Matru Devo Bhava, Pitru Devo Bhava part – 2


Sharing the lessons learnt from my parents who now reside in Mahalok on the occasion of pitrupaksh

Learnt enduring suffering for the sake of Dharmaacharan from mother

            My mother was an intense Karmakaandi (follower of ritualistic procedures laid down in the scriptures).  I am using the term ‘intense’, for even if I want, I cannot become such a strict Karmakaandi; hence, I have a lot of respect towards all those who follow the rigid rules of Karmakaand, for I know that they are extremely tough.  My mother used to observe one fast or the other, for almost 170 days in an year and used to follow all the rules of purity rigorously, even though she did not keep good health; but I never saw her compromise even a little bit with Dharmaacharan(abiding Dharma’s tenets) because of this.

It was the month of June, the school of all us brothers and sisters used to be held in the morning shift. When we returned home at 1.30 p.m, we saw that some guests had come over and they were hungry and thirsty, my mother was busy serving them.  After serving them lunch etc, she went to take a bath once again. It must have been around 2.30 p.m then. She was feeling thirsty due to the heat, but that day there was a special Puja of Tuesday (it’s done as Tuesday is considered an auspicious day to please God  Hanuman), thus, she had to drink water once she completes the  Puja.  She prepared some holy partake after doing Puja and offered it to God Hanuman; side by side, she has also offered some of it to the Tulsi Pind (Basil plant) and had kept some Laddus (sweets) for the purpose there.  Seeing Laddus made of pure Ghee (clarified butter), my younger brother smelt it and said, “Wow”!  Mother saw this and the younger brother got such a scolding as to why he smelt the Laddu, rendering it impure.  That day, mother had offered rest of the  Laddus to Hanuman ; thus, she could not offer again where Tulsi was kept.  She immediately ordered for more Laddus from the shop.  Her lips had become dry and parched due to thirst and flakes had formed on the lips; but, performing the entire Puja sincerely, she consumed water at 5.00 p.m.  I experienced many such incidents where despite suffering, she used to do Sadhana with love and Bhav (spiritual emotion).   I  once said to her, “Why are you doing Sadhana now?  Many people say  that one must do Puja, chanting, meditation etc in old age?”  My mother affectionately replied, “Dear, this body is made up of mortal element, one does not know when it will fade away; thus, one must do Sadhana  in early age as there is strength in the body” and she passed away at the age of 48 and by doing Sadhana, she had made her human life worthwhile in the true sense.

Mother possessed a pure yearning for God

             She had humility and possessed a yearning for God.  When I got associated with Sanatan Sanstha in 1997 and I realised that Karmakaand was the first phase of Bhaktiyog (path of devotion) and Upasanakaand, meaning chanting within the mind and doing worship mentally is the second phase.   I then called up mother from Mumbai and told her that she must graduate to the next phase and that she must perform Udyapan (detailed ceremony to bring the process of fasts to an end) of all the festivals and do chanting and surprisingly, when I came to visit my parents four months later from Mumbai to Bihar, I saw that both of our parents had followed what I had told them most meticulously and mother had stopped observing 90% of the fasts after performing Udyapan and had started trying to do chanting daily.

One day I saw mother cleaning the rice grains and muttering something to herself.  I told mother, “Whom are you talking to in isolation?”  She replied innocently, “You only had asked me to do chanting continuously; but whenever I do chanting, several thoughts come to me and the mind gets lost in these thoughts; hence, I am doing the chanting aloud.”  That day, I was overcome of so much of love for mother that for a few moments, I felt as if I were her mother instead and she were my daughter!  I was overcome with extreme affection for her, I prayed to my Shree Guru to maintain His grace upon her and to help her progress on the path of Sadhana.  Seeing these efforts of mother, I told her, “Do not worry, your attempts are in the right direction, while doing chanting, in the beginning, thoughts do come; but with practice, the mind becomes peaceful and the measure of thoughts too decreases.  Mother too agreed.  Thus, listening to what her daughter told, my mother, giving proof of her humility graduated to the next phase of Sadhana.

I learnt the quality of doings actions with perfection from my mother

Among the many specialities of my mother, one of them was that she used to perform any act with extreme love and with perfection; she always used to say that if you have to do anything, either do with perfection, or don’t do it at all.  I will narrate a small incident in this regard.  As I have recounted earlier, since my childhood I had an extreme fondness for studying and after finishing my course books, I used to read other books in the spare time.  I could not help mother much with household chores, for I did not keep good health since childhood; but like other Indian mothers, she too wanted to impart the virtues of a good housewife in me; but I never had any particular inclination towards it.  One day, while playing my school uniform got a little torn; I was then in Class IX.  I told mother, “Please stitch it.”  Mother said, “Now you have grown up, tomorrow you will move out for higher studies, then whom will you ask; therefore, learn to stitch and removed the cover of the sewing machine and gave it to me.”  Half-heartedly, I ran the machine over the uniform and showed it to mother saying, “Look, I have done the stitching.” Mother said, “What is this?”  A sewing machine has two threads, one is attached from below and the other from the top.”  I had not replaced the blue thread at the bottom and had put the white thread on top.  Thus, the remnants of the blue thread from the bottom could be seen.  Mother said, “See, I asked you to do a small thing and this too you could not complete properly.  Now undo the stitching and put the white thread at the bottom and do the stitching again.”  Mother said, “But this is not visible,” I was trying to support my truancy in work.”  Mother said, “Performing any act with perfection  gives self-satisfaction, just try to do it.”  My truancy and laziness had been punished; such fine stitching took half an hour to undo and then stitched it again.”  I also got a lesson in doing any act with perfection.  There are many similar incidents that were extremely minor; but she used to do even that with completeness and also used to get it done similarly.  I will narrate another incident.  One day, mother gave me some clothes to hang for drying.  Quickly spreading them, I returned.  Mother went to veranda and saw how I had spread out the clothes inappropriately.Mother called me again and told me that I had not spread out the clothes properly.”  I again tried to justify my action done with  carelessness and said, “The clothes will be worn only after they are ironed.”  Mother said, “Spread out the clothes in a manner that there is no need to iron them” and she taught me to spread out the clothes in a proper manner and which cloth should be dried out in the sun and which in shade, she taught me all these things too.  I benefited a lot from this virtue in propagation, after becoming a full-time seeker, I used to go to three-four cities for Dharma Prasaar Seva.  I thus, used to spread out my clothes and would fold them up properly and many a time, I used to wear the clothes without ironing them, but no one would come to know that the clothes have not been ironed; I then used to feel extreme gratitude towards my mother.  Thus, even I could not realise how she taught me the intricacies of each and every household work and I imbibed the virtue of doing an act with perfection from my mother.-Tanuja Thakur

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