pachai maamalai pol mene

Monday, March 14, 2011

to help others is the duty of a householder

चत्वारि ते तात गृहे वसन्तु
श्रियाभिजुष्टस्य गृहस्त धर्मे॥
वृद्धो ज्ञातिरवसन्नः कुलीनः
सखा दरिद्रो भगिनी चानपत्या॥
महभारते उद्योगपर्वणि प्रजागरणपर्वे विदुरनीतिवाक्ये  ३३--५९
catvāri te tāta gṛhe vasantu
śriyābhijuṣṭasya gṛhasta dharme||
vṛddho jñātiravasannaḥ kulīnaḥ
sakhā daridro bhaginī cānapatyā||
mahabhārate udyogaparvaṇi prajāgaraṇaparve viduranītivākye  33--59

Vidura is giving advice to the king Dhritaraashtra, who is his half brother.  He says, " My dear brother, if you desire prosperity and blessedness for yourself,   you  as a grihasta (or noble householder), should  permit four types of persons to live with you for support and sustenance
(1)  The age old and ailing relative though distant, who has no other person to look up to,
(2)  a well bred and learned person who is in difficult financial conditions,
 (3) A bosom friend who has become indigent by some quirk  of fate and
(4) a sister who is not having the fortune to have a child of her own (and either widowed or abandoned by her husband)

The collective responsibility of the society to give succor to the hapless people is embedded into the social rules of Mahabharatha times as could be seen from the pronouncement of the statesman Vidhura. 
Such indigent  people deserved to be treated as householders and were not expected to be thrown into old age homes.  
It is curious how such advices will find sense in the present day context of rich sons and daughters simply driving away  old parents  to old age homes. 


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