The Universal Mother

BY Parvati

Though some may feel that holidays such as Mother’s Day only support the card giving business, I welcome them as an opportunity to practice gratitude for that which they celebrate. On Mother’s Day we have an opportunity to remember our mother and all the mothers around the world who selflessly give. In this blog entry, I would like to remember our mothers and explore the notion of the universal mother within us all, whether we are male or female. In this, I celebrate our human capacity to selflessly give, nurture, love and create.
We all know the capacity mothers have to give. Since we are human, we all have a biological mother through whom we were born on Earth. Whatever our relationship may be with her, there is no denying that each one of us has, at the very least, experienced her gift of birth through the creative portal of her body. That alone to me is a miracle. Think of it: after a moment of passion, nine months of incubation, hours of pain, determination and focus that transcends reason in the delivery process, a fresh, raw, exposed child appears vulnerable in the world. Then that child is completely dependant on her willingness again to give, at the very least of her body, to which we cling literally for dear life for the first years of our life. Not only is a child born, but a sacred contract begins. The mother will be, for the duration of her life, a mother to a child.
Birthing happens every second, every day, generation after generation, all over the world. What a mother gives of herself in that process alone deserves celebration. She surrenders her body to the growth of a new life. For nine months her entire biological process revolves around supporting that new life. Her body has become a creative factory hard at work with one end product in mind: healthy, new life. Imagine living for nine months with the single focus of bringing new life to the Earth. Then imagine that being your responsibility for the rest of your life, 24/7. That is mother.
We also call the Earth our Mother.  That which the Earth grows feeds, nourishes, supports and sustains us.  Our bodies are the very stuff of matter or mother (matter: material, substance, derived of māter/mother). She gifts us, so that as spiritual beings, we may have human experiences. The Earth, as matter, is our mother from whom we come into body, which we temporarily inhabit while in this plane. Like our life long relationship with our biological mother, this broader relationship with Mother Earth takes place for the entire duration of our stay on this planet. We are related to her 24/7, every moment of every day we are alive. We also have a sacred contract with her to love and support her the way she loves and supports us.
The Hindu Yogic tradition describes the beginning of the universe as pure consciousness co-creating with primordial cosmic energy to manifest form. Shiva (pure consciousness) and Shakti (the divine feminine creative power) together co-create what we experience as life. This co-creative process is ongoing, expanding and evolving in each moment of life.
Shakti as the Divine Mother is the dynamic force that moves through the universe. We can see representations of Her through various fertility figures in many religious traditions all over the world.  The Primordial Mother is responsible for creation and is the agent of change. She is within and of the universe itself, interdependent on all of creation. She is the force to which we return, from which we come and that supports our evolution. She nurtures us in all ways, at all times.
As an artist and spiritual practitioner, I feel closely linked to the energy of the Goddess. Not because I have come this time in the body of a woman, but because She is the creative force that moves through creation. She reminds me that I come from Her. She reminds me that I am not of this flesh, which she created, but I am of Her in Her form through Her cosmic play. If I were a man, this would be the same. The opportunity to see myself as part of a great unfolding creative process, of which I am an integral part, perfectly supported, nurtured and loved, is a reflection of this universe as an expression of the Universal Mother. I am a reflection of the universal in my personal experience. I am a part of the Universal Mother. In this, I allow myself to express Her qualities. I find in this that I have the capacity for love, as my guru Amma says, by filling my heart with love and expressing it in all I do. That is the expression of the Universal Mother calling me, and anyone who is willing, to activate the attributes of Universal Mother within ourselves. She is there. She is waiting. All we have to do is give thanks to our Mother, and receive the love She endlessly gives, of which we are an unbroken part.
This Mother’s Day I am grateful for the life I have thanks to my biological mother. I give thanks to my guru Amma, the embodiment of the Divine Mother, who Graces my life, each moment I breathe. May all beings everywhere realize the love of the Divine Mother within.