Babaji could be so very affectionate, behaving just like a son to the Mothers. His great power, the miracles and such, no doubt were there, but the very soft, delicate, sweet and innocent impressions left by him provided a perennial source of joy—that human aspect.

At night in Allahabad, Baba would take his food in his small room and the Mothers would sit with him. Didi would be busy prepar­ing the chapatis and my duty was to carry them one by one to him. After he finished his food he would go on talking to those Mothers in a very relaxed mood. Sometimes he would take two spoons and begin to play on the head of one of the Mothers. Once Didi made some curd and gave quite a large tumbler of it to Babaji. He took a whole spoon­ful and put it on the head of one of the Mothers. Fortunately, her sari was over her head. Such kinds of things would go on.

One time when Babaji was at our house, he went for his toilet and gave me his blanket, “Here, you hold it.” I put it on the cot and was standing near him because he was talking. He began abusing me, “What have you done with my blanket? You have left it there. Look what they are doing!”

I turned and saw that Didi, my mother, my auntie, and Siddhi Didi had picked up that blanket and were actually smelling it. When I came to them they said, “Look here. It has the odor that comes from the body of a newborn child.”

Babaji shouted, “Where is my blanket!”

One day in the house, Baba stopped before a picture of himself as a younger man. “Whose photo is this?” he said. Since it was a photo of himself, of course, I did not reply. Then he whispered, “How did you recognize?” I suddenly realized that this photo was of Maharajji as I had first seen him so many years ago in Dakshineshwar.

One day when Maharajji was not in Allahabad, my mother prepared khir, a delicacy that is often offered to the gods or god­desses. My mother put it in a big bowl and said, “If Babaji comes today, it will be very good. I will have this khir to serve him.” Of course, she was not really expecting him.

Much later in the day after we had taken our food, Babaji suddenly came. “You have prepared khir? I have come for it.” Ma was so happy to see him eating it. When he was finished, he said, as if suddenly remembering, “Oh, what a mistake I have made! Today is ekadasi [a day of fasting], and here I am eating khir!” Now this was Babaji’s way, the sweetness that we remember.

Excerpt from The Near and the Dear by Dada Mukerjee



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