God as family – tvameva maataa

God as family – tvameva maataa

In every approach to worship, we revere God as, firstly, the highest, purest form of the Self. He is called Paramaatma, the soul of our soul. We all call God by various names, the most intimate of which are Father, Mother, Brother, friend and teacher. The popular tvameva maataa cha pitaa tvameva verse exemplifies the closeness with which we view the Almighty.

These three verses from the Pandava Gita, Sharanagati and Bhaagvatam are very similar in expression.


This popular verse is can be found in the Pandava Gita (V28) as an appeal by Gandhari to Lord Krishna. (The
Pandava Gita is a compendium of prayers of various characters of the Mahabharata. Its author is unknown).

त्वमे माता पिता त्वमे त्वमे्धुश्च खा त्वमे
त्वमे विद्या द्रविणं त्वमे त्वमेर्वमम देव देव॥

Tvameva maataa cha pitaa tvameva,
tvameva bandhush-cha sakhaa tvameva.
Tvameva vidyaa draviṇam tvameva,
Tvameva sarvam mama deva deva.

O Lord Thou art our mother and father. Thou art our brother and friend. Thou art our knowledge and wealth. Thou art everything to us O Lord.


The following version of the tvameva maataa verse can be found in the Sharangati Gadyam (v12.2) of Ramanujacharya, written in the 11th century. The Sharangati Gadyam is pure expression of bhakti, a conversation between Ramanuja and Narayana with Sri (Lakshmi).

त्वमे माता पिता त्वमे त्वमे्धुश्चगुरु्त्वमे
त्वमे विद्या द्रविणं त्वमे त्वमेर्वमम देवदेव ॥

Tvameva maataa cha pitaa tvameva
tvameva bandhushcha-gurustvameva.
Tvameva vidyaa draviṇam tvameva,
Tvameva sarvam mama deva deva.

You are Mother, Father, Relations and teacher. You are my knowledge and my wealth; My everything.


The following verse, similar to the tvameva maataa verse is from the Srimad Bhagvatam (11.7).

वा ्त्वं भव विश्वभाव त्वमे माताुहृत्पति: पिता
त्वं द्गुरुर्न: परमं दैवतं ्यानुवृत्त्या कृतिनो बभूविम

Bhavaaya nastvam bhava vishva-bhaavana
tvameva maataatha suhrit-patih pitaa

Tvam sadgururnah paramam cha daivatam
yasyaanauvrittyaa kritino babhuvim

O Creator of all, You are our mother, father, wellwisher and partner. You are our Lord, the most high and supreme spiritual master who alone is worthy of worship. By following your instructions, we become successful.

अग्निं मन्ये पितरमग्निमापिमग्निं भ्रातरं दमित्सखायम्
अग्नेीकं बृहतः पर्यं दिवि शुक्रं जतं ूर्यस्य
ऋग्वेद १०.७.३

Agnim manye pitaram-agmin-aapim-agnim
Agner-aneekam brihatah saparyam
divi shukram yajatam sooryasya.
Rig Veda 10.7.3

agnim manye pitaram I agree and declare the Illuminated one is a wise father, agnimaApim a wise mother and agnim bhraataram wisest brother, sadamitsakhaayam a constant wise friend who urges me forward. It is that agniraneekam Illuminate God, brihatah sAparyam the great object of my worship who is the source of divi shukram ever-increasing hAppiness and purity that is yajatam sooryasya the light of lights being worthy of my worship light-force (light of wisdom), the source of our increasing pure thoughts is worthy of our abundant worship?