In 1993, when I joined Yoga ashram in Bhilai, Swami Devshankaranandji gave me ‘yogvidya’ to read. Many of its articles interested me and I read them regularly. By the persuasion of Swamiji I became a life time member of Yog Vidya. As it contains many articles of Swami Shivananda, I became aware of the importance of service. And he has written so simply that I liked all his articles. Gradually as his teaching took hold in my mind, I started finding ways to serve in what ever little way it was possible along with my household responsibilities. And to my own surprise! I discovered that I derived a lot of happiness and satisfaction even from little act of charity or service to others. Though it was not easy to instill selflessness but with the passage of time I must admit that I am improving. And to serve in little ways is so simple! Since long time I had a desire to do good to others but many times I could not find a way out. So I did not try Harder. But after satsang with Swami Shivananda I was inspired greatly.
He has clearly written that Service purifies mind, heart and is very powerful to erase the deeply buried evil Sanskaras. During spiritual progress, a sadhak is dragged again and again by these very karmas and Samaskaras which are collected birth after birth.
It is not possible to progress in the path of spirituality without through cleaning of subconscious and unconscious mind. Service when done without any selfish motive easily and effectively purifies the inner recesses of being. Many people want to do meditation. They want to live divine life and achieve happiness and bliss. But these very sanakaras make it impossible for them to concentrate their mind even for a few minutes. e.g. If a room is full of dirt, dust and clutter one cannot sit in that room. The room has been cleaned thoroughly, aired nicely. Similarly many karmas and samaskaras of many births are accumulated in us, which we carry from one birth to another. These samaskaras have covered the divine sun by veils of ignorance. e.g. A lamp can shine only brightly if its paper wrapping are removed, its glass properly cleaned. As one proceeds on the divine path of spirituality with the help of service, the path becomes easy and smooth. Thorns and obstacles are removed by god himself. “See god in every one.” – Swami Sivananda. If service is done by instilling this attitude then the progress is much faster. Gradually with the practice of seeing god in every one has enabled me to remain humble and selfless. And so my ego is not flamed. No ahankar, I feel when serving with an attitude of looking at the other person as God. How can you not be honest and sincere to god? He is almighty. He has bestowed us with His great love, compassion, kindness not to mention all materialistic comforts in our life.
By sharing our wealth with others especially weak, poor and needy, it gets purified. his great is limitless, his treasures infinite. When pleased He shows his grace on his own children without being asked. When our child pleases us by obeying, following our advice, we are very much pleased. The weak, poor and needy are god’s own children. If we help them he will immensely pleased. “Give more, Get more.” It is not necessary to donate large sums of money. Even a small act of smile which can brighten the life of another individual is a service to god. Everyone, even the poor people can do Seva by helping the people around them. E.g. my
servant’s daughter who is studying in polytechnique college helps the new comers I n her college by guidance, her old books or notes. She also tries to help the poor students in their studies younger than her. A teacher can teach 2-3 poor children free of cost, A doctor can treat poor patients, housewives can collect rice or flour daily in a container and after 1 week feed it to the poor. Lot of youngsters keeps on whiling away their time, should take up Seva as zeal and help the needy in whatever little ways possible. According to Sri Sri Ravishankar, “Seva, Sadhana and Satsang must be adopted by one and all.” This is his 3 ‘S’ formula.
When ‘Seva’ is done with an attitude of serving God, all your actions become Sadhana, a yogic activity. If this practice is done daily with sincerety, the vices like anger, jealousy, greed and moha have to go. On whom can I get angry? God! Oh No! How can I ever think of that, but alone do it! As with practice, this thought goes deeper the veil of ignorance is gradually lifted up and the Sun of his grace shines brightly! Have faith in God and serve His children selflessly and discover eternal happiness and bliss which lies hidden in your own being!