I know God is not the greatest for an individual. There are some other persons who are even greater than God Himself like: Guru, Father and Mother. All three are considered greater than God.

As per my knowledge which I learned from TV serial Devo ke Dev Mahadev. In one of its episode when Shiva first meets Ganesha then He asks Ganesh that What you know about importance of Father and Mother. Then Shree Ganesh replied, my Mother told me that 3 persons matter the most in life. They are Guru, Father and Mother. Guru is greater than God Himself because God gives us life but Guru is the one who makes this life meaningful by educating us.

[ As per my understanding by these wordings, it's same as the mother who raises us is greater than the mother who gives birth to us. Here God gives birth but Guru helps us to raise our knowledge so that we can make this life successful. So Guru is greater than God. ]

But, As per the serial: Father is even greater than Guru. One father is consider as equal to 100 Gurus. But Mother's place is even higher than Father, Even greatness of 100 fathers can't match the greatness of single Mother. Hence Mother is greater than all.

So this was Shree Ganesh's reply to Mahadev's question. As per this message, no one is greater than mother. And no service (seva) is greater than Mother's service (seva). That's why it is used to say that heaven is situated in mother's feet. This means one can easily get heaven if he gives his services to Mother's feet.

But one said to me that as per shastras, Guru is greater than all. This message of him is directly conflicting with my understanding.

So who is the greatest? A Mother Or A Guru?


I am getting some different kind of answer. So let me ask with an example.

As per Great Saint Kabir....

गुरू गोविन्द दोऊ खड़े, काके लागूं पांय।
बलिहारी गुरू अपने गोविन्द दियो बताय।।

Means If Guru and Lord both is standing in front of you then whose feet you will touch first? In that case as per Saint Kabir, we must do pranam to Guru first, after Guru we should bow in front of lord. And What I am asking is, If Mother and Guru is standing in front of you then one should do pranam to whom first? What you suggest on this?

  • 2
    "na mAtu daivatam param" ; "na gurOradhikam" :-) It is not mutually exclusive unless you have taken sanyasa. Then the answer is guru.
    – user1195
    May 29, 2017 at 15:53
  • 1
    @AnuragSingh I don't follow. What is material mother? And who said this and in what context?
    – user1195
    May 29, 2017 at 16:03
  • 1
    @Rishabh "Mother is greater than 100 Father, Father is greater than 100 Guru" - this is just a mind-wowen statement. This might not even be in our Shastras.
    – user9392
    May 29, 2017 at 16:08
  • 1
    @AnuragSingh But in our shastras Mother is consider as first Guru. So Mother is our first Guru, so definitely she is greatest since she is mother as well as guru also. On google I found this article. Read this and let me know what you think about it.
    – Vishvam
    May 29, 2017 at 16:40
  • 1
    In Vyadha Gita, Vyadha(butcher) is a brahm gyani and he gets this brahm gyan just by doing seva of his parents.
    – Rudra
    Apr 28, 2021 at 2:35

5 Answers 5


Mother, Father, Teacher and Guest all should be given same respect. Because they play important role at different stages of our life. Taittiriya Upanishad, Chapter 11 convey the same.

मातृदेवो भव । पितृदेवो भव । आचार्यदेवो भव । अतिथिदेवो भव ॥ ४ ॥

  1. Treat thy mother as a God; as a God treat thou thy father; as a God shalt thou treat thy teacher; thy guests as Gods shalt thou treat.

But as you are looking for the order of reverence, so Manu Smriti, Chapter 2 has your answers. According to this the order is Mother > Father > Teacher.

The teacher (akarya) is ten times more venerable than a sub-teacher (upadhyaya), the father a hundred times more than the teacher, but the mother a thousand times more than the father. (145)

The teacher, the father, the mother, and an elder brother must not be treated with disrespect, especially by a Brahmana, though one be grievously offended (by them). (225)

The teacher is the image of Brahman, the father the image of Pragapati (the lord of created beings), the mother the image of the earth, and an (elder) full brother the image of oneself. (226)

But again after some verses, teacher is glorified as supreme between these.

The father, forsooth, is stated to be the Garhapatya fire, the mother the Dakshinagni, but the teacher the Ahavaniya fire; this triad of fires is most venerable. (231)

He who neglects not those three, (even after he has become) a householder, will conquer the three worlds and, radiant in body like a god, he will enjoy bliss in heaven. (232)

By honouring his mother he gains this (nether) world, by honouring his father the middle sphere, but by obedience to his teacher the world of Brahman. (233)

  • Yes they all are respectful. But my question is different. Let's ask me through an example: You must have heard this "गुरू गोविन्द दोऊ खड़े, काके लागूं पांय। बलिहारी गुरू अपने गोविन्द दियो बताय।।" Means If Guru and Lord both is standing in front of you then whose feet you will touch first? In that case as per Saint Kabir, we must do pranam to Guru first, after Guru we should bow in front of lord. And What I am asking is, If Mother and Guru is standing in front of you then one should do pranam to whom first? What you suggest on this?
    – Vishvam
    May 30, 2017 at 16:03
  • 3
    @Rishabh You should bow to your mother first. If there is no mother, you wouldn't be born and get an opportunity to get a guru. So you should seek mother first. Jun 1, 2017 at 16:15

So who is greatest? A Mother Or A Guru?

