• Durga Dasi

From Dasya to Prati Vatsalya: Journeying to the Heart of the Mother (Pt 4)

Updated: Jan 29

It seems that the bridge between Kali as Master and She as Mother is the idea of stepmother.

Sri Ramakrishna says,

“Pray to the Divine Mother with a longing heart. Her vision dries up all craving for the world and completely destroys all lust and greed. It happens instantly if you think of Her as your own mother. She is by no means your stepmother. She is your own mother.”[1]

I’ve read different translations of this quote, substituting “stepmother” with “godmother”. This one carries much more weight for me, and perhaps for our society as a whole.

So, this quest for the Mother began with breaking from my own mother. When I read the following words by Sri Yogananda, I couldn’t stop tears from escaping my eyes. Someone had put into words the anguish I felt over my mother deeming me “dead to her”… and the overwhelming love of Kali Mā.

“If you have lost your mother, you must find the Divine Mother who is hidden behind the skies. The Mother Herself is not lost to you. The one you loved was but a representative of the Cosmic Mother… Seeking and seeking my dead mother, I found the Deathless Mother. The lost love of the earthly mother I found in my Cosmic Mother… She told me of Her all-encompassing love. And part of what She said was this: ‘I stole those imprisoning two black eyes that thou might’st be free to find those eyes in My eyes…’”[2]

Even now, the tears stream as I feel Her eternal embrace and steadfast love.

I recognize now this profound grace disguised as the disappearance of my mother from my life. For me, there couldn’t be two mothers. And, I certainly couldn’t come to know my truest Self as an extension of the Divine Mother whilst desperately clinging to the hope that my biological mom would one day magically become who I so wanted her to be.

The Bhagavatam gives us even more insight into the heart of Devi as Mother… one who is utterly attuned to our every breath, ailment, and distress.

“The blissful Mother of the universe… Who brims with mercy like a river from a spring…Who is Love Incarnate, Who feels the anguish of Her bhaktas more sharply than they do themselves…”[3]

Bhaktas, or devotees, could signify servants… but given that She is addressed as Mother, and we’ve already examined the devotion existing between mother and child, it would make sense that we could substitute “bhakta” with “children”, in which case it would read:

“The blissful Mother of the universe… Who feels the anguish of Her children more sharply than they do themselves…”