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The epics and the purāṇās are full of instances where the sons have served their mother devotedly.

BY DEVIKANANDA JI

OṀ (AUM)-MAA-TRU-DE'-VA-POO-JI-TA-BHOO-MYAI—NA-MA-HA

ॐ मातृदेवपुजितभूम्यै नमः


(Māta: Mother; Pūjita: One who is honored or worshipped)

Hinduism has given the highest place of honor to the mother. In fact, the very etymological derivation of the word mātā is- mānyate pūjyateyāsā, meaning- one who is honored or worshipped. The Ṫaiṫṫirīya Upanishad advises the outgoing student of the gurukulam (forest academy run by the ṟishis or sages) to look upon his mother as if she were God himself. She is placed above the father and the Vedic teacher. In fact, the status of motherhood has been raised to the highest level by depicting even God, as the Divine Mother, in later religious literature like the purāṇās and the ṫanṫrās. It is the bounden duty of the son to protect her and maintain her at all costs even if she were a sinner, reduced to the level of an outcast.

One of the smruṫis (Śankhalikhiṫa) gives an interesting piece of advice to a son that he should not take sides when his father and mother are quarrelling. If at all, he should side with his mother. The epics and the purāṇās are full of praise for mothers and of instances (like that of the Pānḍavās) where the sons have served their mother devotedly. They also warn that if a mother is deeply hurt and utters a curse, it can never be averted. There are several instances where the mothers inspired and shaped the character of their sons.

There are many movies and songs in India about motherhood and the love of a mother towards her children sacrificing herself for them. No matter how old her son or daughter might be, for a mother they are her children. She carries the baby for 9 months and goes through labor to bring the child into this world. A baby's first food is mother's milk which provides immunity to the child. She feeds the baby and quenches its hunger even if she has to starve. We see that not just in humans but in the animal kingdom also. No female backs off from protecting its babies from predators. Nobody can replace a mother and hence, our sacred texts describe the goddess Durga, the teacher's wife, the earth and the wife of an elder brother as mothers. For Hindus, the mother is honored and worshipped as a goddess and their children serve them in their old age.


Our nation, which honours and worships the mother, is 'Mātrudevapūjita Bhūmi'.


(Key Words: Mother, Child, Son, Daughter, Baby, Hindus, Hinduism, Epic)


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