Nishkam Seva, The Untapped Mine of Gold
Serving God or his devotees without expectation of something in return is Nishkam seva. Service is the greatest quality of man, which makes him superior to other beings.
Selfless service enhances life. Sacrifice and service are the two great ideals of India which are very less seen in western countries.
The Seed of Service
When the opportunity for service comes, one must sow the seed of service like a conscious farmer. The seed definitely grows after getting time and rain of blessings by god or saints.
All the plants in the world have originated and grown from seeds only. Likewise, every single service will have a huge impact at the end of our life.
Trees give oxygen to the whole world. Likewise, a person’s service can be fruitful not just for him but the whole world can be benefited by him.
No seed, no tree, no oxygen and no life. Similarly, if there is no service then there is no spirituality, devotion, joy and exuberance of life.
Service is the basis of spirituality. Any building stands on the base only, if there is no base, then there is no building, in the same way, if there is no service, there is no devotion and no happiness.
Only those are alive who live to serve others. Service is a human quality and the fruit of selfless service is bliss. This is the reason why all the religions of the world have given utmost importance to the services. our scriptures have said that God blesses with prosperity those who serve saints, weak and poor.
There are many types of service. Like serving someone physically, giving the right thoughts to a person and giving him knowledge of the right duties and serving with money to a needy person etc.
Selfless Service of Hanuman
There is no penance and sacrifice like service. Hanumanji is the symbol of desireless service and surrender. He was not much conscious about himself but, he had a great interest to serve Bhagwan Shree Ram. Without expecting anything back, he had given his whole life to Shree Ram. As a result, Shree Ram resides in his heart forever and even today we are remembering Hanumanji for his Surrendering to Shree Ram and living life as Shree Ram’s wished.
After Bhagwan Shree Ram’s coronation – he gives gifts to each of the monkeys. But nothing is given to Hanumanji.
Sitaji says to Ram “give something to this Hanuman too”
Shree Ram says “What shall I give to Hanuman? Hanuman’s favour cannot be repaid by me. Hanuman has made me his debtor.“
So, This is the power of hanumanji’s nishkam seva, That even god himself has to be a debtor of his devotee.
If we believe that God resides in everyone and everything then any service is the service of almighty God only.
There is an absence of selfishness in nishkam seva. The sense of service stems from saints, family, elders and observing society. There are very few people in whom the spirit of service is by his mother’s lap. This is the biggest sanskar. Selfless work done for others is service. Doing something and expecting in return is not seva, It is trade or barter. In so many scriptures it is said that ” to serve saints, parents, teachers and guests is the worship of God.” There is no greater austerity than serving saints and parents.
Blessings of Adbhutanand Swami
Now, I will give you an example of how a single service without expectation, can make your life blissful,
How a master showers on his true disciple,
How a blessing turns into a literal truth,
How the blessings of a true saint make you stand beside God.
This incident is about Adbhutanand swami (who got bhagwati diksha by Bhagwan Shree Swaminarayan himself) and Purani Gopinathdasji Swami (guru of our Shastriji Maharaj Dharmajivandasji Swami).
At that time Adbhutanand Swami’s age was hundred years, swami was sleeping and Gopinathdasji swami was doing foot massage (when Adbhutanand swami was young some opponent of Swaminarayan Bhagwan gave him poison in food. The poison didn’t work, but because of that, he used to have a fever after that. And foot massage brought relief to him, and he used to sleep well because of the massage).
Swamiji always used to tell a person who was doing massage to settle down after a few minutes of massage, but today he got good sleep.
In the early morning when Adbhutanand swami woke up, he saw that Gopinathdasji swami was still doing massage.
Seeing this, Swamiji was very pleased with his disciple. And he said “you’re still here, why haven’t you gone“
Gopinathdasji swami replied ” you were sleeping well and I didn’t like to disturb your sleep, that’s why I was doing massage “
Adbhutanand swami put his both hands on Swamiji’s head and said that “There will be no scholar like you in the whole Swaminarayan Sampraday. Your Katha and Satsang will benefit millions of people, You will be the reason for the devotion of millions. your name in history will be written in golden words. Not only this, when your last time will come, Swaminarayan Bhagwan will tell you prior that when he will come and take you to his divine abode Akshardham.“
So, this much our Guru parampara is generous, that few hours of nishkam seva can give you fame, knowledge, power, happiness and bright life. Not only bright life but, more valuable than life, the Akshardham too.
