1 . The Founder of Mai-ism and President of the Mother's Lodge (Mai Mandal), MAI SWARUP MAI MARKAND ( Rao Saheb M.R. Dholakia, L.C.E.) began his devotion of the Hindoo Mother since his tender age of twelve. He began his Sadhana from the very first rung of the ladder, with shouting in solitudes, " Mother ! Tell me , dost Thou exist or not ?" at that young age in Petlad, his native place in Gujerat, near Cambay.
2 . He had proof of Mother's existence by being saved from the attack of two robbers on his way home from that place of solitude to that of his home, one night, though the intervention of a tall fearful woman. She walked over between the boy and the robbers for a few furlongs till the boy was safe near the outskirts of his village. Most wonderfully, the same terrible black woman disappeared in the air immediately after the boy's safety.
3 . The incident did not go beyond creating a suspicion and a wonder, but at least the idea of the possibility of the existence of God, deities, angels, spirits, other worlds, etc., took its roots. It took three years of strong devotion of Jagadamba Kali and Chamunda (one after another, in his own place, but more and more distant and desolate) to make the boy ripened enough to have an undoubtful belief about existence through the second incident mentioned here below.
4 . The boy in a busy crowd in Ahmedabad was shoutingly warned by a dog-cart driving European pair, to be aside. The boy failing, the European took off his long whip, determined to beat the boy out. The merciless man however lost the grip of the whip, the whip encircled the foot of the horse and the dogcart fell to the ground. The boy, terribly afraid, ran away from the crowd and tremblingly concealed himself in Bhadra Kali temple corner, the nearest safest place.
5 . With his whole frame shattered, the boy had the very night a dream in which the whole scene of accident repeated itself and ended with the daily repeated question, "Mother! dost Thou exist or not?". The Mother (The Bhadra Kali Image), in the dream, answered, "I DO NOT EXIST". The boy asked, "Who then is speaking?". Mother then smilingly asked, "Whom Then are you asking this question, tiring me and yourself for the last over three years?".
6 . The boy got confidence about the existence of God at the age of 15. He began to believe it was the intervention of Kali that had saved him from robbers. The boy was busy trying to secure God's grace and recognition as devotee through devotion to any of the usually worshipped Hindu deities, viz. Rama, Shiva, Krishna and others. He was however, as it were, passed on by one deity to another without retention till, with full despondency, he concluded, MATAJI alone would accept him, he being worthless for any of all other deities. To cheer himself up, he would say with a sorrowful laughter, "How can other deities misappropriate the property of a particular deity, if it has been owned for past so many lives?".
7. The conception of Hindu Devi or Matajee is that of sternness, terror, and destructivity though united with benignity and mercifulness and everything-asked-givingness and all-desires-fulfillingness. Even today, it is more or less the same, with Hindus, who have not come in touch with Mai-ism. Matajee is Hinduistic (restricted to Hindus alone) and She is personification of Power (all Powers of all types from the lowest to the highest). Mai or Maijee is Universal and a Personification of Mother, God Himself as Mother and not God's Power. With Hindu-Matajee, the relationship of the devotee and the deity is that of the demander and donor of powers leading to general happiness, success, rulership, controllership, victoriousness, infatuatingness, etc. The relationship with Mai is that of a mother and child. Matajee is mostly a goddess of fear and power, whereas Maijee is the Goddess of parental love and permanent welfare. Except the common element of the feminine sex, the conception of Matajee and Maijee are entirely different and dis-similar, if not contradictory. To put it in the usual Hindu scriptural language, Matajee, as mostly believed by Hindus, is the Tamasik aspect, whereas Maijee is the purest Sattvik aspect. Mai-ism is working hard for the past over 18 years, (i.e. since 2-9-1932), to transform the Tamasik belief about the Mataji to the Sattwik, to change the idea of fear into that of love, to raise the notion of Maya, Power and Consortship, to that of Motherhood, to broaden the Hinduistic restricted notion and vision to the Universal one, and to reduce hundreds of things stated in the name of Religion to only six tenets of Mai-ism.
8. If Hindus today have modified their beliefs about the conception of Matajee and have begun to have the stabilised conception of a mother to the son instead of a Demon-destroyer (as Mahisha-Mardini), that is attributable in a large measure to Mai-ism. The improvement in the Hinduistic conception is the founder's heart-filling reward. The yet higher reward he has already attained from Mai, in the shape of Mai's Grace and Mercy and a fairly good success in establishing Mai-ism.
