At least in one way I must please you, MasterThere was a rich man who wanted to hire a new servant. He told the applicant, “I will hire you provided that you please me.”
The servant said, “I shall please you in every way.”
“Then cook for me today,” said the rich man. “Make me a delicious meal.”
“I have never cooked in my life,” replied the servant.
“All right,” said the rich man. “If you do not know how to cook proper food, then bring me a mango from the tree over there. ”
“How shall I get it?” asked the servant. “I have never climbed a mango tree. I will fall down and break my legs. I had not better try it.”
“All right,” said the master. “Then bring me a glass of water. Here is a glass.”
“I can bring it,” said the servant, “but if I drop the tumbler it will break. I shall bring it, but if it breaks please don’t blame me.”
The master said, “When I asked you to cook, you said you couldn’t cook. When I asked you to bring me a mango, you said you couldn’t climb the tree. Now I am asking you to bring me a glass of water and you say that on the way the tumbler may drop and break. In that case, let me do everything.”
So the master cooked a delicious meal, brought mangoes from the tree and brought water to the table. Then he said to the servant, “Come now. Sit down with me and let us eat.”
“At least in one way I must please you,” said the servant. “On three occasions I could not perform your task, but this time I can easily do it,” and he sat down to eat with the master.
In the spiritual life also, when I ask two or three unfortunate disciples to do something for me, they say, “Ah, that is too difficult for me. No, I cannot do it, it is impossible.” Then, the following day I say, “Do this,” and their immediate reply is, “O, that is also not possible for me to do.” If they are young, then they say, “If I do this, what will my parents think of me? Since I am staying under their roof, I have to listen to them.” Whatever I ask of them, that is the one thing they cannot do.
Then I may say, “From tomorrow you come and work with me, right in front of me in my house.” They have done nothing else that I asked. Whether I am pleased or displeased I won’t say. But if they cannot do anything else, then the last job is for them to come and just be in my room in front of me, or move around me, do some gardening work or do some cooking or something in the Centre itself. Then they say, “O that I can do. I have displeased you before, but this work I can easily do.” This is the reply I get from those disciples.
When it is an important matter, when we want something to be done which needs sacrifice, which needs real love, real devotion, at that time we don’t get any co-operation from the disciples. But when it is a matter of showing off, that somebody is in front of the Guru, talking or chatting, that kind of job they can do for 24 hours. But when I am not around, “out of sight, out of mind”. If I ask them to do some work it will take a long time.
Here is Nivedan. When I come to Puerto Rico, in one week he can finish three magazines, whereas in my absence, it takes him three months to finish one. I am saying this now, but he has improved. Now he does it. Previously, when I was not here, when Chaitanya was in charge, six months, seven months the magazine was in arrears. When I came, six months’ job was done in two weeks. Like that, everyone wants attention. If I am right in your presence, then you get joy from your work and everything is done. When I am not around to encourage you, inspire you and flatter you, then the work seems like a real work and nobody wants to do it. But that is not the right attitude. You always have to do what the Master asks, when the Master asks. Whether I am here in Puerto Rico, or in Jamaica, or elsewhere, do it. Do it for me. Then only is it real dedicated service. If you only work when I make it easy and fun by being around you, that is not enough.
Beyond the physical body is the soul. This body will last here for a few years and then it will die. At that time will you stop working for me altogether? My physical body will no longer be on earth but my soul, my inner beings will continue to help you, inspire you and work for you in every way. If you care for the soul, my soul, then you will always try to please me in my own way. Otherwise, whenever something will please you, give you joy and satisfaction, that thing you are ready to do immediately. And if it can be done in front of others, then you are ready to make every possible sacrifice. But if it is not done in front of others, sometimes even if it is in front of me only, then devotion is less, love is less. But when there are twenty disciples watching and you are asked to do a particular thing for me, at that time devotion comes. As if from above, it descends like a torrent of rain.
But that devotion is all false, absolutely false. True devotion is when, in the Master’s physical absence, you do something for him. Then if nobody is observing, when you do something for him that is second. In my physical absence when you devotedly work for me, you will get one hundred out of a hundred. In my physical presence when nobody is watching, if you devotedly work for me, at that time you will get ninety. But if you can only work with so-called devotion in front of others, when there are others to observe you and admire you, then you will get zero. You are a fool. You think that others admire you when you do something for the Master, but they are only inwardly cursing you and your forefathers.
When you work for the Master, the best thing is always to do it like a divine thief, secretly. Otherwise, everyone’s jealousy will enter into you. Nobody should see what you are doing. If you can do dedicated service, selfless service in that way, then you can please me most.