Sadhguru describes his relationship with his mother, recounting the many detailed ways through which she demonstrated her love for her family.
I think there was no some grand expression of love or this and that, it was just a taken-for- granted relationship. It’s taken for granted that we are of paramount importance to her. (Laughs) So it never occurred to us, ‘Oh she loves us, she takes care of us,’ these thoughts never came, it’s like, that’s all her life is about that she… just what matters in her life is just us. She gave us that cocoon and I think that made a tremendous difference to all of us in those times. And as I have already many times said, she was… she made everything with her hands in the house, from cooking to embroideries, stitching drapes and stitching things, everything was her work. Her signature was all over the house. Without saying a word, it was simply everywhere. When somebody asked me what is the thing, this is what came to my mind first and I spoke about it, and I think it’s printed in books and things like that now.
I remember when we went out to other places, always every pillowcase, every bed sheet, everything is embroidered, you know. Some embroidery she would have done. If when we went out to places outside and just before sleeping if she saw the pillowcase is just a white pillow case she would say, ‘How can children sleep on an empty pillow case,’ and within five minutes she would put a small parrot. I remember those green parrots so well because looking at the damn parrot I would just fall asleep. (Applause) I… Those parrots are sticking in my head so strong, or a little five-petaled flower, which used to be, you know those… I don’t know what… I’ve forgotten all those names. There used to be Anchor threads, Anchor brand threads, which used to come like this (Gestures) in a… If you stitch them, let’s say it’s pink in one place, in other place it’ll be reddish, you know. When you stitch it, it’ll come. I am sure even now those things should be there, but I am not… seen them in a long time.
So I am just looking at that five-petaled flower and just dozing off and its largely pink, three petals are pink, two petals are slightly reddish and my mind is just thinking, ‘Why the hell is it like this? Why…’ (Laughter) You know I remember these things so well. I am talking when I am like four, five years of age. I am just thinking, why is it those two petals together have come red, and other three have come pink. I have seen that thread, I have, you know, done all kinds of things. When I look at the patterns in the thread, it shouldn’t be coming so close together, my mind is… (Laughs) So in all these little-little things… cooking enslaved us. It doesn’t matter, where we went, even if we were taken to a wedding or a party or whatever, we pretend to eat there and come home and eat well. (Laughter) Because there was no replacement for her cooking, it was like that. I don’t know - it was not like a very active loving relationship. It was just there all the time. You couldn’t think of life without her, that’s all. It’s just there, all the time there, never not being there.
I think today for economic reasons or for exploitative reasons or in reaction to certain exploitative situations, women have chosen to step out of their homes. I am not commenting about that. But for a child, tch… that’s why we are encouraging people to send their children here, so that always they are cared for. When a child comes home, nobody at home, he opens his own lock and goes inside and eats some cold food and sits there, this is the fate of most of the western children and unfortunately this is becoming the fate of most of the Indian urban children. Just that thing, when you come home she takes your bag and she asks you what happened, and she… you want to run inside with your shoes on and she pulls out your shoes. These are not simple acts. These are life-transforming acts, you know? These are truly life transforming acts. I think in many, many, many ways, the other dimension of who I am is different. But as a person who I am, I think she had a huge, huge influence quietly without saying a word, no teaching, no talking down. My father always tried to talk me down and tell me, this, this, this, you have to be like this, otherwise you will become like this. None of it stuck in my head. (Laughter) But she just quietly without saying a word about it, I think she impacted me hugely, very hugely I would say. (Applause)