The New Dharma
Author: Aruna

Grandparents speak out! Do grandparents have childcare responsibilities in your family? How do they feel about it? Chances are, they may say that they consider it their dharma to help their children and their grandchildren.

But the paradigms of dharma are changing in our modern society: parents are having children later in life (which means grandparents are even older), both parents may have very demanding jobs (leaving grandparents to shoulder the majority of child rearing duties), and families are more spread out globally (requiring arduous travel on part of the elderly). At some point, one may argue, it becomes the dharma of children to make sure their parents are comfortable and cared-for and enjoying their well-deserved retirement.

Which begs the question: What is the new dharma?

In Hinduism, dharma is defined succinctly as right action, and these actions theoretically maintain the balance of life and the order of the universe. If you look at the 4 stages (ashramas) of Hindu life: Brahmacharya (student), Grihastha (householder), Vanaprastha (period of retreat and loosening of social bonds), and Sannyasa (period of renunciation), grandparents are essentially in a continuous phase of Grihastha.

Is this dharma? (Read this article for an interesting viewpoint).

image: Dharma Chakra gold pendant via Google images


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