The first and foremost of my directions is: Revere your parents, especially the mother. There was once a place, which was hit by a hurricane so wild that all the houses were razed to the ground, and people had nothing to eat and nowhere to lay their heads. Among the worst hit were a mother and her two sons. The elder boy was a gem of virtue. He felt responsible for the safety and care of the family. He loved his mother, and sought to win her love and blessings, more than anything else.

The mother with the younger child was going out begging and keeping alive on the little they could get from the famine-stricken land. Soon, she found that she was too weak even to walk a few steps and so, the elder son had to go a-begging, all alone, to feed the family.

He said, falling at her feet, he would do what she was doing and collect food for all. He did not want her to overexert and worsen her health.

How could three live on mere handfuls?
The son too was rendered weak. With faint voice and fainter steps, he moved towards a zamindar’s house and called out for a morsel. The lady of the house called him in, led him in and led him to a plate wherein she served some food. But he tottered into an upright position and fell plump on the floor. The zamindar came running into the room and placed his ear near the dying boy’s mouth, so that he could catch the last words that emerged from his lips.

He was saying, “No. No! First, she must be given food. My turn comes next.” You may be able to pay back any debt; but the debt you owe your mother, you never can repay. Those who claim to be devotees of God must have this credential. They must revere the mother!

Illustrations by
Sri Sathya Sai Balvikas Student (Group III)

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