Mother Herself is Guru by Dr. Gulab Kothari

Mother, as ‘Krishna', sings lullabies to her 'Arjuna'.
  “Integration” Blog     at Institute of Spiritual Sciences     “Regular Articles” Department  

“It is the mother who transforms the jiva into a human being and teaches it the art of living. She herself becomes a part of its soul and makes it like her. She herself is the jiva, she herself is the soul.“
Painting by Diane M. Rousseau.(1)

Mother Herself is Guru
She Herself is Krishna
by Dr. Gulab Kothari


Creation comes into existence when both jada (inanimate) and chetana (animate) unite. Prakriti(2) is jada and Purusha(3) is cheatana. Brahm(4) alone is Purusha. Basically both are one. Swabhava (one's disposition or nature) itself is Prakriti. Since the seven lokas(5) are situated between Brahm and the physical universe, the modifications occur in every loka as gross forms appear. Similarly, even while returning, Brahm leaves something or the other behind like a rocket. The substance that is shed is called mrityu or death. Taking a gross form is known as birth. A gross body has just one role – doing karma and suffering or enjoying its fruits.

Come! Let us see what the Gita says:
    “There is nothing higher than myself. The whole creation is woven in me like beads strung on a thread.”
    “The five material substances, mind, intellect and ego – these eight are the parts of my inanimate energy. My other animate energy comprises the embodied souls and is called chetana or the soul energy.”
    “Know that all living beings stem from these two energies of mine (prakritiyam) only. I am the source of the entire creation and into me it dissolves again.”
    “I myself create the four varnas (classes), three attributes (sat-raja-tama), karma or duties and their fruits. Even if I produce them nevertheless I am not their doer.”

The Body

What do all these things mean in our life? Our body is made of panchamahabhootas (five basic material elements) and panchkoshas (five sheaths). The body is the first gross sheath, the sheath made of anna (earth and water). All the four sheaths within it are subtle. Annamaya kosha, or the sheath of ana, is our inanimate part. It is propelled by another shakti (power). The sheath of prana, the sheath of perception and the sheath of cognition constitute our subtle body or para prakriti. At the center lies the causal body or the sheath of bliss. The subtle body is propped by Akshara and the causal body is nurtured by Avyaya Purusha. These five koshas are his kalas or constituents.

The body is given by parents. It is a part of apara (lower). All the eight departments function in this body. Anna itself produces father's semen (shukra) and his mana (mind). The semen or shukra contains the fragments of father and the last six generations. The configuration of the body is created by Prathvi, prakriti (disposition) is generated by the moon and the individualized ego (ahankriti) is produced by the reflections of the sun. The body is perishable; it is decay, it is death.

The mass (pinda) is made by the yajna (offering) of Agni and Soma and the offering of water. The earth comes into existence with the help of water. At the beginning of the creation our body is a pure mass (pinda). It does not contain jiva (soul). It merely becomes a part of mother's body and is nourished by the food she eats. It means the body is just our identity, it is not our existence. In a way it is a shelter in which we live in the form of a jiva. Once the age of the body is completed, we change it to a new one.

“Just as man discards old clothes similarly a soul discards worn out bodies (dead bodies) and accepts new bodies.” (2/22 Gita)

The Soul

The chariot here is the Sarira (body), the passenger, Arjuna, is the Jiva (embodied individual soul) and the charioteer, Krishna, is the Atma (Self, Higher Intellect, or Buddhi) leading the chariot in the battlefield of Kurukshetra (the inner battlefield of the mind).

We are not the body, the body is our chariot. We are Arjuna, and Krishna is our charioteer. Krishna says further – “I am Vasudeva of the Vrsnis, Arjuna of the Pandavas and Vyasa of the poets. I am my own friend.” (10/37 Gita). Both the soul and Ishwara are subtler than the subtle. All the activities of the body are controlled from within by a certain power of consciousness and that power (soul) is different from the body. The most important question of life is who we live for – for ourselves or for bodies.

A jiva enters the body after three months. Scriptures also say that a jiva (the divine spark, individual soul) itself chooses its place. In accordance with it, the jiva also chooses its mother and incarnates in her womb. Soon after it the fetus in the womb begins to move about. Then the mother starts seeing dreams about the yoni from which it has come. It brings with it the traits of that form of existence. Then she decides how it can be refined and developed as a human being.

