Fatherhood and motherhood are quite glorified in Buddhism. Namely, Siddhartha Gautama, the founder of Buddhism teaches that children should be grateful for the support and love they have received from their parents, repaying these emotional debts throughout their lives. However, the teacher himself was not following his teachings, since Buddha rebelled against his father and left his wife in order to live in celibacy and dedicated to the pursuit of enlightenment. Nevertheless, Buddhists around the globe respect and look up to their parents, teaching their children to do the same.
Buddha and Fatherhood
Buddha's father prevented him from leaving the palace he was living in, so as not to pursuit any teachings of any religion. Later, Siddhartha married and had a son of his own, naming him Rahula, a name standing for fetter, signifying the confinement he himself felt towards his father.
As his learning about the philosophy of life advanced, Buddha observed the four great sights – old age, sickness, death and a religious seeker. Then, he left his family and started searching for enlightenment. Once he became the Buddha, his wife and son joined the sangha.
Buddha taught people to be grateful for everything material and spiritual that they have received from their own parents. On the other hand, parents should restrain the child from evil, support the good within the child, teach him/her life skills, find him/her a partner and transfer their inheritance to the child, once the time for that comes.
Thus, every child who has received this level of parental affection should repay this through respect, support and an important task of carrying on the family tradition.
The Debt of the Child
Buddha claimed that the child can never repay the debt he/she has towards his/her parents. However, the child can help the parents once they find themselves astray, helping them perfect their wisdom once the children become adults themselves.
Basically, the father figure is not left out of the Buddhist teachings. Rather, it is quite emphasized and marked as crucial. Being a good parent means a lot of facts. All in all, it signifies preparing your child for living a successful and a happy life. Therefore, once you enable your children that kind of life, they are bound to repay you through their affection, support and loyalty, once you reach old age. Thus, the cycle of life begins with the parents and the children and ends with the parents and the children. Both fathers and mothers are the necessary constituents.