There is no need to start a race here. Guru , father and mother all should be respected like God.

However the scriptures always give more importance to the Guru.

Manu Smriti 2.146. Of him who gives natural birth and him who gives (the knowledge of) the Veda, the giver of the Veda is the more venerable father; for the birth for the sake of the Veda (ensures) eternal (rewards) both in this (life) and after death.

Manu Smriti 2.147. Let him consider that (he received) a (mere animal) existence, when his parents beget him through mutual affection, and when he was born from the womb (of his mother)

Manu Smriti 2.148. But that birth which a teacher acquainted with the whole Veda, in accordance with the law, procures for him through the Savitri, is real, exempt from age and death

The above verses are self explanatory.

And, for mother we have the following verses from Usana's Smriti (which is among 18 major Smritis) :

Of all elderly persons, five are to be particularly [adored], viz., the father, the mother, the spiritual guide,, the teacher and the priest ; of them the first three are the foremost ;. and of them a mother is to be particularly adored

There is no Deity equal to mother ; there is no Guru (elder) equal to father ; there exists no return of their good offices. (Chapter 1)

So, both of them have supreme importance in our life but for some reason the scriptures always glorify the Guru a bit more.

  • But Mother is knows as the first Guru for a person. I heard it before and after searching on google I found that It is true that Mother is first Guru and hence Mother becomes greatest. Read this article and let me know your views about this.
    – Vishvam
    May 29, 2017 at 16:37
  • @Rishabh well i have given verses for u to see.. also all scriptures say the same thing about Guru. But that does not make mother an inferior Guru. All deserve equal respect.
    – Rickross
    May 29, 2017 at 17:27

Our parent's are our first gurus.They bring us to this world. Spiritual guru can lead us towards mukti or help us in achieving our goals of life. Our parents gives us the skills and knowledge of surviving this world ,they prepare us to live our life in such a way that we can walk towards mukti with the help of God & Guru.

Both parents play significant role and guru also plays his role.So everybody is important in their respective places , no one is superior than other. Thank you.


The question of the greatest appear when there is talking of two. When there are no others, who is greater?
All that is Brahman alone.

When there is only Brahman nothing else, then can there be possibility of differentiations? Lord Krishna asks us not to differentiate between friend & foe, what to talk about others? ( How is outside the scope of question)

That person who is equal to an enemy as well as a friend, also in honor or dishonor, impartial in cold, heat, happiness and distress, exempt from attachment, equipoised in praise or repute, contemplative before speaking,satisfied with whatever comes on its own accord, unattached to domestic life, fixed in determination and engaged in devotional service; such a one is very dear to Me. BG12.12-12.13

  • I have used word "Individual" in my question. That means, for a person's perspective, lets say me, For me who should be the greatest. If my Mother, Father and Guru are standing in front of me than whose feet should I touch first?
    – Vishvam
    May 30, 2017 at 9:11

I came through the whole blog. As per my knowledge we can take 1000s of births on this planet but, achieve nothing unless we reach the mukthi sthithi. Mother is of course great but, what if you don't realise the truth. So, I say guru is ever revered. I heard that mother and son relation is per one or two births but, guru shishya relation is eternal... Bowing to some one first then other may be a matter when they are infron of us but, guru smrithi is the one we have to ever have in our mind. You may bow to your mother when she is there but, we have to be in Guru Smriti all the times. Some one said mother is the first guru. But, what ever she teach us can help in excell in this materialistic world. And in that case we may have hundreds of gurus in our life. But the actual Guru is one who sets us free to achieve the eternal bliss or Mukthi..

  • As per Hindu scriptures, Father and mother has bigger status than Actual Guru for us. WHY is that...? Because, you can get Moksha knowledge from guru only because of your parents. They gave birth to you, raised you and feed you. If your parents didn't had perform their duty then towards us then one cannot even live. In other words, one becomes eligible to get moksha knowledge from Guru only coz of their parents who raised their children. Else what a child alone can do after coming from womb of his mother. One can live without Guru but its impossible to live without parents who raised us.
    – Vishvam
    Jun 7, 2021 at 14:55
  • 1
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    Jun 7, 2021 at 16:42

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