Jiva, or the soul, is in the form of Akshara Prana and Avyaya (the indestructible or permanent lifeforce) residing at its center. It is at everyone's center. Krishna says – mamaivasho jivaloke. The three kalas of Akshara Purusha, i.e. Brahma-Vishnu-Indra, together become ‘hridaya' (center). No material object is produced without a center. Every created entity is called Agni. Soma is offered in Agni. It is sans center (rita). The supreme soul (parmatma) dwells in the heart only. “I am the soul abiding in the hearts of all.” (10/20 Gita)

This atma (soul) lives at the center of every animate and inanimate object. Krishna describes himself as Avyaya. The subtle body is the main realm of the activities of the jiva. Avyaya Purusha is merely its substratum. It is the same in all living beings. The subtle body is merely a causative factor. All functions happen in the gross or kshara sharira.

The Spirit

All the five pranas(6) and the five organs of action abide in the sheath of prana (life force or spirit). All the five organs of sense and mana (mind) are integral parts of the sheath of perception. These five sense organs and intellect form the sheath of intelligence and cognition. It is the subtle body associated with these three sheaths that wanders in different lokas (worlds). It is controlled by the causal body. On account of the birth of a jiva it remains unaware of the form of his soul and fruits of his previous karmas. Due to ignorance the real form of a jiva is shrouded. Avidya (ignorance) alone is the cause of bondage. A jiva's figure, disposition, and individualized ego are constructed in accordance with the causes. Appearance and individualized ego maintain its permanent form. When its nature undergoes a change all the three also change simultaneously.

Only when a jiva enters a womb it becomes sentient; the mass (pinda) remains insentient. The jiva's heart gets connected with the heart of the mass (pinda). The mass is permeated with consciousness. The form of Avyaya in a jiva and a mass is the same. It alone becomes a witness. The jiva now comes into contact with the mother directly. Krishna says that first of all he had imparted the knowledge of the Gita to Vivasvana, who was to become the father of the universe. Manu is a tattva(7) which is produced from the sun. The same knowledge was given to Arjuna. What is the similarity between Arjuna and Vivasvana?

Mother as Guru

If Arjuna is also Krishna, is Vivasvana not Krishna? Even today it is one of the twelve Adityas.(8.) Krishna also describes himself as Himalaya. It means that he dwells in both animate and inanimate. He himself is the creation. The Gita is a treatise of all that is inanimate and inanimate. The knowledge of the Gita constitutes the causes of birth, form of life, and its relationship with Brahm. Then, why should this knowledge not reach all the living beings in due time? Vivasvana got it before Akshara Srishti and battle between gods and demons and Arjuna received it before the battle of Mahabharata. Then, why should the jiva not be given this knowledge before it enters duality or the battle of life. Who should impart it ?

Where did Abhimanyu learn to break the impregnable battle array (Chakravyuha)? He learned it while he was still in his mother's womb. In the womb the soul has two essential ingredients, i.e. Brahm and karma, which remain synonymous with life. The entire domain of karma is governed by Prakriti. Brahm does nothing. Then, the mother in the form of Prakriti that has to carry out the role of a guru (teacher). It is she who refines and educates the child in the womb, else the jiva that has come from the body of a violent animal will use this human body in the way it used it when it had occupied it.

“The Lotus symbolically represents karma... A blooming lotus flower is one of the few flowers that simultaneously carries seeds inside itself while it blooms. Seed is symbolically seen as cause, the flower effect. Lotus is also considered as a reminder that one can grow, share good karma and remain unstained even in muddy circumstances.”(9)

The mother is expected to gain an insight into the form of Brahm and karma. The relationship between the mother and the child is embedded in subtle layers at emotional level. It does not operate at physical level. Just as the father is a proliferated form of Brahm, similarly, the mother too is in the form of bharmana (bringing up). In the womb Brahm does not do anything. It is the mother who transforms the jiva into a human being and teaches it the art of living. She herself becomes a part of its soul and makes it like her. She herself is the jiva, she herself is the soul. Absorbed in ecstasy the mother sings lullabies as Krishna and prepares her Arjuna.

The Atma or True Self

The jiva wears the body exactly with the characteristics of its previous existence. Even Vishvakarma cannot change the baked pot. Mother and father are basically the nurturers of the body. Those who are entrusted with the task of refining and educating the jiva are the presiding deities of the field of action. Hence the Guru (teacher) undertakes the responsibility in the second situation. He refines and educates the soul of the individual. Principally he should be familiar with the institution of Brahm. There are provisions of tests for a Guru too.

