BY EARNEST KIRK
The trinity, of Mai’s, the Universal Merciful Mother’s or God’s grace, blessings of the Revered Founder of Mai-ism, and the nestling affection of the Revered Author of this book, have conspired to thrust immortality upon me. For quite a while, the Author was thinking of his friends the famous writer Revered Brother Paul Brunton, Revered Brother Rutherford of Burma, Revered Brother Headley of England and Swami Ajarananda of Jakarta University, Indonesia. To my greatest surprise the Founder wrote to me last week “As Her pet child, Mai has chosen you to undertake the preface and carry out Her Will. I do not know but that is what I foresee.” Call it an incident, telepathy or astral suggestion of Mother’s Will, the Author wrote to the Founder a couple of days later “Something from within tells me, ‘Let my dear nephew Solicitor Dalal write the preface.” Conscious of all my weaknesses, I stand on the broad shoulders of these high souls and consider myself tall enough to respectfully and in all humility engage your attention.
There is no denying the fact that the world is at crossroads. The eminent historian, Dr. Arnold Toynbee recently observed “It has been established that all great religions of the world were gradually losing their hold on mankind. This may be partly due to the incompatibility of religious tenets with modern science, although a major reason is the moral shock caused by successful jehads in the last 250 years. But mankind has always depended on religion for growth and for solutions to personal problems”. It is universally acknowledged that God and religion are indispensable for the smooth running of the world with truth, justice, morality and virtue. It has also to be admitted that the cry for a universal outlook and a happy and sympathetic co-operation of different individual religions, though raised so far back as 1893 in the Parliament of World Religions at Chicago, has not been followed up by the principal religions, inasmuch as each one of them still believes that it is the only way, and derogatory epithets like Mlechhas, Duryans, Kafirs and Heathens still occupy important hidden corners in the hearts and vocabularies of ardent orthodox old religionists, who really matter. No amount of shouting by persons, with no authority either by rulership or religion, however sincere they may be, can help remove the old layers of ignorance, selfishness and delusion of the general mass. Science has brought up a conviction through radio, television etc., that the smallest and distant most link in the chain of world nations gets influenced on there being any disturbance in any part of the whole chain. The whole material universe is, as if it was only the densest form of the all pervading ethereal world with a transmitting homogeneity of all influences. The world has shrunk and scientific inventions have been universally adopted without limitations of frontiers or creeds. It, therefore, follows that nothing short of a universal religion, if at all, can satisfy the new era and new age or the new race.
If a universal religion is indispensable, it must assure a synthesis of all religions, while welcoming and revering them and retaining every free play for every one of them, under the common canopy of one God for the whole world, the new conception of a universal God. Such a universal religion cannot by its very nature involve any conversion and the loss of the austerities and penances of the past and present savants, saints and prophets of the denominational religions. In fine, such a universal religion must kindle a passionate fire in the hearts of its followers to live a life of universal love and service, uniqueness for the God of one’s own conception coupled with universal respect for the Gods of other people’s conception and cheerful self-surrender to the Divine Will. Since science has tremendously advanced and religion has lagged behind, this uniqueness for the God of one’s own conception preached by the various denominational religions has given way and strangely enough hypocritical universal respect which simply cannot exist without uniqueness for one, has cropped up in the heads of the laity who believe in nothing but a life of the least resistance.
If, therefore, one agrees that God and religion are indispensable, one has to canvass for a world religion enveloping the universe and all its components in a universal embrace, ensuring and guranteeing the uniqueness of one and kindling the burning passionate fire of universal respect for all, which can only exist with uniqueness for one. There can be no universal religion without the establishment of and belief in a universal God of a defined concretised nature, since in the absence of such a conception the present conflict, bitterness and hatred will shift from the individual religions to the various different conceptions of a universal religion. The first requisite necessary for a universal religion is, therefore, to definitise the conception of the universal God, say, the universal Mother of all or Father of all or Mother-Father of all or Father-Mother of all. No conception is as easy to comprehend, follow and experience as a parent conception. The whole-world conception of God must be naturally the one, that is, most suitable for the purpose to be served. We have reached the climax of the development of invention, knowledge, wisdom etc. The pendulum has to swing back now. We need the world to develop its heart, virtue, love, peace etc. Father is justice, Mother is mercy. Both these conceptions being the manifestation of the One Supreme Life Power. These are psychological differences and we must establish the conception of a universal God as that of the Mother, or Father or Mother- Father or Father-Mother as one selects for oneself, if necessary with the aid of physical science. A universal religion must have the fewest encumbrances and no particular scriptures, traditions and conventions in preference to others. It will defeat its own purpose if it is pulled away towards any particular deity or founder or custom or belief or even an opinion. That alone can be wisely commended to its followers, which would be universally accepted as recognizable ‘or desirable. For the rest, you have to ask your Mother or whatever your conception be, your conscience or experience or advisers, instructions given by the scriptures of your own religion or any religion, and to act as you think best.
Till now, our search in this direction has been mostly on the lines of a new exclusive religion, as a rival to the existing denominational religions. This Gordian knot must be cut by placing before the religious world a new idea, namely, that one can be a follower of a universal religion for universal purposes and yet remain most faithful to one’s own individual religion for other purposes of one’s own religious progress, keeping ideal relations with one’s co-religionists etc. Let your beliefs, ways of living, praying, customs, traditions, scriptures be what they are as per your individual religion. If you, however, have any universality, love and service, you ought to be a universal religionist in addition to being a Christian, a Hindu, a Muslim, a Buddhist, a Zoroastrian etc. The all inclusive universal religion must crown all individual religions with a universal head gear. It will not do to separate some new thing or collect all the best things from each religion by the process of elimination. It should be like drawing out a larger circle, which includes all smaller circles without tackling or even touching or disturbing the integrity of any smaller circle. On the one hand, this would remove all the barriers of its followers in the matter of prejudices against other religions and on the other, would lay open the immeasurable treasure of all the religions for their free-est utilization.
In the pages of this book the readers would know how Mai-ism has squarely met the challenge through divine revelation. I wish they find out for themselves and communicate with the Founder if there be any doubt or difficulty. The Founder, as I know him, will gladly spend days and nights in explaining his mission in writing at considerable physical inconvenience at the age of seventy. He will also be too glad to immediately dispatch “Mother’s Message” a pocket size pamphlet of about 40 pages and two volumes of “Mother’s Thousand Names” and “Mai-ism” running into 750 pages each. To him as he says and practises, all religions are his and of his Mother’s Mai’s making. Mai’s devotees, servants or slaves are ten times the devotees, servants or slaves of any of Her Beloved Sons, who have been Founders of different religions. Mai-ism begins and ends with universality, love, service, devotion and unconditional cheerful self-surrender and if all religions are the creations of some one or another of Mai’s Sons, where is the need of your transferring your own coin from one of your pockets to another ?
The circumstances leading to the writing of this book make an equally interesting story. “Mai-ism” with an “Appreciation” by Mr. Justice Lokur was published in September 1952. Amongst the many reviews, by Mai’s Will, it so happened that the Author without having seen or known the Founder dedicated practically a whole monthly issue of his “Life” to the review of “Mai-ism” and he was good enough to send some few copies of the issue to the Founder. This was altogether a different variety from the other reviews, as it was not based on any preconceived religious outlook, but on the scientific rational quest of the “why and wherefore of things”. The Author did not reflect himself in the eyes of the Founder as an emotional and devotional soft hearted sweet admirer of any established religion in particular or even religion in general. He showed himself to the Founder as an extremely sound, logical and rational experienced thinker, more fond of the fork and knife than of the dish cup or spoon. He was of an extremely practical truth-seeking mentality and yet the greatest point that seized the heart and imagination of the Founder was that the title page of the “Life” issues showed the part picture of an imaginary sun bearing the name of “Life” with its prircipal four rays depicting light, love, service and unity. This flared up the sweetest imagination of the Founder and his wildest passion” as he calls it. He most spontaneously exclaimed “Here is the Editor who is neither of my caste or country, who is neither a Hindu devotee or a philosopher, who has known nothing of me and of whom I know nothing. He, in his own way, has devoted his life to the search of Truth, as a practical sound thinker on analysis of worldly experiences, profound studies and concentrated knowledge, and has finally arrived at the decison of considering the above said four factors to be of the highest immense value, and what a great undreamt of similarity do they happen to bear with the tenets of Maiism ? He, in a so to say secular way, suggests these four tenets for the supreme happiness of mankind”. Though starting from different viewpoints both had arrived at practically the same conclusions. In his usual childlike way he began to fall that the “Newer Teaching” which the Author represents and Mai-ism were more than 75 per cent. similar in as much as love and service were common to both, unity was synonymous with universality and light which meant divine knowledge was no distant foreigner to the sister, heat or devotion, both being progenies of the spiritual sun, which devotion was the basic element of religion and Mai-ism. Again the “Newer Teaching” of the Author laid the greatest emphasis on “Life” and “Life Power”. This point of similarity could be seen from the following comment of the Founder.
“The past had “religion” as its soul, the present has “science”. The future shall have “life” as its soul and goal. Mai-ism is going ahead and not going back in the old sense of a religion.
Further, Life Power has been explained by the Founder as an aspect and manifestation of Mai. Yet further, there was one special point in which the two ideologies were at one, viz., the insistence on the right of every one “To demand the why and wherefore of things as they are”. Mai-ism, too, like the “Newer Teaching”, is extremely opposed to the old mentality of expecting obedience or acceptance, with blind faith, on the mere ground of authority of scriptures or the master and has in no uncertain terms condemned the said mass mentality by frequent warnings of “no chhoo-mantar under Mai-ism”. Mai-ism has been always described as the new psychological, rational, universal religion, and it instructs from time to time, the need of religionising rationalism and rationalising religion. Mai-ism has most expressly stated “every one has his own right of selecting one’s own line of evolution” and that “religion has to respect and give free play to conscience, reason, experience and science”.
It is necessary to refer to a fine subtlety here on this point, lest the readers develop some wrong notions about either of the two great high souls, one of whom is a staunch religionist and devotee and the other is a strong mind of practical experience. At greater depths and higher heights the Founder is fully aware of the indispensability and the actual existence of “Faith and even blind faith and unconditional following of the master’s guidance”. The Founder makes it clear “None asks his mother twenty questions about the food served.” The strongest impulse of the new age to ask proofs of even sunrise and sunset is only the strongest indication about the complete loss of trust in the scriptures, masters etc., more owing to the shortcomings of the latter. The day the world reaches the stages, when there is nothing like direct or indirect compulsion of a religious or authoritative nature, when religion would be only an optional subject in the cultural college of life, and when the understanding about the master or guru is of a Mai-istic nature, which means that the master is to be of one’s own selection, and one who is spiritually higher (may be only one step) and who is interested in your every type of welfare, and to whom you can confide your every secret, for whom you have genuine love and with whom you would feel oneness, the question of the why and wherefore of things will not survive.
Till that stage is reached, nothing is too great by way of an emphasis on the right of every one to be satisfied regarding the rationalism of whatever one is called upon to believe, obey or follow, and more than that the bona fides of the preacher.
The final picture that the Founder had on the deep study of the principles of Mai-ism and the “Newer Teaching” of the Author was that both thinkers had in the first place an eye upon the future requirements of the new era that has been fast rushing in. The Founder is always fond of pointing out the said difference from the continuation of the past in these words. “Mai-ism has not to pull the same old cart in the same old grooves, with the only substitution of fresh bullocks for the tired ones”. Mai-ism means and aims at a wholesale change in the very outlook and propounds a new dispensation to suit the needs of the new incoming era. It aspires to bring about the change in the outlook, visual angle, vision, conception, interpretation, understanding, application, practicability, sifting, practice, use, motive, purpose, progress and the final-most goal” (p. 169 Mother’s Thousand Names Part IV).
In his own patent way of attributing values, the Founder realised a striking affinity. A religious minded person would treading the same path as that of the “Newer Teaching on his laying great emphasis on rationalisation, psychological scientific treatment and outlook. On the other hand a person who follows the “Newer Teaching”, so soon as he is prepared to add religious sanctity and a sincere devotional belief to his ways of beliefs and living, and so soon as he is prepared to add personification to the life power from which all phenomena originate, finds himself a Mai-ist. In a word “Newer Teaching” crowned with devotion and surrender and godliness attributed to the life power, becomes “Mai-ism”.
In his way of frank simplicity, the Founder says, “My joy and esteemed respect for “Newer Teaching” proceeds from the notion of a corroboration from an entirely different quarter, and a profound thinker of an entirely different region. I make up a series.
1+2+2+3+3+3+4+4+4+4=30 So many best of my religious friends confirmed the figure of 30 by totalling up as I did or reversing the side or by dividing the total. Here, I have a corroboration on working out 1+2×2+3×3+4×4=30.And somehow, following my own fanciful ways, I feel inclined to give a bit greater importance to the latter kind of corroboration”. All the said mutual appreciation originated on both sides from the intellectual welcoming of the two ideologies without any physical contact, till it so happened that the Founder was invited in September 1954 to celebrate the Sister’s Social at Calicut by several Mai devotees, headed by Brother Raman Kutti Nair and his wife Sister Kunjan Nair. I had the great privilege of accompanying Revered Maiji, which is the pet name of the Founder amongst the nearest Mai devotees. The Author was invited from Coimbatore along with Brother K.S.D. Iyer the President of the Spiritual Healing Centre, Coimbatore. I had then the unique opportunity of studying from close quarters the ways, attitudes and subtlest beliefs of both, as discussion and clarification subtleties was the principal work, whenever leisure could be carved out from the other engagements. I then came into much closer contact with the Author whom I instinctively began to call revered uncle. There were so many minute observations that he made on Mai-ism, that I suggested to him and the Founder that the former should consolidate all the various observations he then made and the outcome of that request is this book.
I cannot but narrate an incident. The Author immediately before he came to Calicut had a dangerous fall and his hand unable to move freely was suspended in a sling. He was specially given the worship room to retire and we all had a talk about the accident. When the day dawned after the very first night he was over jolly to inform me who saw him first, that a wonderful cure had occurred during the night, and that he could move his hand all over the body and especially over his head.
Although this book itself contains the collection of the Author’s observations, it is but very natural that such a vast subject as religion can never be dealt with exhaustively nor is it the usual mentality of truly religious people to get fretted on repetitions. In fact as the Founder puts it, repetition is the secret of secrets in mastering any subject or any art. I, therefore, briefly touch upon a few points of the Author’s observations, which were subsequently placed in writing during his correspondence with me and the Founder. Wrote he in his letter dated 10-8-56 as under :
“The first and most pivotal point of Mai-ism is the recognition and acceptance of the truth that there is but one infinite, all pervading life, omniscient, omnipresent, of which all that exists and subsists in all states and conditions, is in some way an expression and that infinite life power is its essence, and its intrinsic nature. So far as I have been able to discover, Mai-ism does not attempt to define that all pervading life power except by the way it manifests. There is the recognition of the dual aspect of that manifestation, as well as of a triune manifestation and function of that one life comparable to the recognised trinity in various religions.
“The distinctive and outstanding feature of Mai-ism is the recognition of God or the One ubiquitous life power as the Divine Mother or Mai, with a mother-child relationship, that is absolutely
universal. Logically and naturally the concept visualises and gards all human beings past present and future as members of family, with the Divine Mother giving to each that love and considera tion, and perhaps correction, that is known by Her to be the best and most suitable in the circumstances. This is the concen pattern on which human society is to be built. It is a conce will be seen at a glance, which cuts at the very roots of communalism provincialism, sectarianism, racialism and the subjugation of woman by man”.
“As to the means adopted by Mai-ism, in order to carry out what is thought to be the will of the Divine Mother or Mai in har mony with the mother-child relationship, these are made as simple practical and adaptable, as possible, but always in keeping with the states and conditions prevailing at a given time”.
“The four tenets of love, service, devotion and unconditional cheerful self-surrender are put on a graded scale in harmony with the law of evolution. In this sense the tenets are very adaptable to states and conditions varying from those of the child state and stage, to those in which full manhood and womanhood is a correspondence. The latter is a state in which as the Founder puts it, “there is direct relation with Mother”.
In as much as the “Newer Teaching” has so great an alliedness with “Mai-ism”, I crave the indulgence of the readers, to give here a faint idea about it as gathered from the correspondence between myself and the Author.
The “Newer Teaching” has to do with a special revelation of God to man, relative to the new dispensation that is dawning. It was given to a group of students of the science of life in England, at intervals between the years 1873 and 1910. It was published in two big books, the first consisting of five volumes and the second of four volumes. The first was entitled “Angelic Revelations” and study of these volumes has been the main source from which the Author has drawn the inspirational currents for the “Newer Teaching”.
Finally, even the barest acquaintance about the background and the prospective view of Mai-ism cannot be taken as satisfactorily completed without a reference to the allied movement of I.R.F. sponsored by Master Yonosuke Nakano, the Founder of Ananai Kyo in Shimizu city in Japan, who has been holding World Religion Congresses since 1954, and in which the Founder and the Author have played a very prominent part, in their personal capacities, to help the cause of establishing world peace.
The Founder attended the Fourth and the Author the Fifth Congress of the Institute. It is the express desire of the Author that I should mention here that his “attendance was due in no small measure to the suggestions and recommendations, as well as practical advice and help of Maiji and his devoted secretary Mr. Dalal, for which the Author shall remain ever grateful.”
At the Fourth Congress which was attended by the Founder and myself, it was agreed to set up a body, to be known as International Religious Federation (I.R.F.), with an inner body of councillors, Master Nankano being the councillorin-chief and the Founder the sub-councillor in chief, the idea being not so much, to unite into one organic whole the two movements, but that of providing ways and means of attracting and securing the sympathies of all religionists who have realised in their lives the basic universality underlying all religions.
Readers who have a lively interest in the subject, would see for themselves in the pages of the various World Congress Reports and Ananai Kyo monthly periodicals the tremendously useful work, both the Founder and the Author who has been elected as a councillor, have been doing to bring up universal outlook and true religious understanding. I have found in the February and August 1956 issues, a great illumination by the Founder and the Author on the most thrilling and anxious and momentous question of “the coming of the Saviour” in which the whole religious world is absorbingly interested under the present panicky position owing to the sword-like impending possible warfare.
I have had to dwell at some length in attempting to give a clear idea about the background behind Mai-ism which aspires to find a satisfactory response to the world’s real need, with the new outlook in respect of the new era dawning forth, over our confused and complicated world.
I consider myself too young to comment on the contents. merits and invaluable utility of the book and the wisdom of the two personalities, who have dedicated their whole lives to their respective missions. I would do better to leave this to the revered readers.
Mai, the Universal Mother bless us all.
25th December 1956
P. D. DALAL
(Solicitor, Bombay Municipal Corporation, Vice Chairman, International Religious
Federation, Shimizu City, Japan).
MAI, THE UNIVERSAL MOTHER
BLESS US ALL
It is an eventful rejoicing day for me, to place before the truth-seeking universal-minded rational and scientific religious thinkers of this little planet of ours, one of the most precious recent religious books that is seeing light, under the Almighty Grace at the most opportune hour. It has been the Mai- inspired masterpiece of revered brother Ernest Kirk, the Editor of “Life”, which has been reinforced with a foreword by revered-brother P. D. Dalal, Solicitor of the Bombay Municipal Corporation, who has been the Vice-Chairman of the International Religious Federation in Japan (Shimizu city).
I do hereby, while publishing this book, heartily invoke the blessings of Mai on both these benevolent high souls. None the less important is my desire, that the patient all-sided and intelligent religious-minded readers of such an abstruse literature be solidly blessed by Mai. My hearty thanks are also due to revered brother P. H. Raman, The manager of The Associated Advertisers & Printers Ltd., and his staff, for the promptness, skill and sympathetic co-operation, with which this little work has been admirably done. Further, my welfarewishing goes to Shri Raja Ratnam M,A., Principal Tutorial College, Coimbatore, for his volunteered proof-reading services.
About the broadest basic brief idea in respect of the world’s supreme need, nothing is so very appropriate and handy for me, as the essence of Bro. Dalal’s thesis, printed on page 298 of the Eighth World Religions Congress in Japan, in few sentences, each one of which, as it were, represents a measured, cut-out, logical step to the Mai-istic Universalistic Plateau.
“Howsoever great and ocean-like the words God, Religion and Morality be, the last two are made for mankind and mankind is not made for them:-Rightly or wrongly, it is widely felt that Virtue, Morality, Character, or Conduct can exist, without the burden of God or religion as so far preached :-If at all God and religion are found necessary, the modern man takes himself to be quite competent to comprehend them :- In this new situation, it is for the religionists, to make God and Religion as much attractive, scientific and acceptable as possible, because virtue, morality, character and conduct can not stand to the last, without the blessing of God and the grace of Religion :- A Universal God, A Universal religion and A Universal moral code alone can survive the avalanche of the modern disbelief, arrogance and materialism, as “A Universal evil needs a Universal Remedy” as Mai-ism aptly says.”
“All palliatives like “All paths lead to the same Goal” have proved abortive:- Where there is uniqueness for one alone, the modern man condemns the lack of universal respect for all, and where there is the theoretical universal respect for all, something most precious resulting from uniqueness is wanting: -What is wanted therefore, is the blending of uniqueness for one with universal respect for all:- This can best be done by a Universal God alone, who does not exclude other aspects of God and a Universal religion alone, which does not exclude the profession and practice of other religions and any one’s birth religion.’
Finally, Bro. Dalal concludes with his conviction viz. that Mai-ism has given new form and new shape to the new philosophy and new requirement of the new incoming age.
To fully understand and appreciate the valuable contribution to the World’s problem, by revered brother Kirk, which evinces a profound spirit of independent free thinking of originality, my special prayerful request to the readers is to read the book from an immensely higher plane than the usual one of “Every thing is same; it is all the same thing; our scriptures have said it repeatedly; our forefathers knew that, already;” etc etc. It is wished that the readers of highest religious literature should have the subtlest vision which is much higher than merely distinguishing “Red” from “Not Red”, and which can differentiate between the consecutive shades, say eightieth and eighty-first, out of, say, four hundred shades of the very same red colour. Especially regarding such religious literature, as is immensely practical and laboratorial, if the reader has not got that subtlety which the mother of two exactly similar twin girls has, the ultimate object of such writings is not likely to be fulfilled under the stereotyped “Everything the same” mentality.
Deeply-thought-provoking religious books can be read with best advantage, only if the reader makes it a point to simultaneously imagine to himself, every corresponding “Not that” on going through every “That”, as the reading proceeds.
Everything is same for the tired, too much timid of raising a dispute, or a tyro. For serenely meditative thinkers and those that strictly live their life in rhyming with their beliefs and guiding principles, and especially those that are intent upon their own personal religious and spiritual slow but sure progress, discrimination, comparison and contrast are indispensable. Things are not so easy, simple, uncomplicated and identical, as so many high class philosophers have striven and wished the world to believe, since so many years. The most commonly quoted instance of theirs is that of a quarrel amongst different travellers of different languages, over rice and chawal, water-melon and tarbuz, or grape and angur. It is so very clear, that as soon as rice water-melon and grape are brought forth to be shown as chawal, tarbuz and angur, fighters would be laughing at their own follies and embracing one another by way of apologizing.
Mai-ism says, the fact of facts is that the differences of various ideologies are unwipably there, each one best suited to some particular type of mentality. The only most efficacious method is that of generating, developing and perfecting the mind and eye, to tolerate and appreciate and relish the various differences as innumerable diversities in one unity, just as we appreciate the rainbow colors. Going yet deeper down, Mai-ism emphasises the truth that intellectual, logical and argumentative consideration and conclusion, never decides the final issue of tolerance and appreciation or their reverse. That finalmost supreme commandership vests in the idea of “I, Mine and Mineness”. That being the case, no remedy can be as efficacious as creating the steady genuine belief of “Mineness and Ourness.” Sameness or similarity or tolerance based on courtesy, culture or civilization, are all mere camouflages, and deceptive expedients. Justice or injustice, intellectual logical correctness or fallacy, etc. etc are only easy-chair or debating-society considerations. What ultimately is the decider of action is “My and Mine-ness”, “My self, My family, My country, My nation, My religion, My God.” Every thing else except a Universal God, A Universal Religion and the conception and conviction of the whole world being a Universal family born of and governed by the same parents, is only an experiment. That aim and object of believing the whole universe as “My Mother’s-Mai’s” and therefore as “Mine”, Mai-ism has been aspiring to achieve, possibly with the co-operation of the guardians of all individual religions. Diving yet further deep, at least in respect of that part of humanity, which believes in God and fears God, and yet is extremely selfish in matter of himself, his family, country, nation, or religion, an entirely new PROCLAMATION is required to be issued, by a Universal God, Directly Universal (No proxies), to the purport that universally loving and serving one’s sisters or brothers or as Mai-ism puts it, any of Mai’s or Mother’s children, has the highest weight and value to decide the showering of God’s grace on the devotees and God believers. The entire newness or only renewedness is not the final issue. In fact there can be nothing new in religion, as the Truth and the Way of emancipation were and have been there since the world began. What helps the world is the PROCLAMATION under the sign and seal as the Royal Universal God’s Mandate. A mere talk, an opinion, a point of instruction advice or guidance is nothing. God and religion convey the gilt-edged guarantee. Hence the need of a Universal God and a Universal Religion like Mai and Mai-ism.
The world is crying for a change. It has no idea, which change will make the world happier. The only universal common fact is that every one wishes to have maximum happiness and minimum misery. Politicians, Economists, Educationists, Moralists, etc. have been all trying in their own way. For them that have hope and faith and fear in God, while no claim is made, here is the religionist’s remedy of a Universal God and a Universal Religion, that proclaims the highest value in the estimation and weighing of both, for Universal love and service with devotion and unconditional cheerful self surrender to the Divine Will.
The subject matter of the book can be best appreciated if it is studied with a catching eye, in respect of whatever strikes as a “Change”, advocated or suggested by the experienced erudite scholarly author.
The very first change that he suggests is that of considering all problems from the universalistic view and not that of a certain religion nation or a country. The second new change is that the right of every human being to be satisfied in his inquiry about the why and wherefore of things as they are, should be recognised. Automatically with that, goes the right of every one to select one’s own ideals, schools, systems, ways and means in respect of one’s religious progress evolution and emancipation. As a corollary, the third important change is that religion has to be in rhyming with reason, conscience, experience and science. The fourth very important change is that there should be nothing as a final last word in religion, as the world has been in the progress of evolution, and not at its highest end. Mai-ism while most emphatically preaching the said beliefs, takes it, also into consideration that the humanity cannot be indefinitely waiting for ever, and each evolution-aspirant should proceed in his progress with whatever conviction that strikes him as best, that has been discovered or recommended, for his own evolution during his own life-time. The author is also referring to various minor other changes as for instance “The superiority notion about one’s own God or religion or both” or “the blind faithed guru-worship or hero-worship.” However, the two main-most points of change in which the author sees eye to eye with Mai-ism are the fifth change of evolution being the goal of living one’s life and the sixth change of constantly remembering and living with this remembrance, viz. that every thing is only a manifestation of the Infinite One Life Power. In respect of the fifth change about “evolution”, Mai-ism most forcefully declares that religion has to be a science of life and living, and is something not to be exhibited and preached, but to be lived out and ingrained in one’s being. Religion has to be an inward struggle and battling, and pr. in religion has to mean greater and greater unfoldment development of the moral and religious nature of the divinity within man, and of the spiritual forces and supernatural powers latent within man. For them that are for maximum happiness and minimum misery alone and nothing higher, Mai-ism has a satisfactory consideration and justification to offer viz that the largest portion of your that desire is most automatically fulfilled on your ascension to higher and higher planes, in virtue of the very working out of the psychological providential and divine reactionary laws. In respect of the sixth change viz. the constant remembrance of the truth about every thing being a manifestation of the Infinite One Life Power, it requires no great intelligence or effort to see, that it is the scientific expression of what Mai-ism speaks of as Mai – The Finalmost Universal Mother – in the devotional language.
