Only by fostering motherhood can our culture be sustained

Question: How can Amma, who has never give birth, be considered to be a Mother?

Amma: Children, the mother is a symboll of selflessness. A mother knows the heart of her child — she knows its feelings. Her whole life is dedicated to the well being of her child. A mother doesn’t look upon the mistakes of her child as stemming from the ego. She forgives him for every mistake, knowing that he has done it out of ignorance. That is what motherhood is about. And that is what Amma’s life is about. Amma looks upon everyone as Her own child.

Indian children are taught from early childhood that their mother is God; that she is the embodiment of God. In our culture, motherhood is regarded as the consummation of womanhood. Every man looks upon every woman, except his wife, as a mother; and a woman addresses all elderly women as “mother.” Such is the exalted position accorded to the mother in Indian society. Of course, this outlook has suffered a certain decline, owing to the influences of other cultures.

You ask how Amma can be a mother without having conceived a child? But doesn’t the engineer who has designed the engine of an airplane know more than the pilot about that engine?

Motherhood is innate in all women. This quality should become predominant in every woman. Just as darkness is dispelled by the rays of the sun, all undesirables tendencies in a woman are dispelled by her motherly love. Love, selflessness and self-sacrifice are the hallmarks of motherhood. Only by fostering these noble qualities in people can our culture be sustained. Amma feels that Her present course will help in this direction.

The mere fact that a woman has given birth to a child doesn’t necessarily make her a mother, unless the mother within her is awakened. In the same way, a woman who has developed the mother aspect in all its fullness within herself, is no less a mother than a woman who has given birth to a baby. Also, do we not look upon our motherland, mother tongue and Mother Earth as mothers?

Question: Mother, why are you helping people the way you do? Is it done for any special purpose?

Amma: Amma has only one desire: that Her life should be like an incense stick. An incense stick spreads fragrance to others as it burns itself out. Similarly, Amma wants to benefit the world by dedicating every moment of Her life to others. Amma doesn’t see the goal as being different from the means. The stream of Amma’s life flows according to the Divine Will.