February , 2018
Mother – the root of all existence
15:32 pm

Ellora De

Every manifestation of power in the Universe is ‘Mother’ – Swami Vivekananda

The question ‘what are you?’ is a deeper one than ‘what have you done or achieved?’ And the question ‘what are you ?’ is actually related to the word ‘Mother’, the source of our existence, as a tree is related to its roots.  She is a symbol of purity, trueness and integrity. What a mother does for her child is simply out of pure love, passion and selfless affection. A mother rises above all limits and boundaries of her own self to take care of her child.

Motherhood: All love begins and ends there – Robert Browning

I am always uniquely thrilled as I utter this six- letter- word ‘Mother’.  My mother is that secret of my inner strength which drives me to survive and move forward in life and to live life with fullness.

I lost my mother 17 years ago. She was a cancer survivor. But she lived her life with extraordinary courage. I still remember the day when she received her first cancer detection report. She herself collected the report and then came to my office, and as I came out, my brave mother gave me a heavenly smile and said, “It’s malignant.”

The mother is the panacea for all kinds of calamities  – Bhishma from Mahabharata

To describe my mother would be to write about a hurricane in its perfect power. Or the climbing, falling colours of a rainbow – Maya Angelou

The great women of Hindu mythology, like Jabala (the mother of Satyakam Jabala), Madalasa, Sita and Kunti are examples of courageous, honest, responsible mothers, who could incorporate great values of humanity in their children.

In the background of gender bias, female feticide, and other gender related issues of Indian society, it is simply fascinating to note that women played an important role in ancient India. This is reflected in Indian mythology, the Vedas, and the Epics. Starting from Jabala in the Upanishad, Madalasa from the Purana, up to Sita in the Ramayana, and Draupadi, Kunti, and Gandhari in the Mahabharata – all these ancient Indian females stood tall in their life as bright, brilliant, sensitized, broad-minded, personified, decisive, and venerated personalities and these are the qualities which portray today's women as well as mothers !

Jabala is a character of chapter IV of Chandogya Upanishad. In the Upanishad she was described as a servant-maid and prostitute. With the thirst of knowledge, her son went to the sage Haridrumata Gautama to take lessons from him, who enquired about his parents. But when Jabala was asked by Satyakam about his father, she honestly answered that she would not be able to say that as she went to many places and moved with many people. She also directed Satyakam to call himself Satyakam Jabala. As Satyakam stated this truth to his teacher, the sage praised his truthfulness which is the quality of a true Brahmin, and accepted Satyakam Jabala as his disciple. Life was not easy for Jabala but still she did not leave the path of truth and courage and groomed her son to be an honest, humble person and could inject the thirst of knowledge in him.

Madalasa is a spiritually inclined woman character of Markandeya Purana. She was the wife of Gandharva king Ritudhwaj. Her husband gave her the responsibility to mentor their children. She injected selfless values in her sons. Three of them became hermits to serve humanity. Her fourth son also ultimately became an ascetic.

Kunti is a courageous female character of the Mahabharata. She devoted her life to her five sons (Pandavas) of her late husband, King Pandu. She left no stone unturned to give them right education, incorporated in them the right values, helped them to become great human beings, guided them appropriately to get their dues as rightful heirs  to the throne of Hastinapur. She faced all adversities in life with courage and taught her sons to do the same. She was like a pillar to her family. Even when Draupadi, her daughter-in-law, was insulted by the Kauravas, she stood strongly by her and asked her sons to give befitting reply. She is a character of virtue and an example of toughness of spirit and sacrifice.

Sita, the individualistic woman and mother character of the epic Ramayana, was able to make her own identity in the crowd of great male characters of the epic. She reared her sons as the suitable heirs of their father while being separated from her husband. When her sons met their father, Rama and she was again back to Ayodhya, Sita was further asked to prove her innocence through social rituals. Here she refused to succumb to the social inappropriateness and embraced death as liberation. She finished all her earthly and motherly responsibilities and then defied common societal stand and embraced selfhood and liberty.

The inner strength, courage, strong morals of these ancient mother characters emphasise courageous motherhood. They are the perfect role models for today’s women and mothers.

According to the earliest Hindu scriptures, Devi Bhagavati is the mother of the fathers of this universe. She is the personification of wisdom, intelligence, bliss and ultimate truth.

In the above context we cannot miss out the name of Sarada Devi, an epitome of motherly affection and the wife of Shri Ramakrishna Paramhansa.  She supported her husband in every possible way to reach his divine goal. Sarada Math and Ramakrishna Sarada Mission were established on the ideals of Maa Sarada. She was not only a mystic but she was the universal mother to all the followers of Ramakrishna Mission, Ramakrishna Sarada Mission and Sarada Math. Sarada Devi is fondly remembered for her affection, dedication, sacrifice and patience.

The mind is everything. It is in the mind alone that one feels pure and impure –  Sarada Devi

Is faith so cheap, my child? Faith is the last word. If one has faith, the goal is practically reached – Sarada Devi

‘The Mother’ of Aurobindo Ashram is the milestone of power and divine knowledge. The Ashram immensely grew into a large and integrated community under the guidance of Mother.

Motherhood is a spontaneous outcome of every woman. All females are potential mothers. Sister Nivedita, Mother Teresa proved that in their journey through life.

Sister Nivedita was the mother of many Indians, especially for the people of the then Calcutta, now Kolkata. She worked with motherly passion for the girls’ education in Calcutta. She went door to door to pursue girls to embrace formal education. Although from a foreign country, she had tried to develop nationality among the youth of India. During the outbreak of plague in 1899 and famine in 1906, she dedicated herself to taking care of hundreds.

It is not possible to describe the motherhood of our very dear Mother Teresa in a few lines. She dedicated her life to stand by and take care of the destitute, unwanted, ailing people and fought for them. She spread her love for the unwanted ones and gave them the feeling of dignity. She was the inspiration and phenomenon for the entire world to serve mankind. She taught the world the true definition of motherly love. 

Life is a journey to fulfilment and the attainment of fulfillment, depends on the path that a mother initially paves for her child. A mother influences society most by influencing the life of her child or children. She is the chief architect of a person’s life. Her nurturing and grooming flow like a stream all through one’s life. The amount of love, affection and positivity we spread towards others, we actually receive the same from our mother. The soft touch of a mother’s hand is the ultimate landing place of peace for one.

In the market place of this world,

The mother sits flying her kite

In a hundred thousand,

She cuts the string of one or two

And when the kite soars up into the Infinite

On how she laughs and claps her hands. Sister Nivedita

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