On Sunday 26 March, the Director of Pustaka Nalanda Bro. Ananda Fong was invited to present a talk titled ‘Remembering Our Roots’ in conjunction with the traditional Chinese Qing Ming observance. In Buddhist scriptures, father and mother are often described as ‘Brahma’, comparable to divine heavenly beings who are worthy of reverence.
In the Kataññu Sutta, it is stated that our father and mother are two people in this world who are not easy to repay. They care for us, nourish us, and protect us. They do much for us, in hope of seeing us grow and succeed in life. Such selfless and unconditional love is difficult to repay – even if we were to carry our mother on one shoulder and our father on the other for 100 years, looking after them, feeding and cleaning them, it would still not amount to all that they have done for us.
However, if we were able to arouse the development of faith, virtue, generosity and wisdom in them, we would have repaid their love and kindness to us. And why is that so? Because those wholesome qualities would have prevented their ignorant slide to unfortunately states of existence. Thus, we should strive to share the Dhamma with our parents, for it is truly an unparalleled gift, leading to happiness and welfare for a long to come.
In relation to helping departed relatives and ancestors, Bro. Ananda mentioned that having performed meritorious deeds, we can dedicate our merits to them. This is a simple expression of gratitude for all that they have done for us.
However, although such honour is important, better still is to take the opportunity to share our love and kindness with them while they are still alive. Let us thus have respect and goodwill to our relatives, friends, and all beings.