INTRODUCTION:- The short poem consisting of five verses (hence
called panchakam) is attributed to Shri Shankaracharya. The following
abbreviations are used in the comments. 1) BG Bhagavat Gita. (2) BH-
Shrimad Bhagavatam. (3) VR-Valmiki Ramayanam. (4) MB-Maha Bharata.
ON DEVOTION TO MOTHER
JOY AND SORROW:- We all desire happiness and only happiness and that
too we want it to last all the time. But we find that such a state
of unalloyed bliss eludes us. It is punctuated with periods of
unhappiness. In fact, Krishna (in BG 8-15) calls life as ଦୁଃଖାଲୟଂ
ଅଶାଶ୍ଵତମ୍। the repository of sorrow and impermanent. Even the
brief spells of joy we experience are followed by periods of sorrow or
pain. It is ,then, clear that what we term as happiness is not true
happiness. Hunger and thirst stalk every one right from birth. Further as
one advances in age, infirmity creeps in and so do many diseases and
on the top of every thing looms the fear of impending death. Because of
these reasons Krishna stresses the fact that life is the repository
of sorrow and impermanent. We also find that some people appear to
be blessed with greater quota of happiness than some others. Some are
born in rich families and are surrounded with all the comforts of life
while some are born in destitution. Such situations are intriguing. We
would like to know the reasons behind these variations so that we can
avoid those things that beget unhappiness and do whatever is needed to
get happiness. It seems that we, with our limited intellect, are not
able to unravel the mystery. If it were not so, we should have found the
secret key to happiness and living on cloud nine. But unfortunately
it is not so. We seem to be caught in a hopeless situation.
THE REMEDY:- But we need not despair. This is where our scriptures come
to our aid. They give the formula for a happy life. They say that
if one does the right deeds he gets merit or punyam and if he does
wrong deeds he gets sin or pApam. Punyam yields happiness and pApam
unhappiness. ଶୁଭକୃଚ୍ଛୁଭମାପ୍ନୋତି ପାପକୃତ୍ପାପମଶ୍ନୁତେ।
VR(VI-114.24.5) Our unhappiness is attributable only to our
failure to do the right deeds and doing the wrong deeds.
ଵିହିତସ୍ୟାନନୁଷ୍ଠାନାତ୍ ନିନ୍ଦିତସ୍ୟ ଚ ସେଵନାତ୍ ।
ଅନିଗ୍ରହାଚ୍ଚେନ୍ଦ୍ରିୟାଣାଂ ନରଃ ପତନମୃଚ୍ଛତି ॥
says Yagnavalkya Smriti. The deeds include
actions done by the body, words and also thoughts.
କାୟେନ କୁରୁତେ ପାପଂ ମନସା ସଂପ୍ରଧାର୍ୟ ଚ ।
ଅନୃତଂ ଜିହ୍ଵୟା ଚାହ ତ୍ରିଵିଧଂ କର୍ମ ପାତକମ୍ ॥ VR-II-109-21.
DHARMA:- The question, then is, how
to know which deed is right and which is not right and who is to decide
this? What appears to be the right deed for one may not be so for some
one else. Also, in similar situations, but at different circumstances,
one may have to act differently. So, there may not be one answer for
this question. Such questions have been asked by people all the time
and answered by our acharyas. Right conduct is called dharma. Leading
a life in dharmic way, then, is the formula for happiness. Dharma has
the ability to destroy pApam or sins. Mahanarayanopanishad (79-7)
says this.ଧର୍ମେଣ ପାପମପନୁଦତି। Once sins are removed, the way
is cleared for happiness. Sage Vyasa bewails saying that I keep on
saying this, but sadly no one listens to me.
