My mother and aunt were deeply religious and accepted Babaji as the head of the family. Ma would often tell us that the family and the household belonged to Baba and we were all his children. Her whole treatment of him was based on the fact that Babaji knew what was in the minds of everyone and behaved accordingly. He treated them as his Ma and Maushi Ma, giving them all the freedom and indulgence and grace.
They reported to him everything going on in the house and sought his advice and guidance for running it. The most important duty assigned to them was to prepare the food and feed everyone coming to him. “Ma khana khilao” [Ma, make food] was his pet method of asking them to feed the people. Often emphasizing the importance of their work, he would say, “Maushi Ma, this is the home of the deity. Here everyone gets his food, so I also get mine.”
My mother was from a very orthodox brahmin family and formerly she could not imagine that a lower caste person would enter the kitchen. None of the servants were allowed to dust or sweep there or bring in the drinking water from outside. Ma was like that and I could not have thought of changing her attitude. But with Maharajji around all those things eventually changed. Westerners came and were entering the kitchen. Ma also became reconciled to Muslims entering the house. Maharajji was not forcing her to do this; her whole outlook had changed. She began feeling that all were her sons and daughters. If she is not keeping me away from her kitchen, how could she go on keeping others away? Now, from where had this wider outlook come? Of course, Maharajji had done that, but all he had said was, “Ma, give food to all.”
Ma and Maushi Ma had become accustomed to treating Babaji as their near and dear one, and would talk to him without any formality. Babaji enjoyed that. Whenever he left for any place, they would invariably ask him where he was going, when he would come again, and sometimes they asked him to extend his stay in the house.
Once Babaji came and left two days later. Ma asked him to stay for a few days more. He said, “Ma, let me go now. I have some important work to attend to. I shall return soon.”
Ma said, “You have no work as such—the only work that you have is to run away.”
He laughed and said again that he would return soon. Three months passed and he had not come back. Ma said, “Look, so much time has passed. This is low. He goes on bluffing us.” Babaji arrived a few days later. When they came to see him in his room, the first thing they said was, “Baba, you speak so many lies. You promised you would return soon. Now you have come after three months!”
Babaji replied in his inimitable way, “Ma, where do I go? I am always here. Believe me, Ma, I never speak lies to you. I am always here.”
By Dada Mukerjee from By His Grace