Markand ( The Founder of Mai-ism - Saint Mai Swarup Mai Markand ) began his devotion of Divine Mother at the tender age of twelve. At first he tried to propitiate Rama, Krishna, Shiva and others but he was passed one by one deity to another, finally Divine Mother accepted him. He took to worship of Divine Mother at the instance of his mother Prabhadevi. After worship of Amba in a temple one day during worship the symbols slipped from his hands and were dashed to pieces against the stone floor. He was scolded for this and he left Mother Amba for good and started worshipping Kalika in another temple. It was situated in a desolate place and he shifted from there when land surrounding the temple was given on lease to a dramatic company. There after he went to a forest like area beyond the village limits and continued his worship to the fearful Chamunda. He never missed worship a single evening or a single night. He went on asking, " Mother, tell me doth Thou exist or not ?"
After a long period of worship of these goddesses, once while he was returning from a lonely place in darkness he was chased by two robbers as according to the custom of the age he was wearing ornaments on his hands and around neck. While he was proceeding on the main road he became suspicious about the chasers. Soon he entered a parallel long side lane to evade them. True to their intension the chasers followed him on the lane. By then he became sane of their designs. The nearest house was 40 minutes away. He said to himself," I will give all the ornaments but let them not kill me ". After 5 or 7 minutes of intensive prayer he was taken by surprise when found from one side of the paths " a very tall old cultivator's wife -like mother, black woman with black garment with a huge basket on a head " emerge. She silently followed the chasers. Nearly 30 minutes passed like this. The boy was anxious to reach the village boundary quickly praying that the woman may not leave him and the chasers. The chasers were every now and then looking at the fearfully tall and black woman, whether she was following them or not. The woman never sought their sympathy nor opened any talk. Nor did she allow the distance between her them to be smaller or greater. When all reached village boundary (Molaay Bhagole in Petlad) the boy observed that the woman had suddenly and inexplicably disappeared perhaps in the air. Being now safe near the village house he picked up a courage and asked the chasers " Where did that tall black fearful woman go ? They answered by laughing only. " One of them asked Markand " Have you faith in or do you worship Mata ? " " Yes, I never eat without worshiping Mataji ", " These are bad days. You have ornaments on your body. You should never wonder like this after sunset ". The first man added ," You were fortunate, we were with you and that tall black fearful woman was with us or otherwise someone would have robbed you this very night ".
For months together the boy was remembering this instance and tried to arrive at a conclusion regarding the most timely appearance and the abrupt disappearance of the tall black fearful woman.
(Years after one female devotee painted the whole incident to Maiji [Markand] and assured Him that the tall black woman was none than Mother) .
THE WHIP HAND
In 1900 in Ahmedabad just near the Cinema opposite Prembhai Bhatt near Bhadrakali temple , Markand was slowly making his way in the midst of usual crowd. A European pair was driving a dogcart with a smart terrible whip for a tall horse. The man twice or thrice shouted at Markand to be out of the way. He was absent-minded as his mind was occupied by the question " Doth Thou exist or not "?
The European got wrathful and lifted his whip and as it were not enough to beat him out without getting additional force whirled it most forcefully in the air. The boy saw the whip spinning in the air over his head. Most spontaneously he cried out " Mother save me or I am dead ". All of a sudden the whip slipped from the hand and encircled the horse foot , the horse stumbled, the dog cart and wife all fell down on the ground. Immediately a crowd gathered to help the fallen horse and the lady. The boy ran and sought refuge at Bhadrakali temple for an hour and afterwards reached home by back-doors and a lane via Astodia Road to Akasheth Kuva Pole. That night he had a dream in which all the incidents of the evening repeated. In the dream Mother was laughing at the way in which he was trembling in fear. He repeated the question which troubled him for 3 to 4 years. He asked, " Why don't you tell me ? Doth Thou exist or not ? " The answer was , " I do not exist " and She laughed at him. The boy anxiously asked, " Who is then laughing at me and speaking ? " I do not exist ". The Mother answered , "Then whom are you questioning whether the questioned exist or not "? This brought about a sea change in him. He understood that it was Mother who saved him now from the whip-hand and it was the same Mother who saved him three years ago from robbers.
