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Selfless Service/ਸੇਵਾ

Discussion in 'Spiritual' started by vsgrewal48895, Aug 13, 2009.

  1. vsgrewal48895

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    Mar 12, 2009
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    Serving God in human form is the service at its best. It glorifies the human as a divine and dignified being and is the most rational and effective way for spiritual growth and final union with the Universal Absolute Principle. As we cultivate an attitude of service with contentment, we learn to make all of our life's work a service to God.

    ਸੇਵ ਕੀਤੀ ਸੰਤੋਖੀੲਂੀ ਜਿਨ੍ਹ੍ਹੀ ਸਚੋ ਸਚੁ ਧਿਆਇਆ ॥ ਓਨ੍ਹ੍ਹੀ ਮੰਦੈ ਪੈਰੁ ਨ ਰਖਿਓ ਕਰਿ ਸੁਕ੍ਰਿਤੁ ਧਰਮੁ ਕਮਾਇਆ ॥

    Sėv kīṯī sanṯokẖī¬īʼn jinĥī sacẖo sacẖ ḏẖi¬ā¬i¬ā, Onĥī manḏai pair na rakẖi¬o kar sukariṯ ḏẖaram kamā¬i¬ā.

    Those who serve are contented. They meditate on the Truest of the True. They do not place their feet in sin, but do good deeds and live righteously.-----Guru Angad, Raag Asa, AGGS, Page, 466-19


    All aspects of our life’s good deeds lead to spiritual growth and ultimately, we come to understand that serving humanity and serving God are one and the same. In other words selfless service is called meditation in action.

    ਸੇ ਭਗਤ ਸੇ ਸੇਵਕਾ ਜਿਨਾ ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਪਿਆਰਾ ॥ਤਿਨ ਕੀ ਸੇਵਾ ਤੇ ਹਰਿ ਪਾਈਐ ਸਿਰਿ ਨਿੰਦਕ ਕੈ ਪਵੈ ਛਾਰਾ ॥

    Say Bhagat Say Sayvkaa Jinaa Har Naam Pi-aaraa, Tin Kee Sayvaa Tay Har Paa-ee-ai sir ninḏak kai pavai cẖẖārā.

    They alone are devotees, and selfless servants, who love Akal Purkh's Name. By their selfless service, they find the It, while ashes fall on the heads of the slanderers.-----Guru Ramdas, Raag Suhi, AGGS, Page, 733-16 &17

    Meditation in action means that we take the sense of inner peace and tranquility that we have developed while sitting on the cushion and let it out into the world, into everyday activity and serving the humanity.

    Do not try to change the world? You will fail. Try to love the world. And the world is changed, changed forever.----- Ref; Unknown

    Meditation in action is about morality, generosity, gaining insight of self with cultivation of love, compassion, and wisdom by translating it in to action. Have you ever watched a sunset, sat by the ocean, or taken a walk in the forest and felt complete inner peace and well being in the company of attributes of God (Sargun)? That is the same feeling that is experienced during service of people as it leads to contentment, which is one of the most important virtues to be developed. It needs the Grace of God to do selfless service of the humanity.

    ਸਰਬੰ ਸਾਚਾ ਏਕੁ ਹੈ ਦੂਜਾ ਨਾਹੀ ਕੋਇ ॥ ਤਾ ਕੀ ਸੇਵਾ ਸੋ ਕਰੇ ਜਾ ਕਉ ਨਦਰਿ ਕਰੇ ॥

    SarbaN Saachaa Ayk Hai Doojaa Naahee Ko-ay, Taa Kee Sayvaa So Karay Jaa ka-o Nadar Karay.

    In the entire world, there is only One True Akal Purkh; there is no other at all. He alone serves the Akal Purkh, upon whom It casts Its Glance of Grace. ----Guru Nanak, Raag Dhanasari, AGGS, Page, 660-7

    ਜੰਗਮ ਜੋਧ ਜਤੀ ਸੰਨਿਆਸੀ ਗੁਰਿ ਪੂਰੈ ਵੀਚਾਰੀ ॥ਬਿਨੁ ਸੇਵਾ ਫਲੁ ਕਬਹੁ ਨ ਪਾਵਸਿ ਸੇਵਾ ਕਰਣੀ ਸਾਰੀ ॥

    Jangam JoDh Jatee Sani-aasee Gur Poorai Veechaaree, Bin Sayva Fal Kaboh Na Paavas Sayva KarNee Saaree.

