Dinesh wrote a beautiful article about Seva, i edited it and made it even more beautiful
‘Love expresses itself as Seva (Selfless Service)’.
‘Its impossible to know what true love is until you have done something selfless for others’.
When I did my first few Art of Living courses, I heard these lines, but never realized what they meant, and how much power they had…
In those early times, one night, I came home utterly exhausted. I saw that my mom and dad were sleeping. A thought wandered lazily in my mind, let me press my parent’s feet. But the overwhelming feeling was to instantaneously hit the bed. But the second I willed my spirit to go ahead and just do it, fresh energy surged through my body, all my fatigue vanished… That too in just a moment – it was like magic! (But then, so is love, a magic that is always sparkling, ever new!) That commitment of ‘I want to do it, come what may’, brought in a wave of liveliness, quite unlike any other I had ever experienced.
Over the years, like me, I have seen many, many people suddenly come alive with smiles and enthusiasm, ready to help and serve… Their tiredness and fatigue just dissolve like an early morning mist which simply evaporates as the sun rises. The immense joy and fulfillment that one gets by doing something for other people, by lending a helping hand is simply unparalleled and doing Seva can be quite an addiction ?
The energy and the inspiration are always there for the taking, you only need to care!
But unfortunately many, many people have a limited and myopic idea of Seva.
For most people, Seva is normally limited to going to a slum or a village and clean the gutters and roads, or giving money to a beggar (and feeling good about it), or giving away old clothes (and making space for new ones), or donating blood or going to an orphanage and spending time with the kids there, or feeding people, or merely wearing a red ribbon at an AIDS charity concert, etc (With a few exceptions, many celebs have mastered doing this kind of politically correct Seva). This kind of Seva typically increases the dependency of the people who are being “helped” on the “helper” and is done out of a feeling of pity and no belongingness at all.
Seva of course, is all this, but it can be much, much more.
First and foremost we realize that every soul on this planet is desperately yearning for peace and fulfillment. This, it can get, only through the Knowledge of the Self, through meditation and through the process of giving love. Making THAT happen would be the ultimate Seva. Because now you are doing your actions out of genuine compassion and care for people. And you are making them self sufficient, not dependent and obligated.
When I did the Art of Living series of Workshops I realized how they empower people to experience profound peace, unconditional love and enthusiasm and sustain those with Knowledge and meditation. This in turn allows people to be good and creatively do good, to achieve success with minimal or no stress and to celebrate and live life to its fullest.
Sa ae va (word Seva split in Sanskrit) means ‘to be like Him’, to be like God or Nature. The divine has created such amazing beauty, such abundant variety, just so that we can be happy. If each one of us can be happy and in turn can spread that happiness, we would be fulfilling the planet’s greatest need.
If we can make a fire in the hearts of people by kindling that spark of inspiration which is already there, to support each other’s highest ideals- Then that would indeed be Seva in it’s full glory and this planet will transform into a paradise, a true Divya Samaj…
This is my dream… what’s yours?
dinesh (and bawa)