The role of a mother is unquestionably the most significant in the life of a human being. Modern psychology elaborates how a healthy childhood results in a child growing up to be a secure, responsible and valuable member of society. It also documents that most pathologies arise from early, dysfunctional dynamics between a child and its primary caregiver, in most cases the mother. The influence a mother can have over the mental and emotional development of a child is enormous and, in most cases, indelible. In the eyes of the child, the mother is his or her primary model. What the mother says, does and believes, the child imbibes organically. The \u015aanti-parv\u0101 of the Mahabharata states the there is no guru greater than the mother. The M\u0101rka\u1e47\u1e0deya-pur\u0101\u1e47a elaborates the anecdote of Mad\u0101lasa, considered by many to be an exemplary mother. Mad\u0101las\u0101 was the daughter of the Gandharva king, Vi\u015bv\u0101vasu. She was stunningly beautiful, most virtuous and highly evolved spiritually. Once, an asura named P\u0101t\u0101laketu kidnaps her from her garden. \u1e5atadhvaja, a prince of the illustrious Raghuvam\u015ba rushes to her rescue. She falls in love with the prince and ends up marrying him. In due course of time the king sheds his mortal coils and \u1e5atadhvaja ascends the throne. Soon a son is born to \u1e5atadhvaja and Mad\u0101lasa. The delighted king names the son Vikr\u0101nta. The citizens of the kingdom are pleased with the name, the queen however, seems amused; she laughs. When asked why she was amused, Mad\u0101lasa responds, \u2018lord, I see no sense in a name being given to the birthless soul to begin with, especially not the name \u2018Vikr\u0101nta\u2019. The word \u2018Vikr\u0101nta\u2019 means one who marches forth (and conquers). The soul is omnipresent and all pervading. How then does it march forth, lord? I am hence amused by the name.\u2019 The newborn babe opens its eyes and began to wail. Mad\u0101lasa begins singing a lullaby to soothe the distressed child. Only, this was no ordinary lullaby sung by a worldly mother. This song was replete with Vedic wisdom.She crooned sweetly, \u0936\u0941\u0926\u094d\u0927\u094b\u093d\u0938\u093f \u0930\u0947 \u0924\u093e\u0924 \u0928 \u0924\u0947\u093d\u0938\u094d\u0924\u093f \u0928\u093e\u092e \u0915\u0943\u0924\u0902 \u0939\u093f \u0924\u0924\u094d\u0915\u0932\u094d\u092a\u0928\u092f\u093e\u0927\u0941\u0928\u0948\u0935\u0964 \u092a\u091e\u094d\u091a\u093e\u0924\u094d\u092e\u0915\u0902 \u0926\u0947\u0939\u092e\u093f\u0926\u0902 \u0928 \u0924\u0947\u093d\u0938\u094d\u0924\u093f \u0924\u094d\u0935\u0902 \u0935\u093e\u0938\u094d\u092f \u0930\u0947 \u0930\u094b\u0926\u093f\u0937\u093f \u0915\u0938\u094d\u092f \u0939\u0947\u0924\u094b\u0903\u0965 \u015buddho'si re t\u0101ta na te'sti n\u0101ma k\u1e5bta\u1e41 hi tatkalpanay\u0101dhunaiva| pa\u00f1c\u0101tmaka\u1e41 dehamida\u1e41 na te'sti tva\u1e41 v\u0101sya re rodi\u1e63i kasya heto\u1e25|| Child, you are pure and unattached. This name attached to you had only just been given to you; it is but a dream. This body that is comprised of the five elements is not yours; you are but a traveller (in the vehicle called human frame). Why then do you cry? M\u0101rka\u1e47\u1e0deya-pur\u0101\u1e47a, 23.11 \u0924\u093e\u0924\u0947\u0924\u093f \u0915\u093f\u091e\u094d\u091a\u093f\u0924\u094d \u0924\u0928\u092f\u0947\u0924\u093f \u0915\u093f\u091e\u094d\u091a\u093f\u0926\u094d\u0926\u0935\u0947\u0924\u093f \u0915\u093f\u091e\u094d\u091a\u093f\u0926\u094d\u0926\u092f\u093f\u0924\u0947\u0924\u093f \u0915\u093f\u091e\u094d\u091a\u093f\u0924\u094d\u0964 \u092e\u092e\u0947\u0924\u093f \u0915\u093f\u091e\u094d\u091a\u093f\u0928\u094d\u0928\u092e\u092e\u0947\u0924\u093f \u0915\u093f\u091e\u094d\u091a\u093f\u0924\u094d \u0924\u094d\u0935\u0902 \u092d\u0942\u0924\u0938\u0919\u094d\u0918\u0902 \u092c\u0939\u0941\u0927\u093e \u092e\u093e \u0932\u092a\u0947\u0925\u093e\u0965 t\u0101teti ki\u00f1cit tanayeti ki\u00f1ciddaveti ki\u00f1ciddayiteti ki\u00f1cit| mameti ki\u00f1cinnamameti ki\u00f1cit tva\u1e41 bh\u016btasa\u1e45gha\u1e41 bahudh\u0101 m\u0101 lapeth\u0101|| Sometimes one is referred to as the father, sometimes the son, sometimes the husband, sometimes