9. The mention of this distinction becomes indispensable here as otherwise it would not be realised how much terror-stricken the boy was at the idea that none of the Sattvik deities as Shiva, Rama or Krishna had accepted him and that on the other hand he was so much favoured and cared for by Matajee, the most prominent feature of whose traditional mythology was the destruction of the Demons and terrible fighting in the battle-fields. Her appearance itself with so many life-destroying weapons would make one fully afraid, shuddered and terror-stricken. The boy had none of the requirements of a fearful sadhana. He was too tender and even timid for the worship and devotion of the deity that can be best propitiated in the cremation-grounds and in the darkest nights. As it is so very habitual with and true of the world with regard to every reform or discovery or invention in any matter, the world has not been grateful and has not appreciated or observed or noted the wholesome overhauling change of transformation from the conception of a "Power" to a "Mother" achieved on the preaching of Mai-ism at every possible opportunity, by the Founder, practically for his whole life.
10. The boy, then eighteen, was shuddering at the idea of being a devotee of a terrible deity on the one hand, but on the other he believed, he was only living the life of merely a two-footed animal of desires, impulses and chances, without the protection of any deity or God, especially after being convinced about the existence of God, deities, the other world, invisible help, etc., - a kind of life that was the greatest folly for any man.
11. He invented a way from this "scylla and charybdis" position. Said he, " Let me cast the gambler's throw. I will perform hundred repetitions of Saptashati. If Matajee accepts me as Her son with no displeasures, no freaks, no fears, no terrible wrathfulness and no vengeance for consciously or unconsciously done offences, I become Hers. Otherwise, I live my life as an atheist or an agnostic, with all goodness, morality, broadmindedness, fellow-feeling, etc. : but thereafter, no "humbug" of religiosity and other goal of life except to be eating, drinking, and dying merrily, happily, indifferently and enjoying life in every possible moral and innocent manner.
12. At eighteen, he began the experiment. On thirty repetitions, he had a telegram, at Poona, where he was studying in Engineering College, from his maternal uncle, who was the Revenue Collector of the Baroda State, at Mehsana, near Ahmedabad. It was about his mother's illness and asking him to start immediately. On the very railway station, where his uncle had come to receive him, the former received a telegram from Baroda Government to immediately proceed to Bahucharaji Matajee (the Second most popular Goddess worshipped in Gujarat) as the Revenue Collector of the district and to do certain arrangements. The young lad was taken directly to the place, as his mother had become fairly all right, as soon as he had started from Poona, by Mother;s Grace. The illness was a pretext utilised by mother to force him to come down, as he had determined not to leave Poona, although all students had left in their vacation. He had refused going home, as he was determined to finish the experiment at the same place, without any break or interruption. There, in the temple, the boy was given an assurance by Matajee in a dream that She would be to him purely and unadulteratedly a loving and living mother. He returned to Poona full of hair-erect bristling joys.
13. Since that day, supernatural and occult powers of prediction and blessing which were inherent in him from the very childhood became more effective, intense and acute. He could bring two persons at daggers drawn going to a criminal court for cross suits, to be friends in a two hours' talk. Once he wanted 63 rupees (his M. O. not arriving at proper time from parents before the last date of college fees payment). He prayed at 9 P.M. and at 11 P.M. he had a heap of about Rs. 800 because the Bengali and Gujerati quarters took a fright at 10 P.M. - (there were some robbers preparing to loot the quarters from behind, seen gathered on the desolate railway lines). Though a big cipher in drawing (the most essential subject in Engineering), his drawings to be finally examined with marks-giving at the annual University examination would be prepared by the best students with the full permission and cognition of the very supervisors and even the Principal. Once Matajee dictated to him, the whole of the chemistry paper the previous night (preparation method of iodine, etc.).
14. The dullest boy was the happiest. He was a voracious reader but he was more of a mathematician, a poet, a thinker, a philosopher and a songster, than an engineer, by his very birth. What did he care after he had Mother's protection? His repeated failures in spite of his hardest work trained him to realise nothingness of himself and life and left no drop of charmfulness about life with all its varied pleasures. He ceased to be a responsible actor of the world and became a superficial spectator of his own life, allowing it to be drifted as Mother desired according to his past Karmas, with nothing as the goal of his life, at such a tender age, - usually full of follies and passions, spirits and storms.
