Once three persons reached the gates of Heaven. One of them declared that he was the master of all scriptures and therefore the gates should be opened to let him in. The guardians of the gate said, “You are familiar only with the texts. You have no practical experience. You may leave.”
The second man said, “I have performed many Yagas and Yajnas” (sacrificial rites and rituals). The guardians told him, “You have performed the sacrifices for selfish aims. You have no place here.”
The third person, a farmer, neared the gates and said, “I am a poor farmer, owning a hut on two acres of land. I have been offering food and drink to passers-by and giving them shelter whem necessary. I have shared with them whatever little I had. This is all the sadhana (spiritual practice) I have been able to practice.” The guardians said: “You may enter.”
The story illustrates the truth that only those who are prepared to sacrifice what little they have for relieving others in need, are entitled to enter heaven.
The spirit of sacrifice is the basic equipment of a volunteer. Without the inspiration of the sense of sacrifice, your service will be hypocrisy, a hollow ritual. Inscribe this on your heart. Inscribe it deep and clear. So, whatever may be the act of charity you undertake, do it with the spirit of love and sacrifice.