Mothers and Attachment

September 15, 2007 Kamala Amma's Grace

Dearest Friends and Family,

There is something else I wanted to discuss. It is what I feel to be an erroneous ‘spiritual’ concept of a Mother’s blind attachment to her child. Attachment, in some circles around me, is considered a hindrance to ‘spiritual advancement’ a sign of holding onto this world of name and form, and therefore, to an ultimate delusion, as this is a place of constant change, not our real home, etc., etc.
Not all Mothers are able to truly love their children. It’s always amazing to me, but, in my experience, it is true. Perhaps it is more, that due to certain negative mental tendencies in themselves, they are unable to show that love in constructive, responsible and meaningful ways for the child. For those that do though, they will bear witness with me, that the child is really the mother of the mother. For it is the child who teaches us small Mothers, of which I am one, how to hear and be the Mother within. Through open, attentive listening to the unspoken needs and honoring and deeply respecting the directions of the child, the Mother unveils herself, within the small Mother.
So who is it that is unveiled? The true Mother is nothing less than the great author of the music that turns the spheres, and of the spheres themselves. It is the same Great Mother in the ‘little mother’. Although the ability to become aware of this is easily accessible to all, particularly females, for me, the birth and experience of becoming a small Mother to my children, Link and Anni, has most clearly revealed and defined this. I know many of my failings, yet, I have watched and seen the depthless One, that a Mother and child always are, reveal its wisdom and knowledge for my babies and myself as an indivisible part of them.
The joy of mothering is that one can watch and see this Great Mother within oneself, and say “I’ , demonstrating to ones’ own mind, a divine sense of self identification with the Great Mother. Even though a biological Mother may be a ‘small’ Mother, she is an undeniable part of the Great Mother energy. It is the unique prerogative of anyone who unveils that Mother within themselves, either through mothering their own children, or others, or mothering other beings in the Creation. Once it is awakened, it is truthful and unerring in knowing the positive directions for the child. It is fearless wisdom incarnate.
In my observations, for many small Mothers, the gestation of the child, births the Mother. I have known many women who have lost their baby during gestation. The Mother’s body undergoes a tremendous sense of loss and grieving, which deeply affects the psychological state of the would-be Mother. Why? The body itself had been programmed to see the baby through until physical birth. By what? How can we call this stage – the unborn child, its loss, and consequent grieving, attachment? This is not attachment. This is the cry of the body and the unformed imprints left on the heart of the would-be Mother, to see the child through, to see it born.
And after the child is born? Even after a normal birth, the Mother’s body goes through a slightly depressed state, the ‘woos” as a friend of mine called them. It’s a time of grieving the loss of closeness and cellular security that gestation meant. None of this is false or petty attachment. All of this springs from the depths of duty, dharma, righteousness, purity to hold safe and guide the child in the directions right for him or her. It is the creative and sustaining or preserving force of the Universe. These two aspects of the conception of God in Sanatan Dharma [eternal truth, Hinduism] , comprise two thirds of the God head, viewed as Creative, Preserving and Destructive.
The road for the child within the heart of the mother blazes clear in her. All the ways to guide the child, what to watch out for, the font of unconditional love – are awoken. This is not attachment, this is the wellspring of dharma, purity and truth, that comes from the Great Mother manifesting in the ‘little mother’. When little Mothers cannot be pure and true to the Great Mother within them, due to their own mind problems, it can very negatively affect the child. Very few small Mothers can be true to that unconditional love within them for their child, although, it is still there.
It is a great pity and loss for mankind that the wonderous, unifying essence of Motherhood is so devalued, so disrespected, even by small Mothers themselves in what is termed ‘modern’ and ‘technical’ societies. Even in India now, we see the lower middle classes, with young mothers working 12 hour shifts, and children in crèches and day care centers for the entire time. Add to this the poisonous toxins of soap operas, copied on American models of viperous and totally unsisterly behaviors between women, and we have the great human culture of India, disintegrating in leaps and bounds before our eyes.
As a single mother, coming from America to India, with two small children to raise, I could feel the general societal acknowledgement of the relevance of the Great Mother within every little Mother, within me. It is a culture that as yet, worships the Great Mother. I am grateful. It made raising my children with values of respect, honesty, helpfulness, peacefulness, self-restraint, hardworkingness, etc. much easier despite the ignorance we faced due to the lack of an outer father figure. It was just expected that my children would want to listen to, and follow the advises of their mother. That they would recognize her relevance to them. In western countries, rebellion against the mother is an encouraged norm. Perhaps it is because the small Mothers there are themselves not able to be responsive, or truly respect the Great Mother within themselves or in other small mothers.
To my mind, to see a Mother’s undying love for her child as ‘attachment’ is gross and glaring ignorance, displaying rather the smallness of understanding of such a thinker. I feel the scriptures and many religious texts and stories need to be re-written and/or re-interpreted to bring a better understanding to light. It is a great pity and loss to the development of human civilization that women the world over are being ‘spiritually’ educated to decry and devalue in anyway the great gift within them, which is the source of the universe itself. To be or become a perfect mother, that is, one who has no more tendencies which can stop, hinder, or warp the flow of energy of the knowingness and love of the Great Mother within for the child, or children, or the entire creation, is an open path in one in whom even small Motherhood is awakened.
The way of the Mother is very fast. Perhaps this is why women tend to be more pious, peaceful, spiritually advanced as a whole, than men. Connection to the Great Mother, being such a normal and natural state, has not been made into religious orders, with special clothes and colors. Yet, so many children know that their Mothers were the Great Mother. So many adults from different religions tell me, “My Mother was a real Saint!” and mean it sincerely. The towering heights of genuinely deep spirituality attained by unknown, unnamed, millions of Mothers, are far above the need for socialized spiritual distinction and methods of measurement devised by aggressive and competitive male –kind. No where do we see or hear of Two Great Mother Yogini’s arguing intellectually for days, or madly taking vows or fasts or giving curses, or begging boons to spiritually one-up themselves over other sages or to seek self advancement in anyway. Nor would we. Those are the ways of small children, not the Great Mother, who
depths are all embracing love, silence, peace and stillness.
The Path of the Great Mother is the easiest, the most accessible. Perhaps that is why Holy Mother Amma lives it for us. Through the expansive love filled path of selfless caring, one becomes That. All true Mothers know this. All small Mothers share a common source in their Motherhood. As a small Mother, I find I am always in the presence of the Great Mother, it is an intrinsic part of me, it is me, as far as I can be true to it. For me, that means to love fearlessly. I have to strive for that. My love, longing and agony for Anni has nothing to do with attachment, and everything to do with dharma, as part of her Great Mother.
I welcome your comments. Please feel free to disagree and argue vociferously.
[note! It has come to our attention that excerpts from the blog are being used elsewhere. We don’t have a problem with that, for small 2-5 word phrases, acknowledgement is not necessary, more than that, let your conscience guide you.]
Loving you,
Kamala Aunty

