Saturday, August 1, 2009
To serve with love
Many of us know that our ego is the root cause of our problems. Our ego manifests itself as an association of ourselves with our body. Due to this, we develop selfishness and pander to our body and everyone associated with it. “I” and “my” become the most important things for us. This gives rise to feelings of joy and disappointment.
Is it possible to live without ego? As long as we exist within this body, some level of ego is necessary as we have to sustain the body. Otherwise, we may ignore feeding and taking care of our bodies leading to death. Only highly realized persons can be in that state. The ego creates problem only when it is beyond a certain limit.
What is the way to control the ego? Wise saints have recommended many methods of controlling the ego, one of which is covered in this article. If we see the same “self” that is in us, in others too, we have taken a huge step towards controlling the ego. When we treat others just as we treat ourselves, we have begun to rise above our ego. The first step therefore is to serve others selflessly.
Most people work with an expectation of reward. An act of service is one where we do not expect a reward. We serve others with love and affection. We get pleasure in the act of service itself. Images of Mother Teresa and Mata Amritanandamayi comes to mind. One can start this in a small way within ones family by serving the elders. Then one can look for ways of serving our neighbours and community. This spirit can thus be cultivated over time to cover the society at large.
As we keep serving others and get immersed in the joy of service, we begin to contract and control our ego.
“Selfless service is the ideal to be aimed at” - Sri Satya Sai Baba
“We are prone to judge success by the index of our salaries or the size of our automobile rather than by the quality of our service and relationship to mankind” - Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
No one’s head aches when he is comforting another - Indian Proverb
I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was service. I acted, and behold, service was joy.” - Rabindranath Tagore