From my early childhood days, I have been bombarded with stories about the bravery of Banda, the courage of Nalwa, and the glory of Ranjit Singh.
As I grew older, I encountered the strategy of General Arora and the charisma of Jarnail Singh. I wanted to fly like Superman, dunk like Jordan, and kiss the noose like Sarabha.
But never was I told the reasoning behind who I am, and why the way I am.
It never occurred to me that none of the aforementioned men could have existed if it were not for the great contributions of their mother in their lives.
Neglected was the role of Mai Bhago in shaping my Panth and serving my Guru.
Mata Khivi’s role was simply reduced to kitchen to further stereotype gender roles.
I still struggle to know the Mother of Khalsa, Mata Sahib Kaur, whose information is limited to adding the Patasay (sugar cubes) at Vaisakhi of 1699.
Of the countless sakhis told to me during my childhood, I don’t recall a single powerful one about a Sikh woman.
As I aspire to follow Guru’s teachings and live a Guru-inspired life, I discover the pivotal role of my many unnamed mothers’ who chose Sikhi and embraced death at the hands of Mir Mannu in mid 1700s.
They choose Love over fear as they witnessed their toddlers being butchered but their Faith remained resolute. Had they chosen attachment to their children over the devotion to their Guru, I would not exist today.
I exist ONLY because of my mothers’ divine dedication to Guru Granth & Panth.
Had they made another choice, I could have never been who I am and the way I am.
I would not exist!
So on this Mother’s day as I complete my 40th year of life, I am only just beginning to realize the absolute significant role of my countless, unnamed mothers’.
Pritpal Singh serves on SikhRI’s Board of Directors. He is a physician executive with Cigna and lives in Dallas with family.