(A Saint from Nagpur)
Tukdoji Maharaj was a high saint from Nagpur Baba first met him in December 1937, and later in November 1944. He was high saint, revered for singing bhajans (devotional songs), son that whenever he sang thousands come to hear him. He was well known in central Province and Bombay.
At the time of contact Tukdoji was about thirty years old. And was a man of vast size. He has a rolling giant like that of one who is intoxicated. When he approached Baba on the occasion of large public darshan program in Nagpur in December 1937, One of Baba disciples exclaimed! ” Look Baba, a drunkard has come to see you”. Baba replied, “He had drunk the wine of love.”
On this occasion, Tukdoji Maharaj brought hundreds of his followers with him, and in front of all of them he bowed down before Baba, and then in his great voice sang devotional songs in Baba’s presence. During the disturbance of 1942, Tukdoji Maharaj was imprisoned until many influential people having made it clear that his great influence was spiritual and not political, procured his release. Tukdoji Maharaj was interviewed by an official in prison, and he asked to be allowed to stay in gaol, since he found it restful there.
The next contact with Tukdoji Maharaj was during the great Nagpur meeting of November 1944. Following account is extracted from a circular describing this meeting.
“The most important public function of the day as staged at Gorakshan Compound where Sri Baba gave darshan to a mammoth gathering of 30000 people. Another feature of the occasion of Bhajan by famous saint Tukdoji Maharaj, who received Sri Baba on arrival, and escorted Him to dais amidst shouts of “Sri Meher Baba Ki Jai”. After the Bhajan which ended at about midnight. Tukdoji Maharaj requested Sri Baba to step forward and bless the audience. The scene that was presented to the eyes, with Baba in His standing posture, His face aglow with divine lustre, hands outstretched in blessing was too sublime and transcendental for words to picturised adequately.
Tukdoji Maharaj had been told of Baba in 1948 by Babadas and Pankhraj. He had come to Ahmednagar to attend gatherings of his followers. Baba remarked to him, "I am in seclusion now and not giving darshan to anyone. When I go to Poona, I permit people to see me." Tukdoji Maharaj replied, "Darshan is of two kinds. One is to see physically, another is to see everywhere!"
Baba answered with a smile, "Only an exceptional one sees Me everywhere. I am infinite!"
In 1955, Tukdoji Maharaj had been invited to attend a conference on world religions and world peace. He narrated details of his experiences there. Baba then sent him outside with Adi and Bhau for a tour of the Meherazad premises.