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MOTHER LOVE: The Significance of Mother’s Day

By Zile Singh

“Mother – the most beautiful word on the lips of mankind”- Khalil Gibran

Mother’s Day is a celebration of bond of love and affection between a mother and a child and it celebrates the spirit of motherhood. Bringing up a child through giving birth and helping him or her growing up into an adult is considered to be the essence of motherhood. The modern holiday of Mother’s Day was first celebrated in 1908 when Anna Jarvis, held a memorial for her mother at St Andrew’s Methodist Church in Grafton, West Virginia. St. Andrew’s Methodist Church now holds the International Mother’s Day Shrine. Designated as the second Sunday in May by President Woodrow Wilson of USA in 1914 has now spread overseas.  Franklin Delano Roosevelt personally designed in 1934 a postage stamp to commemorate the day. Anna Jarvis’s mother was an antiwar activist. Thus the day was a way to promote global unity after the horrors of the American Civil War and Europe’s Franco-Prussian War.

The white carnation, the favourite flower of Anna Jarvis’ mother was the original flower for Mother’s Day. “The carnation does not drop its petals, but hugs them to its heart as it dies, and so, too, mothers hug their children to their hearts, their mother love never dying” Jarvis explained in an interview in 1927. Anna Jarvis was against raising charities on this day. “To have Mother’s Day the burdensome, wasteful, expensive gift day that Christmas and other special days have become, is not our pleasure.” Objections to charity fundraising and rampant commercialism have come to absolutely nothing. According to the National Retail Federation’s survey, Mother’s Day spending last year was about $23 billion world wide.

“With all the profiteering stuff, a mother should not be for sale.

Love from the heart should be enough; But Anna’s take did not prevail.

Mother’s Day brings in big bucks, yes! But Anna Jarvis died penniless”.

According to World Vision Development Foundation, “The pivotal role of being a mother is still the divine mission assigned to the women alone. From a classical poem written by William Ross Wallace entitled “What Rules the World?”  He said, “ The hand that rocks the cradle is the hand that rules the world”. It illustrates the influence a mother plays to her child and in the long run to the society, that as a mother strives to nurture and teach a child, she explicitly makes the world a much better place. The women are actually given an opportunity and privilege by God to be His partner in giving a life to another human being. “ God could not be everywhere, therefore, he made mothers”- Rudyard Kipling.

In Hindu religion ‘Mother Worship’ is very ancient. They equate mother with God. They salute even the earth as mother-earth and their country as Bharat Mata or Mother India. Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa, one of the greatest sages of modern times, worshipped the Divine Mother Kali during his entire life. Buddhism has also placed great emphasis on the intimate care and protective love of a mother. “The mother is the Buddha of the home”

Mothers occupy a very special place in the Sikh religion. In Sikh scriptures, God is often addressed as parent – as mother and father – both being equally important. “You are the mother and the father, we are your children. In Your mercy we find abundant happiness”. According to Sri Guru Granth Sahib, “ From woman, man is born; within women, man is conceived; to women he is engaged and married. Woman becomes his friend; through woman the future generations come. When his woman dies, he seeks another woman, to woman he is bound. So why call her bad. From her, kings are born. From woman, woman is born, without woman there would be no one at all. O Nanak, only God is beyond woman. It was woman who gave birth to the prophets, the Gurus and devotees of God of all faiths.”

Some important quotes on woman- motherhood:

I measure the progress of a community by the degree of progress which women have achieved – Dr. B R Ambedkar.

All that I am, or hope to be, I owe to my angel mother – Abraham Lincoln.

The moment a child is born, the mother is also born. She never existed before. The woman existed, but the mother, never. A mother is something absolutely new. – Osho

A mother’s arms are more comforting than anyone else’s. – Princess Diana

Today, despite national and international laws, discrimination against women in the forms of honour killing, violence against women and imbalanced sex ratio persists in developing as well as developed world.

A sad note from the United Nations:   “ Despite the gains women have made in education, health and even political power in the course of a generation, violence against women and girls continues unabated in every continent, county and culture.”  Mother’s Day was started as an anti-war movement.  Unfortunately, today the globe is tottered with war activities.  Ann Maria Reeves Jarvis dedicated her life  for the mother, motherhood and world peace.  To honour motherhood and to act for peace is the real homage to her.

Let us on the Mother’s Day, and every day show our gratitude to our mothers and be with them at the hour of their need.

Mr. Zile Singh is much respected Link Columnist, writer and a Vipassana Meditator. He can be reached at zsnirwal@yahoo.ca .

 

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