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The five homely gods

columns Updated: Sep 11, 2013 01:43 IST
Neela Sood
Neela Sood
Hindustan Times

The special feature of Hindu scriptures is that various scholars and men of wisdom have interpreted them in different ways. This applies also to the ‘five gods’ which find references in our scriptures. Maharishi Dayanand Saraswati, the founder of Arya Samaj, believed that these ‘five gods’ are the real ‘living gods’.

The first living god is the mother. It is the duty of the sons and daughters to serve this goddess with all their heart and soul and keep her happy. Let she not be treated harshly ever, whatever the circumstances. The second god is the father. He should also be served all through his life.

The third god is the teacher who bestows knowledge upon his pupils. He should be revered and given respect. The fourth god is the altruistic teacher of humanity who is learned, deeply religious, upright, well-wisher of all and goes from place to place preaching the truth; there by freeing people from ignorance. The fifth god is the husband for his wife and the wife for her husband.

Accepting these five living gods can make home truly a temple of worship. But who is the supreme amongst these five? Swami Dayanand Saraswati opined that without any doubt it was the mother since she was the only one who could go to the extent of annihilating herself to give a new lease of life to her child.

Yes, he is hundred percent right. The way she responds to the problems of her children is different from the way all others respond as illustrated by this small anecdote.

On one wet day when the school- going girl returned home drenched, the father asked, “Why didn’t you carry an umbrella?” The brother said, “You will learn only when cold and fever would catch you”. The elder sister said, “You could have waited for the rain to stop.” But it was the mother who came running with a towel and set of clothes and sighed, “Only if the rain had waited for some time, my daughter would have reached home safe.”