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Criteria for Social service and sacrifice to people


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Criteria for Social service and sacrifice to people


When the Lord came in the disguise of a poor Brahmin, Saktuprastha started offering the meals part by part. The guest looked like another poor human being only. Since He is a learned Brahmin and a devotee, he is a deserving person for the sacrifice. This means that the sacrifice should be done to a deserving devotee. This is the social service (Pravrutti) in which a deserving co-human being is served. In doing sacrifice to the co-human beings, the deservingness of the receiver should be estimated. Here the receiver is a devotee, a learned scholar and is hungry. The criteria of the receiver should be fixed in this way. You should not sacrifice to an undeserving person. Saktuprastha sacrificed 1/4th of the flour in the beginning. This means that you should not exceed a certain limit in the sacrifice towards the society. The receiver was still hungry. This is the maximum limit of the social service because the family members of Saktuprastha are also suffering with hunger. This parting of the flour indicates the balanced judgment of social service and responsibility towards the family.


Saktuprastha, his wife, his son and his daughter-in-law were the four members of the family hit by hunger for the past ten days in a draught. The guest looks like a co-human being with hunger. But that itself cannot be the criterion because the poverty and hunger are the fruits of the sins of a soul. But the hungry man is a Brahmin (Brahma Jnani) who looks like a devotee and a learned scholar from his appearance and words. Therefore he deserves the charity. The flour was divided in to four parts. On seeing the guest Saktuprastha gave his share only. But the guest remains still with hunger. Saktuprastha kept silent because he has no right on the other parts even though it was his self-earned food. This means that the charity should not exceed 1/4th of the self-earned property for a householder having a family of 3 members. Therefore the self-earned property should be divided in to equal shares to the family members and one can donate his share only to the maximum extent provided the receiver is deserving.


The wife gave her share to the guest on her own will only. Son & daughter-in-law followed the same on their own will. Here the important point is that Saktuprastha did not force his family members to donate their shares on the basis that it was his self-earned property. This shows the sense of responsibility towards his family in the mind of Saktuprastha which is justified. But the sacrifice of every family member is a total sacrifice with respect to individual member. Such total sacrifice is not justified because the guest is not identified as Lord in disguise. The guest was considered only as a deserving devotee. In such case how the total sacrifice was done by each member? Is it not a foolish social service? If the guest is recognized as the Lord, then there is no problem because the Lord will give back in several folds. When the receiver is only a deserving human being, such total sacrifice is foolish and is not justified. If no food was left over, even their lives are in danger. It amounts to suicide. The aim of the human life is lost which is to please the Lord and not to please a co-human being.



At the Lotus Feet of His Holiness Sri Dattaswami


Anil Antony



Universal Spirituality for World Peace


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