Mother's Day Interfaith Celebrations

Mother is the ultimate definition of selflessness! No matter what happens to the world or even her, she is there for you in your need; she recognizes your need much before you know it. Of course every day is Mother's day, and each one of us honors her in a variety of ways. From simple caring to doing things for her that makes her happy. Mothers don't need a whole lot; they just need to know that you care. Remember you were showered by her attention when you needed it.

Every religious tradition has elevated mother to nearly the status of God, because she possess many a qualities of God; kind, merciful, beneficent and caring among thousand other qualities. Mother is the reason for our existence; sustenance, nurturance and shaping who we are. I dedicate this write-up to my Mother, and all the Mothers out there. There is a beautiful song in Urdu/Hindi language

Us ko nahin dekha hum ne kabhi, per us ki zaroorat kya hogi
Ai maa teri soorat say alag bhagwan ki soorat kya hogi.

I have not seen him (God) ever, but what is the need for it?
Dear Mother, your face cannot be different than God's own face

Here is the song:

Full translation by Rajiv Chakravarti at

Thanks to this beautiful tradition of America, a day to honor Mother. No mother should be alone today; some one or the other must give her a call.

I appreciate all the mothers who have raised their kids well, particularly the single mothers, and it is not easy! Getting them ready, taking them to school, playground, tuition, and taking care of them, and going to work. There is a lot of sacrifice made by mothers and no amount of appreciation will be enough. Whatever you are today, it is because of your mother. If you have tensions with her, seek her forgiveness today, if she is not around, spend half an hour meditating about her and see the sense of completeness you feel within you.

A majority of us are fortunate to have the love and affection of the mother to bless our lives. However, there are some mothers who have not been good to their kids and I feel your anguish if you are the one, but I assure you that, you are a blessed one to have made it in life without mothers love and it is time for you to give that love to others.

It's time to express gratitude to her; it restores the spiritual balance in each one of us. Life is about transactions, each time we received a "good" we become indebted to the giver, but when we give back to the giver or find alternate ways of giving back, then we regain our spiritual balance, bringing us nirvana, salvation, mukti, moksha, nijaat and freedom.


In the native traditions, be it American, European, African, or Asian, Mother is creator in the form of mother Earth.

Christianity and Judaism: "Honor your father and mother. Then you will live a long, full life in the land the LORD your God will give you. In Jewish tradition, your heritage is determined by your Mother, you are a Jew because of your mother.

"Diverse images of what are believed to be Mother Goddesses also have been discovered that date from the Neolithic period, the New Stone Age, which ranges from approximately 10,000 BCE when the use of wild cereals led to the beginning of farming, and eventually, to agriculture." Wikipedia

The Baha'i faith, "For mothers are the first educators, the first mentors; and truly it is the mothers who determine the happiness, the future greatness, the courteous ways and learning and judgment, the understanding and the faith of their little ones."

In the Hindu tradition Mother is worshiped and is represented in many attributes like Ma Saraswati (source of knowledge), Ma Lakshmi (source of income) and the likes... Mother's face is equated with God's face, a song celebrates Mother by saying, if I have seen your face mother, and I have seen God.

Sikh's consider God as a parent, a mother and a father. Guru Granth Sahib advises "Always remember the boundless, limitless God, remembering whom all our sins are destroyed. My son, this is a mother's prayer for you."

Prophet Muhammad was asked by his associates, who is the most important person in one's life - he says, "Mother"; they ask again, the answer was "Mother again" and same response was given for the third time, such is the importance given to mother. He said, your heaven, your paradise and your peace of mind comes to you by serving your mother.

You will find mother is placed at the highest spiritual level in all religions or non-religious traditions and life forms. Those who have a mother to see, you are the blessed one, those who don't, you have her blessings.

"Paradise is under the feet of your mother" is the mantra probably every Muslim recites and it is part of Hindu, Sikh, Jain and South Asian culture as well. The idea is of gratitude, if you are grateful to you mother, then you would be grateful to the creator and other benefactors around you.

In 2001, my Mother passed away in one of the most beautiful manners one could embark on the eternal journey; a clean slate with no loose ends. She was incredible; she tied all the loose ends before she took her last breath, she called every one and cleared the air and said goodbye that was the biggest lesson of my life; to tie the loose ends. The Jain tradition calls it Michami Dukadam.