    The wandering beggars, warriors, celibates and Sannyaasee hermits -- through the Perfect Guru, has determined that without selfless service, no one ever receives the fruits of their rewards, which is the most purest action.-----Guru Nanak, Raag Maru, AGGS, Page, 992-7

    The blessings of the Grace of the Akal Purkh makes us to become selfless in spite of our selfishness at biological level and brings up the hidden spiritual dimension to our personality. It brings out necessary refinement in the intellect to sharpen the reason. It leads us to intuitive realization of the virtue of selfless behavior and attitude. But this process is very slow and calls for conscious and deliberate efforts on the part of the individual as well. Guru Nanak’s philosophy of service is closely linked with moral and ethical social code. It is a two-way exchange; to become selfless one has to engage in service, and the more a person becomes selfless the more he or she enjoys serving the others. Meditation can be of two types. Contemplative type is done, in silence with utmost devotion that leads to personal mental tranquility. When we try to dedicate our work to God, the world, humanity, Sargun God, our meditation can be called manifestation. At that time we are serving the divinity in humanity.

    ਜਿਨ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਹਿਰਦਾ ਸੁਧੁ ਹੈ ਸੇਵ ਪਈ ਤਿਨ ਥਾਇ॥ਹਰਿ ਗੁਣ ਗਾਵਹਿ ਹਰਿ ਨਿਤ ਪੜਹਿ ਹਰਿ ਗੁਣ ਗਾਇ ਸਮਾਇ॥

    Jin Gurmukh Hirda Sudh Hai Sayv Pa-ee Tin Thaa-ey, Har Gun Gaavahi Har Nit Parheh Har Gun Gaa-ay Samaa-ay.

    Those Guru willed who are pure of heart -- their service is accepted. They sing the Glorious Praise of the Akal Purkh; they read about the It each day. Singing Its Praises they merge in absorption. -----Guru Amar Das, Siri Raag, AGGS, Page, 28-3 & 4

    ਸੁਖ ਹੋਵੈ ਸੇਵ ਕਮਾਣੀਆ ॥ ਸਭ ਦੁਨੀਆ ਆਵਣ ਜਾਣੀਆ ॥ ਵਿਚਿ ਦੁਨੀਆ ਸੇਵ ਕਮਾਈਐ ॥ ਤਾ ਦਰਗਹ ਬੈਸਣੁ ਪਾਈਐ ॥

    Sukh Hovai Sayv Kamaa-niaa, Sabh Dunee-aa Aavan Jaanee-aa, Vich Dunee-aa Sayv Kamaa-ee-ai, Taa Dargeh Baisan Paa-ee-ai.

    You shall find peace by doing selfless service. The entire world continues coming and going. In the midst of this world, do service and you shall be given a place of honor in the Court of the Akal Purkh?-----Guru Nanak, Siri Raag, AGGS, Page, 26-1

    In order to serve the divinity in humanity effectively, we have to consciously feel God's presence in those we are serving. While we are speaking to someone, we have to feel that we are speaking to the divinity within that person. Otherwise, if we are just helping someone in our own way without any conscious feeling of dedication to the Supreme, that work cannot be considered as a form of manifestation or meditation in action but for a reward to that service.

    ਧਰਮੀ ਧਰਮੁ ਕਰਹਿ ਗਾਵਾਵਹਿ ਮੰਗਹਿ ਮੋਖ ਦੁਆਰੁ ॥ ਜਤੀ ਸਦਾਵਹਿ ਜੁਗਤਿ ਨ ਜਾਣਹਿ ਛਡਿ ਬਹਹਿ ਘਰ ਬਾਰੁ ॥

    Dharmee Dharam Karahi Gaavaaveh Mangeh Mokh Du-aar, Jatee Sadaaveh Jugat Na Jaaneh Chhad Baheh Ghar Baar.

    The righteous waste their righteousness, by asking for the door of salvation. They call themselves celibate, and abandon their homes, but they do not know the true way of life.-----Guru Nanak Raag Asa, AGGS, Page, 469-3

    If we pray and meditate, we will feel that God is inside everybody, that It is a living reality. God is everywhere and in everything (ਨਿਰੌਤਰ), true. When this mental belief becomes real, one begins living in Truth Itself. At that time we will consciously serve each person precisely because we know and feel that God is inside him.

