84. Here the Founder was dangerously ill and had to be operated upon and to remain as indoor patient of the Government hospital. He had wonderful experiences of Mother's Grace in the hospital which have been narrated in the Mai Sahasra Nam and Mai Kirtan Mala. In one word, Mother Herself attended by two female deity assistants appeared before the Founder every night for three consecutive nights, untied the bondage, cast a benedictory glance which removed all the pains and tied up the bandage and disappeared with a fortitude-pouring look. This incident got a great popularity as another patient (one Thakore, the precious inmate in the same specially reserved ward room) on the night the Founder was taken there, actually saw Mother alone entering the door and immediately leaving after seeing the Founder in unconsciousness. He broadcasted the wonderful experience next day to the vast number of his own visitors.
This wonderful experience has been described in Mai Sahasranama, Vol I, Part II, Page 122, as also in Gujerati Mai Kirtanmala, as a commentary to the Founder's psalm "Hasane Hasane Wali". "The Smiling (Mother) and the Maker (of Her devotees) to smile." The Founder was burning with a rage against Mother because She discontinued Her attendance after three nights, for the simple reason that while She was removing his bandage to heal, he had the human weakness of no confidence and had moved his hand over his open parts to make sure he was not in a delusion. As soon as it became possible for him to be able to crawl without any outside help, his first work was to drag himself slowly in sitting posture to the Mother's picture in his solitary on patient's ward-room. Right from 10-30 p.m. to 5-30 a.m., he was profusely weeping and giving most provocative and insulting names and accusations to the dearest Mother, in the highest spirit of love indicated by the torrents of tears, and yet in the bitterest quarreling mood.
He pierced arrows. "What can I expect from the daughter of a stony-hearted mountain? You cannot excuse one single human weakness? Why did you come at all to heal me, if you are so very touchy and to take no time to make any the smallest thing to mean a grave offence? Who had called you? You are not a Mother, but a demoness of Maya that creates and swallows up Her own children. From the Delusion-Creator, what happiness the world can possibly derive? Were it not for Thee, there would have been nothing like a Universe and nothing like millions rolling in miseries. They are the happiest who know nothing of Thee, or if by chance they happen to know, who spurn Thee out. You get only the weakest and most docile men in Thy clutches. Has any one in Thy clutches been made happy by Thee?? Absolutely none. If Thou art so very spiteful, mind, I will also take revenge. When Thou art full of love-surges for me, I too will evade Thee and run away, etc."
His blaming, accusing, quarreling, all-along-weeping profusely and bowing to the Lotus Feet again and again while abusing, continued right upto the morn when cocks began to crow and birds to chirp and milkmen began to run on their bikes on the public roads.
Just then, Mother Herself in living and moving form sprang forth and stood before him and spoke most wrathfully thus: " Blame, Scold; Accuse, Abuse ; but from this second without a single drop of tear. If one drop any more now falls, I am never never never Thine and Thou art never never mine." And with these words She disappeared.
This most inconceivable ultimatum gave him a heart stop. A wonderful compulsory change. A change indescribable. he feared, he may even just die of heart failure and die to be born a permanently abandoned and discarded soul, expelled from Her. The very first speediest precautionary thing that his soul so very speedily decided, climbed and sprang to, was the humblest and highest apologetic praise line.
" Oh Mother! Hasane Hasane Hasane Wali. Oh my Ever Smiling and ever making-to-smile Mother!!!" He prostrated with a determination never to get up till Mother raised him or permitted to rise.
" Thou that art always smiling, and always keeping Thy devotees smiling". First thing he laughed an artificial laughter that thundered throughout the room. From the mind and moment of the deepest lamentation and sorrow, to that of the highest laughter, though artificial. Raising a spiritual " Maginot line" of self-surrender against Mother's permanently leaving him, catching the Lotus Feet preventing them to go away, with the most piteous invocation for pity and pardon. From the scorching heat, to the freezing cold.
Mother be thanked, the heart glass did not crack due to extremes, as one doctor said.