I guess, all of us kids and her grand kids turned out that way; boundless. No barriers between us and another soul and our relationships have always been multi-cultural and multi-religious. Thanks Mom for pounding those values in our hearts and minds.


I called my mother, " Amma" and at times "Ammi" while addressing her it was Ma.

Afrikaans - Moeder, Ma
Albanian - Nënë, Mëmë
Arabic - Ahm, umm
Aragones - Mai
Asturian - Ma
Aymara - Taica
Azeri (Latin Script) - Ana
Basque - Ama
Belarusan -Matka
Bergamasco - Màder
Bolognese - Mèder
Bosnian- Majka
Brazilian Portuguese- Mãe
Bresciano- Madèr
Breton - Mamm
Bulgarian - Majka
Byelorussian - Macii
Calabrese - Matre, Mamma
Caló - Bata, Dai
Catalan - Mare
Cebuano - Inahan, Nanay
Chechen - Nana
Croatian- Mati, Majka
Czech- Abatyse
Danish - Mor
Dutch - Moeder, Moer
Dzoratâi - Mére
English- Mother, Mama, Mom
Esperanto- Patrino, Panjo
Estonian- Ema
Faeroese- Móðir
Finnish- Äiti
Flemish- Moeder
French- Mère, Maman
Frisian- Emo, Emä, Kantaäiti, Äiti
Furlan- Mari
Galician- Nai
German - Mutter
Greek - Màna
Griko - Salentino, Mána
Hawaiian - Makuahine
Hindi - Ma, Maji, Mata
Hungarian - Anya, Fu
Icelandic - Móðir
Ilongo - Iloy, Nanay, Nay
Indonesian - Induk, Ibu, Biang, Nyokap
Irish - Máthair
Italian - Madre, Mamma
Japanese - Okaasan, Haha
Judeo Spanish- Madre
Kannada -Amma
Kurdish Kurmanji - Daya
Ladino - Uma
Latin - Mater
Leonese - Mai
Ligurian- Maire
Limburgian - Moder, Mojer, Mam
Lingala- Mama
Lithuanian- Motina
Lombardo- Occidentale Madar
Lunfardo- Vieja
Macedonian - Majka
Malagasy- Reny
Malay- Emak
Maltese- Omm
Mantuan- Madar
Maori- Ewe, Haakui
Mapunzugun - Ñuke, Ñuque
Marathi - Aayi
Mongolian - `eh
Mudnés- Medra, mama
Neapolitan - Mamma
Norwegian- Madre
Occitan - Maire
Old Greek - Mytyr
Parmigiano- Mädra
Persian- Madr, Maman
Piemontese - Mare
Polish- Matka, Mama
Portuguese - Mãe
Punjabi - Mai, Mataji, Pabo
Quechua- Mama
Rapanui -Matu'a Vahine
Reggiano - Mèdra
Romagnolo - Mèder
Romanian - Mama, Maica
Romansh - Mamma
Russian -Mat'
Saami -Eadni
Samoan - Tina
Sardinian- (Limba Sarda Unificada) Mama
Sardinian -Campidanesu mamai
Sardinian- Logudoresu Madre, Mamma
Serbian - Majka
Shona - Amai
Sicilian - Matri
Slovak - Mama, Matka
Slovenian- Máti
Spanish - Madre, Mamá, Mami
Swahili-- Mama, Mzazi, Mzaa
Swedish Mamma, Mor, Morsa
Swiss German -Mueter
Telegu- Amma
Triestino - Mare
Turkish - Anne, Ana, Valide
Turkmen -Eje
Ukrainian - Mati
Urdu -Ammee, Maa, Amma
Valencian - Mare
Venetian - Mare
Viestano - Mamm'
Vietnamese- me
Wallon -Mére
Welsh - Mam
Yiddish -Muter
Zeneize -Moæ

It's time to express gratitude to her, it restores the spiritual balance in each one of us. Life is about transactions, each time we received a "good" we become indebted to the giver, but when we give back to the giver or find alternate ways of giving back, then we regain our spiritual balance, bringing us nirvana, salvation, mukti, moksha, nijaat and freedom.


Mike Ghouse is committed to building cohesive societies and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day- all about him at