We all have another 40-50 years to live. Our lives should have a direction. We need to think about what we want to do in life.
We need to do something more than just eating, sleeping, reading the newspaper and watching television. What could that something more be? How can we bring more light to the world and make people happy?
The only way to make people happy is to show them the way to knowledge. So, in life, there needs to be a direction, and that is how we can bring the ancient wisdom to everyone, and how we can further it in our lifetime so that the eternal flow continues for eternity.
If someone is unhappy, it means they have not received knowledge; they have not digested knowledge. Suffering is different. People suffer because of natural calamities, or due to drought, or flood. In these circumstances, you should do seva (service). And any seva is the best seva if it is done with 100% dedication.
Seva is doing what is needed to be done at that moment. For example, let’s assume that right now, somebody is in dire need of a glass of water. You may say that giving him or her a glass of water is not a big seva. But right now, he is dying of thirst, so giving him a glass of water is the best seva you can do.
When you do seva, don’t think you are doing it as a favour to somebody. The seva you have done has rewarded you immediately. Its reward is for sure and is always more than your doing. Your expectation of reward for the seva turns the seva into labour. If you think you have done a lot, you will do very little; if you see you have done a little, then you will do more. Even when you don’t see an immediate reward and there is no complaint, that is seva. Labour is when even after an immediate reward, there are complaints. Be grateful for any opportunity to do seva.
There are five types of seva.
- The first type of seva is when you do not even know that you are doing seva. You do not recognize it as seva because it is your very nature – you cannot but do it!
- The second type of seva is what you do because it is needed in that situation. You do the third type of seva because it gives you joy.
- The fourth type is done out of your desire for merit – you do seva expecting some benefit in the future.
- And the fifth type is when you do seva just to show off, to improve your image and to gain social or political recognition. Such seva is simply exhausting, while the first type does not bring any tiredness at all!
To improve the quality of your seva, regardless of where you start, you must move up to higher levels of seva – Sri Sri Ravi Shankar