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Serving God is service unto the Truth (satsēvā). It is the third step in the eight fold spiritual practice on the Path of Guru’s grace (Gurukrupāyoga). It is important to serve God as service unto the Truth and not merely as an activity, so as to be able to derive maximum spiritual benefit. Serving God mechanically for the sake of doing it or because one has committed oneself to it, will not bring the desired spiritual benefit. One should be constantly aware that satseva is service unto God and so one should do each activity as one’s spiritual practice. One should apply oneself wholeheartedly to serving God and do it as perfectly as possible. In short, spiritualising an activity for acquiring God’s Grace is known as satseva.
2. Why is serving God (Satseva) more important as compared to chanting and attending satsang?
In spiritual practice, chanting has 5% importance, company of the Truth (satsang) has 30% importance and satseva is 100% important. What makes serving God that important? This is because while serving God, the seeker has the opportunity to practise the entire eight fold steps of spiritual practice. For example, while doing satseva one can pray and chant. One is already in the company of the Truth while serving God. Since we are doing God’s work we are sacrificing our time, money, mind, intellect or body depending on the type of satseva we do. Serving God also gives us an opportunity to increase our spiritual emotion (bhāv).
When we do collective satseva with other seekers, it gives us an opportunity to become aware of our own personality defects and ego manifestations and we can take steps towards eliminating them. It also helps in developing closeness with other seekers and hence helps in developing the quality of expansiveness.
Also, when we do work in our worldly life there is expectation of getting something in return whereas when we do satseva if it is done without any expectation we get something very beautiful in return and that is Bliss (Ānand).
3. Difference between work and serving God
There is a striking difference between performing an ordinary worldly duty and performing satseva. If we do a job or any other work, there is expectation of some benefit that is guaranteed once the job is completed. For example, most people would not go to work every day if they were not going to receive their salary at the end of the month.
Usually there is ego, that ‘I am doing this job, I need to be recognised for my efforts’. While performing satseva it is opposite. Serving God is done without any feeling that ‘I am the doer’, because an understanding is established that it is only God who is getting the satseva done through us, while we serve as mere mediums. As we spiritually progress, this understanding becomes all the more profound and our spiritual emotion or devotion towards God increases.
When a person starts contributing towards God’s Mission, there is a closer relationship established with God. A continuum of positive energy is established even if one is occupied with worldly duties and work. When one starts performing the satseva after a busy day it still does not feel tiring in any way.
4. Benefits of Satseva
- Obtaining Divine consciousness (Chaitanya) : Serving God entails remaining in the Absolute Truth for the duration of the satseva. Since we are doing God’s work He rewards us with His Divine consciousness. This Divine consciousness reduces Raja-Tama and increases sāttviktā which is the aim of every spiritual aspirant.
- Divine qualities develop: Helps in developing Divine qualities such as timeliness, planning, attitude of service, etc.
- ‘Other’s Wish’ comes first: One learns to overcome reactions to the differences in each other’s personalities and putting others’ wishes ahead of one’s own. Since the suggestions of all seekers involved in the satseva are given due consideration, it gives seekers an opportunity to learn to understand and accept others’ views. This, in turn, helps to decrease ego.
- Solutions to obstacles: One gets to learn from the obstacles faced by other seekers and what they did to overcome the obstacles.
- Reduces Ego: When seekers realise that serving God happens very nicely after praying and not taking doership of the act, it helps in reducing ego.
- Develops Unity: It gives the opportunity to assist other seekers in their spiritual practice. When we help others it helps to shift attention from ourselves. This helps in developing closeness with other seekers, increases expansiveness and reduces our ego.
- Learning from others’ mistakes: Helps in reducing one’s mistakes by learning from mistakes of other seekers.
- Provides inspiration: One is inspired to intensify one’s spiritual practice by observing the effort invested in serving God by other seekers in spite of obstacles.
- Facilitates rapid spiritual progress: Gives the opportunity to develop oneness with the mission of spreading Spirituality, leading to rapid spiritual progress.
5. What is the best Satseva?
There are various ways to serve God. The best satseva is to spread Spirituality.
Some simple ways you can do this:
- Email friends or family members the SSRF articles or links related to Spirituality
- Help set up the venue for workshops and satsangs and clean up thereafter
- Utilise computer skills for website-related satsevas
- Sharing with other people what has been learnt and experienced by doing spiritual practice under the guidance of SSRF.
- If you know another language apart from English, you can volunteer to translate SSRF site articles into another language.
- If you are using social media, you can spread awareness of the amazing Divine Knowledge in SSRF site articles.
- Share with people how they too can experience Bliss by doing regular adequate spiritual practice as per the 6 basic principles.
6. Spiritual experiences of seekers while serving God
1. A few months ago, a fellow seeker and I went to meet a colleague at his home. The colleague had expressed his desire to help us technically with the restructuring of the SSRF’s website. I really felt that it was the Teaching principle of God (Guru Principle) which had sent help our way, as this individual had experience with what we were trying to achieve technically with the website. Throughout my conversation with him, I felt God’s presence and was experiencing spiritual emotion. My co-seeker too, was feeling spiritual emotion. We also answered some of this individual’s questions on Spirituality. When we asked him how much time he would be able to commit, he said, “All my free time.” The next day he told my co-seeker of an experience that he had during our meeting the day before.
He said that while speaking to us as soon as he had a question on Spirituality in his mind, I was giving the answer, even though he had not voiced his thought. It seems that this person was so amazed by this experience that after we left, it took him some time just to get over what he had experienced. – Mr Sean Clarke, Australia
2. Last week, we had SSRF satsang. During the satsang I was guided to increase satseva daily to 1-2 hrs. In that satsang, I felt God put something in me, so I had more fighting spirit. That week, I was able to give a minimum of one hour daily for serving God.
After that week of serving God, I realised how much inner strength I got from it. It was like no mental or intellectual confusion was putting me out of balance as before. Today, I felt even more peaceful, since it was possible to increase satseva. I felt as if all doubts and skepticism regarding Spirituality and the spiritual dimension, which were haunting me for years, just vanished.
Gratitude to God, for having patience with me! I was not doing enough satseva for years, despite being told to do so many times. Now I will do as much as possible – Mr Akosh Nagy, Hungary
3. One of SSRF’s seekers had a problem of stuttering and stammering when he spoke. He had this problem right from childhood and had no cure for it. With spiritual practice and due to accepting to speak about Spirituality as part of his satseva, the very same seeker was able to flawlessly speak in front of a huge audience in one of the Spiritual meetings. Most people even without a stammering problem would have had some insecurity if they needed to speak in front of a huge audience due to the feeling that they might falter at some point. For someone to be able to overcome stammering that he had all his life purely by doing satseva is nothing short of miraculous.
In conclusion, serving God is a means to make rapid spiritual progress, that is, it is an opportunity to develop qualities of a seeker and achieve dissolution of an individual’s mind, intellect and ego consciousness.
It is up to the seeker to seize any available opportunity of doing satseva and make the best of it. No matter what or how, God’s work always gets done. Therefore, the seeker should not develop the ego that he is indispensable to the completion of any satseva by reminding himself that if he does not do the satseva, there will always be some other seeker to take it up.
When the seeker tries to become a medium for the Guru’s mission, the Divine Teaching Principle is activated and reaches out to him.
Dear readers and seekers, SSRF recommends that after you have started chanting and attending satsangs, as a natural next step, you could try to perform some satseva to be able to experience first-hand what we have shared in this article.
If you wish to do satseva, kindly contact us via our Login facility.