Seva - A Flower at the Divine
SEVA: Is the adoration of the
Lord as having the multifaced Form and Immanence in the entire
Universe. The Vedas described Him as ‘thousand / headed,
thousand–eyed, thousand–footed.’ The thousands of hands and eyes
and feet that have come here are all His, the Lord’s. Worship
Him; that is the purpose of your seva. And he is none else
than your own self. Do not count an individual as just an
individual; he has God in him, as his Reality. Be aware of that.
Every seva done with sympathy and skill to any one in distress
anywhere in this world is Sathya Sai Seva. The Dal must be eager
to serve and trained to serve, for, service from those who take MY
Name must be intelligent and sincere. (Pg 85). When there is no
compulsion on one side and no compensation required on the other
then, it is really Seva. (Pg. 54).
You long to serving Me; let me tell you, serving those who serve
Me gives me as much satisfaction as serving me. Serving anyone is
serving me, for I am in all.God has no need of your service: does
He suffer from pain in the legs, or ache in the stomach? Try to
serve the godly; be the servants of the servants of the Lord. The
service of man is the only means by which you can serve God. (pg
22). Seva of Sai and seva of Sai Devotees are the same.
When we think of service, we seem to think of work, which is lowly
kind of work, usually done by a servant. This kind of association
of ideas, where service is thought of as something lowly, is not
correct. In the context of service, we would realize that God
Himself does a lot of service to the world in many ways.(Pg.
29).Man should regard Selfless services as the purpose for which
he is given life. This feeling should flow through his very nerves
and blood–stream, and permeate every cell of his body. Whatever be
the work we do, we should do it as an offering to God and for His
pleasure. This birth has been undertaken by you, for this very
mission: the mission of crucifying the ego on the cross of
compassion. An opportunity to be of some service to fellow-man
comes to you as a gift from God. Serve with that sense of
gratitude, for it is God who accepts it from you.
DAL: The name Dal, that you bear, has great significance.
Dal means the petal of a flower. The lotus has as many as a
thousand petals. They all emnate from the central pericarp. Each
petal draws its strength, sustenance, colour, fragrance, and charm
from the pericarp. Detached from the pericarp the petal cannot
survive. That attachment and that affection can be secured when
the petal clings to the ideals of Sai and the lessons of Sai.
In My Message to you, there is no scope for your seeing difference
or distinction among those you serve. (pg 143)
SEVA DAL / SEVAK: Swami is the greatest volunteer and
the greatest Seva Dal leader. You should follow Swami, the
leader. This is because from morning to night, Swami performs even
the smallest task Himself; and all His works are for the good of
the world. It is in this context that I often say “ My Life is My
Message”. God and the voice of God are one and the same. Thus,
doing what Swami does, as well as what Swami ordains, forms work
which pleases Him. Work done without the thought of self and
eschewing the craving for name or power pleases Him most. (Pg.
This is a Spiritual army, a spiritual platoon, engaged in
cleansing itself. This movement must spread fast in India and
march soon into oversea lands.(Pg.26).The Spiritual discipline of
seva is quite distinct. In seva you devote all your energy and
attention to the task at hand, for it is a dedicated task. You
forget the body and ignore its demands. You set aside your
individuality and its prestige and perquisites. You pluck your ego
by its roots and cast it away. You give up your status, conceit,
your name and form, and all that they demand from others. This
process makes the consciences pure.. This Truth must be your own
discovery, your own treasure, and your own strength. This is
the grand purpose of the Seva Dal. That is the reason why the Seva
Dal is assigned a high place in the Sathya Sai Organisation.
Only a sevak can grow into a leader, serve, and thereby gain the
position of a leader. Only a servant can become a Sankara only a
good servant can become a great master. (Pg.30). You are all My
Limbs, nourished by Me. You constitute the Sai Body. Sai will send
you sustenance, wherever you are, whatever your function, provided
you give Sai the things Sai considers sweet and desirable, like
virtue, faith, discipline and humility. Be happy that you a limb
of the Sai Body.
