There was a king once who questioned many a scholar and sage who came to his court, "Which is the best service and which is the best time to render it?" He could not get a satisfying answer from them. One day, while pursuing the forces of a rival king, he got separated from this 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 his brain : "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 judge 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, the mood of the person who offers - these decide whether the act is gold or lead.
- Baba -