Let’s salute all Mothers’ for their efforts and contributions for their family-Puri
Jaswant Singh Puri/ May 14,2023
Everyday and anyday is a great one to appreciate mothers and everything they have done for us. If it were upto us, everyday would be Mothers’ Day. It is a relationship in our mortal life which effortlessly scores above all other known relationships on this earth.
Festivals honouring mothers and mother goddesses date to ancient times. It is celebrated throughout the world in honour of mothers. It is observed on the Second Sunday in the month of May. This year it is being celebrated on May 14. It had originally been a day of honour which later on became associated with the greeting of cards and gifts. However, it was Anna Jarvis of Philadelphia whose mother had organised women’s group to promote friendship and health that originated Mothers’ Day. In the United States, three women were mainly instrumental in establishing the tradition of Mothers’ Day: Ann Reeves Jaarvis, Julia Ward Howe and Anne’s daughter Anna M. Jaarvis.
These great women being honoured as mothers were activists who fought for children’s welfare, health and peace. It is celebrated on the second Sunday of May in many countries such as Australia, Canada and the United States. EarlierMothers’ Day celebrations can be dated back to the spring celebrations to honour Rhea, the Mother of the Gods in ancient Greek civilization.
Mothers’ Day also known as Mothering Sunday is a special day dedicated to celebrating and honouring mother and mother figures to their families and societies. It is a time to recognize the hard work, sacrifices, dedication and love that mothers perform every day. Her role is multifaceted.
Mothers’ Day also highlights the importance of maternal health and well-being of mothers. It is an opportunity to raise awareness about the challenges that mothers face in raising their children. It is a day to express love, gratitude and respect for mothers who balance their personal and professional lives while ensuring the well-being of their families. The idea of celebrating Mothers’ Day in India originated from the United States and was first celebrated in 1914. It is a special day in India that celebrates the bond between a mother and child.
Dr. Ajit Singh Puri’s Health Guide ‘Speaking of How to Prevent Common Diseases’ offers important guidelines and tips for mothers to lead a healthy lifestyle. The recognized and well acclaimed book bears a ‘Foreword’ by Lord Walton of Detchant, TD, MA, MD, DSc, FRCP who congratulated Dr. Puri upon his energy and initiative and was glad to know that he dedicated the book to Mother Teresa, an apostle of love and peace who ‘devoted her life to redirect the destiny of those suffering and struck by illnesses’.
India also celebrates Mothers’ Day in a distinctive way.Sri Guru Nanak’s message delivered hundreds of years ago is unique and inevitable. The message is ever new and fits the situation forever. It is:
ਪਵਨ ਗੁਰੂ ਪਾਣੀ ਪਿਤਾ ਮਾਤਾ ਧਰਤ ਮਹਤੁ।
ਦਿਵਸ ਰਾਤਿ ਦੁਇ ਦਾਈਦਾਇਆ ਖੇਲੈ ਸਗਲ ਜਗਤੁ॥
(ਅੰਗ 8 ਸ੍ਰੀ ਗੁਰੂ ਗ੍ਰੰਥ ਸਾਹਿਬ)
(Air is the Guru, Water is the Father and Earth is the Great Mother of all)
A Sanskrit Shloka also lays emphasis on the importance of the Earth as Mother. The Shloka is read like this:
‘Janani JanmabhoomischaSwargadapi Gariyasi’.
The Shloka is an extract from Adi Kavi Valmiki’s ‘The Ramayana’.
(The Shloka means that Mother and Motherland are superior to Heaven.)
Even Lord Rama has a deep reverence for Mother and Motherland who speaks to Lakshmana:
“Api Swaranmayi Lanka nai mai Lakshamana rochte.
Janni Janambhumishch Swargadapi Greeysi”.
(“Lakshmana, even this golden Lanka does not appeal to me. Mother and Motherland are superior even to Heaven”.)
In Sikh history, Mata Gujri, was the wife of Sri Guru Teg Bahadur and the mother of Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji. Sri Guru Teg Bahadur founded a village called ChakkNanaki, after his mother now known as Anandpur Sahib. Besides, Mata Gujri is a symbol of devotion, love, sacrifice. She and her four sons sacrificed lives for the ‘dharma’.
History is replete with dedicated, compassionate, hardworking, nurturing and loving mothers. The names of Gulab Kaur (Member Gadhar Party), Bibi BhagBhari (Head of the Kashmir Manji), Mata Kheevi (Founder, Free Langar Sewa), Mai Bhago (A Warrior), Mata Sahib Kaur (Mother of the Khalsa), Sada Kaur (Head, GhaniyaMisl), Maharani Jind Kaur, Maharani Luxmi Bai, Mata Gujri etc. will always remain eternal and fresh in the niche of those hearts who thrive, who appreciate, who love, who revere their Mothers.
Jijabai Bhonsle, referred to as Rajmata Jijabai, founder of the Maratha Empire, was the mother of Shivaji who suffused in him the qualities of bravery and loyalty by narrating him the stories from the Ramayana, the Mahabharta etc. She left no stone unturned to mould Shivaji into a brave warrior.
Expressing gratitude to mothers and prominent mother-figures that made our lives and the world a better place is essential. It is a beautiful occasion that honours and celebrates the unmatchable and vital role of Mothers. So expression of gratitude for Mothers is a must in any way, in any manner. Sometimes ago, a diagnostics startup was launched ‘Health on Wheels’ with a vision of ‘Har Jan Swasth’ for mothers to stay healthy.Mothers are mothers everywhere. Abraham Lincoln once said: “All that I am, or hope to be, I owe to my angel mother”.
The name of Mother Teresa is a renowned name in the domain of Motherly Affection who was born as Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu in Otloman Empire (now in North Macedonia) who got a call of God for a missionary zeal to spread the love, the compassion, the human touch. Her work has been crowned with Ramon Magsaysay Peace Prize, Nobel Peace Prize, Padma Shri in 1962, Jawaharlal Nehru Award for International Understanding. She received India’s highest Civilian Award Bharat Ratna in 1980. She was a symbol of hope to many.
So mothers are like angels walking in human form on the planet Earth to take care of human beings who infuse the siblings with good morals and values. No language can express the power and beauty and dedication of a mother’s love. I remember the following lines by Rudyard Kipling:
“God could not be everywhere and therefore, He made mothers”.
Note: The views expressed are personnel. This article is dedicated to Smt. Alka Puri, M.A. (Hindi, B.Ed.). Alka Puri was the wife of Dr. Ajit Singh Puri and mother of Jaswant Singh Puri.