(May 1952) Yes, we must do something, but something that would really make people happy – not the apparent passing happiness, but real lasting happiness. I will tell you both. You, Consuella, are connected with me, and she, too, has long connection with me. So I will explain this selfless work. Life is one long, endless chain of existence, and real happiness is only in loving God and being united with Him to gain everlasting happiness and peace. Therefore, the greatest service one can render to humanity is to make them feel this Reality.
There are many ways of helping people: by charity, giving food, clothes, alms, serving them personally, looking after them, working in hospitals, nursing them, et cetera; but all this is physical help. It does good to the doer, but at the same time places one under an obligation within the process of evolution.
Why? For instance, I have no food and am starving. I come to you and ask for food; you give me, I eat and am satisfied. This is very subtle. What happens is you save me from starvation, and if you feel you have done a good turn, your ego is fed, and I automatically get the mental impression of being helped, which I must repay to you in some way or the other. Consequently, sanskaras or impressions are added to you.
Karma yoga of selfless service demands two things which are very difficult to do. Help others, serve others, but in a way in which you are, not even for a moment, conscious of having helped or served them. This is possible only if you forget yourself one hundred percent and become lost in the service. That is why Masters say the only way to help human beings is not just tending to their physical needs, but to give them spiritual upliftment, making them know that the purpose of life is knowing God in perfect honesty, not by hearsay or hearing.
So you feel the need to do something for the needy, for others. Help others; that is very good indeed. But unless you know how to do it, there is always a chance of getting into a mess.
Lord Meher, American ed., Bhau Kalchuri, Vol. 11, p. 3810.