The first word a child learns to speak is Ma, Amma, Mama... The first touch it recognises, is the mother’s touch. The first sound- mother’s voice, first smell- mother’s skin, first taste- mother’s milk. The mother-child duo, can have heart-to-heart communication without words. My children often ask me, how I know this and that about them. I just laugh and say that I am no less than the CBI!
Tulsi Dasji said, ‘Janani jane to Bhakt jane, yaa data yaa shoor. Nahin to Janani baanjh rahe, kaahe gawaaye noor.’ Meaning: A mother should give birth to a child who is either a devotee of God or who serves humanity or is a valiant warrior, otherwise let her remain childless and not lose the charm of her body in birthing. Well! Without getting into the literal translation of the couplet, suffice it to say that a woman should groom her child to be a good human.
A mother can infuse her child’s heart and mind with good thoughts. On the flip side, she could be self-occupied, being oblivious to the child ingesting thoughts or visuals of violence, greed, lust etc. Breast feeding is the best time for talking, connecting, loving, caressing, cuddling etc. Later, meal times are best for story-telling and developing eye-to-eye contact.
Sri Sathya Sai Baba says, “Motherhood is the most precious gift of God. Mothers are the makers of a nation’s fortune or misfortune. They should teach two lessons, fear of sin and fondness of virtue.” This is so profound! If every mother ensures that her children have fear of sin and fondness of virtue, many problems would be solved. For this, mothers need to give time! There is a lot of chatter about fathers and mothers playing an equal role in parenting but God designed the mother’s body to give birth and also breast feed. Till men are able to do these, mothers shall remain to hold the primary position for bringing up babies!
In Punjabi it is said, Maawaan thandian chaawaan, Peo tatte gheo! (Mothers provide cool shade, fathers are like hot ghee!) Mothers are for giving love and comfort; fathers are for fostering discipline. My mother was my go-to person for everything. My father was like a lion in the house! I was scared of him till perhaps I turned forty!
Women spend a huge part of their lives in mothering. Sadly some children, mostly in the affluent strata, couldn’t care less. Why is being disrespectful, considered to be a sign of liberation and emancipation? If you are a young mother, do give this a thought. Are we wanting to raise narcissistic, hedonist children who would be a burden to the parents, the society and the planet? The subtle thoughts being exuded by films, advertisements, digital games, mimes, social-media, like, ‘What are you doing for yourself?, ‘Will this make you happy?’, ‘You only live once!’ etc. are making children self-centred, egoistic and high-headed. We seriously need to watch what our children are absorbing from the surroundings.
Mother’s Day is basically a concept of the West wherein, once a year people visit or send flowers and gifts to their aged mothers … who live alone, perhaps in old age homes. In Indian culture, we are groomed to look after our old parents … we don’t really need to celebrate Mother’s day!
For all that mothers do, do they expect anything in return? Matri-rinn koyi nahin chukaa sakta … but if we raise good children, we can surely pay it forward in the circle of life!
If your mother is alive, do tell her that you can never repay what she has done for you, but you do acknowledge her love and sacrifices. And if you are a mother, and have been able to raise your progeny to be valuable humans, here’s wishing you, A Happy Mother’s Day! May your tribe increase!
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This article is published in the HT on 14.05.2023. It can be viewed here https://www.hindustantimes.com/cities/chandigarh-news/mothers-day-the-power-of-motherhood-in-grooming-good-humans-and-shaping-a-nation-s-fortune-or-misfortune-101684014229741.html