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CaptionOne day, after fasting for forty-eight days, King Rantideva received some water and food made with milk and ghee, but when he and his family were about to eat, a brahmana arrived. Rantideva perceived the presence of the Supreme Godhead everywhere and in every living entity. So, he gave the brahmana a share of the food. Then, dividing the remaining food with his family, he was about to eat his share when a sudra arrived. Rantideva gave him also a share of the food. After this, another guest arrived, surrounded by dogs, and he told the king that the dogs were very hungry. Rantideva offered the balance of the food to the dogs and their owner and offered them all respects. Finally, when only water remained and the king was about to drink it, a chandala appeared and said, "O King, although I am lowborn, kindly give me some drinking water." At this Rantideva said, "I do not pray to the Supreme Personality of Godhead for the eight perfections of mystic yoga, nor for salvation from repeated birth and death. I want only to stay among all the living entities and suffer all distresses on their behalf, so that they may be freed from suffering. By offering my water to maintain the life of this poor chandala, who is struggling to live, I have been freed from all hunger, thirst, fatigue, trembling of the body, moroseness, distress, lamentation and illusion."
-Srimad Bhagavatam 9.21
HeadlineKing Rantideva Foregoes His Own Satisfaction for the Benefit of Others
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TA0218.jpg 56 Kb 02/02/2012

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