RESPONSIBILITIES OF A SEVAK
This opportunity has been given to you out of sheer Grace; it is
not given as a consequence of some rule of claim. It does not bind
you; it gives you distinction and duty, both. If you have it with
you, and yet, withdraw from service or hesitate to render it, you
are on the wrong track. People come to this Presence to get rid of
sin and accumulate spiritual merit; if you dishonour the badge,
you will be retaining the sins and accumulating a lot more.
Remember, with each act of Love and Service, you are nearing the
Divine Presence; with each act of hate and grab, you are moving
farther and farther away.(Pg. 75).
This is your home, and the thousands who come to this home are
your kith and kin. Welcome them as you will welcome your nearest
and dearest relations; as far as in you lies, make their stay
comfortable. This scarf and this badge confer on you the right
to declare that Prashanti Nilayam is your home. Keep that in
mind and do not behave in any manner that will tarnish the
brightness of that declaration. That status is a precious gift. Do
not overstep the limits imposed by the Organisation; do not
disobey the rules laid down; do not deviate from the ideals laid
down. March straight on, and reach the goal.(Pg. 76).
The badge does not endow you with authority to boss over those who
are badgeless. It should not be insulted by harshness, pride or
persecution. Once you have been blessed by it, you should not
indulge in loose talk, or loose living, lewd behaviour or evil
habits like smoking, gambling, drinking and scandalizing others.
(Pg. 114 ). This badge is a call for help from the thousands of
devotees who are coming here, in full faith, that they have the
Lord to tend them. To be present here, in itself, a gift of
Grace, won by accumulated merit; to be endowed with the badge is a
rare gift. Make the best of this chance.(Pg. 116).You may
differ from co-workers on methods and programmes, but this should
not leave a scar on your hearts or on theirs. Office-bearers in
this organization are leaders who bear the brunt themselves,
guides who walk along the path they wish the brunt themselves,
guides who walk along the path they wish others to take. They
shall not command or punish; they can only persuade and advise.
The name of Sathya Sai is attached to each wing of this
organization. It is Sathya Sai that inspires each activity of each
wing. This fact has not been taken to heart by many of you. Sai
is the inner inspiration and light for each worker.
I may tell you something about attitude you must cultivate while
doing volunteer service at the Nilayam. I myself have selected you
for this and that itself is a rare privilege.
· You must be conscious of the value of the Command.
· You must develop Love for all.
· This is your home and all those who have gathered for these
Festivals are guests, are your kith and kin.
· While doing your work do not argue that this particular bit is
your jurisdiction and that other one is not; supplement each other
in joyful co-operation; strengthen each other. Act as an ideal
Good company, infusing into each other energy and enthusiasm.
· Do nothing to disturb the calm of others; for you know how
valuable calmness and quietness are in your own case.
· Volunteers must not wait for chances of service to come to them;
they must be on the look-out for them, alert and ready.
· Do not seek to exercise authority over others; seek rather to
discover chances to be useful to them.
· Reduce your wants to the minimum.
· Spread joy all times. Carry a smile on your face so that every
one who sees you can catch the exhilaration.
· Try to console, encourage, strengthen and enlighten those who
are miserable, downhearted, weak or ill-informed.Get yourself
equipped for this role.(Pg106- 109)
· Do not put the badge in your pocket when your work here is over
and the festival is finished, and when you leave for home to
resume your old avocations and your discarded habits. This is
not a three-day thamasha. This is a lifetime’s pilgrim march. The
badge must get inscribed on the heart, indelibly, for life..
Prashanti Nilayam is the spiritually uplifting center for the
whole world; devotees from all over the world are here, so the
slightest mistake or wrong committed by you will be the talk of
the world. Your behaviour must be exemplary; every country must
learn lessons from you. The foundation must give way; you must be
strong and steady, sincere and straight. Nor should you suffer
from conceit, that you have been chose to exercise authority over
others. People of all ages, of all states of health and wealth, of
various levels of learning and intelligence come to Prashanti
Nilayam. This Prashanti Nilayam is also refuge for all who have
no other place to go to. Do not treat anyone as an alien.
