Are there any ancient Vedic Shlokas or poems in Tamil mention about taking care of parents at their old age? I have searched in Thirukkural but am not able to find any.

What does Hinduism says about taking care of parents, particularly at their old age?

  • I can understand if you ask for scripture references but I don't get it that why you need poems specifically?
    – Mr. Alien
    Aug 28, 2014 at 16:11
  • @Mr.Alien By poems i meant like thirukkural kind of some ancient works For e.g we have reference in thirukkural for duty of a father to son and son to father. Sorry if it was confusing. Am interested in knowing about scriptures too. Sep 1, 2014 at 5:58

2 Answers 2


I can't say about poems but you can read about it in Taittiriya Upanishad (I-XI-2) (Tamil Version)

'.... मातृदेवो भव । पितृदेवो भव । ......' (तैत्तिरीय उपनिषद्, शिक्षावल्ली, अनुवाक ११, मंत्र २)

Matru devo bhava (revere your mother as God)
Pitru devo bhava (revere your father as God)

In a Hindu family, it is an obligatory religious duty of the children to look after their aged parents and provide them with decent means of living. It is written in Manusmriti about how one should do his Dharma.

But in the contrary, it is said in Kali Yuga that women wander from one man to another. Men no longer look after their parents in their old age, and fail to provide for their own children. One's beauty is thought to depend on one's hairstyle. Filling the belly is said to be the only purpose in life.

Cows are killed once their milk production drops. Atheism flourishes. Religious observances are performed solely for the sake of reputation.


Cannot comment on poems but I can cite two stories related to the virtues of serving parents:-

  1. dharmavyAdha , the butcher, from mahabhArata. Kousika, the brahmana ascetic, was directed by a virtuous housewife (on whom his wrathful looks had no effect owing to the power of her kula stree dharma) to visit dharmavyAdha and understand the true nature of swadharma and penance. dharmavyAdha immediately knew who kousika was, the purpose of his visit as well as details of the person who referred kousika to him. This astounded the sadhaka; dharmavyAdha revealed that his supreme duty was towards his parents and he served them with devotion and love and hence his yogic superiority.

  2. punDarIka, the brAhmana, for whom, pAnDu ranga of panDaripUr descended on the earth. punDarIka was a great devotee of Krishna , who graced him with his darshan when punDarIka was in the midst of serving his father who was trying to sleep. punDarIka threw a brick near Krishna and asked him to wait till his father was fully asleep and he could get up from his act of massaging his father's legs. pAnDuranga deferred to the supreme dharma of serving one's parents and dutifully stood on the brick and waited for punDarIka.

You can try looking them up some more.


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