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  Volume 4 - Issue 11 NOVEMBER 2006
 
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DUTY FIRST, SELF NEXT

 

The 1968 cyclone came as a ruthless slap on the face of the poor people of Orissa. Cyclonic winds and torrential rains did not merely disturb normal life but took a heavy toll in the coastal areas, leaving behind many homeless and destitute. People barely managing to survive the onslaught of the incessant rain and wind watched helplessly as their cattle, homes, and possessions were swept away by the merciless forces of nature.

All means of communications had been cut off. Government officials were taking an aerial view of the destruction while people below were hoping against hope to get some help. Social workers were trying to reach the victims but the heavy rains and winds prevented them from doing so. Seva workers of the Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organization were also trying their best to reach the victims and offer aid.


One suchgroup of volunteers reached the outskirts of a remote battered village with packets of food, medicine, clothes and blankets. When they arrived at the village, it was past noon and the entire area was submerged. It was still drizzling. The volunteers stood at the gate hoping someone would come forward to show them where the survivors were most in need of their services and goods.

Finally, some villagers saw them and came running. The volunteers thought that help had come and they would be directed to where they could be of the most use, but the villagers began snatching and grabbing the rescue items. The volunteers stood there dumbstruck not knowing whom to pacify and whom to control. They were themselves drenched and exhausted.

 

“It will not be possible to help these people unless someone of their own comes and guides us,” one of them said. “I think we should come back tomorrow and see what can be done,” said another. Everybody agreed and as they were about to turn and go, a small girl about 12 to 14 ran towards them shouting, “Uncle, Uncle!” She told them that she would take them to the right place.


 

She then pacified the villagers. She told them sweetly the necessity of being patient and disciplined and to allow the helping team to carry out their mission. She enabled the volunteers to reach those with the most urgent needs first, such as first aid, medicine and food, and helped organize the entire rescue mission. When the villagers became impatient, she spoke a few kind words and also lent a helping hand in the distribution of food packets and medicine. Throughout the day, she led the team through the muddy and flooded roads to every nook and corner where people were who required help. She never looked tired and her face was always radiating with gratitude and loving-kindness.

The team finished their work and sat down for some rest. Suddenly one of the team members recollected that while the girl had taken them to all the needy people and helped them distribute food and medicine she had not taken any food for herself.


They asked her why she had not taken any food packet.Hesitatingly, the girl said that her Guru had told her that duty towards others should be the prime concern and when that duty is fulfilled He himself will take care of their needs. Such a small girl, staying in a poor condition and imparting the knowledge of the highest teachings reflecting implicit faith in her Guru held the team in awe and admiration. They inquired about the Guru and also wanted to know how she had met her guru.

The girl said, “I have not met or even seen my guru personally but I have his photo given to me by my teacher who stays in the nearby town.” The team members got more curious and asked her the name of her guru. “Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba,” came the prompt reply. "I am a Bal Vikas student,” she said further with a voice soaked in reverence and pride.

 

When narrated to them, the team members of the Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organization were in tears listening to that small beautiful statue of unselfishness carved by the Universal Guru out of a mere bolster of human form that presented a glimpse of the golden era of Sai Love that is soon approaching us.

Swami always reminds us, “There is no other quality nobler than love in this world.” And the highest spiritual practice is to transform this love into service.

- Heart2Heart Team


 


 
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Vol 4 Issue 11 - NOVEMBER 2006
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