It has been the centuries-old mentality, to consider worldly-distress-relieving work to be a much inferior variety of religious work. The highest seat would be given to one who talks Geeta, Vedas, and Darshans; the next place would be given to the poor and humble Bhakta; the man who advises on practical life matters or helps people in distress is only Mr So and So.
Once a city was flooded; lives were in danger. A circus proprietor engaged his whole self; all worked day and night, it was a tiring work. The proprietor saved so many lives; he could keep his sustaining power only with alcohol. He was standing hours together in sun. What about the religious response and recognition? The Founder heard of his frequent drinking and his being condemned drunkard twenty times more than his bravery, service and sacrifice. To have both the spirit of service and sacrifice and its observance of religious requirements is surely most commendable. But if both don’t go together, Service and Sacrifice should not be unrecognized. Mai-ism wants service to humanity being recognized as not simply a praiseworthy act of humanity but a fully religious act. Mai-ism most emphatically says that selfless service with nothing -sparing sacrifice and without expectation of recognition is as religious and Mother-propitiating as Mother worship, Prasad distribution, Mantra repetition etc., if not more.
People lose their head when they think about religion. There are wrong judgments in religious matters. Beliefs, tendencies, likes and dislikes play a predominating part in the matter of religion. Unfamiliarity, unapproachability and mystic aloofness become an enchantment to some and a matter of dislike to others. Grandeur, impressive talks and congenial circumstances to forget the worries of worldliness create an imaginary heaven for some. For some others, a certain unhappy mentality spoils the whole picture. All these factors play an important part in all religious judgments. These factors create certain once-for-all impressions and prejudices which form the basis of all subsequent outlook. So many inherited and acquired factors and beliefs rush in and gave their colour to the whole vision. After all, what counts is one’s own individuality and stage of development and spiritual attainment. The very same religious person appears to some as Avatar, to some other as a maniac and to still some others as even a cheat.
People believe there can be no saintliness without certain externals and settled routine ways of living and stern unapproachability. Commonsense gets occluded and confused.
Whom to approach and with what mentality for one’s spiritual progress is a perplexing problem. There must be the initiation, the giving of Mantra and instructions and a particular program and a continued personal contact through visits, letters, dreams, visions etc.
The Founder’s mentality is this. God, Guru and Religion are going down and down day-to-day. People want relief from all their miseries and greater happiness of the type they conceive. Scripture’s teachings, rules and regulations have almost miserably failed. Let us then meet people on their own ground. The Founder has very funny experiences how people can be brought round to a recognition of religious living on being shown that their miseries can be and are removed by undertaking a certain religious process for removal of certain misery. When people get sickened about a religion because it is too old and shut their doors, its external color should be changed and it should be poured from the sky-roof holes. That is what a Mother and Mother’s religion alone would do, just as doctors do artificial feeding through injections.
Once the Founder was in the house of atheist as a guest. The landlord who was hospitable and courteous in every way, defiantly said he did not believe in religious thongs. Two days later, the pet son of the man fell dangerously ill. The boy surprise-fully said to his parents, ” I won’t be cured unless you worship Mai that has come to us and repeat Mantras which Baba dictates “. The man explained the situation to the Founder. Said the Founder,” It does not matter you have no faith. Your son has his full faith and that is more than enough. Do this thing for the sake of recovery of your son. We shall see at the end how long you are retaining your atheism.” The boy began to be speedily cured and the whole family become changed in the matter of their outlook on religion. Religion is now required to exhibited from home to home and man to man.
It is not that Nishkama Bhakti is not preached or held in higher reverence than Sakama Bhakti by the Founder. The fact of facts is the Founder has accepted ‘ Stooping to Conquer ‘, like a mother, as She is really the mother that has no hesitation to descend to the plane of Her children, when the latter is disabled to climb up the plane by plane to meet Her. This is what the Founder explains ‘ practical spiritual diplomacy ‘.
The Founder says,” Let there be any amount of Atheism, so long man has a body, he is sure to have physical sufferings, so long he has a heart, he is sure to have disquietude; so long he has desires he is sure to be in some pressing need. Where can the poor creature escape? How long can he run away? Truly capacious religious teachers have to develop their giving power and the world will remain in their fist with folded hands. Few are disbelievers about the existence of God, in their heart of hearts. Fewer are the believers of God that are not his beggars, and our talks about dealing with God are entirely dependent on how he keeps us. Except for few blessed, none wants God and religion but for their own self-interest. They do not love God. They love what God gives, money, wife, children, happiness, heaven, peace, bliss etc.; they are in fact not loving these things, in the absolute sense. They are loving only themselves. We can’t expect the world to be consisting of one and all on the highest plane of disinterested love. Let the animal-deity mixture with each one be only very gradually increased by truly religious persons to greater and greater strength of the Godliness element.
To be the master, one has first to serve as a servant. People have to be served in their own way. Create the feeling of gratitude and a confidence in you by numerous precedents of your having helped them. Mai-ism admits all legitimate moral and harmless desires and their satisfaction through Mai propitiation.
Secure the contact with a saint. That requires no particular rare fitness. Serve him. Remain with him as much as you can. He will introduce you to the Divine Power. That Power will give you Vision. Thereafter start the machinery of ‘ One’s self, One’s Guru, One’s God, One’s Guru, One’s self ‘ ad infinitum.
Carry the relief to the world and the world is yours. It will join you in the praises of Almighty. God is not hungry for your praises. Praising is a part of the remedies to help yourself for your own good. Study the situation most minutely, meditate deeply and you will come to no other conclusion than the present world needs the MOST MERCIFUL MOTHER that does not weigh the world’s action, but forbears, forgives and forgets and relieves the world’s miseries out of a magnanimity of Her Own self without even a word of recognition. And that is Mai-ism, the propitiation of God as Mother, with love, service, devotion and unconditional cheerful self-surrender.
~ Extract from the book MAI-ISM
Author: Mai Swarup Mai Markand