Selfless Service

It is seva that accelerates the sadhana of a seeker and lights the path to God.
Offering Seva at the SYDA Foundation
Offering Seva at the SYDA Foundation

There is a saying that it is easy to be a saint on a mountaintop, but the real proof comes when you return to the marketplace. On the Siddha Yoga path, we test our attainment and refine our understanding through the practice of seva, or selfless service. As we work with others in a spiritual environment, we have a practical means to put the Siddha Yoga teachings into action.

During the practice of seva, we perform familiar activities—whether cooking, cleaning, teaching, or working at the computer—with a focus on the Self, with awareness. Siddha Yoga students offer seva at Siddha Yoga retreats, meditation centers, and ashrams, creating a tangible offering of love in action.

In her message for 2000, Gurumayi Chidvilasananda spoke about "uninterrupted loving service" as a way to dissolve that which separates us from the constant experience of divine love. As we cultivate an attitude of service, we learn how to make all of our life's work service to God; all aspects of our life become yoga. Ultimately, we come to understand that serving humanity and serving God are one and the same.

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A recent period of seva has provided me the gift of self-confidence and a greater belief in my abilities. There are often times when I feel anxious or unknowledgeable about a particular task that I may be asked to do. I find afterwards that I’m very capable, and if there are things I didn’t know, or was unsure about, other sevites showed great compassion and patience when I was learning those tasks. Receiving such great compassion and understanding in these situations inspires me to offer the same compassion and understanding to others in my daily activities.

a Siddha Yogi from Michigan, USA

I recently offered an extended and focused period of seva. As I offered this seva, I kept in mind a quotation I saw on the Siddha Yoga path website from Gurumayi: “Whatever you do, remember to do it with excellence.  There’s got to be heart in it.” This phrase is powerful for me: I wish to strive for excellence while always remembering to keep my heart moist. With this in mind, I felt more confident in the seva I was offering.
Now that I am back to my normal routine, I have gained confidence in my work and home life. As I strive for excellence in my work, I know that keeping my heart in the picture is just as important as "getting the job done." In my home life, I am happier and more confident in my parenting skills.
Thank you, Gurumayi,  for the gift of seva.

a Siddha Yogi from Minnesota, USA 

As I was reading the shares here about seva, I felt that a huge mass of shakti created by all the sevites around the world is transforming this planet day by day.
I’m so grateful to be immersed in this gift—the practice of seva.

a Siddha Yogi from Madrid, Spain

Recently I have begun to notice whether I am offering seva with a pure heart that does not want anything in return, or whether I have a private agenda in my offering, an expectation that is waiting to be fulfilled. As I have contemplated shaktipat and become more aware of how much I have received from Gurumayi on the Siddha Yoga path, I have noticed that I can access a place inside my being that is full, that is lacking nothing. I have resolved to serve from that place. It is such a freeing experience. 
Thank you, Gurumayi, for the Siddha Yoga practice of seva, which guides me to access the inner light.

a Siddha Yogi from Hinwil, Switzerland

Reading this explanation of seva, and contemplating the most recent seva I offered, I can say that seva has shown me how to apply the principle of seeing God in each other and to integrate it into my daily life.
Having practiced this principle within the environment of the Ashram—on the mountaintop, I now know I can bring it into the challenges of my work environment—the marketplace—as I practice seeing God in others and in myself as well.

a Siddha Yogi from Michigan, USA

When I consider how the practice of seva has transformed my life, I remember with gratitude the impact of offering seva when I was a young mother of a large family. It was a very busy time in my life, yet time always opened up to allow me to offer seva. Being able to do this brought me so much joy. I remember how energized I would feel, how inspired and joyous I was in my daily family life as a result.
A friend asked me once, "How can you offer seva when you already have so much to do?" I remember answering with absolute certainty, "It’s because I offer seva that I can do all the other things in my life." And it's because of what seva has taught me that I have learned to offer all these things as "love in action."

a Siddha Yogi from Adelaide, Australia