Sunday, Nov 18 2018
SEVA IS OUR DUTY - 8 DECEMBER 2003
Our humble Pranams at the Divine Lotus Feet of Swami
Sai Ram Uncles, Aunties, Brothers & Sisters. I am Bro Ashwin from Group 4 and my topic for today is 'Seva is Our Duty'.
Swami has said "What exactly is seva? It is the very essence of devotion, the very breath of a devotee, his very nature." I believe that Swami is telling all of us that seva is our very own duty. It must always be an integral part of our lives.
Words are spoken through the mouth, actions are spoken through the body but the act of seva is aptly expressed from the heart. We must do selfless service with love in our hearts, otherwise it has little value and becomes mundane. Instead seva is supposed to lift up our spirits and bring a smile to those whom we interact with.
A person who does seva will soon come to realize that it is a two way process. Not only does the individual render selfless service to the less privileged but through the act of performing that service he experiences the joys of altruism,(or in simpler words, 'selflessness'). In fact, we are the fortunate ones who have been given an opportunity to serve! We are doing seva for our own self-satisfaction.
Swami says, "Service to Man is Service to GOD". This is how Swami urges allof us to do seva. Brothers and sisters, seva is an act of selflessness whereby we go beyond the call of duty to make another happy. We should all get into the habit of doing seva as it inculcates many essential traits within us. Performing seva fosters love, tolerance, patience and self-sacrifice.
Let me share with you my personal experience of a seva that I was fortunate to participate in. It was held on our National Day, 9 Aug 2003 . I clearly remember that day. It was because I had to wake up at 5.30 am in the morning and take the MRT from Tampines to Red Hill. I thought that was already a big sacrifice, but little did I know that there was more in store. I reached the Red Cross Home for the Disabled and learnt that most of the residents were wheelchair bound. Each sevadal present there was assigned a duty. I had the good fortune to become a friend to an autistic child. He was very quiet and seemed to be in his own world. I took it as a wonderful opportunity to share my happiness with him by interacting with me in the games and activities which were pre-planned. It was initially not very easy but I did not give up. I kept talking and playing with him. After a while, he became a lot more comfortable and accepted Swami's love and affection. From this experience I learnt that in order to succeed in whatever we do, we should always persevere till the very end! I also learnt to be thankful to Swami for whatever I have in my life.
As always, Swami sets the ideal example for all of us to follow. Each year Swami's students in His college carry out 'Grama Seva'. In this seva, the students go to remote villages to distribute freshly cooked food and brand new clothes to the needy. The students serve without any rest, many of them even forgo food and sleep for several days at a time, in order to serve as many people in as many villages! They serve with love, happiness and gratitude to Swami for having been given such a wonderful opportunity to help others! After all "Hands that serve are holier than lips that pray".
Let us also take up any opportunity to do seva, always remembering that we are instruments of our beloved Bhagawan and it is our duty to serve. As Swami says "You are born to serve" With that I would like to end my speech.
Om Sai Ram
SSEHV Group 4