ଊର୍ଧ୍ଵବାହୁର୍ଵିରୌମ୍ୟେଷ ନ ଚ କଶ୍ଚିଚ୍ଛୃଣୋତି ମାମ୍ ।
ଧର୍ମାଦର୍ଥଶ୍ଚ କାମଶ୍ଚ ସଃ କିମର୍ଥଂ ନ ସେଵ୍ୟତେ ॥
Manu -the author of Manusmriti – says that
by doing deeds in the right way ( that is following the dharmic path )
one can get all he wants (happiness) here and in the life hereafter
ତେଷୁ ସମ୍ୟଗ୍ଵର୍ତମାନଃ ଗଚ୍ଛତ୍ୟମରଲୋକତାମ୍ ।
ୟଥା ସଂକଲ୍ପିତାଂଶ୍ଚେହ ସର୍ଵନ୍କାମାନ୍ସମଶ୍ନୁତେ ॥
SOURCES TO KNOW ABOUT DHARMA:-Manu clarifies his statement and says that all
vedas are the basis to define dharma. What the vedas say is further
elaborated by texts like smritis written by scholars well versed in the vedas,
the conduct of the noble men or sadhus and finally what contributes
ଵେଦୋଽଖିଲୋ ଧର୍ମମୂଲଂ ସ୍ମୃତିଶୀଲେ ଚ ତଦ୍ଵିଦାମ୍ ।
ଆଚାରଶ୍ଚୈଵ ସାଧୂନାଂ ଆତ୍ମନ୍ସ୍ତୁଷ୍ଟିରେଵ ଚ ॥
Sage Vyasa said the same, but in different words in Mahabharata. (Anusasana
ଵେଦୋକ୍ତଃ ପରମୋ ଧର୍ମଃ ସ୍ମୃତିଶାସ୍ତ୍ରଗତୋଽପରଃ ।
ଶିଷ୍ଟାଚୀର୍ଣୋଽପରଃ ପ୍ରୋକ୍ତସ୍ତ୍ରୟୋ ଧର୍ମାଃ ସନାତନାଃ ॥
Krishna told this to Arjuna in Bhagavd Gita. He said that scriptures are to
be taken as the guide for deciding what is right and what is not
right. If one chooses to ignore the scriptural injunctions and acts
according to his sweet will he will be doing so at his own peril and
will not find happiness.
ୟଃ ଶାସ୍ତ୍ରଵିଧି-ମୁତ୍ସୃଜ୍ୟ ଵର୍ତତେ କାମକାରତଃ ।
ନ ସ ସିଦ୍ଧି-ମାପ୍ନୋତି ନ ସୁଖଂ ନ ପରାଂ ଗତିମ୍ ॥
ତସ୍ମାଚ୍ଛାସ୍ତ୍ରଂ ପ୍ରମାଣଂ ତେ କାର୍ୟା-କାର୍ୟ-ଵ୍ୟଵସ୍ଥିତୌ ।
ଜ୍ଞାତ୍ଵା ଶାସ୍ତ୍ରଵିଧାନୋକ୍ତଂ କର୍ମ କର୍ତୁ-ମିହାର୍ହସି ॥ BG(16-23 and 24).
The scriptures are taken to mean the vedas and the secondary texts like the
Manu Smriti, the puranas like Shrimad Bhagavatam and (ithihasas) works
like the Ramayana and Mahabharata. The secodary texts are also accepted
as authoritative because they faithfully reflect the ideas contained in
the vedas. Thus the Mahabharata is considered as the fifth veda. Of
Ramayana it is said that when the Supreme Being chose to be born as the son of
Dasaratha, the vedas too took birth as Ramayana through the sage Valmiki.
ଵେଦଵେଦ୍ୟେ ପରେପୁଂସି ଜାତେ ଦଶରଥାତ୍ମଜେ ।
ଵେଦଃ ପ୍ରାଚେଦସାଦାସୀତ୍ ସାକ୍ଷଦ୍ରାମାୟଣାତ୍ମନା ॥
Similarly Shrimad Bhagavatam is said to be the quintessence of the vedas and
the secondary texts. ସର୍ଵ ଵେଦେତିହାସାନାଂ ସାରଂ ସାରଂ ସମୁଦ୍ଧୃତମ୍। (1-3-42).
Because they all carry the essence of the vedas we can take them as a guide to
our conduct without any reservation. By reading them or listening to
their expositions by scholars we may learn the rules of conduct.
To sum up, there are four sources for knowing about dharma. Firstly,
one can read about them from the vedas which are the primary source. We
have to remember that the vedas which prescribe dharma are not of human
origin. They were given out by the Lord Himself at the time of creation
for the good of the people. Purusha Suktam says this as: ଋଚଃ ସମାନି
ଜଜ୍ଞିରେ । ଛନ୍ଦାଁସି ଜଜ୍ଞିରେ ତସ୍ମାତ୍ । ୟଜୁସ୍ତସ୍ମାଦଜାୟତ। The Lord
withdraws everything (including the vedas) into Himself at the time of
dissolution (pralayam) and releases them again at the time of creation.
ଅଵ୍ୟକ୍ତାଦ୍ଵ୍ୟକ୍ତୟଃ ସର୍ଵାଃ ପ୍ରଭଵନ୍ତ୍ୟହରାଗମେ ।
ରାତ୍ର୍ୟାଗମେ ପ୍ରଲୀୟନ୍ତେ ତତ୍ରୈଵାଵ୍ୟକ୍ତ- ସଂଜ୍ଞକେ ॥ BG(8-18).
