Addressing woman as mataji



By editor - 29.6 2015

A father sometimes addresses his daughter in affection as “mother” and sometimes as “my darling.”

SB 3.22.25

A brahmacari is advised to go begging alms door to door, addressing all women as mother, and whatever he collects goes to the benefit of the guru.

SB 7.6.9

Formerly, brahmacaris would have to go from door to door to beg alms for the aSrama, and they were trained from the very beginning to address every woman as mother.

TLK Vs 20

So therefore the first training is given, to become austere, tolerate, how to tolerate, how to call other women as “mother.” He is learning from the beginning, a small child. He is trained up to call any woman, even of his own age, not “sister,”—“mother.” This is the training. Matrvat para-dareñu. This is education. Matrvat para-dareñu. Caëakya Paëòita, the great politician, has given the definition of a learned scholar. Who is learned scholar? He has given the definition. What is this? Matrvat para-dareñu. To see every woman except his wife as mother. This is education. This is education, perfection of education, when you can see all women except your wife as mother.

Bhagavad-gita 1.26-27 - London, July 21, 1973

Formerly, every woman should be addressed as “mother,” Mataji. And now they have invented “Bahinji.” No. Woman should be addressed as “mother.”

Bhagavad-gita 4.14 - Vrndavana, August 6, 1974

Devotee: When you address a woman, do you...

Prabhupada: Hm?

Devotee: When you address a woman do you use the word “Mataji”? Is that the right, proper word for her?

Prabhupada: Mataji. Yes, very good. “Mother.”

Bhagavad-gita 4.14 - Vrndavana, August 6, 1974

And they used to call every woman from the beginning of life, “Mother.” This is training. Matrvat para-dareñu. From the very beginning of life, all women they are treated as mother. That is the system, Vedic system. Everyone will call a woman as “Mother.” Never mind whether she is younger or older. It doesn’t matter. Woman has to be addressed as “Mother.” That is Caëakya Paëòita’s instruction. Who is learned scholar? Who has got three qualification, he is learned scholar. What is that? Matrvat para-dareñu: “To treat all woman as mother.” Nowadays it has been introduced in India, “Bahinji.” No. This is not the etiquette. The etiquette is to address every woman, never mind whether she is young or old, as “Mother.”

Bhagavad-gita 4.16 - Bombay, April 5, 1974

They call all woman, “Mother.” “Mother, give me some alms.”

Bhagavad-gita 4.21 - Bombay, April 10, 1974

Therefore, the common moral teachings and the Vedic civilization is to accept any woman except his own wife as mother. Matrvat para-dareñu. Para-dareñu. Everyone is supposed to be married. Dara means wife. Para-dareñu, other’s wife. It doesn’t matter if she is younger or older, but she should be treated as mother. Therefore it is the system in Vedic culture, as soon as one sees another woman, she (he) addresses her, “mother,” Mataji. Immediately, “mother.” That makes the relationship. The woman treats the unknown man as son, and the unknown man treats the unknown woman as mother. This is Vedic civilization.

Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.3.13 - Los Angeles, September 18, 1972

Must address all woman as “mother.”

Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.3.13 - Los Angeles, September 18, 1972

This brahmacari, he is taught. He is taught to address all women as “mother.” The brahmacari goes to collect alms from door to door. Small boys. So how do they address? “Mother, kindly give us some alms.”

Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.3.13 - Los Angeles, September 18, 1972

Similarly, if a brahmacari is taught from childhood, from boyhood address all woman as “mother,” he cannot see otherwise. “S(he) is my mother.”

Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.3.13 - Los Angeles, September 18, 1972

At the present moment, they have invented the word bahinaji, “sister.” No. In the Vedic culture, there is no such thing as “sister.” “Mother,” that is Vedic culture. Because mother is always respected, so any woman, if she is called “Mother...” The brahmacari would go to the householder’s house and address the ladies, “Mother. Mother, give us some alms.” So from the childhood, a brahmacari is trained to address all women as mother.

Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.8.24 - Mayapura, October 4, 1974

That brahmacari rules and regulation are there in the Srimad-Bhagavatam, that he would go door to door for collecting alms for his spiritual master, and address every woman as mother, from the very beginning. From five years old, if a child is trained to call all woman as “Mother,” naturally his culture is different. Because he has learned to call all woman as “Mother.” He has no other idea. A small child, any woman comes before him, he knows “(S)He is my mother.” So this was the practice. That is not only religiously, but morally, it is so good, to look upon all woman as mother. That is the system still in India, any unknown woman who has no introduction with you, (s)he is addressed “Mataji.” Address her. She may be just like daughter or granddaughter, but one would address, as a respect to the woman, as “Mother, Mataji.” This is Indian system. Now some rascals have introduced “Bhaginiji, sister.” But that is not shastric. In the Sastra, all the woman, except one’s wife, should be addressed as “Mother.”

Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.16.10 - Los Angeles, January 7, 1974

Any woman except his own wife is mother. Any woman. It doesn’t matter whether she is elderly or young. No. That is the way. Still in India, any woman by unknown person, he can address any woman “Mother.” The first relationship is mother. Now they have introduced “Sister,” “Bahinaji.” No, that is not Vedic etiquette. No bahinaji. Bahinaji means sister. Mother. Everyone should be addressed. We should learn this. Except one’s one wife, all women should be addressed as “Mother.”

Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.16.23 - Los Angeles, July 13, 1974

In India still, women, especially in aSramas, any woman, visitor, she is addressed as “Mother” by all the... She may be young girl, but she is addressed as “Mother.” This is the etiquette. “Mother, what can I help you?”

Srimad-Bhagavatam 3.1.10 - Dallas, May 21, 1973

Brahmacari will go door to door, “Mother, give me alms,” and they’ll give.

Srimad-Bhagavatam 3.25.8 - Bombay, November 8, 1974

They would have to go beg door to door, brahmacari: “Mother, give us some alms for our asrama.” So they were trained from the very beginning to address any woman as “Mother.”

Srimad-Bhagavatam 3.25.20 - Bombay, November 20, 1974

As soon as you see one woman except your married wife, you immediately address her “mother.”

Srimad-Bhagavatam 5.5.3 - Vrndavana, October 25, 1976

Gurukula means every student should go to gurukula and learn to become very simple and obedient and self-controlled and learn how to address every woman as mother. This is guru..., from the very beginning. They would go every home. Small children or big children, they will address, “Mother, give us some alms.”

Srimad-Bhagavatam 6.1.21 - Honolulu, May 21, 1976

The first educational symptom is that except one’s own wife, any woman is mother.

Srimad-Bhagavatam 6.1.22 - Chicago, July 6, 1975

Everyone’s wife should be considered, para-dara, para means other’s wife, matrvat, mother. Therefore the Vedic system is when we address another woman, “Mother.” No other address. “Mother, can I do this? Would you like this?” The address should be “mother.” Practice, this is practice. A brahmacari is practiced. He goes to every householder’s wife, “Mother, give me some...” Just like this child, if he is taught from the very beginning of his life that “Address all woman as mother,” that training and intermingling with anyone, that is a different way.

Srimad-Bhagavatam 6.1.22 - Honolulu, May 22, 1976

What is that? Matrvat para-dareñu: “Everyone’s wife should be considered...” Para-dara. Para means others’ wife. Matrvat, mother. Therefore the Vedic system is, when we address another woman, “Mother,” no other address. “Mother, can I do this? Would you like this?” The address should be “Mother.” Practice. This is practice, the brahmacari’s practice. He goes to every householder’s wife: “Mother, give me some...” Just like this child. If he is taught from the very beginning of his life that “Address all women as mother...”

Srimad-Bhagavatam 6.1.23 - Honolulu, May 23, 1976

Paëòita means matr-vat para-dareñu: “to accept all women as mother,” para-dareñu. Dara means wife, and para means others’. Except his own wife, he should treat all women outside, taking them as mother. Therefore, still in Hindu society, every woman is addressed by an unknown man, “mother.” It doesn’t matter if a person is unknown. He can speak with another woman, addressing him first..., addressing her first, “mother,” “mataji.” Then nobody will be offended. This is the etiquette. That is taught by Caëakya Paëòita. Matr-vat para-dareñu. Woman should be addressed as “mother.”

Srimad-Bhagavatam 6.1.56-57 - Bombay, August 14, 1975

So the system is any brahmacari or any sannyasi goes to a householder, “Mother, give me some alms. I am brahmacari,” (s)he will at once give.

