Physical Service

What type of service should be performed? Guru Amar Das has said that one should render service in the same manner as does an elephant which obeys the directions of the goad of his mahout (driver).

In other words, we should consider the command of the Guru as a goad on our head. We should place our forehead at the feet of the Master and render service to Him with love and devotion, and without hesitation or murmur.

In one of his famous verses Guru Arjan Dev, the 5th Sikh Guru says:

God, I wish to serve the Saints not only with my hands but also with my eyes and indeed with every hair of my head, which I may use to cleanse the feet of the Saints. At all times of the day and night I long for the Darshan of the Saints. This is the only bliss for which I yearn. I would be happy to make a fan of the hair on my head and wave it to produce a breeze for the comfort of the Saints, and put my head on their feet to receive the dust of their feet upon it.

Guru Ram Das says:

This is my only prayer to Thee, Oh Lord: That Thy servants (Saints) may be the recipients of my service. I should be happy even to offer my mind and body at the altar of the Saints. In other words, I should rejoice to get rid of pride and arrogance. Whatever I receive from the Saints, I regard as nectar. Lord, I am ever prepared to sacrifice myself to my Master and to fall at His Feet, for I am poor and helpless and am constantly pining for Thy Darshan (sight), that only the help and Grace of a Master can bestow.

A true disciple is ever eager to visit his Master and adopts all possible means to be in His presence. Even if it is bitter cold and snowing heavily, he is not deterred; for the pull of his Guru (for His Darshan) is so strong that he will go just to have a glimpse of Him. He constantly longs to meet Him and to Have His Darshan day and night.

The highest type of service is that to the Master.

Guru Arjan Sahib says:

Whatever service is possible for you to do with your hands for the Master, you should do it, because it is the Master who gives us the protection of His Hands and saves us from the fire of transmigration. You should work for Him, because through Him you will know the Lord. You should ceaselessly serve the Master, because it is by His Grace alone that all foes are transformed into friends.

We are elated by such type of service as are described above. It is a unique joy that cannot be achieved by power and pelf. It is therefore necessary that we should not hanker after worldly pleasures.


Footnote: Everybody is busy in service of the world. We serve the world, our family, our community and our country. All this is good so far as it goes and should be performed as a duty, but it cannot help in attaining Salvation. On the other hand, if we are attached to these ties, they become the cause of our coming back to this earth again and again.

The highest service is that of the Guru, and it is also the purest. The Guru is free from all ties and attachments. He is an ocean full of the Surging Waves of Love. By serving Him we become free from ties and attachments to the ephemeral world. Then intense love of God is awakened in us. One who loves the Lord also loves His creation. Thus the Fatherhood of God and the Brotherhood of man are realized, and in this manner love is developed in us not only for God but also for His creation.