Question: What does 'mother-love' mean in the spiritual life?

Sri Chinmoy: When we see our mother, immediately we feel love. The word 'mother', especially to an Indian, means love. In the West there are many who say they did not get affection from their mother. But in real mother-love, we see divinity expressing itself in various significant ways. The first thing we notice in mother-love is purest concern and the second thing is endless patience. In father-love we will not find that infinite patience; we will find wisdom and other things. But in a mother's love, in addition to wisdom, we will find infinite patience. The mother is ready to wait for the child to grow up and learn everything. The father is to some extent impatient. The father judges the child according to his light, peace, wisdom and knowledge. The mother judges the child according to the child's capacity.

The love that a child gets from the mother is more fruitful than the love that he gets from the father. When it is a matter of inner intimacy, it is the mother's love that is most successful. When we see something vast, immediately our father-love comes to the fore. But when we feel the intensity of two hearts, we immediately think of the love between mother and child.

A child knows that the mother will not do anything intentionally to harm him. The child believes that even unconsciously she will not do anything wrong. The child has such implicit faith in the mother that, if someone has poison, he feels that the mother herself would drink the poison to save him. This faith we see before the child's mind develops. After he is thirteen, the mind starts functioning. The mind has its own way of doubting and suspecting. Then the sweet intimacy between mother and child is broken.

In the spiritual life, it is always best to think of yourself as four years old, even if you are very mature or very developed. For if you think that you are a child, then you can make the fastest progress. A child does not depend or rely on himself: he depends only on his mother's capacity. Again, he is eager to give her what little capacity he has. His little capacity is his faith. His faith in his mother is his faith in himself. In the spiritual life, those who want to make the fastest progress should follow the path of Mother-love. The deity that Sri Ramakrishna worshipped was Kali, the Mother. He made the fastest progress through Mother-love. "Ma, Ma, Ma, Ma," he used to cry. Mother-love is most effective when the seeker is absolutely sincere. The child goes to the playground and his whole body becomes covered with sand and mud. Then he comes running to the mother with sincerity. The mother immediately cleans off his body and the child becomes pure again. The mother was able to help the child in his obscure and filthy life only on the strength of his sincerity. He did not hide his obscurity, his mud and clay; he came to the proper person, to the mother.

In the spiritual life also, you have to approach the spiritual Mother with your absolute sincerity. The individual seeker sometimes feels that he will get more if he shows only the better part of his life, but this is a mistake. He must offer both the aspiring part of his life and the dark, unaspiring part to the Mother, who is crying for the transformation of his nature. Then the transformation-power of Mother-love can take immediate effect.