38. Story of the Savoury Pithey
A devotee-son of the Mother was in the habit of collecting various articles at great pains for presenting to the Mother, going even to the extent of begging for such articles of others. He was often dissuaded by his well-meaning friends from these efforts of his, as they knew that the Mother had no taste for these articles of food and they went only to feed those around her. He was even the object of their critical remarks. In spite of it he used to procure the things for making dainty preparations for the Mother and present them to her. She would receive them with great joy, offer them to the Master, and feed the devotees sumptuously with the Prasada, herself only just takting them and bestowing her praise on the preparation. One day some devotee present there, on seeing this devotee-son bringing things procured with great difficulty and labour, remarked in a sympathetic tone, “Why do you put yourself to so much pains?” But contrary to that person’s expectation, the Mother turned her full gaze on the boy and said, “If devotees do not do so, who will make such good
offerings to the Master?” These words of the Mother filled the heart of the devotee-son with great joy, and he began to visit the Mother often with various savoury preparations. But after a few days he was, as he thought, about to receive a rebuff to his devotional enthusiasm With a friend’s help he procured from a distant place some fragrant rice of high quality, with which he got a savoury Pithey made, in the hope that the Mother would partake of it. When in the evening he was about to start for the Mother’s place with the packet of newly prepared Pithey in hand, a devotee of the place warned him that the Mother, being an observer of the rules of life for a Brahmana widow, would not take any rice preparations at night. This was a bolt from the blue for the boy-devotee. At first he thought it was better for him to heed this warning; for if the Mother could not take it, he would be putting her into an embarrassing situation, and himself to much mental agony. But after some cogitation, he said to himself, “I shall certainly take the preparation to the Mother. Let her act as she pleases.”
With a heart agitated and heavy with apprehension, he covered the distance of several miles on foot carrying the offerings in hand, and reached Jayrambati just before nightfall. With great hesitation he offered the present to the Mother, and with tears in his eyes, said: “It was a long-standing desire in my heart that you taste of this dainty Pithey.” In a very cheerful vein, the Mother replied, “Surely I shall taste it, my son With much difficulty you have got it prepared and have brought it from such a long distance. Should I disappoint you? I shall offer it to the Master, and afterwards taste it myself.” Then turning to another devotee-son standing nearby, the Mother said in a measured tone: “For these sons of mine, I can disregard any rule.” The boy-devotee was thrilled with joy. That night all enjoyed the Pithey Prasad. The Mother fed them till they could eat no more.