Tu Viện Quảng Đức105 Lynch Rd, Fawkner, Vic 3060. Australia. Tel: 9357 3544. quangduc@quangduc.com* Viện Chủ: TT Tâm Phương, Trụ Trì: TT Nguyên Tạng   

29. Filial Piety

11/06/202009:15(Xem: 94)
29. Filial Piety
hoa hong bao hieu-4


Venerable Sumangalo

The two words, filial piety, are important to all civilized peoples, but they are doubly important to Buddhists. The actual words mean duties of children to parents, but there is a much deeper meaning in these words if we are faithful followers of Lord Buddha. The young are not only under a holy obligation to show respect and affection for their parents, but also to be considerate of all elderly persons and to be helpful towards them in such ways as to bring happiness into their lives. In some countries of the world the ideal of filial piety has been almost forgotten. We can see quite clearly that those countries are slipping backwards towards unhappiness.

We Buddhists consider the family as being the most important of all groups. Of course, we think that Buddhist associations, Dharma schools, youth groups and many other clubs, societies and groups are all very important and worthwhile, but the family is most important of all. It is in the family that we first learn the meaning of affection also get our first knowledge of the difference between right and wrong. Moreover, it is in the family that we learn the ever so necessary art of living in harmony with others. There we learn the lesson that unselfishness and consideration for others make life easier for all of us.

There are two sides to filial piety, just as there are two sides to a coin. One side is the duty of the young to their elders and the others is the duty of the elders to the young. Parents and elders are under an obligation to set good examples to children and to be unfailingly kind and helpful in every good way. If this good example is set, then it is easy and natural for the young to have respect and affection for their parents and elders. We must never make the mistake of thinking of filial piety as being a one-sided thing. Such a condition could be as strange as a coin with but one side. Parental piety must always go along with filial piety.

In the daily newspapers we read much about “delinquent children”, but when we talk to most of these boys and girls who have been sent to special schools for “naughty children”, we usually find they are just normal, average boys and girls and the real reason why they became “delinquent” was because they were neglected by their elders and never taught the difference between right and wrong. Surely such parents are not Buddhists. It is rather unreasonable to expect filial piety and good conduct from the very young, if their elders fail to set the proper example and to give the affectionate guidance every child needs as preparation for a good, wholesome, happy life. Many judges say that there are far more delinquent parents than children who are really naughty. A Dharma school is a wonderful idea, but the real instruction in right living must begin in the home. The lessons in this book are designed for children, but this one subject is suitable for parents, too. In fact, it ought to be very carefully read and thought about by every Buddhist parent.



Gently teach the little children
How to walk the Buddha-way;
Show with kindness and affection,
What to do and what to say.

Even as a tiny twig, if twisted,
Grows into a twisted tree,
So do men and women follow
Patterns learned from infancy.

Let us then make sure that always
Example right we clearly show,
So that our youth in life may never
Down the path of evil go.

Teach the young the path to follow;
Show them in their days of youth,
And when old they’ll never waver
From Lord Buddha’s Path of Truth.




  1. What is meant by filial piety?
  2. What are the two sides to filial piety?
  3. Must young people show respect and kindness only to the old in their own families?
  4. If boys and girls are not taught right thought and right action, are they likely to grow up with good ideas of filial piety?
  5. Is it easy to respect a person who sets a bad example?
  6. Where is the proper place to begin the moral instruction of children?
  7. Name some ways we can show respect for our elders.
  8. Do you think it would be a good idea for the Dharma school to give an entertainment once or twice a year and invite the parents and elders?
  9. What do we mean when we say “a twisted twig grows into a twisted tree”?
  10. Do you think it would be a good idea for all parents to read and understand this lesson?
Gửi ý kiến của bạn
Tên của bạn
Email của bạn
28/02/201418:02(Xem: 2482)
There are three fundamental modes of training in Buddhist practice: morality, mental culture, and wisdom. The English word morality is used to translate the Pali term sila, although the Buddhist term contains its own particular connotations. The word sila denotes a state of normalcy, a condition which is basically unqualified and unadulterated.
28/02/201418:00(Xem: 2365)
According to the Buddhist monastic code, monks and nuns are not allowed to accept money or even to engage in barter or trade with lay people. They live entirely in an economy of gifts. Lay supporters provide gifts of material requisites for the monastics, while the monastics provide their supporters with the gift of the teaching.
28/02/201417:57(Xem: 2387)
This year, at the summer retreat, Vien Tu and Minh Hanh, the two novice monks, took turns to prepare the congee offering each evening. Many Buddhists were curious to know why the congee was offered but not the cooked rice or others. This article is writing about the congee services to the spirits.
28/02/201417:53(Xem: 2559)
According to the Oxford English Dictionary the word ‘chant’ is both a noun and a verb, also (now Scottish) chaunt, compared with the late 17th Century, old and modern French verb, ‘with chant’ which is derived from the Latin, ‘cantum’.
28/02/201417:50(Xem: 1826)
My dear friends, suppose someone is holding a pebble and throws it in the air and the pebble begins to fall down into a river. After the pebble touches the surface of the water, it allows itself to sink slowly into the river. It will reach the bed of the river without any effort. Once the pebble is at the bottom of the river, it continues to rest. It allows the water to pass by.
28/02/201417:48(Xem: 2322)
We all know what happens when a fire goes out. The flames die down and the fire is gone for good. So when we first learn that the name for the goal of Buddhist practice, nibbana (nirvana), literally means the extinguishing of a fire, it's hard to imagine a deadlier image for a spiritual goal: utter annihilation.
28/02/201417:29(Xem: 1594)
This script was written and edited by: John D. Hughes, Arrisha Burling, Frank Carter, Leanne Eames, Jocelyn Hughes, Lisa Nelson, Julie O’Donnell, Nick Prescott, Pennie White and Lenore Hamilton. Consider a water tank as a model of understanding. When the water in the tank gets too low, you get sick and eventually die. For you to stay alive, the tank must be consistently replenished with water.
28/02/201417:27(Xem: 1904)
When we do walking meditation, the point is not to get somewhere, but rather to practice, using walking as the object of our attention. Even when we do have to get somewhere and must drive to do so, there is an opportunity for practice. Thich Nhat Hanh, Vietnamese Zen master and poet, has written a number of gathas, or brief verses, for enhancing our mindfulness during everyday activities, even driving a car.
28/02/201417:23(Xem: 1780)
The word Buddhism is derived from Buddha, meaning the Enlightened One or the Awakened One. Buddha is not a proper name, but a generic term or appellative, referring to a founder of a religion, one who has attained supreme enlightenment and who is regarded as superior to all other beings, human or divine, by virtue of his knowledge of the Truth (Dhamma).
28/02/201417:16(Xem: 2026)
Lama Thubten Yeshe gave this teaching during a five-day meditation course he conducted at Dromana, near Melbourne, Australia, in March, 1975. Edited by Nicholas Ribush. This teaching appears in the November/December 1997 issue of Mandala Magazine.