Prerequisite for Performing Sevaa

As indicated in the Gurbani, there is the prerequisite to performing Sevaa (ਸੇਵਾ, selfless service …).

That is, one must be fully contented within (ਸੰਤੋਖੀ). In other words, only those who are perfectly contented (ਸੰਤੋਖੀ) within, can truly meditate on the Truth (ਸਚ), and thus selflessly serve.

The implication is that, without contentment, there can be no selflessness (ਨਿਸਕਾਮਤਾ). In the absence of selflessness, one’s Sevaa will be motivated by Bikaars such as desires, greed, and so on. The contentment (ਸੰਤੋਖ) indicates absence of self-hood, selfishness, Bikaars, Mayaic hunger (ਮਾਇਆ ਦੀ ਭੁੱਖ), ਆਪਾ ਭਾਵ …

So the Gurbani declares:

  • ਸੇਵ ਕੀਤੀ ਸੰਤੋਖੀਈ ਜਿਨ੍ਹ੍ਹੀ ਸਚੋ ਸਚੁ ਧਿਆਇਆ ॥ ਓਨ੍ਹ੍ਹੀ ਮੰਦੈ ਪੈਰੁ ਨ ਰਖਿਓ ਕਰਿ ਸੁਕ੍ਰਿਤੁ ਧਰਮੁ ਕਮਾਇਆ ॥: Sev keetee santhokheen-ee jinhee sacho sach dhiaaeiaa. Ounhee mandai pair n rakhio kar sukrit dharam kamaaiaa (sggs 466-467).

Why are such contented beings selfless or free of Bikaars? Because, as the Gurbani indicates above, they abide in true Dharma. In this way, they never act wickedly. (ਸੇਵਾ ਸਾ ਪ੍ਰਭ ਭਾਵਸੀ ਜੋ ਪ੍ਰਭੁ ਪਾਏ ਥਾਇ ॥: Sevaa saa prabh bhaavasee jo prabhu paae thaai, sggs 757).

In other words, Sevaa can only be performed by eradicating the self-hood (ਆਪੁ ਗਵਾਇ ਸੇਵਾ ਕਰੇ ਤਾ ਕਿਛੁ ਪਾਏ ਮਾਨੁ ॥: Aapu gavaai sevaa kare taa kichhu paae maanu, sggs 474).

Such Sevaa is successful.

  • ਸਾ ਸੇਵਾ ਕੀਤੀ ਸਫਲ ਹੈ ਜਿਤੁ ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਕਾ ਮਨੁ ਮੰਨੇ ॥: Saa sevaa keetee safal hai jitu satigur kaa manu manne (sggs 314).

In nutshell, the way to perform Sevaa is to abide in the Gurmat (Divine Teaching of the Gurbani, Divine Knowledge, Shabad-Giaan, Aatam Giaan, Naam, Hukam …) – the Gurmukh Lifestyle. Again, as indicated by the Gurbani, Consciousness of such service (Sevaa Surati – “ਸੇਵਾ ਸੁਰਤਿ”) comes by Reflecting (Vichaar) upon the Shabad. (ਸੇਵਾ ਸੁਰਤਿ ਸਬਦਿ ਵੀਚਾਰਿ ॥: Sevaa surati sabadi veechaar, sggs 1343).

This Sevaa can be done within by collecting the fragmented mind and becoming One (“Ik Mani Ik Chiti” Ho Ke), not externally to show off. (ਹਉ ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ ਸੇਵੀ ਆਪਣਾ ਇਕ ਮਨਿ ਇਕ ਚਿਤਿ ਭਾਇ ॥: Haou satiguru sevee aapanaa ik mani ik chiti bhaai, sggs 26).

Jhooth (falsehood, ਝੂਠ) is shallow. Therefore any Sevaa performed in selfishness and with the scattered or divided mind would be false (ਝੂਠ-Jhooth), superficial, show off, etc.

Only by becoming the Gurmukh one can recognize Jhooth (falsehood, ਝੂਠ) and the Truth (ਸਚ).

  • ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਖੋਟੇ ਖਰੇ ਪਛਾਣੁ ॥: Gurmukhi khote khare pachhaanu (sggs 942).

Since the way of the Gurmukh is arduous (like walking on a razor’s edge …), the Gurmukhs are very “rare”. Nonetheless, the Gurbani time and again urges us to become the Gurmukh – Sach Santokhee, follower of the Truth, his mind is linked to Antar-Aatmaa, his Akal (ਅਕਲ, wisdom, intellect, reason, etc.) follows the Gurbani, he restrains his mind instead of following his mind, his state is that of Ik Mann Ik Chit, ਮਾਇਆ ਵਿਚ ਉਦਾਸੀ, he is established in Viveka-budhi, ਜਿਸ ਨੂੰ ਗੁਰਮਤ ਦੀ ਪੂਰੀ ਸੋਝੀ ਹੈ …

Essentially, in the Sevaa as indicated by the Gurbani, the self serves the Self!! (ਤੇਰੀ ਸੇਵਾ ਤੁਝ ਤੇ ਹੋਵੈ ਅਉਰੁ ਨ ਦੂਜਾ ਕਰਤਾ ॥: Teree sevaa tujh te hovai aouru n doojaa karataa, sggs 1185).

