Sapta-Shari, which is the most popular sacred book on the subject of Mother, is a continued narration of the manifestation of the highest Power, which vanquished and killed the demons who oppressed the Devās (petty deities).
As per Mother's (Māi's) Ideal, She is equally the Mother of demons as of the deities. If She were Mother of the Devās alone, Demons would not have been able to drive away the Devās from heavens. It is this tendency of stamping sealed covers one way another, that has been responsible for what looks paradoxical. The truth is Devas are not Devas, unless they live as Devās. When Devās become demons (saint without, devil within), 'demons overpower the Devās.
Mother is not mother of Devās versus demons. Mother is not the Mother of Hindus versus non-Hindus, not of Brahmins versus non-Brahmins. She is the Mother of them that worship Her as Mother and of all. The conquests or defeats are simply adjustments for equilibrium following Her Divine Will, when they become necessary as a result_of accumulated evil.
It is for this reason of delusion that is created by presumptions that the Mother's Ideal recommends the faculty of judging of ourselves not by our positional values but by the tests of the fundamental truths which we can satisfy.
Next to the recognition of the highest Power and Her easy grace, came power worship. This threw morality into the background, while Devotion received supreme consideration. This sure success on worship of Power without any consideration of merit so much put the world into the delusion, that Mother went being associated with Demons, and instances were not wanting, where demons worshiped Power by greatest self-mortifications and austerities and having secured boons from Power, tore the Devās (petty deities) to mere rags flying in the air.
Devotion being considered and having been proved by experience to be powerful enough to achieve any success, all other considerations and observances were thrown overboard. The over-fondled child became entirely spoiled. Wonderfully enough, some Asuras were after Parvati Herself. The case of Rāvanh opponent of Rāma is most typical. He had enslaved all the deities, and yet he had a very poor idea of morality, which could be inferred from his kidnapping Rāma's most beloved and chaste wife, Mother Seeta. On the other hand his devotion was unique. It is said when once he was worshiping Mother, one lotus for worship was missing. He could not brook a single moment's delay and he cut off his head and offered the same to Mother as the missing lotus, Mother was so very pleased that she gave him ten heads in return.
While the Power was being worshiped and propitiated in the outer world on one hand, there was the exploration of the highest human power in the most wonderful common possession of all human beings, viz., the body itself. The presence of power latent therein and capable of most wonderful development was known and studied as the science of Yoga, and this power too went being associated with Mother. Kundalini Shakti lying in the Mulādhār chakra in every human body became Mother. By the worship of this Mother in the shape of the Serpentine Power, Yoga went being practiced, not seldom for achieving Siddhis (supernatural powers), which in course of time went being abused and brought degeneration on the heads of the Mal-practitioners.
On battle fields also Mother went being propitiated, and it was never a point of consideration, whether the cause for the war was just or not.
Thus in a word, Mother was identified with power and devotion was believed as quite enough to secure it either on the field by the warriors, or in forests where demons practised highest austerities, or in places infected with epidemics, or even when dacoits and robbers and thieves started out of their homes for their nefarious pursuits.
Love, disinterested Devotion, Morality, Truthfulness, surrender to God's will and all the tender-most qualities of Mother went being neglected except to the extent they thrust themselves upon the devotee for the proper carrying out of devotion. No wonder then, that a little later, Mother went being associated with all kinds of Royal powers, emotional pleasures and cruelly harmful practices. (Mahālakshmi, Mahāsarasvati and Mahākāli.)
Then came in the name of Mother, whose ideal had degenerated to a very low abyss, the most horrible “Vāma Mārga,” which cannot be adequately translated. The nearest approximation would be “Woman supremacy Path,” “Un-straight-forward Path” “Left hand Path". Of course, there is a good deal of mysticism and spiritual force behind the practice of this process, but it cannot be too strongly said that the path is one, which can be well compared with poisonous drugs, which have wonderful efficacy in very exceptional cases, if taken with full obedience to the instructions of the doctors, but have often taken lives of so many indifferent and disobedient patients. Under the requirements of this path, Mother began being supposed to demand animal and human sacrifices. Some human beings were carried to be sacrificed to Mother under force. The follow in course of time became bold enough to say the salvation could not be had except by frequent resort to pleasure-giving pursuits. They said, “Five “M”s were necessary to secure the sixth “M”, viz. Mukti (Salvation). These five “M”s were Madya (liquor-offering), Matsya (fish-offering), Mānsa (flesh offering), Mudră (egg-offering), and Maithun (sexual enjoyment). There are so many traditions about some human beings being carried away to be sacrificed, as a Nara-Bali under force. In some cases there was an open declaration, that a certain holy person was selected to be sacrificed. Before the day of the sacrifice, that selected being was worshipped and supplied with all kinds of enjoyment for days together, Members of the Royal family also worshiped him. In some ages, prisoners of wars were being sacrificed. Not many years before, rumors were afloat, that children were captured by religious fanatics, because rice boiled in water with their blood was an item of menu after worship, for worshipers of a particular faith.
