The Compassionate One!
Compassion is the greatest virtue!
The compassionate one sheds tears at the pain of other beings. They could not stomach sufferings of even animals and birds. They will treat insects as themselves. They understand that the insects too have a right to live and lead its life as willed by the Divine. Here I am reminded of Jain society wherein the recluses adopt strict discipline in living. They never shave off their head in the traditional ways. They pluck each hair by their fingers lest it will harm the insects and other small creatures which live in the hair drinking blood. They conserve the space by lying down and lifting their feet and thigh to a semicircular posture. While walking, they gently sweep the path with peacock feathers so that the small creatures do not get crushed by their feet. The Jain Munis never wear any cloth and they go stark naked since the manufacture of cloths entails killing many creatures in the process.
In South India, there lived a great saint named “Ramalinga Vallalar”. He was the most compassionate being lived on earth. While walking through the paddy fields, whenever he witnesses that the paddy crop suffers from lack of water, he used to feel the pain in himself. He founded the “Sathya Jnana Sabha in Vadalur where he made arrangement for continuous feeding of people who visits the place throughout the day. The hearth in the temple was always burning enabling continuous cooking of food for the pilgrims, poor and downtrodden. He converted his entire body as Light particles and merged in the Divine. Before that he preached about compassion to all beings to his devotees and asked them not to open the door after he enters in it. After two days when he entered the room, the devotees got apprehensive and forced open the door. They could not find the Saint. To keep up the memory of this great event, they lighted a lamp on that day which is kept continuously burning till date. Also, the poor feeding goes on continuously to this date.
In the third episode, I am reminded of Shirdi Saibaba living in a remote hamlet in Maharashtra unknown to the outside world due to poor communication facilities during the beginning of twentieth century. Though he begged his food from four or five homes in the villages, he allowed all to partake the food. He used to mix all the food items and offer it to God. He partook some rotis and the rest he distributed among the poor and rich equally who visited him daily. The rest of the food will be kept in a mud pot. Dogs, cats and crows shared the remaining food. He was always compassionate towards all though at times he used to burst in anger.
In the fourth episode I am reminded of “Annadana Sivan” a compassionate being who lived recently in South India. He always fed the pilgrims who visit the temple town and like Ramalinga, the hearth in his house was always kept burning. Though he was a poor Brahmin, many philanthropists helped in the great service of feeding the pilgrims and poor people.
In the scriptures of East and West, feeding the poor has been given a very important place. For other charities, we have to look into the credentials of recipients but for giving food, no need to investigate about the caste or creed or religion or Nationality. In the villages in India, in ancient times, people won’t partake their meals unless they feed some guest who comes to their door step.
Finally, Sathya Saibaba, the Avatar of the age started a great service as “Narayana Seva and Grama Seva”. The devotees are advised to keep aside a handful of rice or gruel or grain when they start cooking for the sake of feeding the poor. Sathya Saibaba has emphasized that God lived as Narayana in each being and we should treat all alike. Feeding the poor beings is the greatest acts of compassion in the present age. Sai Service societies in many countries regularly feed the poor and downtrodden whether it is in US or UK or in any countries. Orphanages are visited by the devotees once in a week and the inmates are given bread, biscuits, milk and fruits. People in jails, refugee camps are also included in the program.
In conclusion, everyone should have compassion for every other being in the world since the others too have the same God dwelling in them.