He continued the further lines of his song, most fondlingly. MUZE KYA KHABAR? MERI SATH TU BHI ROTHI HAI, " How can I imagine? that with me, Thou too art weeping??"
" MEN SAMAZTA ROOLAKE TU MERE PAPA DHOTI HAI. "I was all along under the belief that you are busy with washing off my sins by making me weep."
I am wrong, blunderful. Please excuse, I assure Thee. Not a single drop shall now fall. Why should I, the dearest of child of Thee, weep when the whole world has begun smiling (at dawn at 5-30 A.M.)?
"Hasale Hasale Rulaya Bhulaja, Sab Hasa Rahe Teri Alammen." "Oh Mother!! Thou Smile. Make me Smile. My having made Thee to weep, Forget and Forgive. All have been smiling now (at the dawn), in Thy Universe."
"Oh dearest Most Merciful Mother!! Thou art the very embodiment of smile. I am laughing now; you too laugh."
85. The forces for the spread of Mai-ism were gathering ground. In 1935, the Founder came in contact with late Brother Kantilal Desai a truly religious gentleman greatly fond of living with and serving saints and late Rev. Bro. Kaushikram Mehta. The latter was a man of highly scriptural lore, a Sanskrit scholar and a writer and a highly religious man of the old Sanatan school with a sense of moderation and tolerance superior to that of the usual Sanatanists. The latter, as he so often expressed in his lectures and writings, tested the Founder in so many ways, like the gold in the fire, for over a year, studying him, in and out, in every aspect of his life and in his every dealing with others and in his relationship with Mother Mai.
86. He was much older than the Founder. By his personal natural inclinations, he was a devotee of Jagadamba (Hindoo Mother) and of a purely Sanatanist type- (a Nagar of Surat born with high class relations). Religiously he was one of the few nearest disciples of Shri Narsinhacharya. To accept the Founder as a personage deserving to be followed required a great deal of consideration proof and conviction about the supreme quality of this strange new planet rising on the horizon of Religion.
87. To all appearances and commonsense, Mai-ism or Founder's teachings were entirely different and contradictory to Hinduism. "No prohibition to Harijans in Mai worship" was something which was sure to upset any Sanatanist and ordinary average Hindu (in 1935). Once a large meeting was to be held for which Bhadra Kali big hall on River Sabarmati at Elis bridge was sought to be employed. The answer given by the authorities was, "We know Markandbhai (Founder) as a great devotee who has personal relations with Matajee, but his views are entirely eccentric, He would allow even Harijans to attend Mai worship. If he undertakes to put a poster "Harijans are not allowed" they (authorities) would be extremely glad to give their hall free not only once but every week for Mai Worship". There were so many points of prejudice against the Founder's views which made it hard for him to be immediately popular attractive and acceptable in a routinely religious place like Ahmedabad, containing many Hindu Maths and Ashrams. The greatest point which all the thinking and judging people have to bear in mind while making conclusions about the Founder and Mai-ism is that he was not for pulling the same old Hindu cart in the same direction in the same beaten track with the same type of people, with same notions, beliefs and customs in the same way, (only with greater speed). He was for a change in the prevalent mentality, for an improvement, for a revision of one's own beliefs, and for a new outlook and a new mode of achieving religious progress. Another thing which was a matter of prejudice against the Founder was that he was not raising the glory of Geeta, Hinduism and Vedas to the skies especially when he was utilising the Hindu truths in all his lectures. He did of course so very often state that Mai-ism was indebted to Hinduism or was revised Hindu-ism with a more correct understanding and more sincere following of Hinduism itself. But that was not enough for them who identified their religiosity with their own knowledge of sacred lores doing some little of routine and the tom-tom of the greatness of their religion. In a word, the " Universality of Mai-ism " was a contradiction to the " Nothing so great and sublime as Hinduism" of an average typr of Hindu. People of Ahmedabad loved religious pampering. " Is there any Harishchandra in any other religion? Show us." There will be a thunderstorm of claps and cheers. Their own blood-sucking black-marketing of the present day should not be in sight, or refered to as being quite irrelevant. " What has that to do with Religion??," an average blackmarket man astonishingly asks to himself.
