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If You Don’t Feel Grateful to Your Parents, It’s Because You Take No Joy in Having Been Born And Being Alive (Part 2)

July 5, 2018

 

Continued... Read the previous part HERE

 

3) The Debt of Gratitude to Parents for Forgetting All Their Pain Once the Child Is Born 

 

This refers to the fact that when the mother sees her newborn child, she forgets her sorrow and pain up until then in her joy at the successful birth. Our names reflect the feelings and hopes of our parents for us at the time of our birth. Misaki: Beautiful Bloom; Kenta: Healthy First Boy; Sachie: Happy Blessing; Naoto: Honest Man. Everyone’s name reflects the hope that the child will grow up to be happy and good. No one names their child Waruo (Bad Guy) or Guchiko (Grouching Girl), after all! 

 

4) The Debt of Gratitude to Parents for Nourishing Us After Our Birth

 

The newborn baby cries, demanding its mother’s milk, regardless of the hour. As a result, for a short time after the baby’s birth, the mother can get hardly any proper sleep. 

 

From the above, you can see that you are here now because you were protected inside your mother’s body, born in the midst of her great pain and suffering, given a name replete with hopes for your future happiness, and nourished at the expense of your mother’s need for rest. 

 

Everyone has incurred these debts of gratitude, and yet we all forget about them, erasing them from our memories. But the fact that you are here, living now is the irrefutable evidence of those debts to your mother. 

 

Why, then, do we sometimes resent our parents, who have given us life and raised us from childhood? The reason is that we are not able to find joy in the fact that we were born and are now alive. “Life is so miserable, I wish I’d never been born,” we think, resenting our very births. That’s why we can’t feel grateful to our parents. But if, on the contrary, we can experience a life filled with joy, then feelings of gratitude to our parents will well up within us. This is what Shakyamuni Buddha teaches. 

 

And he goes on to tell us to live by planting the seeds of happiness, so that we become happy. If indeed we can live happily, as the Buddha has taught us, then certainly the relationship between parents and children will be transformed. 

 

Without my parents, I would never have been born. If I hadn’t received the gift of life, I could never feel how fortunate I am to have been born, and to be alive! That is why we are told to Know the Debt of Obligation to Our Parents.

 

(If you plant seeds of happiness, flowers of happiness will bloom, pages 190-194)

 

Source: The Buddhist Village Times #50 | 2015, If You Don’t Feel Grateful to Your Parents, It’s Because You Take No Joy in Having Been Born And Being Alive (Part 2)

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