Chakra Discussions

Importance of Serving Parents

by Gaurav Mittal

Posted October 6, 2003

Dear Chakra Editor,

In Iskcon, it is widely believed that Krishna does not want us to serve our parents. I have not even heard Iskcon devotees emphasizing on serving parents. I am enclosing a article from Ramayana about importance of serving parents and obeying their instructions.

Your servant,

Importance of Serving Parents

Valmiki Ramayana - Ayodhya Kanda Canto CXI

Vasistha, the family priest of Ram, addressed Rama with the following words in consonance with righteousness :- "The guru, O scion of Kakutstha, as well as one's father and mother, ever come to be the adored of a man from the time he is born in this world. The father only procreates (and the mother brings forth) a human being. The guru, on the other hand, bestows knowledge on him, hence he is spoken as superior even to parents. I for my part am the guru not only of your father but yours (Rama's) too. Therefore by obeying my instructions, you will not be transgressing the path of the virtuous. Here indeed are your subjects, kinsmen and tributary princes too. Discharging your duty by them, you will not be transgressing the path of the virtuous." Instructed thus in sweet words by his guru himself, Sri Rama, a jewel among men, replied to Vasistha :- "The service that the parents render to their son by giving him whatever they can, as well as by putting him to bed and rubbing his body with oil etc., nay, by speaking kindly to him every moment and (even) so by nourishing him, nay, whatever (good) is done by them cannot be easily requited. Indeed that which the celebrated King Dasaratha, my father, who brought me into being, has asked me to do shall not prove untrue."