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Topic Summary

Posted by: Johann
« on: June 16, 2019, 05:18:24 AM »

[Q&A] How should a Buddhist approach honoring parents who abused them?

Quote from: Nyom Sarah asked on BSE
As a Buddhist, we are called upon to honor our mother and father. However, how should this be applied in a situation where parents were abusive, neglectful, and harmful? When engaging the parents is often revictimizing? What are the obligations to parents in this situation? Is it their karma to be not honored because of their actions?

Venerable members of the Sangha,
walking in front Fellows in leading the holly life.

  _/\_  _/\_  _/\_

Venerable fellows,

In Respect of the Triple Gems, Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha, in Respect of the Elders of the community  _/\_ , my person to share a question and investigate it. Please, may all knowledgeable Venerables and Dhammika, out of compassion, correct my person, if something is not correct and fill also graps, if something is missing.

Valued Upasaka, Upasika, Aramika(inis),
dear Readers and Visitors,

 *sgift*

- Namo tassa bhagavato arahato sammā-sambuddhassa -

Householder Sarah, interested,

a giver (of possibilities, space, birth, material things...) has no obligations toward a receiver. One who has received, how ever has obligations toward the giver.

If someone gives or likes to give something one does not like, actually would harm, there is no need to accept such and to take on it. Once one personal takes on such harmful, one usually tries to give it back. So best simply not taking (personal) if been given something that is harmful.

So both, giver and receiver, have choices, choices to give, take and reject.

As parents have given a lot, not easy ever to repay, it's proper for ones release to look after the bodily and material needs. How ever, it's not possible to pay all back in this way and sometimes one also does not have the means. So if acting great, and skilled, having certain access to the parents in humble ways, the greatest gift a child can give their parents is to patiently turn not so good parents toward good, without being "parently" and know the position one is into.

Namo tassa bhagavato arahato sammā-sambuddhassa

    "Monks, I will teach you the level of a person of no integrity and the level of a person of integrity. Listen & pay close attention. I will speak."

    "As you say, lord," the monks responded.

    The Blessed One said, "Now what is the level of a person of no integrity? A person of no integrity is ungrateful & unthankful. This ingratitude, this lack of thankfulness, is advocated by rude people. It is entirely on the level of people of no integrity. A person of integrity is grateful & thankful. This gratitude, this thankfulness, is advocated by civil people. It is entirely on the level of people of integrity."

    {II,iv,2} "I tell you, monks, there are two people who are not easy to repay. Which two? Your mother & father. Even if you were to carry your mother on one shoulder & your father on the other shoulder for 100 years, and were to look after them by anointing, massaging, bathing, & rubbing their limbs, and they were to defecate & urinate right there [on your shoulders], you would not in that way pay or repay your parents. If you were to establish your mother & father in absolute sovereignty over this great earth, abounding in the seven treasures, you would not in that way pay or repay your parents. Why is that? Mother & father do much for their children. They care for them, they nourish them, they introduce them to this world. But anyone who rouses his unbelieving mother & father, settles & establishes them in conviction; rouses his unvirtuous mother & father, settles & establishes them in virtue; rouses his stingy mother & father, settles & establishes them in generosity; rouses his foolish mother & father, settles & establishes them in discernment: To this extent one pays & repays one's mother & father."


Aside: it's better to look at ones own duties, ones own actions, then to judge others and it's very unwise to develop ideas to justify not doing ones duties because of other ones former actions (kamma). Once duties are done there is release, release that is not violating and reached by skillful (kusala) means, meaning "right release".

Kamma (action) and vipaka (effect of it) is also not something that works linear, so situations present do not necessary have connection to near actions, not even related to particular people and their actions, but can be long time back, even lifetimes. So one will meet good parents with good children, good parents with bad children, bad parents with good children and bad parents with bad children, but where ever one is, child or parent, good or bad, good to go toward light out of the darkness: AN 4.85: Tamonata Sutta — Darkness (wealth here counts also in regard of ones merits, goodness)

The general duties of a child toward it parents are:

   

Namo tassa bhagavato arahato sammā-sambuddhassa

"In five ways, young householder, a child should minister to his parents as the East:

    (i) Having supported me I shall support them, (ii) I shall do their duties, (iii) I shall keep the family tradition, (iv) I shall make myself worthy of my inheritance, (v) furthermore I shall offer alms in honor of my departed relatives.


In regard of duties general: one has never any real duty to act for harm of other beings or for ones own harm (violating the precepts with ones actions). If such is claimed, one can without violating the Dhamma step back form ones contract in this regard.

Some good encouraging talks on gratitude and parents here also attached for ones food in growing:

  •     Parents: Two short Talks on Gratitude
  •     The Lessons of Gratitude
  •     The Right Angle: It’s Never Wrong
  •     Gratitude

    May you all ever dwell with Brahma and don't fall into low states rejecting the bases of right view.

       

    Namo tassa bhagavato arahato sammā-sambuddhassa

    "Mother and father are said to be Brahma and an earlier god, Children should revere them, for the compassion of the populace The wise should revere and care for them, giving eatables, drinks Clothes, beds, massaging, bathing and washing their feet The wise enjoy attending on their mother and father And later enjoy heavenly bliss."


    A young Upasaka isuru shared an enlightening approach

    Quote from: Upasaka Isuru Gunawardana

    No matter how hard the parents abused you, don't try to do anything against. Only thing you can do is wishing them good(maithree).

    Specially if you pay them the aarya (noble) maithree it will do the best for you and them. And I've seen many people have get the successful results out of this.

    How you do it

    Daily 20-30 mins (if you can do more then do) think this to your self (close your eyes as it helps to concentrate more). You and your parents may attain Nivana (enlightment). Wish this so deeply. Add what ever the necessary facts like things they do good for you and in return you are wishing them Nivana. As Nivana is the only place anyone can get the ultimate happiness. So basically you are wishing them happiness, no matter the way you get treated.

    And as mentioned by Buddha if anyone kill a parent its going to be very bad karma (anantarya papa) that can't get escape. When someone eat poison with or without knowing that it is poison he is going to suffer. Like that the nature is dangerous no matter we know it or not it behaves the way as it supposed to be. So only thing we can be happy about is Nivana. That's why wishing that (the best thing in this universe) to someone who treat you bad will return you good things.

    With Metta!

    Quote from: Johann
    Such would be the mindset of a real son, daughter, of the Buddha, Sakyan putta, after hearing the true Dhamma . Sadhu! Upasaka could add also the The Simile of the Saw to his answer, if wishing so.

    Anumodana punna kusala