Sri Sathya Sai Baba Center of Charlotte

Sai Baba

Sri Sathya Sai Baba
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Baba's teachings on SEVA

Sri Sathya Sai Baba

Selfless service is just as important a spiritual activity as devotional singing. As a start, we can see that Sathya Sai Baba Himself spends His life in service.

You should follow Swami, the leader. This is because, from morning to night, Swami performs even the smallest task Himself; and all His work is for the good of the world. It is in this context that Swamy often says, "My Life is My Message."

Avatars of God are engaged in service; that is why Avatars happen. Hence, when you offer service to mankind, the Avatar will be pleased and you can win grace.

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What exactly is selfless service?

It is the very essence of devotion, the very breath of a devotee, his very nature. It springs from the actual experience of the devotee, an experience that convinces that all beings are God's children, that all bodies are altars where God is installed, that all places are His residences.

Selfless service helps us to:

    • Control and purify the mind
    • Put a ceiling on our desires
    • Erase our karmic burden
    • Remove the ego
    • Bring love into our lives
    • Experience the Unity of all
    • Become aware of the God within all
    • Win the Grace of God

Our attitude when doing service

God will not ask when and where you did service; he will ask what your motives and intentions were .The attitudes of mutual help and selfless service develop the "humanness" of man and help the unfoldment of the Divinity latent in him.

Our attitude during a service activity determines whether the service helps us grow spiritually. Service performed with a sense of pride or superiority may help the person we are serving, but it does not help us.

Do not pollute your service with the poison of pride. Feel that you are serving yourself, curbing the ego Engage in humble service and egoism will fade away

Also, service should be performed without expectations for results.

Do not serve for the sake of reward; serve because you are urged by Love .Service is its own reward .Do not worry about the result. Help as much as you can, as efficiently as you can, as silently as you can, and as lovingly as you can; leave the rest to God, who gave you a chance to serve.

Do not believe that you can by means of selfless service reform or reshape the world. You may or may not. That does not matter. The real value of seva, its most visible result, is that it reforms you, reshapes you.

Sometimes, members try to do what they want to do, rather than what needs to be done. They may perceive some task as more important and others as "less desirable". For example, some would rather serve the food than pick it up from supermarkets and bakeries or clean up afterwards. This attitude is counter-productive, and a more positive approach is better.

Do not consider any act of service as demeaning. Sweeping the streets, for example, is not below your dignity. Do you not sweep the floor at home, do you not scrub and wash off dirt? Serve people with no thought of high or low; no service is high, no service is low, each act of service is equal in the eye of the Lord. It is the readiness, the joy, the efficiency, the skill with which you rush to do it that matters.

Some people critique continually during the service, feeling that they know better how to do certain things. This is the wrong approach; do what has to be done willingly, whatever it is, and bring up your constructive criticisms afterwards, when the service is being discussed in preparation for the next activity.

How can you shorten a line drawn on a blackboard without touching it? The answer is simple: draw a longer line under it. The line above will automatically get shorter. This is how you must use your critical faculty: stay silent and try to do better by showing how things should be done. This is constructive.