Concept Of Seva & Ego In Guru Granth Sahib Ji Maharaj | SIKH PHILOSOPHY NETWORK
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Concept Of Seva & Ego In Guru Granth Sahib Ji Maharaj


Feb 19, 2011
Dear learned Sangat Ji

I have been asked to say a few words on the topic of seva, to a discussion group at my local gurdwara.
I would be very grateful if anyone would be able to provide quotes from Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji Maharaj on the topic of seva.
Very specifically I wanted to highlight the positive effects of doing seva in controlling one’s ego, and the other vices of desire, anger, greed & attachment.
Thank you kindly,

Deepak Singh


1947-2014 (Archived)
Jun 17, 2004
This shabad is from Ang 166. You will also find other shabads about seva and guru on Angs 27, 552, and 637. If you have difficulty locating them, here are the links.

From Ang 166

ਗਉੜੀ ਬੈਰਾਗਣਿ ਮਹਲਾ ੪ ॥
Ga▫oṛī bairāgaṇ mėhlā 4.
Gauri Bairagan, 4th Guru.

ਨਿਤ ਦਿਨਸੁ ਰਾਤਿ ਲਾਲਚੁ ਕਰੇ ਭਰਮੈ ਭਰਮਾਇਆ ॥
Niṯ ḏinas rāṯ lālacẖ kare bẖarmai bẖarmā▫i▫ā.
Deluded by doubt, the mortal, ever, by day and night, is gripped by greed.

ਵੇਗਾਰਿ ਫਿਰੈ ਵੇਗਾਰੀਆ ਸਿਰਿ ਭਾਰੁ ਉਠਾਇਆ ॥
vegār firai vegārī▫ā sir bẖār uṯẖā▫i▫ā.
The forced labourer, does forced labour and carries the load of sins on his head.

ਜੋ ਗੁਰ ਕੀ ਜਨੁ ਸੇਵਾ ਕਰੇ ਸੋ ਘਰ ਕੈ ਕੰਮਿ ਹਰਿ ਲਾਇਆ ॥੧॥
Jo gur kī jan sevā kare so gẖar kai kamm har lā▫i▫ā. ||1||
The person, who performs service of the Guru, him God puts to the work of His own house

ਮੇਰੇ ਰਾਮ ਤੋੜਿ ਬੰਧਨ ਮਾਇਆ ਘਰ ਕੈ ਕੰਮਿ ਲਾਇ ॥
Mere rām ṯoṛ banḏẖan mā▫i▫ā gẖar kai kamm lā▫e.
My Omnipresent Lord, shatter my shackles of mammon and apply me to the service of thy Home.

ਨਿਤ ਹਰਿ ਗੁਣ ਗਾਵਹ ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮਿ ਸਮਾਇ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥
Niṯ har guṇ gāvah har nām samā▫e. ||1|| rahā▫o.
Ever, do I sing God's eulogies and merge into God's Name. Pause.

ਨਰੁ ਪ੍ਰਾਣੀ ਚਾਕਰੀ ਕਰੇ ਨਰਪਤਿ ਰਾਜੇ ਅਰਥਿ ਸਭ ਮਾਇਆ ॥
Nar parāṇī cẖākrī kare narpaṯ rāje arath sabẖ mā▫i▫ā.
The mortal man, all for the sake of wealth, enters into the service of the king, the master of men.

ਕੈ ਬੰਧੈ ਕੈ ਡਾਨਿ ਲੇਇ ਕੈ ਨਰਪਤਿ ਮਰਿ ਜਾਇਆ ॥
Kai banḏẖai kai dān le▫e kai narpaṯ mar jā▫i▫ā.
The King, either imprisons him, or imposes fine on him, or dies himself.

ਧੰਨੁ ਧਨੁ ਸੇਵਾ ਸਫਲ ਸਤਿਗੁਰੂ ਕੀ ਜਿਤੁ ਹਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਜਪਿ ਹਰਿ ਸੁਖੁ ਪਾਇਆ ॥੨॥
Ḏẖan ḏẖan sevā safal saṯgurū kī jiṯ har har nām jap har sukẖ pā▫i▫ā. ||2||
Blest! blest! and fruitful is the service of the True Guru, by virtue of which I have obtained Divine peace by meditating on the Name of the Lord Master.

ਨਿਤ ਸਉਦਾ ਸੂਦੁ ਕੀਚੈ ਬਹੁ ਭਾਤਿ ਕਰਿ ਮਾਇਆ ਕੈ ਤਾਈ ॥
Niṯ sa▫uḏā sūḏ kīcẖai baho bẖāṯ kar mā▫i▫ā kai ṯā▫ī.
For the sake of money, man daily transacts business and adopts many devices to earn interest.

ਜਾ ਲਾਹਾ ਦੇਇ ਤਾ ਸੁਖੁ ਮਨੇ ਤੋਟੈ ਮਰਿ ਜਾਈ ॥
Jā lāhā ḏe▫e ṯā sukẖ mane ṯotai mar jā▫ī.
If profit accrues, he feels at peace then, in loss his heart breaks.

ਜੋ ਗੁਣ ਸਾਝੀ ਗੁਰ ਸਿਉ ਕਰੇ ਨਿਤ ਨਿਤ ਸੁਖੁ ਪਾਈ ॥੩॥
Jo guṇ sājẖī gur si▫o kare niṯ niṯ sukẖ pā▫ī. ||3||
He, who, in merits, enters into partnership with the Guru, obtains happiness for ever and aye.

ਜਿਤਨੀ ਭੂਖ ਅਨ ਰਸ ਸਾਦ ਹੈ ਤਿਤਨੀ ਭੂਖ ਫਿਰਿ ਲਾਗੈ ॥
Jiṯnī bẖūkẖ an ras sāḏ hai ṯiṯnī bẖūkẖ fir lāgai.
The more is the hunger for other pleasures and relishes, the more the hunger man feels for them, again.

ਜਿਸੁ ਹਰਿ ਆਪਿ ਕ੍ਰਿਪਾ ਕਰੇ ਸੋ ਵੇਚੇ ਸਿਰੁ ਗੁਰ ਆਗੈ ॥
Jis har āp kirpā kare so vecẖe sir gur āgai.
He, unto whom, God himself shows mercy, sells his head of to the Guru.

ਜਨ ਨਾਨਕ ਹਰਿ ਰਸਿ ਤ੍ਰਿਪਤਿਆ ਫਿਰਿ ਭੂਖ ਨ ਲਾਗੈ ॥੪॥੪॥੧੦॥੪੮॥
Jan Nānak har ras ṯaripṯi▫ā fir bẖūkẖ na lāgai. ||4||4||10||48||
With God's ambrosia, serf Nanak is sated and he shell not feel hungry again.

This is the Bhai Manmohan Singh translation from If a forum member has problems with Bhai ji's translation do feel free to provide one of your own. It is always better to demonstrate specifically where you differ, :) rather than leave things in the form of a general question about the translation.


Feb 19, 2011
SIte Admin, Soul-Jyot

Thank you kindly for your replies.

I find the the Shabad quoted very evocative; a powerful message told in simple language.

Best regards

Deepak Singh

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