Motherly Love for the Guru

Late Swami Satyapremananda Saraswati

Mother's love is considered to be divine. In India the mother is the first god. Husband, father and brother can be replaced but not the mother. These relationships are based on duty, whereas motherly love is rooted in compassion. Mother and child are said to be unconsciously connected like guru and disciple. The attachment of mother and child does not belong to the lower instincts, it is a very great attachment.

Motherly love forms the basis for the first relationship. All creatures enjoy this form of love but man has the greatest need for it. Soon after birth, animals are able to fend for themselves, whereas a child has to be nourished and protected for many years. It is not only necessary to receive motherly love as a child, but to have the opportunity to express this love as an adult. Motherly love always awakens the soul because it is an expression of selfless service for the helpless and needy.

Motherly love comes naturally as all children are so beautiful. Whether man or woman, everyone derives great joy from watching children at play, in their stubborn fancies, tantrums and aggressive moods. Hence, whenever we think of Lord Krishna, immediately pictures of his childhood pranks are conjured up. When we affectionately call Krishna such names as Maakan Chor (butter thief) or Natkat Kaanha (cheeky Krishna), we feel an inner love for him. When poems praising the childhood lives of Krishna and Rama are sung, their respective forms appear in the mind's eye, bringing joy into our life. Wherever there are children, there are also joy and happiness.

When there is such a feeling for the guru, the disciple assumes motherly proportions. It's not that the guru is helpless, but because of an inner sense of unity between guru and disciple, the sense of big and small is eliminated. When the guru is in a high state of god-intoxication, he appears like Krishna Maakhan Chor. In this state, all of the guru's behaviour is childlike, then the disciple watches this childish expression like a mother. The disciple does not find this behaviour strange or troublesome, because her motherly love is a form of worship from which she derives great joy and which she longs to cherish] always.

The love that Mother Yashoda and the gopis had for Krishna Maakhan Chor, that Mary had for Christ, that same love the disciple has for the guru. In such devotion there it complete fulfilment and the disciple's love keeps growing, ever increasing is intensity. Immersed in devotion, the disciple does not wish for knowledge, respect or praise. Sadhana is not necessary for the development of such love. Instead the disciple prefers to be of service to the guru during every moment of his life. This relation, ship also brings out a high sense of responsibility associated with intense love for the guru. There is no match for this form of devotion as it is an expression of complete unity, an understanding of the true meaning of love.