There are many other points which the worthiest pioneer of “the Newer Teaching” has dealt with, beside what he has seen as pointing out the sameness and similarity between the two ideologies, which deserves a meditative study for all truth-seekers in respect of the world’s problem or the problem of life.
While trying to derive the essence on studying the Newer Teaching, this book and Mai-ism, side by side and all together, it may be of advantage to specifically note that the special features of Mai-ism are Universality, dispensability of a belief in the very existence of God provided one lives his life with universal love and service, the reduction of so many things imposed under religion to some fewest tenets, and fulles! religious freedom in all matters of life so long as the said principles are not violated.
The all-appealing attractivity of Mal-ism arises itself from its Broad based spontaneous simplicity. The reconciliatory re-adjusting power of Mai-ism proceeds itself from its religious recognition of all beings’ divine right of demand and choice, in respect of freedom peace and happiness. The subterranean spring of Mai-ism for the perennial supply of surviving stamina and security sprays itself from the sublime and supreme MOTHER-CHILD-RELATIONSHIP.
No child was ever successfully dis-suaded from flying into the embrace of its mother, on grounds of man-made, man-misunderstood, manmanipulated, man-exaggerated, and man-misinterpreted differences, which are mostly caused through idiocy, ignorance and evil. To the child, mother is mother, in any form and any mood, any position and any place, any approach and any garment, any speech and any theory, and in any clime and any age.
So far whatever has been stated and discussed here is of a very general nature, and is the subject matter for any individual religion thinker or a universal-minded religious thinker, to agree or dis-agree. If however, any reader has only just a few minutes to skip over the book, I would heartily wish him to read the last and the tenth diamond crown chapter with the caption “Woman and Motherhood manifestation of life.” Here, here I feel immensely grateful to the piercing-eyed author for the most splendid service he has rendered to Maiism. The most delicate, timid, unearthly, heavenly, fawneyed feature of Mai-ism is its conception of the motherhood of God, and the most automatic corresponding elevation of the sister-folk of the mother’s sex. By timidity it is meant to be conveyed that much though Mai-ism may wish that the motherhood be accepted preferably, it leaves it to every one to abide by the God conception one selects, and yet further concedes to bear with an entire disownment of Herself, provided Her children are loved and served. How very natural ?? Is this not true of every human mother ?? And when the object in view, of any religion sublimates itself to be that of turning the universe to be a happy hatredless home, with the re-appearance of all the virtues and tender qualities of heart, surely Motherhood of God is the most favourable aspect.
Motherhood of God, which conception includes God as Mother or Father or Both is the subtlemost occult unprecedented feature of Mai-ism, on the top of its important feature of “Universality”, which is only recently and only slowly attaining popularity, in the limited circle of the universalminded religionists. This motherhood-conception-acceptance is the perfecting of the hitherto imperfect one-eyed and onelegged religion. Mai-ism not only recognises but most practically religionises the co-equal religious status of Mother with Father, Daughter with Son, and Sisters with Brothers. This overhauling change from God as Father alone to God as Mother as well, arises not out of any discontented competitive spirit, but because Mai-ism has scientifically and experientially visualised the indispensability of reverentially accepting the dual manifestation of the masculine and feminine principle, which has all along permeated the whole creation and sustenance of the universe.
The World’s supreme need today is that of a much greater SUM TOTAL of religiosity and spirituality. By religiosity is meant :-selflessness, self-control, self-denial; forgiveness, foregoingness, forgetfulness; love, mercy, morality, truth, justice, wisdom, virtue; and gratefulness, greatness, goodness and givingness etc etc. By spirituality is meant :—the all pervading radiation of the all-conquering light heat and the life-giving animating power of the spiritual sun within, before which no darkness and no ignorance, no coldness and no lukewarmness, no cruelty and no callousness can dare stand for a second, and before which all worldly powers put together would look like the smallest digit of one before infinity or like a bucket before an ocean or a water-sprinkling can before a shower. (Mai, the Universal Mother has been prayed as “Uddyat Bhanu Sahasrabha: -Mother that is the Highest Spiritual Power that works, as if thousands of spiritual Suns had all at once risen up in the Firmament of the Universe.)
The present anarchical condition of religion is mainly due to (1) Individual religions’ superiority complex rivalry and hatred (2) Religious guardians’ fallenness due to craving for pelf and power, and spiritual bankruptcy (3) The materialistic out-look and the enjoyment-desire-burstfulness of the average mankind, infatuated with the newly discovered sources of materialistic comforts luxuries and happiness (4) Rebellious-headed-ness, as a result of the misunderstood and misused revolutionary teachings of fraternity equality and liberty (5) The over confident and insolent atheism of half baked, science and luxury-dazzled, superficially thinking mass (6) Hosts of politicians capitalists industrialists etc, that have shattered the world to pieces, each one selfishly pulling the world towards one-self, for maximum wealth, power and happiness, etc etc.
None is to be blamed and none remains unblamable. Innumerable vicious circles have become ungovernable. Even if human intellect were to discover a remedy, where and how to begin is also an equally unsolvable problem. And further, where is any supreme worldly power which can bring every one to his senses and knees, to respect follow and obey a certain chalked out universal scheme of happifying all or at least the greatest number ??
By the time you collect together five frogs, seven slip away. It is more than enough, if the world gradually begins to believe that such supreme power can be the Spiritual Infinite Life Power alone, which may deluge all human hearts with Life, Light and Love. The whole world’s problem then becomes easiest, as it is God and God alone, Who is always ready to grant whatever is demanded, for a mere song or asking, with repentant heart and a true promise to live in rhyming with nature and in perfect obedience to the Divine Law and Divine Will.
It is too too early for the immature mankind of today, to realise that the Universal Religion of Mai-ism is the forerunner, foundation-layer and gate-opener, of an entirely new phase of the world civilisation, as the next inevitable Almighty-ordained stage in the progressive evolution of our planet, characterised, mainly by the co-equal status of man and woman and the sublimation of motherly virtues of heart; being so very indispensable to the establishment of the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth.
The finalmost decider and disposer is The Infinite One Life Power, and the best way to move that benevolent and merciful power, is to prayerfully and solicitously approach Heron personification, just as a child approaches its mother and never fails to get its wish fulfilled by the NOTHINGDENYING-MOTHER.
MAI, THE UNIVERSAL MOTHER BLESS US ALL
Mother’s Day, Friday 22-3-1957.Mai-Niwas,
Santacruz West, Bombay 23.
MAI SWARUP MAI MARKAND ,
Founder of Mai-ism
THE WORLD’S CHIEF NEED
Something is happening in the world with respect to the evolution and development of the human principle of life, that has never happened before in human history. That something vastly affects and indeed mainly constitutes the need referred to. It is this: that whereas in the past, changes which characterised the revolutions of certain nations have been largely confined to those nations and areas, what is happening now in the thought and feeling of the world is absolutely universal, in its upthrust and demand.
There is as yet no clear perception as to the cause or causes of the present world unrest, or what is the best way to meet it, but the unrest and the demand for something better are potent and universal. As someone with true vision and understanding of the present tense and dramatic situation has said prophetically.
Not very far below the surface of human society, you can perceive a seething mass of forces as active as a volcano just before an eruption … Just as the discharges from volcanoes, the resultant and representation of internal activity, spread disaster, terror and ruin in their neighborhood, even so, the action of internal spiritual forces and what results therefrom, will be momentous and thrilling. But, success will not be on the side of the greatest number…; it will be with the power which is to overcome the rampant, excessive claims, desires, aims, and purposes of such numerous personalities, and they will find that they have to reckon with a power and with forces which they had not thought or dreamed of.
Hence come the uneasiness and the unexpressed (but, since expressed) inner tremor experienced by those who have dwelt upon these and kindred subjects; and such would be only too willing to put off to a more convenient season, so far as they are concerned, what they sense is impending in the near future.
In the past, as is well-known, each religious system has had its own Deity, and out of each such system, has stemmed certain customs, conventions, sociologies and traditions. distinctly peculiar to those systems. And, while it may have been admitted by the devotees of each religious system that there is but one God, the tendency hitherto has been for the votaries of each religion to somehow regard their own religious system as distinctive and “superior to all the rest. Thus has arisen a certain amount of competitive action and rivalry and sometimes a certain amount of propaganda with the object of spreading one’s own religion, possibly at the expense of another.
Now the emphasis everywhere–and that is what is appearing in human history for the first time-is being increasingly placed not so much if at all upon religious observances, beliefs, ceremonies, membership of a religious body or organisation, etc., as upon that which real religion is supposed to represent in terms, not only of human relationships, human welfare and happiness, but in terms also of access to a knowledge of the why and wherefore things are as they are under the almost universally-acknowledged Existence, Ordainment and Guidance of the One Infinite Life-Power, Omniscient, Omnipresent and Omnipotent.
But as a knowledge of the why and wherefore of things involves and includes a knowledge of oneself, and some glimpses, at least, of the laws governing the manifestation of that One Life at different levels of consciousness, the world’s chief need may be said to be divided into two categories, namely, (i) the need of those who do have some knowledge of oneself and an outline of the why and wherefore of things, and (ii) the need of the great mass of religionists who are more or less “fed up” with what organised religion offers them and who are seeking out for some simplified and rationalised form of religious belief and worship that rests squarely and firmly on the demonstrable and universal facts of life and the findings of science.
It is the purpose of this book to show that both these requirements are available. There is, as I now know from experience, a modern Revelation of the why and wherefore things as they are based, not on speculative theories and wishful thinking, but on direct first-hand knowledge. Therefore, what I have to say will naturally be influenced and guided to some extent by that fact. But this is more or less a personal matter, to be accepted or not, as the reader thinks fit or is convinced. The primary or main purpose of this book is to show that a religious movement has already sprung up in recent years in India that does meet the more general need mentioned. That movement goes by the name of MAI-ISM.
In this chapter, however, attention is concentrated more directly on the nature, growth, and development of the need which I hold MAI-ISM is qualified and destined to meet. It is a need, that is the outcome of some inner conviction as to what human beings, deep within them, feel ought to be, and should be. Poets and visionaries have sometimes sensed its coming from a distance and have written about it. Tennyson, for instance, had such a vision long before the discovery of the jet plane, nuclear energy, atom bombs, and the birth of the UNO, when he saw nations at war “grappling in the blue”, followed by a time when the “war drums” would be silent and “the battle flags furled” in the “Parliament of Man”, and the “Federation of the World”. Scotland’s great poet, Bobbie Burns, may also be said to have sensed something of the same, when he wrote those famous lines :
Then let us pray that come it may,
As come it will for a’ that,
That sense an’ worth o’er a’ the earth
Shall bear the gree an’ a’ that.
For a’ that an’ a’ that,
It’s coming, yet for a’ that,
That man to man, the world o’er,
Shall brothers be for a’ that.
We have much the same glimpse of this truth in the following remarkable lines and call of Ella Wheeler Wilcox, under the caption of PROGRESS, thus:
Let there be many windows to your soul,
That all the glory of the Universe
May beautify it. Not the narrow pane
Of one poor creed can catch the radiant rays
That shine from countless sources. Tear away
The blinds of superstition ; let the light
Pour through fair windows broad as Truth itself
As high as GOD.
Why should the spirit peer
Through some priest-curtained orifice and grope
Along dim corridors of doubt, when all
The splendour from unfathomed seas of Space
Might bathe it with the golden waves of LOVE?
Sweep up the debris of decaying faiths;
Sweep down the cobs of worn-out beliefs,
And throw your soul wide open to the light
Of Reason and of Knowledge. Tune your ear
To all the wordless music of the stars
And to the voice of Nature, and your heart
Shall turn to truth and goodness, as the plant
Turns to the Sun. A thousand unseen hands
Reach down to help you to the peace-crowned heights,
And all the forces of the firmament
Shall fortify your strength. Be not afraid
To thrust aside half-truths and grasp the Whole.
But, scientists and philosophers as well as poets and visionaries have also glimpsed something of the new world that is dawning. They, too, have frequently in recent times given voice to what they consider the world’s greatest need at this critical juncture. Not long ago, for instance, Professor Julian Huxley, in crossing an ideological sword with that veteran rationalist and philosopher Bertrand Russell as to what was the world’s greatest need just now, was reported at the time as saying:
What the human race needs more than anything else at the moment is a new and compelling set of ideas and beliefs about its destiny and its place and role in this strange Universe in which it must live. If it were not for the fact that the word “Religion” has come to be used in a restricted sense, I would say that man is in search of a new and truly Universal Religion : as it is. I suppose shall have to use the ugly word “Ideology”. We need an agreed ideology (which would of course include our scale of values) in which the present conflict between East and West could be reconciled and which would provide guidance and driving-force for the adventure of mankind as a whole.
Any such ideology must be true, must be related to the most truthful picture of Nature and Reality possible. In other words,
it must be based on agreed scientific knowledge. It would certainly utilise the enduring core of the historic religions, although this would often have to be rephrased and translated into a new terminology.
This, and not material organisation and mental freedom, as Bertrand Russell suggests, seems to be the world’s chief need in the coming years. For, without the guidance of a new ideology, we shall not know what sort of material organisation to set up and what aims to which it should be directed to use our mental freedom; and, without this driving force, we shall be all too likely to succumb to mental laziness or despairing fatalism.
The plain English of what Prof. Huxley suggests is the world’s chief need in the coming years is not merely an ideology or a set of theories, but a dynamic living something that inspires and motivates thought and action and that is in harmony with the well-established findings of Science and the demonstrable and universal facts and laws of Life. In fact, he admits as much when he says “It would certainly utilise the enduring core of historic religions”. But, at the same time, he also admits, if only by inference, that, while the core and inner reality of historic religions is something that persists and endures, the presentation of it, as this affects the people in general, is defective and needs rationalising, illuminating, and bringing up to date. That is what he seems to mean when he says the presentation of what he suggests is the world’s chief need “would often have to be re-phrased and translated into a new terminology”.
From this may be gathered two useful pointers. The first is that there is something in life, some inner reality, called by different names, which all human beings sense and instinctively recognise and appreciate. This something is certainly there in what Prof. Huxley regards as “the enduring core of historic religions”. The second pointer is suggested in Prof. Huxley’s reluctance to use the word “Religion” as a means of meeting the need referred to, because, he says,
That “Religion has come to be used in a restricted sense”. is clearly an admission that, in the past, these so-called “guardians” of “Religion” have either not understood what they were talking about, or, understanding, have failed to make others to understand.
But there is also another suggestion in Prof. Huxley’s submissions that comes closer to what I have in mind than do the others. It is the suggestion that, owing to the changes in our standards of values, which are now more or less based on agreed scientific knowledge, many of those old beliefs and ideas that previously satisfied us not only no longer do so, but are seen to be quite out of date, and even childish and foolish. In other words, with the evolution and development of consciousness and self-consciousness, there has arisen among the more thoughtful and advanced sections of mankind a clearer vision and truer understanding of things.
The case is not unlike that outlined in the Christian Record of the “parable of the five wise and the five foolish virgins”, in which, when the cry arose “The Bridegroom cometh, go ye out to meet Him”, the five foolish virgins are said to have turned to the five wise virgins with the request “Give us of your oil, for our lamps have gone out”.
To understand the full significance of this parable, it is necessary to remember that the terms used are merely outer and familiar symbols of some great inner and universal truth. The term “Bridegroom”, for instance, signifies the coming or manifestation of the One Life in a new way or Dispensation, a way, if you will, that is to be universal. The term “virgins” signifies a certain state of purity, preparation and expectance on the part of those men and women who have been somewhat inwardly prepared for the New Advent in which “all things are to be made new”. The term “five” also has a meaning and refers to an inner state and condition, and must not be taken literally in a mathematical sense. The term “oil” means spiritual wisdom and understanding, which the foolish virgins thought they had in their “lamps” (beliefs, theories, and so on) but which, at the crucial moment, they found had failed them, and so, they turned to the “wise virgins” for help and guidance.
If this is applied to the devotees of the various religions with their rituals, convictions and ecclesiastical observances, the meaning should be clear. Can it be said with truthfulness that there is anything but disappointment and dissatisfaction with the present state of things ? What is hopeful, however, is the way all sorts of people are trying to meet, in a more satisfactory manner, what they feel is a great and growing need. This is shown by the nature and diversity of the various subjects that are being tackled at the numerous International Conferences that are now being held periodically in different parts of the world, some of them for the first time.
A few months ago, for example, two such Conferences were held in Holland for the first time, one dealing with Parapsychology, and attended by a selected number of scientists from all parts of the world, and another dealing with Spiritualism and psychic phenomena, attended by Mediums and Spiritualists from the five continents. But, though this increased awakening testifies to the deepening and universal sense of the need referred to, the conditions do not yet seem sufficiently developed to enable those chiefly concerned to come to some agreement on basic principles as to how that need can be met in actuality.
As proof of what I mean, take the failure, so far, of Christianity to find a common ground of agreement relative to that Faith as a whole. Although many attempts have been made in this direction, and continue to be made, the prospects cannot yet be said to be very bright. One of the latest big attempts among the Protestant Churches- the Roman Catholic Church was not represented— took place in Chicago in August 1954 at the Second Assembly of the World Council of Churches which was attended by delegates from forty-eight countries.
The opening pageant was attended by 1,25,000 people. The heads of five different Churches, including the Archbishop of Canterbury (Church of England), were present. One of the main objects of the Assembly, it was stated, was to find a way whereby all Christians could be united in one body. The main theme of the Assembly was “Christ, the Hope of the World”. But, according to a report of the proceedings appearing in one of America’s most widely circulated weeklies, the Assembly Was ‘miles apart’ on such questions as baptism, communion, ordination of ministers, the second coming of Christ, and so on. There was, however, a common feeling that a message of Christian fellowship could be drafted to serve as a “rallying point” for men of goodwill “in a world sick with false hopes and hopelessness”.
My own submission with regard to a common ground for agreement here rests squarely and quite frankly on the acceptance of the postulate that there is but One Ubiquitous LifePower, Omniscient, Ominipresent, Omnipotent, of which everything that exists is in some way a manifestation of that Infinity for some wise use and purpose. That implies that what to us in our limited understanding has the appearance of being an incomprehensible muddle is, in reality, when rightly understood, part of a Grand Master Plan. That also means and implies that what is happening in the world today by way of an unprecedented unrest and dissatisfaction with things as they are, and a great and growing demand for something more real and genuine, is as much part of that Grand Master Plan as is the formation of a planet, or the ultimation on our earth of a new scientific discovery, or the birth or death of any outstanding genius along any given line. It has reference to what is called “evil” as well as to what is called “good”.
And, if to the above is added the fact that nothing is ever known to happen in this world until the requisite conditions for its happening have first been provided, the ground-work under one’s feet becomes firmer and stronger. And, here, it is well to remember, that those “requisite conditions” are always in harmony with, and may indeed be said to be an integral part of, the outworking of the Law of Evolution. In a world of law and order, a world in which the Will and Love and Wisdom of the One Infinite Life-Power prevails, nothing can possibly happen that has not a wise use and purpose. This must be so, despite appearances to the contrary.
That, at any rate, is my own personal approach to the various so-called problems of life. And here I can speak with some certitude and confidence seeing that I have myself passed through many different and trying stages of doubt, and a good deal of loneliness and struggle in my search for that which I often felt deep within me ought to exist but which for many vears I had failed to find. And, at this point, it may be helpful if, acting on the suggestion of a friend who knew I was writing this book, I include in this opening chapter a very brief account of my own search for that underlying reality to which I have referred and how, where, and when, I came by it. I will touch lightly and briefly on a few only of the more crucial periods of my search.
Long before coming to India in the year 1914, I had made numerous experiments in England relative to the tenets and teachings of Christianity, but on the whole without any enduring satisfaction. What little light came to me, sometimes after spending whole nights in prayer, reading and meditation, was of a rather fleeting and transient kind. And during the ten years that I lived in London, I had access to the sermons and writings and lectures of some of the finest and most powerful preachers, teachers, philosophers, authors, scientists, and social workers, known in the U.K. and in the world at that time. With some of them, I had personal contacts and interviews. My leanings were rather to the Evangelical side of Christianity; and not infrequently, as a journalist, I had the pleasure of accompanying General William Booth on some of his tours in the United Kingdom. But I roamed over a wide field and included among some of my “favourites” wellknown figures in both the Roman Catholic Church and the Church of England.
Things occult also had a certain attraction for me and one of the earliest books that I remember reading and which impressed me considerably in this connection, was “The Survival of Human Personality and Its Survival of Bodily Death” by F. W. H. Myers. But in spite of all these advantages, I not only failed to find that “enduring core” at the heart of true religion to which Prof. Julian Huxley has made reference, plus the rationale of all true phenomena, but drifted slowly to a state of agnosticism, but not atheism.
From this state, I was partially rescued through the instrumentality of Dr. Annie Besant. That occurred during a series of lectures delivered by her in the Queen’s Hall, London, early in the present century, which I attended, again in my capacity as a journalist. I was particularly interested in her references to the building of the Cosmos and the part which certain members of a “Great Hierarchy” of “Perfected Beings” to which she referred, had played, and were claimed to be still playing, in the guidance of humanity as a whole. Here, at last, I thought, we have something tangible and concrete concerning the real why and wherefore of things
That series of lectures, plus a subsequent interview I had with the lecturer, not only introduced me to many books I had not read before, including The Secret Doctrine, Isis Unveiled, Esoteric Buddhism, and many others, but eventually led me to accept Mrs. Besant’s invitation to come to India to help her in some humble way in the great work which I felt she was doing out there. I was already interested in many things Indian, particularly if I may say so, in the different schools of thought, each of which claimed to be based on some scriptural Revelation communicated to ancient India through her Rishis.
When, therefore, I arrived in Madras in 1914 to live as the guest of Mrs. Besant at Adyar, Madras, the headquarters of The Theosophical Society, I made it my business, as soon as the work allotted to me was settled, to visit during my various tours in the country, as many of the outstanding religious centres as I could, and, where possible, contact and have interviews with some of the better known Swamis and reputed holy men of India. In the process of this phase of my search, I became, in turn, a member of the Inner Section of The Theosophical Society at Adyar, Madras, and a “Raja Yogi” student ; a Hindu Swami at the Narayana Swami Guru Centre at Verkala, Travancore, the founder of which centre, initiated me, and with whom I stayed for five or six weeks ; and later, I was welcomed into the Buddhist fold by Mr. C. Jinarajadasa, the late President of The Theosophical Society, in whose presence as a recognized Buddhist priest, I took the usual five vows.
But let me be quite frank and candid here. In all these wanderings and searchings, and questionings and study of Hindu Scriptures, I never once found real and abiding satisfaction based on direct, first-hand knowledge as to the why and Wherefore things are as they are. I made contacts of course, with various beautiful souls, scholars, and seers, of whom it was said they had destroyed all sense of “T”-ness and “my”-ness and had raised their consciousness to universal levels. But my problem then was not so much that of transcending so called selfish impulses and desires,-a big enough problem in all conscience-my problem was why, assuming there was an Infinite One Life, All-Loving, All-Wise, and All-Powerful, there should be selfishness and ignorance at all, and what purpose, if any, this served.
The idea, so often advanced by religionists, and others, that human beings have free-will and can carve out their own destiny, and were the arbiters of their own fate, and that therefore, the apparent muddle and mess in the world was due, primarily, to the misuse of free-will, did not seem to me to be consistent with the acknowledged acceptance of the existence of a Supreme Being of whom it was said that everything that exists and subsists was and is in some way a purposeful manifestation for some wise end and purpose.
And so, while continuing my search, I again lost faith, this time, not only in the representatives of Christianity to supply me with the answer I sought, but I lost faith also in the so-called “guardians” of all various religious systems to do the same. As a natural result, I then dissociated myself from active identification with any organised religious system or school of thought, as such. That state of groping and rather lonely mental isolation continued until about twenty years ago, in the year 1936, I think it was, when, suddenly, and to outer appearances quite accidentally, I was brought into touch with Those who do have direct, first-hand knowledge of the why and wherefore of things and to Whom the past, present, and future is an open book.
Just exactly how that happened and under what circumstances would, if told, make very interesting reading. Suffice it here to say that it changed my whole life. For the first time I now had clues to the why and wherefore of things. Evidence to substantiate my great discovery came slowly, for I still had to do a lot of reading and study and questioning, but deep within me, I knew that it was only a matter of time, and state, before all the multitudinous pieces of the jig-saw puzzle of life which had previously seemed to be unrelated, superfluous and baffling, would presently fall into place as a perfectly and beautifully designed picture or pattern.
And so it has been so far since then. It cannot, of course, be said that I know everything relative to that pattern or plan. Indeed, the more one knows in this connection, the more one realises how little one knows, and how vast, how infinitely vast, is the ocean of knowledge that still awaits exploration. But, as one advances, everything falls gradually into line with certain basic principles. Never is there any conflict, disharmony or inconsistency. On the contrary, the ensemble grows steadily more wonderful, beautiful, glorious and thrilling. And let me say here, by way of confession, that in the earlier days of my discovery, I frequently and purposely put many things to the test. But always, as I have said, I found perfect harmony. And there are many things relative to the knowledge communicated in recent years by those who do speak from first-hand knowledge and experience that can be tested by anybody who cares to do so and who is genuinely in search of that which is real and true.
For example, in those communications, many predictions were made sixty or seventy years ago that have since been fulfilled to the letter. These include the discovery of the new planet Pluto. They include also many things that have happened—and are now happening—in Russia, Ireland, the U.K., the Commonwealth, etc. including, of course, India, the U.S.A. and so on. There are many predictions, too, that still await fulfilment. These include the prediction of the discovery of still another planet belonging to our solar system, one of the oldest and most distant, which discovery is to take place during the latter half of the present century. They include an outline of the present world crisis, and the important part the U.K., India, the Commonwealth, and the U.S.A. will play together in the unfolding world drama that is to issue in the New Age.
That, if I may venture to say so, constitutes my first or chief reason for undertaking this little labour of love. It is undertaken because I find something in Mai-ism that is strikingly similar, in spirit, purpose and action, to the basic truths revealed in the “Newer Teaching” to which I have referred. For example, the founder of MAI-ISM envisages a time and state when the manifestations of the One Life, and the why and wherefore and something of the how of the same, will not only be better known throughout the world than they are, but will find universal acknowledgement in some basic, ideological and perhaps religious form, in all the chief seats of learning to the end that this knowledge will have an important bearing on real education and human behaviour everywhere.
The movement of MAI-ISM therefore, comes on the scene at a time in the history of human progress when, in harmony with the present accelerated tempo of mental development on a universal scale, such a movement is most needed and which, by virtue of its setting and religious presentation, is best fitted and most calculated to meet that need. As I hope to show in subsequent pages, MAI-ISM brings to all religions something in the heart of them all that is real and enduring. In this sense, MAI-ISM might be said neither to clash in any way with anything that is vital and genuine in any religion or school of thought, nor to be an attempt to establish a new religion, in the sense that this term is commonly understood. Rather is it an attempt, to use the words of the head of the movement, to “rationalise religion and to religionise rationalism”.
