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UK 2021.01.12

It is necessary to be aware of the huge gratitude debt we owe our parents. If it was not for our father, we would not be born; if it was not for our mother, who would raise us? 

Among human feelings, nothing compares to maternal love. 

We owe this gratitude debt even before being born. Upon conception, the woman shall face nine months of pains, whether lying, sitting or standing. Even though one tries to compensate suffering with tasty foods or other gifts, she rejects them, as suffering is ongoing. Her only wish is that her child is born healthy. 

When birth time arrives, the woman experiences a martyrdom: joints hurts and her sweat is cold, within an unspeakably agony. The father, that sees it all, shakes with apprehension and only wishes that mother and child are out of danger. 

When a healthy child is born, parents experience unprecedented happiness, as a very poor person that discovers a treasure. As she listens to the newborn child cry, the mother gets rid of the months of trouble and embraces a great joy, that makes her forget all pregnancy suffering. 

In Infinite Gratitude Sutra to the Parents, Buddha Shakyamuni explains that gratitude to parents is as infinite as heavens. Therefore, we shall strive the most to repay, in every day of our lives. 

In this journey, our feeling and attitude are the most relevant points: ‘If I cannot do everything I must, I shall, at least, do everything I can.’

Buddhist philosophy professor, author, content editor and president of ITIMAN. International director of Ichimannendo Publishing Co. Ltd. - Tokyo, Japan.

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