I have seen this in my life. My mother is a typical middle class lady, but I am a extreme guy in anything I take up. Anything I take up, I am fully into it.
One day, my grandfather was doing Maheshwara Puja- means feeding the sadhus, and then after doing the Maheshwara Puja he did namaskar. He fell at the feet of all the sadhus.
I asked my mother why he is falling at their feet after giving food.
My mother said, “We would get Shiva Loka.”
But she doesn’t know at that age itself I have already studied the scriptures and started listening and I learned. I think this happened around the age of six or seven. By the time, I am already exposed to Raghupathi Yogi and his words.
So, she said, “We would get Shiva Loka.”
Then I told her, ‘Alright, if that is the case, let us give, every day let us feed all the sadhus who come.’
Then she said, “No, no, no, no no,no , no. We should do only this much.”
I could not get a convincing answer from her. Why we should not do every day with all the money we have? Even she never thought about it.
I asked her, “Why you do not think further? You say, this is good, and even you feel good.”
I have seen her, very sincerely she would do. She would cook and feed. The Annadhana, the quality of feeding people, I learned from her. Still I am happy about it. Still I carry one pride: all our ashrams and campuses, without even me telling our sannyasis, have learned this one idea -if you start ashram, you have to start feeding people. Whoever comes, you should make sure they eat and go. When they start an ashram or a temple, whether it is America or Aminjikarai, Kanchipuram or California, they know one thing: Dhyanapeetam means you have to feed, you have to give food; whatever you have, you have to share with the people. But unfortunately, she never took that to the next level. She stopped enriching people with food; never to the next level.
So, I have seen this middle class people, because of their innate mediocrity, do not raise themselves to the next level. See, feeding people is good but that is not enough. That is not ultimate. You have to have something more than just giving food – enriching people with enlightenment.