The spirit of feeding people or serving people is perfectly articulated in the below story which is included in the book by Dada Mukerjee, The Near and the Dear. When we think we are feeding people our ego can take over, this is different, this is Hanuman’s Prasad.
One summer a rich businessman was living in the ashram with his wife and two teenaged children for a month.
Seeing how the feeding was done every day, he expressed his interest in feeding sweets to the people visiting the ashram and sought Babaji’s permission to do so.
He said he would get the required ingredients from the market and the sweets would be prepared in the ashram kitchen.
Babaji gave his consent, but he advised me not to get involved.
The laddus were prepared and brought before Hanumanji’s temple in the morning, but the method of distribution was far from satisfactory. Children were put to various kinds of tests before they were given the sweets. Some were sent to pluck leaves from the forest for serving them. Many children were sent away without any because they were suspected of coming for second or third helpings, no matter how they denied it.
When the day ended and the gates were closed, more than half of the sweets remained undistributed. I told Babaji it was a disgrace for the ashram and he should not have encouraged the project. First he said, “How can I force people to give these things away if they do not want to do so?” I told him that it was entirely against the tradition of the ashram that people should go away without getting prasad. Then he said, “I just wanted to show that it is not easy to do bhandara in the name of Hanumanji. If you give only to the people of your choice, then the food will remain and go to waste. If you have offered your food to Hanumanji, it no longer belongs to you. Hanumanji himself sees that people get their prasad.”
When we build the London Hanuman Temple, this will be the model for giving. If we offer the food to Hanumanji, the ego will have nowhere to stand, we should become an ideal vessel for Gods spirit. The work should be done like a flute, for what does the flute know about music?
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