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8 dads from Hindu mythology we're glad we don't have

prasad1

Well-known member
This post pokes fun at my own religion. When we were young we accepted whatever was told having been brought in a TB family.
Now in my senior years, I can look back and say how gullible we were.

I was sad reading the post about Astvakra in another thread. Why do we celebrate such horrendous role models?
Do we not realize that these father's action can not be condoned. We do rewrite our History, such bad examples should also be written off.

We can claim without any regret that our dads are the best. If you're a modern kid, you've probably had a father who actually invested his love and care in you. The role they play in our lives are worthy of more than just a Father's Day once a year. But we never pause to think that this role is, in fact, quite different from the ones set by fathers from Hindu mythology.

And not just Hindu mythology. A warped sense of fatherhood seems to have been the norm with even the ancient Greeks. After all, Kronos ate all his kids, till his last-born Zeus slayed him. Anybody familiar with the Old Testament of the Bible (which is something the Jews, Christians and Muslims follow different versions of) would know just how much of a failure Eli, Samuel and David were as fathers.

Bad dads are a part and parcel of mythologies from across the globe, and no matter how inspiring the mythical kings from the vast Hindu mythology might seem to you, you just can't deny that they didn't match up to the ideals of fatherhood. Don't believe us? Here are a few dads from Hindu mythology who just weren't the best, or even there, when their kids needed them the most.

1. Dushyant and Bharat
Now this story has two children abandoned by their fathers. Vishwamitra left the heavenly nymph, Menaka, and their newborn daughter--because Menaka had dared to disturb his meditation. Menaka couldn't take the child back to heaven, so she left her in the forest, where the sage Kanva found her and adopted her. That's how Shakuntala, the heroine of Kalidas's famous Abhigyanshakuntalam was born.
Shakuntla Married King Dushyant. He left her pregnant and forgot about her.

Kind Dushyant did finally accept Shakuntala and Bharat, but the whole story points to the fact that this mythological king didn't give two hoots about the woman he had married in secret, or the son from that union. The king whose name inspired the name of India grew up without knowing the love or recognition of his father. Dushyant might have been a great conqueror, but he was clearly not a great dad.

2. Shiva and Ganesha

We're all aware of the wrath, the 'destroyer of the world', Shiva is capable of. But beheading his own son? That was a little extreme. The legend described in the Shiva Purana says that Parvati created Ganesha when Shiva left for an expedition, leaving her alone and bored. On being persuaded by Lakshmi, Parvati created a statue of clay and blew life into it, and created a son who was called Ganesha.
Soon, the father and son were involved in a battle-like situation, which ended with Shiva beheading his son. The grieving Parvati begged her husband to reinstate life into her son's headless body. Giving in to his wife's prayers, Shiva placed an elephant's head on the body, and it came to life--thus, the Elephant God was reborn.

While it's okay to have ideological differences with your children--and disagreements are a part of life--such violent acts should be condemned. There were enough ways of penalising Ganesha for his behaviour; going to the extent of killing him out of rage was extreme.

3. Arjun and Iravan

The son of Pandava prince, Arjun, and Naga princess, Ulupi, turned out to be the ultimate sacrificial son. Devdutt Pattanaik reveals in Jaya that Iravan played a vital role in the battle of Mahabharata. Arjun met and fell in love with the Naga princess when he was living in the forest for a year as punishment for entering Draupadi's chamber while she was with Yudhishtira.
He married her, and the two were blessed with a boy, Iravan--the son Arjun abandoned shortly after, only to turn him into his scapegoat later.
Soon after Iravan's entry into the battle, it was declared that the Pandavas could only win the battle if a prince was sacrificed to Goddess Kali. As expected, Iravan agreed to offer himself to the deity, because that's what an obedient son was expected to do. Iravan chopped his head off for the father who abandoned him, without looking back with regret. Arjun might be the greatest archer in the world, but clearly, he wasn't the greatest father.

4. Bhima and Ghatothkach

Another scapegoat from the Mahabharata, Ghatothkacha was the son of the strongest Pandava, Bhima, and his Rakshasni wife Hidimbi. Like Arjun, Bhim abadoned his son and wife in the forest only to think of his half-human half-rakshas son when the need arose.
Ghatothkach was called to duty by Bhima was during the battle, where he killed Kauravas like ants under an elephant's foot. To stop the terror he had unleashed on the Kauravas, Karna killed him using the Vaijanthi Shastra granted to him by Indra. Such was the power of this human-rakshas, who died serving his father, and is still an unsung hero.