Remember all have Me as their guardian and support. Have no anger,
malice, envy or pride against or before anyone. Be full of
humility; have faith in human goodness.(Pg 180/181)
In this Prashanti Nilayam, there are certain limits laid down,
certain modes of spending time usefully, recommended by Me. All
who come here, whether long time residents or new arrivals, have
to observe them.
Silence is the very first rung of the ladder of Spiritual
discipline; that is the hall mark of Prashanti Nilayam. (pg
I am insisting on five points of discipline for the residents of
Prashanti Nilayam. I shall tell you about them, for your homes and
your villages have to be transformed into Prashanti Nilayam. They
are; (1) Silence. This is the first step in spiritual
discipline, it makes the other step easy. It promotes self-
control; it lessens chances of anger, the malice, greed and pride.
Besides, you can hear His footsteps, only when silence reigns in
the mind. (2) Cleanliness. It is the doorway to Godliness,
Inner and outer cleanliness are essential, if you desire to
install God in your heart. (3) Service: Service saves you
from the agony you get when another suffers; it broadens your
vision, widens your awareness, deepens your compassion. All waves
are on the same sea, from the same sea, merge in the sea. Seva
teaches you to be firm in this knowledge. (4) Love: Do not
cultivate or weigh the reaction, result or reward. Love calls;
Love responds. Love is God, Live in Love (5) Hatelessness:
No being is to be looked down upon as secondary, inferior,
unimportant or expendable. Each has its allotted role in the drama
designed by the Almighty. Do not slight, insult or injure any
being, for, He is in every being and your slight becomes a
sacrilege. Some feel that the discipline of the Prashanti Nilayam
are limited to the geographical bounds of this area and so they
can be ignored when one is beyond the gates.
The whole world must appear as a Prashanti Nilayam, not simply
this stone and cement structure. As a matter of fact, the world is
fundamentally, a Prashanti Nilayam; only, man by his ignorance and
perversity has fouled it into a snake- pit of crime and hate.
Study well the disciplinary rules laid down for all who wish to be
in Prashanti Nilayam. These rules are for your own good. Wherever
you are, you can make the place a Prashanti Nilayam. Become
shares in My History. Do not get far from Me. You have
acquired nearness through the accumulated good fortune of many
births. If you cut this contact and get away, a time will come
when you will weep outside the gates clamouring for entry.
Into this Prashanti Nilayam, persons come from all parts of the
world, all stages of development, with all types of problems,
afflicted with all forms of pain or grief, inspired with all
varieties of promptings. This is a workshop, where damaged
minds and hearts come for repair or overhaul. In the
workshops, there will be the din of hammer, the clang of wheel,
the whirr of engine and the clatter of chains. In this workshop,
there must be heard only the whisper of the Name of God. With new
parts fitted and new coats of paints, cars emerge out of the
workshop as good as new and they run smoothly, without trouble,
for miles and miles. People must find this place also as a
workshop for persons, who are travel-worn, weary, or about to
enter upon a long journey. So, use this holy atmosphere, this
splendid chance, these precious days to the fullest. With every
inhalation, utter the name of God. With every exhalation utter the
name of God. Live in God, for Him, with Him.There is a popular
tune in Telegu, “ Brindavan is eveyone’s, Govinda belongs to all”.
Similarly, Prashanti Nilayam belongs to all.(pgs 182/183/184)
You must find the answer to four questions. Why have I been
selected as a volunteer? What have I to do? For what immediate
purpose? What is the ultimate goal?
The word for volunteer used here is “ Swayam Sevak” (Servant of
Myself) Meaning that you have chosen yourself to be a servant.
You need know the answers to two questions only; Who is Baba?
Who am I? And answer I am the reflection. That is the
relationship; that is the bond, whether you know it or not,
whether the image is distorted or correct.(Pg. 77).