ACCEPTANCE AS MOTHER'S SON
In 1900 at the age of 15 the boy was convinced of the existence of God. He was convinced that he was saved from robbers by Kali. He tried to secure grace and recognition of the usually worshiped Hindu deities like Rama, Krishna, Shiva etc. He was passed on as it were by one deity to another till Mataji alone accepted him. In 1903 he shuddered at being the devotee of a terrible deity. He decided to perform hundred repetitions of Saptashati. He said,"If Mataji accepted him as Her son with no displeasure, no freaks, no terrible wrathfulness and vengeance for consciously or unconsciously done offences he would become Hers. "
In 1903 at the age of 18 he started the experiment. When he completed 30 repetitions of he received a telegram at Poona [Pune] to start at once to see his mother who was with the uncle. Accordingly he reached about 2 P.M. Mahesana where his uncle was acting Collector. His uncle came to the station to receive him. Just at the station the uncle received an order from Baroda to proceed immediately to Bahucharaji , the most renowned temple of Devi Bahuchara. The uncle took Markand also to the temple. He wondered there were few chances of his mother going to the uncle , still fewer chances of her calling him to meet her, fewest chances of uncle getting orders to proceed to the temple. It is strange that he received the order at the railway station where he had come to receive Markand.
The enigma unraveled itself in a dream.
He saw in the dream a beautiful garden with best lawns, natural luxurious growth of dense forest, several singing birds peacocks, cuckoos; colored pigeons and several animals. The season was spring. On the boundaries of the central lawn there were thick shades of tall trees. Then appeared several most beautiful damsels between 12 to 18. They were playing a flower ball. In their midst there was one entirely luminous beautiful and incomparable. Markand was petrified and it did not take even a second to understand that the central majestic beauty was Mataji. He was concealing behind a tree. After a little play the Mataji said," just bring here that boy who is observing us. ". One of the Sakhis (female friend) took him to Her, He prostrated again and again. She asked," Who brought you here at my place ? " Markand most humbly replied ," That is your Divine will and grace ". Mother asked, " How long do you wish to oscillate ? Are not so many years enough ? " He replied, " That is a matter of your Divine grace." Mother asked," What suspicious and wrong conceptions are working in and troubling your mind ? " He answered ," Mother you know them best. Please condescend to set me on right lines leading to the devotion of Thy sacred Lotus Feet. " Said Mother," Hear then, the black terrible woman was myself. One that saved you from the whip was myself. One that pulled you out to come over here is myself. In spite of the highest tall talk the world remains straight only out of godly fear. Love to God is entirely different mentality. I am exactly the world believes me. If I were not, there will be no end of their wickedness of the world.. I keep them in freight. I punish them for their wickedness after every effort to improve individuals and even after giving repeated warnings . It is only the punishment which opens the eyes of the most of the wicked people.
" The case of a devotee who bases his devotion on God lovingness is just the reverse. Your greatest painfulnes arises from your viewing me as the world had depicted me , where as you are the softest metal. As you wish and conceive often, how happy you would be if Devi or Mataji would love you as a mother loves her child.I am exactly what you wished me to be for them the rarest few. You can not do anything else except follow my path which you trod in so many years of your past lives. You are doing nothing. You can do nothing. You decide now your course yourself. Go. "
This wonderful experience gave him a stupendous lift. On returning to Poona (Pune) he became a changed person, a confirmed devotee; he completed the one hundred repetitions of Saptashati and continued the repetitions further.