Thus they are eternal. Since they were given out by Bhagavan they are known as
Bhagavata dharma (ଭାଗଵତ ଧର୍ମାଃ।).
If one is unable to access or read and understand the vedas, he can next go to
the smritis and other secondary texts. If one is unable to do that also, he
can observe the conduct of noble people or sadhus and follow in their footsteps.
Since they are great devotees and enshrine the Lord in their hearts, one can be
certain that they will not stray from the path of dharma.
One cannot call himself a devotee of the Lord if he does not, in the first
place, obey His commands contained in the vedas faithfully. Shrimad Bhagavata
says that, even under force of circumstances, such a devotee commits an
act that appears to be improper or adharmic to the bystanders, the
good Lord will condone it. (Book11-5-42).
ସ୍ଵପାଦମୂଲଂ ଭଜତଃ ପ୍ରିୟସ୍ୟ ତ୍ୟକ୍ତାନ୍ୟଭାଵସ୍ୟ ହରିଃ ପରେଶଃ ।
ଵିକର୍ମ ୟଚ୍ଚୋତ୍ପତିତଂ କଥଞ୍ଚିତ୍ ଧୁନୋତି ସର୍ଵଂ ହୃଦି ସନ୍ନିଵିଷ୍ଟଃ ॥
This, then, is the third alternative. What happens if the sadhu himself gets
a doubt about how he should act in a particular situation and he cannot find
the proper guidance in the scriptures? In such a tight situation he
goes by the dictate of his conscience. Here again, we should remember
that the devotee who has enshrined the Lord in his heart cannot
take a step in the wrong direction. The poet Kalidasa says this in
his work Abhijnana Sakuntalam: ସତାଂ ହି ସନ୍ଦେହପଦେଷୁ ଵସ୍ତୁଷୁ
ପ୍ରମାଣମନ୍ତଃକରଣପ୍ରଵୃତ୍ତୟଃ। Dharma is classified as ସାମାନ୍ୟ
ଧର୍ମଃ or general dharma and ଵିଶେଷ ଧର୍ମଃ or special dharma.
The former includes those rules of conduct that apply to all, irrespective
of caste, sex or any other division. They include rules such as one
should not steal or covet another man’s property, should not spit or
urinate in the water etc. The latter apply to people of a particular
class like a house holder or a sanyasi or on special occsions like birth,
death, travel etc.
GENERAL DHARMA:-One of the basic rules of conduct
(general dharma) belonging to the first category given in the Vedas is:
ମାତୃ ଦେଵୋ ଭଵ। ପିତୃ ଦେଵୋ ଭଵ। (Taittiriya Upanishad.I-9-2).
These ask us to venerate our mother and father like God. They are
commandments. No conditions are attached to them. They are, thus, to be
obeyed implicitly. Not obeying them amounts to deriliction of duties and
results in sin or pApam which in turn causes sorrow or suffering.
Our puranas are secondary texts. They act like the magnifying glass. They
elaborate the cryptic statements contained in the Vedas through
the vehicle of stories and advices by wise people like the sages. Some
references from puranas and other secondary texts are given in support
of the above vedic dictum.
DHARMA VYADHA:- First is the popular story
of Dharma Vyadha. This appears in the Mahabharata-Vana Parva. A brahmin
by the name Kaushika decided to go to the forest and perform penance
for his own development. But, in the process he left behind his aged
parents to fend for themselves. This is a serious lapse of dharma. As
he performed penance, he gained some supernatural powers. One day, as he
was sitting in meditation under a tree, he felt some bird droppings
fall on his head. He was disturbed by this incident. He looked up in
annoyance. The two cranes who were responsible for the misdemeanour
were reduced to ashes by his gaze. The brahmin did not expect this to
happen, but was pleased at the happening. He became puffed up by his
achievements. One day he went to a nearby village to beg for alms. He
was made to wait at a house. He became annoyed at this. Soon he heard
a lady’s voice from inside the house asking him to wait and not to take
her to be the cranes. The brahmin was taken aback at the statement. How
did the lady of the house know the incident that happened in the remote
forest? The brahmin decided to wait and meet the lady of the house
who could read his innermost thoughts. After some time the lady came
out and offered him alms. She offererd her apologies for making him
wait, but said it was because she was serving her husband which was
her primary duty. This strict adherence to dharma was the cause of
her eminence. She advised the brahmin to go to a particular village
and meet a butcher and learn more about dharma. Kaushika was amazed
to hear that he -a brahmin- was asked to meet a butcher and learn about
dharma. Anyway, he felt small by now, since his ego had been pricked
by the lady. He went to the village mentioned by the lady and after some
enquiry found the butcher who was attending to his customers. He stood
at a distance. When he found some respite, the butcher, washed his hands
and hurried to Kaushika. He apologised for making him wait and said he
had a duty to perform. It may be inferior and unglamourous. But that
is what he had inherited and carried on with devotion. He said he can
talk to him in detail in his house. He took the brahmin to his house. But
he said that he had to wait till he had ministered to his parents. The
butcher came to Kaushika after attending to his parents. He said that he
knew that Kaushika was sent by that particular woman to learn about
dharma from him. He said that doing one’s duty is the highest form of
dharma and this included serving the parents with devotion. In the
following verses he narrated how well he looked after his parents. He
added that this took preccedence over other duties such as receiving
guests. That is why he made Kausika wait till he finished serving his
parents. He advised Kaushika to correct his mistake, go home and look
after his parents. Kaushika was full of remorse. He hastened to his
home.and started serving his parents with devotion.