5. Shantanu and Bhishma

To be fair to Shantanu, one has to admit that he did try to stop Bhishma's mother, Ganga, from drowning him at birth. He pined for both Ganga and his eighth son. When the father and son were reunited on the banks of the Ganga years later, Shantanu announced Devavrata as the crown prince.
Devavrata succumbed to his father's lust and took a bhishma pratigya of renouncing the throne, and staying a lifelong celibate so that none of his lineage could ever challenge Satyavati's children. He was named Bhishma thanks to this vow, and he didn't stray from his word till he died at Kurukshetra. Bhishma has always been an ideal for us, but don't you think Shantanu's lust was the root of everything the young prince had to go through--even the war at Kurukshetra?

6. Hiranyakashipu and Prahlad

Both the Bhagavat Puran and Vishnu Puran describe the terrifying story of this father-son duo. Most Hindu kids have grown up hearing the stories of the villain that Hiranyakashipu was, thanks to the nearly immortal boon he got from Brahma. His son Prahlad, born away from his father's evil influence under the tutelage of sage Narada, was a bhakt of Vishnu--whom Hiranyakashipu hated.

He tried to get his son killed on numerous occasions. At one point, he has his sister, Holika, sit with Prahlad on a burning pyre. This led to Holika dahan, but Prahlad the Devout was unscathed. Finally, Hiranyakashipu directly challenged Prahlad's beliefs, and Vishnu himself appeared in his Narasimha avatar to kill the demon king.

7. Uttaanpaad and Dhruva

Another character mentioned in Bhagavat Puran and Vishnu Puran, Dhruva craved the love of his father--but did not receive it. He was born to King Uttaanpaad and his first wive, the gentle queen Suniti. His favourite wive was, however, Suruchi, who also had a son and competitor for the throne, Uttam.

On one occasion, Dhruva was sitting on his father's lap when Suruchi forcefully separated them. When Druva lay claim to his father's affection, Suruchi told him to go and ask god for it. So Dhruva did. He performed severe austerities and prayed to Vishnu, who finally granted him his presence, love and Dhruvapad (which means that he would become a celestial body after death, and be untouched by mahapralay or apocalypse).

8. Ram and Luv-Kush

There are as many versions of how Ram came to know about his sons as there are versions of the Ramayan in this subcontinent. According to the Valmiki Ramayan, Sita lived in Valmiki's ashram after her banishment from Ayodhya under the suspicion of having committed adultery. The story states that Sita had twins, Luv and Kush, who were born and brought up in Valmiki's ashram, and trained by the sage himself.

Some might choose to believe that this proved Ram was an ideal ruler, but don't you think he failed as a father by not just missing out on the twins' birth, but also by not keeping in touch with his wife and kids while they lived a life of penance in the jungle?

Our mythical kings and princes were quite the inspiration, but only as rulers. Their lives stand testimony to the fact that they weren't the best dads; most of them were absent during their kids' childhood, some didn't even recognise the child's mother until much later. These are clearly not the examples our great fathers looked up to, and we couldn't be more glad for it.



There are many more such tales, and we can have a new perspective on the old tales.
 

renuka

Well-known member
Makes we wonder..why was a human sacrifice needed for Goddess Kali?
Isnt Goddess Kali supposed to be the creative principle? Kriya Shakti?
So why a human sacrifice to a creative principle?
 

a-TB

Well-known member
Anyone with basic understanding of essence of Hinduism is that it is all about symbolism. Stories have always had a deep meaning that is useful to humanity but it needs someone knowledgeable to interpret.

Sometimes stories may have been corrupted over time and connection to some teachings is lost

Regardless people who do psychoanalyze characters of these Puranas are clueless and often have problems in life themselves.
 

prasad1

Well-known member
Stories do get corrupted. That is given. The people rewriting add their own bias and interpretation.

But the storytellers who claim to have read the originals also are retelling the same stories. None of the fathers quoted in OP have been sugar-coated, or whitewashed. It might have been that it was the practice in those days. I am not judging history with today's values.

