There was a saint, who wanted to test a disciple among his various faithful disciples. He said – I have a severe backache, please press my back with your feet. The faithful devotee said “Maharaj! How can I touch my feet to your back?” The saint immediately said – “As you wish! You cannot touch your feet on my back, but you have most certainly put your foot on my tongue (not followed my directive). This is an example. From this we must take away the following lesson, that in serving, give more importance to following the saint’s instructions, than in serving the body. Yes! it is possible that he may not be able to entirely abide in the saint’s words, however, if the intentions are one of obedience, and for that he makes every effort within his capability to try to obey, then even if it cannot be entirely followed, then too one will benefit immensely.
If one does not fully understand the feelings and sentiments of a saint’s words and message, then humbly one must ask them to gain clarification on their meaning; but on gaining clarification, there should not be the slightest bit of deficiency in its fulfillment. In following through with a saint’s words, even if one has to give up serving them, then that too must be done. When there is benefits of serving, than on renunciation of service, there should be greater gains, because renouncing the thing that is invaluable, is even more valuable than that thing. And if something is renounced as per the instructions of a saint, then it is even more significant.
Why will one who is truly faithful miss such an opportunity. Yes! one thing is true that if he finds hardship in serving, and therefore gives it up to avoid the hardships, then he does not understand the significance of serving at all. He is simply experiencing hardship in serving, therefore he remains deprived of any gains. A saint does not want to give hardship to anyone, not in the least bit, therefore why will he want to take service from such individuals; because he is not starved of wanting someone to serve him. There is selfishness and ego in the mind of those who want to get service from others. Due to selfishness, it does not strike them the kind of hardships the other person is experiencing; however, in the selfless heart of saints, there is illumination. They know that who is experiencing joy in serving, and who is suffering.
From “Jeevan ka Kartavya” in Hindi, by Swami Ramsukhdasji.
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