Once a city was over flooded and the river-water left its bank limits. So many lives were in danger. A circus manager and proprietor engaged not only his whole staff but also elephants. All worked day and night. The proprietor was giving detailed orders and instructions. It was a terribly tiring work. He saved so many lives and so much of merchandise. Naturally he could keep up his sustaining heroic power only with alcohol. He was standing for hours together in the Sun, getting into waters. He had spread no pains. He had risked his life. What about the religious response and recognition? The Founder heard of his drunkenness and frequent drinking and his being condemned as a drunkard twenty times more than of his bravery, service and sacrifice. That is how people understand Religion and how they have been taught Religion.
They cannot forgive him, his drinking, while he was saving lives after lives. Popular religion does not go beyond worshipping the gadi-patis of religious rich temples, prostrating before Gyanis in fat-fed Ashrams, enjoying prasads, and hearing or talking about philosophical teachings of Atma-Paramatma-subtleties.
To have both, the spirit of service and sacrifice, and yet the complete observance of the religious requirements as understood by people is surely most commendable. That is what these idealists insist on. But if both don’t go together, Service and Sacrifice should not go altogether unrecognized as nothing. Mai-ism wants such a misunderstood notion about Religion to go. There are two extremities. One of a religious class to whom drinking as in this case is more hideous and unforgivable, even when having to do such a gigantic and risky task. The other extremity is that of an entirely irreligious class. Mai-ism wants service to humanity being recognised as not simply a good and praise-worthy act, humanity but a fully religious act, as good as feeding Brahmins or performing a Laksha-Chandi. Here lies the difference of one type of religiosity and the other, and this is one of the main arguments mainly put forth by youngsters who have left religion, in their defense. It is not ” everything same “, to call a certain act as, “merely good ” and as ” surely religious”. The difference is this. In a religious act, God’s-Grace-propitiation and return are guaranteed. The idea of voluntariness is aptly substituted by that of a religious duty. The difference is to them alone who want to modulate and regulate their lives as per beliefs requirements and notions stated to be religious or otherwise. Mai-ism most emphatically says that Selfless service with nothing-sparing sacrifice and without any expectation of even the faintest recognition, is as religious and Mother-propitiating as Mother-worship, prasad-distribution, Mantra-repetition, etc., if not more. Who is dearer to you, if you are hungry, one who without a word prepares toilingly a dish for you and holds it before you? or one who sits in front of you reciting your praises up to the skies??
AUTHOR : MAI SWARUP MAI MARKAND