When we say we wish to serve a person, the beneficiary should be the one who is being served.

If we say we are serving someone, but expect something from that person, how can we use the word ‘service’?

The same thing applies to the service we offer God. We should not serve with the desire to get material benefits from Him. When we worship Lord Narayana, our aim should be to attain moksha and serve Him. Even here, the service should be such that He takes happiness in it. Every aspect of the service is about the Lord being pleased with it.

This kind of selfless service to the Lord can come about only if we realise that the atma does not belong to us and that it belongs to Him, said Akkarakkani Srinidhi in a discourse.

But in reality, we often serve the Lord and our Acharyas only with a selfish motive or in order to garner attention. There was a rich man who was a student of a poor teacher.

One day, the rich man offered the teacher some gold coins. He knew that the teacher would not care for gold. In fact, the gold was offered in the certainty that it would not be accepted! As expected, the teacher said he did not want the gold, but added the student should cast all of them into the river.

The teacher sent a man along to ensure the student carried out his instructions. When the man, whom the teacher had deputed, returned in the evening, the teacher asked him what had kept him so long.

He replied that the student had wept over every gold coin he had to cast into the river. His reluctance to part with the gold had delayed things! The student’s insincerity now stood exposed. The teacher then asked the student why he was attached to the gold.

After all, once the student had given it to the teacher, it was the latter’s wish to do what he pleased with it. Isn’t this the attitude of most of us, when we say we wish to serve God? A person who says he wishes to serve Lord Narayana should know that his atma belongs to the Lord. All our service should be directed towards the owner of the atma.

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