19th April 2020
Distribution at Paralam and Avinissery
Harih Om Tat Sat. Yesterday, by 9.30 am, the Sevaks residing near the Ashram were up on their heels to go to Chazhoor to load the packed materials on trucks and then proceed to Paralam and Avinissery panchayats for distribution. They reached Chazhoor Community Centre in time, and the grocery supplies left for the distribution centres within hours.
Paralam was their first goal. The beneficiaries from wards 4, 5, 8 and 12 were asked to assemble under the Ashwatha tree right in front of the gate of the Ashram for receiving their packets. After covering the other centres in Paralam Panchayat, Sreekumar, Lalu and party came with the truck. Lifting one bag after another, they gave a packet each to the beneficiaries who were waiting at the Ashram gate with the tokens the Panchayat officials had distributed.
The truck then went back to Chazhoor at 5:30 pm to load the materials for Avinissery Panchayat. Distribution was over by 7.00 pm, and Sreekumar and group returned. Distribution in Chazhoor panchayat is scheduled today.
Some items like chilli powder, mustard, etc. were hard to get in the quantities we wanted (about 1400 packets). Unable to find them in Thrissur and Ernakulam districts, the supplier had to source from southern districts like Alappuzha and beyond! That way, coordination became quite cumbersome.
Look at the smiling tribal kids
In Jharkhand, Ashok Ghosh is going ahead well with his outreach deliveries. Earlier, seeing the photographs of the tribal recipients, especially of those innocent boys and girls, my throat choked and eyes began to trickle. Today, as I saw the pictures of the kids in full smile, cheerfully holding bread and jam packets in their raised hands, my eyes trickled too. But they were sweet, cool droplets of relief and joy! How adept eyes and tears are in responding to the mind’s sensitive moods!
To please God, feed the hungry – Sreemad Bhaagavatam
Devotion and worship have always been part of human life, and these will continue to be so for ever! While their need is unquestionable, the growth and enrichment they should bring about should not be neglected at any cost.
Every act of ours is but a means to a desired outcome. How can anyone think of the means and its pursuit without ensuring that they lead the practitioner to the coveted outcome? Does not any lack in this matter make the pursuit meaningless, futile, abortive? Devotional science does emphasize this tenet time and again in its writings – the holy Scriptures!
Sreemad Bhaagavatam excels in its exhortations throughout its narrations and expositions. In many places the devotee is reminded of the indispensability of finding his God’s presence everywhere equally, especially in the poor and the hungry. Mark its words:
Disregarding the beings living around, indifferent to the need to appease their hunger, if one makes jumbo offerings to his God, it is like pouring the sacramental ghee on a mere heap of ashes! (3.29.22).
See your God as dwelling in all beings in equal measure, and worship them with whatever each needs. For, that is the true worship to appease and satisfy God, the all indwelling presence (7.7.32).
Somehow, devotees do not know these basic lessons for ridding selfishness and fostering altruism in its place. Or having known it, they fail to respond to the message fondly in time, especially on occasions like the present widespread dearth or denial of food.
Can we feed God directly as we feed our fellow beings?
Know that God has no form, because He is everywhere. Any omnipresence, like space, will not and cannot have a limitation. All forms are limiting by nature. So, God is not hungry, as He has no stomach. Therefore, we cannot appease His hunger. That is why He is manifest as all beings, who have hunger and thirst. If and when the hungry amongst them are fed, you will find a cheer on their face!
This is what the tribal kids display with their raised hands and smile! Imagine the nature and extent of blessings, such appeasement of hunger brings about. Even when you give water to a withering plant, it would smile and display contentment!
Real blessings are from fellow beings, whether of your own home or of the society at large. Needless to say, curses also are from them. Hence our celebrated statement: To do service to others is extreme virtue, to harm anybody is extreme curse.
While young, I have, at the instance of my mother, offered food to God many times. But at no time I was able to feed Him, and the sight of appeasement in Him was missing. Years passed. I knew why I was missing what I was looking for. All those days are gone. Now I see God smiling through so many people. Amongst them all stand distinct the faces of the tribal kids our Ashok is trying to reach. I am sure many of you will share my joy and fondness.
The effects of the lockdown are multifaceted. They have their enlightening spiritual notes, which every seeker should unfailingly know and heed, too!
Love and ashirvaad. Swami Nirviseshananda Tirtha and Ma Gurupriya send loving good wishes.