Valuing the Contribution of Mothers

Look at what is happening to the world today, because we don’t understand the Vedic conception of the absolute necessity for a peaceful life and peaceful society, to honour and respect our mothers. The earth is our mother. She is being exploited in such ways that if we keep going this way, even the greatest geologists and scientists don’t know how life can continue. Here in India, the river Yamuna – Yamuna mai, she is one of our sacred mothers. She nourishes hundreds of millions of people with her water. On one level, she is a goddess – the Shakti of Krishna who is the personification of Krishna’s compassion in this world. On a physical level, life is depend on water. She is being dammed, she is being diverted and the river bed of the Yamuna is being filled industrial waste and sewage. And when you bathe in Vrindavan, or Prayag, from the Jamuna side, you are just bathing in the sewage of Delhi. This is India, the land of dharma. Is this the way to honour our mother? The cow is our mother. India is one of the top countries in the world for exporting slaughtered meat of cows. And what are we doing about it? How are we going to change this? We have to educate our children with values. Not just put them in a swirl of anxiety about their exams or where they are going to go to college. And our own mothers. You see, whether it’s mother earth or the Yamuna river or the cow or the mothers of our families, a mother’s seva is supremely sacred but it’s very gentle. Often times, its men who fight wars, who run politics, who bring money home and they are so much recognized and the mother who is taking care of children, who cares? Let her do it! What glorification, what honour do they receive? It’s become so bad, that in secular society, so many women are abandoning taking care of children for carriers, because that’s the way the society sees it. Otherwise, they are just worthless mothers sitting home, cooking, cleaning, nursing. And even within religious societies; I am sad to say, even within our own spiritual society, how much do even the husbands or the society at large value and honour the contribution of a mother? It’s quite rare. And it’s one of the saddest deviations from Vedic culture. Because a mother who does that gentle service, whether she is just quietly flowing as a river, or giving milk in a goshala, or whether she is just mother earth providing quietly crops and trees and fruits and vegetables, or a mother at home who is washing and cleaning and loving little babies and keeps staying up all night if necessary, twenty-four-hour service, a good mother. Do we appreciate? Do we honour? If the society at large does not honour, how will our children appreciate?

Krishna, Krishna showed us a good lesson. He was conquered by the love of His mother. Yashodamai, she wasn’t a warrior, she wasn’t a great scholar; she was just taking care of Gopal. She didn’t even know He is God. But she served His every need with such motherly love, that the supreme absolute truth accepted being bound by her love. And queen Kunti, what a mother she was! When she was praying to Krishna, she was remembering Yashodamai, that “Krishna, You are feared by fear personified. Yet when Yashodamai had her little stick and was sitting in front of You after You stole butter, Your limbs were trembling. Your lips were quivering. Tears were pouring from Your eyes mixing with the black mascara and decorating Your whole body, and You were pleading, pleading to be forgiven”. The supreme absolute truth is showing the power of a mother’s love that He Himself, Lord Narsingadev, we know His powers, Lord Varahadev, the Virat Rupa – the universal form in the eleventh chapter of Bhagavad Gita, well here is the source of all of those forms, conquered by the love of His mother. That is Krishna consciousness.

Sri Radha is the motherly or feminine aspect of the supreme absolute truth. In a family, the mother represents Srimati Radharani. What is the exalted service that she has as that representation? For our children to be emotionally and spiritually and physically nourished properly, they require loving devoted mothers who seriously take responsibility for that service. And for society to be stable and spiritually flourish, the society has to recognise and honour the loving service of a mother. I saw in my life in early years in Krishna consciousness, where a lady was distributing a lot of books or a lady was making a lot of money, or ladies, some of them even work construction, just to be recognised as accomplishing something. But being a mother, there was no credibility of accomplishing anything. Because there is not some immediate results. But so many of the problems in our own society is because in the long run, look what happens. Children are left without proper values and without proper love. You see, in Krishna consciousness, a mother and a father are supposed to be nourishing their children with Krishna’s love, as representatives of Krishna. If we are always talking about Krishna, if we are filling our home with an atmosphere of bhakti, but we are not representing Krishna’s love to them, it’s going to be a very contradictory experience. They are seeing Krishna everywhere by their parents but they are not experiencing Krishna’s love through their parents. This is a great need for each one of us, for our society and for the world. Because even all of us, we will not be stable without the loving care of a mother sometime in our life.

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