Pitripaksha & Parents / Children Relationship : Then & Now

2As per HINDU tradition, every year in the month of AASHWIN, we remember our forefathers and offer water for their contentment and as a token of our gratitude. As I sat in the morning for my daily prayers during this PITRIPAKSHA ( Fortnight of Forefathers ) I go through the following shlokas and recite them. I have gone through these shlokas hundreds of times and know the meanings also but today these shlokas give totally new meanings and a different connotations to me. These shlokas are :

Devarshi pitri manavaah
Tripyantu pitarah sarve, matrimaataamahodayah.

Ateetkulkotinam, Saptadweepnivasinam,
Didamastu tilodakam.

Ye bandhava, abandhava va ye,
Ye anyajanmanibandhava
Te serve tripti mayantu,
Maya datten vaarina.

[ From the mighty Bhagawan Brahma to the tiny insects, from the immortal Gods to the mortal human beings; from my paternal to my maternal forefathers, everyone should get this water and be contented.

All my forefathers, who were born in the family, millions of years ago, and who are living anywhere in seven continents across seven seas and those who still live anywhere in the universe; they all should get this water mixed with TIL and be contented.

Those who are not our brothers, those who are born as our brothers and those who were my brothers in my past and previous lives; they all should get this water given by me and be contented. ]

I used to get goose bumps, whenever I read these shlokas. I always wondered, how could a civilization, which is as old as humanity itself, be so humane and universal in approach. What were the thoughts of the great Rishis, when they wrote above mentioned shlokas? What was there in their minds, when they conceived these rituals? They were praying for friends and foes alike. A civilization which is considerate to even enemies, will surely have greatest of regards for their parents. Stories of SHRAVAN KUMAR and MARYADA PURUSHOTTAM RAM are there in the minds of every Hindu.

But few stories, which appeared in the news papers recently, are very disturbing. These stories tell us about the thinking and behaviour of youngsters. These stories tell us about the psyche of the new generation. These stories portray the fast changing colors of Brave??  and New??  India.

Two months back, there was a story of two young boys of Patna, Bihar, in the Times Of India. These jobless youngsters were trying for job and were getting restless because they were unable to get it. Finally they decided to kill their fathers, so that they can get the jobs of their fathers on the basis of compassion. They even paid advance money to the local mafia to accomplish their goals. Can you imagine this is happening in India, land of SHRAVAN KUMAR. As per mythology and folklore SHRAVAN KUMAR carried their blind parents on his shoulders and helped them to visit all the pilgrimage centers of India, though they were unable to see anything. Now compare this story of yore with the present day story of Patna, Bihar.

This is not all. There are disturbing stories from every part of the country. I will narrate some of them here. In Kolkata, Mr. Samar Moulik and his wife Mrs. Bharati Moulik want to end their lives. Mr. Moulik retired from BHEL and instead of monthly pension, opted for one-time lump-sum payments. He invested half the amount in mutual funds. Later on he got to know that he was cheated. Unable to pay the rent, he moved to his ancestral home in Baguihati. After 15 days they were driven out of the house by their elder son Soumen, who stays there. Mr. Moulik’s second son, Shankar, a microbiologist, lives in South Africa. He is simply not interested and is unwilling to look after his parents. Their daughter, who is married and settled in Lucknow, U. P. is also not willing to accept them. I must submit here that she is not morally or legally bound to do this. The couple are now living with Mr. Moulik’s ex-colleague, and they have sent a letter to the officer in charge of Baguihati Police Station, seeking permission to end their lives.

In Mumbai, Savitri Sawant, an 85-year-old woman, has been thrown out of her house by her son and daughter-in-law. They both are police constables and both are earning but they are not willing to look after their elderly and helpless mother. The bone of contention is a flat worth Rs.18 Lakh, which is in Savitri’s name. Son wants his mother to transfer the flat in his name. When mother refused to acquiesce to his wishes, he forcibly drew her out of the house. It is another story that police is not even taking cognizance of her complaint.

In Dadar, Mumbai a 72 year old elderly lady Chandraprabha Manjarekar is so bitter with her only son that she does not want him to be informed after her death. The son wanted her to take Rs.10 Lakh and vacate the flat and go away. When she refused, he left the flat along with his wife, leaving her alone in the flat. She is now fighting for the survival without any income.

Ashwin Desai, 61, a resident of Kandivali, is a paraplegic and confined to his bed for the past 35 years. He has 92-year-old mother to take care off. He is abandoned by his near ones.

Jairaj Dattani, a 75-year-old lonely person jumped to his death and left a suicide note that he is tired of his illness and loneliness. It is pertinent that the note found in his pocket was addressed to the police inspector of the area and not his family members.

These stories are heart-wrenching. In the land of SHRAVAN KUMAR and MARYADA PURUSHOTTAM RAM, the younger generation is behaving in strange manner. Is looking after your parents so difficult? Insecure, infirm, sick and defenseless elderly parents want nothing but care and company of their kids. They just need some medicines and two frugal meals a day. Is it so difficult to provide them this? A mother happily and willingly carries her children in her womb for 9 months. And after the birth also, she takes care of every needs of them till they become self-sufficient. A father sacrifices his whole life for  his kids. And the children, when they start their own life, simply forget all these things. They start ignoring their parents. A religion, which is so compassionate towards their deceased forefathers, cannot teach callousness to its followers. Offering prayers during PITRIPAKSHA is not difficult. I am posting two recent photos of mine to illustrate my points.DSC00556DSC00573These photos were clicked today. Photo no . one is the photo of mine on the last day ( 15th ) day of PITRIPAKSHA, and the second one is clicked after the  shraddha is over. Is growing beard and shaving it off so difficult? Is giving two frugal meals to their helpless, feeble, infirm and incapacitated parents very difficult? Today people keep dogs as pets. They take care of their dogs. They buy costly and imported canine foods. They take their dogs to canine beauty parlours. They purchase costly dresses for their dogs. But when it comes to their parents, their love vanishes. They become insensitive, they don’t have money. Are parents inferior to even dogs?

I don’t want to give sermons to the world. I am not  saying  that all the youngsters are bad but it is true that relationships are changing in India. I started this blog at the beginning of PITRIPAKSHA, and I am posting it at the last day of PITRIPAKSHA. Throughout this period I was thinking about this issue. My parents are dead. I don’t claim that I was an ideal son but I can state with all humility that I was definitely not a bad son. I was an okay son.




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