Kasihan kepada ibu ayah yg sudah uzur

Posted by sazali


Semalam saya terbaca artikel berkenaan dengan 'sifat hormat dan kasih sayang anak kpd orang orang tuanya berketurunan cina tetapi rakyat Malaysia di Amerika Utara'.

Bacalah ..walaupun dari agama lain/ kefahaman lain.

yang penting .. kita sentiasa sayang kpd ibu bapa kita tak kira di mana mereka berada dan dlm keadaan apa mereka berada.  Gist ..story ini lah orang tua ..mahu kita mengambil tahu mengenai mereka ..bawaklah mereka UMRAH ke ..  di mana mana jua yg dia larat nak ikut ..pokok pangkalnya .. org tua jangan ditinggalkan..  Sekian/ Dr S.


Once, in a brief conversation with my ex-colleague, I mentioned that I needed to be a filial child. He looked at me bizarrely, as he had never heard of that term before, especially as a native speaker of English in North America. He asked me, “What is … this ‘filial piety’?”
I replied by saying, “It is a concept, a virtuous act of being good to one’s parents; being respectful and courteous to one’s parents in honor of realizing and repaying one’s parents’ immense kindness and love for their child.”
I think he still had the question mark symbol above his head even after I had explained the meaning of filial piety. It is, perhaps, just a virtue not commonly practice in North American family upbringing. As Wikipedia explains, this philosophical concept stems from Confucian teachings in the Chinese or Asian culture:
In more general terms, filial piety(Chinese: 孝, xiào) means to be good to one’s parents; to take care of one’s parents; to engage in good conduct not just towards parents but also outside the home so as to bring a good name to one’s parents and ancestors; to perform the duties of one’s job well so as to obtain the material means to support parents as well as carry out sacrifices to the ancestors; not be rebellious; show love, respect and support; display courtesy; uphold fraternity among brothers; wisely advise one’s parents, including dissuading them from moral unrighteousness; display sorrow for their sickness and death; and carry out sacrifices after their death.
It is interesting to note that Buddhism in India did not have a strong tradition of upholding filial piety. Many men left their families to become Buddhist monks with the belief that they needed to cut all ties and attachment in the human world to achieve enlightenment. However, when Buddhism was introduced in China it was redefined to support filial piety, with strong influences from Confucian teachings adopted in Chinese culture.
Being born and raised into a Chinese family, I have to admit that my parents had, either directly or indirectly, preached and taught me this virtue. While there is a part of me, which accepts the path to become a Buddha requires de-attachment from all human materials and relationships, I cannot bring myself yet to disregard my parents who have cared for me till this day and age, who supported me all the way, from the very moment I opened my eyes and breathe air in this world. In that sense, I believe there is no reason for me to question what is right and what is wrong, because no matter what good deeds I do, it will still be insufficient to repay fully my parents’ kindness.
Today, I read and wrote out the Filial Piety Sutra. I have shared it here on this website for all to read and contemplate. The one thing I’ve realized about reading English translations of Dhamma sutras is that the literal translation most often comes across as crude English. More often than not, it comes across as terrible writing for native speakers of the language, and then it gets disregarded because one doesn’t like the way it was written. In my own contemplation, I feel that by having a preconceived notion of a translated text is the same as approaching the text with a close mind. To think that someone went through great efforts to translate it to another language to share goodness in this world is immense generosity beyond the explanation of words. Language is a beautiful, yet complex creation by humans. Therefore, what one describes and receives understanding from a Chinese phrase, will be different from how its translation sounds in English, and likewise … vice versa. But the idea is not to analyze the language to the minute detail. The idea of a Dhamma teaching is to understand the meaning behind the text.
Naturally, when I read this text I felt frightened as to how one can describe the Avici hells so gorily, depicting the most frightening violence. However, whether it was intentionally written that way to preach the teaching, or if it possibly is the Truth as conveyed by Buddha and his disciples … it all boils down to the root message -refrain from committing evil. As Venerable Ajahn Sumedho teaches us in his book, The Four Noble Truths, we do not have Right Understanding just because we say we have read this book and we acknowledge what to do because this book says so. In the context of filial piety, it is not because we acknowledge and say, “The sutra says I should print this sutra so that I can repay my parents kindness, thus I will go and print this sutra, then my deed is done.” To a certain extent, donating for reprints of Dhamma text is a good deed, and it is known to be one of the ways for a Buddhist cultivator to reduce their karmic hindrances. However, in the big scheme of things, it is not just the act of printing and donating cash for the printing that is key. It is the act of which one can give up their material needs, give up their self needs, to spread the Dhamma teachings to the world.
So while the Filial Piety Sutra may not sound very convincing in its translated language, as Buddhist cultivators of different gender, colour and nationality, we are encouraged to reflect. Even as we read and learn sutras, we reflect. When we open the mind to reflect, we learn to seek the ultimate truth, which most often times come in the form of the “big picture”. In my reflection after reading the sutra, the root message at the end of the day is to realize what a mother has sacrificed, what pain has a mother gone through to bring oneself into this world, and that we should be grateful and return kindness back to her in every possible way. At the end of the day, after so much nurturing and sacrifices they’ve given so that we as children can study abroad, live independently, enjoy life, own nice luxurious things … what is a small gesture of kindness in return to cherish them with a phone call to ask how they are doing?
What is a small gesture of kindness in return to spend time with them even though they may seem annoying and naggy?
Did they complain when we were crying out of hunger and attention every 2-3 hours when we were a baby?