Another reason why I think MAI-ISM is eminently suited for the achievement of the above mentioned purpose is the fact that it not only takes its rise in India, which, so far as this planet is concerned, is centrally situated and destined to play a big part in the great changes that are taking place in the world, but that it stems from and is an evolutionary out birth of the teaching that was given to ancient India through her Rishis, a teaching that is probably the most anterior, interior and comprehensive, extant today.
That teaching, although given, as it has been given in the past, largely through the media of symbols, allegories, Puranic stories, and so on, has profoundly affected hundreds of millions of people in Eastern countries. Nor would it be difficult to show that what appeared later in the different Dispensations recorded in history—in ancient Egypt, in the matter of science and the buildings of its remarkable pyramids, the meaning and mysteries of which baffle many scholars ; in ancient Greece, with its religion of beauty and philosophy ; in Rome, with its ideas of law and order ; in Christianity, with its idealistic injunction to “do unto others as ye would they should do unto you”; and even in Mohamedanism, with its ideas and ideals of brotherhood and rectitude—are but different expressions or manifestations of the same One Life Power and were all contained in essence in the teaching given to the world in ancient India through her chosen representatives, inner and outer.
And last, but by no means least, I would give as another reason in support of what has been said, the appearance on the scene of the present head and founder of the MAI-IST movement in India and the extraordinary intriguing way he has been schooled and prepared to fit him for the great and pioneering task that has fallen to his lot. Much of the relevant details concerning this will be given in a subsequent chapter, but the following interesting points may be briefly mentioned here :
- He was born in what might be called an orthodox Brahmin family at Petlad, in Gujerat, near Cambay, Bombay State. He, being a “Nagar”-the highest caste of Brahmins in Gujerat, -thus had the advantage of being early initiated into and becoming familiar with the various rites and ceremonies of Hindu worship and thought, being also a Sanskrit scholar. He began his devotion to the Hindu Mother from the age of twelve starting his “sadhana” from the very first “rung of the ladder”.
2.Though he was early conscious of a strong inner urge Sanyasin”, and would almost certainly have done so his early teens had it not been for the earnest and tearful eadings of his mother who did not want to lose her son in That way, he, in keeping with the parental advice and pressure, took his educational course in the Engineering College at Poona, and, after taking his degree, he entered Government service as an engineer. He also married and became the father of three children. But, even as a Government servant, hísinner drives and aspirations relative to the subject of Mai-Ism continued with increasing earnestness and intensity to find expression in founding various centres and engaging in other beneficent activities side by side with his official duties. These, in fact, continued right up to the time he retired from service in the year 1945 as Rao Sahib M. R. Dholakia, L.C.E., Land Acquisition Officer, Bombay, as he then was, on a pension of Rs. 114 per mensem.
Some indication of the force of these inner drives and convictions is indicated by the fact that in actuality he lived separate from his family from the time he founded the movement in 1932. And that was done as much in the interest of the family as in that of the wider work he had at heart. For, as we shall see, his place of residence became a very busy place or Ashram, which might be visited at any odd hour of the day or night, and often was, by people in distress, seeking advice and help on all kinds of matters, secular and religious-clearly, a situation which made it impossible to have his family living with him.
In the above, has been sketched in broad outline and in as simple and brief a manner as possible the world’s chief need at this great transitional crisis from a Dispensation that has lasted for 2,000 years and that in many respects has been the most remarkable and most revolutionary humanity has known, to the birth of an entirely New Dispensation. Some reasons why I think a movement like that of Mai-ism is best suited to meet that need have been outlined. But, doubtless before the reader can come to a conclusion relative to this, a much more detailed account will have to be given, not only of its remarkable Founder and the way the movement came into being, but as to what exactly MAI-ISM is, and how and by what means it proposes to accomplish the tremendous synthesising and pioneering task for which, quite obviously, it has been called into being.
MAI-JI–A MAN OF DESTINY
Students of history will have noticed that whenever and wherever a great need has arisen, there invariably has arisen alongside of it one or more human instruments through and by whom that need could best be met.
History is replete with many striking illustrations of this. Indeed, almost all the most outstanding names in history are those of men and women who have come to the front in the hour of their country’s most urgent need, in Science, Religion, Economics, and so on, and not infrequently, the pioneering role they have played in meeting some such need has stood out more promimently by virtue of their prior background of obscurity, poverty, and lack of social amenities and advantages.
But, whatever has been their background, their achievements have shown them to be men and women of destiny possessing just those qualities of heart and head that best fitted them for the work they had to do. And, though they may not have been conscious of this, at the time, it has often happened that, later, they have been among the first to admit that their prior struggles, difficulties, and apparent disadvantages, actually constituted a very valuable and essential part of their training and preparation.
There is much in the above that is applicable to the Founder of MAI-ISM. It is true he was not born in poverty. But neither was he born with the proverbial silver spoon in his mouth. He was born in a middle-class family of orthodox “Nagar” Brahmins, a ‘Nagar being regarded in Gujerat as the highest of the Brahmins, the equivalent of, say, a “Namboodri” in Malabar, or an “Acharyar” in Madras. That gave him a schooling in Hinduism (orthodox Hinduism), with all its numerous rites and ceremonies, plus, of course, a good grounding in Sanskrit and study of the various Sanskrit books. He was thus brought face to face with the actual struggles and difficulties that confront those in Hinduism, and indeed in every religion, who are feeling the need for something real and satisfying than is being offered to them.
A moment’s reflection will show how valuable and essential was, and is, such an experience. There is first the fact which I do not think will be disputed, that the Revelation of God to man as contained in the religious books of Hinduism is, though mostly in symbols and allegories, the oldest, most basic, and most comprehensive to be found among the existing religions of the world today.
It is true no nation has at any time been left without some outer sign or symbol of an inner or Supreme Power, suitable in Its manifestation to the receptive conditions of any particular time and state. It is also true that certain nations and Dispensations, like those of ancient Greece, Egypt and Rome, have appeared to emphasise and give prominence to certain aspects of Truth, like those of, say, beauty, science, law, order, and so on. But are not these, and much more, embodied basically in the teachings given in ancient India through her Rishis and yet to be made clear as conditions of receptivity improve? Hence, the appropriateness of MAI-ISM having its rise in India.
There is also the additional fact that the advent of MAIISM coincides both with the political awakening in India and the East, and with the birth of an entirely New Age or Dispensation affecting the whole world. Had the movement been sponsored by a Westerner in any of the religious systems that came into being at a later date than that of Hinduism, or even by an Indian with less knowledge of the modern people of India and the various schools of thought in this great subcontinent than that enjoyed by the Founder, it is safe to say that the movement’s chances of success would not be so promising as they are.
As to the word “Founder”, the capital letter F-(which, following the example set in the book “MAI-ISM”, will be used throughout in this work) should not be taken as indicating the existence of some kind of unholy ambition to found a new religion with an entirely new ideology and new set of beliefs. This would be a woefully false reading of the man and the situation, if only because he recognizes himself as a very humble instrument of MAI or THE DIVINE MOTHER Besides, he frankly and very liberally recognizes the lead given in this direction by both Shri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa and Swami Vivekananda. Speaking of this to the devotees of MAI-ISM in the earlier days of the movement, he once said (p. 429 of Mai-ism):
If any day Mai-ism takes root and has the shape of an independent religion, please don’t forget that I am the third “Mai Swarupa”. Paramahamsa principally taught Motherhood, Motherhood-Child relationship, Devotion and Self-surrender. Swami Vivekananda taught Universality, Love and Service. Universality taught by Paramahamsa actually by temporarily living the completely transformed life, in the matter of belief regarding all Deities, Religions and Founders, was amplified, enlarged and extended by Vivekananda, to include each and every person of the whole Humanity inhabiting the earth.
Actually what he would appear to be aiming at and devoting all his energies and resources to, is that of showing how the Mother-conception of God, with the Mother-Child relationship, can be a living, dynamic reality, and that too, in a rational, simple and forthright way. All credit for everything goes to the Universal Mother.
But at the moment, we are not considering the advent of MAI-ISM itself, its nature and tenets. Those things will be dealt with at length in the proper place. What we are mainly concerned with here is the human instrument or entity that quite obviously has been called and fitted for the great pioneering task that has fallen to his lot in the formation and the building up of the movement of MAI-ISM. In this respect, he is clearly a man of destiny. In no other way can what he is and what has happened to him in life be explained.
It certainly cannot be explained on the basis of either ideological or biological heredity. Neither can it be explained on the basis of environment and the fact that he happens to have been born in a Brahmin family. In point of fact, he fits neither the one orthodox theory, nor the other.
Nor can orthodox science help us very much here most that science has been able to do so far in this respect is to establish some control over mating, so that the biological or physical heredity results may be somewhat guided and improved. It can and has done much in this way to improve the outer conditions into which a child shall find itself when it arrives in this world. It can do much, and is doing much to decrease and regulate the birth-rate. In course of time, orthe dox science may even produce some harmless drug to be taken in tablet form or by injection, which will prevent conception from taking place and thus dispense with all other contraceptive methods. But, as Professor A. Stone recently told a gathering of 500 scientists from 70 countries at the WORLD POPULATION CONFERENCE meeting in Rome and sponsored by the U. N. “New biological products to prevent conception are still in the experimental stage”.
But, what I wish to make clear here is that the purely materialistic so-called scientific outlook and approach to life cannot and does not account for the birth of a genius, a man of destiny, in any particular and outstanding manner or direction. Such important matters of policy and direction in human affairs are in the hands of a Higher Power, the Power of the Infinite One Life, called by different names. Were it otherwise, this would mean that even the One Life itself, with all Its inner and spiritual manifestations, would be under the domination and control of embodied human beings who not only have no knowledge of those inner worlds or of a Primal Cause, but quite frankly deny their existence—a palpable inconsistency and absurdity.
The truth of the above is strikingly illustrated in the Founder of MAI-ISM.
He is in his inner make-up unlike either his father or his mother or any of the other members of the family. As in the case of a great musician, artist, scientist or administrator, he quite early began to display outward and visible signs of some inner dominating life quality, or natural bent. As already mentioned, he would early have left the parental roof and become a Sanyasi, had it not been for the restraining and dissuading efforts of his parents, especially of those of his mother. As he himself has said in his book “MAI-ISM” (Page 6) “I was a voracious reader but more of a natural born mathematician, poet, thinker, philosopher and a songster, than an engineer”.
He has also what I would call a very remarkable memory for remembering what he has read and what he has seen and felt. This, plus the possession of a great gift of comparison, and a refreshing sense of humour, enables him easily and naturally to turn to excellent account in his talks much that he has read and seen and experienced. It comes spontaneously, naturally, as if by way of some “on-the-spot” influx or inspiration, with simple and homely illustrations and analogies. He may be speaking to those assembled for hours together, and that, too, on most important subjects, but never at any time does one get the impression that he is following some prearranged programme in a set lecture form.
I have not seen him in action at the headquarters of the movement at Santa Cruz, Bombay, but when I recently spent a week-end with him at Calicut (Kozhikode), I was struck with the simplicity and homely informality of the proceedings. The subject of the Founder’s talks seemed to have arisen casually and spontaneously out of some question asked or as the result of some prior discussion, or something someone had read from a book. No interruptions-someone coming in or leaving and someone prostrating before him before leaving-appeared to disturb him in the slightest or to interfere in anyway with the thread of the discourse.
When talking, he sits cross-legged, in the traditional Guru-manner, but, of course, minus any caste-mark, tonsured hair, or even a saffron robe. I am told he is quite at home in Western dress with the usual collar and tie, but during the two days I was there, he wore the usual ordinary shirt and dhoti.
I noticed, too, that during his talks or interviews, he would occasionally take a pinch of snuff, a small idiosyncrasy which struck me as tending to give a very humanising and ration-lising touch to everything, more especially as among the devotees present could be counted several important local businessmen and high Government officials. Moreover, there was never anything didactic, pedantic, pedagogic, and certainly nothing pontifical, in his talks. Always, these were homely, simple, well-illustrated, and more or less in a conversational vein.
His energy, physical, mental and spiritual, seems dynamic and inexhaustible. He struck me as being as fresh at the end of a busy day’s work as he was at the beginning. And, in this connection, I was told by one who knows him very intimately that his most important meditations and communications with the MOTHER DIVINE are usually between midnight and 2-00 a.m.
In the matter of self-effacement and consideration for and understanding of others, I was particularly impressed by one little incident. His host and hostess had arranged and prepared a nice little room in which he could retire and sleep at nights. In spite of protestations, the Founder would insist, and did insist, on vacating this room for my convenience and comfort during my short stay at Calicut. It might seem a trifling incident, but to me, it spoke volumes. Some of the above mentioned things are doubtless the result of experience and gradual unfoldment and development. But, had they not been there at birth, in embryo, so to say, they could not have made themselves so manifest.
And, this, I think, has reference more especially to what might be called his occult sensitivity. Though he is in many ways prosaically practicai, and extremely rational, the normally hidden or inner world is always very real to him. I do not think he is a clairvoyant in the ordinary accepted sense of that term, but, I personally find it difficult to explain or understand many of the wonderful things that happened to him in his earlier days—and that still happen on any other basis but that of occult sensitivity. Even if the apparitions or beings that sometimes appeared to him and were tangible and visible to him were what spiritualists would call materializations, eventhis would imply the possession, consciously or otherwise, of the possession of an unusual or abnormal sensitivity. Some might call it the result of a great faith, or “miraculous answer” to prayer, but even these things have to be explained rationally and in a truly scientific way. How to explain, for instance, the following incidents?
One night near his home at Petlad, in Gujerat, when he was still under twelve years of age, he was returning from some place of village solitude, where he had been engaged in some devotional exercises, when he was suddenly attacked by several hooligans. What might have happened it is hard to say, had it not been for the equally sudden intervention of “a tall fearful woman” who came between the boy and the hooligans. The sudden appearance of the woman so frightened the intruders that they took to their heels. The “tall, fearful black woman” continued to walk by the boy’s side for a few furlongs, until in fact he reached the outskirts of his village, and then disappeared as suddenly and mysteriously as she had appeared. How account for this?
Three years later, while going down a busy street in Ahmedabad, he was nearly run down by a small vehicle driven by a European. Angered, the driver lashed out at the boy with a long whip, which, however, encircled the foot of the horse and brought it, together with the dogcart, to the ground. A crowd gathered, but the boy, frightened, and perhaps thinking he would be held responsible for the accident, slipped through the crowd and hid himself in a corner of a near-by temple which happened to be a Bhadra Kali Temple. That night in his sleep he had a dream in which the street incident was vividly repeated, plus something else. At that time, he was thinking of God or Mother in terms of the orthodox Hindu conception of Kali, –the same as, he thought, had previously rescued him from the robbers. So, lifting up his heart to God in his dream, he repeated a question which had often been in his mind, thus:
“Mother! Dost Thou exist or not?”
Instantly, the Mother (the Bhadra Kali image) answered:
“I DO NOT EXIST”.
“Who, then, is speaking?” queried the boy. In clear words and with a soft smiling countenance, the Mother countered “Whom then are you asking the question, tiring me and yourself for the last three or more years?”
I mention these incidents not only to show that the Founder was born with an unusual inner-world sensitiveness, which occasionally made itself manifest in some occult or psychic phenomena, but that this fact was made use of at different stages of his evolving consciousness to teach him certain lessons by way of preparing him for what lay ahead. It was, in other words, and to quote him (p. 3 of Mai-ism) :
In order to transform the Tamasic belief (he had) about the Mataji to the Sattwik belief, 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.
Perhaps, the hardest and the most severe of the tests he experienced in this connection was the one that he was led through at the age of 22. It came to him largely as the result of a lengthy and serious study of Yoga-Vasistha and Vedantism, what he afterwards called “that terrible teaching of AHAM BRAHMA ASMI”. He began to think that he was the victim “of a huge cheat by MATAJI, the MAYA DEITY”. Becoming terribly depressed, desperate and disgusted with himself, he threw his deities, picture, scriptural Sapthasati, wooden seat, the worshipping materials and vessels, into the river Mula-Mutha-Sangam that flowed near his house in Poona ; and for a few subsequent weeks suffered untold agonies of mind and spirit.
Finding no relief and no solution, he resolved to end his life by casting himself into the same river in which he had previously thrown his worshipping materials, unless MOTHER re-accepted him. Acting on this resolve, he walked firmly and deliberately into the river where it was deepest. What happened? Instead of sinking and drowning in the deep part of the river, a beautiful form of MOTHER suddenly appeared, embraced him and brought him safely to the river’s bank. Not only that, She admonished him and told him She was carrying him through certain experiences which were indispensable. Then, She vanished. On reaching his room, however, another evidence of the MOTHER’S Grace and Love awaited him. For, there in the room, he found every one of the same articles he had thrown into the river some weeks before, each in its allotted place.
Not infrequently too, many simple things happened of an occult nature quite impossible to account for on purely materialistic grounds. For example, when he was preparing for his examination in the Engineering College at Poona, and was very much bothered over one subject, the whole of a paper dealing with this was dictated to him on the previous night by MOTHER.
These are but a few out of the many instances that could be cited—and that are found in his book MAI-ISM—which go to show not only that the Founder is a man of destiny born with certain qualities to do a certain specific work at a certain set time in the history of human evolution and development, but which throw a flood of light on the many diverse ways by which a human instrument is prepared and made ready for the work he or she is best fitted to do.
To those who read with perception and understanding, no arguments will be needed to show the steady recurrence of this kind of thing. It is something that happens with dependable regularity and certainty. The human instrument selected and trained for the work ahead may be quite unconscious of what is really taking place. He may even be an out-and-out materialist with no faith at all in a Supreme Being and the survival of the human personality after the dissolution of the physical organism. But he is conscious of certain inner drives and convictions, and perhaps what he thinks is his own power and ability to meet certain obvious needs. He may even credit himself with having created and developed these powers and ability by virtue of his own un-aided will and strenuous efforts.
Many cases of this sort, relative to different branches of human activity, could be cited. Both H. G. Wells and George Bernard Shaw, for instance, were men of this type. And yet, who can correctly estimate the value of the great contribution they made to a better and truer understanding of human relationships?
In the case of the Founder of MAI-ISM, however, two governing factors relative to his position as a “man of destiny have to be borne in mind. One is the nature and teaching of Mai-Ism, and the other is its obvious fitness to meet a worldwide religious need of great importance at this pivotal period of history in the birth of an entirely New World. Both these will necessarily have to be dealt with in some detail later. That survey may account in some measure for the value and use at this stage of many of the wonderful things that are taking place in the movement, including many remarkable cases of healing in answer to prayers.
BASIC PRINCIPLES OF MAI-ISM
In this Chapter, I propose to give my own separate and independent views of MAI-ISM, why and for what reason I hold them. I also wish to call attention to the fact that these views coincide almost completely, especially in matters of basic principles, with those held, outlined and propounded by the Founder of MAI-ISM in his various writings, as a perusal of his books will make crystal clear. It is true they are written primarily from a Hindu standpoint and background. And, for that reason, they are particularly valuable to the devotees of that Faith in all its branches. But they do contain much that deeply concerns the devotees of all other Faiths, more especially in matters touching basic principles.
Take as a rough and ready example of this, his book “MOTHER’S THOUSAND NAMES”. Take one of the names given, that of “Mula-prakriti”—Primary Cause. The comment on this runs (on Page 187 of Mother’s Thousand Names Vol 1 Part II) :
There are five elements from ether to earth, and each is called “Prakriti” (Origin) of the succeeding one ; the origin of ether is Mother, and so, She is called Mula-Prakriti. Prakriti is Cause and Vikriti is Effect.
The following extracts from various Hindu scriptures in support of this are then given :
There is One Mother of the Universe, who has no origin.
The earth, the basis of all, becomes dissolved into water, water is absorbed by fire, fire is absorbed into air, air into ether, this into the unmanifested Avyakta, and Avyakta into MOTHER.
This, as will be noticed, is in perfect harmony with the postulate or keynote sounding through “the Newer Teaching” to which reference has been made, to the teaching or truth that there is but one All-pervasive Ubiquitous Life-Power, of which everything in all states, worlds and conditions, is a manifestation in diverse forms and degrees, of course, but still a manifestation of that Infinite Something, called by various names. As the Founder says on Page 2 of the book mentioned:
MOTHER is essentially the Ocean of Infinite Love and Mercy. She….is nothing less than GOD of all nations, all religions, all humanity, but conceived as MOTHER (to Her children). The very GOD whom the greater part of the world has worshipped till now as Father.
This is but putting in another way what is already acknowledged in principle by all the religions of the world. Even uncivilised tribes of people in primitive times can be shown to have worshipped some form or symbol which had behind it the idea of a Great Spirit that was Universal and Omnipresent. Take the following records of the World’s Religions as showing the universality of this concept :
HINDU :-Only One, without a second.
Chhandog ya Upanished, VI. ii. i
I, O Gudakesha, am the Self, seated in the heart of all beings; I am the beginning, the middle and also the end of all beings. Nor is there aught, moving or unmoving, that may exist bereft of Me…. Having pervaded this whole Universe with one fragment of Myself, I remain.
Bhagavad Gita X. 20, 39, 42.
To Thee, O Mazda Ahura, without an equal, may I sing songs of praise.
Yasna, XXVII. 3
HEBREW :I am the First and I am the Last; and beside Me, there is no God.
Isaiah, XLIV. 6
I am Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last.
Revelations, XII. i. 3
One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.
Ephesians, IV. 6
To God belongeth the East and the West ; therefore, wherever thou turnest thyself to pray, there is the face of God, for God is Omnipresent and Omniscient.
Al Quran II, ii. 5
He Himself is One, and He Himself is Many….He is always contained in all.
And in a similar way, passages might be cited from the religions of ancient Greece, ancient Egypt, and indeed all other ancient religions not mentioned. And I suggest that if this universally-accepted postulate be true, the postulate that there is but One Life-Power, not two or many, then it must follow logically and inevitably that all manifestations of life, by whatever name they are known or in whatever form they are presented or made cognizable, not only derive their substance and vitality from that One Life, but must also be there for some wise use and purpose.
That in itself, rightly understood, provides a valuable clue to many things that would otherwise be obscure and puzzling. What exactly is the intrinsic nature and essence of that Life Power is not known and cannot be known, except by the way IT manifests. That knowledge, as manifested in some form or other, is available. And, every day, human beings are becoming more and more conscious of this, by experimentation and experience. Quite obviously, therefore, it would be fallacious and misleading to think of any specific or particular expression or manifestation of that One Infinite Life Power as something separate from, or delegated by, that One Life Power, something that is self-determined, self-dependent, and independent. And this would apply also to Messiahs, Avatars, so-called Law-givers and Solar Logoi, and even to the various names and functions of the Trinity in all religions.
Perhaps the handiest and best reminder and illustration of this great truth in our solar system is the central Sun itself in the way it manifests, creatively, preservatively and destructively. We know, for instance, that the influx from that one central sun is always in a dual form by means of the two rays of light and heat and that, were these two rays to be withdrawn or cut off from our earth, the one representing the positive and the other the negative or re-active element, for but the briefest period of time, every form of life on our globe and even the globe itself would quickly perish and disappear.
And, if it be agreed that what is recognised as intelligence in human beings corresponds to the light ray of the sun and in its inner meaning is Light, and that what is known as Love and the emotions in human beings corresponds to the heat ray in the sun and at its source is Divine Affection and Love, one has the key in one’s hand to the solution of most of life’s apparent riddles and problems, provided of course one knows how to use it and does not make the mistake of thinking of a correspondence as being the same thing as a likeness, in a literal sense.
Rightly understood, too, this illustration also answers the old query relative to the beginning of things, as to which came first, the hen or the egg. For, obviously, if one goes deep enough into the origin of things, they both emanate together from the same beginningless One Source. Not only that, but they are component and essential parts of the dual manifestation of the same One Life in that form, the one being impossible without the other. It would be the same if applied to the two rays of light and heat that stream forth from the central sun of our solar system. It would be equally foolish and futile to attempt to deify and isolate either the one or the other or to think of them as having basically separate and selfdependent existences.
And if the manifestation of the One in the form of light or intelligence be thought of as that which is truth, and the manifestation of the One in the form of heat or love is thought of as that which is good, it would not be difficult to realize
not only that the one could not exist in any commendable and attractive degree without the other, but that in some measure, this dual expression of the One Life is to be found in every form of life in each of the four kingdoms of Nature, as well as every form of life in the mental and spiritual worlds.
This is brought out very clearly by the wonderful scientist, sage, and philosopher, Emanuel Swedenborg, in his book The Divine Providence, from which the following extracts are taken:
The Universe with all things in general and particular belonging to it, was created from the Divine Love by the Divine Wisdom. This may be proved from all the things submitted to sight in the world.
Take a tree, or its seed, its fruit, its flower, or its leaf; collect the wisdom that is in you, view the object with a good microscope, and you will see wonderful things ; and the interiors which you do not see, are more wonderful still. Mark the order in its succession, how the tree grows from the seed even till a new seed is produced; and consider whether at every successive stage there is not a continual endeavor to propagate itself further ; for, the ultimate to which it is tending is the seed, in which is its prolific principle anew.
If you wish to think spiritually also, and you can do this if you desire, will you not see wisdom here? And if you are willing to go far enough in spiritual thought, will you not further see that this is not from the seed, nor from the sun of the world….but that it is the seed from God the Creator, whose wisdom is infinite ; and that it not only was in the seed at creation, but is continually in it, afterwards ?-for, sustenance is perpetual creation, as subsistence is perpetual existence. This is just as if you should take away will from action, the work then stops ; or, if from speech you take away thought, speech stops ; or, if from motion you take away effort, motion stops ; in a word, if from an effect you take away the cause, the effect perishes, and so on. Indeed, to every such created thing, power is imparted; but, power acts not from itself, but from Him who gave the power.
Now, because in God are Divine Love and Wisdom, and in the (spiritual) Sun from Him Divine fire and brightness, and from the Sun Spiritual, heat and light, and these two make one, it follows that this one is in a certain image in every created thing. Hence it is, that all things in the Universe have relation to good and truth, and, indeed, to their conjunction; for, good is of Love, and truth is of wisdom; for love calls all belonging to it good, and wisdom calls all belonging to it truth.
From these things it will be obvious that good is not good further than as it is united to its truth, and that truth is not truth further than it is united to its good…. Nevertheless, the good exist separate from truth, and truth separates from good. They are so in hypocrites and flatterers…… The good and the truth in thema not interiorly, thus not in themselves goods and truths ; they are outwardly and only apparent; for, they are only for the sake of self and the world, and not for the sake of good itself and truth itself.
And, as has already been pointed out, the principle of this is true when applied to the Trinity or to any of the different aspects or functions of the One Life Power that have been invested by human beings with a Divinity in their own right, and that are being propitiated, and from which special boons and favours are sought by their different devotees. As already suggested, there cannot in reality be three independent, self-dependent Deities comprising the Trinity. That may be the appearance. But, quite obviously, if there is but One All pervasive Life-Power of which everything that exists and subsists is in some way a manifestation or expression, then it follows that what is sometimes thought of as a Tri-Personality cannot in reality be anything more than three different ways in which that One Power functions and operates, seemingly separated and independent but actually inwardly inter-related and emanating from the One.
