Sunday, May 8, 2011

Salute to All the Mothers

Mother, Mama, Mom, Matru(Sanskrit), Maa/Maata(Hindi), Amma(Telugu), Maman(French), Mutter(Germany) any language the love, the sacrifice, kindness, patience and many such qualities associated with the image of mother is common. The moment one says "Mother" our hearts are filled with joy, happiness and love.

For a mother-giving birth to a child is an ordeal but she still loves it. Carrying the child in the womb, nurturing it carefully with love, bringing it out into the world and then again taking care of the child  to mould it into a worthy human being is a very difficult task. It is said that every time a mother delivers a child, it is like rebirth for her. Despite the advancement in medical sciences, giving birth is still not easy.

Mothers are always there for us whether 4 or 40 years-we need them always. When we are happy, we want to share with her. When we are sad or frustrated, we cry on her shoulder. Our triumphs or losses, our laughs and tears we share with her. She is there to pat on our backs, motivate when we feel low. She is our first friend, philosopher and guide-in total the God Himself(Herself?). Many say that God created mother as a representative of Himself. I feel it is true. No matter how much we praise our mothers it is far less. So is it any wonder Mothers are loved and worshipped?

How It started:

Mother Goddess was worshipped since ancient times dating back to around 6000BC specially in the Asian region. This is quiet evident from the Mohenjodaro where terracota forms of Mother Goddess were found. Actually Mother Goddess-(wife of Pashupathinath) known as Parvathi, Amba or Durga generally referred to as Maa or Maata are still worshipped in India even today. She is known as "Ammala ganna Amma"-that is the Great Mother who gave birth to all the mothers.

The Greeks imported this culture as Cybele-the mother of Greek Gods. Cybelle was identified with Rhea and worshipped or honoured. Ancient Romans celebrated Matronalia in honour of Juno for fertility of married women. Husbands gave gifts and money to their wives on this occasion and prayed for them. However,Romans adopted the Greek festival of worshipping Mother Goddess to absorb the Greeks into their culture but introduced their own customs.

Later on the festival of Mothering Sunday- celebrated on 4th Sunday of Lent by Christians in
the honour of Mother Virgin Mary came into existence.Children or youngster who were working in the houses of the rich were given a day off on that date so they could visit their families or return to their "Mother" church. They  would pick wild flowers along the way to place them in the church or to give them to their mothers as gifts.  This became popular as a tradition of giving gifts to mothers. However these celebrations are not the basis for the celebrations in our times.

The present Mother's Day celebrations has some antecedents. The women's peace groups of USA had a major role in this. The meetings of mothers of the sons who fought and died on opposite sides of the American Civil War may be the first attempt. Several such local meetings took place in 1870s and 1880s. 

In 1870, Julia Ward Home of US  made a  Mothers Day Proclamation as she believed that women had a responsibility to shape the societies at the political level too. This moment died away after a decade or so.

In 1868 Ann Maria Jarvis founded a Committee to establish a "Mother's Friendship Day" for reuniting the families which were divided due to the American Civil War.  She wanted to make it an annual memorial for mothers. But she died in 1905. Her daughter Anna Jarvis continued this. She campaigned for a national  holiday on Mother's day in US and later on internationally.

On May 8th 1914 a law was passed by the US Congress designating second Sunday of May as mother's Day and the then President Woodrow Wilson issued the proclamation on 9th May.

We Indians were always taught Matru Devo Bhava meaning Mother is God. She comes first, then father, teacher and then guest. That is the order of preference. In fact our scriptures say that it is the mother who shows or introduces the child its father. Till then the child is unaware or its father. So we are taught to respect our parents from an early age.

We had joint families and teaching of morals, ethics and values became easy. But now our younger generations are weaning away from our traditions and values. it is really very sad to see many children neglecting their parents in their old ages. I feel it is not enough to just remember your mother on mothers day.It should be followed through out. In fact if we follow our ancient scriptures, traditions and customs, we can take good care of our parents. What our parents need in their old age is our love, care. they feel cherished if we can spend some time with them frequently. They don't need the cards or presents we give them. They need us.

So on Mothers Day we should all pledge that we will take care of our parents. They need this after all they have done for us. In that way I am lucky to have my mom with me so that I can take proper care of her through out....

Wishing All A Very Happy Mother's Day and My Salute to my Mother, my Grand Mothers as well as all the Mothers and Grand Mothers...for their love care, sacrifices in moulding us.

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