If you seek to fulfil low desires, why come here? Come here
only if you seek to earn Grace. Go to a hospital only when you
are resolved to take the drug the physician prescribes and go
through the regimen he lays down. So, obey the directions that I
give, whatever others may say or however difficult they may appear
to be. You have not come to Prashanti Nilayam to please those
others; you have come to please Me. (Pg. 79).
The Volunteers privileged to work at the Prashanti Nilayam have to
set the ideal for similar workers all over the world. For, here,
service emanates from genuine understanding of the meaning and
purpose of life. When that is known, every step will be right,
towards righteousness. Righteousness consists in widening the
horizon of your compassion. This will necessarily promote the sum
of human happiness. (Pg.33).
HOW TO DO SEVA
Let me tell you some details of the seva you can do here: See that
old persons and the sick do not sit in the hot sun; supply
drinking water, without fuss, to all who need it; watch out for
unsocial elements and pick-pockets who come sooner than even the
devotees, in order to realize the debts they have paid in prvious
births! Arrange for groups who will go on the rounds of the areas
and the sheds at night, to see that everything is secure and safe.
Take all precautions to preserve the cleanliness of the area and
also, maintain the quietness of the atmosphere. Don’t shout at
people who shout, in your attempt to see that silence is
maintained. Talk low yourself and advise others to talk low.
Explain to those who speak aloud why they have to lower their
voice. If the reason is explained, they will sympathise with you
and understand the purpose. Respect everyone and talk as if they
are worthy of the highest respect you are capable of. No one is
small or low. Sai is in all, and if you insult anyone, it is an
insult directed against Sai. Don’t drag away children that start
wailing loud, soothe them, softly. Engage yourselves in bringing
solace to the bodily ill. I shall engage myself in giving solace
to the mental and spiritually ill. They forget that service is
worship, that each act of service is a flower placed at the Lord’s
You may be full of the urge to serve, but without vigilance and
intelligence, service cannot be fruitful. Each little detail has
to be attended to.
No one comes here seeking comfort. Share whatever space you have
with others; all are equally your kith and kin. You have come here
to learn and practise detachment. Get wet in the rain, while
engaged in serving others; it does not matter. If death comes
while serving do not pause; if you are so determined, God will not
allow it to approach you! (Pg. 79).
Prepare yourselves for serving others, not only by learning the
skills of first aid, the rules of the road, the technique of blood
donation, the art of handling mikes and loudspeakers, wiring and
fittings, electric lines etc.; but, at the time when you are not
actively engaged in some such activity, be busy with prayer or the
constant recital of the lord’s name, fill yourself with God, lest
you go dry and cruel. Keep the mind busy with these, for once it
strays into the bye-lanes of the world, it will get infected with
You need not fuss around Me; attend rather to the needs of the
old, the sick, the children, those in the sun, the thirsty, the
exhausted. Do not hinder anyone’s chance of the Darshan. Show each
one the courtesy you extend to the guests you receive at your own
home. This is your home and they are your guests.
Do not manufacture excuses for avoiding service to God. Serve god,
by serving the Godly. (Pg 92)
Mere sentiment and sympathy are of no use; they must be regulated
by intelligence. Shower cheer on the sad; soothe those that have
lost the way; close your eye to the faults of others, but, keep
them open to discover your own. All these are hard jobs. Practice
alone can make you perfect- practice, not only in item of service,
but in meditation on the Divine.
Seva is to be offered wherever you are, whenever you realize the
need, to the extent of your capacity and ability. Feel that
God has given the chance, the inclination, the ability- that is
the crux of the Spiritual discipline. (Pg.39). Serve others, not
with the feeling that they are others, but with the same attitude
of worship that you reserve for God. One single act of service
offered to the God whom you visualize in another is worth all the
years of yearning for God. Your duty is to serve, not search for
faults. Serve with all your heart, serve with pure undefiled love.
Under My unseen supervision and guidance you have to serve them
and relieve their pains and troubles. Prashanthi Nilayam
belongs to everyone, Baba belongs to all. (Pg 92)
BENEFITS OF SEVA
The real value of Seva, its most visible result, is that it
re-forms you, re-shapes you. (Pg23).The practice of Seva will
cleanse the mind and sharpen concentration.(Pg. 25).