ପିତା ମାତା ଚ ଭଗଵନ୍ନେତୌ ମଦ୍ଦୈଵତଂ ପରମ୍ ।
ୟଦ୍ ଦୈଵତେଭ୍ୟଃ କର୍ତଵ୍ୟଂ ତଦେତାଭ୍ୟାଂ କରୋମ୍ୟହମ୍ ॥
ତ୍ରୟସ୍ତ୍ରିଂଶଦ୍ ୟଥା ଦେଵାଃ ସର୍ଵେ ଶକ୍ରପୁରୋଗମାଃ ।
ସଂପୂଜ୍ୟାଃ ସର୍ଵଲୋକସ୍ୟ ତଥା ଵୃଦ୍ଧାଵିମୌ ମମ ॥
ଉପହାରାନାହରନ୍ତୋ ଦେଵତାନାଂ ୟଥା ଦ୍ଵିଜାଃ ।
କୁର୍ଵନ୍ତି ତଦ୍ଵଦେତାଭ୍ୟାଂ କରୋମ୍ୟହମତନ୍ଦ୍ରିତଃ ॥
ଏତୌ ମେ ପରମଂ ବ୍ରହ୍ମନ୍ ପିତା ମାତା ଚ ଦୈଵତମ୍ ।
ଏତୌ ପୁଷ୍ପୈଃ ଫଲୈଃ ରତ୍ନୈସ୍ତୋଷୟାମି ସଦା ଦ୍ଵିଜ ॥
ଏତାଵେଵାଗ୍ନୟୋ ମହ୍ୟଂ ୟାନ୍ ଵଦନ୍ତି ମନୀଷିଣଃ ।
ୟଜ୍ଞା ଵେଦାଶ୍ଚ ଚତ୍ଵାରଃ ସର୍ଵମେତୌ ମମ ଦ୍ଵିଜ ॥
ଏତଦର୍ଥଂ ମମ ପ୍ରାଣା ଭାର୍ୟା ପୁତ୍ରଃ ସୁହୃଜ୍ଜନଃ ।
ସପୁତ୍ରଦାରଃ ଶୁଶ୍ରୂଷାଂ ନିତ୍ୟମେଵ କରୋମ୍ୟହମ୍ ॥
ସ୍ଵୟଂ ଚ ସ୍ନାପୟାମ୍ୟେତୌ ତଥା ପାଦୌ ପ୍ରଧାଵୟେ ।
ଆହାରଂ ଚ ପ୍ରୟଚ୍ଛାମି ସ୍ଵୟଂ ଚ ଦ୍ଵିଜସତ୍ତମ ॥
ଅନୁକୂଲଂ ତଥା ଵଚ୍ମି ଵିପ୍ରିୟଂ ପରିଵର୍ଜୟେ ।
ଅଧର୍ମେଣାପି ସଂୟୁକ୍ତଂ ପ୍ରିୟମାଭ୍ୟାଂ କରୋମ୍ୟହମ୍ ॥
ଧର୍ମମେଵ ଗୁରୁଂ ଜ୍ଞାତ୍ଵ କରୋମି ଦ୍ଵିଜସତ୍ତମ ।
ଅତନ୍ଦ୍ରିତଃ ସଦା ଵିପ୍ର ଶୁଶ୍ରୂଷାଂ ଵୈ କରୋମ୍ୟହମ୍ ॥
ପଞ୍ଚୈଵ ଗୁରଵୋ ବ୍ରହ୍ମନ୍ ପୁରୁଷସ୍ୟ ବୁଭୂଷତଃ ।
ପିତା ମାତାଗ୍ନିରାତ୍ମା ଚ ଗୁରୁଶ୍ଚ ଦ୍ଵିଜସତ୍ତମ ॥
ଏତେଷୁ ୟସ୍ତୁ ଵର୍ତେତ ସମ୍ୟଗେଵ ଦ୍ଵିଜୋତ୍ତମ ।
ଭଵେୟୁରଗ୍ନୟସ୍ତସ୍ୟ ପରିଚୀର୍ଣାସ୍ତୁ ନିତ୍ୟଶଃ ।
ଗାର୍ହସ୍ଥ୍ୟେ ଵର୍ତମାନସ୍ୟ ଏଷ ଧର୍ମଃ ସନାତନଃ ॥
WHAT THE PURANAS SAY:- Kurma Purana says that one should look after
his parents with total dedication.
