Mother: A Glimpse Of Heaven On Earth

— Sumit Paul

The second Sunday of May is celebrated as Mother's Day.
“The most beautiful word in any language is mother and its equivalent. Because the word mother not only epitomises and encapsulates all that's lovely and beautiful in this world, but also the most divine in the whole universe." said a famous English philosopher. Mother indeed is the most beautiful word in any language. It evokes a whole spectrum of emotions and a gamut of feelings in the heart of even the most ruthless individual. Anand, the favourite disciple of Gautam Buddha, once asked Buddha, "Who's greater, mother or father?" Buddha said that both are great but mother's greater because she's the only person who loves her child selflessly. Even father is not that generously affable." Buddha knew this from his first-hand experience, because he himself didn't care for his wife and son while stealthily leaving home for enlightenment. The love towards his son couldn't stop him. His 'self-enlightenment' was much greater than any familial bond, for which Buddha was condemned even by a few sects in Buddhism. Anyway, this very quality of selflessly loving her offspring elevates a mother and places her on the highest pedestal of veneration. Putra Kuputra Bhaye / Mata Kumata na Hoye (A son may go awry but a mother cannot become anything other than being a mother). The umbilical bond between a child and his / her mother is much stronger than that of man's love for god. Because god cannot be everywhere, so he created mother. Even divine love's measured with respect to mother's love. Qur'an states that Allah has in his heart, the love of seventy mothers.

Without getting into the hair-splitting comparisons, it can be safely said that mother's love is boundless because she carries her child in her womb for nine months. It creates a bond which's peerless in the spectrum of human relationships and emotions. The way a mother relates to her child, a father cannot. There're two reasons. First being, mother's inestimable love (for her child) and second reason is that mother's a woman, so she has to be always emotionally superior to father, a man. A mother understands her child's pettiest need in an uncanny manner. A mother is always telepathically bound up with her offspring. In Mahabharat, Gandhari shuddered and had a premonition of the death of her hundred sons in the battle of Kurukshetra, whereas blind Dhritrashtra required Sanjay to know that his sons were regularly dying in the battlefield. Even Duryodhan, who was so close to his father, wanted to meet his mother, not his father before dying. And Gandhari also came to know of her wayward son's violent end much before his one-to-one fight with Bhim.

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This underscores the depth of love and affection between a mother and her child. Edward Gibbon wrote very poignantly, how the Roman emperor Nero's hands shook before killing his mother. Even a man like Nero, whom British historian Sir Arnold Toynbee called "cruelty personified," thought twice before killing his mother. Even in animal kingdom, there's a bond between mother and little ones. Female Baboons have been found to fight fiercely when their little ones are attacked by a predator. Birds, especially cranes, even die when a mother crane finds that her little ones are no more or lost forever. This particular love transcends the entire canvas of closeness between two individuals or two creatures.

There's a story in a Persian book of parables by Bayazid Bistami, a great mystic. A mother goes to the king and begs that her son be forgiven, who was slated to be beheaded the next day. Mother's cries and wails softened the king's heart a bit. He said, " Your son can be pardoned but on a condition." "What's that condition," mother asked. "Well, call your husband as well." Her husband, the condemned man's father, was called to the court. "Who'll die in place of this man?" asked the king. Father remained silent, but mother immediately said, " I'd like to die for the life of my son. Take me to the scaffold and put my head on the chopping block. Nothing's more dear to me than my son's life." Needless to say, King forgave her son.

This is mother's love. She can willingly sacrifice her own life, if it can help save her child's. No other relationship is so poignantly interwoven as that of a mother and child. Mother is a glimpse of heaven on earth. To quote the original Persian couplet "Agar Firdaus war-rue zaminast / Haminast, haminast, haminast." (If there's a heaven anywhere on earth, it's here, here, here). And after paraphrasing it, "Agar Khuda war-rue zaminast / Haminast, Haminast, Haminast." (If there's god anywhere on earth, it's here, here, here).

About the Author
Sumit Paul is a Poona-based advanced research student of Semitic languages and civilizations. He contributes to world's premier publications and portals in several languages, viz, Persian, Arabic, Turkish, Urdu, French, Spanish, Dutch, Hindi, English among others.

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