Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Mother-in-law and Daughter-in-law

Then there was the question of the wise men being always poor. Why are wise men poor and stupid rich? The secret lies in the age old and well known chronicles of   "Saas aur Bahu".

It is believed in Mythology that Brahma, the creator was born in the Naabhikamal of Lord Vishnu. Hence the name Kamalanaabha for Maha Vishnu. Maa Lakshmi, Goddess of Wealth, is the consort of Lord Maha Vishnu. Maa Saraswati is the consort of Lord Brahma. Hence they become Mother-in-law and Daughter-in-law. Or in pure Hindi or filmy Hindi or even "Serial Hindi", Saas and Bahu.

Saas and Bahu do not get along. They are not supposed to get along.  Everyone says that two women do not get along. Two men may also not get along, but that is not a big deal. As some one said, it is no news if dog bites a man. It is only news when a man bites a dog. Since two women do not get along well or not supposed to get along well, Saas and Bahu will also not get along well, even more. Because of the common link of the Son/husband as applicable. Rather they should not get along well. Otherwise what is the fate of our Saas- Bahu serials. Balaji Telefilms shares would crash and our already fragile stock market index would trade in negative territory.

Furthermore, Lord Brahma is not Maa Lakshmi's son. He is not even her step son because the other wife is not there. He is her husband's son. Therefore Maa. Saraswati is not even her own Daughter-in-law. She is, as per law, her husband's daughter-in-law. Oh, this is a story of all complications thrown in one place. A script writer's delight.

As the MIL and DIL, with all the complicated relations apart, have to live together.  Lord Brahma cannot get down from the Lotus and go to a separate house since there is this thousand headed serpent Aadishesha below the Lotus and the large ocean of milk all round the area.  Maa. Lakshmi and Maa. Saraswati have to co-exist in one house. That is Sree Vaikuntha. There is no rule that they should also stay together in other houses - like the houses of Vidwaans (learned or wise) and the Stupid. Therefore, Maa Saraswati stays with the wise and per force Maa.Lakshmi lives with the Stupid. Which explains the natural phenomenon of the wise being always very poor and the stupid being rich.

One poet wanted to confront Maa. Lakshmi with this question. He went to her and asked the question. The question and answer is summarized in this sloka:

पद्मे, मूढ जने ददासि द्रविणं विद्वस्तु किं मत्सरः ?
नाहं मत्सरिणी नचापि चपला नैवास्ति मूर्खे रतिः
मूर्खीभेयो द्रविणं ददामि नितरां तत् कारणं श्रूयतां
विद्वान् सर्व जनेषु पूजित तनुः मूर्खस्य नान्या गतिः !

Padme, Moodha jane daddasi dravinam vidvastu kim matsaraha?
Naaham matsarini nachaapi chapala naivasti murkhe ratihi
Moorkhebhyo dravinam dadami nitaraam tat karanam shruyataam
vidvaan sarvajaneshu poojita tanuhu moorkhasya naanya gatihi !

"He Padma, you are enriching all stupid fellows by bestowing all riches on them. What is your grouse against the wise?  Why have you kept them poor?"

"I have no grouse against the wise. Nor I am fickle minded as others allege. I have no undue interest in the foolish. Why I give lot of riches to the foolish? Understand this very well.  The wise or vidwans are respected by all for their wisdom. The foolish have no such recourse".    

(Everyone ignores the foolish. If they are  at least rich, they will be respected  for the riches. Both are my sons. One is able to earn respect due to his wisdom. The other one will get respect because he is rich. This is the mother's way of compensating the weak child).

This is the situation as it existed several centuries ago. It is no longer true now.

We have seen several households where the Mother-in-law and Daughter-in law get along better than Father-in-law and son-in-law. Or father and son. They even enjoying living in the same house. Hence we now have wisdom and riches in same houses. Maa. Lakshmi and Maa. Saraswati in the same houses. Like the occasional episode of Saas-Bahu serial in which the Saas and Bahoo together catch the thief ! 

If you do not believe ask Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook. Ask Bill Gates. Jerry Yang of Yahoo. Sabir Bhatia of Hotmail. Steve Jobs of Apple. And many others.....in whose houses both Mother-in-law and Daughter-in-law reside together in full strength..............


  1. I am afraid it is as true now as it was then. you only have to look at George Bush, Mark Thatcher, prince Edward and others. Of course there are plenty of exceptions. As the saying goes " Exception confirms the rule"