Prerequisite for Performing Sevaa was last modified: January 1st, 2012 by T. Singh
Share This Post:
Facebook Twitter Google+ Email
Filed Under: contentment-ਸੰਤੋਖ, Gurbani, Service-ਸੇਵਾ
Tagged With: , , , , ,
T. Singh

T. Singh

He's not a "Giani", "Sant", "Baba", "Priest", "Parcharak", "Swami", "Teacher", “scholar”, "writer", "Mahatama", etc. He was neither born in such a family, nor lived with any, nor wants to be one of them. More about T. Singh »

There are 7 comments

  1. Gurpreet Singh

    Satkar jog gurmukh T.Singh jio
    very well said ji
    ਹਉ ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ ਸੇਵੀ ਆਪਣਾ ਇਕ ਮਨਿ ਇਕ ਚਿਤਿ ਭਾਇ

    ਤੇਰੀ ਸੇਵਾ ਤੁਝ ਤੇ ਹੋਵੈ ਅਉਰੁ ਨ ਦੂਜਾ ਕਰਤਾ

    Pehla eh shabad nu vichar ke mann ne apne mool (chit) di sewa karni hai, apni marzi tyagni hai tan hi oh shareer(body) karke koi sewa kar sakda hai .
    je agar bina apne mool di sewa karke oh sirf shareer naal koi sewa karda hai ta oh dhong karda hai usnu aisa karan naal thoda sansari maan hi milda jo abhiman(ego) vich badal janda hai.

    regards
    GS

    • Thank you Gurpreet Singh Ji for taking time to comment on this post. Your comment made it more meaningful.

      Pehla eh shabad nu vichar ke mann ne apne mool (chit) di sewa karni hai…

      Well put. The Gurbani:

      •ਮਾਣਸ ਸੇਵਾ ਖਰੀ ਦੁਹੇਲੀ ॥ ਸਾਧ ਕੀ ਸੇਵਾ ਸਦਾ ਸੁਹੇਲੀ ॥: Maanas sevaa kharee duhelee. Saadh kee sevaa sadaa suhelee (sggs 1182).

  2. Mukesh samvedi

    Hi..

  3. Bal

    Excellent work!! thank you for the post

  4. Ripz

    Hello Sir,

    I can narrate an incident from my college days . Me and my friends used to go to the gurudwara ( my second time in 17 years) near the Engg college initially for fun and eating home like food, slowly we started cooking in the kitchen, we started washing utensils, cleaning the gurudwara, washing other people’s clothes,tending to sick or not so monetarily rich people. Not even for a single moment we thought about which caste we belonged to, how rich my father was, how unhealthy the other person was etc etc…
    This was when I had never recited any Sikh prayers in my life.

    I feel sometimes Seva Bhaav comes from within maybe innocence is the word for us then girls , but it was gradual over 6 months period and it was all unintentional and unplanned.

    It was then I learnt the meaning of SEVA BHAAV without a shikan / thought/duality in my mind. I think the divine sometime makes us be Karamyogi or puts us onto the road of seva when its most unlikely to strike us :)

    • It was then I learnt the meaning of SEVA BHAAV without a shikan / thought/duality in my mind. I think the divine sometime makes us be Karamyogi or puts us onto the road of seva when its most unlikely to strike us :)

      •ਸੇਵ ਕੀਤੀ ਸੰਤੋਖੀਈ ਜਿਨ੍ਹ੍ਹੀ ਸਚੋ ਸਚੁ ਧਿਆਇਆ ॥ ਓਨ੍ਹ੍ਹੀ ਮੰਦੈ ਪੈਰੁ ਨ ਰਖਿਓ ਕਰਿ ਸੁਕ੍ਰਿਤੁ ਧਰਮੁ ਕਮਾਇਆ ॥ (sggs 466-467).
      •ਸਾ ਸੇਵਾ ਕੀਤੀ ਸਫਲ ਹੈ ਜਿਤੁ ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਕਾ ਮਨੁ ਮੰਨੇ ॥: (sggs 314).
      •ਜੇਹਾ ਤੂੰ ਹੁਕਮੁ ਕਰਹਿ ਤੇਹੇ ਕੋ ਕਰਮ ਕਮਾਵੈ ਜੇਹਾ ਤੁਧੁ ਧੁਰਿ ਲਿਖਿ ਪਾਇਆ ॥੨॥: (sggs 736).

Comments on this post are closed.