Vedantic Wednesday: The Three Influencers

Many people play a role in shaping our personality.  The process of shaping us starts from the 5_05_31_47_sondara_gurukulam_1_H@@IGHT_215_W@@IDTH_400time we are born and continues almost till the last day of our lives.  Each one’s influence on us and the resultant change varies based on many factors. Mentors, Coaches, heroes etc have their own levels of impact.  But there are three people whose influence is fairly permanent. Their influence shape our basic personality . Each of these three people give us an aspect that makes us who we are.

The first one is our Mother. A mother’s relation to her child is special. This relationship instills purity in us. The importance of purity of thought, action and deed cannot be explained enough especially in today’s world. When we see the atrocities being meted out by one on another, this aspect of purity becomes important. And purity of thought and action is what every child experiences and infers through the love of their mother.

The second person is our Father.  While the mother, creates the child and instills in him/her purity of thought, it is the father’s responsibility to instill discipline in the child. Discipline means self restraint or self control. When temptations and attractions arise in the world, the child learns this by instruction from his father and reinforces it by watching the father practice it.

The third is our teacher.  Ask anyone in the later part of their years, they are bound to tell you the name of atleast one (if not more) teacher who has had a hand in their current success. While in the olden days, the term teacher referred to a single person providing and enabling the child’s learning across various aspects that are required for life, in today’s circumstances it is often a combination of teachers. Even among the many teachers, the teacher who you remember – longest in your life is the one who taught you or instructed you on life and living. This was beyond the subject that they taught. Instructions for life are always best given by and taken from a teacher.

Whose responsibility is it to ensure the child picks up purity, discipline and instructions so as to live a responsible life? Can we blame the mother for a grown up man who misbehaves? Should we blame the father for the irrational  indulgence , addiction? Can we blame the teachers for the un-perfected and selfish social actions of the grown-ups? Or is it the child we blame for not having picked up any of this when it had to?

In today’s fast changing, distraction prone and achievement focused world, if the above three (purity of thought, self-restraint and way of right living) are NOT inculcated in the early years, we could start seeing self destructive behaviors become more rampant , eventually leading to our own extinction. Blame who you want today for what has already been created.  But we need to find a way to ensure these are inculcated early if we want to have a meaningful future.

“Mata – Pita – Guru – Daivam”  a often quoted phrase! I realised there is a reason for this order. It is only with what the mother, father and the teacher collectively give a child, can it realize and live life the right way. And it is on the foundation of this learning can the child on growing up  begin to understand his innate divinity. And it is only with the learning from these three can he even hope to realise SELF – or Daivam!

At some point in time we all would be playing atleast one of these roles in someone’s life. Let us understand our responsibility and do whatever is required to play it to perfection!

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