7-Sevaa (Selfless service)
There is no prayer more fruitful than Sevaa.
The pilgrims were coming up from the Ghaat after their ceremonial bath in the holy river, their clothes still wet and clinging to their bodies. Some of them lamented that their peace was disturbed by the sight of this pathetic couple. "We have come to have Darshan (audience) of the Lord, and look what meets our eye." There were some who flatly ignored her cries and lifted their noses in the air.Some said, "Wait. Let us finish the worship inside the temple and then we shall bring the Gangaa water for you."
No one offered to bring the needed help to the aged patient. Just then a robber who was hurrying into the temple to pick a few pockets, heard the plaintive voice of old woman and halted near them. He asked her - "Mother, what is the matter with you?" She replied - "Son, we came to this place to have Darshan of Lord Vishweshwar of Kaashee, but my husband has fainted out of sheer exhaustion. He might survive if some one will bring a little Gangaa water and pour it down his throat. I cannot leave him here and go for water. Please help me and earn the merit."
The robber was moved into compassion. He had a little Gangaa water in the hollow gourd he had with him. He knelt down near the dying person lying in the lap of the old woman, but the woman stopped him saying - "The moment the Gangaa water wets his throat, my husband may die; he is in the last stage of living. Therefore speak a word of truth and then pour the water in his throat, so that he might live."
The robber could not understand what she meant, so she explained - "Speak within his hearing, some good deed that you have done in your life, and then pour the water in his mouth." Now that created a problem for the robber. He was at his wits end. He could not quite comply her request as he has never done any good deed. He said - "Mother I have, in truth, not done any good deed so far. This present act, the offering of water to this thirsty man, is the very first good deed I am responsible for."
And saying this, he placed the gourd at the lips of the old man and gave him a mouthful of Gangaa Jal. Just at the moment, the couple disappeared and in their placed stood Shiv and Paarvatee, blessing the robber. Shiv said - "Son, life is to be dedicated for the service of others and not devoted to the exclusive interests of oneself. Howsoever many wicked deeds you might have done so far, but for your selfless offering of Gangaa water with truth on your tongue, We bless you with this vision.
Remember there is no morality higher than truth; and there is no prayer more fruitful than Sevaa (selfless loving service.)
Created by Sushma Gupta on 5/9/09
Updated on 10/02/13