Who is the greatest personality for an individual?


Mother, Father, Teacher and Guest all should be given same respect. Because they play important role at different stages of our life. Taittiriya Upanishad, Chapter 11 convey the same.

मातृदेवो भव । पितृदेवो भव । आचार्यदेवो भव । अतिथिदेवो भव ॥ ४ ॥

  1. Treat thy mother as a God; as a God treat thou thy father; as a God shalt thou treat thy teacher; thy guests as Gods shalt thou treat.

But as you are looking for the order of reverence, so Manu Smriti, Chapter 2 has your answers. According to this the order is Mother > Father > Teacher.

The teacher (akarya) is ten times more venerable than a sub-teacher (upadhyaya), the father a hundred times more than the teacher, but the mother a thousand times more than the father. (145)

The teacher, the father, the mother, and an elder brother must not be treated with disrespect, especially by a Brahmana, though one be grievously offended (by them). (225)

The teacher is the image of Brahman, the father the image of Pragapati (the lord of created beings), the mother the image of the earth, and an (elder) full brother the image of oneself. (226)

But again after some verses, teacher is glorified as supreme between these.

The father, forsooth, is stated to be the Garhapatya fire, the mother the Dakshinagni, but the teacher the Ahavaniya fire; this triad of fires is most venerable. (231)

He who neglects not those three, (even after he has become) a householder, will conquer the three worlds and, radiant in body like a god, he will enjoy bliss in heaven. (232)

By honouring his mother he gains this (nether) world, by honouring his father the middle sphere, but by obedience to his teacher the world of Brahman. (233)

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