Faith

Selfless service

Offering worship in temples, going on pilgrimage, singing hymns in praise of the Lord, etc, are generally suggested to a spiritual aspirant as a means to imbibe bhakti. Realised souls such as Tirunavukkarasar have shown that these are not only for those getting initiated into the path of bhakti, but are very much part and parcel of a jnani’s life, pointed out Sri Muralidhara Swamigal in a discourse. Selfless service to the Lord and his devotees is the motto to be followed. One is shielded from the effects and attacks of vasana malam, a strong force that binds a jivatma to samsara. Moreover, even a jnani can lapse into forgetfulness of the Lord; but service always reminds one to be grateful to the Lord.

The essence of devotion is in absolute humility. The sense of ‘I’ and ‘Mine’ easily kills the goodness in one. This ego consciousness is overcome when devotees see each other as a group serving the Lord and helping each other as well. The cause of samsara is attachment to the world of objects and beings. What better way to circumvent this attachment than by turning to God?

As love for God increases, there is a decrease in the attraction and temptations of worldly glitter. It is said that once when he was cleaning the temple premises, there were gold and precious gems among the grass. Tirunavukkarasar collected all these along with the other stones and threw them away.

In true devotion is subsumed many excellent qualities such as self-effacing modesty, love towards all beings, and a total lack of ego. Bharata accepted Rama’s Padukas as representative of the Lord and ruled Ayodhya until Rama’s return. So too, the devout Ambarisha installed the Lord’s Chakra in the throne and ruled the kingdom on behalf of the Chakra.


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Printable version | Oct 17, 2021 11:45:36 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/society/faith/selfless-service/article22826978.ece

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