How does a person of faith put the Mother’s Day tradition into perspective?
Kanwal Prakash Singh
The Indianapolis Star
FAITH & VALUES SECTION
May 8th, 2010 Forum:
The Sikh scriptures refer to God as the “Father and Mother of all Creation” and “all human beings as His Children” and a mother, like the “Mother Earth as an embodiment of boundless benevolence.” Our concept of mother, no matter how we address her in different cultures or languages: Mom (English), Mamenka (Czech), Matajee (Punjabi), or Ammijaan (Urdu), echoes attributes of the Divine: love, devotion, beauty, grace, wisdom, strength, forgiveness, sacrifice; and limitless patience, generosity, compassion, and blessing.
A woman enjoys a distinct and honored place as the divinely-chosen anchor of life: she gives birth to Life and generations, assuring continuation of the human race and civilization. Mothers bring into this world: saviors, kings, emancipators, enlightened souls, daring and brilliant innovators and inventors, and creative geniuses who enrich life. The last name for an unmarried Sikh woman is Kaur, a Sanskrit word meaning a Princess and a Lioness: a person with an honored status and the one who protects her children, like a lioness her cubs. After God, a woman is the Mother of Man and Woman and thus worthy of love, veneration, and celebration. A mother is the first Teacher of Life, its true guardian, loving mentor, and friend.
Growing up in India, we did not have a specially designated Mother’s Day. We showed love and respect to our Beejee (mother) every day and received her affection in myriad loving ways. Mother’s Day in America is a brilliant idea. It is much more than the beautiful Hallmark cards, delicious chocolates, fine jewelry, phone calls, and flower bouquets. It is family gatherings, sharing stories of times and events, building memories with new generations, and expressing our gratitude that makes this moment possible.
Mother’s Day is a Festival of Life, a time to rejoice in the blessing of just being and thanksgiving for the sanctity of a unique relationship. Imagine if a mother had not given birth to President Lincoln, Leonardo Da Vinci, Thomas Edison, Mother Teresa, Helen Keller, Anne Frank, Rabindranath Tagore, or The Dalai Lama, not to speak of millions of men, women, and children who shape our civilization, daily connect our life and spirit with unimagined wonder and promise. We remember: it all began with the Supreme Being blessing us mothers to advance His Creation.
A very Happy Mother’s Day to all mothers and thank you for what you mean to the entire human race. Each of you in your own way is God’s Light, Love, and His personal Angel on Earth.