Cherished Memoirs: My Guru As I See Him

The Fruit of Service

This series chronicles sweet experiences recounted by the devotees of HH Maharanyam Sri Sri Muralidhara Swamiji as well as some divine experiences of Sri Swamiji himself. These articles are translations from the Madhurasmaranam series  that is published every month in Madhuramurali Tamil monthly magazine.

There is no penance superior to performing selfless kainkaryam (service) to God and Guru. Only those who are bestowed with such an opportunity and mindset to do such selfless service are fortunate. Only those who take service as their only priority, unmindful of the fact whether He is aware of the service that they do or not, are the ones blessed by God. Sri Swamiji often reiterates in his lectures, “Even if we donate a tubelight to a temple, we paint our names on it in such large letters that the emitted light itself is blocked. But Bhagavan, after creating such a wonderful universe, has concealed Himself in such a way that even His existence is questioned! Attention-seeking behavior is very dangerous.”

An elderly person would come to Madurai Namadwaar daily. The sun might fail to rise but he never failed to do his service. He would wipe the doors, steps and windows of the Namadwaar with a small piece of cloth, without an iota of thought about whether someone was watching him or not. A lot of us think about how much visibility we get by doing a certain service and then do it. That’s how our state of mind is, even in service. In general, no one would prefer to do the kainkaryam that this elderly gentleman does. But his state of mind is different. He would think again and again about the blessing that he has received from Bhagavan to do this service.

The service that he did was not noticed by anyone else. But it did not fail to be noticed by the one by whom it needs to be noticed. Once, Sri Swamiji, on his way back from Kanyakumari, reached Madurai Namadwaar unannounced. He was to take rest that night and continue his journey the next morning. Just like how bees are attracted to a fully-bloomed flower uninvited, within a few hours several devotees congregated at the Namadwaar before dawn, even though Sri Swamiji had come unannounced. When Sri Swamiji came downstairs early the next morning, devotees started singing Mahamanthra enthusiastically and the ambience was high-spirited. Amidst all this, that elderly gentleman was unperturbed and continued to wipe the doors clean as usual. Sri Swamiji was so moved upon seeing this. Standing afar, he watched him keenly. Some excited devotees rushed to that elderly person and tried to bring him to Sri Swamiji.

Sri Swamiji stopped them and said, “I only want to see and enjoy the service that he is doing for Bhagavan. Do not disturb him.” Until he was done wiping the doors clean, Sri Swamiji also stood still, watching and enjoying his dedicated seva. After he was done, Sri Swamiji went up to him and gave him a handful of fruits with so much joy. Sri Swamiji said, “Bhagavan is immensely pleased with your service. Being able to watch your kainkaryam is indeed today’s satsang! You can continue this service for your entire life!” Saying so, Sri Swamiji blessed him with more service, which is the fruit of service. 

Article originally chronicled by Dr. A Bhagyanathan, personal secretary to Sri Swamiji, in Tamil Madhuramurali Magazine April 2022 issue, Madhurasmaranam section.

Translated into English by Smt. Mangala Gowri Sridhar, Jacksonville FL


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