“And when the pleasure seekers urged that Jesus join them in their mirth, he said, How could I seek for pleasure for myself while others are in want? How can you think that while the children cry for bread, while those in haunts of sin call out for sympathy and love that I can fill myself to full with the good things of life?” (Aquarian Gospel 51:15, 16).
When my friend the Raja of Chandod went to visit Gandhi, the Mahatma challenged him as to what he was doing for the welfare of the people in his kingdom. He replied he was doing nothing and did not care about the suffering of the people.
Gandhiji saw into the Raja’s nature and saw what even the young man did not realize was there. “That is not so,” he told him. “Here is a test: Have a sumptuous meal made for yourself and put in your automobile. Then have yourself driven to one of the villages in your domain at noon time. Go right into the midst of the village and have a table set there with the food, and then you eat it with the hungry people watching. If you can do that, you really do not care.”
“I will–it will be easy,” said the Raja. So he followed Gandhi’s instructions. “But,” he told me, “when I started to take the first bite I looked at the faces around me and my heart was shattered. I could not eat. I asked the people’s forgiveness and went home and began planning how to alleviate their suffering. Ever since then, that has been my purpose in life.”
I wish I had pictures of my walk around the town of Chandod with him to share with you. How the people loved him! They came around and spoke to him with the love of children for a loving father. He listened to all they had to say and advised them about their problems. When I went to the little bank a few days later, the workers there told me of all the things the Raja had done for them over the years, raising the level of the life of everyone living there. He had even given part of his home to house a free school for village children. He lived in utter simplicity himself, not much different from those he cared for.
I saw for myself the ideals of Jesus being lived by him–and by others I met in India. No wonder Jesus loved that land.