Serving Lord Narayana’s devotees is more important than serving the Lord Himself, and He values our service to His devotees, said R. Rangarajan in a discourse.

Thirukkoshtiyur Selva Nambi, the preceptor of King Vallabha, was a devout Vaishnavite. His wife, Devaki, was equally devout.

Arrival of devotees

One day, a group of devotees on a pilgrimage visited Thirukkoshtiyur, but Selva Nambi was away at the time. The devotees visited Selva Nambi’s house and his wife welcomed them and asked them to eat. She decided to cook a meal for them.

However, she realised she had run out of rice. She could not go back on her word, and she certainly would not do so, for she was anxious to serve the Lord’s devotees.

Use of stored grain

In villages, grain used for sowing the next season’s crop would be stored in a container and it will be kept in the loft. Devaki decided to use the grain as she did not want to turn the pilgrims away.

So she cleaned it up and cooked it for the pilgrims. They were happy with the food served and left after thanking her.

Soon Selva Nambi arrived and even as he entered the house, farmers, who were waiting to sow the seeds at the appropriate time, came to him and asked him for the grain.

Devaki was not at home at that time. So Selva Nambi did not know what had happened.

Empty barrel

He looked in the barrel where the grain was kept and found it empty. Even as he was wondering what could have happened, Devaki arrived.

Selva Nambi asked her why the barrel was empty and she told him that the seeds had been sown. “Where have they been sown” he asked. “In the stomachs of Vishnu bhaktas,” she answered.

He then asked her where the crops that came from these seeds would grow.

She answered, “In Vaikuntha, the abode of Lord Narayana!”

Devaki was a true devotee of the Lord. That is why she went to great lengths to serve His devotees.

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