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SEWA ~ Part II of II

Physical 'Sewa' assists in tuning with mental Sewa and leads eventually to realization of Creator....

SEWA ~ Part II of II

Click here to read 'SEWA ~ Part I of II

A sense of pride for rendering service is not virtuous; it negates the good deeds. Service is considered an adjunct of remembering God. God lives in humanity and hence service of humanity is service of God. The inspiration for this comes by praising God i.e. recounting it's virtues, which man tries to emulate. Being able to serve should be considered a blessing in itself. It also leads to a virtuous life. Guru Nanak says:

So service is the path to God: Service of humanity leads acceptability with the Creator. You shall find peace, doing 'Seva' -selfless service.


Serve all-Serve the server too.

ਦਾਸਨਿ ਦਾਸੀ ਕੀ ਪਨਿਹਾਰਿ ॥
daasan daasee kee panihaar.
I am the water-carrier of the slaves of His slaves

Above lines are by 5th Guru Arjan Dev ji, who himself often used to 'Mutti- Chappi' -massaging the feet of people, who came for his 'Darshan'. I feel his humility by reading above line. How he ended up giving up his life for freedom and truth.

syvw krI jy ikCu hovY Apxw jIau ipMfu qumwrw ]
saevaa karee jae kish hovai apanaa jeeo pindd thumaaraa.
I would serve you, if anything were my own; my soul and body are Yours. (Guru Nanak, 635).

NotionOfSewa (55K)
I recognize the notion of service/ 'Sewa' in all religions but not simplified as in 'Sikhi'. 'Sewa' lessons begin at an early age for 'Sikh children. This I have not noticed in any other religion.

In short all ability should be acknowledged as divine benediction. Preparation for service to become part of one's nature, would normally start early in life, when one serves the parents and elders in the family, out of love, affection and respect. At that stage one does not think what they might bequeath if pleased. It has therefore been rightly said: While helping and sharing is part of Sikh teachings it is not indiscriminate. Only those unable to work should be helped; those professionally dependent on others are to be shunned: In the midst of this world, do seva,

ਵਿਚਿ ਦੁਨੀਆ ਸੇਵ ਕਮਾਈਐ ॥ ਤਾ ਦਰਗਹ ਬੈਸਣੁ ਪਾਈਐ ॥ ਕਹੁ ਨਾਨਕ ਬਾਹ ਲੁਡਾਈਐ ॥
vich dhunee-aa saev kamaa-ee-ai || taa dargeh baisan paa-ee-ai. kaho naanak baah ludaa-ee-ai.
and you shall be given a place of honor in the Court of the Lord. Says Nanak, swing your arms in joy!

ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਸਭ ਪਵਿਤੁ ਹੈ ਧਨੁ ਸੰਪੈ ਮਾਇਆ ॥ ਹਰਿ ਅਰਥਿ ਜੋ ਖਰਚਦੇ ਦੇਂਦੇ ਸੁਖੁ ਪਾਇਆ ॥
gurmukh sabh pavit hai Dhan sampai maa-i-aa. har arath jo kharchaday dayNday sukh paa-i-aa.
To the Gurmukh, everything is sacred: wealth, property, Maya. Those who spend the wealth of the Lord find peace through giving. 1246

We should therefore make service part of our nature and not do it without any motive. We read in Sukhmani Sahib:
Service done without expectations enables one to be with God . 286 5th Guru.
Fruitful is service to the True Guru, if one does so with a sincere mind.

My Simplest answer if you are not religious or have no regular time: Do your job 101%. That additional 1% is your charity. Not only to your organization you work for or serve, but to your country. I know you will be the happiest person in this world. I also know your country will be the best in the world. ~ (Author)

Do & Do not's of SEWA.


ਅਨਿਕ ਭਾਂਤਿ ਕਰਿ ਸੇਵਾ ਕਰੀਐ ॥
anik bhaaNt kar sayvaa karee-ai.
Serve Him in many different ways;

ਜੀਉ ਪ੍ਰਾਨ ਧਨੁ ਆਗੈ ਧਰੀਐ ॥
jee-o paraan Dhan aagai Dharee-ai.
Dedicate your soul, your breath of life and your wealth to Him.

ਪਾਨੀ ਪਖਾ ਕਰਉ ਤਜਿ ਅਭਿਮਾਨੁ ॥
paanee pakhaa kara-o taj abhimaan.
Carry water for Him, and wave the fan over Him - renounce your ego.

Aink bwr jweIAY kurbwnu ]1]
anik baar jaa-ee-ai kurbaan.
Make yourself a sacrifice to Him, time and time again. Fifth Mehl: 391

There are many ways one can serve e.g. physically, from the heart and with resources like money.

Asu dwn gj dwn ishjw nwrI BUim dwn AYso dwnu inq inqih kIjY ] Awqm jau inrmwielu kIjY Awp brwbir kMcnu dIjY rwm nwm sir qaU n pUjY ] (nwmdyau, 973-13)
as daan gaj daan sihjaa naaree bhoom daan aiso daan nit niteh keejai.
aatam ja-o nirmaa-il keejai aap baraabar kanchan deejai raam naam sar ta-oo na poojai.

Someone may give away horses and elephants, or women on their beds, or land; he may give such gifts over and over again.

He may purify his soul, and give away in charity his body weight in gold; none of these is equal to the worship of the Lord's Name.

