Bodhisattva Nagarjuna on Respecting One's Father and Mother

The following selection is from Nagarjuna's "Letter to a Friend" with a commentary by the Venerable Rendawa Zhon-nu Lo-dro. Translated by Geshe Lobsang Tharchin and Artemus B. Engle. Dharmasala: Library of Tibetan Works & Archives, 1979.


Any family revering father and mother
Will be attended by Brahma and religious teachers.
Its members will be renowned for venerating the
And later enter the higher realms.


    The family which respectfully honurs its father and mother will be free of both human and non-human harm. That they will be "attended by Brahma" means they will receive the blessings of the gods; and "attended by spiritual teachers" means they will also receive the blessings acquired through the special virtues of holy men.

    An immediate benefit of such reverence is that, in this very life, it will give rise to a good reputation. As for the future, it will enable the attainment of birth in the higher states. Hence, those who live as householders should take great care to honour father and mother.