Roj Khordad Mah Meher, 1381 Yz.
The next day, I went to see Seth Rustomji and narrated the previous day’s incidents to him. Rustomji was surprised that despite being a senior official of the area, he had no idea that such a person existed. I conveyed the Mahatma’s invitation to visit his orchard to Rustomji and together we decided to fix a date to go meet him. On the appointed day, we woke up at 4 am, and set off for the Mahatma’s orchard in Rustomji’s tonga. We arrived there at around 9 am, to find the same attendant waiting at the gate to receive us. He saluted us and welcomed us inside. We followed him as he made his way to the cottage of the Mahatma. As we walked, Rustomji could not conceal his excitement and wonder at the bountiful trees of the orchard, and kept on murmuring that this felt like paradise. Soon we reached the cottage and sat on the bench on the verandah and removed our shoes. We followed the attendant through the rooms until we reached the Mahatma’s room.
The Wise One was seated on the cotton dhurrie as before, and as he saw us, got up. He smiled warmly, greeted us and implored us to sit with him. As we sat down, the Mahatma began discussing casual topics with us. He then turned his attention to Rustomji and said that even though it has been three years since you came to Lyallpur, we have not had the pleasure of meeting you. Rustomji replied that he had passed through this area several times in connection with the canal inspections but was totally unaware that a person of his stature was residing here. The Mahatma replied: ‘how could you know about me because it was in Pirojshah’s destiny to introduce you to me. Hence until Pirojshah came to Lyallpur, you could not have known about me.’ Rustomji could not understand the mysteries of nature and replied that even though it is late, I am thankful to God that at least Pirojshah has come here and has now given me the chance of meeting with you. Soon the attendant returned with glasses of milk and a tray of cut fruits for us. As we sat eating the fruit and drinking the milk, Rustomji asked many questions to the Mahatma, regarding the mysteries of nature, to which the Mahatma gave enlightened and clear answers, thereby removing the doubts from Rustomji’s mind.
Thereafter, the Mahatma requested us to spend the whole day at the orchard, saying that lunch would be served to us later. He requested us to go to another small cottage some distance away and rest for some time, and thereafter take a tour of the large orchard. The attendant was ready at the door. We both thanked the Mahatma and then followed the attendant out. After a five minute walk through the orchard we came across another small cottage which had been made ready for us. We rested there for some time, discussing the Mahatma amongst ourselves. The attendant was sitting on the verandah, ready to offer us his assistance. We told him that we would like to tour the orchard. He folded his hands and led us outside.
The orchard encompassed such a vast area that even a day’s walking would have not been sufficient to cover the distance. There were numerous fruit trees and many different varieties of vines, on which large bunches of grapes were seen hanging low. There were many varieties of roses, jasmine shrubs, and several other fragrant plants around which bees and butterflies of the most amazing colour could be seen humming around. The whole view was one of such intense beauty that it had a most pacifying and relaxing effect on the mind.
After walking for some time we came to an area which seemed to have been set aside for cattle rearing. Over here, we saw many cows and bulls housed in a special building for them. But it was the size and nature of the cattle that amazed us. We had never seen such large specimens of cattle in our lives.
On asking the cowherd, we were told that each of these bounteous cows would give more than 20 liters of milk per day. We were most interested to know the methods used by the cowherd which produced such fantastic results. The cowherd explained that the main reason for the abnormal size of the animals and their output was the fact that they followed the principle of never milking the cow until the calf had finished feeding her share of milk. Until the calf would be utterly satisfied and would move away from the mother, the cowherds would not milk the cow. In this manner, because of the more than adequate supply of milk to the calf, after it grew up, its own milk output would be far better than a normal cow.
The cowherd further explained to us that the milk collected by them was distributed freely to the poor and needy persons of the area. In the area surrounding the cattle shed, vast fields were situated where the cattle could freely graze the whole day. The person in charge of the whole cattle operation explained to us that the Mahatma had left strict instructions that under no circumstances should the cow be milked unless the calf had had it fill.
The Mahatma had explained that to use cow milk for human consumption before the calf had had her fill was a very serious spiritual sin. When we heard these words of wisdom our minds wandered to the manner in which cattle are stored and milk obtained in our large towns and cities. The Mahatma had explained to the cattle rearers that to starve a calf of her rightful share of the mother’s milk was a sin worse than actually butchering the calf. This was so because the butcher brings about the calf’s end in a second. However, the forceful starving of the calf by those who stole her mother’s milk for their own selfish use was spread over many months, thereby severely increasing the torment of the calf. Those big Seths who claim to be protectors of cattle and have large farms for the rearing of cattle would do well to heed the words of the Mahatma.
[to be continued…]
Ervad Marzban J. Hathiram