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Sathya Sai Speaks
The Sai Way of Service


Indulging in flimsy gossip and watching scenes of violence and cruelty, men today are wasting and missing a big portion of their precious lives.

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Sathya Sai Speaks

Time is condemned, because it is too little, or because it runs too fast to fulfill galloping greed. Men are not aware that time sanctified by service offers high rewards to themselves as well as those whom they serve.

All acts of service are not equally sanctifying or uniform in the benefits they confer.

All acts of service are not equally sanctifying or uniform in the benefits they confer. When service is undertaken by power-hungry people, or under compulsion or by imitative urges, it results in more harm than good.

Self-aggrandizement or competition or ostentation, are motives that pollute the sacred spiritual practice of service. The candidate for this activity has to avoid ahamkara (egoism), adambara (exhibitionism) and abhimana (favouritism).

Before embarking on a service project one must introspect and examine their equipment, which is, whether their heart is full of selfless love, humility and compassion; whether their head has an intelligent understanding and knowledge of the problem and its solution; whether their hands are eager to offer the healing touch; and finally whether he/she can gladly spare and share time, energy and skill to help others in dire need.

How to Sublimate Service into Seva

These qualities can sprout and grow only when the ‘Reality of Unity’ is implanted in the consciousness. All men, and all living beings, are cells in the Body of God. Their origin, continued existence, and progress are all in God, by God, and for God. The individual is a unit in this unity. There are no other aliens. When one is ill, all suffer. When one is happy, all are partners of that happiness. Faith in this truth is the fundamental equipment the sevak (volunteer)must acquire.

Sathya Sai Speaks
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Leaders and guides of service organisations offer charity, and claim that they are motivated by generosity and accept homage from recipients. This is the reason why such service all over the world does not yield lasting results. In order to deserve the sacred name, Seva, the activity must be freed from all attachment to the individual self and based on firm faith in the Divine resident in every being. Seva has to be considered as worshipping the form that God has assumed to give the volunteer the chance of worship.

Before embarking on a service project one must introspect and examine their equipment, which is, whether their heart is full of selfless love, humility and compassion; whether their head has an intelligent understanding and knowledge of the problem and its solution; whether their hands are eager to offer the healing touch; and finally whether he/she can gladly spare and share time, energy and skill to help others in dire need.

When a hungry nara(man) is served a hearty meal, what is being done is Narayana Seva (serving the supreme lord), for, nara(man) is only ‘a form and a name’ projected by maya (human ignorance) on Narayana (God).

Do not allow your service activities to turn into shops which concentrate on window dressing, in order to attract attention and patronage. Service rendered to villagers, who are denied the ways and means of decent lives, draws Divine Grace, more than service elsewhere. Give a helping hand to the helpless, who are afflicted with many ailments and handicaps.

The True Purpose of Human Birth

But, before attempting to advise them, you must endeavour to advise yourselves; before venturing to reform them, reform yourselves. Care must be taken to avoid boasting before them about your superiority; it will hurt them and keep them away. Do not indulge in lectures. Action alone can inspire action. Example alone can instruct. Tall talk is a barren exercise.

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Sathya Sai Speaks

Service activities in all lands can thrive only through selfless dedication. Fanfare is a sign of insincerity. Silent, unsullied work alone can appeal. The villager has enough common sense to see through the show.

Remember that, though illiterate, he is aware of the ideals propounded by the scriptures, saints and sages of the land. Clever propaganda may achieve some temporary results but, in the long run, it will bring disappointment and disillusion.

Like the 'rockets' lit by children on Deepavali night, it will flare up and fizzle down. Today, we are confronted everywhere by statistics parading quantities and reports in glowing terms. Do not bother about adding to the number or achieving a target. I value quality, not quantity. Genuine and intensive devoted service offered in a few villages is more fruitful than casual contacts and superficial service offered to a large number.

Convince yourselves that life cannot continue long without others serving you, and you serving others. Master-servant, ruler-ruled, guru-disciple, employer-employee, parents-children, all these are bound by mutual service.

Convince yourselves that life cannot continue long without others serving you, and you serving others. Master-servant, ruler-ruled, guru-disciple, employer-employee, parents-children, all these are bound by mutual service. Every one is a sevak (servant). The farmer and labourer whom you serve produce by their toil your food and clothing as their service to you.

Remember that the body, with its senses-mind-brain complex has been awarded to you to be used for helping the helpless. Seva is the highest of paths of devotion which wins the Grace of God. It promotes mental purity, diminishes egoism and enables one to experience, through sympathetic understanding, the unity of mankind.

~ Divine Discourse at the Poorna Chandra Auditorium on November 21, 1986.


 

Dear Reader, how did you like this excerpt from His Divine Discourse? Please share your reflections with us by writing to [email protected] mentioning your name and country. Thank you for your time.



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Vol 7 Issue 03 - MARCH 2009
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