Call to Motherhood

(This is from Sri M. S. Golwalkar’s book, Bunch of Thoughts. Here he talks about the manner in which the womenfolk in our society can elevate the collective social consciousness, and work for the general uplift of the society.)

Epics in Heroic Motherhood

As we are well aware, our nation is beset with ever so many perils. Attempts to undermine the integrity of our motherland and our society are on. Challenges to the time-honoured values of our spiritual heritage are mounting. Conflicts and confrontations are thick in the air. Under such conditions, what is the type of training that we have to impart to our children? Shall we teach them to seek safety in their homes and not to stir out? Should we harp upon things pertaining to their own happiness and future and ask them out not to “dabble in other things”? What shall we teach?

There is a beautiful anecdote narrated in Mahabharata. There was a queen by name Vidula. She sent her son Sanjay to the war-field but the fellow became nervous and terror-stricken. He turned his back to the enemies and galloped to his capital. When Vidula saw her son in that crestfallen state she closed the entrance to the fort and severely chastised him. That conversation between the mother and the son has become famous as Vidula-Sanjay-Samvad, wherein Vidula instructs her son as to how a brave warrior should conduct himself on the battlefield. She then orders him to go back to war and return as a victorious hero. As the story goes, Sanjay sallied forth into the battlefield, displayed exemplary valour and came back to be received by his mother with honour.

The words of Kunti when the five Pandavas came to seek her blessing before proceeding to give battle are remarkable for their heroic tone. She says:
यदर्थं क्षत्रिया सूते तस्य कालोयमागतः ।
न हि वैरं समासाद्य सींदति पुरुषर्षर्भाः ।।

(The moment has arrived for which Kshatriya mothers give birth to sons. Lion-hearted men are not cowed down in the face of enemies.)

There is one more couplet in Mahabharata which says: may no woman give birth to one who would mutely suffer insults, who is devoid of vigour and manly prowess and one who would bring joy to the enemies.

Duty Towards Neighourhood

There is a special burden upon our mothers of serving our needy sisters in society. True, a majority of our mothers will not be in a position to go to far-off places to carry on social work among the distressed and the destitute. However, this does not mean that they should sit back in their homes all the while. They could establish useful contacts among the womenfolk in their own neighbourhood and carry out programmes, which would inculcate our cherished ideas among them and their children. The spirit of mutual help and service would also have to be made popular through our day-to-day social intercourse. Our womenfolk should not be allowed to develop inferiority complex or a feeling of helplessness. They should be taught that they are the living emblems of parashakti.

There are quite a few of our educated mothers who have spare time and energy, which is often wasted in gossip of fashionable clubs. Here is one useful hint for them. There will be many small boys and girls in their neighbourhood who do not go to schools. They can make such children gather either in their own house or in some other convenient place and engage them in games, stories, songs, etc.

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