A rich man who owned a rice mill once heard a scholar expound that the service that God appreciates most is the gift of food to the hungry. So, he decided to reserve food to the poor in his village. But he had no mind to use good varieties of rice for the purpose. He felt that any rice is good enough for them. So, he got the rice that was rotting in his godown – he did not care even to remove the worms that infested it; he cooked it and served it to the hungry poor, who ate it and suffered many illness as a result.
His wife expostulated with him and told him that good food given to 10 people would be more meritorious than bad food given to 100! But, he was in no mood to listen to sound advice. She therefore hit upon a plan. She placed on his plate every day food that was rotten and full of worms. When he grew angry and castigated her, she replied, “The Pundit said that everyone has to suffer for the injury he causes others. You have to eat, in the other world, rotten food, full of worms. I am giving that type of food to you, even now, so that you may get used to it. It will help you to eat the consequence of your evil deed.” At this, the husband realised his iniquity; he repented for his wrongs and learnt better ways of service to the poor.
Pots of water in which the Sun is reflected may be many, but the Sun is one! The very same current runs through and activates all appliances. This is meaning of the scriptures quote “Ishavasyam idam sarvam” – God is present in everyone in equal measure, nothing more, nothing less! Service is best built on this strong foundation of “Tat-Twam-Asi” – That and This are the same; there is only one, there is no other! All help that you give, is help given to yourself; all service is to the self alone.