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

 
5. Crossing the Ocean

During the daytime, a window opens our vision to the horizons. At night, it reflects back only a picture of ourselves. The mind is like a window. It has no color or quality of its own, yet it reflects all that we see. If the light of our intellect is focused outside, it reveals the whole world. If it shines only on ourselves, it reflects a narrow vision of our ego. The act of service helps us to focus outside ourselves. It shows us that we are an inseparable part of the divine creation.

The joy of service grows and blossoms into detachment. When we serve God in others, we find that the Lord is resident in our own hearts also. Desire for personal gain vanishes and we experience lasting happiness. If the essential step of service is not practiced, then how can we know the joy?

One cannot cross the ocean of this cycle of births and deaths by visiting many sacred places, nor can one do it by performing japa and studying Sastras (holy books). It is only possible to do so by performing seva, or service.

Summer Showers 1973

The spiritual fact is that we can grow only by expressing love in action. The inspiring truth is that we should be grateful to those who allow us to serve them --- who have given us an opportunity to approach closer to God. And most humbling and most exalting because all exists in Oneness is the fact that when we serve others, we are actually only serving ourselves!

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