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The Power of Serving Others

Seva means making myself available to people, being present with everyone at every opportunity, and doing the thing that...

In 2002 Harbhajan Singh Khalsa, Yogiji was teaching evening classes for the Española community at least once a week and we all flocked to those classes with great joy and appreciation, especially since Yogiji was already in ill health and had to make a great effort to come and teach us. I remember especially one evening when he sat down on the stage and asked us all: “What is the source of all power?”

There ensued a long silence, and then he said “Well?” and people began to raise their hands.  “God” said one person;“amrit vela sadhana” said another, “the breath” said yet another.  He kept on shaking his head. After a few minutes, he said “I will give $100 to the correct answer.” After several more minutes of guessing from the assembled class, and more vigorous head shaking on his part, he finally held up his hand for us to stop guessing. “The root of all power is Seva!” he said.

So what is seva anyway? I hear you replying “selfless service”, but what does that mean? Through the years I’ve come to understand that seva isn’t something we do. It is a state of mind. As I begin my sadhana each day I place my forehead on the marble of the perkarma which is on my on my altar and I pray, “Guru Ram Das Ji, I am yours and you are mine.” It’s a simple prayer to start each day anew offering myself to my Guru and knowing that he will take care of me and all my needs. “What can I do for you today? Show you what you want me to do today, and I will do it.”

Seva means making myself available to people, being present with everyone at every opportunity, and doing the thing that needs doing in each moment, whatever that may be. The state of mind of a servant is to be alert to his master’s needs, to be very intuitive, and to act without hesitation.

At a teacher training course a few years ago a student asked me,“3HO is healthy, happy and holy. I understand things I can do to be healthy, and I feel my wholeness and oneness with God, but what is the way to be happy? I get depressed sometimes and don’t know how to get out of it.”

I said, “The secret of happiness is really very simple. How happy you are is inversely proportional to how much time you spend thinking about your own predicament in life.” 

Another student asked me, “Tell me how you know when someone is enlightened? Does their aura change? Is it their power of meditation?”

I said, “I know because when they use up the roll of toilet paper in the bathroom, they put a fresh roll in its place.”

Seva is each next moment.

 

~ Guruka Singh


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