Do not's

ਅਕਲੀ ਸਾਹਿਬੁ ਸੇਵੀਐ ਅਕਲੀ ਪਾਈਐ ਮਾਨੁ ॥ ਅਕਲੀ ਪੜ੍ਹ੍ਹਿ ਕੈ ਬੁਝੀਐ ਅਕਲੀ ਕੀਚੈ ਦਾਨੁ ॥ ਨਾਨਕੁ ਆਖੈ ਰਾਹੁ ਏਹੁ ਹੋਰਿ ਗਲਾਂ ਸੈਤਾਨੁ ॥
aklee saahib sayvee-ai aklee paa-ee-ai maan. aklee parhH kai bujhee-ai aklee keechai daan. naanak aakhai raahu ayhu hor galaaN saitaan.
Wisdom leads us to serve our Lord and Master; through wisdom, honor is obtained.
Wisdom does not come by reading textbooks; wisdom inspires us to give in charity.
Says Nanak, this is the Path; other things lead to Satan. (1245)

We should serve the Lord wisely and receive honor before Him; Wisdom should be used to understand what is read; charity should be given with discrimination; this is the way to go; otherwise it is following the devil (wrong).

ਤਾ ਅਨਦਿਨੁ ਸੇਵਾ ਕਰੇ ਸਤਿਗੁਰੂ ਕੀ ਕਬਹਿ ਨ ਛੋਡੈ ਪਾਸੁ ॥
taa an-din sayvaa karay satguroo kee kabeh na chhodai paas.
And then, night and day, he serves the True Guru, and never leaves His side.
O servant Nanak, the Lord acts, and inspires everyone to act, according to the Pleasure of His Will. He is the treasure of virtue.

The needy are not those who wander and try to delude; There is no virtue in giving to such people (M: 3, p 949).

Alms given to those who are capable of earning, but do not work is a social evil. There are people particularly in developing countries, who roam about asking for alms. When asked as to why they don't work to make a living, their answer is they have given up worldly pursuits and only engage in prayers. When asked why they then go to the householders to beg, they have no answer. Guru Nanak mentions how some people use pretense to get money:

An ignorant Hindu sings devotional songs to show he is a learned Pundit; A craving Muslim priest shows serving him is God-worship in the mosque; One who cannot earn gets his ears pierced to show he is a Yogi; Another shows he is a mendicant and loses also his family name; A person wants to be called a guru and goes begging; Such a person deserves no respect; Only one who earns by toiling and then gives; knows the path to God (M: 1, p 1245).

Resources given as service should have been earned honestly. Guru Nanak refers to people using ill-gotten resources for donating in the name of their forefathers and says:
If someone gives in charity from misappropriated resources in the name of his forefathers; Such things are recognized by God and the forefathers named as thieves; The person who gave these is also punished; (Let us remember) We receive in the hereafter what is earned honestly and give (M: 1, p 472).

Guru Nanak advises to use God-given intellect in every sphere of life:
The Sikhs do not call their donations charity as that has the connotation of someone giving and another or others receiving. This causes vanity in those giving. It is therefore called Vand Chakna or sharing because the resources are acknowledged as given by the Almighty.

gxqY syv n hoveI kIqw Qwie n pwie ] sbdY swdu n AwieE sic n lgo Bwau ]
gantai sayv na hova-ee keetaa thaa-ay na paa-ay. sabdai saad na aa-i-o sach na lago bhaa-o. Fourth Mehl:
Calculated service is not service at all, and what is done is not approved.
The flavor of the Shabad, the Word of God, is not tasted if the mortal is not in love with the True Lord God. 1246

If someone takes pride for pilgrimages, fasts and charity; It is as useless as giving bath to an elephant (M: 9, p 1428).

siqgur kI syvw sPl hY jy ko kry icqu lwie ]
sathigur kee saevaa safal hai jae ko karae chith laae.
Fruitful is service to the True Guru, if one does so with a sincere mind.

Physical 'Sewa' assists in tuning with mental Sewa and leads eventually to realization of Creator.

Guru Arjandev simplified once again in the following line.

nyqR punIq Bey drsu pyKy hsq punIq thlwvw ]
naytar puneet bha-ay daras paykhay hasat puneet tehlaavaa
The eyes are sanctified, gazing upon the Blessed Vision of the Lord's Darshan. Serving Him, the hands are sanctified (by serving his creation). 1212


About the Author
SikhWay (137K)
JasbirSingh (63K)

The writer is an award winning architect who has worked in USA for thirty five years & traveled to many cities in Europe.

Published a number of write ups in different news papers and magazines in India, Germany & USA.

My Sewa available:
Sewa related to designing, building of New Gurudwara, Sikh School, Addition or Renovation of Gurdwaras, Supervising construction or similar - anywhere and any duration. I am also a good handy man and do it yourselfer. Computer savy and read guru Granth Sahib in my spare time. For Details Email [email protected]
See my blog for other writings.


Prof. Sahib Singh
Sbd 'squ' sMsik®q dy DwqU 'As' qoN bixAw hY, ijs dw ArQ hY 'h`QoN C`fxw'[ so 'squ' dw ArQ hY dwnu[ AMk n?: (e) ivc Awsw dI vwr vwly pRmwx qoN sw& prgt ho jWdw hY, ij`Qy 'sqIAw' dw ArQ hY 'dwnI mnu`KW' [ "sqI dyie sMqoKI Kwie" Awm prclq quk hY, ijs ivc 'sqIAw' dw ArQ hY "dwnI"[ 'dwnI' qy 'sMqoKI' dw Awpo ivc bhuq fUMGw sMbMD hY[ 'dwnI' auhI ho skdw hY jo 'sMqoKI' BI hY, nhIN qW jo Awp iqRSnw dw mwirAw hoieAw hovy, auh Awpxy h`QoN iksy hor ƒ kIh dy skdw hY? gurU swihb iehnW dohW guxW ƒ bhuq QweIN iek`Tw vrqdy jn[ so, AMk n?: (a) ivc 'squ' dw ArQ hY "dwn ,dwn krn dw suBwau"[

For teaching kids use attached song.
Chal Seva Kariye ….http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O42ebnvlMEc

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