As the parents give us biological birth, the Guru gives us the spiritual birth. He ignites the spiritual fire in us. Consciousness, which is inactive in the sleeping state, is awakened by the Guru in order to show us a better way of living.
Speaking of Nishkaam Seva, Dr. Avdhoot Shivanandji elaborates that all actions we do in our daily life are performed with the intention that we will get something back in return. But in reality, we must serve without seeking anything in return. In essence, this is the meaning of the term selfless service.
When you undertake selfless seva, you learn the art of nurturing unselfish love. You practice the emotion of giving up the false sense of doership (kartabhaav) and thereby learning Drushtabhaav (observation). And when we allow such an emotion of altruism to gestate within us, every action of ours is submitted at the feet of the Guru, of Shiva Himself. In such a state, there is no anxiety or expectation of the fruits of karma and no fear of going wrong. Every act is perceived as God’s work, being done through His instruments and to complete His divine will. The karma is done by the Almighty, for the Almighty and belongs to the Almighty.. – Dr. Avdhoot Shivanandji
Characteristics of selfless service –
- It is done with wealth that you have earned and not by seeking donations.
- Donate without ego. This action is that of the divine and not meant to fuel your ego.
- Do not publicly promote your selfless service. The positive energy created by giving is wasted in earning that praise.
- Be grateful to those you perform seva to and accept your alms. They became mediums to help you clear your karmic baggage. By thanking them you learn more humility.
Sadhaks learn techniques to heal themselves and also others by learning the sacred Shiv Yog curative healing practices.
Children are incarnations of the divine and must be venerated as living gods. Sadhaks can prepare tasty food for poor kids and feed them, bringing a smile to their faces.
Sharing the fruits of your prosperity will lead to creation of more. This includes feeding the poor, providing them the items of daily use and helping them in every manner possible.
Seva Towards Animals & Birds
Animals like us humans are creations of Shiva. They too have senses, feelings and emotions. They too have life and soul in them. Caring for stray animals and birds by providing them adequate food best suited to them is a great way to carry out the service to the animals.
Seva Towards Flora
We have only taken from nature and the best way to give back to Her is to plant trees.
Seva Towards Education
The future of the world are children and they must be nurtured and educated.
Seva to The Aged
Consider yourself lucky if you have the elderly living in your house. Sadhaks can learn a wealth of wisdom from them and receive tremendous blessings in return for the selfless service they perform in their name.
Seva Towards The Disowned
The opportunity to be a parent to the orphaned is a privilege in itself. Adopting a child is like rearing a soul selflessly.
Seva Towards Sadhus
Feeding saints, seers, priests and monks are a preserve of the lucky few. Do your utmost to appease the emissaries of God.