Parents Worship Day – How different is it from Mothers or Fathers Day
‘Parents’ is the first relationship that a child gets to know after its birth. A helpless child grows with the help of parents and learns things, gets educated and married and later on becomes ignorant towards parents. The parents have enough patience to tell their child repetitively about a bird, an animal or solving buzzes or questionnaire, without getting tired; but when this child grows up , gets settled in the life, hardly any ear is lent to what the parents ask and the child (now grown up) gets irritated after being asked something even twice. Parents can look after their n-number of children easily, but this ‘n’ number of children can hardly take care of their parents in old age. Old people often have limited regenerative abilities and are more likely to suffer from diseases, syndromes and sickness than younger adults. The elderly also face other social issues such as retirement, loneliness and ageism.
Old-age homes are meant for senior citizens who are unable to stay with their families or are destitute. A few states in India such as Delhi, Kerala, Maharashtra and West Bengal have developed good quality old-age homes. These old-age homes have special medical facilities such as mobile health care systems, ambulances, nurses and provision of well-balanced meals for senior citizens. There are more than a thousand old-age homes in India. Most of them offer free accommodation. Some old-age homes work on a payment basis depending on the type and quality of services offered. Apart from food, shelter and medical amenities, old-age homes also provide yoga classes to senior citizens. Old-age homes also provide access to telephones and other forms of communication so that residents may keep in touch with their loved ones. Some old-age homes have day-care centers. These centers only take care of senior citizens during the day.
For older people who have nowhere to go and no one to support them, old-age homes provide a safe haven. These homes also create a family like atmosphere among the residents. Senior citizens experience a sense of security and friendship when they share their joys and sorrows with each other. Refer link for the list of a few old-age homes in India.
But is it the appropriate remedy for parents, who spend their lives settling their children well in their lives, when deserted by such well settled children? Do these old-age shelter homes depict our nation’s progress? Certainly not! Once, when requested to come to inaugurate a new shelter for senior citizens, Gandhi Ji denied and said that he wanted his nation to be free of such shelters; and hence the well mannered and well cultured children should be fulfilling their duties to serve their parents as the requirement of the nation. But these moral values are lacking in the children and youngsters these days.
To quote a famous instance, once an old person wished to go for pilgrimage but his children were not willing to spend even a single penny for this purpose. He was kept in a messy room with broken utensils etc. His friend suggested him to get over the situation. So he applied the trick and went for pilgrimage and spent money according to his interest. How did he get this money? He made up a story that he had a box full of gold & expensive ornaments and if not given money; he would spend all the money kept in the box. So his greedy children started serving him properly when they saw a locked box with him, which was actually full of useless stones, and the mystery resolved after his death. This story serves as a good example of the pitiable plight of parents in old age.
Parents can give emotional, financial and social security to children, but when it is the turn of children, they hardly have time to take care of their parents; and this is what led Sant Shri Asharam Bapuji (hereinafter Bapuji) think about evolving a day as specially meant to worship parents. There may be Mother’s day and Father’s day, but these days are beneficial for the gift galleries only. After giving a gift once a year to the parents, the duty of children is supposedly fulfilled, but Parent’s Worship Day is the day that conveys the importance of one’s parents in his/her life. Lord Ganpati became adorable by circumambulating 7 times around his parents instead of circumambulating the whole earth as done by his brother – Kartikeya. This made Lord Ganpati first worship-able (amongst all deities in Hindu mythology) in any Hindu ritual.
Shravan Kumar’s story is undoubtedly an unforgettable one that we learnt in our childhood. Lord Rama is another example of a son fulfilling his duties towards his parents, which no one can do in this world – just to keep one’s father’s promise. Bhakta Pundalik is another vital example in our mythological stories that made Lord Vishnu keep waiting for him as he was busy serving his parents while Lord Vishnu appeared before him. Keeping his father’s promise to keep life-long celibacy (‘Brahmacharya’) made Devavrat well known as Bhishma Pitamah.
Bapuji, by telling all these stories of mythological significance, always nurtured children and the youth to serve their parents. If this purpose in resolved without conflict in a family then society and the government will have to face lesser problems in securing the senior citizens as well as ensuring the safety of youngsters who are likely to fall in affairs and in illicit activities of committing offences of molestation, rape, kidnap and abduction for money, addictions like smoking & drinking and the diseases accruing wherefrom like AIDS etc. The panacea is to nurture children by moral values, thus ensuring the safety bond amongst parents and children, thus the whole system of society.
Chhattisgarh is the state of India which celebrates Parents’ Worship Day on every 14th February, which is generally celebrated as Valentine’s Day almost all over the world.
We need to understand that becoming modern by destitution of parents is no longer modernity and realize the importance of celebration of days like Parents’ Worship Day. The country’s judiciary, administration and media also need to understand that the saint who made herculean efforts to do so is very innocent and can never commit an offence of rape (as alleged by a supposedly ‘minor’ girl), when his utmost motive is to keep nurturing children with moral values. The fact is that he hadn’t even allowed the alleged rape victim girl and her mother to stay in the ashram for Anushthan and it was to be performed only by her father. We need to understand the facts of the tales concocted by people with vested interests and motivate children & youngsters to celebrate the Parents’ Worship Day to show their regard and concern for their parents.