15. At twenty-two, he had the most calamitous, and yet the final hardest, hammer under which he would have succumbed, but for Mother;s Grace. He happened to read Yoga-Vasistha and Vedantism, that terrible teaching of "AHAM BRAHMA ASMI", and his head turned. His intellect got clouded with the controversy of the new teaching. He thought he was all along under a delusion and pitiable victim of a huge cheat by MATAJI, the Maya deity. He threw away his deities, picture, scriptural Sapthasati, wooden seat, worshipping materials and vessels in the river Mula-Mutha-Sangam, behind his living place. He changed his course from devotion (Bhakti) to Divine Knowledge (Jnana). He began repeating "AHAM BRAHMA ASMI" day and night, and interviewed so many religious teachers on the subject.
16. Although the world, or at any rate India, has been spiritually and religiously degenerating day-to-day, the greatest advantage of India's contact with the West was a much clearer understanding of Hindus' own religion and much broader intellectual and social vision. We now have remained no longer ignorant. We are what we are today or any moment, with full knowledge of what we are; negative illiteracy and ignorance have disappeared. Wherever positive wickedness has appeared, it is with fullest consciousness and understanding about the nature and result of every wicked thought, word and action. People have been rather more rebellious against God, religion and divine laws, than ignorant about them. They have been too much trusting their scheming intellect and worldly efficiency and are determinedly busy over flouting the Divine laws. People are what they are, with their eyes open and their hearts and hands fully cognisant of everything connected with them. There is very little like ignorance now, even in distant-most village corners.
I am referring to this to make people realise that some decades ago Divine knowledge and Devotion were at daggers drawn. It is now that things have changed and religious teachers have accepted the policy of harmonizing both. Past religious history surely testifies to this oft-repeated, standing perpetual conflict. The Jnana and Bhakti conflict has now disappeared because the mass has been indifferent to religion itself and the rich class people, who are mostly Vaishnavas, want devotional out-flowings of the Vaishnavic type, which are easier and more pleasant things for practical people, the less literate mass and especially ladies (who in this age are better financial helpers and more sympathetic to Religion) than sordid monotonous monistic talks. The Advaitists have seen that unless they equally appreciate and preach devotion, their popularity and maintenance of Ashrams would be an impossibility. For such among other reasons, began the commencement of the happy union of devotion and divine knowledge, very many years after the event under description (viz.. the boy's mental derangement). The huge horror of general irreligiosity accompanied with materialistic and individualistic tendencies was also responsible for bringing about the happy union under the fears of a common enemy. That deprecating manner of saying, "Devotion is just only a stepping stone", which has now disappeared, was then at its highest shouting pitch. It is only now very recently that Sanyasees and Yogis and Karma Margis all have gradually pitched their tents in the open airy yellow lawns of devotion. That preaching of oneness of Atma and Paramatma, that idea of inferiority of devotion and deities, that sophistry about the fruitlessness or unreality or the delusion of the Universe and all allied teachings, so very forceful then, were more than overpowering for the young boy of twentytwo who had seen nothing of the world, in its true natural colours.
17. The young boy had never had to pass through a more terrible time. He experienced that, as a result of his faithless desertion of Mother, the whole world had changed to be worse or him. Even his best friends and relations disliked, displeased and deserted him. No solace, no consoling word, no happy night, no soothing idea, no kind relative, no pleasure, no relieving feature, no miraculous powers, no happy meditations, no devotional effusions, no good lucks. The whole world was, as it were, spitting on him with a contempt on dethronement. He could not bear, undergo and survive the punishments of the change. The disastrous results were much more terrible than can be described. His morality, goodness, character, religiosity all stood before him, threatening him with leaving him as a corpse. the fire of ill-treatment of the world, his own self-contempt on gold of his self turning to base brass, and the scorching in the hot furnace of repentance as a result of having deserted Mother's protection, the contrast of his faculties before and after, all led him to the highest desperation. One day, in Petlad, he tore off his garments and sacred-thread, threw off his shirt and dhoti and cap in the street and ran away from the house as one determined to mend or end his life, to be a Sanyasin, or to commit suicide. What might have been the climax of his sorrow, disappointment and disgust of life and world, at twentytwo, can be better imagined than described. He was however caught by his most revered father who ran after him with all the force he can command in the street, weeping and shouting on losing his son, and by his mother, weeping and madly running after the father. He was brought home and kept confined in a room for a week and greatly smoothened and solaced by the parents. After a promise not to be a Sanyasin, he was permitted to return to Poona for studies. His mother with tears in her eyes said, "You have never been telling a lie. You never break your promise. If you are determined to be a Sanyasin, first stab me and then go. If you wish that I may live, promise me, you will not leave home."
