My civil name is Zsuzsanna Takacs, but many years before Bomjon was even born, I have received a spiritual name Marici (ma-ree-chi). I was acquainted with Yoga very early, by my best friend’s family in the former Czechoslovakia, and from my 16th year I engaged in very intensive Yoga practice. It was a pure and scientific secular Yoga, yet I was soon interested to upgrade it to a higher spiritual level. My teacher, who had visited India many times, brought back numerous books on Yoga and Hindu and Buddhist philosophy, and I combined my dedicated practice with an extensive study, in English. I was enthusiastic in exploring the depths of meditation. I was a perfectionist, so I did everything as prescribed, and thus “slipped through” the 8 stages of Ashtanga Yoga very soon, arriving in 1987 to the definitive mystical experience…
Returning to a worldly life after 1987 was very difficult. My mother died in 1988 after a long illness, and left me with deep sadness, but also without material and emotional support for my young student life. After a few years of recuperation period in Yoga communities I finally settled in 1991 in Prague and started to study Hindi and Philosophy at the university, preparing to study Sanskrit. I had amazing and genial professors, some of whom spoke even ten languages, and enjoyed the topic of the history, geography, culture, religions of the Indian Subcontinent, as well as classes on Greek, Latin and Western philosophy.
Yet, struggling for survival as a student without parents, and as a foreigner without social allowance, I was hardly passing through the university years, often starving or having not enough warm clothes and shoes for snowy winters… I was practically homeless and due to my Hungarian nationality could hardly find a lasting job, and even if I found some, many times salaries were held back or I got health problems and had to leave… Soon I became ill with liver problems, and many other illnesses connected to malnutrition and cold, also suffering from chronic fever…
My life was thus so extremely difficult and full of suffering in the cold and harsh middle of Europe, that finally I tried my fortune in other, warmer and more easy-going countries in Europe and beyond the Mediterranean. During all those years, I remained an intellectual and continued with my Yoga practice as my only hope to manage the difficult fate I had.
My experience-based belief in God and the ancient system of Ashtanga Yoga were the pillars which held me standing in situations of unbearable suffering and troubles with finances, accommodation, food, basic necessities though I also met many fantastic people, who temporarily and partially supported me. Religious mysticism had been not only my interest as of a reader, but also a practice which enabled me to bear the repeated failures and misfortune in life.
While keeping my individuality and freedom intact, and not becoming a member of any cult, any lineage or specific religious group, not interested to bow to any guru, I did find inner strength in the Sutras of Shivaism, in the Bhagavadgita, the Torah (Jewish Bible), Bible, Kabbalah, Buddha’s life story and many others. The holy men and women who inspired me most were Shri Ramana Maharishi, Ananda Mayi Ma, Shri Ramakrishna and St. Terese of Lisieux. St. Francis of Assisi was a great inspiration to me as well. Yet as much as I tried, I could not fit to the institutionalized Christian churches. Spirituality to me was always, and remains to be an individual topic and not a social event, although I had very deep freindships with many other mystics in variosu countries, with whom we mutually influenced each-other.
So my spirituality is not that recreational New Age dreaminess of bored middle class daughters. My spirituality had been burnt by fire and swept through by wild river currents. Tried out in sweat, tears and blood, it is the real thing which simply works, when everything else had stopped to work.
This kind of spirituality but has a basic condition: no matter in what hopeless situation we are, we must never lower ourselves to harming other people, to violence, stealing, lying or cheating. Spirituality in my experience is inseparable from ethics, morality. Some people tried to advise me their own ways of “solving difficulties”, like “Why don’t you just steal a bread-roll in the supermarket, when you faint from hunger? You don’t get jailed for that.”. Or people suggested I should have lied at the offices to get social allowances. But I could not do these things. Apart from a hungry and desperate human being, I was also someone who had been blessed by God’s direct grace, and breaking my inborn moral principles was simply never even an option for me.
Ramana Maharishi, my virtual Guru (because he left his body 18 years before I was born) used to say that those who attained high absorption in Samadhi, are not able to sin anymore: simply because sinning does not even come to their mind, they do not know its “know-how”. In case such a person would still want to try to do something against ethics, circumstances would arise which would create obstacles so that the “sinful deed” could not be realized.
This power had been holding me straight and strong during my very difficult life. Needless to say that the world brings to the way of such vulnerable female orphans as I was, also types of people (mostly men) who take advantage of their situation. But I must tell that living in other countries in Europe and the Middle East, I have met with so many supportive people that finally my life started to improve. I got good jobs and earnings with hard manual work, and studied in my free time.
I utilized my knowledge and experience in spirituality and religions in a formerly unexpected form, but it was a natural outcome of my contact with religious communities and “gurus”, who took advantage of my vulnerability as a young orphan female student: I soon started to explore (and criticize!) religious cults and fake gurus from around 1994, and had been active online writing about about them. Gradually I became a cult-buster. I was also maybe the only one who repeatedly alerted the public about the fact that anti-cult movements have very similar behavior to cults themselves, as they are often established and financed by religious groups which use this weapon to demonize other religions and spirtual teachings. The irony of fate is that in a troubled period of my life I have myself had fallen in the trap of a cult and a fake guru, but that comes later in this life story…
When, after living abroad many years I returned to the Czech Republic around 2004, and have acquired good English living abroad, I could get better jobs, for example at an embassy, in US and European companies, and also worked as a freelance translator and English teacher. It was around this time when I met my partner, and we started to live together in a small but comfortable rented flat.
In 2007 I got pregnant.