I was there to watch Maharaj cook, as he set about making vegetable biryani, chana dal mixed with spinach, as well as semolina halwa, which called for five kilos of semolina, and as much sugar and ghee. Temple bells chimed outside, heralding people entering the inner sanctums of the temple, while Maharaj stood guard over the cauldrons, stirring with a long-handled ladle. Sacks of rice were propped up against the wall. There were baskets and bowls and buckets of ingredients everywhere: fenugreek, to add flavor and fragrance to the food; rice soaking for the biryani. Daya Ram, one of his teenage helpers, sat outside, peeling potatoes to add to the biryani.