For those devotees who are more accustomed to the concrete and very obvious, to think of the One in the many in an abstract way may be very difficult and perhaps an possible thing to do. These people have to be aided in the understanding of things occult or hidden, by the use of pictures, symbols, stories, with possibly a simple form of ritual and observance built around these in relation to their daily life and conduct.
In point of fact, a study of what dependable history have relative to this shows conclusively that this is what happened on an almost universal scale in the ages of the And, at that stage of limited understanding, side by side with a belief in the existence of some Omnipotent Power in the Universe, such an approach and attitude would seem natural and inevitable. It is true it is an attitude that has been exploited by the so-called “guardians” and others of various religious systems, for their own selfish ends. But it is also true that there have always been those, if a few, who have had a truer vision and who have ever striven both by precept and example, to show the difference between a symbol and that which is symbolised.
And this, as I see it, is done in MAI-ISM in a simple and graded way, that, in a rapidly changing world, adapts itself in a rational manner to the devotees of every religion, while at the same time emphasising those underlying truths and principles that are eternal. The only, or main, difference, if any, that I can see, is that MAI or MOTHER DIVINE is regarded by Mai-ists, not as a separate Independent Being or Deity, and not even as deriving Her wonderful transforming powers of Love and Wisdom from the ONE without a second, in some form of deputisation, but that MAI is the One All-Embracive Life-Power, Whose centre is everywhere and Whose circumference is nowhere.
At first sight, this would seem to conflict with the truth enshrined in the illustration about the two rays of light and heat coming from the sun of our solar system, the one ray, light, corresponding to intelligence or the masculine element of creation, and the other ray, heat, corresponding to Love or the feminine element of creation. But, when it is remembered that the one is absolutely indispensable to the other, and that, in fact, the one could not possibly exist or function without the other, the idea of regarding God as Father and not as Mother does not seem to have any solid ground to rest on. Indeed, it might easily be thought of as arising from the false and conceited notion that man is superior to woman and that woman is a sort of deific after-thought, just to keep man company and minister to his various physical and other needs. It is certainly true that most of the laws governing sex-relationships in married life have been made by men for men, and that, too, quite obviously on the basis of that masculine sense of superiority already mentioned.
And, to some extent, this masculine superiority bias is reflected not only in the interpretations given to many of the Scriptural records that touch upon these matters, but in the very wording of some of the records themselves, as generally endorsed by ecclesiastical authorities. Some Scriptural injunctions, following the masculine bias, seek to regulate and guide, or give advice concerning every possible form of human relationship, from those having to do with conception and the birth of a child to those having to do with the dissolution of the physical body and what happens after that.
One way in which this masculine complex protrudes itself is seen in the way women are relegated to some subordinate state or condition in the next world. In Christianity, for instance, there are no women-Angels of any Order ; they are all men. That is also the Theosophical conception and outlook. There are no women Masters ; they are all of the masculine gender. Their Adepts, Chohans, Logoi, World-Teacher, Maha-Chohan, and others of their “Occult Hierarchy” are all men. Not a woman appears amongst them. Even in Hinduism, the most ancient and most comprehensive of existing religions, while the feminine expression of the One Infinite Life-Power has always been emphasised and interwoven into the fabric of Hindu worship, this has been done rather by way of completing, strengthening and supporting the masculine or the Fatherhood conception of Deity, and not by way of inculcating the Divine Motherhood conception.
What it seems to me is lacking in the various religions concerning the Fatherhood-Motherhood conception of Deity, and which MAI-ISM is seeking to provide, is the fact that inwardly, spiritually, basically, the human principle of life is a dual expression of the One Life, whether found in a masculine or in a feminine body, the masculine aspect of this expression being quite impossible and unthinkable without the coordinating and complementary feminine expression or aspect, and vice versa.
This truth can any day be put to the test by a careful examination of the way in which Life itself manifests at different levels and in different states. No scheme for the advancement of mankind could possibly be conceived of and efficiently executed without a balanced co-ordination of these two creative factors. Take the question of the designing and building of an aeroplane, or a modern motor-car, or some grand architectural structure like that, say, of a magnificent temple, cathedral, or such glorious structure as that of the Taj Mahal at Agra. And, it would be the same if one considered the creation and ultimation of some great musical masterpiece or the launching of some great social, political, economic, or other scheme of reform.
What happens ? What are the necessary ingredients ? Being something creative, something that has to do with life itself, its dual manifestation, we naturally have that which corresponds to the masculine aspect and that which corresponds to the feminine aspect–the feminine aspect being that which has to do with the life and beauty or art-side of that which is to be constructed, and the masculine aspect being that which has to do with the form or intellectual or science side of that which is in hand. Without a balanced co-ordination of these two expressions of the One Life, nothing useful or reliable could possibly emerge or exist.
But, how is this done? There is first the inspiration from within, which finds outer expression in thoughts that are committed to paper in the form of a plan or a blue-print. And, often, if these thoughts, as committed to writing, are examined with care they will be found to be a contribution of art and science, in diverse degrees, or, in other words, of the feminine and masculine aspects of creation. In this respect, the twofold balanced aspect in Nature is perfect. This is seen in the mountains, trees, flowers, rivers, streams, and even the birds and animals.
What more striking example of the poised equilibrium of art and science could there be than that presented by the human body, with all its different organs and functions, all beautifully correlated and integrated? It is only at the low levels of human evolution where ignorance, pride and selfishness, play such a big part in human affairs, and even motivate the various schemes and plans and systems of government, that there is lop-sidedness and disequilibrium, some. times on the feminine side and sometimes on the masculine side.
But, even this, at this stage, has a wise use and purpose. For, how could there possibly be a knowledge of that which is true and straight without contact with that which is false and crooked ? We come to a knowledge of the why and wherefore of things, not so much, if at all, from what others tell us or from what is written in books, or even from faith, but from actual experience. And, for this, there must be contrasts and what may be called the requisite field of experience.
From the above, it should not be difficult to see the force and wisdom of regarding the Infinite One Life Power in terms of that of a DIVINE MOTHER instead of that of a DIVINE FATHER, which is the Founder’s conception and stand. MAI-ISM, as I see it, is the unreserved acceptance of and devotion and self-surrender to, the One All-pervading Life Power, recognized by the devotees as MOTHER. This gives it an absolute universality which cannot be narrowed down and confined to any particular religion. To do so, would destroy the basic reality of that conception.
As to the name itself, MAI-ISM, or DIVINE MOTHER, that, too, in the very nature of things, is the most appropriate, the most completely expressive, of the underlying reality. It is true Shakespeare has said that “a rose by any other name will smell as sweet”. A rose by any other name might smell as sweet, but unless the name given to it fitted the essential beauty and loveliness of the rose, and was in fact an outer expression of an inner quality, there would be something inappropriate and out of harmony, something that jarred against one’s inner concept of beauty. Presumably, that would happen if a rose was called by the name of some poisonous, evil-smelling, ugly-looking form of vegetable life.
And the facts show that in the manifestation of life, even in languages and words,-adjectives, nouns, verbs, conjunctions, and so on-there is a marvelous appropriateness and inter-relationship, as marvelous indeed as what exists in any of the other manifestations of life in any of the four kingdoms.
And so, I submit, is the case with the name “MAI”. It is not just a psychological, sentimental, haphazardly chosen name. Rather, is it something that is inherently there. It fits the facts and brings to the mind the very nature of what is expressed, as no other name could, the basic principles of brotherhood, love and service in the great Human Family in which the One Infinite Power manifests as MOTHER in relation to all Her children.
To those who are so inclined, philosophical and metaphysical disputations, as to which came first in the Trinity, whether they are separate Deific Entities or Gods, or as to what difference there is between the systems of Monism, Dualism, and a combination of all the three, may have an attraction as an intellectual pastime and exercise, but in the presence of the world’s urgent needs, it is obvious that something more rational, simple and natural than philosophical, high-brow submissions, is required. We do not want systems of religion built out of theological and philosophical theories and postulates, but out of something that rests solidly on the facts of experience, something that is living, vital and dynamic.
Personally, I hold the view that real religion cannot in itself be merely a set of beliefs, accompanied even by rites and ceremonies. In its ultimate reality, religion seems to me to consist of that knowledge of the why and wherefore of things, or, in other words, of such an understanding of the manifestation of life at various levels as to automatically and inevitably translate into conduct and action that which corresponds to that inner knowledge or realization. In this respect, it will be obvious that there is much in the make-up and practice of every organized religion that has to be eliminated and forgotten, and that will eventually drop away.
And, incidentally, there is another rather basic thing relative to MAI-ISM with which I find myself in agreement. I refer to the Founder’s often reiterated statement to the effect that the object of MAI-ISM is to “rationalise religion and religionise rationalism”. For, if you think deeply, that does not mean either an attempt to create a new religion or a new form of rationalism. On the contrary, it means an attempt to get at the reality of both. For, after all, what is rationalism but a truly scientific, unbiassed way of facing up to the demonstrable and universal facts and laws of life, and even trying to organise society on that basis ?
And in this connection, one has to remember that the transition from the present confused and muddled state of irreligion and irrationalism in the world to real “religiosity” and real and universal“rationalism,” void of the imperfections of clinging prejudices and preferences, can only be accomplished very gradually, as real intelligence develops and conditions of receptivity improve.
The birth of MAI-ISM coincides with the birth of an entirely New World Order—the greatest and most revolutionising our planet has known. And I suggest that wise men everywhere, whether in the East or in the West, will have no difficulty in recognising the excellence of its suitability and adaptability as a Divinely Appointed Instrument for effecting the change from one state of things that is dying to another state that is as yet but a little child, but, that has immense undreamed of possibilities.
And I also suggest that no one should be surprised if, in the circumstances, modern Herods arise here and there, who, with modern and perhaps religiously labelled methods and ways, will seek to strangle the “child” before it has time to grow up. But even these must eventually be won over by the love and wisdom of the DIVINE MOTHER.
“MAI-ISM”—THE FOUNDER’S EVOLVING
CONCEPTION OF “MAI”
In the previous chapter, I have, acting on a suggestion by the Founder, given my own views of “Mai-ism”. I have also mentioned some of the main reasons why I hold those views. In doing so, I have sought to show that if there is but One All-Pervading Life-Power, of which everything that exists is a manifestation in some form or other of that Infinity, then it must follow that this applies to every expression of Deity, by whatever name that Deity is called, and even to the different functions of those Gods as represented, for instance, by the different conceptions of the Trinity held by the different religions of the world—the Father, Son and Holy Ghost of Christianity ; the Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva of Hinduism; the Osiris, Isis and Horus of the Egyptian Trinity ; and, so on. I have also tried to show that a genuine and intelligent understanding and acceptance of this basic and universal truth automatically destroys the idea of “superiority” in the matter of any particular revelation of God to man, or even of the instrument through which the revelation was made, the greater and purer truth being that all are expressions or manifestations of the One-without-a-second, suited to any given time and state.
On these basic postulates, there would appear to be a very large measure of agreement between my own conception of MAI-ISM and those of the Founder. He, of course, has arrived at his conclusions in a way which, though, as in my case, has been gradual, has been different in some respects from that by which I have arrived at my conclusions. That in itself is a very interesting and illuminating phenomenon. It points to the fact that, as there are no two people exactly alike in the matter of inner drives and mental and other idiosyncracies, that One Life as It manifests in and through those differences is quite naturally affected to that extent, or has the appearance of being so affected, some human beings will be more sensitive and responsive to the impact of that One Life than will others.
And coupled with this, is the fact that the outer environment will invariably be found to be the one best suited for the expression and development of those inner drives and life qualities and the work that particular person is destined to do. But whatever be the differences, inner as well as outer, the total effect on the consciousness will be found to be of an evolving and progressive kind.
This is brought out very clearly in the changing concepts of MAI-ISM entertained by Mai-ji, especially during the earlier periods of his life. As already stated, his idea of God at the age of 12 was that of the Hindu conception of Matajee, as the embodiment of some very formidable, and at times very terrible, form. What he seems to have been mainly concerned about at that tender age was not anything particular, theoretical or philosophical, relative to this harsher aspect of this “Shakti” manifestation of Deity, but whether Matajee was a reality or merely a conventional belief. And although in his quest for the truth concerning this, he made numerous tests, already mentioned, it was not until several years later that his doubts in this respect were resolved.
As regards the nature and contents of that conventional conception of Matajee, the Founder states thus on pages 2 and 3 of his book “MAI-ISM”:
The conception of Hindu Devi or Matajee is that of sternness, terror, and destructivity, though often united with benignity and mercifulness……. Matajee is Hinduistic (restricted to Hindus alone) and She is the personification of Power-all Powers of all types from the lowest to the highest
MAI or MAI-JI 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 the donor of powers, leading to general happiness, success, rulership, etc.. … The relationship with Mai is that of a mother and child. Matajee is mostly a Goddess of fear and power, whereas Mai-ji is the Goddess of parental Love and permanent welfare….To put it in the usual Scriptural language, Matajee is the Tamasic aspect, whereas Mai-ji is the Sattvic aspect.
Having satisfied himself by several tests that Matajee did exist, although in the form of a rather terrible Deity, the next question he strove to settle to his satisfaction was as to why and how two apparently clashing concepts of God arose, and whether there was not some mistake here of man’s making. It seemed to him that the truer conception was, and must be, that of God as a DIVINE MOTHER. But, to make sure, he again experimented and put the matter to test. One convincing answer to his prayers and struggles in this respect came to him in the form of a very vivid dream in which he was assured that MATAJEE was MAI-JI and that She would be to him” purely and unadulteratedly” a loving and an ever-present Mother.
Two or three years later, after reading “Yoga-Vasistha and Vedantism,” and after getting his intellect clouded with controversial thoughts along these lines, and after interviewing many religious teachers and authorities on the subject, he passed through another terrible period of trial, test and “Maya”created doubt. During this period, he literally descended into a hell of torment in which he actually resolved to commit suicide, but was saved from doing so in the manner, as already described.
What I am trying to make clear is, that the Founder’s conception of MAI-ISM has been a gradual revealment and development, in consonance with the steady enrichment of consciousness along these lines, and that this revealment and development cannot be rationally explained on any other ground than that of an ordained preparation for the great work that lay ahead, both with respect to the movement itself and with respect to its Founder’s own inner development and preparation
And, from this, may I suggest, he safely concluded that the conception, tenets, and the building up of the movement of MAI-ISM to suit the changing times, will also be on an evolutionary scale, with phases that may sometimes be trying and difficult, involving new forms of services and adjustments, but with basic truths and principles that persist and endure. So much seems clear in the Founder’s own conception of MAIISM as briefly outlined in his Reprint of “MOTHER’S MESSAGE” of “MAI-ISM,” pages 5 & 6 thus :
Mai is not Maya or the Illusion-Creator, not Shakti or Power requiring a separate Controller ; not Father’s wife ; not Mother Mary, not God’s handmaid……..
Mother is essentially the Ocean of Infinite Love and Mercy. Mother is human mother, vested with omnipresence, omniscience, and omnipotence, and raised to Infinity and Godhood. MAI is to a Mai-ist what a human mother is to her child.
Under MAI-ISM, there is no place, by its very postulates, for the condemnation of Harijans as untouchables. Woman’s subjugation by man, or condemnation by routine religion as “Narakasya Dwaram”-Hell’s Gate—has no room, as every Mai-ist is expected to look upon every woman as a representative form of Mother, and, as under Mai-ism, the union of man and woman in the Mother’s, worship—is the highest spiritualising force. The spirit underlying the words “Heathen”, “Kafir”, “Mlecha”, “Durvan”, etc., has no existence under MAI-ISM…… Mother is Guru, and Mother is Kundalini, or the serpentine power. Mother is Omnipresent, Omniscient and Omnipotent.
The tenets of MAI-ISM are described as “ Love, Service, Devotion and Self-Surrender.” And, as the Founder puts it pointedly in his Book “MAI-ISM,” page 570:
Religion is to be seen in the life you live, and not in the words you speak or write or in some particular external ritualistic action or observances that people call “religion”.
NOW, if the word “MOTHER” represents something that is Omnipresent, Omniscient and Omnipotent, what can that mean but that the One Infinite Life Power is here and now and all the time manifesting itself in EVERYTHING? And this “ Everything,” rightly understood, must include such things, as human nature, passions, free-will, mind, so-called evils and weaknesses, as well as the so-called good and beautiful things of life. It must also mean that there is a wise use and purpose for every manifested form of life. That manifestation cannot, in reality, be something that ought not to be there, something, that is, that has an independent, self-dependent existence and that is therefore in some way inimical to and outside the One and Only.
I mention this because, whatever may be the outer appearance, in reality, there cannot possibly be a case of Infinite Love, Wisdom and Power making some mistakes or being thwarted, deflected and even defeated, in Its purpose by something that is a finite part of that Infinity. The Founder himself seems to emphasise this truth on page 596 of “ MAI-ISM,” where he says:
It should not upset one on being told, that even temptations are Mother-sent and for making you stronger and better ……Such temptations and even passions have their particular purpose to serve. These temptations are part of the programme set by MOTHER…. For Mother’s surrendered, She manages temptations, She gives the strength, She gives the failure. … Only, mind the proviso, viz., “if you surrender”….
A warning here is also given by the Founder to those who would seek to take refuge in the fact that, as everything is the outworking of One Will of the Infinite Life Power, there is really no need for effort and exertion on the part of the would-be devotee. For, he says, on page 597 of “MAI-ISM:”
You have to exert. You have to fight out. You have to awaken your latent powers. You have to pass through ordeals—to that end.
On the same page, he also refers to the operation of what he calls divine psychic law and says:
Every time that you succeed in overcoming a temptation, or in controlling your passions, you get many times much greater intensity. That is the way MOTHER trains you, by making you pass through harder and harder exercises.
In other words, the whole trend of the manifestations of the One Life is in the direction of helping one to eventually attain to something that is real and true and eternally beautiful. And, therefore, the process or modus operandi of this, reduced to practice, may be said to be MAI-ISM, or, to put it differently, Mother’s Grand Plan for all Her children everywhere, irrespective of the country, faith, or community to which they may happen to belong.
In this chapter, I have purposely stressed this aspect of the Founder’s conception of MAI-ISM-that of Brahman or the Infinite One Life Power being regarded as the Universal
Mother Divine, with a Divine Mother-Child relationship. I have done this because this conception is basic and all-inclusive. It is also simple and natural and easily understandable. But, above all, it is so wonderfully and beautifully true. In subsequent chapters, many other aspects of “MAI-ISM” will be dealt with, but in this basic aspect lies the key to the solution of every apparent problem that may appear to crop up in connection with the movement.
But, of course, that knowledge comes slowly, is evolutionary, and, as has been made obvious in the life of the Founder, often involves passing through many trying and painful experiences. Indeed, to be able to understand the main lines of the outworking of that One Infinite Life Power to such an extent as to be able to give willing and intelligent co-operation may be said to be the main purpose of existence itself.
In subsequent chapters of this book other aspects of “MAI-ISM” will be considered, but, it will, I suggest, be a great aid to an intelligent understanding of those other aspects, as expressed by the Founder, if the two truths mentioned above are always kept in mind. That is, (a) the one truth is, that the Divine Mother is Omniscient, Omnipresent and Omnipotent; and (b) the other truth is, one’s knowledge and realization of this is always on an evolutionary scale.
UNORTHODOX HEALING AND PSYCHIC
In considering samples of the many striking cases of healing and psychic or occult phenomena that have taken place and that are taking place in the movement of MAI-ISM, it is helpful to keep well in mind the attitude to and ignorance of both orthodox science and orthodox religion with respect to such phenomena. Neither the one nor the other has anything very new or helpful to offer in this connection. Indeed, it would be true to say that both Science and Religion, as those terms are usually understood, have gone about so far as they can go along the old lines.
With regard to science, a study of the latest scientific discoveries and investigations, relative, say, to the hidden power in nuclear energy, as well as the admission of the foremost scientists, make that perfectly clear. In order to go further with any convincing degree of certitude and intelligibility, science will now have to direct its research efforts to the world of basic and primary causes. And, in order to do that effectively, it will necessarily have to adopt a new technique and method in its approach to the subject, which at present it is rather reluctant to do.
And in a different way, this is true also of the various organised systems of religion, and that, too, despite the many efforts that have been and that are constantly being made to get together on some common platform relative, say, to certain basic and universal principles. One of the more outstanding of these efforts was what was called the Parliament of Religions, which assembled in Chicago, U.S.A in 1893, in which Swami Vivekananda was perhaps the most impressive and effective speaker. And since then, International Conferences of various kinds dealing with Religion, Spiritualism, Psychology, etc., have been fairly common and appear to be on the increase.
But, with one or two exceptions, I think it would be true to say that each organised system of religion and each sect or school of thought stemming out of these main religious bodies, while accepting certain unifying postulates theoretically, continue in practice along much of the same old lines, with possibly a new facade or look, here and there.
And, here, it is well to remember that the “ need ” already referred to is not so much, if at all, that of starting a new religion, but that of presenting in a simple, attractive and convincing form that inner reality which all earnest seekers after PURE TRUTH intuitively feel must exist. It is a case not only of helping these seekers to distinguish the wheat from the tares, but of providing ways and means of perceiving and testing the difference between the appearance of Truth and Truth in reality.
And, perhaps, I might be permitted to include at this point an extract from a communication made on this subject from Within as far back as November 18, 1880, by one who was instrumental in “ultimating ” the grand truths contained in the BHAGAVAD GITA and which communication quite obviously relates to what is happening in the world just now. It runs thus :
I know no question so important as that of the distinction between Truth and the Appearance of Truth,…. Both wheat and tares have been cast into the ground, and now is the set-time for the ingathering, and the separation of the one from another…. The problem as to what is Truth has been propounded, but for ages has been unsolved, and until the present, not even an angel has come forth to solve it….
Just such an agitation (as the present) enclouded your Earth some 1,900 years ago ; and exactly at this juncture, when there is a mass who would worship, if they knew what to worship-we come upon the scene. There are many sincere souls who cannot be fed, and remain unsatisfied with what is given by the outer man , these are seeking to understand something from the Realm of Spirit. When they go and join in the gorgeous rites and ceremonials of external worship and gain nothing therefrom, they return to the communion with their own souls, feeling a want of something which the outer world cannot give. It is these, who, in calm tranquillity, are seeking to be guided not to the appearance of things, but to the Reality of Truth.
The Dispensations are dividing. The Great Power, the Mighty Halo, that divided the waters of the host of Israel and for Pharoah and his host, is now operating, and is now infilling, intensifying, and developing the being, on every plane of life’s existence. TH manifested by the activity and the enterprises of the various Churches who are raising the enquiry-but in other words who is upon Pharoah’s side? And who is on the side of Truth?
This is the state for the appearance of Truth to be displaced….
In all the records of the past, you have an expression of various attributes of Deity ; but, in none among the millions, that have passed away and are passing away into obscurity, has the dilemma been found to compare with that which is experienced by those in the now-passing-away Dispensation.
In the Dispensation that is passing away, symbols have been mistaken for the things symbolised. That condition of things still obtains to a very large extent. And, that is so, even although some of the symbols have been changed or re-oriented in accommodation to changing circumstances. But, although the symbols may change, and even pass away, the basic cause of them-The Infinite One Life Powerthought of in MAI-ISM as the DIVINE MOTHER-will remain and will continue making its appeals to that within, which is capable of consciously responding. Until then, symbols and various kinds of phenomena may not unfairly be regarded as the “ vestibule to the Living Temple of Truth, through which the enlightened human spirit may enter, and, entering therein, may worship in Spirit and in Truth.”.
I have written the above as a sort of introduction to these very remarkable cases of healing and equally remarkable supernormal happenings that have taken place and that are constantly taking place in connection with the rise and progress of the Mai-ist movement in India, and of which I now propose to give samples. But, before doing so, I venture to suggest that much the same kind of thing is taking place in various parts of the world just now and for much the same purpose, namely, that of pointing the way to some Inner Reality, or, of constituting the vestibule to that “Living Temple of Reality.”
is this that is giving a jolt to orthodoxy in all its various aspects, religious and secular.
There are, for instance, the thousands of well-attested cases of healing that have taken place at Lourdes in France by the simple process of prayer and bathing in the healing waters of the Grotto there, made famous by the visions of the Maid Bernadette nearly one hundred years ago. Take one of them, recently given some prominence by the British newspaper “ The People.” (See also details in a recent article in “Readers’ Digest” January 1956).
It concerns Mrs. Sarah Slevin, a farmer’s wife living at Clough Jordon, Tipperary, Ireland, who was suffering from an advanced development of rheumatic fever which attacks the heart. Medical Science said that there was only one remedynot a very hopeful one. That was an operation on the heart. The doctor’s opinion was that she was “ too weak for the operation.” Her condition was so bad that a priest was sent for to perform the last rites. As the result of a talk with a relative who had been to Lourdes and who had witnessed many wonderful cures, it was arranged that Mrs. Slevin should also go there. She did ; she bathed in the waters and was healed. That was a year ago. Today, Mrs. Slevin does her share of the domestic and agricultural work connected with the farm. Her doctor, Dr. Franci Quigley says: “She needs no more injections. It was a remarkable recovery.”
Here again, is an extract from a report of a very wonderful demonstration of healing that took place in the Royal Albert Hall, London, recently, in the presence of about 6,000 people, and which demonstration was witnessed by 17 members of the Commission on Divine Healing set up by the Archbishops of Canterbury and of York, and also by a Special Committee of four members set up by the British Medical Association, to gather evidence. The extract, taken from a report of the proceedings appearing in “ News of the World ” runs :
On the platform, stood 61-years old silver-haired Harry Edwards, a homely, shirt-sleeved figure.
One after another, men, women and children climbed painfully, or, were carried on the stage. And the man who says that his mysterious power comes from a Divine source placed his hands on their stiff, swollen joints, their twisted limbs, their useless cars and eyes….
As Harry Edwards stepped forward on the platform, his hand was in his pocket. He slipped off his jacket, rolled up his sleeves, closed and laid his hands gently on the first subject-a man said to be crippled by spinal curvature. After a time, the man stood upright, and, when he climbed down, from the stage, he left behind his two walking-sticks.
Then, an elderly New Zealander who said he had not touched his toes for three years, bent down and touched them.
A man whose hands were twisted by arthrites, from which he said he had suffered for 30 years, clasped and unclasped his fingers.
As so, it went on throughout the evening until the vast crowd dispersed to the strains of the Albert Hall’s mighty organ.
Two well-established facts relative to supernormal happenings and the so-called “ miraculous ” healings, might be usefully noted here. The first is, that they will be found to take place fairly frequently at a time of great expectation or change of direction in human history, such for instance, as that which took place round about the birth of Christianity 2000 years ago, and such as is taking place now in the expectation of a NEW MESSIAH or NEW ERA.
The second is, and that is a fairly well-established fact concerning them, the extraordinary diversity of opinion with regard to the modus operandi of these happenings and who or what it is that is responsible for them. Some of those closely associated with these unusual phenomena rather vaguely and perhaps blindly, or at least trustfully, credit them either to the direct intervention of some Supreme Being, or it may be to some particular aspect of that Deity to which they are most devoted–and perhaps also, in answer to some prayer, offering, rites and ceremonies performed, or, it may be, the uttering of some “mantra ” or other. There is little or no understanding of the real modus operandi of what happens. Sometimes their prayers get answered, and sometimes they do not. When their prayers are not answered, they either conclude that this is due to some fault of their own or that in their case, “God’s will” is something different for them, and call for strength to carry their “Cross.” That is the attitude of millions who know not who or what they worship.
