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CAN THERE BE A BAD MOTHER?

There is a certain sweetness to motherhood. A mother is your first connection to this manifest world. Motherhood lies in each of us. What is motherhood? It is to want and wish the best for others without expecting anything in return. They build the foundation for the finest aspects of society to flourish; they possess the ability to create and the ability to make a difference. They bring us to the planet and teach us how to live. A mother is the first guru, our first teacher.

My mother was a perfectionist. Whatever I would do, she would say, “You did not do it properly. You could have done it better.” She never had to apologize to anybody in her entire life. Can you imagine this? She was so thorough and aware of everything she said and did. She had no regrets and she did nothing to have regrets about. At the same time, she was also very sharp. So there is one woman who always said that I could have been better and that is my mother.

Mothers, who teach us to take our first step, also play a greater role in society. They can be strong peacemakers at home; in the communities; in societies; and in the world. They can bridge differences and bring diverse people, sometimes directly opposing in nature, together – she does it at home all the time!

SOWING THE SEED OF PRAYER

One important thing a mother can do is she can sow the seed of prayer in the children at a very young age. This sense of prayer arising from within would aid them when they grow up. If sometime in the future they ever feel stressed or helpless, knowing that they have the power of prayer will help them overcome these situations, and they will never lose their selfconfidence. They may not do it in their teen years but when they grow older and are faced with such situations, it will be of great value.

DEALING WITH MOTHER’S GUILT

There is a verse by Adi Shankara that says, “Bad sons are born, but a bad mother has never been born”. There can never be a bad mother. Nobody should even think they will be a bad mother. As a mother, if you get angry at your kids, you don’t have to feel guilty about it. Sometimes you should show some anger at your children. It is like vaccination for them to be strong. Suppose a mother never scolds a child, they become so weak, so delicate they cannot stand any criticism from anybody, they cannot stand up to hardships. So, one of the parents needs to be tough with the child. But it should be in moderation, showing a lot of anger, and often, can be counter-productive.

Never doubt your love for your kids, never think you have not loved your children enough. You should not get into this kind of guilt. When you feel guilty then you are preparing yourself to get angry. So anger and guilt are two ends of the pendulum that your mind will swing between. I would say, keep moving ahead instead of sitting and analyzing the past. When you are going through some emotional disturbance, do some breathing, yoga exercises because when you do meditation, breathing and Sudarshan Kriya it gives you enormous strength from inside to move forward.

THE VIEWS EXPRESSED BY THE AUTHOR ARE PERSONAL

SRI SRI RAVI SHANKAR The writer is an Indian yoga guru, a spiritual leader, founder of The Art of Living

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