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


Anonymous said...

When I think of serving others selflessly one person who comes to my mind is Mata Amritanandamayi.I had the divine grace of meeting the 'Hugging Saint'.I was amazed to see the endless positive energy that she passed on to the people who came to see her.She would bestow on them her unconditional love with a beautiful smile and warm embrace and heal them of their pain & suffering.She is supposed to be hugging more than 50000 thousand people a day standing for as long as 20 hours in a stretch.
She is a perfect example of service is what life is all about..


Rakesh Vanamali said...

Very well written! Ego, indeed, is the cause of all misgivings in life, that contribute to hamper human progress spiritually!

Unless we shed our inflated egos, we will not improve as a people, let alone a society or a nation!

Thanks for your comment on IPhrase!



Anonymous said...

A mother is a great example of selfless service.. She cares not for any reward but her heart is always thinking of her child and its welfare. She works endlessly to ensure that every need of the child is taken care.

Nice post :)


iPhrase said...

this is admin of iphrase. glad to see you at our new venture.. and as your comment says and blog states, you said it right. and at this moment, am happy to invite you to contribute at iphrase. you can reach the team @ do let us know if you are interested.

Subash said...

Our Ego indeed is the root cause of most of today's problems. While we crave for peace and happiness, our ego prevents us from reaching a level of perennial peace.

Selfless service is one easy way to overcome ego and attain true peace. When we reach out, we are not helping them, but helping outselves.We may be cleaning as seva, but we are cleaning ourselves. So, let us grab every opportunity to serve others.

Hands that serve are holier than lips that pray... Baba

anupama said...

dear vish,
whenever i visit your site i feel so happy enriching my life!such a blog on values,my ever favourite themes,really wonderful!
i love reading the inspirational life stories and i am lucky to have darshan of Matha Amritanandamayi and shri shri Ravi shankar!
thanks or the recommended reading......please do join iphrase
and grace the blog.
vish,thanks for your mails,comments and teh connections.
keep writing and you are doing a elfless service!;D


Excellent blog. On the topic of service, I saw a very nice quote on the Give India website - "It is not giving until it hurts". I found it to be very profound.

Incidentally, Give India is organizing the Joy of Giving Week during the week that leads to Gandhi Jayanti. The idea is to get 2 crore Indians involved in the act of Giving - money, time, expertise, love...... will you be there?