There are others who are inclined to take the credit to themselves for anything that happens of a supernormal kind. They will even make charges for the use of “occult” or clairvoyant gifts in this connection. Some spiritualists and mediums are to be found in this category. Others, a little less materialistic and egoistic, will give the credit to what happens to their particular “ control” or “spirit guide” or “Master”, without having the slightest knowledge of the rationale of the phenomena or the laws governing the same.
There are others, again, who are chary of accepting the validity or genuineness of anything along this line that is not in harmony with their particular tenets and beliefs. Many orthodox Christians are like this. Anything in harmony with the Christian traditions, creeds, and ecclesiastical interpretations will stand a better chance of being accepted than anything that seems outside this canonical approval and presentation.
That is one of the hurdles which orthodox Christianity has found it difficult to surmount in connection with the healing methods of the famous healer mentioned, Mr. Harry Edwards, who, although he prays inwardly to some Unseen Power before beginning his healing work, refuses to commit himself to any particular Christian phraseology or ecclesiastical set-up. Indeed, he has frankly admitted that he does not know how the healings take place, or why it is that some people who seem to have faith do not get healed, while others who may be sceptical or who are too young or inexperienced to know anything about these things, do get healed. All he knows is that he is conscious of a “Power” flowing through him, and that thousands of people do get healed when he lays his healing hands on them.
In the case of the Founder of MAI-ISM, supernormal happenings during his life divide themselves into two categories. The first has to do with his own inner preparation, as he passed from one stage and state of thought to another. Some of these have already been mentioned. They relate to critical and often very trying and painful periods in his evolution and development. They are worth a careful study and might usefully be put in book form themselves in this connection. The second category has more to do with the actual launching and building up of the Mai-istic movement itself, as an immensely important connecting link between an age that has been noted for the clashing ideologies and theologies of different systems of organised religion, and an age that is earnestly seeking an underlying reality and a way of life that is absolutely universal and rational.
And although there most certainly is a very clear and rational explanation for various remarkable psychic or occult phenomena that are taking place in the world, and in MAI-ISM, the Founder of MAI-ISM would appear not to bother his head unduly on this score. Having accepted the Infinite One Life Power as MOTHER, Omnipresent, Omniscient and Omnipotent, and having put this to the test in numerous ways, he would appear to think not only that nothing is impossible to Mother, but that supernormal happenings that may bring relief and a certain amount of happiness in certain conditions, may be permissible and helpful. On page 102 of “MAIISM”, the Founder cites the following incident which is in substantiation of this :
Once the Founder was the guest of an atheist in South India. He was given a spacious room where he was conducting his worship in a corner. Two days later, the pet son of the man fell dangerouslyill……….To the surprise of his parents, the boy said “I won’t be cured unless you worship MAI (MOTHER) that has come to us and repeat hymns and mantras which Baba dictates”. Strange and ridiculous. The man who had vehemently argued only just before, explained the situation to the Founder. Said the Founder : “It does not matter that you have no faith…. Your son has full faith, with the divine innocence of a child, and that is more than enough…..”. The boy began to be speedily cured, and the whole family became changed in the matter of their outlook about religion.
But, at the same time, while the Founder may be said to lay more stress on service, devotion, and self-surrender toMAl as a means of accomplishing things than he does on the“ miraculous ” or “spectacular”, and while he does not concern himself much, if at all, with the modus operandi ofi same, confident as he is that nothing is impossible to that o Universal and Almighty Power which he regards as MOTHER he is nevertheless driven by experience to recognise not only that these unusual things do happen fairly regularly in the ambit of his influence and activities, but that they also serve a useful purpose in the scheme of things. Certainly, all sorts of unusual phenomena to all sorts of affairs of life, quite apart from what is sometimes called “unorthodox healing”, do happen-things that cannot be accounted for by any known methods of orthodox science.
Take the following, as a means, let us say, of dispersing doubts and raising the spirits of a devotee, and recorded on pages 88-89 of the book ” MAI-ISM.” The Founder had been invited by a devotee to a big Navaratra celebration in Vile Parle, Bombay, which had been prepared on an elaborate scale, at great pains and cost, in the expectation of a huge gathering. Owing, however, to an unusually heavy downpour of rain, just prior to the celebration, everything was spoiled and the arrangements upset. Instead of the expected crowd of 500 or more, there were only 50 people. In consequence, the devotee concerned became much depressed and even thought it meant the Divine Mother’s displeasure in some way. “I am afraid”, he said to the Founder, “this means I have lost all Mai’s Grace.” He determined however to carry on and make the best of it. In this, he was encouraged by the Founder, who, going near to the water-drenched altar in the presence of 50 people prayed thus in a loud voice so that all could hear:
MOTHER!! Who will be Thy devotee if Thou dost not give encouragement and proof of Thy mercy in this Kaliyuga, at every step of Thy devotees? See, here is Thy devotee ; he is out and out depressed. The world smashes us, and Thou also dost not take heed…. Does it befit the Divine Mother, the Most Merciful Mai?
No sooner were these words addressed, than there was a blaze of fire as high as about seven feet above the altar, and that remained there for about ten or twelve minutes, until, in fact, the Arti was finished with Stotras, hymns, etc.
All present went to the highest point of humility with a saturation of their nothingness. Wherefrom came this blaze from the altar which was entirely wet, watery and empty?
Something like this also took place at Ahmedabad at the usual Friday Mother’s Lodge-meeting, when doubts had been expressed with regard to the genuineness of the presence on that occasion of some exquisite and powerful fragrance that suddenly pervaded the whole atmosphere during the Service, itself a phenomenon of no mean kind. Turning his attention to this expressed doubt, the Founder asked: “What evidence would you like? What do you want to see?” Someone, responding to a thought, suggested: “We would like to see MOTHER give Her garland to you.”
It is then recorded that, after the Founder had prayed for a
the altar, the garland, which was resting around the symbolic picture of the DIVINE MOTHER on the altar, “gradually untied itself, flew into the air, and fell on the neck of the Founder.” Referring to this, the Founder writes: “ All were thunderstruck, because a mere belief is after all an imaginary thing ; what people actually see with their own eyes is most convincing.”
The following quotations from “MAI-ISM” relative to “ miraculous” or unusual happenings of various kinds at Mai-istic meetings, will be found illuminating and instructive : (page 91).
The Founder does not give great importance to miracles, but there is surely a stage when the miracles do the “eye-opening” work for many people who are really of an atheistic mentality, but who courteously and not honestly assent to beliefs about the existence of the other world, or, life after death, or invisible spirits, deities and GOD. Their assent is mostly out of fear of being thrown out from society of God-believers and for so many other reasons.
Saints do not count upon miracles to enlarge their influence, but these are casual happenings managed by the deities themselves to enhance the value of their devotees, so that they be heard with love, faith, sanctity and respect…. How do miracles help you and me, if we do not make it a point of being of the deserving plane in the matter of our devotion, love, service and surrender ?
And, on page 94 of the same book, there is another useful reminder along the same lines thus :
It has been the centuries-old wrong notion and 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 bombastically talks Gnyana, Vedas, Geeta, discourses, and explains different schools of various beliefs, “Darshans” and philosophies, and makes astounding professional exhibitions. The next place would be given to the poor and humble Bhakta (devotee) who tries to serve the opium of devotion to create forgetfulness.
The man who advises on practical-life-matters or helps or serves people in distress or helplessness, is only Mr. So and Something more than a good and kind man. There are innumerable instances in the Puranas where Rishis and Munis have helped and served the world and people in their most mundane matters and have been all the more revered for their service and sacrifice……….(and then, follows various illustrations) ……
Service and sacrifice have lost all religious recognition. Divine knowledge and devotion-talks and ceremonious functions and ritualistic performances, temple-going, pilgrimage-running, river-bathing, saints’-crowding, etc., have altogether ousted both public and private service and sacrifice. . . . . . Bankruptcy of inner richness is tried to be made up by creating inflated values for external, easily manageable actions. Stuff-less people are always extremely particular about handsome and costly dresses. Man-to-man relationship, conduct, character and behaviors, etc. have been thrown into the background, whereas, talks of Man-to-God relationship, Divine knowledge and Devotion…. have become, practically, items of highest importance in the matter of the definition and summation of Religion.
Who is dearer to you, if you are hungry-the one who prepares toilingly a dish for you and holds it before you, or, the one who sits in front of you reciting your praise to the skies?
And it is on this background and in this spirit that the Founder would appear to regard all supernormal happenings more in the light of a little service rendered both to the individual MAI-ji and to the cause of “MAI-ISM” generally. In one place, he seems to think of these unusual happenings, more especially perhaps when mantras are resorted to in connection with the prayers offered, in terms of “practical spiritual diplomacy.”
However, that may be, it is certain that these supernormal happenings do take place in connection with the rise and development of the Mai-ist movement. And not infrequently, they take place at a distance. Indeed, in these matters, neither time nor space would seem to count very much, if at all. There are numerous cases on record of enquirers or devotees receiving very definite instructions and help in a dream or in a vision, or in some other occult way, -people living hundreds and perhaps over a thousand miles away from Bombay-the headquarters of the movement.
UNORTHODOX HEALING AND PSYCHIC
In considering samples of the many striking cases of healing and psychic or occult phenomena that have taken place and that are taking place in the movement of MAI-ISM, it is helpful to keep well in mind the attitude to and ignorance of both orthodox science and orthodox religion with respect to such phenomena. Neither the one nor the other has anything very new or helpful to offer in this connection. Indeed, it would be true to say that both Science and Religion, as those terms are usually understood, have gone about so far as they can go along the old lines.
With regard to science, a study of the latest scientific discoveries and investigations, relative, say, to the hidden power in nuclear energy, as well as the admission of the foremost scientists, make that perfectly clear. In order to go further with any convincing degree of certitude and intelligibility, science will now have to direct its research efforts to the world of basic and primary causes. And, in order to do that effectively, it will necessarily have to adopt a new technique and method in its approach to the subject, which at present it is rather reluctant to do.
And in a different way, this is true also of the various organised systems of religion, and that, too, despite the many efforts that have been and that are constantly being made to get together on some common platform relative, say, to certain basic and universal principles. One of the more outstanding of these efforts was what was called the Parliament of Religions, Which assembled in Chicago, U.S.A in 1893, in which Swami Vivekananda was perhaps the most impressive and effective Speaker. And since then, International Conferences of various Kinds dealing with Religion, Spiritualism, Psychology, etc., have been fairly common and appear to be on the increase.
But, with one or two exceptions, I think it would be true say that each organised system of religion and each sector school of thought stemming out of these main religious bodies while accepting certain unifying postulates theoretically continue in practice along much of the same old lines, with possibly a new facade or look, here and there.
And, here, it is well to remember that the “ need ” already referred to is not so much, if at all, that of starting a new religion, but that of presenting in a simple, attractive and convincing form that inner reality which all earnest seekers after PURE TRUTH intuitively feel must exist. It is a case not only of helping these seekers to distinguish the wheat from the tares, but of providing ways and means of perceiving and testing the difference between the appearance of Truth and Truth in reality.
And, perhaps, I might be permitted to include at this point an extract from a communication made on this subject from Within as far back as November 18, 1880, by one who was instrumental in “ultimating ” the grand truths contained in the BHAGAVAD GITA and which communication quite obviously relates to what is happening in the world just now. It runs thus:
I know no question so important as that of the distinction between Truth and the Appearance of Truth, …. Both wheat and tares have been cast into the ground, and now is the set-time for the ingathering, and the separation of the one from another ….The problem as to what is Truth has been propounded, but for ages has been unsolved, and until the present, not even an angel has come forth to solve it….
Just such an agitation (as the present) enclouded your Earth some 1,900 years ago; and exactly at this juncture when there is a mass who would worship, if they knew what to worship–we come upon the scene. There are many sincere souls who cannot be fed, and remain unsatisfied with what is given by the outer man; these are seeking to understand something from the Realm of Spirit. When they go and join in the gorgeous rites and ceremonials of external worship and gain nothing therefrom, they return to the communion with their own souls, feeling a want of something which the outer world cannot give. It is these, who, in calm tranquillity, are seeking to be guided not to the appearance of things, but to the Reality of Truth.
The Dispensations are dividing. The Great Power, the Mighty Halo, that divided the waters of the host of Israel and for Pharoah and his host, is now operating, and is now infilling, intensifying, and developing the being, on every plane of life’s existence. This is manifested by the activity and the enterprises of the various Churches who are raising the enquiry-but in other words–who is upon Pharoah’s side? And who is on the side of Truth?
This is the state for the appearance of Truth to be displaced….
In all the records of the past, you have an expression of various attributes of Deity; but, in none among the millions, that have passed away and are passing away into obscurity, has the dilemma been found to compare with that which is experienced by those in the now-passing-away Dispensation.
In the Dispensation that is passing away, symbols have been mistaken for the things symbolized. That condition of things still obtains to a very large extent. And, that is so, even although some of the symbols have been changed or re-oriented in accommodation to changing circumstances. But, although the symbols may change, and even pass away, the basic cause of them-The Infinite One Life Power thought of in MAI-ISM as the DIVINE MOTHER-will remain and will continue making its appeals to that within, which is capable of consciously responding. Until then, symbols and various kinds of phenomena may not unfairly be regarded as the “ vestibule to the Living Temple of Truth, through which the enlightened human spirit may enter, and, entering therein, may worship in Spirit and in Truth.”
I have written the above as a sort of introduction to these very remarkable cases of healing and equally remarkable super normal happenings that have taken place and that are constantly taking place in connection with the rise and progress of the Mai-ist movement in India, and of which I now propose to give samples. But, before doing so, I venture to suggest that much the same kind of thing is taking place in various parts of the world just now and for much the same purpose, namely, that of pointing the way to some Inner Reality, or, of constituting the vestibule to that “Living Temple of Reality.” It is this that is giving a jolt to orthodoxy in all its various aspects, religious and secular.
There are, for instance, the thousands of well-attested cases of healing that have taken place at Lourdes in France by the simple process of prayer and bathing in the healing waters of the Grotto there , made famous by the visions of the Maid Bernadette nearly one hundred years ago. Take one of them, given some prominence by the British newspaper ” The People”. (See also details in a article in “Readers’ Digest” January 1956).
It concerns Mrs.Sarah Slevin, a farmer’s wife living at Clough Jordon, Tipperary, Ireland, who was suffering from an advanced development of rheumatic fever which attacks the heart. Medical Science said that there was only one remedy – not a very hopeful one. That was an operation on the heart. The doctor’s opinion was that she was ” too weak for the operation.” Her condition was so bad that a priest was sent for to perform the last rites. As the result of a talk with a relative who had been to Lourdes and who had witnessed many wonderful cures, it was arranged that Mrs. Slevin should also go there. She did; she bathed in the waters and was healed. That was a year ago. Today, Mrs. Slevin does her share of the domestic and agricultural work connected with the farm. Her doctor, Dr. Franci Quigley says: ” She needs no more injections. It was a remarkable recovery.”
Here again, is an extract from a report of a very wonderful demonstration of healing that took place in the Royal Albert Hall, London, in the presence of about 6,000 people, and which demonstration was witnessed by 17 members of the Commission on Divine Healing set up by the Archbishops of Canterbury and of York, and also by special committee of four members set up by the British Medical Association, to gather evidence. The extract, taken from a report of the proceedings appearing in “News of the World” runs :
On the platform, stood 61-years-old silver haired Harry Edwards, a homely, short-sleeved figure.
One after another, men, women and children climbed painfully, or were carried on the stage. And the man who says that his mysterious power comes from Divine source placed in his hands on their stiff, swollen joints, their twisted limbs, their useless ears and eyes ….
As Harry Edward stepped forward on the platform, his hand was in his pocket. He slipped of his jacket, rolled up his sleeves, closed and laid his hands gently on the first subject – a man said to be crippled by the spinal curvature. After a time, the man stood upright, and when he climbed down, from the stage, he left behind his two walking sticks.
Then, an elderly New-Zealander who said he had not touched his toes for three years, bent down and touched them.
A man whose hands were twisted by arthritis, from which he said he had suffered for 30 years, clasped and unclasped his fingers.
As so, it went on throughout the evening until the vast crowd dispersed to the strains of the Albert Hall’s mighty organ.
Two well-established facts relative to super-normal happenings and the so-called “miraculous” healings , might be usefully noted here. The first is , that they will be found to take place fairly frequently at a time of great expectation or change of direction in human history, such for instance, as that which took place round about the birth of Christianity 2000 years ago, and such as is taking place now in the expectation of a NEW MESSIAH or NEW ERA.
The second is, and that is a fairly well-established fact concerning them, the extraordinary diversity of opinion with regard to the modus operandi of these happenings and who or what is that is responsible for them. Some of those closely associated with these usual phenomena rather vaguely and perhaps blindly, or at least trustfully, credit them either to the direct intervention of some Supreme Being or it may be to some particular aspect of that Deity to which they are most devoted – and perhaps also, in answer to some prayer, offering, rites and ceremonies performed, or, it may be, the uttering of some “mantra” or other. There is little or no understanding of the real modus operandi of what happens. Sometimes their prayers get answered, and sometimes they do not. When their prayers are not answered, they either conclude that this is due to some fault of their own or that in their case, ” God’s Will” is something different for them, and call for strength to carry their “Cross”. That is the attitude of millions who know not who or what they worship.
There are others who are inclined to take the credit to themselves for anything that happens of a super-normal kind. They will even make charges for the use of “occult” or clairvoyant gifts in this connection. Some spiritualists and mediums are to be found in this category. Others, a little less materialistic and egoistic, will give the credit to what happens to their particular “control” or “spirit guide” or “Master”, without having the slightest knowledge of the rationale of the phenomena or the laws governing the same.
In case of the Founder of MAI-ISM , super-normal happenings during his life divide themselves into two categories. The first has to do with his own inner preparation, as he passed from one stage and state of thought to another. Some of these have already been mentioned. They relate to critical and often very trying and painful periods in his evolution and development. They are worth a careful study and might usefully be put in book form themselves in this connection. The second category has more to do with the actual launching and building up of the Mai-istic movement itself, as an immensely important connecting link between an age that has been noted for the clashing ideologies and theologies of different systems of organised religion and an age that is earnestly seeking an underlying reality and a way of life that is absolutely universal and rational.
And although there most certainly is a very clear and rational explanation for various remarkable psychic or occult phenomena that are taking place in the world , and in MAI-ISM, the Founder of MAI-ISM would appear not to bother his head unduly on this score. Having accepted the Infinite One Life Power as MOTHER, Omnipresent, Omniscient and Omnipotent and having put this to the test in numerous ways, he would appear to think not only that nothing is impossible to Mother, but that supernormal happenings that may bring relief and certain amount of happiness in certain conditions, may be permissible and helpful. On page 102 [Note No. 142] of “MAI-ISM” , the Founder cites the following incident which in substantiation of this : –
Once the Founder was the guest of an atheist in South India . He was given a spacious room where he was conducting worship in a corner. Two days later, the pet son of the man fell dangerously ill ……
To the surprise of his parents, the boy said, ” I won’t be cured unless you worship MAI (MOTHER) that has come to us and repeat hymns and mantras which Baba dictates”. Strange and ridiculous. The man who had vehemently argued only just before, explained the situation to the Founder. Said the Founder : “It does not matter that you have no faith…. Your son has full faith, with the divine innocence of a child, and that is more than enough…..”. The boy began to be speedily cured, and the whole family became changed in the matter of their outlook about religion.
But, at the same time, while the Founder may be said to lay more stress on service, devotion and self-surrender to MAI as a means of accomplishing things than he does on the “miraculous” or “spectacular”, and while he does not concern himself much, if at all, with the modus operandi of the same, confident as he is that nothing is impossible to that one Universal and Almighty Power which he regards as MOTHER, he is nevertheless driven by experience to recognize not only that these unusual things do happen fairly regularly in the ambit of his influence and activities, but they also serve a useful purpose in the scheme of things. Certainly all sorts of unusual phenomena to all sorts of affairs of life, quite apart from what is sometimes called “unorthodox healing”, do happen – things that cannot be accounted for by any known methods of orthodox science.
Take the following, as a means, let us say, of dispersing doubts and raising the spirits of a devotee, and recorded on pages 88-89 [ Notes 114 to 121 ] of the book ” MAI-ISM “. The Founder had been invited by a devotee to a big Navaratra celebration in Vile Parle, Bombay (Mumbai), which had been prepared on an elaborate scale, at great pains and cost, in the expectation of huge gathering. Owing, however, to an unusually heavy downpour of rain, just prior to the celebration, everything was spoiled and the arrangements upset. Instead of the expected crowd of 500 or more , here were only 50 people. In consequence, the devotee concerned became much depressed and even thought it meant the Divine Mother’s displeasure in some way. ” I am afraid “, he said to the Founder, ” this means I have lost all Mai’s Grace.” He determined however to carry on and make the best of it. In this, he was encouraged by the Founder, who, going near to the water-drenched altar in the presence of 50 people prayed in a loud voice so the all could hear :
MOTHER!! Who will be Thy devotee if Thou dost not give encouragement and proof of Thy mercy in Kaliyuga, at every step of Thy devotees? See, here is Thy devotee; he is out and out depressed. The world smashes us and Thou also dost not take heed … Does it befit the Divine Mother, the Most Merciful Mai ?
No sooner were these words addressed, than there was a blaze of fire as high as about seven feet above the altar, and that remained there for about ten or twelve minutes, until, in fact, the Arati was finished with Stotras, hymns etc.
All present went to the highest point of humility with saturation of their nothingness. Where from came this blaze from the altar which was entirely wet, watery and empty ?
Something like this also took place at Ahmadabad, at the usual Friday Mother’s Lodge meeting, when doubts had been expressed with regard to the genuineness of the presence on that occasion of some exquisite and powerful fragrance that suddenly pervaded the whole atmosphere during the Service, – itself a phenomenon of no mean kind . Turning his attention to this expressed doubt, the Founder asked : ” What evidence would you like ? What do you want to see ?” Someone responding to a thought, suggested : ” We would like to see MOTHER give her garland to you.”
It is then recorded that, after the Founder had prayed for a few minutes, standing as he did so at respectful distance from the altar, the garland, which was resting around the symbolic picture of the DIVINE MOTHER on the altar, ” gradually untied itself, flew into the air, and fell on the neck of the Founder.” Referring to this, the Founder writes :” All were thunderstruck, because a mere belief is after all an imaginary thing; what people actually see with their own eyes is most convincing.”
The following quotations from “MAI-ISM” relative to “miraculous” or unusual happenings of various kinds at Mai-istic meetings , will be found illuminating and instructive : (page 91 , note no. 124) –
The Founder does not give great importance to miracles, but there is surely a stage when the miracles do the ” eye-opening ” work for many people who are really of an atheistic mentality , but who courteously and not honestly assent to beliefs about the existence of the other world , or, life after death, or invisible spirits, deities and GOD. Their assent is mostly out of fear of being thrown out from society of God believers and for so many other reasons.
Saints do not count upon miracles to enlarge their influence , but these are casual happenings manage by the deities themselves to enhance the value of their devotees , so that they be heard with love, faith, sanctity and respect… How do miracles help you and me , if we do not make it a point of being of the deserving plane in the matter of our devotion, love , service and surrender ?
And , on page 94 of the same book, there is another useful reminder along the same lines thus :
It has been centuries old wrong notion and 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 bombastically talks Gyana, Vedas, Geeta, discourses and explains different schools of various beliefs, “Darshanas” and philosophies and makes astounding professional exhibition. The next place would be given to the poor and humble Bhakta (devotee) who tries to serve opium of devotion to create forgetfulness.
The man who advises on practical-life-matters or helps or serves people in distress or helplessness, is only Mr. So and So….. nothing more than good and kind man.
There are innumerable instances in the Puranas where Rishis and Munis have helped and served the world and people in their most mundane matters and have been all the more been revered for their service and sacrifice …….. (and then follows various illustrations)….
Service and sacrifice have lost all religious recognition. Divine knowledge and devotion-talks and ceremonious functions and ritualistic performances, temple-going, pilgrimage-running, river-bathing, saints’-crowding etc.. have altogether ousted both public and private service and sacrifice …… Bankruptcy of inner richness is tried to be made up by creating inflated values for external, easily manageable actions. Stuff-less people are always extremely particular about handsome and costly dresses. Man-to-man relationship, conduct, character and behaviors, etc., have been thrown into the background, whereas talks of Man-to-God relationship, Divine knowledge and Devotion…. have become practically, items of highest importance in the matter of the definition and summation of Religion.
Who is dearer to you, if you are hungry – the one who prepares toilingly a dish for you and hold it before you, or, the one who sits in front of you reciting your praise to the skies ?
And it is on this background and in this spirit that the Founder would appear to regard all supernormal happenings – more in the light of little service rendered both to the individual MAI-ji and to the cause of MAI-ISM generally. In one place, he seems to think of these usual happenings, more especially perhaps when mantras are resorted to in connection with prayers offered, in terms of ” practical spiritual diplomacy.”
However that may be, it is certain that these supernormal happenings do take place in connection with rise and development of the Mai-ist movement. And not infrequently, they take place at a distance. Indeed, in this matters neither time nor space would seem to count very much, if at all. There are numerous cases on record of enquirers or devotees receiving very definite instructions and help in a dream or in a vision, or in some other occult way, – people living hundreds and perhaps over a thousand miles away from Bombay (Mumbai)- the headquarters of the movement.
PLATO AND MAI-ISM
There is an old French proverb which runs “To know all is to forgive all.” That is excellent so far as it goes, but what extent does it apply to embodied human beings? What mortal on this earth ever has known all about himself or herself to say nothing of having even a fair knowledge of the whole why and wherefore things are as they are? A few rare people here and there may have had glimpses of this, but quite obviously, of a very limited and imperfect nature.
Take the case of the great philosopher PLATO. In his “ Republic”, he considered that mothers as a class were too ignorant, sentimental, lop-sided and biased in favour of their own offspring, to be wisely trusted by the State with the training and upbringing of the future citizens of the State. This important work, Plato stressed, should be entrusted only to carefully selected and well trained and gifted women, to be called “Guardians.”
This view would seem to be partially supported by the modern philosopher Bertrand Russell in his book “THE SCIENTIFIC OUTLOOK”, where he goes a little further back than Plato and places emphasis on the selection of parents, and on scientific reproduction. In Chapter XVI of the book mentioned, in considering the “mechanistic trends of society, and “the departures from traditional sentiment which Science may introduce into the question of reproduction”, he envisages a time when 25 per cent of women and some 5 per cent only 01 men will be selected to be the parents of the next generation, while the remainder of the population will be sterilised. The selection, he opines, would be governed by what Science regalo as the “needs” of society. But, speaking more per from his heart than from his head, the great rationalist philosopher has this to say in the last chapter of the above book:
The scientific society in its pure form, which is what we have been trying to depict, is incompatible with the pursuit of truth, with love, with art, with spontaneous delight, with every ideal that man may have hitherto cherished, with the sole exception of ascetic renunciation
It is not knowledge that is the source of these dangers. Knowledge is good and ignorance is evil. … Nor is it power in and for itself that is the source of danger. What is dangerous is power wielded for the sake of power, not power wielded for the sake of genuine good. The leaders of the modern world are drunk with power; the fact that they can do something that no one previously thought possible to do is to them a sufficient reason for doing it. …,
In the conscious desires of the man who seeks power for its own sake there is something dusty ; when he has it he wants only more power, and does not find rest in contemplation of what he has. The lover, the poet and the mystic find a fuller satisfaction than the seeker after power can ever know, since they can rest in the object of their love…. I think therefore that the satisfactions of the lover, using that word in its broadest sense, exceed the satisfaction of the tyrant. … Science as the pursuit of power must not obtrude upon the sphere of values, and a scientific technique, if it is to enrich human life, must not outweigh the ends which it would serve.
