THE STORY OF LAKSHMI , part III
Bhagavan has told of a number of incidents in the life of Lakshmi that showed that she had human intelligence. He used to say that although she could not speak the human language, she understood everything
She used to come up to Bhagavan in the hall at mealtime, and accompany him to the dining hall. In those days, there was no mealtime bell. But Lakshmi was so punctual, that even if Bhagavan was engaged in any other work and had
forgotten the time, he would turn and look at the clock when Lakshmi came in. He would know it was mealtime.
She would go straight up to Bhagavan, and remind
Bhagavan that it was time for lunch. Her devotion gave
her a special right to go close to Bhagavan, and she took no notice of the Ashram inmates or visitors who would be
present in the hall.
Lakshmi’s special status in the Ashram gave her the
freedom to help herself to any food that was brought by
devotees because Bhagavan always supported Lakshmi if devotees complained against her. He would also take her
side if anyone tried to prevent her from coming to see him
in the hall.
Bhagavans devotee N.N. Rajan narrates another anecdote about Lakshmi:
"Once I was bringing foodstuff in a large open vessel to offer to Bhagavan. Lakshmi, who had come behind me, was eating from the vessel unnoticed by me.
Bhagavan noticed it and remarked, 'Enough
Lakshmi, enough! Leave something for us.”
So saying, he gave some more foodstuffs to Lakshml and then sent her away. The attendant ridiculed and chided me for being careless.
But Bhagavan, out of Grace, said, ‘Why do you blame him? Poor man, he is too innocent to notice all this.’
Once 'the certificate of innocence' was received
from my Master, I said to myself, what more do I require
in this life?”
Although, the cow Lakshmi had the entire pasture of the Ashram to herself, she certainly did not content herself with that. She knew when it was ‘mealtime’ and time for ‘tiffin.’ On both occasions she would walk right into the hall and place her head on Bhagavans shoulder. Bhagavan would stroke her with affection and call out to the people in the to give her some food.
At that time in the Ashram, although there was water shortage, a kitchen garden was grown with some difficulty.
As Lakshmi was young and frisky,
she would occasionally break in and play havoc with the young plants in the kitchen
garden and eat the fruits and vegetables. When those in
charge of the kitchen garden complained to Bhagavan about what Lakshmi did, Bhagavan, however, always took Lakshmi’s side and defended her by saying, “She is not to he blamed. She went where she found good food. If you don t want her to go there, you ought to have fenced the garden properly to keep her out."
Lakshmi would stand there innocently like a child, who
had done mischief unknowingly.