Wednesday, May 27 2020  

Love must express itself as service - 17 Feb 2014

Let me share one of Swami’s quotes, “Love must express itself as service.”

Service has been defined as "Love made manifest". Swami repeatedly asks us to expand our hearts to include all humanity. He tells us that to care only for our own interests and those of our families is a constriction of our heart. Such constriction eventually results in loneliness and unhappiness.

The cure that Swami has given us for this loneliness is Service. Service slowly and steadily broadens one's heart, bringing with it an unexpected feeling of happiness, and it begins to transform the community around us as well. The service activity which one may, at first, have started with certain reluctance, soon becomes a labour of love: one's heart has broadened to include others; and the more people one loves, the happier one becomes. This is a spiritual truth that we need to re-discover. Our service would have benefited others, but it would certainly have benefited us as well.

SEVA is an acronym for Spiritual Enlightenment by Volunteering Actively. By doing seva actively with love and without expecting anything in return, we can attain spiritual enlightenment. For example, Hanuman attained identity with Rama, through Seva Sadhana. Arjuna too considered every act as Sadhana to attain the grace of Krishna, for Krishna directed him to fight on.

Why do we serve poor people and the suffering humanity at large? Why we we serve the society and the country? By doing service, we purify our heart. Egoism, hatred, jealousy, idea of superiority would vanish. Humility, pure love, sympathy, tolerance, and mercy are developed. Sense of separateness is annihilated. Selfishness is eradicated. We get a broad outlook of life. We begin to feel oneness or unity of life. We develop a broad heart with broad, generous views. Eventually, we get Knowledge of the Self. We realize the 'One-in-all' and 'all-in-One'. We feel unbounded joy. We need to serve our parents, elders, teachers, and guests with Divine bhava.

Last year, our school took us to an old age home where we oure supposed to serve the residents and provide some entertainment for the elderly. As soon as we went there, we noticed that all the residents oure dull and gloomy. And so, we decided to cheer them up by singing songs and by interacting with them. They became really happy and cheerful. Then, I realized that love could truly be expressed through service.

Let me share a quote from one of Swami’s discourses, “With regards to service, we must be clear on what is Rajasic service and Sathwic service. We may go to clean streets, build roads, dig wells or build houses, and do them all as service to the community. We may also go to a hospital and visit patients. Doing service in the name of ‘social work’ is not real service. Sathwic service is that which gives real happiness. It requires that we serve any and every person as an embodiment of the Divine. Divinity is present in two forms amongst all people – wealthy or poor. A rich man may have any number of people to attend to him. But there would be no one to serve the destitute and disadvantaged. Treating the poor and needy as Divine embodiments and serving them lovingly is Sathwic service.” An ideal example is Mother Teresa. She was born in a luxurious family and could have had a much better life but she dedicated her life to serving the needy selflessly with love and soon became one of the world’s most respected people. The most important thing is to serve with love, like Mother Teresa.

The father of India, Mahatma Gandhi himself has said, “The best way to find ourself is to lose ourself in the service of others.” Martin Luther King has said, “Everybody can be great because anybody can serve. We don't have to have a college degree to serve. We don't have to make our subject and verb agree to serve. We only need a heart full of love. A soul generated by love.” Swami himself has said, ‘Love all, serve all’ and ‘Maanava seva is Madhava seva’. Swami has shown his love through service by setting up a number of service projects that is beneficial for mankind.

Swami says, "Engage ourselves in service activity. Consider social service as service to God. This is the best way to earn God's Love. Love all and serve all. Our entire life will be sanctified thereby." Through this quote, Swami tells us that we must engage in Sathwic service to show our compassion and love towards each other in the society.

So let us all start serving selflessly and actively. There are so many platforms to serve such as the Sunlove Home seva, the SAFFRON seva and many others. Let us take that one step towards Spiritual Enlightenment.


Bro Nirupan Naveneethan
Group 4


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