4 Responses to “Mothers and Attachment”

  • mare says:

    Dear Sister Kamala,
    This is BEAUTIFUL. Just beautiful, and i could never have said this so well. In Amma’s arms,,,mare

  • Neemy says:

    Motherhood is a boon to all female species. In human race, woman after 9 months of gestation going through all the labour and pain gives birth to a baby, how incredible is this cycle of birth! A mother has not only an emotional but more of a spiritual bond with her child. The word ‘maa’ is as sacred as God. God cannot be at all places and hence He gave each one of us ‘Maa’ who is His human form. I love my mumma so very much.

    Love you a lot kamala aunty,

  • gabrielle says:

    beloved kamala, you are right so right,i feel there is much truth in your words,, your mind is truly a beautiful communicate your messages with the power of a laser.ah, what to say i feel very strongly towards this subject of divine motherhood , one could say, the mother who lives within the mother, who is with the mother.
    this is an issue that nags and continuously pulls my intention to though still wihtout wanting to write in the expansiveness of negative words i find it extremly difficult to face the empty,idle and desperatly competing woman of today with a vocabualary of love prosperious thinking and patient understanding.
    it kills me over and over to see the faces and desperate screams of little children deprived of motherhood, those who live their lives desintegrated to the world of their mothers, unwanted, pushed off ,ignored misunderstood because the parents no longer having an ear for the childs curiosity and needs, no longer the instinkts of the female ancestors, no longer the devotion and self sacrifing heart…
    it hurts to know in what a light maria magdalena was put, a heritage the church has been able to keep over womans head for too long a while,
    that mothers have forgotten so far that they have no more heritage for their daughters, the depths and mysteries of womanhood, female power ,instinkts intuition,pride, spirit(ac)uality,values morals, the sacredness of your being, my being..
    just recall the despaired aftercrys of the children who grew within the lap of the osho movement around him, their parents selfabsorbedness and ego-centric spirituality took from these new born and young ones their mothers,their gods as their mothers were TO BE theiir one and only, their trustand natural instinktiv longing for warmth ,attention,comfort and love!
    if anything this is attachment and a source for great pain trauma emptiness and longing in the ones they affected most with their life styles-their children!
    yet i know that the time is rising that woman are once again inthronising and reempowering themselves, you are and have ever been for me a mother in a sense that you have in still and mostly silent ways taught me much about the strenght and gift in womanhood and the power of motherhood.
    you are the mother in a most beautiful and loveable form
    godDess bless your heart with some peace
    your gabrielle

  • Such beautiful comments:
    “It is a great pity and loss to the development of human civilization that women the world over are being ‘spiritually’ educated to decry and devalue in anyway the great gift within them, which is the source of the universe itself. To be or become a perfect mother, that is, one who has no more tendencies which can stop, hinder, or warp the flow of energy of the knowingness and love of the Great Mother within for the child, or children, or the entire creation, is an open path in one in whom even small Motherhood is awakened.”

    and this one

    “…the Great Mother, who depths are all embracing love, silence, peace and stillness.”

    speaks strongly in this image:

    Eternal love.

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