Did they complain when we screamed at the top of our lungs in public when we didn’t get what we want as a child?
Now, wouldn’t any compassionate human being return to their homes and families because of this kindness that they’ve realized?
And lastly … what is a small gesture of kindness in return to consider and reflect upon their advice instead of retaliating in heated arguments? What do we really know … just because we are more educated than them? Just because we live in a different generation and our parents are now old school, out of society’s norm? Why should we believe that society’s norm is the right way of living, the same way we do not believe ancient traditions was the right way of living?
There are some things, some knowledge such as innate virtues and a sense of morality that will never disappear through aeons of human lifetimes. This is the ultimate truth. This is the great compassion that all Buddhist cultivators come to learn of the truth.
When I first started out in the working world in North America, my relations with co-workers and friends had opened up my eyes to the way families are brought up in the West. There is a reason for people who fight so hard to collect and grow their retirement funds, because at the end of the day … they will look after themselves. They see it as their own form of security when they are aged and children have left home to fend for their families. Once, I told a co-worker whom I had carpooled with that I miss my family, and I think eventually I will return home to Malaysia to care for them. He replied in disagreement, “You have your own life here now. This is your life here. They cannot tell you what you should do.”
Although, my parents test me now and then on whether I still think of them, and love them and have plans to move back home … and while it is very disheartening to hear stuff like that, I understand that they miss us children very much. They do not have much time left on Earth, in this human life, and it is no wrong in hoping to spend more time with their children. One may say, “Well this is the suffering we all have to accept based on Buddhist teachings. So they as parents just need to deal with it and not keep missing us and harping on their hopes that we will return to them.” If one has this mindset, then one has not achieved Right Understanding of the Four Noble Truths. Again, I emphasized and reiterate Venerable Ajahn Sumedho’s teachings … we do not come to achieve Right Understanding, and eventually enlightenment just by saying, “The book says life is suffering, and so this is what it is and we should just accept it.” This is just intellectual understanding of the teaching. It is not wisdom in understanding the Truth.
Everyone is afraid of loneliness. It is even worst when you know you have your own kin and family still somewhere out in this vast world, but they do not see the importance of keeping close relationships. Hence, the reality is, nobody told me what I should do. This yearning and longing came from my heart. It came from my years of upbringing and understanding this virtue. I do not claim I was a filial child in my early years. Having disagreed with many of their mindsets and suggestions, talking loudly and rudely back at them because I was trying to reason with my modern, educated views … but really, what was I trying to prove? What are these modern, educated views worth compared to the kindness and love they’ve poured towards my upbringing all this time?
As I continue to contemplate, it is not easy being a virtuous and good human being. It is so easy for us to turn to evil though. What we see as truth because the government says so, or education says so, or a trusted friend says so … is it really the ultimate truth? That’s why as humans, we are easily influenced by ideals. Fixed ideals in society, we choose to study what we want to study, we choose to fight for what we think is right. Our minds have been conditioned to think like these ideals, yet we do not condition our minds to reflect and ponder about the unknown … It is because everyone else does it, and it has seemingly brought good things about … good things, which are temporary attachments, yet we blindly consider them to be the truthful goodness.
When I read the part of the sutra which describes even if one sacrifices their blood and heart continuously, one still would not be able to repay their parents’ kindness … I thought it was quite a violent and native way to put it. But upon further contemplation, I started to realize, perhaps, the message is there is no truth in blindly give up one’s life or aimlessly inflict pain on oneself, especially in sacrifice to Buddha. By doing so, one does not repay another persons’ kindness. To repay one’s kindness, one should repay with good deeds. The law of reciprocity. It’s so basic and simple, and I find the more I contemplate, the more the truth seems to be so simple!
On a personal level, I admit I have worried about the future of my parents when they are aged and in need. I may not have enough wealth to continue to support them, especially in terms of healthcare. But the more I think about it, I come to realize it is not about the money, it is not about the healthcare. Buddhism teaches us that materialistic attachments will cease. In this context, at the very least, I am still able to return home and care for them on a basic level. At the very least, I am still able to shower my compassion and love for them at a basic level. Perhaps, cook meals for them, care and learn to nurse them as seniors.
My mother-in-law told my husband and I once, “When the time comes, I am sick or near death, I do not need you to spend all your hard-earned money to cure me. You have to accept, that I have to leave this world. I only ask, you accompany me when you can, bring me out with you to travel and visit places while my body can still take it.” When I heard this, I felt so sad at the thought of parents having to face their remaining days worrying if they will be lonely or if there will be anyone to still care for them and remember them. In all honesty, the reason for not being able to care for your parents in their old age because one needs to feed their spouses and children first is not a fair excuse. I encourage all to read the Filial Piety Sutra, reflect and contemplate upon the message being brought forth in this Dhamma teaching.

wallahu aklam bis sawabbb.  p/s:  saya rakamkan penghormatan ini kerana mengenang jasa guru guru dan kawan kawan seangkatan saya berbangsa cina.  Good day ..Sirs/ teachers.


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