Why God is listed last as “Matha Pitha Guru Deivam (God)”, not “Deivam(God), Guru, Matha Pitha ?”
“A girl devotee” asked like this:
Hare Krsna, I would like to ask you a question prabhu. I grew up with the phrase “Matha Pitha Guru Deivam( God)”. So does our obligation to our parents precedes our obligation to Krsna?
Your question is: It is said that “Matha Pitha Guru are said before Deivam(God)”. So, our obligation to parents is more important than that of God?
That is nice. I like to humbly state that those who do not respect the elders and in general, other people, can not be a good devotee.
Only the Lord created all the jeevans. So, all of us are the children of Lord. So, we need to respect all.
You may ask: Should we respect even those who do bad for us?
Yes. Though you do not respect them, you should not hate them. Because, these bad people are doing good for you by giving experiences and lessons for you. So, we need bad people also in this society. Lord makes us matured only by sending such bad people to us.
If this is the case even for bad people, we have to understand that Lord has selected our parents to give birth to us. So, we have to respect our parents. As we are involving in Krishna Consciousness, we have to thank our parents because, if they did not give birth to us and protect us in all our growth, we could not have come to Krishna Consciousness. So, knowingly or unknowingly, our parents have helped us. So, though they too must be considered as devotees. So, we have to respect them, as Krishna Himself respects His devotees.
Krishna feels happy if we respect His devotees and others. Because, all are His creations. Lord Krishna and Lord Rama also respected the parents.
You may ask again: Why parents are given place in the first place and Lord lastly?
The mother introduces the God to us first. Then father. Then, we accept a guru who shows the way to get God. All these three train us to get the Lord.
It is the natural sequence of the persons who help you in devotional service. Mother and father are given first place because they only gave birth to us and hence they actually FIRST initiated our spiritual life in this birth by giving birth. Then guru initiates us to learn about the Lord and to follow our both spiritual and material lives. Then, Lord completes our spiritual process by accepting our services and taking us to His planet.
So, this sequence.
Another reason is to regulate both material and spiritual lives. If we do not take care of our parents, the social order will be affected. Our sastras have always recommended to take care of the parents and elders as their prime duty. Why?
Because, THOSE WHO DO NOT LOVE THEIR PARENTS CAN NOT LOVE KRISHNA. Because Krishna has chosen your parents to give birth to you.
And, if the family set up is affected, following spiritual practices will be difficult as there will be chaos everywhere.
So, it is essential to respect parents who first help you to know God and hence they have been given prime space in the sequence.
Hope you are clear.