By Achyut Gopal Das
"It may be possible to gild pure gold but who can make his mother more beautiful" - Mahatma Gandhi
We all exist because of our mothers. We owe our entire existence to them. But the scriptures explain that we have not one but a couple of them. Being connected to them is the way we can fill our life with love, nourishment and a sense of security.
MOTHER OF BIRTH
A few days ago, while I was traveling in the train from Mathura to Delhi, I saw a young mother with her little baby. I could witness the natural love a mother has for her child. Whenever another train would cross our train, she would jump to close the ears of the sleeping baby, so that he is not disturbed in his sleep. When Sun started to shine on the child's face, she at once closed the shutter of the window. I started to think of all the inconveniences my mother must have taken for me - the sleepless nights she must have spent in taking care of me as a child, the commitment and consistency to cook for us, 3 times a day for 365 days, year after year whether she was sick or not and what to speak of all the laundry she did for us. All this without a single day's break. I am sure, all our mothers have done all this and more for us. But, how much are we grateful for it.
As children we were dependent so much on our mothers to fill our hearts with her affection but as we get older, when it's time for us to reciprocate with her by being considerate and compassionate to her, we tend to shrug it off in the name of being busy and loaded with lots of responsibilities. When we are children we don't reciprocate with her love because we are too naive and childish and we grow up into adults we are unable to reciprocate with her because we are too tied down with various responsibilities. Poor mother, she has to remain content with just giving love without expecting anything in return. The heart of a mother is so big that she finds happiness in her child's happiness.
One thing that will help us reconnect to our mothers as adults is to know that we still need her love to fill our emotional bank and soothe our stress. One reason why we face so much stress in life is because we have reduced our connection with our mother. Spending time with her is a sure shot way to stay at peace. Speaking about stress - an interesting fact is that children who have not received sufficient love and affection from their mothers tend to be insecure and emotionally unfulfilled as adults. Many times these children try to fill their emotional vacuum in unhealthy and unethical ways. So, if you are emotionally stable and secure, be grateful that your mother has invested her time and energy in you. You are truly blessed.
Another important mother in our life is Mother Nature. Nature or Earth has rightly been given the title of a Mother. Like our birth-mother, nature also nourishes us - not only our body but our minds and souls as well. Spending time with nature is the best way to de-stress ourself. The more artificial our life, the more empty it seems and the more natural it is, the more rich our life becomes. And making our life natural means spending time with nature.
The former President and Missile man of India, Late Shri A. P. J. Abdul Kalam recalls in his book "The Journey", the childhood memories of his father. How he would get up everyday at 4 am and spend the first few hours of the day with nature - seeing the beauty of the rising sun, hearing the chirping of the birds and feeling the crisp and cool morning breeze. Sir Abdul Kalam mentions that even though his father was not well educated in the formal sense, he was extremely intelligent and mature. He keenly observed that everyday his father would come back from his early morning walk, more wiser and calmer. Yes, this a universal principle. Nature has the power to calm our anxious hearts and award us wisdom. Most scientists, poets and writers get their inspiration from being in touch with nature. Nature can teach us so much that even the most prestigious University can't.
According to doctors, naturopaths and healers walking barefoot on earth, seeing and hearing a flowing river, sitting near an ocean, trekking, sitting below a tree are few of the many things that are scientifically proven ways to live a healthy life. Just like our mother restores us back to health when we are sick, similarly Mother Nature also has the ability to restore us back to health. Some practical and simple tips to add the nature touch to our fast-paced urban life -
- Try to allow a lot of fresh air and sunlight into your house and workplace. Sunlight and fresh air at once uplifts your spirit and inspires creativity.
- Make it a habit or better still an addiction to spend time with nature whenever you get the opportunity. If you don't get one, deliberately create one. It's worth the endeavour.
- Try to place plants at different places in your house. If you can't go to nature often, why not bring nature home.
- And most importantly try to live a lifestyle that doesn't destroy nature. That means reducing our compulsive buying habit and living a simple life.
