Qualifications for selfless
FOR SELFLESS SERVICE
When you go into the
qualifications needed for service, you will know that pure heart
uncontaminated by conceit, greed , envy , hatred , or competition
‑ is essential, also faith in God, as the spring of vitality,
virtue, and justice. Service is the worship you offer to the God
in the heart of everyone. Do not ask for another which state he
belongs to or which caste or creed he professes. See your
favourite form of God in that other person; as a matter of fact he
is not" other" at all. It is His image, as much as are you are.
You arc not helping some "one individual": you are adoring Me , in
him. I am before you in that form; so what room is there for the
ego in you to raise its hood ?
Duty is God ; Work
is worship. Even the tiniest work is a flower placed at the Feet
of God. Approach the pilgrims who come here for the festival with
a heart filled with the treasure of love.
Sathya Sai Speaks, Vol. V111, Page. 1
As a preliminary to
service you have to win purity of heart. You must examine your
motives and skills, your intentions and qualifications, and
discover for yourself what you hope to achieve through the
Sathya Sai Speaks, Vol. X Page.219‑220
you will come to know that your real nature is charity. Charity
does not mean that you have given some money to an individual or
an organisation. The removal of all of the evil thoughts that are
within you is true charity. Charity will , in turn confer purity
upon you. Once you have purity, there will be unity. And once you
have unity, you can reach Divinity.
Satya Sai News Letter (U.S.A), Volume 13, Number 4, page 20
Let love be ever
translated into service, into beneficial acts, sweet words of
consolation, comfort, and courage, and thoughts of sympathy and
Sathya Sai Speaks, Volume VII Pages 15‑16
prerequisite is the spirit of sacrifice. This can be developed
only through love. The person filled with love is ready to make
any sacrifice. The person without love will not be willing to make
any sacrifice. God does not dwell in any particular place. You arc
God. When you get rid of the body consciousness, you will realise
Sanathana Sarathi, April, 1989. Page 283‑284
Remember, with each
act of love and service, you are nearing the Divine Presence; with
each act of hate and grab, you are moving farther and farther
away. The ideal of service must inspire those in authority, those
who possess riches, those who are endowed with skills and
intelligence, leisure and health. Serve the community and the
community will serve you. Exploit it and it will exterminate you.
Put an end to laziness; bury your clamorous ego‑, bury the greed
for power and pelf; then you have the qualifications needed for a
member of the Seva Dal.
Sathya Sai Speaks, Vol.IX Page 131‑132
Love is the solvent
for the hardest of hearts. Without love, free, full and selfless,
no spiritual sadhana can succeed. Without it, bhajan is a waste of
breath, sathsang a waste of time, and meditation a self‑deception.
Bhajan, sathsang and meditation done with a mind soaked in love
can confer peace, joy, and wisdom. When the raindrop falls into
the sea, it gets the name, form, and nature of the sea. So, too,
when the individual merges in the vast concourse of humanity and
feels one with a, he is endowed with the name, form , and nature
of Divinity. Whatever you do as service, to whomsoever you offer
the act, believe that it reaches the GOD in that person.
Sathya Sai Speaks, Vol.X, Page 34
The service that you
render must reward you not only with your satisfaction, but with
the satisfaction and relief of whom you serve.
Money and materials are not essential for service: Money
and materials are not essential for service, but a loving heart
is. We should fill our hearts with love. In nature , consciousness
is never wasted . When it is developed with ego, it generates bad
deeds, but when it is associated with the Atma, it produces good
Satya Sai News Letter (U.S.A),volume 13, Number 3, p. 3
It is only love that can successfully carry out schemes for
service and uplift. Love creates sympathy; love will show the way
where hatred can only confound.
Sathya Sai Speaks, Volume V, Pages 249
The day when you resolve to practice My advice, to follow My
directives, to translate My message into acts of service, and to
engage in sadhana ‑ that day is My birthday for you. The 23rd day
of November, which you now honor as the day on which I was born,
is only. like any other day if you celebrate it in a routine,
ritual fashion. Adore man; the adoration reaches Me. Neglect man;
you neglect Me. Of what avail is it to worship the Lord and to
suppress man, His counterpart? Love for God must be manifested as
love for man, and love must express itself as service.
Through love alone ‑ love acquired through sadhana, and shared
with all as sadhana ‑ can peace be attained, by the individual as
well as by the nation. My Life is My Message and My Message is
Love. That explains why you have gathered hither in hundreds of
Sathya Sai Speaks, Volume X Pages 41‑42
Love grows through service; love is born in the womb of service.
And God is love.
Satya Sai Speaks,Volume VII, pages 274
Service, is worship;
each act of service is a flower placed at the Fed of the Lord, and
if the act is tainted with ego, it is as if the flower is infested
with slimy insect pests. Who will contaminate the Feet with such
foul offering? Have no egotism while you serve the people.