Srimad-Bhagavatam 7.7.29-31 - San Francisco, March 15, 1967

Woman should be looked as mother. Still in India, a unknown woman should be addressed, “Mother.” They have introduced now in the northern India, bahinji (?). No, this was not the etiquette. “Mataji.” This is Indian culture, not bahinji (?). This has been introduced now. No. Matra svasra duhitra va. Woman’s connection with man is as mother, as sister or as daughter. No other relationship.

Srimad-Bhagavatam 7.9.9 - Mayapur, February 16, 1976

A woman’s surname is dasi.

Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Adi-lila 7.108 - San Francisco, February 18, 1967

Prabhupada: Language doesn’t matter. Suppose if I address your wife, “mata” or if I call, “mother”. It doesn’t matter, it doesn’t matter.
Guest: No.
Prabhupada: One has to understand that a lady should be respectfully called as mother. You call as mata or mother, it doesn’t matter.

Room Conversation - Delhi, November 4, 1973

Every woman—mother. Except his married wife, every woman is mother.

Morning Walk - March 4, 1974, Mayapura

In general the understanding is, except your wife all woman is your mother. That is the instruction of Canakya Pandita. Matrvat para-daresu: “All women should be treated as mother.”

Room Conversation with Scientists - July 2, 1974, Melbourne

Brahmananda: Actually you’re supposed to see other women as mother.
Prabhupada: Yes.
Brahmananda: But not one’s own wife.
Prabhupada: No.
Morning Walk - September 6, 1975, Vrndavana
Devotee: Srila Prabhupada, should we call all the women “mother”?
Prabhupada: Yes. And treat it like mother. Not only call, but treat it like mother.

Morning Walk - October 25, 1975, Mauritius

Prabhupada: These are all bogus things. One should train himself that matravat para-dareñu, all women, “my mother.” Then it will be possible to live... Therefore the etiquette is to address every woman, ”Ma, ma, mother.” That is the etiquette.
Brahmananda: You say like “Mother Rukmiëi”? There’s a devotee named Rukmiëi. You say, “Mother Rukmiëi”? How do you address a woman? Do you say, “Mother,” and then the name of the devotee?
Prabhupada: No. “Mother,” simply.
Brahmananda: Just “Mother.”
Prabhupada: Yes. They should be addressed, “Mother.” That will train.
Indian man (4): In our Indian culture they don’t call the name of the mother never, children don’t.
Prabhupada: No. “Mother,” simply “mother,” that’s all. And if the woman treats man as son, then it is all right. It is safe.
Indian woman: We got a very sweet sound. Everything we use “ji.” “Mataji”, “Pitaji,” “Brataji,” “Bahinji.”
Prabhupada: Or... And the woman says, “Beta.”(?) That’s all right.
Devotee (5): The only trouble is in the West we’re accustomed to not like our mothers.
Prabhupada: Huh?
Devotee (5): In the West we don’t like our mothers.
Prabhupada: So you should forget your West or East. [break]
Brahmananda: Similarly, wife should not be called “Mother.”
Prabhupada: No. Therefore it is said, “other’s wife,” not your wife. But Ramakrishnan, he was saying his wife “mother,” and he became famous by this foolishness.

Morning Walk - November 2, 1975, Nairobi

Prabhupada: No. That is also imperfect. Anyway, it is something. Amanitvam adambhitvam: they from the very beginning of their life, they address other’s wife as “mother,” you see? Matrvat paridaresu. This is culture, to see every woman except his own wife as mother.

Morning Walk - December 17, 1975, Bombay

And they are taught that all women should be addressed as mother.

Room Conversation - July 31, 1976, New Mayapur (French farm)

The term Devi Dasi may be used for either married or unmarried female devotees.

Letter to: Anuradha - Los Angeles 19 January, 1969

My Dear little mothers, Yamuna, Malati, Janaki,…

Letter to: Yamuna, Malati, Janaki - Los Angeles 20 February, 1969

A brahmacari should always address every woman as mother.

Letter to: Sankarasana - Los Angeles 30 September, 1972

She is woman, so you call her Mother. As soon as you call her Mother, that I am so fallen please save, you are so great, then she will be very pleased.

Letter to: Cyavana: - Vrindaban 4 September, 1975