Howard Resnick hr at ivs.edu
Wed May 22 21:04:50 UTC 2013

Do we know the history of the Hindu custom of addressing women as  mAtA or mAtAji?

Some Hindu traditions quote CANakya/KauTilya as follows: 

mAtRvat para-dAreSu, para-dravyeSu loSTravat, Atmavat sarva-bhUteSu, yaH paZyati sa paNDitaH

"A pandita is he who sees others' wives as mother, others' property as dirt, all beings as oneself."
Yet typically itihasa-purana texts do not show men addressing others' wives, and certainly not women in general, as "mother."

Any help with this is sincerely appreciated.

Howard Resnick

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