LOVE ALL, SERVE ALL
There was a woman who worked as a maid servant in a rich man's house. She was a widow and her only daughter was handicapped. The woman would bring her daughter along when she went to work. The rich man also had a daughter. The girl loved the woman's daughter very much. She would shower her with love. Telling stories and giving delicious eatables. The father did not like this. Everyday he would scold the daughter, "Daughter, you should not play with that handicapped, dirty girl. Why do you spend so much time with her?" His daughter wouldn't answer. The father thought that it was because his daughter have a playmate she mixes with the servant's daughter. He brought the daughter of his friend to his house. His daughter greeted the new child and was friendly with her. However, she continued to spend a lot of time with the servant's daughter, showing her with love as before. Then the father asked "Daughter, don't you like the girl whom I have brought for you?" the daughter said, "I like the girl brought for me, but may I tell you one thing? Even if I don't love the girl you brought, there are many others who are ready to love her. On the other hand, if I don't love this girl, who else will love her? She has no other relative."
Children, this is the attitude that we should have. We should love the poor and the suffering whole-heartedly. We should uplift them, going down to their level. That is our obligation to God. Children, we should cultivate a heart filled with compassion, we should thirst to serve the suffering people. In any circumstances, we should have the readiness to engage in service for the good of the world. Many people meditate in order that a third eye will open after the two eyes which see the world go blind. Such a thing will never happen. We can never close our eyes to the world in the name of spirituality. Self-realization is the ability to see ourselves in all beings, even while our two eyes are wide open. We should be able to love and serve others, serving ourselves in them. That is the fulfillment of spiritual practice.
We should share whatever we have with others, and we should try to contribute to the welfare of the society in some way. It is through giving that we progress in the spiritual path. If we hoard our wealth, our spiritual development will be stunted and slowly our lives will wither away. The blood that is pumped by the heart is circulated and distributed evenly throughout the body. What would happen if our circulation were to stop? We would collapse and die. Likewise, whatever we have should be circulated and shared. We shouldn't hoard our wealth because then society becomes stagnant and cannot grow as a whole. It is through selfless sharing that the flower of life becomes beautiful and fragrant.
It is the selfless attitude that makes one deserving to receive the Grace of God. While engaged in selfless service some of my children may fear, "Oh, I do not get even a moment to think about the Lord because of all this work. All my time is lost in these activities. Will my life be wasted?" and so on. Children, one who does desireless service need not wander anywhere in search of God. The real temple of God is the heart of one who is engaged in unmotivated service. Children, selfless service to the world is the beginning of self-enquiry. That is also the culmination of it. Our duty towards God is our compassion to the poor and the suffering. We forget our obligation to serve the suffering people. We go to temples; however, we would drive away a patient or an invalid who would stretch his hands for a morsel of food.
Children, real worship of the Lord is the compassion we extend towards the suffering.
(Courtesy: the Ideas exchange, 13-11-2003)