Selfless Service (Seva)
Aruna’s Blog 4/2021
When I first began to channel in 1985 the guide I was channeling gave me some information to share that I have never forgotten. I was directed to these four categories as what is required to complete one’s reincarnation cycle:
1. Completing our karma,
2. Learning each of this current life’s lessons,
3. The balancing of our Masculine and Feminine energies, and
4. Living a life of selfless service.
In this blog I want to point out some aspects of number four.
My channeling ability came to me after many months of praying “how can I serve,” so I assumed that doing channeling had taken care of the service one. But in the years after receiving this list I have learned much more about selfless service which I must share with you.
This Sanskrit word simply means serving the divine before yourself. When a choice is involved, do we choose to satisfy our ego’s desires or what serves the divine? Do we serve ourself or align with the good of all?
First, keep in mind that service to others does not require living in sacrifice. It means choosing to serve the divine (all) rather than only serving ourself. A good question to always ask, will this action I’m about to take “make the divine happy, ”or is it intended just to be for myself? When we choose to benefit or serve the divine primarily, the not so obvious outcome that follows is that we also benefit ourselves.
Examples from my life: they include volunteering (while in Lucknow with Papaji), to work in his bookstore and cafe selling books and serving meals; also I spent days supporting someone I barely knew when he had to leave the satsang community for an emergency hospital visit.
In the last forty years I have continued to regularly support a number of charities with physical and financial aid, including several animal rescue efforts. I have supported a couple of spiritual teachers I consider to be significant, as well as other types of artist organizations like Novica and Beads for Life, with volunteer work and financial contributions. And I serve committed, sincere students who cannot afford to pay full fees.
There are multiple reasons for engaging in Seva, but the best one by far is to need no reason at all because you understand Oneness! Nevertheless, here are a few benefits to Selfless Service:
1. All the minutes, hours and days spent engaged in doing Selfless Service speed the development of a spiritual life lived keeping ego ignored and “in the back seat,” while True Self “drives the car.”
2. By actually sharing in a dose of another’s reality as you do service for them, you will be opening your heart and strengthening your “compassion muscles,” thus advancing True Self’s love for all, its creations thru you.
3. During Seva, as you continually move the ego out of self-centeredness, you contribute to building “compatible mind” which can flower into the experience of a moment of awakening — a priceless gift.
4. Regular Seva is one of the best ways to enhance the “deepening process” of Awakened Awareness.
5. To offer any service to an authentic spiritual teacher not only benefits you personally in the moment of that doing, but through the grace which that teacher emanates to the world, your small portion is amplified.
How can you serve the divine? By helping anyone who needs help. Not for their appreciation or reciprocal giving, but by genuinely wanting to assist them without a thought about compensation. The divine includes your family members, your neighbors, your sanga, or fellow community members. It includes every man, woman, child, animal, and environmental context of nature you find yourself in, as well as every friend, acquaintance and complete stranger you come into contact with. It includes those you’ve met and those you never will meet. It includes those who live in an area struck by a natural disaster. Of course, your spiritual teachers and guides who support you in knowing and relating to the divine are included. We serve the divine whenever we are acting on behalf of “WE,” not just “ME.” This is an aspect of relating to “Oneness” we no longer need to wonder about how to do — as you can see, it is all very concrete.