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Me and My Two Mothers
|by Kamal (Kam) Joshi|
One of the most challenging things to do is to write about the goodness of one’s Mother - whatever one writes will be incomplete and stingy. Yet, it is one of the most pleasant things to do - like saying I love you Mother. There are many moving and heart touching quotations about Mothers.
Every Mother educates her child completely and wonderfully, using a very simple, yet, extraordinarily special technique known as "The nine months of Mother’s special love" - in a one to one class, designed by Mom. This technique every Mother gets as a gift from God - yes every Mother and yes from God. A Mother thus is a Guru.
In the Sanatan Dhrama, if a Guru’s place in one’s life, is compared to that of God’s, the Guru is placed higher - at a loftier place. Bhakt Kabir has very thoughtfully said it all.
Guru and Govind (God) both are standing, whose feet should, I touch first. My beloved Guru’s who introduced Govind to me.
And he also says,
Kabir they are blind who say Guru is not mine. If Hari (God) gets upset one can go to the Guru, but, if Guru gets upset - there is nowhere to go.
Such is the importance and loftiness of a Guru. And every scripture, the holy Purans of the sacred Sanatan Dharma, has also said that one’s Mother is one’s first and foremost Guru. One’s Mother thus has a loftier place than that of one’s God. And even that is a stingy and incomplete praise of one’s Mother. I said so at the outset.
Many of us are very unfortunate - we get disconnected with our Mothers, we lose them at a very young age. It is just like getting disconnected with God, although, God is never lost. Yet, one of the most remarkable things, in the lives of those who lose their Mothers at a young age is - they always find another Mother, who brings them up. This is God’s greatest miracle - "The appearance of the second Mother". Every child finds his Mother, who raises him. God himself comes back eliminating the loss - such is the bounty of HIS creation. And the second Mother also becomes one’s foremost Guru - with her place in one’s life loftier than that of God.
I too have two Mothers - the Mother of my birth "Mother India" in whose womb, I spent early part of my life; and the Mother who has reared me as an adult and still does - America. Both these have a place in my heart - loftier than that of God. And that is a stingy praise.
My "Mother India" is gracious, beautiful, charming and has a renewed vigor - she renewed herself once again in 1947. She has generously given me the education required to live happily and always smiling. I learned from her:
Ahinsa Parmo Dharma - "Non violence is the supreme calling"
Styamev Jayate - "Truth alone always becomes victorious"
Athithi Devo Bhava - "Welcome a guest like you would welcome God"
Satyam Vad Dharmam Char - "Always speak the truth and fulfill your obligations"
Tvamev Mata cha Pita Tvamev - "You are everything my beloved God"
I learned from my "Mother India" to accept others, every one as they are, and not just tolerate them.
I learned from her to be a Vegetarian and practice Yoga and do Puja (pray).
I learned that if I want to be an emperor – I must command and control, as my subjects, my senses of touch, taste, smell, feel, vision, speech and hearing; and no one else.
I learned that the purpose of this life is to work very hard every day to serve others.
And then like many others, I came to America - and "found" my second Mother. America, where almost everyone comes with only a few Dollars in their pocket, from just about everywhere, and she embraces everyone with a Mother’s warm hug. Within a short time after landing here they, with their energies unleashed in the freest society that ever was, and their hard work, working two or three jobs - accumulate wealth - a home, two cars etc. And soon they start to see the great values instilled in them by their Mother they left - the Old Country. And, yet, once here no one ever leaves America.
That is the magic of the great America whose prominent symbol - the statue of liberty is always shining with the message "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free - I lift my lamp beside the Golden door"
America’s founding fathers, her constitution, her systems, her laws, her arts and culture are all God’s special, very special, gift to the World. She stands tall and is proud that even with a traumatic child hood, loss of parents, not one home to stay, with extreme difficulties of life - a minority, with little support and experience and at a very young age - one can be and is the President of the Country - and the leader of the whole World. No other country, no other people, no other system, no other culture would have allowed President Obama to achieve that.
"Only in America" - they say. Why do they say that? Because, the Judeo Christian culture of this great land makes it possible to unleash one’s hidden potential to rise, with hard work and tremendous effort and honesty; to the heights beyond imagination-- regardless of one’s background!
And when I ponder, "What is the one outstanding thing about the great Judeo Christian moral values that makes it happen? What is the one lesson that those values teach?" I always conclude and say it humbly that I learned from my America - my second Mother:
"Do Unto Others as your would Have them Do Unto You"
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