88. The Founder soon found that Ahmedabad was not a city of cosmopolitan population or mood or culture, like Bombay or Poona. The continuation of the Poona type of meetings of all shades of religious deliberations and discussions was soon found to be an impossibility. People were too busy to have anything to do with or any time to spare for religious deep-thinking or discussion. Religion was something of a routine to be honoured and followed so long as it did not come in the way of a happy easy and any-way quick money-making life; something to be boasted about, something to be tom-tommed as a point of greatness or something like a happy pastime during leisure hours. Pampering people would procure palaces, places and purses for preachers. Of course, the mass was much better informed about the sacred lore and stories and traditional illustrations than the average Gujerat, but the whole atmosphere was surcharged with moneymaking mania and none the smallest wear and tear for any one else except wife and children, without some selfish purpose to serve. The religious liking of the mass was of a much superior order but of an out and out routine nature, as compared to other places. Citizens of Ahmedabad were known for their business, richness and religious charities (only to their select gurus and Saints; others can be even fleeced without the smallest conscience-prick). There was very little of profundity, free-thinking and universal outlook and nothing like a passion for religiosity which we find in other cities in Gujerat as for instance in Surat. This is what the Founder saw in Ahmedabad. He tried to get the sympathies of some Parsees and some Mohammedans and some Jains to try to form a cosmopolitanic institute of the Poona type. He tried his best to bring about different sons and daughters of different religions together and to concentrate their attention to the need of creating oneness as children of the same Universal Mother. He had the sympathies of two Muslim brothers Mr. Hakim and a Sufi gentleman Mr. A. G. Usman who had travelled over the Continent and who had written books, a Zoroastrian brother Mr. Meherjibhai Ratoora and a Sanatanist brother Mr. A.S. Ayengar, a learned follower of Shree Ramanujacharya, who had a universal outlook with every tolerance, though a Sanatanist, and was a high class Government Officer in Labour Department. The Founder started with a desire to create a society and to continue its own work on the same lines as at Poona. To put it in other words, to bring about a collection of people who were universal-minded, he wanted a congregation of various souls who would be believing in securing their welfare by fostering the spirit of sisterhood, brotherhood, and performing staunch devotion and living a life of love, service, devotion and self-surrender. He had not had the success in collecting together such souls, mostly for the reason that there were few and those few also not in favour of an Institutional activity. They wanted only personal relations with the Founder.
89. For a time it appeared as if Mai-ism work stopped with a dazzling streak of light and lightning at Poona, but Mai had intended to take a different turn to suit the circumstances. When practical, intellectual and ordinary worldly working fails, spirit has to work if progress and success is desired. It is here that the miraculousness acts its wonderful part, as it has often done in the case of all religious movements and religious Founders. When work, labour, money, logic, philosophy, intellectual exposition, or contractual or natural sympathy fails, such superior qualities as Faith, Sincerirty, Honesty of purpose, Spirit of service, God's Grace, Intensity, Ardour and Zest,- all are put to severe test. When what a man explains, does, or has done, fails to appeal, the subtler issue of what he actually is, inwardly as a soul itself, rises up in the minds of people demanding the satisfaction of a personal practical indisputable test. Surely that is a higher test. It is a test of inner qualities and supernatural powers and God's Grace.
90. There the Founder was string enough by Mai's Grace. Bro: Kantilal introduced the Founder to Rev. Kaushikram and the latter began to test the Founder on the spiritual plane; to see how far the Founder was Mother-enlightened and favoured or, in severe words, how far his Mai was at his beck and call. And here, many modern religious preachers have failed. An acid test. A spiritual and devotional test, not of spiritual richness, proficiency of words, logic or sweet manners, attractive features, gaudy colour dressing, etc.
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