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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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