Sai Baba Sri Sathya Sai Baba

    Home  Thought for the Day  |  Sai Inspires 

    Articles | Avatar | Bhajans | Experiences | Messages | Miracles | Prayers | Quotes | Stories | Service | Teachings


Sri Sathya Sai Baba Teachings

  Qualifications for selfless service


Pure Heart

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 service.
Sathya Sai Speaks, Vol. X Page.219‑220


Through sacrifice 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 compassion.
Sathya Sai Speaks, Volume VII  Pages 15‑16


The first 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 your Divinity.
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 deeds.
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 thousands.
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

Uproot all 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 officers.


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 ananda.
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 results.
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

While rendering 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

Intelligence and 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

Avatars - 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 serve mankind
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 service.
- Sri Sathya Sai Baba

Best Resolution 1024x768 -- Copyright © 2004-2015 SAIBABA.WS. All rights reserved. Please read Disclaimer.