Selfless service is not only a job or task to be done; it is an act of healing, of opening hearts and of radiating love, writes Sant Rajinder Singh
One of the greatest things a human being can do is to serve others. The truest form of selfless service is when we give without wanting anything in return. That is the spirit in which we should give. This means that we do not broadcast to others what we do to receive adulation, praise, power, or name and fame. Rather, we serve from our heart and soul in the spirit of helping others because it is the right thing to do as children of the all-giving Creator. This attitude has the power to heal.
Selfless service is not only a job or task to be done; it is an act of healing, of opening hearts and of radiating love. It is an immeasurable gift that spreads love and healing wherever we go. The heart of the giver is soothed, healed and filled with love. The giving also heals the hearts of the recipients, opening their eyes to the humanity of others.
We never lose when we give. Many times in life, we may have experienced an opportunity to give something to someone in need, making a sacrifice, only to find that it was either returned to us or circumstances changed, and we did not need to give it away. Yet, we were rewarded with the feeling of satisfaction of having sacrificed for others. We feel God’s blessings showering down upon us. We thank God that we choose to give rather than to be selfish.
If we are selfish, we often find ourselves filled with remorse and regret. We always feel sorry that we did not give. However, one never regrets or feels sorry for giving. There is no greater joy that can fill our heart than giving. All those who have ever given selflessly would have experienced that one never loses when one gives. They find more and more blessings raining down upon them unasked for, and their heart is filled with godly love.
Give from the soul
How many times do we only do acts of goodness when we want to impress others? Do we find that in our offices we speak humbly and kindly to our boss, but sorely abuse our co-workers or subordinates? How many of us give only when we are on display for others to see how generous we are, yet in the loneliness of a street we walk cold-heartedly past a beggar?
Let us give from our soul. Our mind gives for selfish reasons. It wants praise from others. It wants respect from others. It wants to make a grand show of how kind and loving it is, when, in reality, it is self-serving. Soul gives for the sake of giving. Soul gives out of a sincere desire to help others and wants nothing in return. It does not even wish to be known for what it has done. When the soul gives, it is the God within us giving. Just as God does not want anything in return for all its wondrous gifts of creation bestowed on all forms of life, so does the soul give selflessly.
When we want to be in tune with God, then let us give from the soul, selflessly, lovingly, without any show, and without any thought of return. We only want to serve and relieve the suffering of others. That is giving from the soul and has the power to heal others.
Spiritual development through giving
Spiritual development means inculcating higher values of life. This means watching our thoughts, words and deeds so that we think, speak and act ethically. Leading a spiritual life is a combination of meditating to find God within while leading an ethical life without. It is said that an ethical life is a stepping-stone to spirituality. Ethical living entails developing qualities among which include: non-violence, humility, love for all, and selfless service.
When we lead a life of serving with a kind and patient attitude, we not only inspire those with whom we work, but those who are not leading a spiritual life will notice our patient and kind qualities. Others who are curious or strongly interested in spirituality will notice something about us. They will see that we are calm and collected. They will notice that we face life’s challenges with nonviolence, love and humility. They will also observe that we give freely of ourselves selflessly.
These qualities will attract others who wish also to lead such a life. Thus, it is important that we be examples and model spiritual values in our everyday lives.
Selfless service strengthens our spiritual development. Our words and actions arise from our thoughts. If we have thoughts in which we want to help others, then that will cause our words and actions to reflect that. If we are going to talk of the need for selfless service, we must be practicing it ourselves. Let us serve selflessly and be an example, rather than tell everyone else how to serve or criticise how he or she serves. Let us inculcate the truest type of selfless service in our lives.
Meditation can also help us because as we sit in silence and go within, we see the same Light of God that is in us is in all other people. We realise that we are all part of one family of God. We realise all souls are part of one team — God’s team. We are all connected. Thus, if any one of us is in trouble, we are all in trouble. If any one of us is hurting, we are all hurting. If any one of us is losing, we are all losing. Rather than losing, we all should be winning. If we have the gifts to be a winner, then by helping others become winners, all of us win, and we become the true winners.
We also realise that no matter how different our backgrounds are, we are all one family of God. This attitude of loving and accepting people who are different from us is one of the fundamental keys to selfless service.
The writer is a spiritual leader