Why a pattern is chosen and why should be a structure developed for respecting the elders in order? Have you given it a thought?
The oft quoted Sanskrit statement is the point of contention today. It is a verse from the Taittiriyopanishad, which is a part of the Yajur-Veda. This Upanishad is divided into three sections or vallis. The siksa valli deals with the phonetics of the chants, while the others, brahmananda valli and bhrgu valli deal with self-realization. Now to the statement from it:
"Mathrudevo Bhava, Pithrudevo Bhava, Acharyadevo Bhava"
Honour your mother as god, Honour your father as god, Honour your teacher as god.
To explain the importance of this statement, I would like you to look at another excerpt from Indian Scriptures. In The Mahabharatha in Santhi Parva there is a discussion between Yudhistira and Bhishma. The question and answer are both interesting. Here is a small excerpt from it.
The path of duty is long and has many branches. What, according to thee, are those duties that most deserve to be practiced? What acts, according to thee, are the most important among all duties, by the practice of which I may earn the highest merit both here and hereafter?
The worship of mother, father and preceptor (teacher) is most imperative according to me. The man, who attends to that duty here, succeeds in acquiring great fame and felicity (ecstasy). Worshipped with respect time and again with righteousness or if inconsistent, it should be done without a second thought, O Yudhishthira! One should never do what they forbid. Without doubt, that which they command should always be done.
He then continues to explain how to respect them and treat them with heartfelt acts of reverence.
Why the order, that still remains the question. Let’s think a little more rationally. Just taking it as a step or an order to respect is not easily comprehendible. If your look at the statement
"Mata, Pitah, Guru, Daivam"
You see the order now to the hidden message in it. It is the path to God or it explains religion in the easiest point of view. "Matha" or mother is the only one who can pointedly say this man before you child is your father as she only will know it (With due respect to the norms of society). She points to man - "Pithah", who will take the next level of responsibility of the child’s upbringing. Once reached the right age to education and mental growth, it is the duty of the father to take the child to the right guru or the teacher. If you see till then there is no point or discussion of any religion or god. The "guru"/"acharya"/"teacher" has to help in the mental growth and maturity and shows the right path to reach the GOD Himself. So the names in order of respect also show the right path to God. Here the guru is the point where religion or god is mentioned or thought about. Hence whatever religion or faith you follow this statement stands true for everyone.
So not just a statement to explain the order of respect, the simple statement with four words mata pitah guru daivam is the right path or the route map to god and self realization. Let open our eyes to the light
Asathoma sathgamaya (lead me from unreal to reality)
Thamasoma jyothirgamaya (lead me from darkness of ignorance to the light of wisdom)
Mruthoyrma amruthangamaya (lead me from mortality to immortality)
Om Shanthi Shanthi Shanthi hi (peace prevails)
(A prayer from Sama Veda)
The great Indian Culture and heritage teaches us to move from the unreal to reality, from ignorance to wisdom and from mortality to immortality and thus in the life peace prevails. The immortality has been achieved by Great writers through their works or classics, social reformers like Mother Teresa through their lives as we still remember them for their good deeds and acts of compassion. Let us rediscover the simplicity of them in our lives.
Be proud of India and Long live its culture and heritage...