The Master fed ants with sugar, birds with rice, monkeys with gram, fish with bread. He kept water in pots for birds. "This will develop mercy and cosmic love," he said. "It will soften the stony heart and instil the sense of oneness or Adwaita. No one can hope to attain oneness without doing such service. Mere study of Vedantic books without practice is absolutely useless."
It was a hot day in 1955. "Let it drink," the Master’s voice suddenly rang out, as an Ashram monk tried to frighten away a monkey which wanted to drink water from a mud-pot kept near the office for drinking purposes. The man who ran with a stone halted; the monkey had its fill.
"You cannot judge a man’s heart from the big charity that he does, and the huge hospital that he builds," commented the Master. "Watch for such little incidents. When you have brought water from the Ganges and a monkey spoils it, how do you react during the first split-second? What is the first impulse? That determines whether you are a saint or not."
If the Master showed such consideration and compassion for animals and insects, his thoughtfulness and love for human beings was no less. His every word and gesture reflected his deep, unexpressed love and concern for those who suffered.
"To me the world appears as a ball of fire," he wrote. "To me the whole world appears as a huge furnace wherein all living creatures are being roasted."
Sri N. Ananthanarayanan
To be continued ...