ୟାଵତ୍ପିତା ଚ ମାତା ଚ ଦ୍ଵାଵେତୌ ନିର୍ଵିକାରିଣୌ ।
ତାଵତ୍ ସର୍ଵଂ ପରିତ୍ୟଜ୍ୟ ପୁତ୍ରଃ ସ୍ୟାତ୍ତତ୍ପରାୟଣଃ ॥
Brahmanda Purana says that one gets the results of performing sacrifices.
austerities, offering gifts etc., by being devoted to the parents.
ୟଜ୍ଞାନ୍ ଵେଦାଂସ୍ତଥା କାମାଂସ୍ତପାଂସି ଵିଵିଧାନି ଚ ।
ପ୍ରାପ୍ନୋତ୍ୟାୟୁଃ ପ୍ରଜାଶ୍ଚୈଵ ପିତୃଭକ୍ତ୍ୟା ନ ସଂଶୟଃ ॥
But if one chooses to neglect them, then all the good deeds done by him will
go waste says Mahabharata (Anushasana Parva).
ୟେନ ପ୍ରୀଣାତି ପିତରଂ ତେନ ପ୍ରୀତଃ ପ୍ରଜାପତିଃ ।
ପ୍ରୀଣାତି ମାତରଂ ୟେନ ପୃଥିଵୀ ତେନ ପୂଜିତା।
ୟେନ ପ୍ରୀଣାତ୍ୟୁପାଧ୍ୟାୟଂ ତେନ ସ୍ୟାଦ୍ ବ୍ରହ୍ମ ପୂଜିତମ୍ ।
ସର୍ଵେ ତସ୍ୟାଦୃତା ଧର୍ମା ୟସ୍ୟୈତେ ତ୍ରୟ ଆଦୃତାଃ ॥
ଅନାଦୃତାସ୍ତୁ ୟସ୍ୟୈତେ ସର୍ଵାସ୍ତସ୍ୟାଫଲାଃ କ୍ରିୟାଃ ॥
The Padma Purana says that blessed is the one who has
his parents with him and makes them happy by his services and good behaviour.
Because he need not go on a pilgrimage and take bath in Ganges to earn merit
or punyam. He gets the same result daily in his house itself.
ପିତରୋ ୟସ୍ୟ ତୃପ୍ୟନ୍ତି ସେଵୟା ଚ ଗୁଣେନ ଚ ।
ତସ୍ୟ ଭାଗୀରଥୀସ୍ନାନମହନ୍ୟହନି ଵର୍ତତେ ॥
It is said that one gets the result of going round the world six times,
going on pilgrimages to Kashi ten thousand times and taking bath in
Ramasethu hundreds of times by sincerely saluting one’s mother.
ଭୂପ୍ରଦକ୍ଷିଣଷଟ୍କେନ କାଶୀୟାତ୍ରାୟୁତେନ ଚ ।
ସେତୁସ୍ନାନଶତୈର୍ୟଚ୍ଚ୍ ତତ୍ଫଲଂ ମାତୃଵନ୍ଦନେ ॥
Another purana goes one step further and says that the wretch who ignores his
parents living with him and goes visiting holy places seeking to harvest
merit or punyam will, instead, garner only pApam or sin at those places
and return home with a big load of sin. So, these injunctions are
meant to tell us that one can easily earn all the merit or punyam one
looks for easily, staying right in his house, by serving his parents
sincerely and with devotion. They also alert us of the consequences of
not obeying them. To neglect the parents, particularly in their old age,
when they become weak and dependant and to cause anguish is a heinous
act for which there is no atonement available says Brahmanda Purana.
