If you want to revere the Buddha you would do well to revere the two living buddhas (that is if both your parents are still living) in your own family. The Buddha offered us this advice, not as a admonition but, more as a reminder to us not to over-emphasize our piety to Him and neglect our filial duties to our own parents.
In His teachings, the Buddha told us to treasure the bodies and lives that we have been given and to value them. This being so, we should be profoundly grateful to the two persons who give us these bodies and lives. These two persons are none others than our father and mother! Reverence for our parents should be our prime duty. This duty encompasses a very wide range of action, which entails more ‘soft’ skills from us, than ‘hard’ physical items. Money, things are important and useful but parents appreciate more the thoughts, the attention, the consideration, the solicitude and the kind words and actions we, as their off-springs, give to them.
More often than not, in our ‘ heedless follies of unbridled youth’, we are inconsiderate in our words to our parents and we carry out deeds that hurt them. Thoughtless and unthinking, we often wound them without fully realizing it. The Buddha knows us well, He knows human nature too well, that is why He gently prompt us with this reminder.
Remember, do not do this only when Chinese New Year, Hari Raya, Christmas, Diwali come around. Parents should enjoy happiness and joy the whole year round!
Happy Chinese New Year, Happy 2013!