Even with the prevailing values, these dads did a pretty bad job.

We should accept the facts, and not suddenly feel Nationalistic and try to paint over everything. This post is in the chit-chat section for a reason.

If somebody had a better explanation, let us hear it.
While you are at it, please explain the shapa the father gave to Astavakra, or the curse Nathiketa got.
Please Explain these stories to modern kids, where the father literally showers attention on their kids.
Or for that matter how do you explain the Ganga killed her seven sons, and only the 8th son was saved.
In the modern-day even if you abuse( discipline) your child the child will complain, or someone else will and child protection service will take the child away.
The murder of a child is still punishable by law.

Maybe that the reason other ancient cultures left their mythologies alone. So they do not have to reconcile with the present-day Values.

I have no problem reading Astavakra -Gita, and I was perfectly happy not knowing the cause of the deformity for Astavakra.
 
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prasad1

Well-known member
Anyone with basic understanding of essence of Hinduism is that it is all about symbolism.

Regardless people who do psychoanalyze characters of these Puranas are clueless and often have problems in life themselves.
Please explain the stories in your own style so people can fathom the true meaning, with your infinite knowledge and brilliant analysis we the ordinary mortal can appreciate these stories in the true light.
 

Jaykay767

Well-known member
Makes we wonder..why was a human sacrifice needed for Goddess Kali?
Isnt Goddess Kali supposed to be the creative principle? Kriya Shakti?
So why a human sacrifice to a creative principle?
Human and animal sacrifice originates in the concept that to gain something in life you have to sacrifice something.

Hence traders used to.give their goats as sacrifice before going to fairs in distant lands for business.

Similarly kings and their generals used to make human sacrifices to ensure victory in the war.

These rituals were associated with tantric practices and hence these were offered to goddess Kali
 

renuka

Well-known member
Human and animal sacrifice originates in the concept that to gain something in life you have to sacrifice something.

Hence traders used to.give their goats as sacrifice before going to fairs in distant lands for business.

Similarly kings and their generals used to make human sacrifices to ensure victory in the war.

These rituals were associated with tantric practices and hence these were offered to goddess Kali
that means it was just a transaction made by humans thinking they can "bribe" their personal deity for favors.

Most probably it was just the human who desires it and thinking God asked for it.

Human sacrifice for victory? Really? I didnt know that?
 

prasad1

Well-known member
I have a separate thread on Kali.

 

Jaykay767

Well-known member
that means it was just a transaction made by humans thinking they can "bribe" their personal deity for favors.

Most probably it was just the human who desires it and thinking God asked for it.

Human sacrifice for victory? Really? I didnt know that?
RenukaJi

You have missed some of my old posts on history then :)

In the south Indian war, the general.of king Narasimhaverman , Paranjothi sacrifices his daughter for the sake of a great victory. Similarly in troy, Agamemnon sacrifices his daughter for the sake of victory.

It has origins in human suffering. Say if a family goes through great tragedy, then you will see them living peacefully for decades later.

I am not supporting this but just saying how this practice originated
 

Jaykay767

Well-known member
I think I did cover this way back on one of my posts on our religion.

The theory that voluntary suffering will alleviate the bad karma is followed by some in India. This is why you see some sanyasis who whip themselves in the hope that the purva janma bad karmas are exhausted leading them to Moksha.

The beauty of our religion is every path to salvation moksha was explored and practised. Many of them still surviving to this day.
 

Jaykay767

Well-known member
Some of these ancient texts were lost in time and hence these rituals and practices have no formal basis.

Ps: I want to reiterate, and categorically make it clear that I absolutely do not support any of these human and animal practices. Just discussing possible origins and basis for such practices.

More importantly this disclaimer is to ensure no foolish right wing sanghi practices such illegal stuff today in the name of glorifying our ancient past.

LOL.
 
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Janaki Jambunathan

Well-known member
Some of these ancient texts were lost in time and hence these rituals and practices have no formal basis.

Ps: I want to reiterate, and categorically make it clear that I absolutely do not support any of these human and animal practices. Just discussing possible origins and basis for such practices.

More importantly this disclaimer is to ensure no foolish right wing sanghi practices such illegal stuff today in the name of glorifying our ancient past.

