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A Gift - a Tribute

Updated on September 3, 2015

Imagine that somebody gifted you a pen.

If it is given to a toddler who is incapable of understanding what it is and how it should be used, the only thing that will happen to the pen is that it gets broken, its cap gets chewed and its nib is nipped off. A pen is worthless in the hands of one who does not know its value. In that case, there is nothing special about the pen and it is as ordinary a gift as any other. But is that the case?

On the face of it, the pen appears to be an ordinary gift. A little introspection will reveal the magnificence and grand nature of the gift. For starters, one could take the pen and simply start scribbling on a piece of paper. That would be the least that can be done - checking if the pen works and ‘leaving a mark’ of some sort.

Even these scribbles can mean a lot if done in a particular manner. Those with a creative bent of mind could start scribbling in a manner that evokes awe. These little scribbles on the paper would now be admired and valued as sketches and pieces of art. We have so many artists specializing in just pen sketches these days right?

Random scribbles to aesthetic curves to art!
Random scribbles to aesthetic curves to art!

Another might choose to draw letters with the pen. Soon, letters transform into words and words into sentences. Grammar builds into the writing along with a large vocabulary of words and before one could realize, one has become an essayist. A little more wielding of the pen transforms one into a journalist or a novelist - a full time writer.

The signatures that have defined the fortunes of the American nation.
The signatures that have defined the fortunes of the American nation.

The pen also could become a symbol of power and authority. Destinies of thousands of people could be changed, positively or negatively, by a simple signature from the pen on the relevant piece of paper. A pen in the hands of a judge or a CEO creates valuable signatures. Such signatures have even dictated the destinies of nations when placed at the end of the compilation of the Constitution. It is no surprise that the pen has been considered mightier than the sword!

The pen moves from being a king to a kingmaker when it creates immortal works - works which guide the spirits of mankind for generations and centuries to come.

When somebody gifts you a pen, it is not a gift of a piece of plastic or metal. It is the gift that has the potential to grow into something unimaginably wonderful and historic. So much is possible when someone gifts you a pen.

Now imagine,

imagine what it means...

if someone gifted you a life...

The gift of life is priceless beyond measure and beyond anyone's wildest imagination.

God is everywhere in the form of mothers.
God is everywhere in the form of mothers.

The tribute

When they say,
”God could not be everywhere and so He created mothers”,
I agree in spirit but the words according to me are,
“God is everywhere and He is in the form of mothers.”

I do not believe in setting aside one day as MOTHERS DAY while the rest of the year becomes OTHERS DAYS! Every day, the mother needs to be treasured for she has gifted us the greatest gift possible.

(A tribute to my mother and all the beautiful women in the universe who embody motherhood.)

I must confess of a small episode that happened between me and my mother. When I joined the Higher Secondary School at Puttaparthi, she called me aside one day and said,
"I want you to promise me something..."
"What is it mother?"
"I have offered you to God completely. This is a chance that God had bestowed on me. If ever, in the future, I ask you to do something that will take you away from God, please promise to remind me this - Mother, you have given me up to God and thus you have no rights over me. Let God deal with my life and please do not come in between."

I was in tears. But she insisted that I make the promise. She felt that the least she could do is not come as an 'attachment wedge' between me and Swami.

And THAT, was a second gift of life for me because Swami is my life! Thus this tribute to this most special woman in my life....

And yes... Such a tribute never gets complete. This is an invite to all readers to contribute their tribute in the comments section.

To the one with the love of a thousand mothers...

"When you are unable to understand the love of a single mother, how will you understand the love of a thousand mothers?"

This was a question that my Master often asked. The statement has been quoted hundreds of times in speeches and articles. It has almost become a sort of cliché for me. But on deeper thought, it lends itself to such a profound meaning and significance... I am lost in thought now...

PS - Talk about coincidences - Even as I finish publishing this article today - the 8th of September 2012, my father points out to me that it is the day of St.Mary's Feast. Then my wife points out to me that it is also World Literacy Day. Wow! Who would have imagined that the same day has something to do with both a mother and a pen! :)


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© 2012 Aravind Balasubramanya


