One day in Rishikesh, I decided to have a vedic astrology consultation. I found the man who was considered one of the finest astrologers and went for an appointment. I provided the details of my birth date, time and location. He calculated a complex chart.
For the next half an hour he proceeded to tell me about my life in great detail. I felt like if I asked him what I ate on June 12th the year I was 18 for breakfast, he could have told me. After some general advice for the future, he asked me if I had any questions. Here, in the land of India, ripe with stories of Baba-ji at Kumbha Mela and fresh from reading The Autobiography of a Yogi, I asked him who my guru was.
He looked back at my chart. I anticipated perhaps Yogi Bhajan or even the name of an ashram in the hills I should go to in order to find my guru. When he looked up at me again, he smiled. “Your guru?” he said. “Your guru is your mother.”
It struck me hard in the gut as truth. Obviously, she was. My mother is a lovely woman. She is a dynamic minister and the inspired leader of an interfaith spiritual community. She taught me how to pray, how to meditate, and how to find God in everything. She taught me to reach out to the divine and ask for help, and to trust that the universe is always conspiring for my good. If a guru is the teacher who shows you the way to the divine, then obviously, she is my guru.
But I think, really, all mothers are. If your mother was awful and abusive, then she drove you into a place of such inner darkness that you could not help but reach for the light. Her cruelty drove you into a search for something more. She put you on the path of light.
If your mother, like mine, was a delight and a treasure trove of strength and faith, then she laid the path to Infinity beneath your feet like a yellow brick road. And she, too, put you on the path of light. How amazing mothers are. Despite their limited human personalities, whether full of light or full of darkness, they cannot help but be so connected to the great cosmic mother that they put you back on the road to her arms, one way or another.
I honor you, mothers of the world. I honor you, for better or worse. I honor your role in setting us all on the path of light, whether consciously or unconsciously. I bow and touch your feet, honoring the guru in your heart, the flame of the divine mother, which burns and burns and never stops.
Happy Mother’s Day, Mama. Happy Mother’s Day, Guru-ji.