Sai Baba on serving the needy wisely

I was helping a patient recently. I cleaned up her flat, called on others to help with the infestation of rats, with the meal requirements and other chores.  Soon, we were a skeleton crew. I continued to prepare and deliver meals.

The patient was ungrateful, unhygienic, and mad. One day, she opened the door with a bread bag of her own excrement ready to hurl at me. I fled.Back at home, I talked this over with my Inner Swami. What to do? I believed that if I didn’t continue to feed this terror, she might die.

Puttaparthi Sai has taught, “Every tick of the clock snips a length off the thread of life. Money when unspent remains in your account at the bank; but spent is your life with every moment whether wisely or unwisely. It marches relentlessly on. Use the present moment best, to sharpen your skills, to broaden your intelligence, to expand your heart and to master the technique of facing the challenges of life with courage and equanimity. Thus, every human body will disappear with the passage of time. While the body lasts and lives, we must make an attempt to live a sacred life and earn the grace of the Lord.

“Serving others is necessary. However, I was working with someone who was only mildly and temporarily ill in the body but whose mind was no longer rational. I felt overwhelmed. I continued praying. Sathya Sai has said, “Life is a journey from the position I to the position WE, from the singular to the plural, from the imprisoned one to the liberated one, who is seen in the many. The vision of the One, immanent in the obvious Many is the fulfillment of all the years of one’s life. This is the teaching contained in the ancient texts and scriptures. But, these have been forgotten ever since the minds of the people of this land were won over by Western civilisation. When this happened, the goal of life became the amassing of money and not the awareness of the Self.”

I fled to Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba, 24 years ago. I was frightened and broken from the pressure and competition of life in the West.

“Mankind is infinite,” he pointed out, “marvelous and full of meaning and significance. Man is not the body alone. In fact, he is the conglomeration of Body, Mind and Self. The Body is the vehicle of action, the Mind is the means for realisation, and the Self is the witness of both the body and the mind. Hence, it is sheer stupidity to think that man is made of the body alone.”

Armed with this fact, I let go of my care-giving duties. Happily, within hours, there were others willing do to the needful. This is the grace of our beloved Guru. Only God is able to take care of all of us, to understand our needs, and to use us as instruments as he sees fit.

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