Seva Service

Where and when to begin Seva?

      "Charity begins at home" is a very powerful proverb. First selfless service should begin at home. Relationships  problems also stems from not having the the selfless attitude with the members of the family.  Seva means placing, duty before personal desires – likes and dislikes. Vedic tradition always talks about duties of every individual. If the husband wife and children always give priority to their duty rather than their egoistic likes and dislikes , there will be harmony in the family. Relationships break when egoistic likes and dislikes come between love and sacrifice. Seva or selfless service is another name for ego-sacrifice. In any relation if some one sacrifice their ego, the relation will be nurtured. On the other hand if   love or Seva is sacrificed, the relation will be destroyed.

         There will be always a conflict between ego and Seva or service. Every time in a relation this conflict will occur and it is the responsibility of the members to keep their likes and dislikes apart. It is hard, but that is the test and through that one weakens the ego and will be able to transcend into the realm of awareness.

        Like tiny drops form a mighty ocean, peace of an individual will collect together as bigger drops of families which becomes the might world ocean. The seva or self sacrifice should start from the individual and then extend to the family and then to the external world. Without doing Seva to one's family one cannot extend to others. The seva should start from home.

      Children also should be taught this attitude and parents cannot teach that. Parents should live and show for the children to learn it and cannot be possible by preaching. Preaching is telling without practicing. While teaching is practical living.

Types, kinds of  Selfless Service (Seva)

1. Body-physical

       Individuals do various selfless service on the level of their inner identification. The basic and fundamental service is the sharing at the body or physical level. One can share one's body or physical strength with others which become the act of selfless service as seen in numerous activities of helping others in hours of need, like example, rendering help to an area struck with a natural disaster.

     Seva through material means (dhan) or philanthropy (daan) is the sharing at the outer physical level. Sharing our material objects with the needy nurtures our inner growth. Fund raising campaign and doing donations all fall into this category.  Personal philanthropy can be debasing for the receiver and ego-enhancing for the giver, but self-effacing community service is ennobling. This is why always doing service as a group is good but care should be taken not to restrict again the seva to groups of personal choices. The seva should be  rendered irrespective of caste, creed and nationality.

 Two levels of  Seva: Internal and external

           Helping others by sharing one's body strength is seva at external level and when one shares the physical wealth by inner maturity is at the internal level.

     Types, kinds of  Selfless Service (Seva)

3. Intellect - knowledge

    Sharing knowledge with the needy is at the next level of selfless service. Sharing any type of knowledge is a service. With holding any knowledge to oneself is  stinking stagnating water without growth.

    In teaching,  one teaches but two learns. This is the power of sharing knowledge. Imparting positive thoughts and words is also a selfless service that help others to lead a life of higher values.  But one should be careful to advice something that one has practiced, otherwise it will not have any effect on the receiver.

Two levels of  Seva: Internal and external

           Helping others by sharing one's intellectual strength is seva at external level and when one shares the intellectual knowledge by inner maturity is at the internal level.

    When the internal maturation is reached, then one spends life in creating that awareness in others. At this state one's life itself becomes the message for others to learn.

4. Awareness

  Spiritual masters apart from rendering selfless service at all levels, their transcended presence itself a selfless service. It is therefore difficult for common man to appreciate the selfless service of masters like Ramana Maharishi, whose  transforming presence of full Awareness, is their service to all.

 

          Types, kinds of  Selfless Service (Seva)

2. Mind- Emotional

      Seva through the mental faculties (man) lies in contributing one's talents - creative, communicative, managerial, etc. - to the corporate welfare of the community and the planet in general. It also lies in sharing the pain of others. Response to the pain of others is a sine qua non of the membership of the brotherhood of man.

       Sharing soothing or comforting words is an act of sharing at the emotional mind level as an act of selfless service.  When some one is suffering an emotional loss, the act of  sharing positive emotions or even listening to the grief itself a great selfless service. 

      Selfless service of protecting the environment, act of caring for nature and not polluting air, water and earth,  helping all other forms of life,  stems from the feeling of gratitude. When one identifies one self with nature and live a life in tune with nature is also a selfless service of gratitude.

Two levels of  Seva: Internal and external

           Helping others by one's mind strength is seva at external level and when one expresses  that gratitude  by inner maturity is at the internal level.

     Mental diseases due to lack of Seva.

Depression and mental diseases arise due to lack of Selfless service.

    In the previous page we saw that fragmented homes and  isolated human hearts are the prime reasons for all psychological illness. Research has shown that in the United States about 19 million people-one in ten adults-experience depression each year. Because women experience depression at roughly twice the rate of men,  researchers continue to explore how special issues unique to women-biological, life cycle, and psycho-social-may be associated with women's higher rate of depression. Modern researchers look at the facts at superficial level. They correlate hormonal levels with depression without understanding the reality that the hormonal levels are under the control of the mental status of an individual.

    Women experience depression at roughly twice the rate of men because of the major change in women's perspective in modern society. Women has qualities that men cannot match. It is how we have evolved. Man and Women have their own unique qualities. Women's greatest power is the quality of  "Motherliness".

     In Vedic tradition women were given the highest regard and status because of their qualities and their impact in society.  The qualities of patience, forgiveness, acceptance and  tolerance is not the weakness of women but her strength.  It is said that women does not need any technique for self realization because taking her of her family dis-regarding her own personal likes and dislikes was itself enough to transcend to the state of awareness.

    It does not mean that women have to bear with all injustice of society be if it were her own husband. Women were equally encouraged to revolt against injustice or oppression and such women are still honored and worshipped high. India's Goddesses are women who have revolted against injustice. Modern women have misunderstood their own qualities as weakness and hence confusion in relationships and so break down of families.

    Today in this technological age we have advanced to such a state that we are unable even to accommodate any personal relationship, that we used to nurture for centuries. We have become so selfish that we in the name of independent living we are sowing seeds of psychological illness in our minds. Number of people living alone is sky rocketing in modern societies. To live independently for the sake of gaining outer attachments is different from  doing it for aggrandizing our personal likes and dislikes or to implement personal choices. This has led to a sad state of abandoning relationships and orphaning our own kids. Single parenting is not a strength but  weakness, which we would discuss in parenting section.