Cow has been an integral part of the Indian Vedic life. It has been it's very fabric and backbone. The cow has always been worshipped as the mother and the bull as the father of mankind. The bull tills land and gives us grain and the cow gives the miracle drink in the form of it's milk. Not only it's milk but it's dung and urine are also equally beneficial if not more. Like our own mother and mother earth, mother cow also completely nourishes our body, mind and soul. Just spending time with cows can put our minds at peace because the cow by it's very nature is a very peaceful and satisfied animal. You will at once experience the shift in energy you feel when you come in touch with cows. It's truly out of this world - a divine experience.
And if you serve the cow and please her, the blessings she will give you has the power to destroy all your obstacles and bring forth a flood of prosperity, abundance and auspiciousness in your life. This is not a least exaggeration. This phenomenon has been experienced by thousands of people since generations. That's precisely the reason why India was the most prosperous country in the world because Indians knew and believed in the power of a mother's blessing. This principle applies to our other mothers too. And vice versa, the society that doesn't respect it's mothers is destined to be cursed and doomed. The recent Kerala floods is a graphic example of the result of a state that actively promoted cow slaughter. It's time to learn our lessons even though the harder way before it's too late.
In a cultured society, all women other than one's wife are seen as mothers and are given due respect. This is real education according to the wise Chanakya Pandit. Just see, how far we have drifted by this standard. By this yardstick we live in a very uneducated, backward and uncultured time. Women are no longer seen with eyes of respect but with eyes of exploitation. The sad part is that the women folk don't seem to get this. In the name of freedom and equal rights they are victims of exploitation to unscrupulous men. The traditional Vedic way of living is the most advanced way of living - training it's practitioners to raise their consciousness to a very high level and the most important element of the training is to train them to respect women.
Lord Krishna Himself showed the world how to treat and reciprocate with all our mothers. He showed such love for His parents, the elderly motherly gopis, the cows and did such great service to free Mother earth of it's burden. In fact one of the main reason He descends to this world is to serve the mother community because He's the one who set the principle that an ideal society is a society that respects and honours it's mothers.
Just like we have a mother who gives birth to our material body, whom we owe our body to, we also have our Eternal Mother to whom we owe our very soul. In different religions She is called and addressed by different names. In Vedic culture, She is addressed as Sita, Lakshmi or Radha - the consort of our Supreme Father. She is our Mother God or Mother Supreme. The scriptures abundantly and extensively glorify This Supreme Mother - Her love, Her compassion and Her grace for all of us. A mother is always more kind and merciful than the father similarly our Eternal Mother is more merciful than The Supreme Father. That's the reason why devotees desperately seek the grace of the Divine Mother, Srimati Radharani in their spiritual pursuits. Her grace can force Lord Krishna to shower His mercy on us even unwillingly.
The heart of a mother is very big. What to speak of the heart of The Supreme Mother. Her love and Her grace encompasses everyone. If you study Ramayana scrutinisingly you will notice that whenever Lord Rama killed any demons, Mother Sita was never present with Him. Why? Because She wouldn't have allowed Lord Rama to kill them, She just can't see the suffering of others.
There is a hope giving and touching story from the life of Sri Radha. One-time in Vrindavan, very near to where She was sitting with Her girlfriends, there was a group of children throwing stones and setting fire around a she-jackal. The she-jackal howled in pain seeking help and mercy. It's desperate cry reached the tender heart of Sri Radha. Her heart couldn't tolerate it. She at once sent Her intimate friend Lalita to free the jackal and bring it to Her. When the jackal was brought in front of Her, She awarded the jackal liberation and made it one of Her sakhis in the Spiritual world. Such is the nature of Her love and grace. It defies all logic and reason. She is ready to open the doors of the Spiritual world in exchange for a little devotion from our side. That's why devotees chant Her name even before chanting the names of Krishna or Rama. They know that the key to the Spiritual world rests fully in Her custody.
In summary, all the love we are looking for to fill our love banks is available abundantly through the hearts of our mothers and the best news is that we have so many mothers. This is the greatest blessing in life, we just need to be grateful to it and value it. Let us bow down humbly to all our mothers and strive to be worthy children who will make them proud and happy. Let us always remain in touch with our mothers to remain in touch with peace, joy, love and prosperity.