TOUCHING WORDS OF ADI SANKARA ON MOTHERHOOD!
“There is none equal to a mother to nourish the body;
none equal to knowledge to adorn a person;
none equal to worry to destroy a person;
none equal to a friend to bring pleasure to one.
We are here because of our mothers! The pains she took in bringing us forth alive, the several months that she carried us all within her so stoically, followed by even greater care soon after our birth – such is motherhood!”
As the world celebrates the MOTHER’S DAY today on Sunday, I rejoice at the thought of my own mother and the mother of my children! In fact, I salute all the mothers of the world!
Who better to tell us the glories of mother-hood than Adi Sankara?
On hearing the demise of his mother, Adi Sankaracharya rushed to Kaladi, his native village, to do the crematory rites for his mother. He is said to have composed five verses in praise of motherhood, called Mathru Panchagam.
In the first verse, he recognizes the immense pains a mother experiences, during and immediately after the birth of a child! He remembers mother’s sufferings during the early months of pregnancy, followed by unbearable pain during child-birth! He recognizes the janitorial services she renders the child with great joy and affection! To such a mother, he says, “my salutations!”
Sankara, the Omnicient boy who had renounced everything and was a renowned cries out aloud with the following verse, as he places a handful of dry rice into his dead mother’s mouth, as per ritual custom.
To my mother’s mouth that once exclaimed aloud with immense joy: “My pearl!, my jewel!, my very eye!, my prince!, my very life!, may you live very long!” (என் முத்தே, என் மணியே, என் கண்ணே, என் ராசாவே, என் உசிரே, நீ ரொம்பநாள் இருக்கணும்) — to that very same mouth that uttered these loving words, all I am offering now is a handful of dry rice!”
He finally laments regretfully as below:
O! my mother equal to none! please pardon me who arrived too late to see you! I did not offer a spoonful of water at the moment of your death; I did not offer any cooked rice as you became a pitru, I did not even utter the Raama- taaraka mantram in your ear as you approached death! I repentfully seek your mercy, my mother!!
Aren’t we able to feel what Adi Sankara may have gone through that day! All we can offer to mother-hood is affectionate and loving salutations for what they have given us!
HAIL MOTHERHOOD, THE PERSONIFICATION OF UNABATED LOVE!
By seeing and respecting every woman as a mother, one can attain even liberation through Sri Vidhya practice as per our scriptures.
Importance of Divine Mother Worship:
What World needs now is more consciousness of the Divine Mother to balance out the overly masculine, intellectual approach that is dominant here. With all our great mental insights, we’ve failed to realize one simple truth: this world is not real.
In essence, we are a part of the Infinite, and it’s God who’s playing our particular role in life. God is uniquely present in each one of us, and has His own song to sing through everyone. The whole purpose of this great drama is-to realize that you are God.
But we must be careful. We can’t correctly say, “This body is God. This personality is God.” No. But God is you-this is correct. In the end, Self-realization means to know that the whole universe is a part of our own reality, and that in our basic nature, we are infinite.
Without a mother, father cannot create similarly the Brahman needs this Sakthi Divine mother the dynamic force with endowed intelligence to create thus vast universes with constituents of infinite names and forms.
To develop devotion for Divine Mother, in the beginning we often need to think in terms of a human form. When I first came to GF, I was tired of being intellectual and wanted to develop devotion. I began praying to Divine Mother, and used to visualize the face of my godmother. That may seem ridiculous, but she had a very loving nature that reminded me of the innocence and sweetness that I was trying to develop. In this way, I gradually tuned into the consciousness of Divine Mother, so that when I think of Her now, I don’t think of any form.
The trouble with worshiping God only as Father is that He tends to present an image of a judge–somewhat stern and aloof. But Divine Mother is filled with compassion, and will forgive you even if you’ve done wrong, “Pray to the Mother, ‘Naughty or good, still I’m your child, and you must help me.'”
A Mother is a magical gem in everyone’s life. She is the greatest and ultimate source of happiness and joy for a child. Her contributions are certainly too great and it is impossible to compare, imagine the true value or evaluate. Above all, her love is pure and innocent. To find a Mother who does not love is probably an impossible task.
Unless you develop selfless love for GOD through Divine Mother worship you cannot escape the misery of this Mayic world.
Salutations to All the Mothers of the world. Happy Mother’s Day!
Matru Panchakam – On Greatness of Mother by Adi Shankaracharya