In Love Serve One Another
Here's one of our favorite tales of the mystic east. This story is found in Good Stories Make You Good, by Sant Thakar Singh (Edition Naam publisher). It is more relevant than ever in today's world of worsening hunger.
Lord Vishnu's Feast
Lord Vishnu decided to give a holiday feast. He invited gods, angels, and demons to the feast. He made the devils sit on one side of the table, and the gods and angels sit on the other side. Then he served all sorts of good and tasty foods to them all. But before they started the meal, he told them that they should enjoy all of the wonderful food he had served them....but only under one condition: they were not to bend their arms while eating! Their arms were to remain straight!
The demons got very angry and demanded, "how is it possible to eat without bending our arms?" They thought that Lord Vishnu was playing a very insulting joke on them, and thus cursing him, they went away hungry without eating anything.
But the angels who were more peaceful, thought, "He can't have prepared all this food only to make a joke because it will all be wasted. There must be some good reason behind it."
It is general the habit of the gods and angels to look and see if there is anybody around them who has not eaten before eating themselves. With this in mind, they found that others around them were hungry. So they fed each other, keeping their arms straight! In this way, they enjoyed Lord Vishnu's wonderful feast.
Lord Vishnu's lesson was of service, compassion, and peace. He wanted to teach his guests that in service we make others peaceful and happy, and in turn find that we are feeling happy and peaceful ourselves.