This is how making someone else’s life comfortable by sacrificing one’s own comfort can get You lifelong devotion and pleasure.
Service is not dependent on age. Small children are also seen contributing with their little hands in the service. like, a small squirrel was helping to build ram setu, even her service was also noticed by shree ram
It shouldn’t be shown off of service but, In a way, it is also correct. When someone tells a hundred people that he did good work. Even if ten people out of those hundred he conveys his message to do good, that show-off also becomes good service.
The value of each and every rupee deposited in the piggy bank will emerge as a huge amount after a few years. Likewise, good work done with devotion becomes manifold when it is engaged in the service of god.
Service paves the way to liberation. Every small service matters, if a person doesn’t know what is ved-vedant, Upanishad or Purana but he knows cleaning the floor of a temple and he does cleaning his whole life then this one characteristic will lead his life towards salvation. One constant service is enough to reach him at Akshardham.
While crossing the river Ganga, Mother Sitaji gave a gold ring to the khewat (boatman) as a rent to drop them on the other side of the river, then the boatman said to Shree Ram “No, I won’t take any charge from you. You came to the riverbank, I took you to the other side, and now you have to help me to cross this ocean of infinite birth and death. My whole life I have taken money in exchange for putting people from this end to that end. I won’t take money from you, but I will take a promise from you, you be my boatman take me out from this worldly ocean.” This desireless service wins Shree Ram’s heart and Shree ram gives him salvation after his death and while going back to Ayodhya from Lanka, Shree ram landed Pushpak viman specially to meet and greet that boatman.
Nishkam Sevak Uka Khachar
Uka Khachar and his wife used to clean the road till the Ghela river every day. They used to remove all the stones, thorns and garbage lying on the road. They did it very early in the morning before saints and devotees woke up and got ready to bathe in the Ghela River.
One day a dog spoiled the stage of satsang where Bhagwan Swaminarayan used to preach daily. All devotees and Saints who came to listen to Swaminarayan Bhagwan were just looking at it and condemning the dog. But no one cared to clean it. Later, Uka Khachar came from river Ghela, he had just taken a bath a few minutes before and without a word, he cleaned it thoroughly using fresh water. He then went back to the Ghela River to take bath and came back for Swaminarayan Bhagwan’s Darshan.
Upon his arrival, Swaminarayan Bhagwan asked him “Uka Khachar, what happened? Why are you late? Don’t you know that I don’t like latecomers?”
Swaminarayan Bhagwan being omniscient, he was well aware of everything but just to give a lesson to other devotees, he was pretending as if he did not know anything.
Uka Khachar was standing quietly. Other devotees, those who have seen all things, narrated the whole incident. Swaminarayan Bhagwan was very happy and praised Uka Khachar. As a reward, Bhagwan gave the prints of his pious feet on the chest of Uka Khachar.
Even Bhagwan Shree Swaminarayan has mentioned Uka Khachar in Gadhada Madhya’s 25th Vachanamrut that “One who has become an addict of serving Me and My devotees like Uka Khachar, will get rid of even the most vitiated desires that may erupt from within one’s heart.“
So, this is how uka khachar was having an addiction of doing seva of Bhagwan Swaminarayan and his saints, Due to which he won the hearts of all.
Nishkam Seva means that we should not desire anything in return for doing something. Even if we want something, it should be just that Swaminarayan Bhagwan may accept our service and be happy with us.
So, this is how nishkam sevak can be benefited with much better things than he might have thought. One nishkam seva will give pleasure to one who accepts And one who is giving too.
Where there is the desire after serving, there will be no devotion. True devotees do not want anything from God but offer their all.
Let’s take a vow of selfless service from today itself. Whether a service would be small or big, someone notices it or not, we will do our best with devotion and dedication and we will try our best to please Bhagwan Swaminarayan and his saints with selfless service and we will be the most eligible candidates to be in Akshardham.