There is a famous saying- “A father is neither an anchor to hold us back nor a sail to take us there, but a guiding light whose love shows us the way.” The 2nd episode of Turiya Talks Season 2 celebrated the essence of fatherhood or rather parenthood on the occasion of “Father’s Day” and for discussing about “The role of a father in parenting”, we had a very special guest, Shri L Ramaswamy of Vedanta Institute. He spoke in great detail about the various facets of parenting involving the 'pita' and shed light on the depiction of the same in the Vedas and the Upanishads.
Mr Ramaswamy stated that parenting is an instinct which stems from the evolutionary process and along the same lines, fathers are result-oriented beings in contrast to mothers, who are essentially process-oriented. He was of the opinion that fathers see their reflection in the child and hence, often fail to accept their failure whereas mothers are always there to embrace their child with the failures as well as success.
He also said that while growing up, the mother points out the father to the child, and the father points out the guru to the child. The aim of this is to make sure that the child is not dependent on the father, but he can be independent. In fact, every son quotes his father, either in words or in deeds. Fathers don’t really have the hands of their children, instead they have their backs! A father faces the first shock if something goes wrong with the child. Even though the fears and tears of a father is always unseen and his love is always unexpressed, a father becomes the greatest pillar of strength for his daughter and son.
Shri Ramaswamy emphasised on the importance of parenting while the child is being raised. He opined that the standpoint of the formative years should be fair, firm and fun. The child should be witnessed, taught, persuaded and if that doesn’t work, they should be punished. As per the Vedas, a child should be pampered for the first five years, disciplined for the next ten years, and treated like a friend from the sixteenth year onward.
The episode was concluded by having a lively discussion on Vedantic scriptures and its relevance. Shri Ramaswamy pointed out, Vedantic scriptures talk about practising dharma (religion) , bringing artha (wealth) to the world, enjoying kama (work) as the recipe for achieving success. Whatever you do in life and wherever you go, remember these three things-
- “Matru Devo Bhava”- Mother is the Goddess who directs the child to the father.
- “Pitru Devo Bhava”- Father is the God who directs the child to the preceptor.
- Aacharya Devo Bhava”- Preceptor is the God who directs the child to God.