In 1907 at 22 he had the most calamitous and yet the final hardest hammer blow under which he would have suffered but for Mother's Grace. He read Yoga Vasishtam and books on Vedanta philosophy. He was captivated by the aphorism " Aham Brahma Asmi " and his head turned. He thought he was all along under a delusion and pitiable victim of a cheat by Mataji , the Maya deity. Driven by reckless abandon he flung away in the river Mula-Mutha Sangam his worshipping materials, his deity's picture, Saptashati, Wooden seat and Vessels. Soon thereafter he left for his native place, "Petlad".
As a result of his faithless desertion of Mother he lost his miraculous powers. Instead of respect he met with contempt. He was dethroned and deposed. his good character, sense of values, morality and goodness were about to leave him. At last his magnitude of his ingratitude to Mother dawned upon him. In highest desperation one day in Petlad he tore off his garments and sacred threat., threw off his shirt and dhoti and cap in the street and ran away from his house either to end or mend his life , to be a Sanyasin or to commit suicide. His father ran after him and his mother ran after the father. Both took him back to their home. When he became normal he came back to Poona [Pune] to resume his studies.
The remorse for having forsworn Divine Mother who always helped him worked as a canker worm in his mind. He lost his peace of mind and earnestly desired Mother to re-accept him. Oppressed by the sin he had committed he decided to drown in the same river where he had flung his worshiping materials unless Mother re-accepted him. " He ran towards the river water depth with a speed which he had never before used.". "The rushing body with all momentum goes straight into a center of radiance and stops. " He was caught in the sweetest trans - heavenly embrace of Mother. the visible and infatuatingly Beautiful Mother. Thus he was saved by Mother who embraced him from behind and thus prevented him from falling into the river. She assured him She did not or would not ever disown him.
Retracing to his room he was surprised to find the very same deity's picture, the very same scriptural book of Saptashati, the very same wooden-seat, the very same worshipping articles at the very same place as they were and where they were before, the very same things which he had thrown away in the river with contempt about six weeks before.
From this moment onwards "he linked himself with and riveted himself to Mother".
Immediately thereafter His occult powers were restored. He regained his Vakkyasiddhi. Like the sun after eclipse, he rose to greater heights with untold radiance. On number of occasions he had "personal eye-to-eye vision of Divine Mother in waking state ".
The wife of his friend and superior officer was on death bed. All the doctors who treated her gave up all hopes. The husband wanted some more time to prepare for the worst. Maiji (Markand) prayed and sinking lady's life was extended by a week. This miracle was a turning point in Maiji's (Markand's) life. He saw the divine hand of Mother in the prolongation of life. She had saved Him many times, showered on Him blessings and granted Him visions after visions. He was beset with the sense of ingratitude for not breathing even a syllable about her to any one. By way of quid pro quo He decided to glorify Her. Strangely and wonderfully Mother commanded Him to install Her as " Mai " , the Universal Divine Mother. His plea of diffidence was dismissed by Her. He was coerced to install Her and She was installed on 2 SEPTEMBER 1932, FRIDAY at 12 midnight and then at Her behest He declared "MAI-ISM", the Universal Religion. Mai-ism scriptures consists of six words only  Motherhood of God  Universality  Love  Service  Devotion and  Unconditional Cheerful Self-Surrender. These words are sacrosanct to Mai-ists as Mai Herself had disclosed them to Maiji.
The happy blending of an unrivalled ancestry, an exalted parentage , an intensive education, an unattainable knowledge, an unparalleled devotion, an unequalled Mother's Grace and the culmination of his elevation as Mother's son gave us SAINT MAI SWARUPA the great and at the same time the one and the only Motherly Saint the world has ever seen.
JAY MAI JAY MARKAND MAI
EXTRACTS FROM THE ARTICLE " AS WE SEE IT - THE HISTORIC INGRESS " BY U.R.M. N.K.P. NAIR [ MAIJI 7 ] ; PUBLISHED IN MAI MARG BOOKLET. PUBLISHER : UNIVERSAL MAIISM TRUST , MAI NIWAS, SARASWATI ROAD END, SANTA CRUZ [WEST], MUMBAI 400054 INDIA.