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A mother’s prayer

The other night I had the most beautiful opportunity to be with my son and hold him in my arms as he fell asleep in his bed. He is my baby, the younger of my two boys, and is nine years old. He has always been the more affectionate of my kids, and loves to snuggle. Even so, all the while I was with him I kept thinking to myself how it won’t be all that much longer that he will allow this. Before I know it he won’t have the time of day for me. It was a tender moment that we shared, and it made me want to never let him go.

As he drifted off to sleep, I began chanting a prayer that became a part of my sadhana several years ago. It is a prayer traditionally recited by a mother for her children for their protection and guidance. It is a wish that the child recognize the Divine within them, and to always have the courage to follow their truth. This prayer is from the Sikh tradition, and was given by Yogi Bhajan to mothers in the Kundalini Yoga practice. The prayer is called Poota Maataa Kee Asees, and is as follows:

Jis simrat sabh kilvikh naaseh pitree ho-ay udhaaro.

So har har tum sad hee jaapahu jaa kaa ant na paaro.

Pootaa maataa kee aasees.

Nimakh na bisara-o tum ka-o har har sadaa bhajahu jagdees. rahaa-o.

Satgur tum ka-o ho-ay da-i-aalaa santsang tayree preet.

Kaaparh pat parmaysar raakhee bhojan keertan neet.

Amrit peevhu sadaa chir jeevhu har simrat anad anantaa. 

Rang tamaasaa pooran aasaa kabeh na bi-aapai chintaa.

Bhavar tumaaraa ih man hova-o har charnaa hohu ka-ulaa.

Naanak daas un sang laptaa-i-o ji-o booNdeh chaatrik ma-ulaa.

Translation:

Remembering God, all mistakes are washed away and one’s ancestors are redeemed and saved.

Always chant God’s Name, Har, Har. God is inside you, God is infinite.

O my child, this is your mother’s blessing,

May you may never forget God even for a moment, worshipping forever the Lord of the Universe

May the True Guru be kind to you, may you love to be with the Saints.

May your clothing be the protection of God, may your food be the singing of God’s praise

Drink the nectar of God’s Name and live long, may meditation on God bring you endless bliss.

May love be yours and your hopes fulfilled. May you never be worn by worry.

Let this mind of yours be the bumble bee, and let the Lotus Feet of God be the flower. 

O Servant Nanak, link your mind in this way. Like the sparrow hawk finding a raindrop blossom forth.

It is my prayer that my children be protected. It is my hope that they know only love. It is my wish that they should realize their connection to the Divine and recognize the light within them.

My greatest fear is that they will experience the same darkness in their teenage years as I did. I was so incredibly lost, so hurt and insecure. I reached out to anything I could find to make myself feel better, and ended up experiencing hell on earth. I had to touch the center of my pain, feel complete and utter despair, before I was able to pull myself up. It took a long time to put myself back together, and it is only in the past few years that I am grateful for my past. Because of where I have been, I am exactly where I am. And where I am is exactly where I am meant to be.

However, I took the hard way to get here. It scares me to think of my kids taking the same route. I realize they are souls here on their own journey and meant to learn their own lessons, but I hope their journey is easier than mine. That is why I pray for them. Every day, I pray from them.

​© 2019 Lexa Chernin. Enthusiastically created by Launch Design Collective. Photos by Alessandra Manzotti