Sathya Sai Speaks, Volume VII Page 475
egoistic tendencies: Preliminary to any service, you have to
uproot all egoistic tendencies, get rid of all sense of mine and
thine and burn to ashes the pride that tomes of the feeling that
you are offering service to someone poorer and less fortunate.
Sathya Sai Speaks, Vol.Y, Page 220
Do not develop ego about your capacities while doing service. Be
humble and think that God has given you an opportunity to do
service. Whatever you do to others, your feeling must be that you
are serving yourself. In fact and in truth, whatever service you
arc doing for others you are doing for yourself.
Summer Showers in Brindavan‑1973, Page 85
Never entertain selfish thoughts and perform self‑bcneficial acts
in the name of service. It has become a fashion now to serve . Do
not let pride and self‑boasting creep in. The world today is full
of materialistic possessions and these possessions are frequently
exhibited. This display of ego is the reason for change in the
world today. The destructive effects of pompous pride and ego make
selfless service an essential goal for the progress of humanity.
Therefore , members of the Sai Organisation should be simple,
selfless, and non‑egoistic. They should cultivate sacred love ,
the Divine spirit of sacrifice, patience, and compassion. These
are the qualities of the truly service‑oriented members and
The fulfillment of
human life consists in the service that man renders, without any
thought of return, in an attitude of selflessness. Service
rendered in this spirit sheds light in the dark interior of man.
It widens the heart, purifies the impulses, and confers lasting
Sathya Sai Speaks Vol. VII, Page 382
True service is the
service rendered to one's fellowmen with kindness and
selflessness. The right royal path to the home of peace is to
perform service with a sense of affection and friendliness.
Discourses of Bhagvan Sri Sathya Sai Baba, November 19‑24
If we have filled
ourselves with selfishness, jealousy, and such ill feelings, we
will not be able to do any good service. If there is nothing in a
vessel, it is possible to fill it with some good things.
Therefore, in the very first instance, empty yourselves of all bad
feelings and fill your hearts with love and selflessness. A heart
soaked in love alone is a sacred heart. Whatever service we render
should be done with a sense of selflessness, and then we may
reach the highest stage in life. The service done may be a small
one , but when it is done with a large heart it can yield great
Advaitha Through Seva, Volume 1, Divine Discourses of Bliagavan
Sri Sathya Sai Baba, November 19‑24, 1987, Pages 4
Do not crave
publicity: Do not think of the fame or praise you win;, think
of good that people derive. Do not crave publicity; crave the joy
that shines in the faces of die people whom you help. Service
brings you nearer to Me. The flower that is your heart gets
fragrance by means of the service you do, and so it become more
acceptable to Me. Love is the essence of that fragrance.
Sathya Sai Speaks Vol. X, Page 33
service, there should not be any pomposity. Develop a broad heart
and foster love in it.
Your service will be
judged with reference to the mental attitude accompanying it. So
whatever work is allocated, do it with fervor, understanding, and
reverence. in service there can be no high or low, for Sai is in
all. Sai receives your service, to whomever you may offer it. Do
not be sad that you have been posted on some duty that keeps you
far from Me. Know that I am nearest to him, who calls on Me and
sees Me in all beings.
Sathya Sai Speaks Vol.X, Page 33‑34
It is the attitude
that is essential. The particular item of service might be small.
You may not get a chance to partake in some gigantic scheme of
service through which millions may be benefited; you can lift a
lame lamb over a stile or lead a blind child across a busy road.
That too is an act of worship.
Sathya Sai Speaks VoI.Vlll, Page 2
The best way to
please Me is to see Me in all beings and serve them just as you
would like to serve Me. That is the best form of worship, which
will reach Me. The Lord may have two or two hundred vows‑, that is
His will. But the devotee need have only one vow to save himself ‑
the vow of total surrender. If you have full faith in the Divinity
of every being, the attitude of surrender will automatically be
fixed in you. Do not treat them as nara (human); treat them as
Narayana, the Lord Himself You are not alleviating the distress of
that other person; you are offering worship to the Lord, in that
form, in that body.
Sathya Sai Speaks, Volume VI Page 273‑274
Character: Intelligence being the special mark humans , every
effort must be made to amplify and sharpen it so that it may be a
fit instrument for understanding the inner and the outer worlds.
Along with intelligence, character, too, has to be cultivated
inequal measure, for then alone can that intelligence be used to
serve society. The readiness to renounce one's pleasure in order
to relieve the burden of another is a prime virtue of character.
Moksha means liberation; renunciation, too, involves giving up, or
liberation. The secret of both is the same.
Sathya Sai Speaks, Vol. X, Page 49
Service must be
done intelligently: The seva that is entrusted to you, you
must do intelligently and to a successful finish. It does not
matter if the recipient is not fully satisfied; you must have.
done your best, without hesitation or favour. Nowadays service has
become more talk and less deed But, the. lord cnnot be deceived.
