By Paul Hourihan (Edited by Anna Hourihan from lecture transcripts)


In Vedanta there is the Upanishadic vision of the all-present, all-pervading Oneness in life. When we actually feel this Divine presence stirring in us, then it is easier to sense the Divine in those with whom we are related: the mother and child, lovers, etc. At those times we should take advantage of this mood of awe that seizes us, and cultivate a sense of the Divine in the relationship.

This mood usually comes as an unsought grace. The problem is to find a way to prolong the experience of that grace and the feeling of awe. Regrettably, we typically cannot do this and we lose the precious mood, with its precious insights. We have to find a way to prevent the loss and maintain the state of insight, of presence. Through meditation and spiritual disciplines we can do this. Most mothers do not do this because most do not know about it. As a result they lose the valuable moments once the special early years are past.

It is true that few women grasp the opportunity, just as few of us grasp the many other opportunities for spiritual development that are constantly being offered to us.

Divine Motherhood

All work is being done for the Lord, the Supreme Being. Only the illumined soul knows this. The mother doesn’t know this, except at times in an instinctive way. Even so, without that deliberate awareness of the Divine, to which all of us aspire (either consciously or not), she does a great amount of good anyway. What is missing in her role is her awareness that she is serving the Lord, and that the work is for the Lord only. That is hard for all of us to realize no matter how vital our work may be in other terms. Unfortunately, that is where the trouble starts, even with the mother. Unless we remember the Lord we are in trouble right away; there’s no escaping from the necessity of remembering this.

With this knowledge, the mother can raise the children for her soul’s sake. She can see her tasks as divinely ordained. It will enable her to accept the mandate given her as not a duty so much as an opportunity to learn from this priceless experience, unrivaled in human affairs. And one day she may love all other children too, in the same way, and attain the state of Universal Motherhood—Divine Motherhood—and through Mother Love gain Divine Love.