Rajkumaree Mahadeo ‘Mama’
(Excerpt from 'The Heart of The Sun')
Rajkumaree Mahadeo was born on the 20th April 1932 to Sukhia and Sukhram, known to the rest of the family also as Ma and Pa. They had six children of whom Rajkumaree (Mama) was the eldest. Her siblings were Agamwatie, Mohanlall, Lookwanti, Roopnarine, and Bhoewatee.
Rajkumaree Mahadeo, known by all as ‘Mama’ was the emotional, magnetic force which held the family together through all the growing pains and occasional bickering of her five small children. She was the pivot point that supported the balancing act of her husband’s busy public life with that of her family needs. Her husband was the well known political figure and Arya Samaj priest Pt. Budhram Mahadeo who was always in demand by the public because of his influential, shrewd, and tactful ways in helping people. He loved helping others so much that he was willing to risk the stability of his understanding family.
Mama’s days were long and busy as she awoke early before sunrise to cook for her children before they left for school, after which she tended to the home vegetable garden in the backyard.
In the eyes of the neighboring villages, the family in the large house was rich and ‘well-off’, but that was far from the truth. Mama was the resourceful one who always found a way to, as she put it, ‘make ends meet’ or to make do with what she had. There were many days when, at that time unknown to her children, she went without a meal just so that everyone else in the family had enough to eat. Her husband, her two daughters, Vidya and Shanie and her three sons Vishwa, Jag and Yog were the focal point of her life and she made every effort to provide for them even if it meant sacrificing her own health. This totally unselfish behavior led to frequent bouts of migraine headache which she suffered through quietly.
Mama had no formal education but she was determined to learn more, so she spent any spare moment in her day with a book in hand trying to further her own education. She relied on this motivation to make sure that her children completed their homework and studied for their exams. She was determined to lead by example.
With this in mind, after a long, tiring day of weeding, forking the soil, raking, and planting, she sat diligently every night with her children to make sure that they did their homework. But as they learned, she did too. At the time, there was no electricity and all reading and homework was done by light of hand lanterns and kerosene ‘gas’ lamps which had to be pumped every ten minutes or so to keep burning. Along with academic studies she also taught herself to sing and to play the harmonium.
She is a caring, kind, and considerate person who knows not how to be harsh or mean. Mama exemplifies the perfect wife, mother, sister and daughter. Through her strength of character, she encouraged and influenced many of the decisions which her husband made in his life and was the towering strength behind his successes. She was also a great influence in the decisions her children made and would later make in their adult lives.
Mama took self development to new heights with her spiritual dedication and practice of meditation and communion with God. When people in the community approached her with their problems, she used her amazing ability in kindness, strength, love, perseverance, and her ever-calm demeanor to help them face the issues at hand. With this approach she helped them to resolve their problems in such a way that they would leave her home in a peaceful state of mind and a determination to take her advice to heart. She left with them the philosophical imprint of ultimate motherly love, for she saw everyone as her children.
Now, approaching her 80th year, she prefers to spend her days in peace and tranquility, lost in her practice of meditation and prayers, but with open arms for all those who may need her help or advice.
This is Rajkumaree Mahadeo, our mother, everyone’s Mama (mother) and a symbol of integrity, strength, love, and caring. Her heart is one of total selflessness for she, like her husband, hold true to the belief that the purpose of their lives is service to all of Humanity.