LOL.
Some of these ancient texts were lost in time and hence these rituals and practices have no formal basis.

This one is not lost b

Jihadis secret agent has forgotten Allah ki pyari hai qurbani !
 
This post pokes fun at my own religion. When we were young we accepted whatever was told having been brought in a TB family.
Now in my senior years, I can look back and say how gullible we were.

I was sad reading the post about Astvakra in another thread. Why do we celebrate such horrendous role models?
Do we not realize that these father's action can not be condoned. We do rewrite our History, such bad examples should also be written off.

We can claim without any regret that our dads are the best. If you're a modern kid, you've probably had a father who actually invested his love and care in you. The role they play in our lives are worthy of more than just a Father's Day once a year. But we never pause to think that this role is, in fact, quite different from the ones set by fathers from Hindu mythology.

And not just Hindu mythology. A warped sense of fatherhood seems to have been the norm with even the ancient Greeks. After all, Kronos ate all his kids, till his last-born Zeus slayed him. Anybody familiar with the Old Testament of the Bible (which is something the Jews, Christians and Muslims follow different versions of) would know just how much of a failure Eli, Samuel and David were as fathers.

Bad dads are a part and parcel of mythologies from across the globe, and no matter how inspiring the mythical kings from the vast Hindu mythology might seem to you, you just can't deny that they didn't match up to the ideals of fatherhood. Don't believe us? Here are a few dads from Hindu mythology who just weren't the best, or even there, when their kids needed them the most.

1. Dushyant and Bharat
Now this story has two children abandoned by their fathers. Vishwamitra left the heavenly nymph, Menaka, and their newborn daughter--because Menaka had dared to disturb his meditation. Menaka couldn't take the child back to heaven, so she left her in the forest, where the sage Kanva found her and adopted her. That's how Shakuntala, the heroine of Kalidas's famous Abhigyanshakuntalam was born.
Shakuntla Married King Dushyant. He left her pregnant and forgot about her.

Kind Dushyant did finally accept Shakuntala and Bharat, but the whole story points to the fact that this mythological king didn't give two hoots about the woman he had married in secret, or the son from that union. The king whose name inspired the name of India grew up without knowing the love or recognition of his father. Dushyant might have been a great conqueror, but he was clearly not a great dad.

2. Shiva and Ganesha

We're all aware of the wrath, the 'destroyer of the world', Shiva is capable of. But beheading his own son? That was a little extreme. The legend described in the Shiva Purana says that Parvati created Ganesha when Shiva left for an expedition, leaving her alone and bored. On being persuaded by Lakshmi, Parvati created a statue of clay and blew life into it, and created a son who was called Ganesha.
Soon, the father and son were involved in a battle-like situation, which ended with Shiva beheading his son. The grieving Parvati begged her husband to reinstate life into her son's headless body. Giving in to his wife's prayers, Shiva placed an elephant's head on the body, and it came to life--thus, the Elephant God was reborn.

While it's okay to have ideological differences with your children--and disagreements are a part of life--such violent acts should be condemned. There were enough ways of penalising Ganesha for his behaviour; going to the extent of killing him out of rage was extreme.

3. Arjun and Iravan

The son of Pandava prince, Arjun, and Naga princess, Ulupi, turned out to be the ultimate sacrificial son. Devdutt Pattanaik reveals in Jaya that Iravan played a vital role in the battle of Mahabharata. Arjun met and fell in love with the Naga princess when he was living in the forest for a year as punishment for entering Draupadi's chamber while she was with Yudhishtira.
He married her, and the two were blessed with a boy, Iravan--the son Arjun abandoned shortly after, only to turn him into his scapegoat later.
Soon after Iravan's entry into the battle, it was declared that the Pandavas could only win the battle if a prince was sacrificed to Goddess Kali. As expected, Iravan agreed to offer himself to the deity, because that's what an obedient son was expected to do. Iravan chopped his head off for the father who abandoned him, without looking back with regret. Arjun might be the greatest archer in the world, but clearly, he wasn't the greatest father.

