An old woman named Kamala lived in a small cottage near the ashram of Baba Lokenath. She earned her meager living by selling milk from her only asset, a sickly cow.
One day, she came to Baradi Ashram of Baba Lokenath to have his darshan, and brought him a small offering of cow’s milk. When Brahmachari Baba (as Baba Lokenath was known in Baradi) saw her approaching, he was delighted. He invited her inside the room, saying, “How is it that the mother could remain away from the child for such a long time?” The old woman had a deep motherly feeling the moment she saw Baba and took him in her lap as if Baba was her own son. Baba called her Gwalini Ma.
Through the grace of Baba, Gwalini Ma shouldered many responsibilities in the ashram despite her advanced age. She cared for visitors by distributing prasad to them. She also administered to the needs of the ailing patients who came in large numbers to seek Baba’s blessings. Baba developed so much confidence in Gwalini Ma that he never did anything concerning the management of the ashram without consulting her.
Baba prepared and ate his morning food (balbhog) himself on the northern side of the veranda, in front of his one room cottage. The afternoon bhog or meal was prepared by Gwalini Ma, who always covered her mouth with cloth during preparation. She would allow no one inside until Baba had eaten. Today, wherever Baba Lokenath is worshipped and bhog, a food offering, is made, it is expected that devotees cover their mouths as was the custom strictly followed at the Baradi Ashram.
(to be continued in a few more instalments of blogs, as Excerpts from Bodhi’s English Biography of Baba “Incredible Life of a Himalayan Yogi, please see the Book section in the Home page if you wish to have this life transforming book)