To prevent extreme poverty is important, but to add to the possessions of those who already have too much is a worthless waste of effort. . . . . The new powers that science has given to man can only be wielded safely by those who, whether through the study of history or through their own experience of life, have acquired some reverence for human feelings and some tenderness towards the emotions that give colour to the daily existence of man and woman.. A world without delight and without affection is a world destitute of value.
In his definition of the words “the ends of life” the great philosopher-rationalist puts it thus : “ For each individual the ends of life are those things which he deeply desires, and which if they existed would give him peace.” And he thinks that no one has the right to legislate for another on this matter.
And it is precisely here that MAI-ISM comes on the scene with an illuminating message relative to human values and especially to women or the feminine aspect of manifestation that goes far beyond that envisaged either by Plato or by Bertrand Russell or by modern Science. That message,
briefly and imperfectly put, points to the tremendous truth and power that lies in the concept of visualising the One Infinite Life-Power as the Divine Mother, with a Mother-Child relationship in respect of the whole human family.
And so far as organised religions are concerned, this concept is by no means new. It was propounded by Shri Paramahamsa and his wife and by Swami Vivekanand. Indeed, as Maiji has generously admitted, in his book, “MAI-ISM”, (page 429), “If any day, Mai-ism takes root and has the shape of an independent universal Religion, please don’t forget that I am the third ” MAI-SWARUPA”. But, what I think may be claimed to be new and distinctive is the attempt that is being made by Mai-ji to give a practical form to this concept on a truly universal basis. Certainly, to a true Mai-ist, the Divine Mother concept, with its universal implications and applications and human relationships, includes all subsidiary activities. It covers everything, including the so-called weaknesses and idiosyncrasies of individuals. For, of course, in the Mother-Child relationship idea, the weaker, more troublesome and wayward the child, the more will the child be assured of an understanding love and care, and perhaps, correction, best suited to meet the needs of the child, at that particular age and state. And, presumably, that has a collective application also.
That is also the natural basis and full implication of the French proverb, and that is why it has been mentioned here. Reminders and reflections of the truth of this, are common in every country, in the way a typical mother understands, loves, lives and makes joyous sacrifices for her children. It is her life, that in which she best fulfils herself. And that is true even among those well educated mothers whose professional and public duties often take them away from home a good deal, and who, in their absence, can afford to have carefully selected nurses to look after their children. It is certainly a natural phenomenon that is very apparent among the poorer and humbler class of mothers who, perforce, have to do everything themselves.
Personally, I think, no country presents such a powerful and eloquent reminder in this respect as does India. It is something that has a fascination for me, and of which I never cease to wonder. No mere man, I am sure, would have the patience, poise and perseverance to do what millions of women do in India in this respect. And it is something that is strikingly natural and mutual. Not only does the baby-carried on the hip, or sitting on her side, seem to be perfectly at home and happy, but would appear to have the idea that its mother can do anything for it at any time. There is indeed some invisible, intangible, something between mother and child that links them together inwardly and spiritually, and of which Plato in his “ REPUBLIC” would appear to have been either ignorant, or to have purposely ignored it. It is something for which this world has no substitute.
I have underlined the word “spiritually” purposely, because I am perfectly sure the reflection of the Divine Mother in the earthly mother, as this affects her relationship with her child, goes far, far beyond that which is merely biological, glandular, or that which has to do with blood ties and relationships, though of course there must be a biological relationship between the two. That is to say, it is natural for a woman not only to show and feel real motherly affection for her own child, but also for a child that is not her own, but which, due possibly to some mistake in the mixing up of babies in a Maternity Hospital, she is under the impression is her own.
Many such cases are on record. Only recently, a report appeared in a well-known British newspaper of two young London mothers who were given their baby boys ” in error”, soon after their births in Forest Gate Maternity Hospital, London, but who, when told of this by a doctor and pathologist five weeks later, after blood-tests had been taken substantiating the truth of the “ error” confessed, had got so attached to the respective children that they firmly refused to accept such medical evidence, and were quite sure” that they had the “ right” children, and decided to keep them. The respective fathers, it was stated, were“ disposed” to accept the evidence of the “ blood tests”, but as the mothers felt as they did about it, the fathers agreed to let the matter rest there-“ for the time being at least.”
Science and materialien, like Plato’s suggestion about the need of specially trained women to take the place of mothers in the bringing up of children, have their place in life, but they cannot displace, or find a substitute for, that Universal Reality that finds its most natural and beautiful expression in the Mai-istic idea of the Divine Mother, of which earthly motherhood is the most tender and powerful reminder, reflection, and correspondence.
Faith in this grand truth and what it connotes seems to constitute one of the main pillars of MAI-ISM, more especially, I think, relative to the many wonderful phenomena that take place in the movement through the instrumentality of the Founder. But, I am equally sure, it is not the only factor. If I may be a little personal here, I would say that what impresses me most about the Founder is not so much his wonderful faith and his dynamism and ability along many lines, but his simple, straightforward, downright integrity, plus, of course, his understanding vision of things. For himself, his word is his bond. If he makes a promise, he keeps it. Once it is clear to him that a certain line of action is the will of Mother for him, either with regard to his own conduct or with regard to the movement in general, immediately, he sets to work to translate that conviction or feeling of certainty, into action. Once that stage is reached, -and it has been reached some years now-nothing else in the whole wide world matters. But, he has to be dead sure at first.
But, I should not be understood here as suggesting either that the Founder has a kind of “one-way traffic”-mind and sticks doggedly to the point of fanaticism to the course he has adopted, without tact or consideration for others, or that he lays any claim to omniscience and infallibility. On the contrary, he manifests humility, adaptability, and thought for the feelings of and the conclusions of others. He even finds a place in the scheme of things for the atheist.
In this respect, he is a living and splendid representative in human limitations of the Divine Mother-Child understanding and relationship. In fact, I am sure that but for the purifying and ennobling consciousness of this fact, he would strongly object to any personal reference to himself, as such. If there is to be any judging of the man and the movement at all, he would much prefer this should be done on the basis of deeds and not on the basis of words.
Many leaders of different schools of thought and of different organisations will be found to talk glibly and eloquently enough on all possible occasions about the brotherhood of man and the need for some such universal and rational approach to the underlying realities of life, as that sponsored and advocated by MAI-ISM. And, that is good so far as it goes. But, how few, if any, can be found who actually practise what they preach? And here, I do not confine my meaning to some private, personal, and more or less isolated way of life, important and splendid as that undoubtedly is. Rather, am I thinking of giving effect to these universal concepts in a concrete, organisational way that has behind it a simplicity, naturalness and freedom from dogma and from theological impositions, that attracts and carries conviction.
It is true MAI-ISM does have a form of worship. It is true also that this form of worship, with what little ritual there is attached to it, may be said to be derived from Hinduism. GOD, Brahman, the One Infinite Life Power, for instance, is symbolised on the altar by the modern picture of the Goddess “ADI LAKSHMI.” She represents the Divine Mother of all in a Mother-Child relationship. And, sometimes, the Founder, when communing with Her, or when invoking Her aid in the case of some one in difficulty, or distress, or suffering from some disease, will make use of certain Sanskrit words in the form of a “mantra.” But, always, it is the spirit more than the letter that counts and that is stressed, the Reality symbolised and not the Symbol itself. I have attended Mai-istic meetings in which the devotees present consisted of Christians, Parsis, Hindus, and others, as well as one or two of no particular
Faith; and, so far as I could see, each was perfectly happy and satisfied and appeared to sense and partake of the underlying reality to the full measure of his or her powers of receptivity and needs.
At one rather informal meeting at which I was present. there was even a free exchange of opinion between members of the audience and the Founder as to the advisability, or otherwise, of having a more neutral form of worship, and symbol of Mai, than these now in use. Some suggestions along this line were made by one prominent Hindu devotee in the audience, who thought that some such change might have a greater appeal to non-Hindus. On the whole, however, it was felt–and this was also the Founder’s view—that as some form of worship and symbol of Mai were essential, and as the movement had taken its rise in India, it was better not to make a change at this stage. Emphasis was laid on the fact that nothing was irrevocably fixed in these outer matters, and that, so long as the central and universal truth of the Mother-Child Relationship was kept alive in the hearts of the devotees, by means of love, service, devotion and self-surrender to MOTHER’S Will, other things would adjust themselves naturally and easily as the occasion arose.
There are, of course, movements and religious organisations in India and in other parts of the world that I could mentionin the meetings of some of which, I have often taken partthat do strike a universality note and that do seek to stress the underlying reality of things and even formulate some machinery and ideology along those lines. But, with the exception of the “ ANANAI-KYO ” movement in Japan, it would I think, be difficult to find one such movement that is in any way comparable to the movement of MAI-ISM, either in its foundation principles, or in the way these are sought to be translated into action both in the conduct and management of the meetings and various organisations, and in human relationship in general.
This is implied and made clear by Miss S. Mythili, B.A., M.Ed., Madras, in her booklet “SYNOPSIS of MAI-ISM”, page 2, thus:
MAI-JI (as the Founder is popularly called) is for the natural, spontaneous, gradual, spiritual advancement of oneself through Sadhana”… At whatever level one may be, he prescribes practice, with dispassion, and non-attachment, in the midst of temptationseasily said !!-but, practice which is steady and sure, though slow. He is not for throwing away any worldly duties and responsibilities, or for running away from home, family and the world, but for living above worldliness. …He attaches no special value whatever to one “leaving” the home” and assuming “garb of sanyasin”….
MAI-JI’s highest emphasis is in living one’s life, no matter in what circumstances one is placed, in universal-minded manner, with love and service.
He just looks and lives an ordinary, simple worldly man ; no insignia of a Saint, Guru, or Sadhu…… He abhors showiness, shuns dead routinism, long ceremonies and everything that is not solid substantial work ; he craves for a living spark in them that approach.
As Mai-ji himself has said (on page 6 of Synopsis) :
“Believe me, when I say, that the man who loves others, who is devout, and who lives the life of self-surrender, is many times more powerful in altering his own circumstances, environments, tendencies, etc., than the man who has learned all the Scriptures, who has mortified himself by sitting in the midst of five fires, who has mastered “Pranayamam” (breathing-exercises), and who has shut himself in caves, who has awakened his Kundalini, and who has repeated millions of different mantras, millions of times, and who has performed most, mysterious, expensive and elaborate ceremonies for the fulfilment of different specific desires”.
And what I am trying to face up to here is the question of what exactly it is that gives Maiji his driving power, conviction and motivation, relative to his concept of God as the Divine Mother. It must be obvious to those who read with understanding his book, Mai-ism, that it is something more than that postulated either by Plato in his creation of an ideal Republic through specially selected and specially trained women Guardians, or by Bertrand Russell in his remarks about “power” and the limitations of “science” relative to real values. But what is this something?
Elsewhere reference has been made to the marvellous faith Maiji would appear to have in the Divine Mother as the
Infinite One Life. But on what is this faith based ? Of does it consist? Many devotees of the various religions also profess to have faith in a Supreme Being without it much difference in their way of thinking, feeling and living.
I venture respectfully to suggest that Maiji’s faith or whole hearted confidence in Mai or the Divine Mother, rests on and stems from actual living experiences and realizations in con. sciousness that cannot be expressed in words. It is something that goes far beyond mere outer knowledge, whether labelled science or philosophy. And as will be seen from the story of his life, it is a realization that evolves and grows with experience.
In the earlier days of the movement, many unusual happenings took place apparently with the object of removing a doubt in the minds of devotees. For example, when, on one occasion, the Founder visited the home of a very poor devotee in Hubli, where a good number of people had gathered and where the MOTHER’S picture was installed, he found one of the devotees in tears and greatly depressed with the idea that MOTHER was not happy on account of something he had done. In supplication and contrition, the devotee requested Mother to “tell out plainly how I have treated Thee.” The Founder, intervening, implored the Mother to give some sign of Her pleasure and happiness. “If not for me, Mother, speak out for the sake of one whose happiness has been identified with Thy happy being.” Instantly, the glass globes and chandeliers, about 20 in number, which were installed under a large carpet canopy over the altar, began to jingle, move to and fro, and strike one another, as if in some merry dance. There was no wind and no breeze that could account in any way for the strange phenomenon. In order to remove all lingering doubt in the mind of any devotee present, the Founder had the walls of the room, from top to bottom, as well as the floor, struck with thick sticks, but there was absolutely no further movement of the glass globes and different hangings of the chandeliers.
As previously pointed out the Founder is not particularly enamoured of what may be called the spectacular, or that
which has the appearance of being“ miraculous” in Mai-istic meetings, and shows little or no interest in the modus operandi of such phenomena, preferring to attribute everything to the will and pleasure or corrective mood of the Divine Mother. Indeed, his marvellous confidence in the Omniscience, Omnipresence and Omnipotence of MAI, would seem to arise more out of the fact of a multitude of wonderful happenings and experiences than out of any mere belief or theory. At any rate, this confidence is abundantly confirmed by actualities of a practical kind.
As a matter of fact the one thing that holds a prominent place in its teaching of Mai-ism is what may be called the human, practical, rational side, the part that a human being can play, and is expected to play, in all matters of spiritual development and unorthodox healing, and so on. That seems to be included in the idea of Infinite design and direction. The arrangement is by no means a one-sided affair. Whatever the aspirant or devotee can do by way of effort, such as, resistance to temptation, love, service, devotion and self-surrender, must be done, has to be done. All these things are included in the idea of destiny,“ kismet”, fate, etc. One is enjoined to “rise above prejudicial routine, religious mentalities and ways of looking and judging and dealing with things.” “Seek and follow the Spirit.” The Founder applies this truth to sex-attraction which he considers to be a “ divine arrangement for ameliorating the souls of both sexes.” Dealing with this point, on page 658 of the book “ MAI-ISM”, he says :
You have to conquer your lustfulness by deep thinking, constant memory, cautious alertness, creating relishlessness, and hard practice of self-control, with the temptation itself in your front, and with Mother’s Mercy and Guru’s Grace.
Another outstanding practicality of a very human kind insisted on in the movement is what is sometimes described in sporting language as “playing the game”. But, that scarcely expresses to the full what I mean. Not only must there not be any “tricks” under cover of “playing the game”, in order to secure a point, or to beat an opponent, but there must be the absence of any pretence, duplicity, make-believe, empty talk,
and even mental reservations. The devotee, or one seeking some benefit at the hands of MOTHER at a Mai-ist meeting, is expected to ” come clean”, or, in other words, to be downright, honest and straightforward, at least so far as that is humanly possible. As the Founder has stated, in his book “MAI-ISM”, page 282:
The first requirement for the attainment of Mercy or Grace is “SERVICE WITH LOVE”. This service may be physical, mental, or financial ….Your service must be solid, unique emergent.
But, considerable latitude would seem to be allowed in the early stages, though I think it would be extremely difficult, if not impossible, even in the early stages for one who was in any way conscious of the fact that his words did not square with his deeds, to be a happy Mai-ist.
MAI-ISM-CONCERNING INSPIRATION AND
And what applies to Mai-ji’s faith in the Divine Mother relative to abnormal happenings, namely, that it mainly stems out of or is based on actual experience, I would also apply to the importance he appears to give to faith in a Guru and to Guru-disciple relationships in general. Over and over again, in his book “MAI-ISM”, he refers to the importance and even the necessity of the guidance of a Guru in spiritual development; and not only that, of MOTHER’S GRACE.
As a matter of fact, if I am to be quite frank here, this aspect of “ MAI-ISM” has rather bothered me. It has done this very largely because, in my long search among the leaders of the various religious systems and schools of thought for a rational and satisfactory explanation of the why and wherefore of things based, not on speculative theories and beliefs, but on direct first-hand knowledge or actual experience, I have been forced to the conclusion that, speaking generally, those who comprise the priestly hierarchy, whether called Gurus or not, are, as a class, no better informed spiritually, and may even be much less informed, than are those to whom they minister and profess to guide and instruct. Indeed, in many cases I have come across, it has seemed to me a case of exploiting a sentiment for theological, canonical, professional, or even personal ends. Furthermore, I have seen, as I am sure most observant people will have seen, how the system of guruship ” in matters of religion, so very often leads to hero-worship and a “blind” following of a guru that may inspire slogans and a host of other mechanical devices, but which acts as a lulling, deadening opiate in the matter of real, live, free, independent thinking and action.
My study of “MAI-ISM”, brief as it is, rather inclines me to modify, but not really change, my view in this respect.
More especially is that so with regard to the study of the Founder’s autobiography, as unwittingly and perhaps uncon. sciously revealed in his book “ MAI-ISM”. It is as much the story of the growth and development of a soul from darkness to light, from the lower planes of personal struggle and doubt to the uplands of light and certainty, as is the story of Arjuna’s development, as recorded in the Bhagavad Gita. In that respect, both books are Shastras, emanating, if I may venture to say so, from the same Divine Centre or Source, called by different names, but thought of and realised by the Founder as MAI or The DIVINE MOTHER.
In the two ultimations, however, there is this difference. Whereas the GITA was given to the world at least 5,000 years ago (one authority makes it over 7,000 years ago) at a time when there were no wireless, steamships, or aeroplanes, nothing but primitive and very slow means of travel and intercommunication ; and when bows and arrows were evidently the chief means used in warfare, the autobiography of the Founder of MAI-ISM makes its appearance under vastly different conditions, conditions in which, thanks largely to the wonderful discoveries of Science, the world has shrunk to the size of a big Human Family in which the various members of that family are, through their spokesmen and leaders, in close and almost constant touch with each other. One result of this is an appreciable increase of knowledge concerning the world in which we live, and its accompanying power.
The striking feature about this analogy is this. That, while both revelations of virtually the same Truth, were given to the world through a human instrument, that given in the GITA, though also given through a human instrument, was conveyed largely by means of allegories, and a picture-story of a Great Battle, in which many unpleasant things had to be done and many formidable difficulties had to be overcome, and that, too, in a familiar Indian setting, the revelation now being given to the world through the agency of the Founder of MAI-ISM, and which has an absolutely universal setting, consists of a whole series of events in the present crucial times, every one of which can be checked and every one of which speaks for itself.
The difference in the manner of the two revelations is, of course, due to the difference of the receptive conditions obtaining then and now. Even in this more integrated world, it is easier and much more popular to present these great Universal truths in the form of symbols and stories, and to philosophise about them, than it is to live them out in one’s life and strive to make them a reality in all human relations.
And, incidentally, and very respectfully, I would commend to the earnest student of life a careful study of these two series of facts and their implications. There is, for instance, the undisputed fact of the readiness with which many people accept without question the revelation of a great truth given by way of allegories, stories and parables, 1,000, 2,000, 3,000 years ago, while rejecting or hesitating to accept, what is virtually the same truth given through a human instrument today in a modern setting, and supported and substantiated by experience and an array of unusual happenings as wonderful as anything mentioned in the Scriptural records of the past. It is a very suggestive and exceedingly interesting phenomenon, which, when seriously considered, throws a flood of light on the rationale of inspiration, revelation, and the laws governing same.
There is another matter of importance that arises here, relative to revelation and Guruship. How is a devotee to know, with any degree of certainty, whether, or to what extent, what a Guru advises or says does truly and actually reflect the Will of the Supreme Power concerning himself or herself ? In regard to this, my humble opinion has been, and still is, that any Guru-disciple fabric or relationship that rests merely on custom, tradition, belief, or the ecclesiastical interpretation of something written in a book called “sacred”, and not on real spiritual discernment and a life lived in harmony with that spiritual understanding and realisation, is a snare and delusion and can have no appeal to any real thoughtful lover of truth, for its own sake. For those who are ready to run with the hare, as well as with the hound, or who prefer th others shall think for them in these matters, –still, the whelming majority-some such general and simplified arra ment continues to serve a useful purpose.
It is in the GITA sense that I think the Founder’s conception of Guruship has a place. Certainly, if one is to judge by what he is and what he does, and not merely by what he says, one is driven to the conclusion that his idea of Guruship is not just a carry-over from Hinduism, or, some kind of diplomatic concession to Hindu sentiment and convention, but that it is an actual, vital, living reality relative to the manifestation of the One All-Embracive Life Power in the form of the DIVINE MOTHER with Mother-Child relationship.
It is true his background is 100 per cent Hindu. It is true that, as a son of orthodox Brahmin parents, he early became familiar with the various Hindu ceremonies and rites and schools of thought. These things do certainly help to form moulds into which thoughts may easily run and find expression, often unconsciously, in numerous orthodox ways and conventions. This is the basis of casteism, communalism, and a whole host of other isms.
But, is there not a vital difference between this and what may be called actual knowledge based, not upon any speculative theory or traditional background, but upon experience and a continuous living verification of what is experienced ? If, for instance, it were possible for the Founder to so tune in, shall we say, to the atmosphere, thought and feeling of the DIVINE MOTHER, relative not only to himself but to others who may seek his help and advice, would he not then constitute a GURU in the sense of being a living link between MAI and those seeking his guidance and help? And would he then not be justified in passing on to the one who seeks his advice and help and whom he may regard as his disciple, what he intuits or has had communicated to him in that state and condition-10 of course as anything created or concocted by his own rationality and mentality, but as the veritable influx of life thoughts, on the subject under consideration from MAI?
This, as I think, will be obvious to an enlightened intelligence, involves two further considerations. One is that the Guru himself must have become so inwardly prepared and purified as to fairly accurately reflect as in a clear mirror, the wish and will of the Divine Mother, both with respect to himself and the particular difficulty confronting the disciple. The other consideration involved, is the extent to which the said disciple intelligently understands this Guru-disciple relationship and is devoted to and has faith in the Guru. It cannot really mean the carrying forward of a tradition or an old religious custom. That sort of thing is a fragrant breeder of that hero-worship which belongs to the dead past, at least so far as any kind of an awakened spiritual understanding is concerned. What I am trying hard to convey would seem to be inherent in the following statement of the Founder taken from a Reprint of “MOTHER’S MESSAGE OF MAI-ISM”. released early in October 1954, which runs thus : (pages 10 & 11).
The religious ideal which can suit the modern world is one that can take the whole of humanity in its embrace, which can respect and give free play to conscience, experience, and science, which would ensure perfect freedom for every soul to work out its own salvation in its own way, which will teach maintaining a sense of proportio and proper evaluation of essentials, and non-essentials, of a religion, which would develop the faculty of judging all actions and actors, not by their positional values but by the tests of the fundamental truths they satisfy, which would guide without intimidation and mental enslavement, which would make one free from the poison of the over-consciousness of superiority and inferiority of man to man ; and, lastly, which would develop the spirit of practical sisterhood and brotherhood in the daily routine of life.
The above was said with regard to the religious ideal of MAI-ISM, but, as the idea of Guruship and Guru-disciple relationship figures prominently in MAI-ISM, it must be taken to apply to that also. It is something inner, which one has to work out for oneself. Indeed, if there is one thing more than another that the Founder urges with emphasis as rational and essential to spiritual development and freedom from various impediments and entanglements, it is that of refusing to ask God or Guru to do what one can do for oneself. Says he quite plainly, “Don’t ask Mother to do what you can do for self” (page. 307). In fact, he makes it clear that one’s he and feet and brain and ideals (ideas) and mental and spiritual potentialities are part of a Divine arrangement for answer one’s own prayers ; and that the handfolded, sophisticate Sattwik-“ God will do everything”-attitude and mentality is a mischievous delusion that results in spiritual and physical debasement.
Says he, “ Let people, at least Mai-ists, wipe out their notions about this “chhoo-mantar”-mentality (page 306). Mother is simply for removing thorns on your way, guiding you rightly, protecting you…. Your work you have to do. Your burden you have to carry”. (page 308).
This truth is driven home in his book “MAI-ISM”, by the use of many striking illustrations.
And, of course, the Founder makes it clear that there are different levels of development and ideas of happiness from those that have to do very largely with the body and the things of time and sense to those closely associated with that state of consciousness and self-consciousness where all idea of “I”-ness and “my”-ness have vanished and the consciousness has been raised to such a degree of impersonality and universality as to be able to sense intuitively the difference between appearances and reality in human relationships, thereby making it possible and natural to be able to appeal to a corresponding inner degree in a devotee. This, as I see it, is the centre and circumference of Guruship and Guru-disciple relationship and what I think the Founder has in mind when he uses such terms.
It cannot in any way imply any kind of compulsion but that which comes from within. That is to say, it cannot mean any extraneous or outer interference with one’s freedom of making what one considers to be one’s own decision about anything. But, that does not mean either a turning of a deaf ear to any advice given by another, or that those who feel inwardly constrained to advise others, should cease to do so and be silent. That also would be an interference with another’s freedom. And, in any case, the actual demonstrable facts of
life show quite definitely that what appeals to one will not appeal to another and that each one responds most readily and most easily to that which he is most interested in, at any particular stage and state.
And, of course, such states are always changing. They change from that of childhood and adolescence to that of full manhood and womanhood. Always, in these matters, it is a case of first the blade, then the stalk, then the ear, and then the full corn in the ear. And just as the seed of corn when placed in the soil of our earth can only unfold its own inherent powers after receiving the dual rays of light and heat from the one sun of our solar system, so also can the inherent powers of each individual unit of human life be brought to fruition only after receiving the light and love that proceed eternally from the One Infinite Life Power.
And, in this connection, and basing my observations and conclusions on my contacts with the Founder, I would say that real Guruship represents, and is intended to represent, a vital, conscious, and perhaps a more accommodating link between the disciple and that One Life Power. The three basic features of that link might fittingly be named Freedom, Mutuality and Reciprocity.
And lest it be imagined by some that the above has application only to Hinduism and to the East in general in the matter of Guru-disciple relationship, I hasten to remind the reader that the same principle applies to and is adopted by Christianity, and other religions, although perhaps in some less obvious and more collective way.
In Christianity, for instance, what are the various creeds, beliefs, directives and injunctions of the Church, but different forms of Guruship ? Each one of them claims to derive authority from the Revelation of the ONE GOD as found in the Christian Scriptures. The interpretations of that revelation may differ, in keeping with the way they have been understood, codified and reduced to certain beliefs and doctrines, like those embodied in the Athenasian, the Nicene Creed, the Apostles Creed, and other human or ecclesiastical codifications.
which may or may not have the approval of the Council of Trent and the confirmation of the Vatican. But, in all of them the principle of Guruship and Guru-disciple relationship much the same. In all, there are certain directives which when followed to the best of one’s ability, are said to bring about certain beneficial results, and which when ignored and deliberately disobeyed, bring condemnation and certain penalties.
And if one turns to the manifestation of the one Life Power in other branches of human activity, political, economic, administrative, judicial, philosophic, and so on, one finds what is virtually the same principle of Guruship and Guru-discipl erelationship at work. Broadly speaking, the objective is, theoretically at least, not very dissimilar. There are also different codified directives (policies and ideologies) for attaining the objective specified with corresponding rewards and honours for being “ loyal” to those party directives, and the reverse for any independent departure from the strict party or ideological line. But, usually, the outlook in these so-called secular or non-religious activities is materialistic, and the God or Idol worshipped, is that of POWER.
