We live in a complex world laden with inner conflict and outer divergences. More often than not, our balance is lost. Our Guru, Paramhansa Yogananda, gives great emphasis on balancing our lives as an important tenet for realizing our highest Self: On one hand, with the practice of meditation and deepining our inner life; and on the other hand, by doing service and spiritualizing our outward life. While there are many spiritual teachings on how to develop our inner life, but there is lesser clarity on what does service or ‘Seva’ mean?

Paramhansa Yogananda professed Seva as a path to Self-Realization. It is a means of uplifting consciousness by dissolving the ego and integrating our lower self with the Higher Self. Seva is to balance giving and receiving. Whatever we give to God, is what we receive. It is a realization that everything we have comes from God, so we should practice appropriate form of giving back to the Divine. In all, Seva is a way to establish our personal relationship with God.

Seva is to infuse our daily lives with an attitude of selfless service, or to practice, in the words of Sri Krishna in Bhagavad Gita, “Niskam Karma” and to practically apply that attitude in whatever we do. It means to serve in a manner that deepens our attunement with God. We want to act in such a way as to feel the God’s presence and being instruments for him. We act with the awareness of representing God through our service.

The following points can help you deepen your understanding and practice of Seva. Read them carefully and, more importantly, implement them in your daily life so that you may experiment with them and experience how it effects you and those around you.