Here, Dr. Resnick arise a very important point: let me try to help below:

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


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."

In my sincere attempt to investigate the actual age of the Bhagavata tradition I can  find as a possible   intertextuality source of this  Canakya verse, the follow Bhagavatam sloka, that tends to show the social use of "mother" word  in the puranic tradition.(See Arganis, (2001) Rescantado el Srimada Bhagavatam de las obras de Chankya. Consejo Editorial del Estado. Saltillo, Coah. México. p. 66) 

Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 4.16.17

mātṛ-bhaktiḥ para-strīṣu

patnyām ardha ivātmanaḥ

prajāsu pitṛvat snigdhaḥ

kińkaro brahma-vādinām


mātṛ-bhaktiḥ — as respectful as one is to his mother; para-strīṣu — to other women; patnyām —to his own wife; ardhaḥ — half; iva — like; ātmanaḥ — of his body; prajāsu — unto the citizens;pitṛ-vat — like a father; snigdhaḥ — affectionate; kińkaraḥ — servant; brahma-vādinām — of the devotees who preach the glories of the Lord.


The King will respect all women as if they were his own mother, and he will treat his own wife as the other half of his body. He will be just like an affectionate father to his citizens, and he will treat himself as the most obedient servant of the devotees, who always preach the glories of the Lord.


Dr. Horacio Francisco Arganis Juárez
Lic. M.A. Ph. D. Catedrático Investigador de la Universidad
Internacional Euroamericana.
Departamento de Filosofía y Religión Comparada.

--- El jue 23-may-13, Howard Resnick <> escribió:

De: Howard Resnick <>
Asunto: Re: [INDOLOGY] mAtAjI
A: "Suresh Kolichala" <>
Cc: "Indology List" <>
Fecha: jueves, 23 de mayo de 2013, 14:16

Thank you, Suresh. In saying that the custom is pan-South Asian, may we assume this includes Muslims? Jains? Indian Christians? Others? 
Thanks again,

On May 23, 2013, at 6:58 AM, Suresh Kolichala <> wrote:

This phenomenon is pan-South Asian. It is very common to address women as 'mother' 'maa/amma/aayi' and men as 'father' 'baapu, ayya, appa'. It is also common across linguistic families to address sons and daughters endearingly as 'mother' and 'father'.


On Thu, May 23, 2013 at 9:31 AM, Howard Resnick <> wrote:
Thank you, Matthew, for raising these key questions. Gaudiya [Bengali] Vaishnava communities, expanding around the world, typically follow and teach this "rule" of addressing women as 'mother.'  Are they merely propagating a Bengali Hindu custom? Or does it include Bengali Muslims? Is the custom, to any degree, pan-Hindu? pan-South Asian?
        Thanks to Jonathan and Somadeva for their information.


On May 23, 2013, at 4:33 AM, Matthew Kapstein <mkapstei@UCHICAGO.EDU> wrote:

> This thread included the comment that in Bengal men address even their daughters as Ma, and so far as I know this is indeed the case.
> Two questions:
> Is this so widespread outside of Bengal?
> Among Bengalis, is the use confined to Hindus or is it current among Muslims as well?
> Both of these questions, of course, are pertinent to the issue of whether or not this should be
> considered 'Hindu' usage?
> Matthew Kapstein
> Directeur d'études,
> Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes
> Numata Visiting Professor of Buddhist Studies,
> The University of Chicago
> _______________________________________________
> INDOLOGY mailing list

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