The following description is given about annadan in Chapter XXXVIII of Shri Sai Satcharita.Of all the charities, giving food is the best one. We are much perturbed, when we get no food at noon. Other beings feel similarly under such circumstances. After knowing this, he, who gives food to the poor and hungry, is the best donor or charitable person. The Taittiriya Upanishad says that “Food is Brahma, from food all the creatures are born and by food they live, and after having departed, into food again they enter.” When an Atithi (guest) comes to our door at noon, it is our duty to welcome him by giving him food. Other kinds of charities, viz. giving away wealth, property and clothes etc. require some discrimination but in the matter of food no such consideration is necessary. If anybody comes to our door at noon, he should be served forthwith; if lame, crippled, blind and diseased persons come, they should be fed first and the able-bodied persons and our relations afterwards.
Annadan was one of the priorities in Sai Baba`s humanity. He was often distributing food to all making all preparations Himself. He depended on nobody and troubled none, in this matter. He was going to the bazar and buying all the things, corn, flour, spices etc., paying cash. He was serving food with His own hand to all the poor and helpless people.
Annadan is provided to the poor, needy and devotees yearly on four occasions viz.Guru Purnima, Maha Samadhi Divas, Datta Jayanti and Akhanda Sai Nama Japa Day in Shri Shirdi Sai Baba Anand Ashram, BTM Layout Bangalore managed by Sri Sadguru Sainath Seva Samithi. Monthly food expenses of two Anathashrams located in Bangalore are also managed by the Samithi every month out of funds donated by devotees for annadan.
Shri Satchidananda Sadguru Sainath Maharaj Ki Jaya.
Dr.Mahesh Chandra Panda
Shirdi Sai devotee
BTM Layout Bangalore