I am not complaining. I merely point out the existing facts. In the gradual—I would say, very gradual-development of the human principle, all these things doubtless have had a place, and, among the less enlightened, still have a place. But, I respectfully submit that the time has come and now is, for a change over from appearances in all these things to that of REALITY. Only this, I venture to urge, will satisfy the great and growing need in this respect. And I am convinced that it is precisely here that MAI-ISM does help to meet that need, and that, too, not only in the East, but universally. As the Founder has emphasised, on page 26 of the “RE-PRINT of MOTHER’S MESSAGE”,
The Universe is gradually evolving and advancing from the conception of “Religion” towards that of “Life Perception”, and from “God of Scripture”, mythology, tradition, temples and “Priestcraft” towards the Highest and Holiest Spirit of Omnipresence, Omniscience, and Omnipotence. Every aspect has its ruling time and age.
And it will, I think, be fitting in this Chapter to include following extracts bearing on the subject of Guruship Mai-ism from an “Introduction to and an “Appreciation” of the book ” MAT-ISM”, by Shri N. S. Lokur, Retired Judge of the Bombay High Court:
The author (meaning, the Founder of Mai-ism) has brushed aside importance, to, or indispensabilty of, mere external methods or names or forms of worship, rituals, prayers, or need for any limited isolated groups. …and has, in his broadest view and mind, deeply touched the Universally-needed essential living in thought, word and deed, a life of “Love to all, Service to all, “Devotion to and cheerful unconditional Self-Surrender to the Supreme”…..Not only that, he has throughout tried successfully to live such a life, in spite of severe ordeals, hardships and not by any means affluent and congenial circumstances in life as a worldly man.
The author prescribes as the most practical, ordinary, and simple psychological conception of God and Religion—that of “Mother and Child”-with the minimum or qualifications, requirements, or “Sadhana”, or rituals or ceremony needed for this straight, simple direct approach to the Highest Almighty….
In particular, to the common worldly man, the author openly declares that, under Mai-ism, prayers for legitimate help and needs in one’s Samsaric worldly material or mundane life, or for relief from misery, calamity, dangers, fears and sufferings, are quite proper and rational; and he declares that any theoretical theology or philosophy or religious talks which rule out prayers for Divine aid, or which do not take note of the actual problems of the human worldly life (individual and national) are unhelpful and irrational, and cannot be convincing or appealing to the generality of mankind. Even the worst sinner and criminal has the right to look to Mai for his reform and redemption. “The weakest child is the most cared for and dearest to Mother”.
… Posterity….will decide how to profit……by MAI-ISM and the author’s sayings and life-work. Today, no one is known to have revolted against its tenets and universal outlook and application…. Some amongst his devotees, followers and disciples……. call him “Mai-Kaka”, “Mai-Ji”, “Mai-Swarup” and “MAI-MARKAND”….and go to him….for his prayers to MAI in their personal worldly troubles of various sorts, such as, sickness, unemployment, marriages, debts, poverty, calamities, troubles in family life, in their jobs, etc.
A marginal note to the above, written by the Founder of “MAI-ISM” himself in the copy presented to me and having special reference to Guruship, is very illuminating. Here is what he has written :
The words “GURU” and “SHISHYA”, or “Master and “Disciple”, if the world has been saturated with a nausea concerning them, may be substituted by the words “Senior and Junior devoted of Mother”, or “Major and minor Mai-ist”. But that process of the flow from the high to the low level, permitted or graciously conferred and solicited, is indispensable, in religion, as in any walk of life. This is the practical part which the Senior or the Major has to play towards the Junior or the Minor.
And, in the approach to Mai, the Founder makes it clear that, with respect to non-Hindus, such terms as “ Brahma. Maya, Kali, Avatars, Shakti, Dwaitism, Adwaitism, etc.,” need not be used, as they are likely to be misunderstood and may even give rise to a suspicion of “proselytism.” In his “ Prologue” to MAI-ISM, the author points out that in the “ Mother-Child” relationship of “ MAI-ISM,” “there are no incomprehensible religious technicalities of Vedas, Upanishads, Brahma-Sutras, Prasthana Traya, Gita, Shad-Darshans, etc.” “MOTHER or GOD is the CENTRE ; Spirit is the means, and all Universal altruistic heart-yearnings and mental activities of Love, Service, Devotion and Self-Surrender, are the modifications.” He also gives expression to these views regarding “Guru-Shishya ” relationship (page XI of the Preface) :
On the higher religious plane, MAI-ISM lays the highest stress on Guru-Shishya relationship. … The two chariot-wheels are (a) God’s Grace, and (b) Guru’s Grace. Let your Guru be, one whom you yourselves select, who is nearest to and ever available to you…. It is neither the Guru, nor the Shishya, but the Guru-Shishya relationship that is the highest of the three elevating factors.
In other words, this “relationship,” as it appears to me and as I have tried to show, is essentially of an inner and spiritual kind-a tuning in to the same Spiritual Influx from the same One Centre. It has and can have nothing to do with any kind of outer domination or imposition, conscious or unconscious. Its validity and acceptance depends upon this freedom and inner direction. It might be said to be the equivalent of Gandhiji’s “Inner Voice,” or, to express it differently, that which one feels and is convinced is the truth for himself or herself. Then confronted with any given set of circumstances in which
che is called upon to make some important decision involving the inner approval or disapproval.
And if that inner something that approves or disapproves he regarded as an “Atmic Representative” of the One Infinite and Universal Guru, referred to in Hinduism as Paramatma, and visualised and thought of in “ Mai-ism” as the Universal Mother Divine, the meaning of real inner Guruship will be clearer. That kind of Guruship certainly cannot connote a “blind” following of, or slavish obedience to, anything written in a book, or any interpretation of the same based merely on some external self-constituted “authority,” whether it be that of a distinguished individual, or that of a gathering of the leaders of any particular religion or school of thought. The acceptance of any such Guruship would not only be inconsistent with the Universal Motherhood conception and its implications, but, in practice, it would also run counter to that for which MAI-ISM stands, relative especially to the breaking of new ground in religious thought and practice.
That does not mean that the most careful consideration should not be given to anyone who claims to be speaking from experience and who gives advice based on that experience and
That also is a manifestation of the One Life knowledge. Power in diverse forms and ways, and has a use and purpose. All it means is that from the standpoint of spiritual perception and progress, the approval of the Inner Monitor or GURU is absolutely essential.
MYSTIC LABYRINTHS OF ADWAITISM
Closely allied in its mystic intricacies with the subject Guruship and Guru-Shishya-relationship is that sought to expressed in Hinduism under such terms as “ Adwaita » – Vedanta.” I used the words “sought to be expressed » advisedly, because, if once again I may speak quite frankly there would appear to be no religious subject in India on which religious teachers and philosophers are so much divided and concerning which there are so many different and perplexing views and interpretations, as this.
Broadly speaking, these divers approaches and beliefs are grouped into three main categories or schools of thought. There is the group that goes under the name of MONISM, as expounded by the great Shankaracharya , there is the group that may be labelled “DUALISM,” whose recognised Founder is Madhwacharya ; and there is the third group which would appear to be a combination in part of the two mentioned and whose Founder is Shri Ramanujacharya. The goal of spiritual development is the same in all the three, namely, the realisation of “God Consciousness.”
Many and diverse, too, are the ways and means recommended for securing this end. Shri Arobindo, for instance, believed and taught that this goal could be reached only through a long series of re-incarnations in a physical body on this earth. At the same time, he refused to divide the One AllPervading Life Power into that which was real and that which was unreal. He regarded all mainfestations of Life, in all states and conditions, as real and purposeful.
That, by the way, is well worth noticing by those who claim to be pure Adwaitins and who do not hesitate to say God”; but, being not altogether unaware of their own limitations, and imperfections, take refuge in the view that God of Absolute is in some way, which they do not and cannot explain confined to something imponderable, invisible and indefinable. mod has little or nothing to do with the practical and daily “fairs of this external world. The latter is, in fact, often regarded by them as something unreal, a form of MAYA, that will pass, and to which no great significance should be attached.
Personally, I can think of no greater illusion than this, nothing more calculated to deaden and destroy all sense of rectitude, integrity, spiritual perceptibility and downright honesty. The same is true of those Adwaitins who hold in a very literal sense that every one is God and that God literally everything and everyone. There is, of course, a deep and hidden truth here, if spiritually discerned, but superficially understood, it means, as the Founder of MAI-ISM has forcefully put it,“ that man is responsible to none and nothing here or above.”
As a matter of fact, one of the things that has seemed to me most timely and most valuable in MAI-ISM, is the Founder’s attitude to this form of Vedanta, and this and the movements attitude to woman. And, in this connection, it must not be forgotten that the Founder’s attitude is based not on mere speculative theorising and philosophising, supported by learned Sanskrit quotations, etc., but upon painful and costly experiments and experience. In his book, “MAI-ISM,” he has given a graphic and detailed description of how, after a study of Yoga-Vasishta and Vedantism and many discussions with learned Pundits on the subject, he gave up the ideas that had been bis in his early teens, concerning the DIVINE MOTHER, how he threw all worshipping materials he had used in that connection into the river that flowed near his house, and how he became an out-and-out Adwaitin of the above School. He also relates how, subsequently, on seeing the inconsistency of such a philosophy in relation to actual conduct, he became so depressed and ashamed at what he had done that he actually attempted to commit suicide by drowning himself in the same river, how he was “miraculously” rescued, and that on arriving home, he found to his surprise the worshipping utensils he had previously thrown into the river actually back again on the altar from which he had taken them. And that is only one of the several very trying and fiery experiences that he was called upon to pass through, relative to the same issue.
But, perhaps, it would be more helpful to the reader at this point if I reproduced here the Founder’s own conclusions with respect to the subject under consideration. Here are a few statements and conclusions taken at random from Chapter VII of the book “ MAI-ISM” (page 335):
The most dangerous notion, of every one being God, is a senseless jargon, for which Vedant teaching is criminally responsible. The Vedantic mischief to which any immature mind is led, on the Adwaitistic talking about Supreme Truth, to anyone in the street that meets and prostrates, without testing his worth and plane (Adhikar and Bhumika) was at the bottom.
The Founder has heard this senseless parrotlike misunderstood expression from so many of even the most learned people—“ Everyone is God. God is in me, and God is in you.” Blessed Shree Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, in his own homely way of illustrations, has done his best to stem the tide of this foolish notion, by the wellknown example of the elephant crushing one of his disciples. Said Paramahamsa, “ Yes, you are God, but the elephant driver was also a God, and the elephant was also a God. The driver asked you to keep out of the way. You did not. Two Gods threw out one God.”
The illustration is child-like as Paramahamsa was a Mother’s child, and as a man, of the highest Divine knowledge and intellect. He knew that the world as a whole had not advanced more than a child to understand the deep philosophy practically.
In the same chapter, (page 336) the Founder recites an experience of his own along those lines, an experience, however, in which he had to deal not with a devotee, but with an extremely strong and learned Vedantist of the “I am God” school, with a very good memory for quotations from Hindu Seriptures for establishing his case. The interchanges took place in Madras, in 1949. For three days, three to four hours daily, the controversy continued. On the fourth day, the Founder, admitting practically his defeat, said ” I feel I cannot convince you with all my arguments and Scriptural quotations. I own my defeat. Tomorrow, you come here with an agreement that you have transferred all your property to me. I am not different from you. There are not two souls, and this is only a question of ferring matter.” It is recorded that the Vedantist houghed outright,” but before leaving, said “ That is something apart, and has nothing to do with philosophy.” Exactly ; there is all the difference in the world between theory and practice, the appearance of Truth and Truth in reality. But to continue with the quotations from Chapter VII of “ MAI-ISM” with reference to this subject, the Founder says :
Unless you have reached a particular stage, or unless you say a the outset, that this is only a piece of philosophy, one like so many other philosophies, which is not only ennobling but making you strong….and is one of the several methods in which the mind can be trained to be nearer God, the practical result for a mere worldly man, is an Infinity of positive and plus verity being mistaken to be the other Infinity of negative and minus verity, and that often turns him to be an irresponsible swollen-headed creature. (p. 336).
Although the supremacy of “I am God” is not denied, the world will be happier by being taught “ Thou art God.” Just look at the ugly repulsive viciousness-stamped face of any hopeless man speaking “I am God.” When his moral character, self-control, sacrifice, service, etc., are all big ciphers, that expression is not only a despicability but a blasphemy…. Let the speaker of “I am God” prove his Godhood by reviving a killed bug or fly. Never forget, that expression “I am God” is true in a particular sense only, and at a particular finished perfected stage only. Let ” Thou art God” be more efficiently taught to the world already led astray with hundreds of Vedantic and other delusions. (p. 337).
MAI-ISM says “ Nothing is unreal-Creator and Creation, happiness and misery, heaven and hell, deities and human beings, obedience or disobedience to the Divine Law. So long as the soul has any relation with the bodies, and so long as one is affected even to the slightest extent physically, mentally or spiritually, these differences do exist and are not unreal.” (p. 338).
“Every being and every thing is a manifestation of God ”that is alright. But let not that jargon of “I am God” “You are God” and “ He is God,” continue. (p. 340).
If he is God and I am God, what is wrong in my swallowing his property? There is no answer ….And if one asks why should one serve another or share one’s happiness with another ?-again, no answer. (p. 341).
Let this jumble of the Hindu brain disappear ; let there be a clear-cut air-tight compartment about the contradicting theories.
Reconcile them both most happily with discretion and responsihin and not with folly and irresponsibility, in life and living. Det the masterly strength of an Adwaitist and the humility of the Day
… According to MAI-ISM, Adwaitism is a stage of conscious which is superior to Dwaitism, but is no independent path by it …. In MAI-ISM, all human beings are Mother’s children. (v. 3421
To understand these quotations, intelligently, the whole chapter from which they are taken must be read through with care, not once but many times. And to a lesser degree, that applies to the whole book and in particular to the life of the Founder. Rightly understood, the central truth of Adwaitam is closely associated with all manifestation of the great“ IAM” or Supreme Life Power, whether labelled occultism, psychic phenomena, spiritualism, atheism, materialism, science, nuclear energy, radiation, in this or any other world. It certainly has to do with what is sometimes referred to variously as “ Inspiration,” “Intuition,” ” Life Influx,” and so on.
That is why a study of the laws under which all spiritual communications flow from within to mortals is of such great interest and importance. That study and all the available evidence in connection with it make it perfectly clear that the One Supreme Power is made mainfest by an infinity of forms of life in every state and condition and never in its fulness and completeness in any one personal form, no matter how august or highly evolved. That is to say, it is in the infinite variety of these finite forms, taken in their entirety, that the Primal Infinite Life Power can be truly said to express itself. In this sense, the simplest and least known embodied human mortal is as much the expression and manifestation of the One Infinite Life Power as that expressed by the highest evolved Being, Angel or God, in the highest heaven. And, as already stated, it is the totality of these finite manifestations, and not in any isolated unit or group units, that constitute the Love, Wisdom, and Power of the Supreme, Who has so ordained this.
Obviously, there are differences in the volume and intensity of that expression in different human forms of life, and that, too, in all states and conditions. The more one dives deep into these things, the more is one convinced that it is Universal
law by which the One Ubiquitous Life Power operates universally. Everything is subject to the operation of law and order As some one has put it, ” None less than the Infinite can be. Quan for a period of the shortest duration, outside the operation of the Law of Laws.”
When an embodied mortal, therefore, takes it upon himself to say “I AM GOD,” and goes about giving the impression that in some inscrutable way the Infinite has delegated His power to him to such an extent that he has become the ” Absolute,” he not only, as the Founder of MAI-ISM has pointed out, deceives himself, but he runs counter to the very principle he professes to have accepted, which may be stated thus : “ There is One Life, and it is the grand Supernal Life Power of the One Life, who works out the design and purpose, which alone can originate in the Infinite One, who outworks by wisdom, love, and Power, which is Omniscient, Omnipresent, and Omnipotent.” That should make it clear that, just as it is impossible for the minor to comprehend the major, or the finite to grasp the Infinite, so also it is impossible for any human being, no matter how learned and well placed he may be in matters of religion and philosophy, to truly claim to be able to compass, or to transcend, or even to call in question, the action of the “Great Life Power, which is itself, in all worlds, states and spheres of conscious being and life.”
If this is understood, it should not be difficult for the real student of life to see how easy and almost natural it is for devout people in the various faiths to think of some outstanding manifestation or other of the One Life as a Messiah or Avatar, using those terms in the sense that they represent in their fullest content the Infinite One Itself in Its completeness and totality. Take as an example how this works out in Hinduism with respect to the chief figure in the RAMAYANA, Sri RAMA. Some think of Rama as a Divine Being, that is, in much the same way as Christians think of Lord Jesus Christ, or as the Buddhists think of The Lord BUDDHA. Others regard him as some special but still limited manifestation of GOD as an ideal king with special reference to India and Hinduism. For quite a long time, I thought of Gandhiji’s idea of “RAMA-RAJ” as being in keeping with his Sanatanist conceptions and there fore, more or less confined to Hindus and to Hinduism, though perhaps with the idea of being an example to other religione also. In the earlier stages of his career, that may have been so But a careful study of Gandhiji’s life shows a gradual and in some respects-in response to the “inner voice”-a drastic and revolutionary change in his conceptions and conclusjions concerning certain matters touching beliefs and human conduct. Take for instance what he said in the “ HARIJAN ” of 24th April 1946 in reply to some queries about Rama. It will be found in Chapter II under the heading “ MY RAMA,” and runs as follows :
I laugh within myself when some one objects that Rama or the chanting of “Rama nama” is for Hindus only, how can Muslims, therefore, take part in it? Is there one God for the Musalmans and another for the Parsis or Christians ? NO; there is only One Omnipotent and Omnipresent God. He is named variously and we remember Him by the name which is most familiar to us.
My Rama, the Rama of our prayers, is not the historical Rama, the son of Dasharatha, the King of Ayodhya. He is the Eternal, the
Unknown, the One without a second. Him alone, I worship. His aid alone, I seek ; and so, should you. He belongs equally to all. I therefore see no reason why a Musalman or anybody should object to taking His name. But he is no way bound to recognise God as Rama. He may utter to himself Allah or Khuda so as not to mar the harmony of the sound.
Strictly speaking, that is precisely the attitude off MAI-ISM with regard to the Infinite One Life Power, called by different names. But, in MAI-ISM, that Infinity is thought of, visualised and approached as the Divine Mother, with the whole of the human family, past, present and future (with emphasis on the present) as Her children. The relationship is that of Mother and Child. And, the approach, while simplified and made all-inclusive, is sought to be given a living and practical shape. This, indeed, is the great distinguishing and outstanding feature of the movement. While the fullest latitude is given to freedom of opinion respecting certain theories and philosophies and ways of worship, the translation into action in some useful and rational way, in harmony with the four main tenets of MAI-ISM regarded as of paramount importance, individually and collectively.
That Adwaitism itself is regarded somewhat as a “ finalmost ” truth is obviously implied in the following affirmations of the Founder :
Unrealism, in the sense of non-existence, or a delusion, can be accepted only in a figurative or exaggerated sense. Otherwise, the whole working of the world will be topsyturvy. I would venture to state that the Unrealism of the Adwaitists is also a temporary accepted mind-belief, for passing through a particular stage. After realism to Unrealism, there is returning again to Realism. (p. 631 of the book “ Mai-ism.”)
I take Adwaitism, the Gnyana, to be intermediate between Gauna Bhakti and Para-Bhakti or Prema. When we reach a stage of realisation of the highest Truth viz. that everything is MOTHER, if Mother exists, everything has also its existence. What is nonexistent or unreal, is the distinction and difference. A cow-sugar toy, or a tiger-sugar toy, has its reality. What is unreal is the cowness or tiger-ness of the toy, being nothing else except sugar. (p. 632 of “Mai-ism”).
It sickens my heart when on the top of spreading misunderstanding, the advocates of Adwaitism lay the fault at the doors of their taught. They say “ What can we do, if people don’t understand ? ” But, I ask, “Why don’t you see the possible dangers of your teachings yourself ?” (page 632).
Adwaitism dispenses with routine and ritualism and all the preliminary stages enjoined under Dwaitism. It would be extremely hard to discern a pukka atheist with speech-cleverness, and to distinguish him from a true Adwaitist, by any of his external ways of living. Who knows what is there finally in the vacuum created after “ NO-NO-NO-NO” about everything? It may either be the Immeasurable Divine Knowledge and Truth and Bliss of the biggest“ Yes”; or it may be only a vacuum with the supreme-most “NO” and “ Nothing.” (page 412).
Dwaitism without Adwaitistic principles, accepted whenever necessary, is like a wax or camphor doll. Adwaitism principles, without necessary Dwaitism principles, is a road metal- piece or a glass piece. A sincere religious aspirant needs both. (page 413.)
WAYS AND MEANS-SPIRITUAL AND
In coming to the question of ways and means relative to MAI-ISM, I am deeply conscious both of the difficulty of dealing adequately with it in words that can be understood, as well as of the pivotal and immensely important nature of the subject. As I see it with my limited vision, the question roughly speaking, consists of two parts-that which has to do with the inner, and that which concerns itself more specifically with the outer.
Dealing first with the inner, some definition or explanation of what is meant by that term is desirable, if not absolutely essential. The head of the Mai-istic movement gives some indication of what is meant, or, at least what he means, when he asserts, as he often does, that the object of MAI-ISM is “to rationalise religion, and to religionise rationalism.” But, the question many will ask is, “What exactly is religion?” A satisfying and rational answer to that question cannot possibly be just beliefs, or creeds, or some particular system of religion, with its accompanying rites and ceremonies, etc. Something more, very much more, than that is necessary. Perhaps a more appealing, rational, and satisfactory answer would be “religion consists of such an understanding of the manifestations of the One Universal Life as gives an intelligent and convincing explanation of the why and wherefore things are as they are, and, which understanding, willy-nilly, forces one to action and transforms one’s outlook entirely.” But, even that answer does not explain what life is in itself, its intrinsic nature, the noumenon of all phenomena. That remains unknown and unknowable-except as made manifest in some form or other. It is like saying that a“ principle” or “ spirit” of a thing cannot be expressed or made manifest, to say nothing of being und.. stood, unless and until it is visible and tangibly embodied some form, objective and subjective, for, on the subjective plane, there is also an objective. And one might also add here that even when this is done, the progress registered will always consonant with the state and conditions obtaining at any given period, individually and collectively.
And here it may at once be admitted that external conditions in the world have, hitherto, not been sufficiently evolved and developed as to permit of the externalisation on this earth of certain basic and universal postulates or principles of pure truth being understood, even though put in the form of allegories and symbols, except by a few rare individuals, here and there. Now, however, owing to some great Life Influx from within, relative to the birth of an entirely New Dispensation, humanity as a whole is beginning, for the first time, to think in terms of the whole human race rather than in terms of any particular part thereof. And the same is true with regard to “religion” and religious systems. For the first time mental conditions are such as to make it appear not only feasible and possible, but highly desirable, for religious leaders thinking along that line to get together on some common world platform, on the basis of certain eternal and universal principles of truth.
And here, I would most earnestly and humbly suggest the absolute necessity of including in such a list of basic principles, the truth of the Law of Evolution and what this involves and connotes. Take, for example, the muddled and confused thinking that sometimes clouds the vision of some of our foremost religionists with respect to such questions as “the fall of man” from some pristine state of society and sociology that is supposed to have characterised a “ Golden Age ” in the remote past, and the false and misleading conceptions that this engenders with respect to efforts that are supposed to be necessary to “redeem ” mankind from this imaginary back-slidden condition and bring it back to “virtue” and paradise.
The most effective corrective to such a misleading conception is a working and intelligent understanding of what exactly Is meant by the term “ evolution” in this connection, what it is that evolves, why and how, etc. At least in order to have what 18 called “faith” in the evolving manifestation of the One Life,
some knowledge of the modus operandi of this, however muda mentary and incomplete, is necessary. It is not possible for intelligence to believe in nothing. Indeed, it might be said that knowledge inner as well as outer, is “ belief.”
When, for instance, it is said that all human units of life are sparks of the One Infinite Flame, the term evolution cannot possibly have reference to the essence of those “sparks.» which in essential quality must be the same as the Infinite Flame Itself; all it can have reference to and does have reference to, is the unfoldment and development, through experience. of those potentialities of the One Life that have been imparted to and that lie embedded in microscopic, embryonic form in each of the “ sparks.” Put in other words, it has reference to all those human units of life who have been differentiated, in appearance, from the Cosmic Sea of Consciousness and who are to unfold and develop in self-consciousness the hidden powers or potentialities referred to.
And, naturally, this can only be done in proportion to the nature and means of development, by way of environment and external conditions, at any given time and state. And as history and the facts of life show conclusively, the way to this unfoldment is always from within outwards, and never in the reverse direction. A primitive and backward state of mentality is invariably reflected in a primitive and backward environment. All available evidence shows that the further one goes back into the night of time, the deeper and denser was human ignorance.
Indeed, there is quite definite evidence to show that in those very primitive days, there was no language, except signs, gestures, and noises ; no instruments of any kind except perhaps pieces of stone, and the broken branches of trees, the latter used for defence purposes ; no places in which to live except in natural caves and some crude construction made of leaves and sticks; no fire for cooking purposes and no cooking utensils ; no clothing in tropical or sub-tropical countries, and only the skins of animals in colder climates ; and, of course, no roads or means of communication. Progress in all the above matters was very slow, extending possibly into tens of millions of years.
At every stage of human development, what is clear is environment and physical conditions kept pace with, were in harmony with, if not the immediate result of, that slowly evolving intelligence, which is the chief characteristic of the human principle of life. And what I am suggesting and emphasizing here is that this evolutionary phenomenon still continues in these more advanced times, only of course, on a higher level. It is true, of course, that the more this understanding develops—up to a point—the more restless, people become, the more they aspire for something better, the greater the differences expressed, the more complicated the problems, and the keener is the struggle for existence. The only way to prevent this, is to find some means of doping or destroying that faculty of intelligence within each that is eternally seeking satisfaction-an utterly impossible task.
It is therefore of the greatest importance, I suggest, that the basic principle of truth embodied in the Law of Evolution should form one of the main foundation stones of MAI-ISM. It is a truth which, rightly understood, provides the key to the solution of many so-called problems. When, for instance, one hears religionists talking about a “ Golden Age ” in the past, implying by that, a period in physical conditions on our earth, when people lived in peace and rectitude, one senses at once the fallacy of such a concept, and that, according to the grand truth of evolution, the “ Golden Age “envisaged belongs to the future, and not to the past, at least so far as our planet goes.
And it is the same when one hears talks about Divine Incarnations (avatars) in human form in the remote past, upon our earth. If evolution is a fact, how could that have been possible ? Even today, with the present enlightenment, it is doubtful if the mental and other conditions are sufficiently advanced to enable all but a very few rare individuals to see and appreciate the real SOURCE of any truth.
And that applies equally to the future, relative to the expectancy of a Savior or Avatar in human form in earthy conditions. Improvements, no doubt, there will be, in the future, just as there have been in the past. And always there
will be ideals and an expectancy of better things. And always, too, there will be those who have a clearer vision and a better understanding of these matters than have the majority. But, keeping in mind the truth of evolution, would it not be nearer the mark to think of a Saviour or Avatar, in terms rather of the manifestation of the One Life in human mentality as a whole on our earth, rather than in terms of a single Personality in human form?
