118 – A tribute to fathers

I have always read about maternal love, not so much is mentioned about the paternal love. Many fairy tales have an evil father. After the death of the mother the step mother is unkind to the children and the father does not interfere. In our spiritual literature we have numerous instances of fathers who abandon their wives, in order to have a male child. Growing up my judgement was coloured by these stories.

However, things have changed and we are now addressing these issues. Boys while growing up are expected to be strong, and not cry. In many cultures they are taught that they must take care of their family and support their parents in their old age. Also they are expected to pay for the dowry of their sisters. I remember when my friend and I were going on a pilgrimage to Tirupati, we were climbing the seven hills to reach the shrine. Along the way there were many pilgrims like us. Since we were modern young women, we talked to everyone.

About marriage in my younger age

There were two young men walking along with us. We started speaking about marriage and both of us stated that taking and giving of dowry was wrong. These were educated men and they got so angry with us. They said that if they were not given dowry in their marriage, how would they get their sisters married. We said that their sisters should work and not expect a dowry. We did not want to speak to them after this, but today I realise that what they said was true. Everywhere in the world people give dowry to their daughters and wealthy women marry poor Royalty to restore their castles and fortunes. It may not be called a dowry but it is an inheritance, which is further used for getting the sisters married. If you have read Jane Austen, you will understand the system.

Responsible fathers of today

Coming back to men, I have twin sons and they are both fathers. One of them who is a neuroscientist spoke about a child who had Aspergers syndrome. His father had consulted him and he happened to be a single parent. I said that I was surprised that the father was taking care of the child as in most cases it is the mother. My son said that things had changed from my time and fathers were as committed to their children as mothers. After our conversation I realized that this was correct and fathers did as much as mothers and sometimes more. Many of us still think that it is only the women who are shouldering the responsibility of bringing up their children.

An example of Godly love

Hanuman the God of Prana was hit with a thunder bolt on his jaw by Indra, the God of the heavens as he was trying to swallow the sun. Hanuman was a very playful child and he thought the sun was an orange. Hanuman passed out with the blow. When his mother, Anjane saw him, she wept and Pawan the Wind God was enraged, he stopped blowing. The universe stood still. Nothing was growing. The Gods were in a tizzy. They had a meeting and in order to placate Pawan, he was blessed by Brahma that in a battle no weapon would be able to kill him and he would be immune to pain. Indra’s blessing was that he would only die, when he willed, not otherwise. The wind started blowing and the universe was alive again.

The birth of Christ is a gift of God. Christ is the Son of God and he came to the earth to die for the sins of the world and to establish his sacrifice as an offering to sin. When we think of Christ, it is a tribute to his father.

Aim Hrim Klim

 

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