“We used to go and sit near Sri Sal Baba at his mosque. At appropriate time, any one could go up and bow before him and sit there. On one occasion as I was seated at a short distance from Sri Sai Baba, there came a leper to the mosque.
His disease was far advanced. He was stinking and he had little strength left In him, so that It was with much difficulty and very slowly he clambered up the three steps of the mosque. He moved on to the Dhuni (fire) and then to Sri Sai Baba and placed his head on Baba’s feet.
It took much time for him to take his Dakshirta, and I, smelling the stench from him intensely, hoped he would clear off. At last when he got down slowly carrying a small parcel wrapped up in a dirty cloth, I felt relieved and said within myself ‘Thank God. He is off”.
Sai Baba at once darted a piercing glance at me, and I knew that he read my thought.
Before the Ieper had gone far, Sri Sai Baba called out and sent some one to fetch him back. The man came. It was again the slow process of his clambering up, emitting foul stench all the time. As the man bowed, Baba picked up that parcel asking, “What is this?” and opened it. It contained some pedas. Baba took a piece and gave it to me—to me alone of all present!—
and asked me to eat it.
What horror! To eat up a thing brought by the stinking leper; out it was Sri Sai Baba’s order, and there was no option but to obey. So I ate it up. Baba took another piece and himself swallowed it and then sent the man away with the rest of the pedas.
A LESSON IN FRATERNITY
Why he was recalled and why I alone was chosen to be the recipient of his peda, none understood at that time. But I knew fully well that Sri Sai Baba had read my heart and was teaching me valuable lessons in humility, fraternity, sympathy, endurance and trust in His Supreme wisdom rather than in my own notions of hygiene and sanitation for saving me from disease.
Mrs. Manager mentions the incident in her reminiscences of Sri Sai Baba. And though this was a somewhat unpleasant experience, Baba was all kindness, and she herself experienced it on numerous occasions.
sourced from the book: The Wondrous Saint Sri Sai Baba – Narasimha Swamiji