Weekly Food For Thought

God is the Indweller

Several great sages and personages of India have shown these ideals of service, ideal of worshipping God through service. The story of Eknath is well known. He went to Kashi and worshipped the Lord there and carrying the holy waters of the Ganges in a pot he was coming along with his disciples. It is a custom honored from ancient times in Indian culture that the waters of the sacred Ganges in Kashi be merged in the waters of the ocean at the Rameshwaram. While he was thus carrying the water from Ganges to merge them in Rameshwaram, on the way he, along with his disciples, saw a donkey that was in utter plight and about to die due to the heat and thirst. Eknath saw the situation and was unable to bear the sight. He immediately poured the sacred water from the vessel into the mouth of the donkey. Drinking the water the donkey was relieved of thirst and stood up. Seeing this, the disciples who accompanied Eknath said, “O Swami! Instead of merging the sacred water of Ganges in the Ocean at Rameshwaram and worshipping the Lord with it, why did you waste it on the donkey? What is the point here?” Eknath replied, “O disciples! The holy water of the Ganges is not wasted. It has been used in the proper way! To your point of view it may appear like a donkey but to my view it is the Lord of Rameshwaram, himself, asking me water to quench His thirst in the form of this donkey! Not utilising it when necessary and utilising it for unnecessary purposes is misusing it!! “ For the Lord there is no distinction between the water of Ganges and the water of Rameshwaram, everything is alike. All is one in the eyes of the Lord. Eknath propagated the great truth that, the help done to the needy and distressed is the worship done to the Lord, the in dweller of all beings, through such acts. We say: “Isavaasyam Idam Sarvam” with words we declare that the Lord is in all and He envelops all but in action, when it comes to proving it, we make distinctions in the forms. Thyagaraja also said the same thing as: “O Rama! You, who are present, In the tiniest ant and in the mightiest Brahma, In Shiva and in Keshava, And are known for your magnanimous Love, Let me know your real identity!”

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