Nagrik Dialogue

Mother’s Day – Dr V K Raju

My mother used to say “For doing a good thing, you don’t need a good time (auspicious). Just do it. “

Vedas (the oldest manuscripts of Hinduism) say “Matru Devo Bhava”. Revere your mother as God. In the western literature it is said “God created mother because he (she) could not be everywhere”. Every year I plant 100 trees in US national forest/ park on her death anniversary and host a small religious get together of leaders of multiple religions (Hindu, Muslim, Buddhism, and others).

My mother was very broad minded and very generous. In south India, people look for auspicious day to start a project etc. When they are caught up in waiting for this auspicious time and day, they may lose some opportunities and feel sorry later. My mother used to say” For doing a good thing, you don’t need a good time (auspicious). Just do it. She did not encourage us to go to temples and used to say that God is there in every one of us. She used to recite yoga Vasista in the mornings, but she never insisted her children to do the same. Only later in my life did I realize she did not practice theocentric religion but homocentric religion.

She believed in “Children learn what they live rather than what they are preached” my dad died when I was five years old.

Let us look at what the World religions say about women. Koran and women: When Koran speaks about the souls of human beings, it doesn’t differentiate between man and woman. Bible and woman: God is within her. She will not fail. Buddhism and woman: Buddhist savior goddess (Tara) with numerous forms, widely popular in Nepal, Tibet, and Mongolia. She is the feminine counterpart of Bodhisattva (Buddha to be). Jainism and woman: Jainism is a religion of religious equality, devoted to recognizing the rights of all living creatures, so not surprisingly it accepts that women are able to play their part on the road to liberation.

Hinduism and woman: The Devi Sukta hymn of Rigveda, a scripture of Hinduism, declares the feminine energy as the essence of the universe, the one who creates all matter and consciousness the eternal and infinite, the metaphysical and empirical reality (Brahman), the soul (supreme self) of everything. The woman is celebrated as the most powerful and the empowering force in Hindu Upanishads. There are millions of Hindu deities. Most by far, are Goddesses. In spite of all wonderful views expressed in all these religions, there are also diverse and conflicting views on the position of women. Woman is the conserver of tradition, but she is also the absorber of the shocks of the future.

Only mothers do not get sick leave, casual leave, public holiday, religious holiday, Bereavement leave, compensatory leave, sabbatical leave, and unpaid leave. (They never get any pay.) Call her today and express how grateful you are.

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Nagrik Dialogue is the face of Nagrik Foundation’s communication skills that comes in the form of a monthly magazine. It will work as a bridge for those working at the grass roots level and those who support them in any form and manner.