Respect for mother & father and mother earth
“This earth is my mother and I am the son of this earth” – Atharve Veda, 12-1-12
Hindus have raised the status of mother to the level of Goddess. The first value that a child learns from his or her family is respect for the mother. In Hindu families it is a common custom to bow down to touch the feet of elders and parents. This traditional custom emphasizes the value of elders. The concept of Mother & father worship is deeply ingrained in the Hindu way of life and the mother is considered as the first Guru of the child, father is considered as the second Guru & Acharaya the third Guru
Mata Pita Guru Daivam
“Matha Pitha Guru Daivam” is a very popular adage or phrase in Sanskrit language and often quoted in Hinduism. “Mother Father Teacher God”. The meaning of this adage is the greatest truth, and is the order in which one should offer reverence. The phrase is a basic tenet in existence from the time of the Vedas and beyond and represents the hierarchy in which one should respect these entities.
A Puranic story has Ganesha obtain a divine mango of knowledge from Narada winning a contest
Once upon a time, Lord Shiva and his wife godess Parvati received the gift of a ripe mango. Their children Ganesha and Karthikeya, both wanted the full fruit. The parents were in a dilemma and decided to give them a test: the winner would get the fruit. They announced, “Whoever goes round the world and reaches back first will be the winner.” Karthikeya immediately set off to encircle the world on his vehicle – the peacock. Ganesha, with his vehicle Mooshika (mouse) prostrated himself in front of his parents, went around them While Katikeya speeds around the world thrice to win the contest for the mango, Ganesha circumambulates Shiva and Parvati thrice as an equivalent and is given the mango. To the question of how, Ganesha said, “Our parents are the whole world to us. So by going around them once, and said, “I have gone around the world.” The happy parents gifted the fruit to Ganesha.
. After winning it, Ganesha offers to give the mango to his upset brother Kartikeya .Pleased by thier son’s humble nature, The God & Goddsess gave un ultimate boon to Lord Ganesha to be worshipped first as a tribute to his wisdom.
This concept of respect for mother is extended to other natural phenomena which provide sustenance for life. For example rivers are worshipped as mother.Similarly the earth is treated as mother and is respected.In Hindu tradition, everything good, blissful, protective and evil-destroying is associated with a mother-image.
The Story of Shravankumar
Thousands of years ago there was a tick forest on the banks of river Sarayu which flowed close to the city of Ayodhya. One night, king of Ayodhya, Dasharath, came to the forest to hunt. Dasharath could shoot in the dark by merely following the direction of the sound made by animals.
Dasharat waited under a tree. He heard a gurgling sound. Thinking that an animal had come to drink water from the river he shot an arrow in the direction of the sound. A moment later there came the cry of a human being. The anxious king ran to the place and found a youth crying in pain on the bank of the river. The arrow was stuck in his heart.
The young man’s name was Shravan Kumar. He was a caring person and was dedicated to serving his parents, who were old and blind. It was their wish to visit holy places in their last days. Shravan carried them from shrine to shrine in two baskets which hung from a sling. While on their pilgrimage the three had come to the banks of Sarayu for a short rest. Shravans parents felt thirsty and asked him to fetch some water.
With difficulty Shravan told the King Dasharath about his parents who were waiting for him not far from the river. He requested the king to take the pot of water to them and then he died.
In Hindu families, respect for parents and elders is emphasized. Hindus believe that bringing up children is a religious act-the Dharma of every parent. For children, the parents are therefore divine. Hindus consider the service of one’s parents to be a pious and divine duty .