It was this promise the remembrance of which, along with the whole scene and accident, was fresh in the Founder's mind for years together, which after so many oscillations, did not leave him undisturbed and easy, whenever he got the idea of taking Sannyasa, especially when he was possessed with the idea, that was necessary and perhaps indispensable for the intense propaganda of Mai-ism. That is so for the main reason that it is mostly the brown robe and the tonsured head that sets religious Hindus a-thinking most seriously, concentratedly, reverentially and sympathetically, on the subject of Religion and Religious Reformation. There was often such a violent tug and pull from both sides with their respective battalions of pros and cons, that he was unable to decide what was best, in the interest of his mission. The Founder then satisfied himself with leaving matters to take place as Mother finally willed and with the remembrance of the incident and the promise he had given to his dearest mother, years before.
18. One idea alone, about his greatest ungratefulness to the Mother who had been protecting him all along, and without whose protection what the world would be to him, he had experienced and realised, that one monomania seized him. This one idea acted like the most violent attack of an unbearable shock. He decided to drown in the very same river unless Mother reaccepted him. In the midst of the excruciating pains he got an imaginary idea like a lightning in the darkest cloudy night, "Will not Mother save me? Will She not tell me She has reaccepted me?". All this was a matter of few hours, before determination and preparation for action. He went to commit suicide in the river. He ran towards the river water depth with a speed which he had never before used. Just then, he was caught in the sweetest trans-heavenly Embrace of Mother - The Visible, The Infatuatingly Beautiful Mother. She admonished him strongly never to be so reckless and senseless in future and assured him he was never disowned by Her, although his head had turned. Not only that, but She told him, She was carrying him through certain experiences, which were indispensable. Mother knew his fickle-mindedness and did the preventive needful. Retracing to his room, he expressed to himself, though most stealthily, wishing none to know it, not even his own mind to hear him, his inmost suspicion, (the devil of a suspicion), which proved his greatest ungratefulness even after Mother had been merciful enough by saving him from committing suicide. He asked to himself, "What did I see?, What did I hear?". Is this all not a mental derangement? Is this all not a false vision because of a mental despair? (This Maya-created doubting, though most temporary, does not leave even the highest man till he attains salvation). Mother had anticipated this and She had kept the answer ready to convince him of Her embrace and Her Word and Her Promise.
19. Most surprisingly, on opening the room, he saw the very same deity picture, the very same scriptural book of Saptashati, the very same wooden seat, the very same worshipping articles at the very same place as they were and where they were before, the very same things which he had thrown away in the river with contempt, about six weeks before.
20. From this moment onwards, he linked himself with and rivetted himself to the Mother. His conception then was a Hinduistic one, viz., that of Power (Shakti) although with the additional personally secured concessional advantage of Mother's protection to him as Her son. That was however just as a lioness has her love to her cub though not without devouring ferocity. He had no special attachment to a particular aspect of Hindu Mataji as Amba, Kali, Bahucharajee, Chamunda or Bhawani. They were not different realities to him even then. As his final conclusion then went, these were only different names and forms of one and the same reality of MATAJI, Shakti (Power), the final most Power (Shakti), assuming different situations, different goals and different purposes. The word " Mataji ", apparently meaning " Mother " was however to him, an honorific name for a feminine sex deity, with no conception of a mother-and-child relationship for one and all devotees. In a word, he had not risen above the centuries-old Hindu Shakti conception, and had absolutely no conception of Mai. The form that he saw as embracing him had nothing special to characterise Her as any of these five aspects. She was not in any of Her above adopted forms. She had human-like only two arms and no weapons. The dazzling light and crown halo around the celestial face, with the forward spreading glamour (as of a searchlight) was there. She was in Her Natural form, of the whole Universe-running-Divine-Mother, a burnished gold-coloured Divine fascinating Female Figure, which immediately convinced him about who She was.
EXTRACT FROM THE BOOK : MAI-ISM [ 777 NOTES, 734 PAGES ]
AUTHOR : MAI SWARUP MAI MARKAND [ EDITIONS : 1952 & 2007 ]
PUBLISHED AND PRINTED BY : UNIVERSAL MAI-ISM TRUST, SARASWATI ROAD END, SANTA CRUZ [ WEST ], MUMBAI 400054 INDIA.
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