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As written at PRASANTHI NILAYAM Today

19th December 2021 

One day while pursuing the forces of a rival king, a king got separated from his troops in the thick jungle. He rode a long way, exhausted and hungry, until he reached a hermitage. There was an old monk who received him kindly and offered him a welcome cup of cool water. After a little rest the king asked his host the question that was tormenting him: "Which is the best service?" The hermit said, "Giving a thirsty man a cup of water." "And, which is the best time to render it?" The answer was, "When he comes far and lonely, looking for some place where he can get it." The act of service is not to be judged, according to the cost or publicity it entails; it may be only the offering of a cup of water in the depth of a jungle. But the need of the recipient, and the mood of the person who offers - these decide whether the act is gold or lead! - Divine Discourse, May 24, 1967.