The mode or manner of the evolution and development of the chief characteristic of the human principle of life-intelligence—is also very interesting and illuminating. All the available facts of life show that this is done experimentally, by actual experience and contact with the so-called “good” and the so-called “ evil” forces of life. As the old saying goes, “one learns by one’s mistakes,” in which there is involved both joy and sorrow, pain and happiness. Hence, we have the action of forces termed attraction and repulsion, one force pulling upwards, and the other apparently downwards. And it would be true to say that without the interplay of those two forces, one of which may be called positive, and the other negative, the negative being that which re-acts to the positive, there could be no self-consciousness and no real progress or development.
Linked to human progress relative to the Law of Evolution, is also what may be called a ” set time” for a change from one state of consciousness and mental outlook to another, represented by states of childhood, adolescence, youth, and full maturity. And this, of course, applies collectively and universally as well as to separate individuals. A close student of history and human nature will have noticed that nothing ever happens until the requisite conditions for its happening have been provided. It is in this way that new“ cultures,” religions, conventions, etc., come into existence. They are the result of new Life Influxes.
In the past, however, these influxes of life, sometimes giving rise to the birth of a New Dispensation or Era, have invariably been confined to certain specific areas of the world, with their corresponding religious organisations, customs and laws. Usually, too, the messages contained in these Life Influxes, when expressed, have been given in the form of symbols. allegories, stories, and parables. That has been in
harmony with the rate of mental development obtaining at These particular times and places, plus the lack of travelling Facilities. Now, all that has changed. For the first time in human history we are beginning to think in terms of one integrated world, one human family.
That in itself provides the necessary outer conditions for the organisational ultimation on a worldscale of those grand truths concerning the universal manifestation of the One Life in diversity. This also seems to be the view taken by the Founder of MAI-ISM, as the following extract from his book, “MAI-ISM,” Chapter VIII, indicates :
I am touching an extremely delicate point here. I would be plain and say, the religion of R. K. P. Mission with its worship of Mai-Swarupa Rama Krishna Paramahamsa is Ramakrishnaism, whether such denomination is given and popularised or not. I am personally doubtful, whether the old schools of Hinduism recognize the R. K. P. Mission as a part, piece and parcel of Hinduism. I am equally feeling, on the other hand, that the Mission would very likely say as Mai-ism has said, “We are Hindus, but not Hindus alone.” When the Mission has got sufficient flying strength, on the passing of some few decades more, Mother Mai hasten that dayit will be impossible for the Mission, or the public, to smoothly and efficiently pull on, without introducing the distinguishing denomination of RAMAKRISHNAISM. (p. 434).
What a joy did I feel, when by Mother’s Grace, I fell upon a certain quotation of Swami Vivekanand which proyed that in the bottom-most and inner-most layers of his heart, there were offshoots of a strong desire of revising Hinduism, or for a new Universal Religion, or both. His aim, as he himself had written long before to one of his disciples, was: “To put the Hindu ideas, into English, and then make out of the dry philosophy and intricate mythology and queer startling psychology, a” religion,” which shall be easy, simple, popular, and at the same time, meet the requirements of the higher minds. A task which only those who have attempted it can understand. The abstract Adwait must become a living practice in every day life…… This is my task.” (p. 433).
Religion is a supernatural force which has its unfailing source in the Infinite and Eternal,…. A religion is under the constant grace and watchfulness-care of the Eternal God, round Whom it is entwined….(pgs. 436-437).
A new understanding, a new meaning of life, a new fixing up of the life-goal, a new ambition, a new mode of living, a new man-to-man relationship, a new re-constitution of religiosity, cannot work out except under a new denomination. (p. 438).
The worst and most abominable and most unfortunate Hindu mentality is, that a truth, to be appreciated, must come from mouth of a saffron-robed, tonsure-headed soul, from Haradwar or Rameshwaram. It must come from the Himalayas or Benares, and so on. … There are some saints who are dressed quite ordinarily ….(p. 441-442).
And what I am suggesting here is that while conditions were not sufficiently advanced even in the days of Paramahamsa and Vivekanand, to launch, with any hope of success, an international organisation, that would embody and translate into actuality the Universal truths for which they stood, they did make a very definite and valuable contribution to that end. I am also suggesting that, in harmony with the Law of Evolution and the enormous strides that have been made in recent years in human understanding, and in scientific discoveries, their contribution may be regarded as a divinely inspired preparation for a New Age that is dawning. It might even be regarded as a fulfilment in a measured degree of the ancient prophecy “Behold, when I come, I will make all things new.”
In reality, of course, there is nothing new in the utterance of and emphasis on certain basic and eternal truths, whether given in the form of symbols in the past or in the present. All that is new about them is our power of understanding them and translating them into actual living realities, which, in turn, as stated, depends on the unfoldment and development of consciousness and self-consciousness, individually and collectively.
What is significant in this connection is the fact that thoughts of a similar nature are beginning to be expressed and appreciated in the various religious systems of the world. But, so far as I know, there are only two organisations of a religious nature, in the world at present, which may be said to be making any serious attempt to meet this New Age outlook and tendency by providing a platform, the foundation of which
rests not on speculative beliefs and canonical interpretations of certain Scriptural statements, but upon certain basic and Universal principles of Truth. These are MAi-ISM (in India the ANANAI-KYO movement (in Japan). And the burning question that I am trying hard to face up to here is exactly how this can be done by MAI-ISM, by what means, ideologically and organisationally, and in other ways.
Speaking for myself, I think everything depends on the soundness and the durability of the basic principles mentioned, of which Evolution is of the greatest importance. As one of old has said, “ First the Way, then the Truth, and then,the Life.” There must first be the basic principles which give an idea of the Way, and when these are seen to be true, these become living realities. First, the grain of wheat, then, the stalk, then, the leaves, then, the ear, and then, the full corn in the ear. Many things in that evolutionary transformation take place without our being consciously aware of what is actually happening. It is the One Life, thought of by Mai-ists as the DIVINE MOTHER, that is transforming everything and acting in the very Law of Evolution, and in all other laws too. There, therefore, cannot be any failure.
Indeed, I venture to submit that the time will surely come when all existing forms or systems of religion will eventually fade out entirely and the essence or abiding truth in them be absorbed in and constitute a “World Religion.” Certainly, it would not be progressive or in harmony with the Law of Evolution, merely to add one more to the already existing number of organised religions.
From the above, it will be seen that, rightly understood, the means for attaining the Mai-istic end in view, arise naturally and more or less spontaneously in proportion to the earnestness and seriousness with which the basic principles are accepted, understood, and lived out. But the means themselves are also very important. Basic principles, like life itself, cannot as stated, be expressed except through some form or other. As the movement spreads, it must have branches and buildings and halls of its own, plus a printing-press and one or more journals including an international magazine. All these mean money,
Attention also has to be paid to the form and manner of the services conducted or held at the various branches. While the basic principles will naturally be the same everywhere, the mode of worship and manner of presentation will have to be adapted to local or national conditions, at least, in the early stages. That, too, would be in keeping with the Law of Evolution. And this, I fancy, would have to apply to autonomous but federated units in different countries, units which, while accepting the same basic and universal principles of truth, would wish to have the management and control of their own organisational property, funds, and the spending of the same, and the mode and method of conducting their services. The only exception that might be made here would be those international conferences where various but autonomous units contributed their share on some previously-agreed and numerical or other basis.
As India is basically a Hindu country with a revelation of God to man, that is probably the oldest and most comprehensive of all the revelations extant in the world today, the present mode of Mai-istic service, with the altar adorned by a picture of ADI LAKSHMI as representating DIVINE MOTHER, and with the uttering of certain mantras as an integral part of special services, may be said to be well suited to the country as a whole. And that in itself, is a big thing, considering the different schools of Hindu thought that exist in India today. But that mode of worship would probably lose some of its significance and applicability if the audience consisted largely of those who either had been devotees of another Faith, still were-Christianity, Mahomedanism, Zoroastrianis, and so on. In such cases, it might be advisable, in the earlier stages at least, to have more familiar symbols on the altar of the One Infinite Life Power with the wording of the prayers or mantras, in keeping with the symbol used.
There would be no need to alter the six tenets of MAI-ISM _the Mother-conception, Universality, Love, Service, Devotion, and Self-surrender-for, in reality, these concepts have nothing creedal or sectarian about them. Furthermore, they fit in perfectly with, and are a natural expression of the other basic principles mentioned. But they have to be made a reality. There must not only be an intelligent understanding of what these concepts mean and connote, but they must be realised spiritually and made a living part of one’s life.
Take, for example, the Mother-child relationship concept. It is a concept that includes everything, is everything, that is connoted by the One Infinite Life Power, called by different names. To quote the Founder of Mai-ism : (pg. 7 of Mother’s Message, Second Edition).
Mother is Divine Law, Providence, Fate, Time, Primal Desire, Force, Evolution, and what atheists call Chance. Mother is Omnipresent, Omniscient, Omnipotent.
This conception of the Universal Mother is to be worshipped by one and all, who are universal-minded, religious, God-fearing and God-loving.
That, of course, is a magnificently unifying concept. But, in the past, conditions have been such as to make the realisation of that concept impossible, except to a sage or seer, here and there. Instead, ideals have been transformed into idols, which have then been worshipped as Gods. Not only that, but the devotees of any particular “GOD” thus set up have regarded their God as in some way“superior ” to all the rest, and perhaps as the “ one and only.” The result, as we all know, has been conflicts and bloodshed. And, as a rule, the more devoted, ignorant and fanatical the “devotees,” the fiercer and bitterer have been the conflicts. That has been in harmony with the undeveloped state and conditions of human mentality of past ages and with the rampant claims of the external personality.
But now, in the changed and rapidly changing conditions it should not be difficult to see how effectively the Universal Mother concept, when taken seriously, strikes at the very root of all superiority complex, whether in the matter of religion, economics, education, systems of Governments, and so forth. Carried into effect, it makes God or the One Life manifest in all human relationship, and in a new mentality and sociology. It is a stupendous concept and may take ages and perhaps aeons to bring it to full fruition on a world-wide scale. But, is it not worth living for, and, if necessary, worth dying for?
WOMAN AND THE MOTHERHOOD-MANIFESTATION
One of the most striking and arresting features of MAI-ISM is its revolutionary conception of and attitude to women. It is totally and fundamentally unlike anything that has existed in that respect in the dispensations and religions of the past. In the past, man has asserted and exercised his superiority over woman. As the Founder has pointed out in the little brochure, “Most of the Scriptures were written by man and not by woman. In early periods, physical strength-superiority had the highest premium.”
A careful study of the Christian Scriptures more than justifies and verifies that statement and conclusion. There is, of course, in these Scriptures, a recognition of the manifestation of the One Life in dual forms, masculine and feminine. This is made clear in the story of the Garden of Eden. But it is also clear that in the times and states in which those records were written, the prevailing idea was that the masculine form of man occupied a superior and dominating position, with the feminine form of woman acting as adjunct or subordinate helpmate. Certainly, woman figures much less in that record than does man. All the angels, archangels, seraphims and cherubims, for instance, are in the masculine gender. And it is more or less the same in all other Scriptural records of the world’s religions, including even those of Hinduism, in which the feminine aspect is much honoured and revered, but not to the same extent as is the masculine aspect.
This is a deficiency that is now in the course of being rectified on a global scale by the New Life Influx that is pouring into the whole body politic. This is being done for the simple reason that, for the first time in the history of human development on this planet, a stage has been reached which makes this dot only possible but, in the changed and changing conditions,
essential. Needless to say, it is an Influx that is not going to displace the masculine aspect. Both are essential. The one could not be without the other.
In the primitive stages of development, as has been pointed out by the Founder, it was the masculine, physical strength. superiority that was most needed and that had “ the highest premium.” Now, in the more advanced conditions, a new need has arisen, a need that is best supplied, and indeed can only be supplied, by that which is inherent in the feminine quality and which is expressed in MAI-ISM by the Universal Motherhood conception. It is a quality that is made manifest by sympathy and affection for all who suffer and are in distress, and has within it a charm, beauty and attractive power, that will, in the course of time, work wonders.
The most perfect expression of that duality in human form, of course, is where the masculine and feminine aspects are so purified, matured, co-ordinated and equilibrised, as to be virtually identical, a state which does not appear to have been reached in its fullness, by any embodied mortal, though some have given indications of nearing that mark. Hence, the necessity for a greater and more intelligent recognition in human affairs of the “ Daughter of Woman” as well as that of “The Son of Man,” the one, as I see it, representing the essence of the feminine principle of the One Life in manifestation, and the other the masculine principle. The mental attitude and approach to this vital and important question has to be radically changed.
And it is precisely here where, as it seems to me, Mai-ism is giving a right lead, both in precept and in practice. There is no doubt that this is due in no small measure to the Universal Mother concept. But, from whence came the Universal Mother Conception but from the Infinite One Life itself regarded in Mai-ism, of course, as Mother? Nor can this new lead be regarded as having its motivating base entirely. what others in the past have written, said or done, respect. No one can read Chapter XII of the book ISM” without realizing that the Founder has not only had clear and direct guidance and communications from within on
this matter, but has passed through many experiences relative to this subject, that are as worthy of respect and consideration as anything recorded in the history of the lives of any of the religious leaders of this or any other country or age.
When, for example, he refers to certain things as being most difficult ”—the elimination of the “ sexual notion itself.” “infatuation” and “ life clinging,” etc., it is very evident that he has entered a state of experience and understanding of woman’s place in life that enables him to speak with a clarity, conviction and perspective, impossible to those who have not reached that level. Hence it is, I suggest, that the following extracts from the Chapter already referred to regarding the rightful position of woman, and how the sex question as a whole should be approached, carry the weight and authority of a New Shastra. Note these extracts on pages 653 & 661.
Mai-istic eye towards woman is not that of chivalry, tenderness and sexual sentiments or emotions. It is not again that of vengeance towards man, in return of the man’s said subjugation of woman in the past. Mai-istic eye is that of mercifulness, sacrificing servicefulness and sacredness of a mother, which almost every woman is, like a fruit-bearing tree that suffers heat and cold, frost and rain, for nourishment of the world itself. As between man and woman, Mai-ism wants to develop the true understanding of mutual indispensability and incompetitive co-operative spirit of reciprocal love and service. The question of superiority, equality or inferiority is entirely irrelevant.
Mai-ism insists on the sublimation of that natural human emotion known as “sex-attraction.” Let the wholesale benefit of man-folk on its looking upon the woman-folk, as comprised of mothers, sisters and daughters, be not lost. Mai-ism wants man to love and serve all women, and not of any particular relationship or category alone.
Under Mai-ism, man has no superiority over woman, either from the point of the Soul-evolution, or worthiness and receptivity for religiosity or spirituality, or in the matter of securing Mother’s Grace. Mai-ism means an equal religious recognition for both sexes.
In the same Chapter, (page 661), there is a very intriguing statement relative to this subject which runs.—“ The soul in the body of a man or woman has no sex.” I would respecte suggest that this has reference only to that which is of the essence and nature as the Infinite One Life Itself, a spark, if will, of the One Divine Flame. I make this suggestion becaus everything we know of that One Life in manifestation and Life itself can only be known in that way-is either in the masculine or in the feminine gender or a combination of both And, if we are to accept the statements of the various Scriptures of the world’s religions, the masculine and the feminine expressions of the One Life are to be found at all the higher and inner levels of consciousness, even amongst the angels and Gods, but, as already pointed out, with emphasis on the masculine or the fatherhood side of things, at least so far as past Scriptural records are concerned.
As I see it, the above statement of the Founder has a deeply spiritual meaning and connotation. That meaning, of course, is inherent in the Universal Mother conception itself. It is inherent also in another statement of the Founder in the same paragraph, which runs : “Man and woman are not a different species.” Each, as we know, possesses the same human principle of life. And as the chief characteristic of the human principle is that intelligence which, in its ultimate, consists not of a lopsided manifestation of the masculine, but of a balanced and co-ordinated expression of both the masculine and the feminine qualities, in daily conduct, new ideas, and in an entirely new sociology women should take the lead for a change.
In this respect, Mai-ism also renders a useful service in frankly admitting, pointing out, and even condemning some of the trends and shortcomings of religious leaders in the past in this respect. For example, the Founder makes some pointed references to the mistaken tendencies and customs in the past among some schools of thought to regard woman as a source of temptation to be avoided and to be put on the same level as the “ love of money.” Says he, on page 651 –
Mai-ism is for using the terms “Money-greed” and Sex lustfulness,” and not the centuries-old expressions “Kanaka * Kanta ” or “Kanchana and Kamini.” It is not the woman the source of temptation, but it is the lustfulness in man. Mai-ism
thinks it an ungratefuness to denounce the sex of man’s mother, and daughter. sister, and daughter. A woman is in no way a greater degrading than a man, if at all we study the black side of a man’s and a man’s relations. However, there has never been such a thing as man’s downright condemnation. These centuries’-old expressions have led the prejudiced modern minds to infer, that the Scriptures were written for “Man ” alone, that the Scriptures were averse to womankind, and believed woman to be a foreign, undeserving and inimical element for religious progress, and that Saints in the past evaded the very shadow of a woman.
These views, however, are quite ill-founded…… It has to be sorrowfully admitted that few or no saints have taken pains to raise a protest against such deprecating expressions ; nor have they made the point clear while leaving volumes of teachings after them. Why should they have left it necessary, for their followers, to write long comments, stating “No, no, Guruji had no hatred towards women ?”
The yet greater humiliation is to be seen in that woman has been bracketed with wealth, as if both were of an equally degenerating order, calling them both temptations, as per old religious belief. There is, however, an earth-and-sky difference. ….. Money-temptation is murderous, woman-temptation is suicidal. …A greedy man impoverishes the world and creates repulsion.
At the same time, the Founder does not lose sight of the fact that in these matters of temptation, woman also has a responsibility in the way she chooses to exercise her inherent power of attraction. On page 654 of the book “Mai-ism,” for instance, he has this to say in this connection: A woman is a poison when approached with lustfulness, and is a
The woman that nectar when viewed with a feeling of motherliness. pulls man more and more towards worldliness, is a venom, whereas, the woman that gives him a spiritual, moral and virtuous lift is a nectar,. … The woman that makes man more attached to his parents, Gurus, benefactors, helpers, destitutes and the needy, is a nectar.
The woman that makes a man a slave of her infatuation and a grindmill bullock for the increasing requirements of the family, is a venom.
And for both men and women, the Founder has much to say in the same Chapter about sex-attraction itself, infatuation, resistance, self-control, repulsion, and other kindred Watters, that are exceedingly illuminating, practical, rational, spiritual and perfectly in harmony with the Divine Motherhood conception. Take the following extracts, on pages 658 to 60 of Mai-ism :
Sexual attraction itself has formed a prominent element of Divine Arrangement for ameliorating souls of both sexes. It is the abuse of the attraction that is responsible for any disastrous evils……How can you run away from woman? You have to conquer your lustfulness by deep thinking, constant memory cautious alertness, creating relish-less-ness, and hard practice self-control, with the temptation itself in your front, and with Mother’s Mercy and the Guru’s Grace.
It is the highest and wonderful force of sex-attraction that makes a savage man and an ever-changeful and emotional woman to be a He-deity and a She-deity, in the course of their religious development, Sex-attraction is not an evil for which one would be justified in blaming or cursing the Almighty. It is sex-attraction alone, in its sublime most and purest meaning, form and relation, that is responsible for the material, moral, religious and spiritual progress of humanity. If there was no sex-attraction, the world would have ere long ceased to exist.
There is an invisible, incomprehensible and long-sustained warfare, in the progress-path of every soul, of an Infatuating-Power and a Resistance-Power. A success or a failure in any particular case proves nothing in absolute “Yes” or “No” terms. A resistance power of 2,000 units will vanquish an infatuating power of 1,000 units and will have a moral victory, but the very same units-power will suffer a humiliating defeat at the hands of a 5,000 units infatuating power. There is no greater delusion than to call a victorious one who had no foe, or a negligible foe, to fight……
Looking from the higher plane, it is wrong even to imagine infatuating power with woman and to identify resistance power with man…. For woman, a man can as well be an infatuating power, and in such a case, it is she that has to develop resistance power…. Motherliness-seeing annihilates lustfulness.
Now, it will be obvious that the above quotations contain more than what appears on the surface. And, indeed, that may also be said of the whole chapter from which they are taken. In many cases, it is not so much what is actually stated in words as what is inferred and connoted. And they all gear in with and are a natural and logical expression of the basic conception or postulate that there is but One Infinite Supreme Being or Life Power (not two, or three or many) to which everything is manifestation, literally everything, owes its existence and outworks the Will of that one according to well established laws.I stress the word “manifestation.” because of course, as already affirmed, nothing is or can be known of Life Itself, its intrinsic nature, but by the way that One Life expresses itself in some form or other, masculine or feminine, material , mental or spiritual. That is something which may be classified as the Unknown and Unknowable.
Let us look at one or two of the more important of the above implications. Take the Founder’s reference to that which is innermost in a man or a woman being above sex, or being without sex. I have already said that this has reference to the essence and nature of the One Life Itself, generally thought of by saints and sages as being without attributes of any kind. But, it may also have reference to a state of “ desirelessness”—a state in which there is not only no sense of attachment to things of time and space, but a conscious realisation of being a manifestation in that finited way of the Infinite Itself. And, emphasis is laid on the fact that this applies equally to woman as well as man.
There is also the implication in many of the statements in that chapter, and indeed, throughout the whole of the book, that this Infinite Life Power not only finds expression in one’s ideals and hopes, and in the strength of the same, but that at a certain level of development, one can be quite definitely conscious of sensing and receiving help from that same power, up to the measure of one’s needs, and receptive conditions at any given time and state. No one who has read the life of the Founder, or has witnessed a tithe of the many wonderful wigs that have happened at Mai-istic meetings in answers to prayer, can remain without being convinced of this always, assuming, of course, that one is open to conviction.
It is true that while there is the utmost humility and reverence in the prayerful approaches to that which is taken at Mai-ists meetings to represent and symbolize this Infinite One Life, there is also a simplicity, directness, frankness, naturalness ence. This attitude would seem to be more than justified by the results. But, personally, I think it is also d in no small measure to the Mother conception of this Infinit One Life and Mother-Child-relationship idea. In any case it works.
One reason for this no doubt is that it is impossible, even in these more advanced times, for even the more enlightened of embodied mortals to think abstractly and with any degree of cohesion and intelligibility of That which has its centre everywhere and its circumference nowhere. It is impossible for mortals to have any rational and reasonable conception of that which is manifested in our solar system, and in the millions of other solar systems, to say nothing of that which is Unmanifest, Transcendent and Unknown. So that to get any tolerable grasp of what is meant and conveyed by the term “ the One Infinite Life,” recourse has to be had to some circumscribed, concretised symbol or other.
Consider again what is inferred by the Founder’s reference to the existence of the different power-units of infatuation and resistance, relative to sex matters. Clearly, the implication here is that this is something beyond human ingenuity, and control. We know as a matter of common experience not only that no two human beings are quite alike in this respect, but that some have that power in an unusual degree. We see that among the cinema stars. It has been strikingly manifested in history by such individuals as Menaka, Cleopatra, Eva Peron, and many others on the feminine side, and by an equal array of talented and powerful individuals on the masculine side. Who or what is responsible for this?
The answer, in MAI-ISM, at least by inference, is that there is a “Divine Arrangement” in all these things, for some wise end. But, alongside that answer is the other side of the story, which is, that the same One Life manifests in each individual, as a “conscience,” an “inner voice,” with heart, head, hands and feet that are meant to be instruments of a cooperative kind, and that, too, on an increasingly intelligent scale. Further, one is advised to go about this co-operative effort systematically, honestly and with determination. So ich is inherent in the following extracts on pages 640, 664 & 666 of Mai-ism.
First. plug the hole, from which the water is getting into your boat and then, start the work of removing the already-collected waters….Don’t think even of your good acts and merits. That attachment to the meritorious actions of yours, will again entangle vou. You have to wake up your soul, ceasing your little self to be the master.
Utilise all methods, freezing, sublimating, evaporating, distilling, whichever is placed before you by Merciful Mother. But, moderately and persuasively, and not in a violent drastic manner of coercion, compulsion and consternation.
What might be said to be the keynote sounding through the Founder’s whole approach to those who are regarded as “ sinners” in the matter of sexual affairs by the orthodox religionists, is that of a human, rational, affectionate understanding. It could be summed up in the words “Let him that is without sin cast the first stone,” There is no suggestion of shielding the masculine complex and attitude of those who, in the past, (and in the present), have made laws relative to women to suit themselves thus, in reality, subjugating them to an inferior position. On the contrary, there is a frank courageous facing up to the truth in this respect. Light is freely turned on to the various systems of thought. While the masculine or more intellectual expression of the One Life is welcomed and shown to have its rightful place, the Founder’s emphasis is not so much on this as being the chief requisite for the New Age, as it is on LOVE. While giving full respect to the old mandate, * Let there be light,” he has a very soft spot for the newer mandate “ Let there be LOVE.”
So much, indeed, is palpably inherent in the four tenets of “MAI-ISM”-Love, Service, Devotion and Self-Surrender. These are Mai-ism’s ways and means of bringing about the desired end. But, these words have to be translated into deeds.
And their application has to be universal-gradually tactfully, of course ; but if one is to be a true Mai-ist, it must and will be done.
That fact in itself not only makes the movement distinct and outstanding, but it also makes it a pioneering one. It is true the set times for this has come, there being everywhere dissatisfaction with what is being offered in this respect by the leaders of the organized religions and schools of thought. All the same, a pioneering movement is not only often called upon to plough a lonely furrow, but, as the facts of history show, it has something within it which calls forth opposition from those who are wedded to the old orthodox order of things, and who will not hesitate to strangle the“ new child,” if they can, before it grows up and gets into its stride.
But, I would respectfully suggest that there is something in and behind this movement which is greater than all the opposition that can be mustered against it. It coincides with the dawning of a New Age. And, just as the sun of a new dawn dissipates and scatters to the four winds the darkness of the night, so also will the power inherent in the new movement, the power or LOVE as well as LIGHT, dissipate and dissolve the ignorance and darkness that has so long enveloped and clouded the mental atmosphere and prevented us from seeing things truly as they really are.
That suggests another thought, also inherent and fairly obvious indeed in the teaching of MAI-ISM. It is this. If the teaching of Mai-ism be true, that is, if the submission that the Infinite One Life, Omniscient, Omnipresent and Omnipotent, be actually represented in and manifesting itself through and by the Mother-Child relationship and who can doubt it ?-then, it follows as irrevocably and irresistibly as day follows night, or as spring follows winter, that whether we have a movement like Mai-ism or not, that underlying Reality life which is thought of by some as “ Religion,” and by others as “Science” will most assuredly come to be accepted by ever-increasing number of people in all parts of the world.
And of course, the logic of this is, that the movement is not born out of due time, but is a divinely inspired one, born exactly at the right time, at the right place and in the right circumstances, and with a leader who is obviously a man of destiny in that relationship, having been chosen and inwardly prepared for the purpose. Happy are those who are actively associated with the movement in its pioneering stages and who are privileged, in, no matter how humble a way, to assist in its growth and its development.
Publication Date : 22 March 1957 , Mother’s Day
Publisher of this book: MAI SWARUP MAI MARKAND
Mai Niwas, Saraswati Road End, Santa Cruz West , Mumbai 400054 India.