Direct service to God is possible only in the case of present human incarnation

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Direct service to God is possible only in the case of present human incarnation

Smt. Padma Ram asked whether to see the past human incarnation like SAI BABA in Swami or vise-versa.

Swami replied: In the state of theoretical devotion any view is right, since there is no difference between drinking two different drinks in a dream. The point is whether your devotion is theoretical (Songs, Meditation etc.,) or practical (Service). The practical devotion is possible only in the case of the present live human incarnation. When you are sprinkling rose water on the shirt of a present live person, the person receives and enjoys your service. The shirt is the human body and the person is God in present live human incarnation.

The past human incarnation existing as a statue or photo is like a photo of the non-existing past shirt of the same person. You will not sprinkle the rose water on even the existing shirt if the person is absent in it and not to speak of a non-existing shirt seen in a photo. If you sprinkle rose water on a photo in which a person who is away in a foreign country, it is also virtually the same.

— Shri Dattaswami