquiry. Hence rituals play an important role in our day to day life. Doing Nithya Karmas properly gives us the same result of doing Self Enquiry.

We should make ourselves stronger, then we can help people around us. If we are week then it becomes burdensome.

Salutations to Bhagavan
Title: Re: dealing with aged parents in an indian context
Post by: Nagaraj on September 08, 2011, 11:00:26 AM
Dear Anand,

I wanted to add a couple of more points on, you had mentioned -

While we seem more receptive to our spouses's matters, we get irritated with our old parents' issues.Isnt this somewhat reflective of the great irony of our lives that we are sometimes shy away from those hands that once held us .
Sometimes this may be because we blame some of the problems in our lives on our parents sometimes justifiably so  ,sometimes irrationally .

So while we take care of our parents , if we do not treat them with love and give them attention , then I think it is meaningless.At the same time our spouse and children deserve our time.

If we notice and enquire and observe within, is it not because of our selfish reasons that we are receptive to our spouses's matter or sometimes even Parents matter or sometimes even Children's matter? it could be because what our spouse says may be right and at times what our parents say might be wrong and by nature we lean to towards this basic discernment of what is right and wrong. But the right and wrong are different for each person. What seems right for us could be wrong for others and what is wrong for us could be right for others. Are these not our mind's play? we should be aware of this constantly and discern that the TRUTH is different from 'rights' and 'wrong' which are mind concepts. TRUTH is above rights and wrongs!

What all people want is compassion, love, feel of secure, be wanted, cared. The lack of these only create friction. If we are unable to give this to people then we also become part of the games played by mind and get caught in the 'rights' and 'wrongs'

We should always be focused in the bigger Truth always. That by itself will give people what they long for. And this TRUTH is common to one and all, it is the language of the Aatma or Soul. the Soul of a person who seems right and the soul of a person who seems wrong is one and the same. When we learn to see this Truth, this principle of Atma or oneness in everybody then we will have no reason to feel guilty for you are seeing the same TRUTH in everybody and you need not worry about taking your spouse's positions or your parents position or your children's or even your very own position too.

We should slowly practice to stop speaking the language of our minds and start speaking more the language of the Soul with each other

Salutations to Bhagavan
Title: Re: dealing with aged parents in an indian context
Post by: Subramanian.R on September 08, 2011, 01:36:47 PM


Dear Anand,

I am not going to answer you saying that all are the Self etc., On a
more mundane level, it is our paramount duty to take care of our
parents, and give them food, clothing and medical aid, to the extent
that we can afford and more than that show a lot of respect and love.
If there are more than one son for them, perhaps they would like to live
with each son by turns.
 
We have to remember that one day we shall also get old, and we expect
our sons and even daughters to take care of us. If that expectation has
to come true, we should do our duty now.  Unless one becomes a
Sannyasi, he has got all these duties.  Even after becoming an ativarnasramami,
Sri Bhagavan took care of His mother till Her death. In face, He did what we all
cannot do i.e conferred Her videha kaivalyam.



Arunachala Siva.    .   
Title: Re: dealing with aged parents in an indian context
Post by: amiatall on September 09, 2011, 01:22:35 AM
Good situation to practice. Make it simple. To whom does this irritation comes? And proceed doing what you must do i.e. help in any way. As you develop a 'non-reactive' attitude towards your 'reactions' to persons and things, they just start to drop and you are at peace.