In Service there is great worth. Service helps us uproot the
egotism that burdens us. (Pg. 31).Engage in humble service, and
egotism will fade away.(Pg. 31).
Service to parents, elders and the suffering gives joy and
satisfaction to all concerned. Virtue and righteousness – these
will bear witness on your behalf, on the Day of Judgement; neither
your bank account, nor your income tax returns will speak on your
behalf. Nor can the office you held, or the power over men and
things that you wielded here on earth! Greater than all other
forms of worship is seva – Service to one’s fellow- men done in an
unselfish and dedicated spirit. (Pg . 43).
A ‘Manishi’ (ordinary man) gets transformed into a Maharishi
(sage) by engaging in Selfless service. Truly speaking, the merit
that could be obtained from service cannot be acquired even from
the practice of rigorous austerities. Service brings human beings
closer to each other and promotes affection and friendship.
Without his friendship and feeling of love for one’s fellowmen,
one cannot attain intimacy with the Lord which among the nine
forms of devotion to God is next only to Atmanivedanam (complete
Hanuman was ordered to discover the whereabouts of Sita and he
obeyed implicity, without question, and succeeded. He did not
calculate the dangers of the journey and hesitate; he did not feel
proud that he was chosen for the high adventure and enthuse. He
listened, he understood, he obeyed, he won. The name Ramadutha,
Messenger, servant of Rama that he earned thereby has made him
immortal. You must earn the name, Sai Rama Dutha. Have
fortitude and self – control, use good and sweet words; examine
each act of yours on the touchstone of My Preference. “ Will Swami
approve of it?” you should ask yourselves; that is the austerities
in which you are being initiated.(pg 80)
Consider Seva as the best spiritual discipline. This is a great
chance that you have secured. Your work among these large
gatherings is more beneficial for your spiritual development than
days of Prayer beads or Meditation. But do not believe that you
can by means of Seva re-form or Re- shape the world. You may
or you may not. That does not matter. The real value of Seva,
its most visible result, is that it re-forms you, re-shapes you.
Do Seva as a Spiritual discipline, then, you will be humble and
happy. Do not strut about that you are improving others;
improve yourself. (Pg. 82)
When you stand forth as a servant you must have experienced this
these days- you meet all types of people; some who are very
co-operative, some who are cantankerous, some who obstruct, some
who argue, some who threaten, some who question your motive or
authority. Contact with them is a fine bit of education. They
toughen your character and train you to welcome with equal joy
both praise and blame. Let me ask you, what is the one thing
that you crave for most? Grace, is it not? So long as your
words and deeds are in conformity with Truth and Righteousness, so
long as your words and deeds are sweetened by Love and lightened
by Peace, you need have no worry; you have the Grace in ample
I know that those of you who are posted for duty at the outer
gates or in the garden, at the Bhajan Pavilion or the shoe
Counter, feel jealous at those who are in the apartments of the
bungalow. However far you are, if you but stick to Truth,
Righteousness, Peace and Love,, you are close to Me and I am close
to you. Those are the milestones that mark the road to Me.
I want that each of you must so transform yourself during
this period that you will carry with you the atmosphere of the
Prashanti Nilayam whenever you go, for you cannot live happily in
any surrounding that is not fragrant with love and humility,
discipline and control. You will naturally endeavour to make this
place where you are and the men among whom you move, a bit more
spiritual than before.(Pg181).
To remove the evil of egoism, service is the most efficient
instrument. Service will also impress on the person doing service,
the Unity of all mankind. One who leads can never the joy
of the one who serves. He who dedicates his time, skill and
strength to service, can never meet defeat, distress or
disappointment. For service is its own reward. (Pg. 44)
LOKA SAMASTHA SUKHINO BHAVANTHU
LOKA SAMASTHA SUKHINO BHAVANTHU
LOKA SAMASTHA SUKHINO BHAVANTHU
Posted by Avon on 09.08.2004