ପାତକାନାଂ କିଲାନ୍ୟେଷାଂ ପ୍ରାୟଶ୍ଚିତ୍ତାନି ସନ୍ତ୍ୟପି ।
ମାତୃଦ୍ରୁହ୍ୟମଵେହି ତ୍ଵଂ ନ କିଂଚିତ୍ କିଲ ନିଷ୍କୃତିଃ ॥
Though the above verses talk of service to mother, we should take the word
to imply parents.
CONDUCT OF GREAT PEOPLE:- The puranas and other scriptures contain many
statements by great people who served their parents devotedly. Here we should
remember Manu’s words quoted earlier – that the conduct of noble people should
be taken as the guideline and followed by us also.
Manu-the author of Manu Smriti – points out that people cannot requite in full
for the suffering undergone by the parents in giving birth and bringing them up.
ୟଂ ମାତାପିତରୌ କ୍ଲେଶଂ ସହେତେ ସଂଭଵେ ନୃଣାମ୍ ।
ନ ତସ୍ୟ ନିଷ୍କୃତିଃ ସକ୍ୟା କର୍ତୁଂ ଵର୍ଷଶତୈରପି ॥ (II-227).
RAMA AND KRISHNA:- It is said that Lord’s human incarnations are intended to
teach dharma to humans. They are not merely for the purpose of killing the
demons. BH(5-19-5) ମର୍ତ୍ୟାଵତାରସ୍ତ୍ଵିହ ମର୍ତ୍ୟଶିକ୍ଷଣଂ ରକ୍ଷୋଵଧାୟୈଵ
ନ କେଵଲଂ ଵିଭୋ । The Lord in His incarnations as Shri Krishna and Shri Rama
and Shri Shankaracharya scrupulously followed the dharmic path and set examples
to others. Sages considered Krishna to be the embodiment of dharma.
ୟେ ଚ ଵେଦଵିଦୋ ଵିପ୍ରାଃ ୟେ ଚାଧ୍ୟାତ୍ମଵିଦୋ ଜନାଃ ।
ତେ ଵଦନ୍ତି ମହାତ୍ମାନଂ କୃଷ୍ଣଂ ଧର୍ମଂ ସନାତନମ୍ ॥ MB.Vanaparva.
Rama was also the personification of dharma – ରାମୋ ଵିଗ୍ରହଵାନ୍ ଧର୍ମଃ।said
Maricha, an enemy of Rama. So, we may study their lives and follow their
footsteps, as advised by Manu. We find that they exemplified the role
of good sons by the love and respect they showed to their parents.
We know that Krishna fought with the evil Kamsa and killed him. Then
Krishna hastened to the prison where His parents were incarcerated. He
released them and repeated what Manu said above. Even if one were
to live for a hundred years, one cannot pay back his parents who gave
birth and nourished his body in which he can realise all the four
goals of life.
ସର୍ଵାର୍ଥ-ସଂଭଵୋ ଦେହୋ ଜନିତଃ ପୋଷିତୋ ୟତଃ ।
ନ ତୟୋର୍ୟାତି ନିର୍ଵେଶଂ ପିତ୍ରୋର୍ମର୍ତ୍ୟଃ ଶତାୟୁଷା ॥ Shrimad Bhagavatam (10-45-5).
The Ramayana has many instances where Rama talks about
this subject. One example is wherein he talks to sage Vashishta – his
guru. The sage, along with Bharatha, tries to persuade Rama to return
to Ayodhya from the forest. He felt that Rama will obey his words as
he happened to be Rama’s guru. But Rama did not take the advice,
and in the course of his reply, said what Manu had said and what He had
said earlier as Krishna (viz.) that one cannot adequately repay his
debt to his parents for all the love and attention they have showered
on him when he was a child.
ୟନ୍ମାତାଇପିତରୌ ଵୃତ୍ତଂ ତନୟେ କୁରୁତଃ ସଦା ।
ନ ସୁପ୍ରତିକରଂ ତତ୍ତୁ ମାତ୍ରା ପିତ୍ରା ଚ ୟତ୍କୃତମ୍ ॥ VR(II-119.9).
