Motherhood is the most important and highly esteemed role of the women according to the Vedic tradition. Motherhood is not just the biological function of giving birth but entails principles as exalted as compassion, self-sacrifice, nurturing and comfort. Love of a mother for the infant is the highest manifestation of love in the material world. The pragmatic Vedic tradition glorifies the noble nurturing, caring and sacrificing nature of motherhood and extends the veneration for such qualities to seven mothers.
One’s biological mother (Adau Mata): First (adau) mother is one’s biological mother. But, it goes beyond giving birth. One’s mother is also one’s first teacher one who teaches children proper behaviour and devotion to God. She teaches by her own example how to be an exemplary human being: kind, affectionate and sacrificing.
Wife of guru (Guru Patni): In Vedic tradition, at the age of five children would be sent to the gurukul to receive their education and while the guru would focus on their discipline the much needed affection would be provided by the wife of guru.
Wife of brahmana (Brahmani): Brahmanas, in the vedic tradition were the intellectual and moral leaders of the society, they would provide the right direction for a progressive and spiritual society. Wives of the brahmanas had important roles in cultivating a spiritual and God loving culture among the children by narrating them the glories of God and affectionately encouraging them to participate in spiritual activities.
Wife of the King, the Queen (Raj Patnika) : Wife of the king would always be concerned about the welfare of the citizens and would inspire policies in the kingdom meant for the good of the citizen and not their exploitation. She would think about the citizens as her own children and would wish well for them.
Cow (Dhenu): Cow plays a central role in the vedic lifestyle. After the child stops getting breast fed by mother, the cow gives him milk throughout the life thus making him strong and intelligent. Therefore cow is considered mother. And so killing of cow is considered a horrendous crime.
Nurse (Dhatri): The many ladies, apart from the actual mother, who take care of the child are also give the same veneration as mother because they shower their love and affection on the child and take care of him.
- Earth (Prithvi): Earth provides us with all the necessities of life, primarily food grains that sustain and nourish human civilization. It does so notwithstanding the brutal human schemes to extract minerals, oils and other resources from it. Therefore Earth is also regarded as mother and environmentalism and holistic living is a natural part of the vedic ethos.