The Guru familiarizes an individual with the form of his own self. He removes the veils of avidya with the help of vidya and makes him like him. Therefore, the creation operates at three levels. Brahm and Maya are called matter and energy. Both cannot bring the cosmos into existence on their own. Basically Maya is also Brahm's better half (ardhangini). She is also Brahm in herself. He too is not the doer. In Atma, Brahm, and karma alone are Krishna and Arjuna. The Gita is known as the scripture of Atma (eternal or true self). In Brahm's testimony when a jiva begins to enter the realm of his karma, the Gita makes him aware of the entire cosmos and shows him the way to throw off the yoke of three gunas(10) in order to attain to the state of Krishna. Then, nothing remains – neither mother, nor Guru nor Atma.

Footnotes and Credits
(1) Painting “Shri Lalita”, The Divine Feminine in the Cosmic Ocean of Creation. Oil on canvas. Copyright © 2004 Diane M. Rousseau.
(2) Prakriti, (Sanskrit) in Vedanta the original, natural, and/or prime material energy of which all matter is composed. The term is derived from the Sanskrit pra, meaning “beginning,” and kriti, meaning “creation.”
(3) Purusha, (Sanskrit) in Vedic philosophy refers to the Cosmic Being or Self, the Supernal Spirit, Divine Person, Cosmic consciousness and Self-awareness, the Soul, the true Self. Purusha, uniting with Prakriti (matter), gives rise to life. Three modes of expression, qualities in the soul to awaken to Papaprakriti, the Higher Nature, and to know the Divine Creatrix of the Universe, the Mother of All Things.
(4) Brahm, (Sanskrit) Brahm is the unchanging reality both in and beyond the world, Non-Relative and Relative, and that which “cannot be exactly defined”. Brahm is limitless, Eternal, an all-Pervasive Energy that is in everything, has no beginning and no end. It is the “Ultimate Truth.”
(5) Loka or Lokas, (Sanskrit) is a term for “world or worlds” that often refers to various divisions of the universe, or dimensions and realms of existence. In the Puranas, there are 14 worlds, or lokas in the universe: seven upper, also known as Heavens, and the seven lower, or hells.
(6) Prana, (Sanskrit) word for breath. The five prana are the five types of Energy as described in Vedic philosophy. Prana is the Sanskrit word for “life force” or “vital principle,” and “Spirit”. It is thought to permeate all of reality, including inanimate objects.
These five Prana are:
* Prana (Supreme Breath, upward flow)
* Apana (downward flow, casts out waste in the system and subtle body)
* Udana (The up-breath which aids in Spiritual Development, and breath of Higher Communication)
* Vyana (circulations of breath, resists destructive elements)
* Samana (Keeps the equilibrium in the flow of breath)
(7) Tattva is a Sanskrit term meaning “Principle, essence or reality, Knowledge of the essence of things.”
(8.) Adityas, (Sanskrit) refers to the offspring of the God and Goddess of the Sun representing Infinity.
(9) Maria I. Macioti, The Buddha Within Ourselves: Blossoms of the Lotus Sutra, Translator: Richard Maurice Capozzi, ISBN 978-0-7618-2189-2, pp 69–70.
(10) Gunas, (Sanskrit) The three gunas are three aspects or forces of nature, and are present in all things in the universe in different balances:
  • Tamas = Inertia, ignorance, stagnation, darkness.
  • Rajas = Movement, to Strive, attain Knowledge, Will, to Aspire.
  • Sattva = Balance, Love, Beauty, Truth, Purity, Warmth, Poise, Enlightenment, Spiritual Essence.

Published at the Institute of Spiritual Sciences (ISS) by permission of author.
Article edited, footnotes and images added for publication at the Institute of Spiritual Sciences (ISS) by Diane M. Rousseau, LHD, Ph.D and Ray J. Rousseau.
Text Copyright © 2024, Institute of Spiritual Sciences (ISS).
Painting “Shri Lalita” Copyright © 2004 Diane M. Rousseau.
All rights reserved.

May the light and love of God prevail. Please let us know how we can help.

Tags: wisdom in ancient teachings

Our Mission

Our mission is to further integration of spirituality, science, the arts and meditation to help alleviate suffering and promote peace through knowledge-based education in spiritual and scientific realities and interfaith understanding as consciousness applied.

Unlocking the unlimited potential for new discoveries and going beyond perceived boundaries with responsible expansion applied in all fields for transformation.
Copyright © 2006 - 2024, Institute of Spiritual Sciences  •  Javascript and cookies are required.  
Web browsers are not all created equal.  •  ??≈TL