“If ever you feel a sense of gratitude toward me, do give me some alms. Whatever you give to the poor, the neglected, the downtrodden brethren of yours with love, I shall receive it.” As the words ended and Baba’s divine body became still, his eyes remained wide open, but he was lost in the world beyond.
This teaching episode not only sheds light on the aspect of Baba’s All Knowing Self, but also on the ideal of service to humanity as service to God. “Whatever you offer, with love, to the poor and needy, I shall receive it.” Baba’s words echo the profound words of Jesus:
“Come ye blessed of may Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was hungry, and ye gave me meat; I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink; I was a stranger, and ye took me in; Naked, and ye clothed me; I was sick and ye visited me; I was in prison and ye came unto Me.
“.. verily I say unto you, inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” (Matthew: 25.34)
Both Baba and Jesus were teaching the same lesson when they spoke these words. The one who gives should always be conscious that the true recipient of his gift is the Lord who resides in the hearts of all. Because Baba and Jesus are not separate from God they exist within all living things. Therefore, they taught that when love and devotion can be expressed through loving service to those who are in need, it is always the Lord who is pleased. All actions are divine actions once they are performed with a sincere wish to serve God. The quintessence of karma yoga is expressed in Baba’s word, “Serve, but serve consciously. Forget not the Doer as well as the Receiver of all actions.”
Baba warned the young man not to get drunk with power. This is precisely what happens with most people in authority. It is no small wonder that the plight of the neglected and illiterate remains unchanged. Power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely. Baba only wanted to forewarn that power is a gift of the Divine, and prudent person should utilize it for the betterment of his fellowmen. Service to humanity is the path through which one can be released from the bondage of Karma. It is the path of purification and leads to a state of egoless bliss.