HIGHER PLACE FOR MOTHER:- Though our scriptures
advise us to treat the parents like God, they give a higher place to
one’s mother. Manu says that the mother is thousand times worthier
than the father. ସହସ୍ରଂ ତୁ ପିତୃନ୍ମାତା ଗୌରଵେଣାତିରିଚ୍ୟତେ ।
The popular saying that there is no god equal to one’s mother. ନ
ମାତୁର୍ଦୈଵତଂ ପରମ୍ । is probably based on this. We find that the
puranas and other texts also echo this sentiment. Mahabharata (Shanti
Parva) says that the father deserves more respect than tens of acharyas
and the mother more than tens of father. She is weightier than the
ଉପାଧ୍ୟାୟାନ୍ ପିତା ଦଶ । ପିତୄନ୍ ଦଶ ତୁ ମାତୈକା ସର୍ଵା ଵା ପୃତିଵୀମପି ।
ଗୁରୁତ୍ଵେନାଭିଭଵତି ନାସ୍ତି ମାତୃସମୋ ଗୁରୁଃ ॥
In another place MB says that there is no shade (to offer solace)
like one’s mother and no protection equal to her. She is known as
dhatri because.she carries the child within her, as janani because
she gives birth to the child, as amba since she helps to develop its
limbs, as virasu since she got a bold son and as shushru since she
nurses him. In effect she is one’s alter ego.
ନାସ୍ତି ମାତୃସମୋ ଛାୟା ନାସ୍ତି ମାତୃ ସମା ଗତିଃ ।
ନାସ୍ତି ମାତୃସମଂ ତ୍ରାଣଂ ନାସ୍ତି ମାତୃସମା ପ୍ରିୟା ॥
କୁକ୍ଷିସଂଧାରଣାତ୍ ଧାତ୍ରୀ ଜନନାଜ୍ଜନନୀ ସ୍ମୃତା ।
ଅଙ୍ଗାନାଂ ଵର୍ଧନାଦମ୍ବା ଵୀରସୂତ୍ଵେନ ଵୀରସୂ ॥
ଶିଶୋଃ ଶୁଶ୍ରୂଷଣାଚ୍ଛ୍ଶ୍ରୂର୍ମାତା ଦେହମନନ୍ତରମ୍ ॥ MB (Shanti Parva)
The YakSha Prasna episode appears in the Aranyaka Parva of the Mahabharata.
It is in the form of questions by an YakSha and answers by Yudhishtira, the
son of Dharma. The answers illustrate various aspects of dharma. One of
the questions posed by the YakSha is: Which is weightier than the
earth itself? କିଂସ୍ଵିଦ୍-ଗୁରୁତରଂ ଭୂମେଃ?. The answer given by
Yudhishtira is : The mother is weightier than the earth. ମାତା ଗୁରୁତରା
ଭୂମେଃ। Rama also says to LakShmana that the mother and the motherland are
more precious than the heavens. ଜନନୀ ଜନ୍ମଭୂମିଶ୍ଚ ସ୍ଵର୍ଗାଦପି ଗରୀୟସି।
The reason may be that right from the time of conception,
the child becomes a part of the mother’s body and grows drawing sustenance
from her food.Even after birth, the child is taken care of by her and
spends more time with her. She is the one who introduces others, including
the father, to the child She, in effect, becomes the first guru. Krishna
said this to his friend Kuchela when they met in Dwaraka.
ସ ଵୈ ସତ୍କର୍ମଣାଂ ସାକ୍ଷାଦ୍ ଦ୍ଵିଜାତେ-ରିହ ସଂଭଵଃ ।
ଆଦ୍ୟୋଂଗ ୟତ୍ରାଶ୍ରମିଣାଂ ୟଥାହଂ ଜ୍ଞାନଦୋ ଗୁରୁଃ ॥ BH(10-80-32).
Thus the bondage with the mother is stronger than with others.
In view of this one finds that
at Gaya, where a Hindu is expected to offer oblations to his departed
parents, the custom prescribes offering of one pindam or ball of rice
to the father but sixteen to the mother. During the ceremony one says
verses that recall the hardship the mother had to endure when carrying
him in her womb for ten long months and later on also for several years
when he was a child unable to take care of himself. The content of the
verses are moving in their appeal.
EXAMPLE OF SHRI SHANKARACHARYA:-
The Skanda Purana says that even an ascetic who is adored by all should
worship his mother. ସର୍ଵ ଵନ୍ଦ୍ୟେନ ୟତିନା ପ୍ରସୂର୍ଵନ୍ଦ୍ୟା ପ୍ରୟତ୍ନତଃ।
He may sever his attachment with everyone but not with his mother. The
bondage continues. He has to attend to her during her final moments and
perform the last rites. Shri Shankaracharya was a great ascetic. He was
a realised person and so not bound by any rules and conventions. Still,
he wanted to set an example to other people. So, he bore the scriptural
injunctions in mind and was with his mother during her last moments. He
performed the customary rites after her death. At that time his
feelings got the better of him. He poured them out in five verses in
which he describes the pain and sufferings his mother had undergone
for his sake and the great love she had for him. The verses are given
below with the meaning. The translation is not exact, but general
enough to convey the contents.