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    • profile image


      3 years ago

      Sai Ram Aravind,

      My mother got married at the age of 16 and left India about 1 1/2 years later. Life was very hard for both my parents but my mum found time to

      tell us about the Ramayan and the Mahabharat. This started my love affair with God. My dad passed away in 1976 and in 1982 my father's sister's son introduced Swami into our lives. There was no turning back from then on. Swami also assured us that dad was with him. My Ba as I call her is my Guru, my best friend, my support, my adviser and my God. I have worried her many times and also disappointed her but she has never stopped loving me. She is 85 yrs old now and says she has left us her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren in Baba's hands. Her dearest wish is for Swami to be waiting for her when she leaves her body. She is the best mother I could ever have wished for and thank Swami and pray with all my heart that He grants her this wish. Jai Sai Ram.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Sairam Aravind.wat a coincidence.yday my son who is just 4 years old during his bedtime asked me who is swami. i replied him back telling swami is mother,father,friend and in his school his teacher has made him do some art work for mother's day and wanted to gift their mothers.Once he came home carefully he removed that gift and kept in our altar.I just got shocked didn't understand .Asked him wats that.he said its mother's day gift.he added " you said swami is mother " so i kept for him.I was overhelmed .was very happy .took this incident that swami has chosen my son nothing else i hav to worry abt him in my life.I was happily sharing this info with my parents n eone around.Now this article again made me to share ths with u all.thnx a lot aravind..

    • profile image

      chaita chelikani 

      5 years ago

      once swami told my mother that she brought me up like a little sparrow brings up her babies ..gathering one twig at a time and then said parthi is my putillu and i can take what i needed from there.what more would i need than my sai mother is all i can ask for as a mother.hope i am everything she is looking for in a daughter.i have the worlds best u swami.and amma.

    • aravindb1982 profile imageAUTHOR

      Aravind Balasubramanya 

      5 years ago from Puttaparthi, India

      @ Surender pahuja

      Thank you. I totally agree with you. In fact, Swami has said,

      "Karma works in such a way that sins you do in this life may have to be paid for in the next life. But there is one sin that everyone will HAVE TO pay for in this life itself - the sin of neglecting one's parents!"

    • aravindb1982 profile imageAUTHOR

      Aravind Balasubramanya 

      5 years ago from Puttaparthi, India

      @Lakshmi Gopal, Padmaja Narendran and Aruna Sai,

      Thank you so much. Am most grateful for such a mother who gave me the Greatest Gift of His Ashraya!

    • profile image

      Lakshmi Gopal 

      5 years ago

      Lovely tribute. All mothers should realise and place their children in the hands of God. He WILL take care. All we need is that explicit n implicit faith in Him. Your mother is a wonderful eg. Arvind!

      Happy mother's day to her and our Universal mother .

    • profile image

      Padmaja narendran 

      5 years ago

      Sairam arvind,

      You are fortunate to born to such a blessed beautiful mother.....This is her true love and unconditional love .......She offered you to swamy, the embodiment of love and whatelse a mother can dream other than this? blessed mother and blessed son ! sairam.

    • profile image

      Surender Pahuja 

      5 years ago

      Arvind Ji,

      It's a beautiful way to convey this message. I am a fan of you. The way you initiate an article and you support it with facts and end it beautifully. I feel concern about the mothers are not being respected the manner in which they should. I hope our new generation may take few moments from their busy schedule and think about it and offer due respect to mothers.

    • profile image

      Aruna Sai 

      5 years ago

      Thanks for sharing this . As Swami always says "Respect your Mother and Motherland". You are one fortunate son Barru. My love to your Mom, Pooja and Shruti. Jai SaiRam

    • aravindb1982 profile imageAUTHOR

      Aravind Balasubramanya 

      5 years ago from Puttaparthi, India

      @Venkat G - I type in directly. I have written about a dozen diaries but post 2007, I shifted to the typing style which is very convenient. But I agree to what you say. Writing, which was a necessity, has become an art today! :)

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Sairam and thanks Aravind for a good article

      Talking of pens fountain pin was widely used prior to ballpoint and

      Rollerball pens. Our Education system has changed since late 80s,

      the art of writing long essays gave way to multiple choice questions

      and short answers. So Lead pencils and Ballpoint pens are widely

      used by students. Majority of students in till 1980 were used to write

      30/40 pages in a three hour exam. I am sure this has given way to

      to taking exams using fingers on laptop, desktop and ipad keyboards.

      Pens of any type are used for capturing just signatures. Even

      hand-written letters are giving way to emails, texting, paging, messaging etc. I am not sure how many modern day writers write their draft with ink. Pens ( Cross, Parker, Pilot etc...) are status symbol for Presidents, Ceo to sign Bills and orders. I might have exaggerated. This is not say the students have lost creativity to express themselves. Just the media has changed. There were times when good handwriting apart from content used to be valued The weightage given to good handwriting is vanishing. The art of combined team work of thumb, first finger and middle finger has given way to one finger wonders

      on keyboard or a multi-finger usage. Just out of curiosity, do you use the pen to write your blogs and then transfer it to blog pages using your keyboard or just keyboard. Feel free to comment if I have said anything wrong

    • profile image 

      6 years ago

      Very nice article....All the very Best to your Beautiful Mother and wife...


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