Motherhood: The Great Creativity
International Mother’s Day
International Mother’s Day is an annual celebration in honor of mothers and motherhood in over 100 countries. It is observed on different days in many parts of the world, most popularly in May or March. While the actual origins of this celebration might be thousands of years old, the modern version of it was initiated in the United States by Anna Jarvis in 1907. She held the first Mother’s Day service of worship in Andrews Methodist Episcopal Church in West Virginia, which now holds the International Mother’s Day Shrine. This began a series of social campaigns and political struggles which ultimately led to the establishment of Mother’s Day as known today.
In India, Mother’s Day is observed on the second Sunday of May every year. It’s a holiday of expression of love and attributes a variety of traditions, presents, and galas. While the holiday is heavily commercialized, it still serves as a reminder of gratefulness and respect shared by mothers in unison with love. In today’s world of rush and nonchalance, days like Mother’s Day are pivotal to remind us as a society to cherish, admire, and celebrate humanity and womanhood as a culture.
Osho says, “Yes, it (Allah) is a Sufi word for god and it is a Sanskrit word for mother. Both are significant because to me god is more like a mother than like a father. God is more accepting, receiving — not like the male energy: aggressive. So the Sufi word means god, ‘Allah’, and the Sanskrit word, the same word ‘Allah’, means mother. But the thing that bridges both is love. God is love and the purest representation on the earth is the mother. The closest love that comes to god, to the unconditional love of God, is a mother’s love.
You can make it your mantra. Whenever you are sitting silently, repeat ‘allah, allah…’ and sway with it. Let it not be just a mental repetition. Your body should participate in it, your body should vibrate with it, and great joy will come out of It.”
THIS CRAZY, SWEET, TOTALLY DEMANDING AND PHYSICALLY EXHAUSTING, DELIGHTFUL MARATHON CALLED MOTHERHOOD…. SINCE THIS FIREBALL CAME TO US — ALMOST TWO YEARS NOW — NOT ONE UNINTERRUPTED NIGHT’S SLEEP, NOT ONE DAY OF REST. AND FEELING NOTHING SO IMPORTANT AS SIMPLY BEING PRESENT FOR HIM — AND SO VERY OFTEN INADEQUATE AND TENSE AND TIRED IN THAT.
WHERE IS LAUGHTER IN THIS?
HELP! HELP! YUCK, YUCK, YUCK.
YET ANOTHER ‘JEWISH MOTHER’
MA PREM PUNITA
JUST TO GIVE BIRTH TO A CHILD IS ONE THING — to be a mother is totally different. Any woman can give birth to a child; that’s a very simple phenomenon. But to be a mother needs great art, needs great understanding. You are creating a human being — that is the greatest creation! A painter paints a picture; we call it great art. Picasso — we call him a great artist. But what about the mother who created Picasso? A poet writes beautiful poems, but what about the mother who created Shakespeare? We don’t think about mothers as the greatest creative people on the earth.
That is one of the reasons why women are not great painters and great poets — they need not be: they can be great mothers. Why does man try to become a great scientist, poet, painter, this and that? — he is jealous of women: he cannot create children. He feels impotent…
But, one thing is certain: deep down man always feels jealous that he cannot mother, that he cannot carry an alive life in him, that he cannot reproduce life. To substitute it he paints, he sculpts, he writes poetry, he composes music; he goes to the moon, he goes to Everest. He wants to prove at least to his woman that “I can also do something,” otherwise he feels impotent. Compared to woman’s capacity, he looks like a child, looks almost accidental. His work is not much: giving birth to a child, he simply triggers the process. A small injection can do that; that is not much of a work.
The woman passes through those nine months of agony and ecstasy. And then the work is not finished! In fact, then the work, the real work, starts — when the child is born. And the child brings again a fresh quality to life. Every child is primitive, a barbarian; now the mother has to civilize. Every child is a barbarian, remember; he is animal, wild. And the mother has to give him culture, has to teach him the ways of life, the ways of man. It is a great work.
Punita, you have to remember that — that your work has not finished, it has started. Take it joyously! You are creating something immensely valuable — you are carving a life, you are protecting a life. The work is such that no sacrifice is great enough for it — any sacrifice can and should be made. One thing.
Second thing: don’t take it too seriously, otherwise you will destroy the child. Your seriousness will become destructive. Take it playfully. The responsibility is there! but it has to be taken very playfully. Play upon the child as one plays upon a musical instrument — and she knows how to play on musical instruments. Let the child be your instrument now. Play carefully but play playfully. If you become serious, then the child will start feeling your seriousness and the child will be crushed and crippled. Don’t burden the child; don’t start feeling that you are doing something great to the child. When I say you are doing something great, you are doing something great to yourself. By helping this child to grow into a beautiful human being, into a Buddha, you will be becoming the mother of a Buddha. You will not be obliging the child: you will be simply enjoying your own life; your own life will become a fragrance through the child.
This is an opportunity, a God-given opportunity.
And these are the two pitfalls: either you neglect the child, you are tired of it; or you become too serious about the child, and you start burdening him, obliging him. Both are wrong. Help the child — but for the sheer joy of it. And never feel that he owes any debt to you. On the contrary, feel thankful that he has chosen you to be his mother. Let your motherhood bloom through him. If you can bloom into your motherhood, you will feel thankful to the child forever.
And, naturally, there will be sacrifices, but they have to be made… joyously. Only then is it a sacrifice! If you DO it without joy it is not sacrifice. Sacrifice comes from the word ‘sacred’. When you do it joyfully, it is sacred. When you don’t do it joyfully, then you are just fulfilling a duty — and all duties are ugly, they are not sacred.
This is a great opportunity. Meditate over it, go into it deeply. You will never find such a deep involvement — in fact, there is none as it is between a child and the mother. Not even between the husband and the wife, the lover and the beloved — the involvement is not so deep as it is between the mother and the child. It cannot be so deep with anybody ever — because the child has lived in you for nine months as you; nobody else can live in you for nine months as you.
And the child will become a separate individual sooner or later, but somewhere deep down in the unconscious the mother and the child remain linked.
If your child can become a Buddha, you will be benefited by it; if your child grows and becomes a beautiful human being, you will be benefited by it — because the child will always remain connected with you. Only the physical connection has been disconnected; the spiritual connection is never disconnected. Thank God! Motherhood is a blessing.
This is an excerpt from the transcript of a public discourse by Osho in Buddha Hall, Shree Rajneesh Ashram, Pune.
Discourse Series: Walk Without Feet, Fly Without Wings and Think Without Mind
Chapter title: Love is a Resurrection
3 January 1978 am in Buddha Hall
Osho has spoken on ‘Mother, motherhood, creativity, art, understanding’ in many of His discourses. More on the subject can be referred to in the following books/discourses:
- The Transmission of the Lamp
- The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha, Vol 4
- From Misery to Enlightenment
- The Last Testament, Vol 4
- Sermons in Stones
- Vigyan Bhairav Tantra, Vol 2
- Yoga: The Alpha and the Omega, Vol 10
- Zarathustra: A God That Can Dance
- Unio Mystica, Vol 1
- The Golden Future
- The Book of Wisdom
- Beyond Psychology
- Tao: The Three Treasures