He is vigiliant and all knowing.
Judgement: Do not judge others to decide whether they
deserve your service. Find out only whether, they are distressed;
that is enough credential. do not examine how they behave towards
others; they can be certainly transformed by love. Service is for
you as sacred as a vow, a sadhana‑, a spiritual path. It is the
very breath; it can end only when breath takes leave of you.
Sathya Sai Speaks, VoLVII, Page 198
Revere the Atma in
everyone; it is the God residing in each. Why should you pay
attention to his wrongs and vices? Your duty is to serve, not
search for faults. Serve with all your heart, serve with pure
undefiled love. Under My unseen supervision and guidance you have
to serve them and relieve their pains and troubles.
Sathya Sai Speaks, VoI.Vl, Page 10
Examples of Selfless Service
Avatars of God are
engaged in service; that is why Avatars happen. Hence,when you
offer service to mankind,the Avatar will naturally be pleased and
you can win grace. Service is the highest spiritual exercise
(sadhana), for God Himself takes human form and comes down to
and lead it to the ideals it has ignored. Therefore, consider how
delighted God will be when man serves man! Deserve the grace of
God by helping the weak and the poor, the diseased and the
disabled, the distressed and the downtrodden. Every human being is
a manifestation of God. Every object manifests the Divine. Service
can instill more intensely than any other activity the sense of
the basic one. Service saves you from the agony you get when
another suffers;it broadens your Vision, widens your
awareness,deepens your compassion. All waves are on the same
sea,from the same sea, the same sea. Service teaches you to be
firm in this knowledge. No other sadhana can bring you into the
incessant contemplation of the oneness of all living beings. The
mind of a person not engaged in service is a devil's workshop. One
who does not work sits like an inert object. Such a person does
not get sleep also. The one who does not get sleep starts thinking
of bad things. He gets unnecessary thoughts. He becomes mad
afterwards. When we keep doing workl,there is no room for such
unwanted thoughts. Peace is the state free from thoughts. Love
deepens with this peace. This love is innate in us. So we can
increase this love inherent in us through dedication and service.
Service fosters the plant of love. To remove the evil of egoism,
service is the most efficient instrument. Service will also
impress on the person doing service the unity of all mankind. He
who dedicates his time, skill, and strength to service can never
meet defeat, distress, or disappiontment ,for service is its own
reward. His word will be ever sweet and soft,his gestures ever
revered and humble. He will have no foe,no fatigue,no fear. You
have no reason to feel proud when you are able to help another,
for your skill or wealth or strength or courage or official
position that gave you the chance to serve was the gift of God -
whether you recognise it or not. You are only offering this God's
gift to another God's gift, namely the poor, the illiterate, the
weak, the diseased, the grieving, the broken-hearted,who seek your
help. Selfless service is the fragrant flower of altruistic love.
It is not to be performed for the satisfaction of the person
rendering the service or the person at whose bidding it is so
done. Man should regard selfless service as the purpose for which
he is given life. This feeling should flow through his very nerves
and bloodstream and premeate every cell of his body. Whatever be
the work we do, we should do it as an offering to God and for His
pleasure. We should take up service activities for the
purification of our own hearts. The sadhana of service is quite
distinct. In service you devote all your energy and attention to
the task at hand,for it is a dedicated task. You forget the body
and ignore its demands. You set aside your individuality and its
prestige and perquisites. You pluck your ego by its roots and cast
it away. You give up your status,conceit,your name and form and
all that they demand from others. Love is God, God is love. When
there is love,there God is certainly evident. Love more and more
people,love them more and more intensely;transform the love into
service,transform the service into worship;that is the highest
sadhana. It is mere weakness to give the silly excuse that you
have no time for service because you are so busy with your duties.
Cleaning streets in the villages is not the only service available
to you. Discharging your duties a righteous manner is,in itself, a
service. One should regard service as performing one's duties
properly and working enough to justify the pay one gets. If a
person works conscientiously every minute of the day,doing the job
he is hired to do, that is service. When you go into the
qualifications needed for service,you will know that a pure heart
- uncontaminated by conceit, greed, envy, hatred or competition -
is essential; also, faith in God, as the spring of vitality,
virtue,and justice. Service is the worship you offer to the God in
the heart of everyone. Engage yourselves in service activity.
Consider social service as service to God. To earn the love of
God, this is the easiest way. The best way to love God is to love
all and serve all. Your entire life will be sanctified thereby. An
opportunity to be of some service to fellowman comes to you as a
gift from God. Serve with the sense of gratitude,for it is God who
accepts it from you. Prepare yourself for serving others,and at
the time when you are not actively engaged in some such
activity,be busy with repeating and remembering the name of the
Lord or meditation;fill yourself with God, lest you go dry and
cruel. Have firm faith that service is the greatest spiritual
exercise. There cannot be a greater spiritual exercise than
- Sri Sathya Sai Baba