" To Serve the Poor"
Swami Vivekananda talked extensively of serving the poor and needy. I have been enjoying reading accounts of his life lately, by his Eastern and Western admirers, and
admiration for him is but natural at this point. Once a group of Vedantins, ( Spiritual Seekers who believe in Non-Dualism)
visited him, and asked him many questions regarding esoteric topics. He simply brought their extensive knowledge down to the point of serving those in need. That was
Vedanta, that was Divinity, that was LOVE, and Knowledge embodied.
All saints fiercely extol the virtue of serving the poor and needy, befriending the friendless,
Someone asked Neem Karoli Baba, how to find God, and he said " love and serve the poor".
The person asked who is poor? Baba said that " Everyone is poor before Christ".
On another occasion someone asked how to raise Kundalini(The dormant spiritual power within, and he said
" Serve People".
Then the person asked " How to get enlightened".
Baba said " Serve and Feed People".
And of course, he was notoriously famous for serving fried pooris and potatoes to his devotees and visitors! Prasad.
We met this woman, on tour in the mountains near Kasar Devi. It was not that she was particularly poor,
but yeah, she lived a life in difficult settings. She farmed the lands, she cooked, she did not have enough for her
health etc. But there was no self-pity in her, nor any self-deprecation. Total dignity of Spirit. She spoke Kumaoni, the sing-song dialect of the people of
the Kumaon Himalayas in Uttrakhand. We were served some green spinach, madua rotis, dried Kumaoni style chilli and
a very yummy yoghurt drink called Lassi. The salty version!
Utter Simplicity, she was and supremely delighted at having us over. We were four of us. Her son was our guide for the little trek that we did, to the local waterfall. On the way we saw the carcass of a cow eaten by a leopard a few days before.