45 out of 46 ancient civilizations listed by UNESCO have disappeared from the face of the earth. The only one that still lives and breathes heartily is Sanatan Dharma or Hinduism. The main reason why this exists is because Hinduism is the only religion understood the subtle as much as it understood the gross. The understanding of the subtle helped us go beyond just the physical or material body and truly understand Spirituality and Life. When respect for this element of life was ingrained into our DNA through our scriptures and stories, we automatically looked beyond just this life; we understood the play of Karma and became a race which truly ACCEPTED all of mankind, nature and its elements.

Unfortunately, time and again, many attempts were made to make us feel small or misunderstand our scriptures, be it about our Gods, our lifestyle, our temples, our beliefs, our knowledge systems, our village life, and so many areas. Invaders through the ages did this & the British struck at our roots by transforming our knowledge systems to one of ‘education’ and ‘certificates’. But what is appalling is that we have a new breed of story-tellers, of media people, of journalists, of students who are taking further the despicable work of the British, to make us feel disgusted about our own ancestors, Rishis and Gods & Goddesses. In an attempt to gain respectability in the eyes of the foreigners or the so-called liberals, they distort our scriptures and look at it without pealing the layers within the stories. The latest attempt by journalists of India Today through their article, http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/bad-dads-hindu-mythology-fathers-day-ram-shiva-dushyant-arjun-bhima-ramayana-mahabharata-puranas-lifest/1/979341.html is a perfect example of this. Earlier too, a famous person who revels in calling our scriptures as Mythologies (ie. just myths, not reality), Devdutt Pattnaik, had written an article calling Sri Krishna as a bad father.

What these people do not understand are the teachings that these scriptures offer. Hiranyakashipu’s story clearly teaches us what Asuri tendencies are and why we should stay away from them. God cannot forgive a father who should have been a support, a provider & nurturer to his son, but instead allowed his ego to be nurtured and supported. Such a father deserved the most violent death. How can one use such a father to be pivot of the tale? The tale is more about the knowledgeable, peaceful son, who never gave up his attempts to redeem his father. Who is shown as an example through the ages – Prahalad. He is the hero of the story & till today, parents and grandchildren teach their children about the goodness of Prahalad. He is also revered as the grandfather of another great Bhakt – Bali Maharaj, who in a moment rid himself of his ego & was praised for the same by Maha Vishnu who also ex-tolls the fact that he is Bhakt Prahalad’s grandson.One reason why Bharat is still standing tall as against Pakistan is that we focused on our strengths more than on the violence that both countries faced during the Partition. Look at the result – Pakistan is still chasing violence and in the process has almost destroyed itself, while India is chasing greatness.

The creation of a child should have equal contribution from & respect for both parents – father and mother. How will the society be if all children are created (through insemination / surrogacy) and brought up by single parents? What will be the status of their mental development and stability? Do give it a thought before quoting the story of Shiva and Ganesha. Until Shiva had a hand in the life of Ganesha, He was not a balanced creation, He was ‘Uddhand’ or arrogant towards all. Is there any doubt in anybody’s mind about why the story had to be in this manner?

Sri Rama was definitely not your ordinary human being & neither was Sita Mata. To just dismiss her off as facing ‘adultery’ charges is belittling generations of people & their beliefs. Sri Rama was no careless father – he sent his sons to the loving care of an enlightened person – Valmiki. Of course people have twisted the story many times just to suit their own emotional status … of late people even praise Ravana as a paradigm of virtue for not having laid his hand on Sita Mata. What can be said to this new race of ‘extra-intelligent’ people?

Sacrifices of dutiful sons for the sake of humanity is something to be Valued and Praised, not shown as an example of having a ‘bad dad’. If we call Arjuna and Bhima as negligent and heartless dads, what should one call the father of Martyrs? Who will send their sons/daughters to the Armed forces if such a labelling were done?

Menaka willfully seduced Vishwamitra knowing fully well that he was on the path to becoming a Brahma Rishi. Menaka left her daughter in Kanva Rishi’s ashram & Kanva Rishi too was an enlightened soul. Instead of praising the society of those days, when children were truly considered a wealth of mankind and were looked after lovingly without caring about their parentage, we now have ‘modern’ thinking people who speak rubbish without understanding the society or its support systems. Imagine a father suffering from amnesia & not recognising his son. What matters is what he does after he is cured. Does he suspect his wife or refuse to accept his son, or does he do justice to both? When Bharata is made the crown prince, does it show his dad as a bad dad or a good one? Sense anyone?

No story in the Mahabharata can be taken singly without understanding the entwining stories. To tar Shantanu with a black brush is just ignorance speaking. The fact is that he was as devoted a father, as his son Bhishma was a devoted son. But then again, understanding the Bhagvatam, the Mahabharata and the Gita is not easy without an able Guru or without elders to lovingly guide one.

The silliest story included in the article is the one on Dhruva. Thank God Dhruva’s father was what he was, else children in Bharat would have missed out on this great child hero who is an inspiration for generations of children in Bharat. Children like Dhruva, AshtaVakra, Abhimanyu, Nachiketa, Prahalad, and so many more are beacons of virtue, steadfast devotion, goal setters and achievers, who have inspired many, many generations of people of this land and even other lands. To belittle their parents just speaks of the Nadir that the present generation of pseudo-intellectuals have reached in their attempt to belittle Hinduism. Such people are full of Education, but empty of Knowledge. While they are glad that they don’t have such dads, many generations of Bharatiyas are glad that such fathers fathered such great sons!

Vande Mataram !!! Jai Hind !!!


Rati Hegde

 

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