॥ଅଥ ଶ୍ରୀ ମାତୃପଞ୍ଚକମ୍ ॥
ମୁକ୍ତାମଣି ତ୍ଵଂ ନୟନଂ ମମେତି
ରାଜେତି ଜୀଵେତି ଚିର ସୁତ ତ୍ଵମ୍ ।
ଇତ୍ୟୁକ୍ତଵତ୍ୟାସ୍ତଵ ଵାଚି ମାତଃ
ଦଦାମ୍ୟହଂ ତଣ୍ଡୁଲମେଵ ଶୁଷ୍କମ୍ ॥ ୧॥
Into your mouth, that said: You are the pearl of my eyes, my prince, may you
live long, son!, O Mother! I now offer only dry grains of rice. (1)
ଅଂବେତି ତାତେତି ଶିଵେତି ତସ୍ମିନ୍
ପ୍ରସୂତିକାଲେ ୟଦଵୋଚ ଉଚ୍ଚୈଃ ।
କୃଷ୍ଣେତି ଗୋଵିନ୍ଦ ହରେ ମୁକୁନ୍ଦ
ଇତି ଜନନ୍ୟୈ ଅହୋ ରଚିତୋଽୟମଞ୍ଜଲିଃ ॥ ୨॥
At the time of child birth you cried out loudly –
Mother!! Father!! Shiva!! Krishna! Govinda! Hare! Mukunda!. To
that mother I now bow with folded hands. (2)
ଆସ୍ତଂ ତାଵଦିୟଂ ପ୍ରସୂତିସମୟେ ଦୁର୍ଵାରଶୂଲଵ୍ୟଥା
ନୈରୁଚ୍ୟଂ ତନୁଶୋଷଣଂ ମଲମୟୀ ଶୟ୍ୟା ଚ ସଂଵତ୍ସରୀ ।
ଏକସ୍ୟାପି ନ ଗର୍ଭଭାରଭରଣକ୍ଲେଶସ୍ୟ ୟସ୍ୟାକ୍ଷମଃ
ଦାତୁଂ ନିଷ୍କୃତିମୁନ୍ନତୋଽପି ତନୟସ୍ତସ୍ୟୈ ଜନନ୍ୟୈ ନମଃ ॥ ୩॥
At the time of giving birth to me, O mother! you suffered from
unbearable pain. You did not speak about the suffering of your body nor
of the painful condition while lying in the bed for almost an year. For
even one of the sufferings that you underwent during pregnancy, O mother!,
a son is unable to offer atonement. To that mother I offer my salutations! (3)
ଗୁରୁକୁଲମୁପସୃତ୍ୟ ସ୍ଵପ୍ନକାଲେ ତୁ ଦୃଷ୍ଟ୍ଵା
ୟତିସମୁଚିତଵେଶଂ ପ୍ରାରୁଦୋ ମାଂ ତ୍ଵମୁଚ୍ଚୈଃ ।
ଗୁରୁକୁଲମଥ ସର୍ଵଂ ପ୍ରାରୁଦତ୍ତେ ସମକ୍ଷଂ
ସପଦି ଚରଣୟୋସ୍ତେ ମାତରସ୍ତୁ ପ୍ରଣାମଃ ॥ ୪॥
When in a dream, you saw me dressed like an ascetic. You cried aloud and came
running to the school (to see me). The whole school then immediately cried
before you. At your feet, O mother! I offer my salutation! (4)
ନ ଦତ୍ତଂ ମାତସ୍ତେ ମରଣସମୟେ ତୋୟମପିଵା
ସ୍ଵଧା ଵା ନୋ ଦତ୍ତା ମରଣଦିଵସେ ଶ୍ରାଦ୍ଧଵିଧିନା ।
ନ ଜପ୍ତ୍ଵା ମାତସ୍ତେ ମରଣସମୟେ ତାରକମନୁ-
ରକାଲେ ସମ୍ପ୍ରାପ୍ତେ ମୟି କୁରୁ ଦୟାଂ ମାତୁରତୁଲାମ୍ ॥ ୫॥
I did not offer you water at the time of your death, Oh mother! I
did not even offer the oblations as per funerary rites on the day of
your death. Nor did I repeat the mantra that delivers one across the
ocean of this world. Alas! I have come at an inappropriate time! O
mother! Bestow upon me your unequalled compassion. (5)