A Truly Selfless Activity
No amount of activity can please Bhagawan, until the activity becomes truly selfless. While the feeding has been going on for many years now, the Sai Ashraya volunteers feel that service has been an opportunity to feel and see Bhagawan in serving the homeless. They chant while cooking, to create holy vibrations with a prayer to heal the people they distribute to. In the past newsletters, the volunteers had shared how they train homeless teens, place them in jobs, take them out of homelessness and shelter them. This article is about one such story of a Sai Ashraya volunteer who witnessed something extraordinary.
While serving food to homeless people, it is the norm of Sai Ashraya volunteers to inquire how they can serve them better, which is always not just additional ingredients to the food, but also to see if some values can be added to their life!
While the volunteers were serving 70 burritos on a rainy evening, one of the homeless persons asked if he could be dropped off in a faraway place from where the volunteers were present. This threw the volunteers off balance because it could be risky to take an unknown person in a car, to a faraway place.
The volunteers usually help with résumé creations, applying for jobs, finding shelters, helping with groceries and so on; but to drive a homeless person alone was beyond the limit - considering safety factors. This particular homeless person also had what is called a “Forrest Gump” disorder which meant that he was continuously talking about his past and some other random things. He spoke at least a 100 words under a minute. The Sai Ashraya volunteer was in two minds now, it was raining heavily and he wanted to help, but he did not know if that was advisable. Due to the initial impulsive fear, the volunteer declined to help. The homeless person then said something that the volunteer can never forget. The homeless person said “is this what you call help? you give what you have and not what we want” and just walked away.
The volunteer was very sad and prayed hard to Bhagawan as he started the car and was in a quandary, as he wanted to help but did not want the organisation, which is a representation of his beloved Bhagawan to get a bad name by his negligence of safety.
Do not all volunteers feel the same way often times, in different situations? They know God will take care, they know Bhagawan is an all pervasive indweller, yet they cannot sit and do nothing, He pushes them to use their intellect to discriminate and be selfless and loving. Often times, the volunteers are stuck in such situations and they do not know how to decide, as both the choices seem to be good, yet they have to make a choice that HE would be proud of.
The volunteer was reminded by Bhagawan’s instruction to stay calm and always think about the pros and cons of the situation and check if the action is following “Is it benefitting the helpless, is it pure, is the source of this thought process selfless”.
Once the volunteer started thinking about Bhagawan’s instructions, things became clear; as he realised that the homeless person had not taken drugs or behaved violently. With a prayer in the heart, the volunteer approached the homeless person again and asked “Brother, you were asking for some help; can you please explain why you need to go there and what is it that you want to do there?”
The homeless person who was lamenting all the while broke into a smile (first time in the last half hour) and said that he wanted to go to a bank to withdraw cash to buy a charger for his phone. The volunteer decided to give him a ride and while driving he started sharing his struggles and became emotional and thankful for the drop-off as it was raining heavily that day. He also shared how he usually falls sick when he goes around in the rain.
Homeless people cannot afford to get sick as they will lose the money they earn daily (if at all they have an hourly job) and the facilities.
The volunteer understood that by dropping him, the help was not just saving him time but also saving him from a lot of hardship!