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Introduction Service - Meaningful Contribution Service to Self
Service as a Spiritual Discipline Motivation for Service
Crossing the Ocean

2. Service to Self

A sculptor craves off small chips to reveal a state latent in a block of wood. His efforts gradually result in the emergence of a graceful figure that all can be appreciated. It could be said that his skill was used for the benefit of the figure or for the joy of the viewer of the form. But it would be more accurate to say that it was for his own benefit. Each line and curve produced in the wood revealed the image he held within. The effort revealed his skill and the beauty of his vision. It resulted in his own satisfaction.

If we serve, thinking that our action is primarily for the benefit of others, we are incorrect. Service holds the greatest benefit for the one who serves. Others are assisted, but we derive the joy and spiritual lessons from the act. We come to recognize ourselves in others, which widens our compassion and broadens our vision.

Service expands our vision beyond our own small ego boundaries. How can we be joyful when those beside us suffer? How can we see their pain and not respond? As we grow spiritually, we recognize that brotherhood is a reality, not simply a pious-sounding theory of churchgoers.

If the individual is deluded into believing that he is saving others, then woe be to him, for there is no other at all. All are One; one man’s sorrow is everyone’s sorrow. The fundamental flaw is the ignorance of man. If only he was wise, he would have known that all individuals are waves on the surface of the self-same ocean.

Sathya Sai Speaks 3

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