By Bal Ram Singh, PhD
Where and when does Yama or Sanyama start?
What is its cause and who is responsible for conveying it?
How does it fit in the grand scheme of things for a human being from birth to death, and perhaps even before and after those?
For a living being, it has to be the mother, who is the only one who can restrict even parmatma into jivatma.
Jivatma is the form of Parmatma that has been restricted to the body constructed by the mother. The word mother comes from Sanskrit Matri (मातृ), which means someone who measures things, which may in fact be connected to matra or the amount of something. In any and all languages of the world, the mother is related to ma (मा) as in amma, ammi, mom, mama, mommy, etc., all related to the restriction a mother imposes. In Sanskrit also, Ma means to stop or negate, such as in Asato Ma Sadgamaya – Not the untruth but towards the truth.
Mother does these restrictions in the form of Sanskaras (सँस्कार) which means to purify by removing unwanted traits. In Indian tradition, there are 16 Sanskaras, beginning with the Garbhadhan Sanskar at conception to the Antim Sanskar at death, performed by the mother in the beginning and by one’s progeny at the end, and this cycle continues for ever.
Mother’s role in Sanskara is paramount, teaching the values of what not to do or Yama in life. Based on these Sanskaras or values, the father plays the next role of introducing the child to the Sansara or the world, and finally the Guru introduces the student to the Ishwara to pursue self enlightenment.
In this scheme of things for life, there is a role of one’s karma, as achieving karma is the ultimate arbiter in life. It is believed that in the cycle of birth and rebirth, it is one’s karma that entrusts itself in energons, or karmons, as Jains call them. These energons are powerful karma currency, capable of performing work, and interacting with other energons through resonance, thus becoming one with one and all, while still remaining self and free of all. These energons power the atma (soul), which can resonate or immerse in all together or the Paramatma.
These energonic atmas with certain karmic currency, either alone or banding with energons of others (siblings) reach a level that allows them to find and resonate with the father Energon. I see the energons of three Atmas and my Energon, resonating together, searching to resonate with the Mother energon whose karma currency services are of higher value, and equal to combined karma currency and services of Atmas of children and the father together.
In Indian tradition a child is considered the most fortunate whose father is dharmatma (righteous) and whose mother is pativrata – devoted or committed to the husband’s dharmatma. So, it is not easy to be an ideal mother and father. One has to work hard to reach that level, and such ideal traits come from the sanskars (values) of the family and society.
Motherhood is the highest position biologically (evolution) a woman occupies, and it cannot be that high unless the one relationship that is socially made (husband-wife), and is responsible for motherhood, is carried out with utmost tapasya (penance), which has been paid for with resonating karma currency.
A wife in India is known as dharampatni, which is an apabhramsa (corruption) of dharampatni, meaning the one who shows the path of dharma to her husband. The husband is known as pati, which in our area means honor. A husband must be an honor to the wife, meaning she should marry only an honorable man, and for that reason a married woman is considered as Srimati or the one with higher wisdom.
In Indian culture, a mother is considered the first guru. This would make sense given the fact that a mother is aware of traits and behavior, many times in the womb itself. Mothers have psychological connection with their children, something not strange to anyone. They understand children’s characteristics and the nature of a child beginning from the womb.
A well attentive mother would be quite familiar with the child’s inclinations, approaches, interests, points of deviations which need discipline, etc. a lot more than anyone else. Interestingly, this has been examined decades ago by psychoanalysts.
Thus, an important role that parents are supposed to play must be to that Yamafied standard, all that has been paid for by karmons powered by the enegons of the children.
Balram Singh is a Professor and the President of the Institute of Advanced Sciences, Dartmouth, Massachusetts, researching Ayurveda, Yoga, Vedic education, and Vedic social and political traditions. He is also an adjunct faculty at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi.