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.

त्वमेव माता पिता त्वमेव त्वमेव बन्धुश्च सखा त्वमेव
त्वमेव विद्या द्रविणं त्वमेव त्वमेव सर्वमम 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.

त्वम् you एव indeed/truly/in reality माता mother  and पिता father बन्धु – relation  and सखा friend विद्या knowledge द्रविणम् wealth सर्वं all मम mine, my देव illuminated ones


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).

त्वमेव माता पिता त्वमेव त्वमेव बन्धुश्चगुरुस्त्वमेव
त्वमेव विद्या द्रविणं त्वमेव त्वमेव सर्वमम 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).

भवाय नस्त्वं भव विश्वभावन त्वमेव माताथ सुहृत्पति: पिता
त्वं सद्गुरुर्न: परमं दैवतं यस्यानुवृत्त्या कृतिनो बभूविम

Bhavaaya nastvam bhava vishva-bhaavana
tvameva maataatha suhrit-patih pitaa.
Tvam sadgururnah paramam cha daivatam
yasyaanauvrittyaa kritino babhuvim

O Creator, you are the source of my happiness, indeed you are my mother, father, well-wisher and companion. You are our Lord, the most high and supreme spiritual master who alone is worthy of worship. By following your instructions, we become successful.

भवाय welfare, happiness for us त्व you भव are, become विश्वभावन Creator of the world त्वमेव you indeed are माता mother अथ and ुहृत् well-wisher पति: husband/spouse पिता father त्वं you are for us सद्गुरु spiritual master परमं highest, most superior and दैवतं worthy of being worshipped यस्य whose अनुवृत्त्ा following in the footsteps कृति: successful बभूविम we have become


अग्निं मनये पितरमग्निमापिमग्निं भ्रातरं सदमित्सखायम्
अग्नेरनीकं बृहतः सपर्यं दिवि शुक्रं यजतं सूर्यस्य
ऋग्वेद १०.७.३

Agnim manye pitaram-agmin-aapim-agnim
bhraataram sadamit-sakhaayam.
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?

अग्निम् Omniscient, Illuminated One मनये I agree, I know in my mind पितर father अग्निम् wise, illuminated आपिम् mother भ्रातरम् among, between brothers (siblings) सत् मित् always, all the time, constantly सखा friend – also, one who takes me forward अग्नेरनीकं that Omniscient One; Who else but that Omniscient Luminus One बृहतः abundant सपर्यं worship दिवि ascending शुक्रं pure, resplendent, source of purity यजत्  worthy of worship सूर्यस्य force of light, force of illumination, sun-like force

Print Friendly, PDF & Email