Gratitude to Parents

by Ajahn Sumedho | 1994 | 8,569 words

From a talk in 1994 on a day that the Sri Lankan community had asked to have dedicated to rememberin Ajahn Sumedho December 24, 2004...


In five ways one should minister to ones parents:

  • Having supported me, I shall support them.
  • I shall do their duties.
  • I shall keep up the honour and the traditions of my family.
  • I shall make myself worthy of my heritage.
  • I shall make offerings dedicating the goodness of my practice to my parents after their death.

Sigalovada Sutta: Digha Nikaya 31.

These words of the Buddha give expression in terms of observance to the feeling of loyalty and gratitude that a clear minded person may have with regards to their parents. That this is not necessarily the case is a sad reflection on either the quality of our parents or the attitude of neglect that the society or the individual has towards these powerfully influential people. Even as adults we often respond to situations in ways that are attributable to parental influence - for good or for ill. It is an area to acknowledge and explore.

The following text is edited from a talk given by Ajahn Sumedho at Amaravati in October 1994 on a day that the Sri Lankan community had asked to have dedicated to remembering parents. It deals with cultivating the feeling that backs up the observance.

This booklet has been made possible through the sponsorship of an English Buddhist who wishes to dedicate her act of generosity to her child who died in his infancy. May she experience the joy and hearts ease of her kind offering.

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