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My Mother

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This story begins when I was a child. I was born poor. Often we hadn't enough to eat. Whenever we had some food, Mother often gave me her portion of rice. While she was transferring her rice into my bowl, she would say 'Eat this rice, son! I'm not hungry.' This was my mother's first lie.  

As I grew, mother gave up her spare time to cultivate vegetables on a small patch of land near our home. She hoped that she could give me some nutritious food for my growth. She would make delicious soups from the best of the seasonal crops she was able to grow.

While I was eating the soup, mother would sit beside me and eat what was still left in the bowl. My heart was touched when I saw it. Once I gave her half my share but she immediately refused it and said, 'Please eat this soup, son! I don't really like soup so much.' This was my mother's second lie.

Then, in order to fund my education, mother went to a match factory to bring home some used matchboxes, which she filled with fresh matchsticks. This helped her get some money to cover our needs. One wintry night, I awoke to find mother filling the matchboxes by candlelight. So I said, 'Mother, go to sleep; it's late, you can continue working tomorrow morning.' Mother smiled and said, 'Go to sleep, son! I'm not tired.' This was my mother's third lie.

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When I had to sit for my final examination, mother accompanied me. After dawn, mother waited for me for hours in the heat of the Sun. When the bell rang, I ran to meet her… Mother embraced me and poured me a glass of tea that she had prepared in a thermos. The tea was not as strong as my mother's love. Seeing mother covered with perspiration, I at once gave her my glass and asked her to drink too. Mother said 'Drink, son! I'm not thirsty!' This was my mother's fourth lie.

After my father's death, mother had to play the role of a single parent. She held on to her former job and somehow had to make ends meet alone. Our family's status was precarious and many a time we suffered from starvation. Seeing our family's condition worsening, my kind Uncle, who lived near my house, offered to help us solve our problems, big and small. Our other neighbors saw that we were poverty stricken, so they often advised my mother to marry again. But mother refused to remarry saying, 'I don't need love.'  This was my mother's fifth lie.

After I had finished my studies and found a job, it was time for my old mother to retire, but she carried on going to the market every morning just to sell a few vegetables. I kept sending her money, but she was steadfast and even sent the amount back to me! She said, 'I have enough money.'  That was my mother's sixth lie.  

I continued my part-time studies for my master's degree. Funded by the American Corporation for which I worked, I succeeded in my studies. With a big jump in my salary, I decided to bring mother to enjoy life in America. But mother didn't want to bother her son; she said to me: ‘I don’t want a comfortable life.'  That was my mother's seventh lie.

In her dotage, Mother was attacked by cancer and had to be hospitalized. Now, living far across the ocean, I went home to visit mother who was bedridden after an operation. Mother tried to smile, but I was heartbroken because she was so thin and feeble. But mother said, 'Don't cry, son!  I'm not in any pain.'  That was my mother's eighth lie!  

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Telling me this, her eighth lie, she died.  Yes, my mother was an angel!

It is for this reason that they define Mother this way –

M - O - T - H - E - R

'M' is for the Million things she gave me;
'O' means she became Old as she gave her life for me;
'T' is for the Tears she shed to save me;
'H' is for her Heart of gold;
'E' is for her Eyes with love-light shining in them;
‘R' means the Righteous and exemplary life she lead. 

Put them all together, they spell 'MOTHER' - a word that means the world to me.

The author of this story in unknown, but it can be anybody on this Earth who has had the fortune of being brought up by their mother. For those, who have been blessed with their mother’s presence in their lives, this story is surely beautiful. For those who aren't so lucky, this is even more beautiful!

Bhagavan Baba has time and gain exhorted everyone to adore their mother as their first God. During the Ladies Day celebration on November 19, 1999, Bhagavan started his Divine Discourse with this moving poem:

More fragrant than the sweet-smelling flowers
like the Jasmine and the Champak,
Softer than the cheese and the butter,
More beautiful than eye of the peacock,
More pleasant than the moonlight,
Is the love of the mother!

Again, on the occasion of Easwaramma Day on May 6, 2006, He said, “There is no love greater than mother’s love in this world. It is imbued with immense power... Love your mother. Then you will be loved by all… It is the foremost duty of children to fulfill the wishes of their mother and make her happy.”

Illustrations: Rahul Raja, SSSU

- Heart2Heart Team

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Vol 6 Issue 11 - NOVEMBER 2008
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