The Power of Serving Others


By MSS Guruka Singh Khalsa
(excerpts from an article originally published in Aquarian Times Magazine)

In 2002 Yogi Bhajan 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 was a long silence, and then he said, “Well?” and people began to raise their hands. “God” said one person; “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 see myself placing my forehead on the marble of the perkarma on my altar (the perkarma is the marble walkway that surrounds the Golden Temple. Thousands of devotees walk around it every day) 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.

Seva is each next moment.

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