4. Bhima and Ghatothkach

Another scapegoat from the Mahabharata, Ghatothkacha was the son of the strongest Pandava, Bhima, and his Rakshasni wife Hidimbi. Like Arjun, Bhim abadoned his son and wife in the forest only to think of his half-human half-rakshas son when the need arose.
Ghatothkach was called to duty by Bhima was during the battle, where he killed Kauravas like ants under an elephant's foot. To stop the terror he had unleashed on the Kauravas, Karna killed him using the Vaijanthi Shastra granted to him by Indra. Such was the power of this human-rakshas, who died serving his father, and is still an unsung hero.

5. Shantanu and Bhishma

To be fair to Shantanu, one has to admit that he did try to stop Bhishma's mother, Ganga, from drowning him at birth. He pined for both Ganga and his eighth son. When the father and son were reunited on the banks of the Ganga years later, Shantanu announced Devavrata as the crown prince.
Devavrata succumbed to his father's lust and took a bhishma pratigya of renouncing the throne, and staying a lifelong celibate so that none of his lineage could ever challenge Satyavati's children. He was named Bhishma thanks to this vow, and he didn't stray from his word till he died at Kurukshetra. Bhishma has always been an ideal for us, but don't you think Shantanu's lust was the root of everything the young prince had to go through--even the war at Kurukshetra?

6. Hiranyakashipu and Prahlad

Both the Bhagavat Puran and Vishnu Puran describe the terrifying story of this father-son duo. Most Hindu kids have grown up hearing the stories of the villain that Hiranyakashipu was, thanks to the nearly immortal boon he got from Brahma. His son Prahlad, born away from his father's evil influence under the tutelage of sage Narada, was a bhakt of Vishnu--whom Hiranyakashipu hated.

He tried to get his son killed on numerous occasions. At one point, he has his sister, Holika, sit with Prahlad on a burning pyre. This led to Holika dahan, but Prahlad the Devout was unscathed. Finally, Hiranyakashipu directly challenged Prahlad's beliefs, and Vishnu himself appeared in his Narasimha avatar to kill the demon king.

7. Uttaanpaad and Dhruva

Another character mentioned in Bhagavat Puran and Vishnu Puran, Dhruva craved the love of his father--but did not receive it. He was born to King Uttaanpaad and his first wive, the gentle queen Suniti. His favourite wive was, however, Suruchi, who also had a son and competitor for the throne, Uttam.

On one occasion, Dhruva was sitting on his father's lap when Suruchi forcefully separated them. When Druva lay claim to his father's affection, Suruchi told him to go and ask god for it. So Dhruva did. He performed severe austerities and prayed to Vishnu, who finally granted him his presence, love and Dhruvapad (which means that he would become a celestial body after death, and be untouched by mahapralay or apocalypse).

8. Ram and Luv-Kush

There are as many versions of how Ram came to know about his sons as there are versions of the Ramayan in this subcontinent. According to the Valmiki Ramayan, Sita lived in Valmiki's ashram after her banishment from Ayodhya under the suspicion of having committed adultery. The story states that Sita had twins, Luv and Kush, who were born and brought up in Valmiki's ashram, and trained by the sage himself.

Some might choose to believe that this proved Ram was an ideal ruler, but don't you think he failed as a father by not just missing out on the twins' birth, but also by not keeping in touch with his wife and kids while they lived a life of penance in the jungle?

Our mythical kings and princes were quite the inspiration, but only as rulers. Their lives stand testimony to the fact that they weren't the best dads; most of them were absent during their kids' childhood, some didn't even recognise the child's mother until much later. These are clearly not the examples our great fathers looked up to, and we couldn't be more glad for it.



There are many more such tales, and we can have a new perspective on the old tales.
Since when they became dad's in mythology ? They were real historical characters. Even our country is named after one of the listed . P
 

prasad1

Well-known member
Since when they became dad's in mythology ? They were real historical characters. Even our country is named after one of the listed . P
Can you write a bhashyam on your cryptic post?
Who said they were dad's mythology? They are mythology, there is no iota of proof that they were Historical character. Yes, the mythology is based on some Historical Characters, some real places, some real events, mixed in with lot of poetic justice some imaginative thinking, and a whole lot of untruths.

Ancient Indian History is full of mysteries, as Swami Chinmayananda used to say.

For instance, Krishna is called Dwarkadhish - the King of Dwarka.

But research shows that Krishna never ruled Dwaraka.
Read my post:
 
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