Guiding Light: Happy Father’s Day

Guiding Light: Happy Father’s Day

Ritesh AswaneyUpdated: Friday, June 14, 2024, 06:21 PM IST
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Representative Image | Pixabay

The concept of the masculine aspect of God being the divine father has pervaded human consciousness for time immemorial. Whether it’s Zeus from the Greek pantheon, or closer home, Shiva and from a vedic astrology perspective, the Sun, a number of different philosophies strongly reinforce this father archetype. And as we celebrate Father’s Day tomorrow, it’s the perfect opportunity to express our gratitude to everything that we owe to our fathers.

When Lord Vishnu incarnated on earth as Krishna, he had two very special men playing the role of the father figure, Vasudeva who was his birth-father and Nanda Baba who was his foster father. Krishna was born in a prison where his birth parents were being held captive in a prison by the evil Kamsa. Through a divine interplay of Maya, Vasudev was inspired to carry baby Krishna on a stormy night to his cousin Nanda Baba’s house in Gokul, thus saving his life from the evil machinations of his uncle Kamsa. Krishna was the apple of his father’s eye, and he made sure that his little prince had a wholesome upbringing, safe from the danger that always lurked around the corner.

In Vedic culture, the father is also regarded as the first diksha Guru, who is responsible for the spiritual development of the children. He facilitates the introduction to the vedic tradition and provides the first spiritual initiation, which allows the children to become aware of their heritage and gain a perspective beyond the material view of life. Traditionally, he also made sure that the child was sent to the appropriate Gurukul to facilitate learning, which of course in today’s modern age is a responsibility shared by both parents.

We are one of the youngest countries in the world with a median age of 29, and the inheritors of a culture which has captured the world’s imagination. Whether it’s the International Day of Yoga, which will be celebrated on the 21st, or the increasing uptake of planet-friendly diets, our ancient way of life is finding a new appreciation in today’s modern world of stresses and strains.

Children need healthy father and mother archetypes to be present during their formative years for holistic development. It’s the responsibility of today’s young parents to pass on our ancient wisdom and culture to the next generation, so that it may continue to serve humanity in the way it has for centuries. And it’s of course important to express our gratitude to our fathers for the role they’ve played in our lives. So whether he just has a day off from work, or has retired years ago, tomorrow presents the perfect opportunity to plan a special experience for your father and find a way to say thanks for everything he has done!

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