In this article we’ll make a collection of Swami Vivekananda‘s quotes and comment on Motherhood. Related articles are listed at the bottom of the page.
- A good, chaste wife, who thinks of every other man except her own husband as her child and has the attitude of a mother towards all men, will grow so great in the power of her purity that there cannot be a single man, however brutal, who will not breathe an atmosphere of holiness in her presence.[Source]
- Eternal, unquestioning self – surrender to Mother alone can give us peace. Love Her for Herself, without fear or favour. Love Her because you are Her child.[Source]
- Every manifestation of power in the universe is “Mother”.[Source]
- If the mother is pleased, and the father, God is pleased with the man.[Source]
- . . . In my opinion, a race must first cultivate a great respect for motherhood, through the sanctification and inviolability of marriage, before it can attain to the ideal of perfect chastity.[Source]
- Kananda says the Hindu is taught to worship the principle of motherhood. The mother outranks the wife. The mother is holy. The motherhood of God is more in his mind than the fatherhood.[Source]
- Mother is the first manifestation of power and is considered a higher idea than father.[Source]
- Only resting in Mother are we safe.[Source]
- The Dharma of the Westerners is worship of Shakti—the Creative Power regarded as the Female Principle. It is with them somewhat like the Vâmâchâri’s worship of woman. As the Tântrika says. “On the left side the women . . . on the right, the cup full of wine; in short, warm meat with ingredients . . . the Tantrika religion is very mysterious, inscrutable even to the Yogis.” It is this worship of Shakti that is openly and universally practised. The idea of motherhood, i.e. the relation of a son to his mother, is also noticed in great measure. Protestantism as a force is not very significant in Europe, where the religion is, in fact, Roman Catholic. In the religion, Jehovah, Jesus, and the Trinity are secondary; there, the worship is for the Mother—She, the Mother, with the Child Jesus in her arms. The emperor cries “Mother”, the field-marshal cries “Mother”, the soldier with the flag in his hand cries “Mother”, the seaman at the helm cries “Mother”, the fisherman in his rags cries “Mother”, the beggar in the street cries “Mother”! A million voices in a million ways, from a million places—from the palace, from the cottage, from the church, cry “Mother”, “Mother”, “Mother”! Everywhere is the cry “Ave Maria”; day and night, “Ave Maria”, “Ave Maria”![Source]
- . . . The Mother is our guide and whatever happens or will happen is under Her ordination. . . .[Source]
- The mother is the highest ideal of womanhood in India.[Source]
- The mother is the ideal of love; she rules the family, she possesses the family.[Source]
- The one thing that fulfils womanhood, that is womanliness in woman, is motherhood.[Source]
- We all think of ourselves, and never of the Mother.[Source]
- We have seen in Shri Ramakrishna how he had this idea of divine motherhood in every woman, of whatever caste she might be, or whatever might be her worth.[Source]
- With the name of Mother comes the idea of Shakti, Divine Energy and Omnipotence, just as the baby believes its mother to be all-powerful, able to do anything.[Source]
- Without propitiating the Mother by worship and obeisance, not even Brahma and Vishnu have the power to elude Her grasp and attain to freedom.[Source]
The position of mother is the highest in the world
From Complete Works, Karma Yoga, Chapter: IV, What is Duty?—[Source]The position of the mother is the highest in the world, as it is the one place in which to learn and exercise the greatest unselfishness. The love of God is the only love that is higher than a mother’s love; all others are lower. It is the duty of the mother to think of her children first and then of herself. But, instead of that, if the parents are always thinking of themselves first, the result is that the relation between parents and children becomes the same as that between birds and their offspring which, as soon as they are fledged, do not recognise any parents. Blessed, indeed, is the man who is able to look upon woman as the representative of the motherhood of God. Blessed, indeed, is the woman to whom man represents the fatherhood of God. Blessed are the children who look upon their parents as Divinity manifested on earth.
Motherhood — the highest of all feminine types in India
From Complete Works, Volume VI, Chapter: Mother-Worship:[Source]
The highest of all feminine types in India is mother, higher than wife. Wife and children may desert a man, but his mother never. Mother is the same or loves her child perhaps a little more. Mother represents colourless love that knows no barter, love that never dies. Who can have such love?—only mother, not son, nor daughter, nor wife. “I am the Power that manifests everywhere”, says the Mother—she who is bringing out this universe, and She who is bringing forth the following destruction. No need to say that destruction is only the beginning of creation. The top of a hill is only the beginning of a valley.
Motherhood — ideal of India
From a lecture delivered in Shakespeare Club House, in Pasadena, California, on January 18, 1900—[Source]
The ideal woman in India is the mother, the mother first, and the mother last. The word woman calls up to the mind of the Hindu, motherhood; and God is called Mother. As children, every day, when we are boys, we have to go early in the morning with a little cup of water and place it before the mother, and mother dips her toe into it and we drink it.
In the West, the woman is wife. The idea of womanhood is concentrated there — as the wife. To the ordinary man in India, the whole force of womanhood is concentrated in motherhood. In the Western home, the wife rules. In an Indian home, the mother rules. If a mother comes into a Western home, she has to be subordinate to the wife; to the wife belongs the home. A mother always lives in our homes: the wife must be subordinate to her. See all the difference of ideas.
Now, I only suggest comparisons; I would state facts so that we may compare the two sides. Make this comparison. If you ask, “What is an Indian woman as wife?”, the Indian asks, “Where is the American woman as mother? What is she, the all – glorious, who gave me this body? What is she who kept me in her body for nine months? Where is she who would give me twenty times her life, if I had need? Where is she whose love never dies, however wicked, however vile I am? Where is she, in comparison with her, who goes to the divorce court the moment I treat her a little badly? O American woman! where is she?” I will not find her in your country. I have not found the son who thinks mother is first. When we die, even then, we do not want our wives and our children to take her place. Our mother!– we want to die with our head on her lap once more, if we die before her. Where is she? Is woman a name to be coupled with the physical body only? Ay! the Hindu mind fears all those ideals which say that the flesh must cling unto the flesh. No, no! Woman! thou shalt not be coupled with anything connected with the flesh. The name has been called holy once and for ever, for what name is there which no lust can ever approach, no carnality ever come near, than the one word mother? That is the ideal in India.