Guru-Seva – Selfless Service

The aforementioned achievement is possible only through the Grace of a Master. And that Grace is bestowed on us in proportion to the service we render. There are various kinds of service, such as obedience, respect, charity, worship, and endeavour to please the Master and to abide by his instructions.

Whoever renders service one day achieves obedience, respect and honour from the whole world. Service is the highest of all practices. If one renders no service, he can never expect to receive any reward. Those who do not render service are worthless.

Service is of four kinds:

  • with the body and wealth

  • with mind

  • with soul

  • to the Living Master

The highest type of service which anyone can render is service to the Lord, or to His manifestation in the human form, namely an Adept or the Master.

The next best service is that which is rendered to the world and its people. Next the service to the Soul.

One should render all types of service to the dear ones of the Lord, because no wealth, no sovereignty and no high state in life can equal the reward of this service. But service is really rewarding if it is done with the mind and the soul. Through service with the body and the mind, the heart of the devotee is attached to that of the Master. And the Master or the Guru is the Treasurer of God's wealth. Therefore, we shall certainly attain God-Realization (Communion with God), if we serve our Master.

One should therefore serve such a noble soul who is a Master, and whose service will always be rewarding. When we meet such an exalted person, who is the manifestation of God on earth, we should hasten to worship Him. If one is so fortunate as to be near a Master, one should obey the words and instructions of the Master implicitly, without bringing into play his own mind. Whichever way the mind leans, the body will turn that way also. We should cease to be arrogant but should constantly think of God, and we should surrender our ego into the hands of our Master.

Whatever we wish to think, we should think on behalf of the Master, discarding self and its viewpoint. Then, we shall always be successful in our mission.

There is another kind of service which is higher and better than the service of body, mind and wealth. This is known as service with the soul and consists of withdrawing the soul current from every pore of the body and attaching it to Naam. This is accomplished through devotion to the Master and by banishing the ego. Service to our family, to our community, and even to our country is praiseworthy. But this kind of service attaches us to the world and worldly objects. It is only the service to the Master that is noble and pure, and frees us from all attachments. He is, in fact, the Fountain of the love of God in human form. So by serving Him alone, we can be freed from all attachment.

If we love the Lord, we also love His creatures. Only in this way is the Fatherhood of God and the Brotherhood of Man firmly established.

By serving the Master, we achieve fulfillment of all the four values, namely, Dharam (Mode of Life), Arth (Wealth), Kam (Desires) and Moksh (Salvation). Thus are satiated all worldly desires and the value of Forgiveness, Non-violence, Mercy, Truthfulness, Austerity and Cleanliness are inculcated and we achieve Salvation. The Guru or the Master is the Fountain-head of the Knowledge of God, and He is more valuable than our physical body, our mind and all our wealth. Therefore, we should sacrifice all these things to win His Grace.

Service to the Master consists in surrendering oneself at his Lotus Feet and in being devoted to Him and the Name of the Lord. The Master is actually Shabd incarnated or the Living Master in the human form. Therefore, service to Him is to merge oneself in Shabd, which is the highest service of all. It is also the highest of all austerities, and by it the Lord Himself is contacted and we gain freedom from all suffering.

Such, however, can be our lot only if our Pralabdh Karma (Fate) justifies it.

Service to the Guru has been in vogue in all the four yugas (ages) and is the one most acceptable to God. There are really only two worthwhile kinds of service: One is the service rendered to Saints, and the other (through them) rendered to God. The Saint is the bestower of God's Name, and God is the bestower of Salvation.