Meaning: noun: Mother.
ਮੇਰਾ ਮਾਤ ਪਿਤਾ ਹਰਿ ਰਾਇਆ॥
ਕਰਿ ਕਿਰਪਾ ਪ੍ਰਤਿਪਾਲਣ ਲਾਗਾ ਕਰੀਂ ਤੇਰਾ ਕਰਾਇਆ॥
meraa maat pitaa hari raa-i-aa.
kar kirpaa pratipaalaṇ laagaa kareeṅ teraa karaa-i-aa
O Divine King! You are my mother and father. Through Your grace, You cherish me, and I do what You make me do.
– Guru Arjan Sahib, Guru Granth Sahib, 626
Message: The devotees also look upon the Divine as their parent, guardian, cultivating feelings of a child’s love and affection towards their parents.
Children adore their parents. They have complete faith and trust in their parents. Parents are our saviours, our providers and our guardians. We owe our existence to our parents and we are raised to be strong individuals through their nourishing care and love. We absorb the virtues and values our parents pass on to us.
In the same way, we are the children of the Divine Parent. We are nothing without Him as our reins are in His hand. He provides for and takes care of His children. By adopting a childlike attitude, we feel safe and protected in the Divine sanctuary. We also aspire to do what is acceptable to the Divine.
Etymology: From Sanskrit maataa/maatri/maatrikaa (mother) → Pali maataa.
Its modern forms are Punjabi maa/maaee, Lahndi maaṅ/maaee (woman/mother) and Sindhi maaee (respectful address to a woman) → from Prakrit maayaa/maai.
Comparable to Assamese maau, Bengali/Gujarati/Oriya maai and Bhojpuri/Awadhi/Hindi/Marathi maaee (mother).