Featured Post


May 17, 2016
मातृदेवो भव (Worship mother as god. It is the lesson the guru gives to a student on completion of studies, in Taitreeya Upanishad.)
कुपुत्रो जायेत क्वचिदपि कुमाता न भवति (A bad son may be born somewhere, but there is no bad mother. Adi Sankara in Devi kshamaparadhastava)
जननी जन्भूमिश्च स्वर्गादपि गरीयसी (Mother and motherland are greater than even heaven).
When Rama takes leave of his mother while going on exile explaining to her why dharma is important to counter her wishing to join him, she blesses him saying, 'May that dharma to protect which you are going on exile protect you.' She says, 'Why is not today the day when you have returned after exile?'
Rama in turn asks his father to take care of his mother while leaving.
Ramayana is a source book of our dharma.
I share these thoughts on

May 30, 2016

Mothers and sons:

Literature is legion on the nobility of mother and scripture effusive on one’s duty to mother. The experience is hardly matching.

When I moved to London and watched a TV programme, one lady was complaining how the old age home was not taking care of her mother. That shocked me. Instead of taking care of her mother, she has been left to languish in the old age home, so ran my moralistic mind.

We have varying perceptions - mythological, literary, historic and scientific- on mother-son bondage.

Oedipus must make one extreme perhaps. He marries his mother, maybe in error. But, science, Freud onwards(?), seems to give it an evolutionary basis.
“.. all of us so-called normal people as children are sexually attracted to our parents. Thus every male wants to make love to his mother and comes to regard his father as a sexual rival. .. these forbidden feelings remain repressed by adulthood, they remain dormant..” (Phantoms in the Brain).

Sankara, going by the story we learn, was a rebel. He insisted on becoming a sanyasi skipping being a grihastha. Then he defied the sastra and performed rites for his mother unmindful of the society boycotting. He poured into five verses the pains the mother undergoes from the moment of conception to delivery and in the formative years. He wonders how he could ever requite all that.

At the other end we have one general who refused to see his mother and did not even attend her funeral.

Will Durant explains the altercation between Schopenhauer and his mother who was a famous person of her time. Schopenhauer says and it has become true, ‘You will be known to future only through me.’

The way of nature seems to be what I read in Readers’ Digest long back:
“Parents love their children and the children love their children.” When the estate of a dead man is to be shared, everyone is generous in letting anyone take his wife. The law may have changed, but a widow is often at the mercy of children.

I have seen any number of instances where mother is neglected and there is two-way pain. The normal practice is that mother is separated for incompatibility. I have seen a couple of marriages break because of mother. It is no good trying to apportion blame. Arguments do not broaden the mind or produce understanding. We need to deal with a fait accompli.

Old age home is a good idea and we must make it viable and pleasant instead of sticking to a moribund family virtue at the cost of inconvenience alround.