The New Life: Baba accepts Todi Singh’s request to offer bhiksha (Part -3 of 3)

On January 16th, Todi Singh returned to Manjri Mafi with his entire family: his mother, wife, daughter and sister with her little son. With them was a huge amount of luggage filled with vessels and utensils for cooking, a wide assortment of spices and all manner of other paraphernalia to be used to prepare meals. They each brought just one small bag for themselves, which contained only a change of clothing. Overjoyed to see Baba, they immediately offered to begin cooking.

However, Baba told them, “No, tomorrow. You cook from tomorrow.”

Baba then inquired of the companions, “But where are we to house them?”

After some discussion, it was decided that the family would also move into the Mahant’s bungalow.

When they were brought for a quick tour, they said, “We want to see the kitchen first, not the bedroom.” They were then taken directly to the large room, which had a fireplace, a tap and a sink.

“This is wonderful. This is where we will live,” the family said and then brought in all their cooking equipment and personal gear. Very soon, they had made the kitchen into their living quarters, where they would roll out their bedding at night and bathe when they awoke.

The family began cooking the very first day. After the sparse diet the companions had experienced on their journey north, they were now treated to meals fit for royalty. The food cooked in clarified butter was so rich that they could scarcely finish the carefully and lovingly prepared fare.

(Mani said later that the food was very rich and tasted so much like incense that she and the other women began longing for more simple food.)

Every morning, while his family started the cooking, Todi Singh headed off in a tonga to the market and returned hours later with the carriage filled with vegetables, sparing no expense in providing the very best food available.

Dehra Dun was and still is noted for producing large and delicious vegetables, especially snow peas, lettuce and cauliflower. Since the companions had very little in the way of fresh green vegetables since their stay in Sarnath, these were particularly welcome.

As the days passed, Todi Singh became more and more intoxicated with love for Baba.  He just wanted to see Baba and inwardly repeat His name, which made him blissfully happy. He rarely conversed with the companions, and when asked about his business and his family life, he would invariably say “Baba jane.”

For the next week, the family stayed in the kitchen most of the time, but came out in the evenings to sit with the women.

On January 21st, one week after they had come, Baba sent the family back to Aligarh, and He instructed Todi Singh to resume his work as a cream distributor.

Before leaving, Todi Singh bowed reverently to everything Baba had touched and could not restrain his tears. -“Meher Baba’s New Life”, p317

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