Some take Mudrā to mean symbol-showing or some substitute Mudga for Mudrā, which means cereal food.
These remarks are not restricted to India or Hinduism.
Vāma Mārga practices were more or less prevaling in all parts of the world and in several religions in olden times.
In the field of sexual pleasure, the institute of Deva-Dāsis came into being. Those were women that were dedicated to Mother, especially by parents who had no issue, when they got the first daughter, and who later lived by prostitution. Adultery did not stop there. Members of high families and especially females, who could not have the pleasure of revelry otherwise, joined the Ghat Kanchuki Sampraday in the name of the Mother. This meant that whichever male and female happened to have their kerchief and bodice drawn out simultaneously through a ballot by the Guru, could enjoy each other without any fear of incurring sin.
Thus the idea of Mother went being degenerated. The Illusion-Maker, the Misery-creator, the Power which was in the end sure to be abused, Consort, Goddess of the five “M”s, Goddess of animal and human sacrifice, drinking and adultery, Goddess that took possession of Her devotees, (who would then be worshiped and requested to bless others and tell future, etc.), Goddess of fear and wrathful-ness, vindictivity and cruelty, Goddess that would punish for even unconscious errors, Goddess of dacoits, robbers and thieves, and Goddess of black magic, etc.
Although strong efforts have been made to explain objectionable shlokās relating to Vāma Mārga in quite the reverse interpretations, the fact remains that there were ages and millions in each age, whose beliefs were as above described.
It is not that there is no other side, and in some stages of evolution nothing can be a better remedy than the sometime practice of some processes, but those uses have to be very exceptional. There are uses of poison also. But poison is poison, and unless you know its use or act under full guidance and perfect obedience of a doctor and only as a last remedy, you are sure to lose your life.
There are, (1) the substance and (2) the all told manifest working about it. Very hazily, the former is Shiva and the latter is Shakti. In fact, the very cognizance of the existence of Shiva is due to Shakti. Say the Mother's picture is before you. It stands there un-fallen because the floor has the Shakti (power) to hold it. You see it because your eyes have the Shakti of seeing it and because the sun during day or light during night has the Shakti of illuminating it. If your eye, or sun or light has no Shakti, the picture does not exist for you. One aspect of the Shakti of mind enables the mind stuff to assume the form of the picture. Another aspect of the Shakti of mind tells you “you are blessed". A still another aspect of Shakti begins to recollect for you, what you once heard and knew about "Mother”, and suggests what should be done and so on. Shiva is like a substance, over which, under which, through which, across which, about which, regarding which, in favor of which, and what not which, Shakti plays Her sport of starting, continuing, increasing, decreasing, deflecting, obstructing, stopping, etc., of motion and vibration, both taken in the widest sense. It must be always remembered that Mother Māi is beyond this Shiva and Shakti.
Taking these two elements of Shiva and Shakti, as abstract qualities, Love without power is dead-ness and Power without Love is destructivity (first of others and finally of itself). One is suicide, another is murder. A country like India can well be said to be emblematic of love without power, and any country in the West with up-to-date machine guns, torpedoes, etc., may be taken to be emblematic of power without love.
(a) What India wants is the worship of Shakti,
what West wants is the worship of Shiva, and what both want is the worship of the Final-most Mother of the Mai-ist, from whom (1) Love outer, Power inner, and (2) Power outer, Love inner come into being. Similarly passivity unless it is well earned by activity is rusting, whereas activity unless it is directed towards the attainment of peacefulness wasteful wearing out. East and West are here too emblematic of the two Stated Conditions respectively. To give a still further idea, Shiva is the acted upon, and Shakti is the actor, Shiva is the mass and Shakti is the force. Shiva is, say, more spirit, less matter. Shakti is more matter, less spirit. Shiva is the substance and Shakti, the property. Shiva is, petrified without Shakti, and Shakti burns itself away into flames, if not loved by Shiva, Shiva is the spectator and Shakti is, the sportive player. Shiva is oxygen and Shakti is hydrogen.
(b) Hinduism has fallen because Motherhood has
been neglected. By neglecting Motherhood, it is not meant that the worship of Idols as Mother is neglected, but neglecting the underlying development of right understanding of the special features and of special qualities pertaining to Mother's Ideal.
By Mother is meant activity, exemplary sacrifice, readiness to suffer, little differences and still less hatred and pride of high and low; practice, freedom, science, conviction, Purushartha (exertion), character, sincerity, bold self-exposure, voluntary sells mortification, full faith, spirit, etc.