Motherhood in Vedic Culture - Mother's Day

By Sunanda Kumar

This is the transcript of a radio pravachan presented on 13 May 07 by Arya Veeraangana Sunanda Kumar Ji on the Arya Pratinidhi Sabha of NZ's radio programme called "Arya Sandesh". This programme plays on Radio Tarana 1386am (New Zealand's leading Hindi Radio Station) on every Sunday at 08:30am NZ Time.

Click here to listen to the audio presentation.


According to the Western World, today is mother’s day. Taking into account the importance of this event I have decided to talk in English so that I can reach all the members of our younger generation and relay to them what is this so called “ mother’s day” according to the Vedic culture. At the moment we are celebrating mother’s day once a year. Does this mean our mothers performed the mother’s duty on only one day per year? Definitely not, our mothers perform mother’s duty 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and 52 weeks a year. So if you think that going and meeting your mother today and giving her a gift has fulfilled your duty towards your mother then you are wrong. Remember your mother’s absolute love for you is totally unconditional. She doesn’t want gifts or words of praise; all she wants is your welfare, your success, your progress and your happiness. No one in this world can give you this much unselfish love but your mother. Can you as a child do anything to hurt this pure heart and the soul of your mother? This is where the Vedic culture stands out like a beacon and tells the world what a mother is worth. So let me relay the sentiments regarding a mother.

The mother is the panacea for all kinds of calamities. The existence of the mother insures one with protection; the reverse deprives one of all protection. A person whose mother exists, even if hehappens to be possessed of sons and grandsons and even if he himself is hundred years old, in his mother’s eyes he is still a two year old. Whether the mother is able or disabled, lean or robust, the son is always protected by the mother. No one else is a better protector of the child. When the child is deprived of his mother, then does he realize he is grief stricken and the world empty. There is no shelter like the mother. There is no refuge like the mother. There is no defense like the mother. There is no one so dear as the mother. For having borne him in her womb the mother is the son’s “dharti”. For having been the chief cause of his birth, she is his “jannani”. For having nursed his young limbs, she is called “amma”.

There is no mode of life that is superior to serving one’s mother.

When a woman is being transformed into a mother three miracles happen at once.

The first miracle is the miracle of childbirth.

The act of giving birth is the only moment when both pain and pleasure converge in a moment of time and work in unison. This is the second miracle.

Before the childbirth, the lady was only a woman. After the childbirth, the woman has transformed into a mother. This is the third miracle.

This experience of transformation into motherhood is a privilege reserved exclusively for women. Motherhood is another name for devotion. The selfless love and devotion towards the child are grown from the seeds of innocence; no cunning, scheming, selfish motives are involved here, this is pure love which only mothers are blessed with.

The future happiness and well being of the child is absolutely dependent upon the proper preservation and functioning of the family unit. The future well being of the society, of the community and of the nation and ultimately of the world is absolutely dependent upon the proper preservation and functioning of the family unit. The measure of the level of happiness and well being of a nation is measured by the happiness and well being of each family in the country. Family is a pious phenomenon productive of goodness that acts as a shield against the eroding influences that distort and destroy the culture and noble values. A well functioning family is essentially a temple that transforms a house into a home.

And who is in control of this home? It is the mother.

Mother’s time with children, guided by wisdom and properly utilized, lays the proper foundation for nation building. A well-balanced individual with solid psychological foundations is the quality thread that goes into making the fabric of the nation. So the root of the nation building is the mother.

The proper understanding of this fact and its implementation will be the fourth miracle.

Motherhood is a spiritual transformation of wifehood. The wife may and does demand and take; but the mother feels it is her privilege to give. If woman as wife is socially significant, than woman as mother is spiritually glorious. The Vedic culture trains every man to look upon all women as forms of the one Divine Mother. The mother is more worthy of reverence than father or teacher according to our scriptures.
According to Manu Smriti I quote:-

"From the point of view of reverence due,
a teacher is ten fold superior to a mere lecturer,
a father is a hundred fold superior to a teacher,
and a mother is a thousand fold superior to a father."

The performance of domestic duties, the management of her household, the rearing of children, the economising of the family means- these are a mother’s forte. She is already endowed with divine love and power. She already governs the world by her power of gentle love and affection. To make noble citizens by training her children, to form the character of the whole human race is undoubtedly a power far greater than that which a woman could hope to exercise as a voter, a law-maker, a president, a prime minister or as a judge.

A woman’s natural sphere of activity is the home. She can be the greatest patriot by living in a simple homestead, raising noble, cultured citizens. Unfortunately, nowadays babies are born and brought up in nursery schools and maternity homes. They do not know the health giving, affectionate and tender soul-expanding caress of their mothers. They do not know what it is to sleep in the warm embrace of a loving mother. Brought up in the atmosphere of bargain and economics, they develop even in their teens, an unceasing devotion to the dollar and material wealth. The inspiring force of the home is the mother. The home is the origin and beginning of every form of social organisation. It is the nursery of the nation. It is the sweetest place wherein children are trained for the future citizenship. The woman illuminates the home through the glory of motherhood. Good habits, right conduct and formation of good character are created in children in a well regulated home under the personal influence of the mother. The loving kindness and the cultured gentleness of the mother help the children to unfold their natural talents and dormant capacities quickly. Children absorb ideas by suggestion and imitation. Early training and impressions formed at an early age are ever lasting. The mother at home can do the formation of character very effectively. Therefore, home is the most beautiful training ground for character building in children under the personal guidance of the mother.

Vedic culture recognises the ideal of motherhood as the highest for a woman. There is so much talk in the West about the emancipation of women. Scrutinise her closely and you will find her a slave of appetites, fashions, and the dollar. In our Vedic period women enjoyed an honourable and exalted position. They still occupy a high position now. The object of marriage is mutual happiness of the parties, the raising of children, and worship and service of the Lord. Coming to the forefront in her profession is certainly not the test or criterion of the true greatness of a mother.

The happiness for a woman lies not in catering for carnal passions, not in challenging man in his own field by forgetting her natural course of duties, but in leading the ideal life as taught in the sacred scriptures; the crowning glory of womanhood. Then alone will woman be restored to the original dignity of the Universal Mother, which she is to every Arya now.

Women are the backbone or bedrock that sustain dharma and national strength, peace and prosperity.

Manu declares:

"The woman who always does good, who is efficient in work, sweet in speech, devoted to her duty and service of mankind, is really no human being but a goddess."

A woman is essentially not the object of a man’s lust, but is the mother, the maker, and the leader. It is the privilege of a mother to bring up her children, to help them to develop their distinctive natural gifts. Our scriptures say “Matra devo bhava”- treat your mother as a goddess.

Mothers are the greatest conservers of our culture. They adhere to the household ritual, lullabies and popular poetries. A definite philosophy of life is bound up with these. By the very quality of their being, mothers are the missionaries of civilization. With their immense capacity for self-sacrifice they are the unquestioned leaders of mankind.

According to Mark Twain:

“India is the cradle of the human race, the birthplace of human speech, the mother of history, the grandmother of legend and the great grand mother of tradition.”

If this is true we must honour and give the due respect to our mothers and look after them with same love and affection as she did when you were young. You will never be able to repay her debts but you will make her happy. If your mother is happy, then you have a happy home and a happy nation.

May God give all of us the strength, courage and wisdom to give our mothers the respect they rightfully deserve. May God bless all the mothers of the world.

© Copyright 2007 Arya Pratinidhi Sabha of New Zealand (Aotearoa) Inc.