The Divine Mother

On the Phrase “Mother of the World”

From Esoteric Healing, by Alice Bailey (p. 362-3)

The various ways in which the phrase can be used can mean quite a number of things.  It can mean:

  • The feminine aspect in manifestation, symbolized for us in many of the world religions as a virgin mother and in the Christian religion as the Virgin Mary. It is that substance which enables Deity to manifest.
  • Nature itself, the mother of all forms.
  • The moon also, who is the symbol of the generative, creative life which gives birth to forms and is therefore the symbol of the form nature.
  • The concentration of the feminine force in nature in some individual in female form who is then called the “World Mother.” Such an individual has never existed in our planetary life, though the avatars of a previous solar system, expressing itself through planetary life, always took this form.  But not in this solar system.  The tradition of such appearances is purely symbolic, inherited from the previous solar system from which we inherited the matter which all manifested forms are made.  This symbolism has come down from the far-off period of the Matriarchate, which had a religion that recalled the ancient ways of the earlier system and in which period of time Lilith symbolized the World Mother, until Eve took her place.


Ramakrishna on the Divine Mother

Not much over one hundred years ago God walked with man in the blissful form of Sri Ramakrishna Paramhansa of Dakshineswar. One of His disciples, Swami Turiyananda, told in later times of one visit to Sri Ramakrishna during which a renowned Vedantic scholar spoke at His request. After more than an hour of brilliant exposition of the eternal philosophy, he fell silent. Paramhansa Deva was most pleased and spoke words of praise to him. Yet, He then said: "As far as I am concerned, I do not like all those details. There is nothing but my Mother and I. To you, knowledge, knower, and known - the one who meditates, meditation, and the object of meditation - this sort of triple division is very good. But for me, 'Mother and I' - that is all and nothing else."

Recounting this incident years later, Swami Turiyananda concluded:

"These words, 'Mother and I,' were said in such a way that it made a very deep impression on all present. At that moment all ideas of Vedanta paled into insignificance. The Master's 'Mother and I' seemed easier, simpler, and more pleasing to the mind than the three divisions of Vedanta. I realized then that 'Mother and I' was the ideal attitude to be adopted." 

Mother and I! Besides which all the greatest principles of philosophy are but "details"! There is nothing else to life, for She is life.


Paul Brunton Exercise on the Divine Mothers

Balance the "As if I am enlightened" exercise: Counter by "As if the Divine Mothers were present" whenever I speak to others, whatever I do, alone or in society. It notes and judges my speed and action. In the first example I am alone always; but in the second I am not, there is the other. The idea is not so much that it notes and judges our actions as that we are in a holy presence.


Shankara of Kanchipuram on the Divine Mother

The only way to get cleaned of one’s sins is to penitently prostrate at the feet of the Divine Mother.  Let us, therefore, surrender ourselves at the feet of the Mother and find peace and happiness.

…the Divine Mother, known by different names as Sarasvati, Lakshmi, Paravati, etc. are but manifestations of the same Supreme Divinity, who is none other than that Creative Energy who forms part of the static Para-atman, both together constituting the Father and Mother of the Universe and to whom creation, preservation and destruction are mere sport.

Ignorance is a disease for which enlightenment is the only cure.  The Divine Mother alone is capable of bestowing this milk of knowledge, removing our ignorance and satiating the hunger of the soul… we must yearn for the Grace of the Divine Mother so that we can obtain from her the milk of enlightenment.  For that reason we must be constantly thinking of Her and praying to Her.


Orphic Hymn to The Mother of the Gods

Virgin, mother, nurse,
whore and crone
we honor you

Lioness, you destroy
the pride of bulls,
You are the axis.

You are the heart
enthroned in every being.

Your love protects us.
You feed and care for us.
You guide the seasons.

God and mortals
flow from you
like seas and rivers.

Mother of goodness and bounty,
we rejoice in your gifts,
amazed by your kindness.

You tame every wildness 
and make wild every street.

We pound the drum for you,
mighty queen, Celestial,
primal, you give life,
sustain it and take it.

Help us, wife of time,
we are your incense


On the “Virginity” of the Divine Mother

Each and every year Hera would bathe in the Spring of Canathus as a way of renewing her virginity. This ritual of renewal was almost identical to the one performed by Aphrodite who, every year, would dive into the waters off the island upon which she had originally washed up. When Aphrodite came out of the water, it appeared as though she had just been re-born, and the same thing was also true with Hera. Renewing a Goddess’ virginity did not mean that she actually became a virgin again; it simply meant that she appeared to be refreshed and renewed, as though she had just been re-born.

 From Emperor Julian’s Oration on “The Mother of the Gods”

Who then is the mother of the gods?  She is indeed the fountain of the gods who govern the apparent series of things… She is the mistress of all life, and the cause of all generation, who most easily confers perfection on her productions, and generates and fabricates things without passion, in conjunction with the father of the universe.  She is also a virgin…

 Aspects of the Mother of God in Eastern Orthodoxy

The Virgin of the Sweet Kiss
Life-giving source
Joy of all that Sorrow
Inviolate Mountain
Our Lady of Refuge
The Lamenting Virgin
Unexpected Joy
Unfading Rose


From the Kaballah (Zohar V1, p. 371 ff)

The Shekinah “is represented as the passive female who receives and transmits the influence which descends from the active male forces… it has no light or definite color of its own, but, on the other hand, precisely because of this, it acts as a mirror for every light and color.”

In relation to the upper world, it is the last link in the chain of emanation, acting as a receptacle for the supernal flow of influence and representing the extreme limit of the divine being.  In relation to the lower world, however, it is the very beginning and highest point, assuming the role of mother and ruler of the world.

Shekinah is the divine presence, existing and active in the world and among the people of Israel.


From Helena Roerich “The Mother of the World”

The old world rejected the Mother of the World, but the New World begins to perceive Her lustrous veil…

I have already told you that the Mother of the World conceals Her name.  I have already shown you how the Mother of the World veils Her face.  I have already made mention about the Mother of Buddha and Christ.

Indeed it is time to point out that the one Mother of both Lords is not a symbol but a great manifestation of the Feminine Origin, in which is revealed the spiritual Mother of Christ and Buddha.

She was Who taught and ordained Them for achievement.

From times immemorial the Mother of the World has sent forth to achievement.  In the history of humanity, Her Hand traces out an unmistakable thread.

On Sinai Her Voice rang out.  She assumed the image of Kali.  She was at the basis of the cults of Isis and Ishtar.  After Atlantic, when a blow was inflicted on the cult of the spirit, the Mother of the World began to weave a new thread, which will now begin to radiate.  After Atlantis, the Mother of the World veiled Her Face and forbade the pronouncement of Her Name until the hour of the constellations should strike.  She has manifested Herself only partly, never has she manifested Herself on a Planetary scale.