    ਕਰਮੁ ਹੋਵੈ ਸਤਿਗੁਰੂ ਮਿਲਾਏ ॥ਸੇਵਾ ਸੁਰਤਿ ਸਬਦਿ ਚਿਤੁ ਲਾਏ ॥ਹਉਮੈ ਮਾਰਿ ਸਦਾ ਸੁਖੁ ਪਾਇਆ ਮਾਇਆ ਮੋਹੁ ਚੁਕਾਵਣਿਆ ॥

    karam Hovai Satguroo Milaa-ay, Sayvaa Surat Sabd Chit Laa-ay, Ha-umai Maar Sadaa Sukh Paa-i-aa Maa-i-aa Moh Chukaavani-aa.

    By Akal Purkh’s Mercy, we meet the True Guru. Center your awareness on selfless service, and focus your consciousness on the Word of the Sabd. Subduing your ego, you shall find a lasting peace, and your emotional attachment to Maya will be dispelled.-----Guru Amardas, Raag Majh, AGGS, Page, 110-1

    If we do not see God (truth, or light) in our service, then our physical mind may not be convinced of the value of the things that we are doing. Today we will serve someone and tomorrow we will say, "Oh, he is such a fool! He has no aspiration, no good qualities! Why should I serve him?" It means the individual ego is still hanging there in the mind.

    ਵਿਚਿ ਹਉਮੈ ਸੇਵਾ ਥਾਇ ਨ ਪਾਏ ॥ ਜਨਮਿ ਮਰੈ ਫਿਰਿ ਆਵੈ ਜਾਏ ॥ ਸੋ ਤਪੁ ਪੂਰਾ ਸਾਈ ਸੇਵਾ ਜੋ ਹਰਿ ਮੇਰੇ ਮਨਿ ਭਾਣੀ ਹੇ ॥

    Vich Ha-umai Sayvaa Thaa-ay Na Paa-ay, Janam Marai Fir Aavai Jaa-ay, So Tap Pooraa Saa-ee Sayvaa Jo Har Mayray Man Bhaanee Hay.

    Those who serve in egotism are not accepted or approved. They are born and die coming and going over and over again. Perfect is that penance and that service, which is pleasing to the Mind of my Akal Purkh.-----Guru Ramdas, Raag Maru, AGGS, Page, 1071-1

    Without being steeped in prayer and meditation, we look at the others differently. We tend to separate the person from the consciousness. But if we pray and meditate, then we will see the divinity inside each person, and we will try to bring his or her divinity to the fore.

    ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਕੀ ਸੇਵਾ ਸੋ ਕਰੇ ਜਿਸੁ ਬਿਨਸੈ ਹਉਮੈ ਤਾਪੁ ॥ ਨਾਨਕ ਕਉ ਗੁਰੁ ਭੇਟਿਆ ਬਿਨਸੇ ਸਗਲ ਸੰਤਾਪ ॥

    Satgur Kee Sayvaa So Karay Jis Binsai Ha-umai Taap, Nanak Ka-o Gur Bhayti-aa Binsay Sagal Santaap.

    People serve the True Guru only when the fever of egotism has been eradicated. Nanak has met the Guru; all his sufferings have come to an end.-----Guru Arjan, Siri Raag, AGGS, Page, 45-5

    If we pray and meditate, then our work will be a dedicated service to Divinity, and this dedicated service will help us to make spiritual progress.

    ਖੁਦੀ ਮਿਟੀ ਤਬ ਸੁਖ ਭਏ ਮਨ ਤਨ ਭਏ ਅਰੋਗ ॥ ਨਾਨਕ ਦ੍ਰਿਸਟੀ ਆਇਆ ਉਸਤਤਿ ਕਰਨੈ ਜੋਗੁ ॥

    Khudhee Mittee Tab Sukh Bha-ay Man Tan Bha-ay Aroag, Nanak Daristee Aa-i-aa Ustat Karnai Jog.

