Buddhist Wisdom Verses

26: Puttavaggo

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Respect for Mother and Father

AN 3.31 Sabrahmakasuttaṁ

The Buddha explains why parents should be respected and by what names they are known, and summarises it with a verse.

501. ‘Brahmā’ ti Mātāpitaro, ‘pubbācariyā’ ti vuccare,
Āhuṇeyyā ca puttānaṁ pajāya anukampakā.

Mother and Father are like gods,
They are our very first teachers,
As they are kind to their children
They are worthy of offerings.

502. Tasmā hi ne namasseyya sakkareyyātha Paṇḍito
Annena atha pānena vatthena; sayanena ca,
Ucchādanena nhāpanena, pādānaṁ dhovanena ca.

Therefore the Wise will worship them
And respect them with gifts of clothes,
Food and drink; with a sleeping place,
With massage, bathing, and washing.

503. Tāya naṁ paricariyāya Mātāpitusu Paṇḍito,
Idheva naṁ pasaṁsanti, pecca Sagge pamodati.

The Wise, because they look after
Both their Mothers and their Fathers,
Will be praised right here and now,
And later rejoice in Heaven.

The Three Types of Children

Iti 74 Puttasuttaṁ

The Buddha explains the three types of children that are found in the world.

504. Atijātaṁ anujātaṁ puttam-icchanti Paṇḍitā,
Avajātaṁ na icchanti, so hoti kulagandhano,

The Wise desire a child that is
Superior or just the same,
But not for one inferior,
Who will break up the family,

505. Ete kho puttā lokasmiṁ; ye bhavanti upāsakā
Saddhā sīlena sampannā, vadaññū vītamaccharā,
Cando va abbhanā mutto parisāsu virocare.

These are the various children;
Laymen with faith and with virtue,
Being bountiful, unselfish,
Will shine bright amongst the people
Like the moon released from the clouds.

Good Children

AN 5.39 Puttasuttaṁ

The Buddha explains the five reasons parents want a child.

506. Pañca ṭhānāni sampassaṁ puttaṁ icchanti Paṇḍitā:
Bhato vā no bharissati, kiccaṁ vā no karissati,

Considering these five reasons
The Wise wish for a child, thinking:
Supported he will support us,
He will do his duties for us,

507. Kulavaṁso ciraṁ tiṭṭhe, dāyajjaṁ paṭipajjati,
Atha vā pana petānaṁ dakkhiṇaṁ anupadassati.

He will maintain his heritage,
And practice according to wealth,
Also he will make offerings
To relatives who pass away.

508. Ṭhānānetāni sampassaṁ puttaṁ icchanti Paṇḍitā,
Tasmā santo Sappurisā kataññū katavedino,

Considering these five reasons
The Wise wish for a child, therefore
Truly Good People are grateful
And obliging to their parents,

509. Bharanti Mātāpitaro, pubbe katam-anussaraṁ,
Karonti nesaṁ kiccāni, yathā taṁ pubbakārinaṁ.

They support Mother and Father,
Remembering what they have done,
They perform their duties for them,
As was done for them in the past.

510. Ovādakārī bhataposī, kulavaṁsaṁ ahāpayaṁ,
Saddho sīlena sampanno, putto hoti pasaṁsiyo.

Listening to parents’ advice,
Feeding those who supported him,
Not neglecting his heritage,
Endowed with faith and with virtue,
That child is praised and respected.

The Elder Brother’s Burden

Jā 532 Soṇanandajātakaṁ

A Royal family, King, Queen and two sons renounce the world and retire to the Himālayas. The younger son wishes to look after the parents, but the elder declares his duty.

511. Mātāpitā ca Bhātā ca Bhaginī ñātibandhavā,
Sabbe jeṭṭhassa te bhārā, evaṁ jānāhi Bhātara.

Mother, Father, Brothers, Sisters
And all close-bonded relations,
All burdens are for the eldest,
Please understand this, my Brother.