At least in one way I must please you, Master

There 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 better not 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 a tree. Now I am asking you to bring me a glass of water, and you say that 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 carried 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 the task you requested of me, but this time I can easily do it.” And he sat down to eat with the master.

Spiritual comments

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. No, I cannot do it. It is impossible.” Then the following day, when I ask them to do something else, their immediate reply is, “Oh, it is not possible for me to do that, either.” If they are young, 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, “Beginning tomorrow, come and work right in front of me at my house.” They have done nothing else that I have asked. Whether I am pleased or displeased I won’t say. But if they cannot do anything else, then their last job is just to move around me, to do some gardening work or some cooking or something in the Centre itself. Then they say, “Oh, 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, real love and devotion, at that time we don’t get any cooperation from the disciples. If I ask them to do some work when I am not around, it will take a long time. “Out of sight, out of mind.” But when it is a matter of showing off, standing in front of the Guru, talking or chatting — that kind of job they can do for twenty-four hours. Everyone wants attention. If I am right in your presence, then you get joy from your work and everything is done quickly. When I am not around to encourage you, inspire you and flatter you, then the work seems like 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 he asks it. Then only is it real dedicated service. If you work only when I make it easy and fun by being around you, that is not enough.

This body of mine will last 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 and my inner beings will continue to help you, inspire you and work for you in every way. If you care for my soul, then you will always try to please me in my own way.

Whenever something pleases you, gives you joy and satisfaction, you are ready to do it immediately. And if it can be done in front of others, then you are ready to make every possible sacrifice. But if it is to be done in front of me only, then there is less devotion, less love. When there are twenty disciples watching, devotion comes immediately. It descends like a torrent of rain from above. But that devotion is all false, absolutely false. True devotion is doing something for the Master in his physical absence. In my physical absence, when you devotedly work for me, you will get one hundred out of a hundred. Then, in my physical presence, if you devotedly work for me when nobody else is watching, at that time you will get ninety out of a hundred. But if you can work with so-called devotion only when there are others nearby to observe and admire you, then you will get a mark of zero.

You are a fool if you think that others are admiring you when you do something for the Master, because inwardly they are only cursing you and your forefathers. When you work for the Master, the best thing is always to do it like a divine thief, secretly. Nobody should see what you are doing. Otherwise, everyone’s jealousy will enter into you. If you can do dedicated selfless service in that way, secretly, then you can please me most. In the spiritual life, the Master says to his spiritual children, “Try to please me. If you cannot please me, it will be impossible for you to stay with me. If you cannot please me divinely, it will not be possible for you to stay in my ashram.”

But the disciples try to please the Master in their own way. And when they see that the Master is never pleased, there comes a time when they say, “We have had enough of you! We are leaving you. We have tried our best to please you, but it is impossible. Let us please ourselves now.”

When they are leaving, the Master says, “I am sorry that you could not please the Supreme in me in His own way. Now that you are going away I can say only this much: may the Supreme someday please you, and may you also someday please the Supreme within you. You don’t have to please me at all, but you have to please the Supreme in yourselves or in some spiritual Master. Otherwise, you will never be satisfied. There is only one Supreme. He is both in you and in whomever you accept as your Master. Unless you please the Supreme, you will never be able to accomplish anything worthwhile. You will never be satisfied or fulfilled. You cannot grow into Divinity and Immortality unless you can please the Supreme first.”