    When selfishness and conceit are erased, peace comes, and the mind and body are healed. O Nanak, then the Akal Purkh comes to be seen -- the One who is worthy of praise.-----Guru Arjan, Raag Gauri, AGGS, Page, 260-9

    There are many people who work fifteen or sixteen hours a day. But their actions do not amount to dedicated service. They are only working mechanically to make money and take care of their outer worldly responsibilities. Guru Nanak ponders on dedication in the following hymn:

    ਘਾਲਿ ਖਾਇ ਕਿਛੁ ਹਥਹੁ ਦੇਇ ॥ ਨਾਨਕ ਰਾਹੁ ਪਛਾਣਹਿ ਸੇਇ ॥

    Ghall Khaie Kich Hathun Day; Nanak Raah Pachaneh Say.

    The person, who earns through hard work, and then gives away some in charity, has realized the true path of spiritual life and growth. -----Guru Nanak, AGGS, Page, 1245-19


    The most important characteristic of selfless service is the right motivation. One should not act for gain or reward but should perform actions for the sake of helping other people, as acts of selfless giving. The more you give, the more you receive. The unselfish and compassionate acts will not only help others, but will also help to broaden our minds as well with spiritual wisdom. Guru Arjan describes that this is the way to find the Akal Purkh in Raag Bilawal:

    Q. ਕਿਤੁ ਬਿਧੀਐ ਕਿਤੁ ਸੰਜਮਿ ਪਾਈਐ ॥ਕਹੁ ਸੁਰਜਨ ਕਿਤੁ ਜੁਗਤੀ ਧਿਆਈਐ ॥

    Kiṯ biḏẖī¬ai kiṯ sanjam pā¬ī¬ai. Kaho surjan kiṯ jugṯī ḏẖi¬ā¬ī¬ai?

    In what way, and by what discipline, is Akal Purkh obtained? Tell me, O good man, by what means can we meditate on Akal Purkh?

    A. ਜੋ ਮਾਨੁਖੁ ਮਾਨੁਖ ਕੀ ਸੇਵਾ ਓਹੁ ਤਿਸ ਕੀ ਲਈ ਲਈ ਫੁਨਿ ਜਾਈਐ ॥ਨਾਨਕ ਸਰਨਿ ਸਰਣਿ ਸੁਖ ਸਾਗਰ ਮੋਹਿ ਟੇਕ ਤੇਰੋ ਇਕ ਨਾਈਐ ॥

    Jo mānukẖ mānukẖ kī sėvā oh ṯis kī la¬ī la¬ī fun jā¬ī¬ai. Nānak saran saraṇ sukẖ sāgar mohi tėk ṯėro ik nā¬ī¬ai.

    If one human being serves another human being, the one served stands by him. Nanak seeks Your Sanctuary and Protection, O Akal Purkh, ocean of peace; He takes the Support of Your Name alone.-----Guru Arjan, Raag Bilawal, AGGS, Page, 822

    ਕਰਿ ਸੇਵਾ ਭਜੁ ਹਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਗੁਰਮਤਿ ॥ਤਿਆਗਿ ਮਾਨੁ ਝੂਠੁ ਅਭਿਮਾਨੁ ॥ ਜੀਵਤ ਮਰਹਿ ਦਰਗਹ ਪਰਵਾਨੁ ॥

    Kar Sayva Bajh Har Har Gurmat, Tia-ag Maan Jhooth Abhimaan, Jeevat Mareh Dargeh Parvaan.

    Do seva -- selfless service; follow the Guru's Teachings, and vibrate the Akal Purkh's Name, The Master. Abandon pride, falsehood and arrogance. Remain dead while yet alive, and you shall be welcomed in Its Court. -----Guru Arjan, Raag Gauri Guarayree, AGGS, Page, 176-14

    ਚਾਕਰੀਆ ਚੰਗਿਆਈਆ ਅਵਰ ਸਿਆਣਪ ਕਿਤੁ ॥ਨਾਨਕ ਨਾਮੁ ਸਮਾਲਿ ਤੂੰ ਬਧਾ ਛੁਟਹਿ ਜਿਤੁ ॥

    Chaakree-aa Chang-aa-ee-aa Avar Si-aanap Kit, Nanak Naam Samaal TooN BaDhaa Chhuteh Jit.

    What good does it do to serve, and be good, and be clever? O Nanak, contemplate the Naam, the Name of the Akal Purkh, and you shall be released from bondage. -----Guru Nanak, Raag Suhi, AGGS, Page, 729-7

    Virinder S. Grewal
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