The importance of ' feeding the hungry '

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The importance of ' feeding the hungry ' is well emphasized in the 38th chapter of Sai Satcharitra. Sai actively participated in preparing and serving food to the needy. He always stressed upon people to offer food to the starved coming in any form of life during the lunch hour. It was cus-tomary on the part of his devotees to invite Sai for community lunch / dinners. Sai graced the oc-casion in some form or other as narrated in the 40th chapter, where in he visited B.V.Dev's house in the form of a saint along with his two disciples. Similar incidents have taken place in my life too and I intend to place them before all devotees.

It dates back to the year 1991.On completion of my house construction, I decided to offer food to all workers involved in the construction activities with a sense of gratitude and appreciation for all the good work done. I whole heartedly invited Sainath to grace the occasion. I was anticipating a minimum of 10 people and vouched to take food only after I offer it to at least 10 people against the 15 invited. 17 - 10 - 1991 was the date as I recall and to strange coincidence, it happened to be ' VIJAYA DASIMI DAY ' i.e. Dussera festival. After they finished taking food I took the head-count and found that only nine of the fifteen expected turned up. My wife was pestering me also to have my lunch. I stood firm on my decision and advised my wife to go ahead with her lunch. After waiting up to 3' O clock, she commenced to have her lunch, abusing me for my adamancy. My mind was pre- occupied with mixed feelings and series of questions - firstly, will Sai ever turn up? or else has he already come and I failed to recognize him? How should I go about?
It was already 4' O clock and finally I decided abide as Sai advises. Since he cannot come in a physical form to speak to me, the media I opted was for a book which I happened to purchase a day before and was a newly arrived edition of a book titled " SAI BABA OF SHIRIDI - A UNIQUE SAINT " BY M.V. KAMATH. This book hither to lying unpacked should therefore indicate to me whether I should have food or not. So I closed my eyes after praying and opened the page 134 - 135. I was struck dumb fold when page - 135 gave me a clear message of Sai ad-dressed to his devotees in Dwarakamayi - " You want me to eat more ! . Go now and have your meal". My mind was still not free from the thought as to form in which Sai came to my house, when my attention was drawn to a giant sized ant feasting in, on the sweets kept in front of his photograph. I sincerely thanked Sai and prostrated before him. I shared the newfound joy with my wife and had my food at 4 : 45 in the evening.