the lover. One is celebrated as kin sometimes and considered a stranger at other times. These titles arise due to the false identification with the body, and fall not prey to such illusions. M\u0101rka\u1e47\u1e0deya-pur\u0101\u1e47a, 23.15 Vikr\u0101nta grows from babyhood to youth, listening to the wise words of his mother. A sense of detachment for the materialistic world and an affinity for a higher purpose grows along with him. He evinces no desire for the life of a householder. Yet another son is soon born to Mad\u0101las\u0101, and the king names him Sub\u0101hu, again, much to the amusement of the queen. Sub\u0101hu too follows in the footsteps of his brother, imbibing the spiritual values his mother feeds him from the cradle. A third brother, \u015aatrumardana is born to the royal couple, and he too turns out to be like his other brothers. All three sons retire to the forest seeking liberation. When a fourth son is born, \u1e5atadhvaja urges Mad\u0101las\u0101 to name him, and she names him Alarka. As Mad\u0101las\u0101 sets about instructing Alarka in Vedic wisdom, \u1e5atadhvaja pleads with her to not initiate him in the path of renunciation. He says to her, \u2018raise him in such a manner that he is of use in this world too. Having served mankind, let him then be liberated.\u2019 She accedes to the request. She looks at the newborn baby and says to him, \u2018son, grow up to delight my lord. Attend with care to deeds that yield fruit in this world and the next. Child, you are indeed blessed, for you shall rule the earth for long, and shall bring wealth and peace to all. Having thus served mankind, you shall be liberated.\u2019 She continues, \u0938\u0926\u093e \u092e\u0941\u0930\u093e\u0930\u093f\u0902 \u0939\u0943\u0926\u093f \u091a\u093f\u0928\u094d\u0924\u092f\u0947\u0925\u093e \u0924\u0926\u094d\u0927\u094d\u092f\u093e\u0928\u0924\u094b \u0924\u094d\u0935\u0902 \u0937\u0921\u0930\u0940\u091e\u094d\u091c\u092f\u0947\u0925\u093e\u0903\u0964 \u092e\u093e\u092f\u093e\u092a\u094d\u0930\u092c\u094b\u0927\u0947\u0928 \u0928\u093f\u0935\u093e\u0930\u092f\u0947\u0925\u093e \u0939\u094d\u092f\u0928\u093f\u0924\u094d\u092f\u0924\u093e\u092e\u0947\u0935 \u0935\u093f\u091a\u093f\u0928\u094d\u0924\u092f\u0947\u0925\u093e\u0903\u0965 sad\u0101 mur\u0101ri\u1e41 h\u1e5bdi cintayeth\u0101 taddhy\u0101nato tva\u1e41 \u1e63a\u1e0dar\u012b\u00f1jayeth\u0101\u1e25| m\u0101y\u0101prabodhena niv\u0101rayeth\u0101 hyanityat\u0101meva vicintayeth\u0101\u1e25|| Meditate ceaselessly on the Lord, Mur\u0101ri, that you may rise above the six foes of man. Escape the clutches of m\u0101y\u0101 with discrimination, and ever remember the transient nature of (human life). M\u0101rka\u1e47\u1e0deya-pur\u0101\u1e47a, 23.58 \u092c\u093e\u0932\u094b \u092e\u0928\u094b \u0928\u0928\u094d\u0926\u092f \u092c\u093e\u0928\u094d\u0927\u0935\u093e\u0928\u093e\u0902 \u0917\u0941\u0930\u094b\u0938\u094d\u0924\u0925\u093e\u091c\u094d\u091e\u093e\u0915\u0930\u0923\u0948\u0903 \u0915\u0941\u092e\u093e\u0930\u0964 \u0938\u094d\u0924\u094d\u0930\u0940\u0923\u093e\u0902 \u092f\u0941\u0935\u093e \u0938\u0924\u094d\u0915\u0941\u0932\u092d\u0942\u0937\u0923\u093e\u0928\u093e\u0902 \u0935\u0943\u0926\u094d\u0927\u094b \u0935\u0928\u0947 \u0935\u0924\u094d\u0938 \u0935\u0928\u0947\u091a\u0930\u093e\u0923\u093e\u092e\u094d\u0965 b\u0101lo mano nandaya b\u0101ndhav\u0101n\u0101\u1e41 gurostath\u0101j\u00f1\u0101kara\u1e47ai\u1e25 kum\u0101ra| str\u012b\u1e47\u0101\u1e41 yuv\u0101 satkulabh\u016b\u1e63a\u1e47\u0101n\u0101\u1e41 v\u1e5bddho vane vatsa vanecar\u0101\u1e47\u0101m|| Delight kith and kin as a child, dear son, and rejoice your parents by obeying them in adolescence. Fill noble women with joy in your youth and resorting to the forest, serve the hermits as your life nears its end. M\u0101rka\u1e47\u1e0deya-pur\u0101\u1e47a, 23.61 Alarka grows up to be an exemplary king of the Raghuvam\u015ba who worshipped truth above everything else. The Valm\u012bki-R\u0101m\u0101ya\u1e47a states that Alarka gouged his eyes out and offered them to a blind boy because he had promised to give the boy anything he sought. Not only had Mad\u0101las\u0101 raised three perfect renunciants, she had also raised the perfect man in Alarka.