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Seminar on "Service is the only concern of the Serf"

1. Sri. Balachander

In the given topic for the Seminar, three words seem to appeal to me most and they are Service, Serf and Concern. The term serf by itself denotes tendency to obey with no questions asked and willingness to serve whomsoever without expecting any reward or recognition. This provides a proper frame of mind to serve. The concern of the Divine is phenomenally appealing in that without our deservancy, He showers compassion in exponential rate by center itself yawning towards circumference. Our Master is known for his enormous love and genuine interest in our upliftment. A few passages are indicated to show his concern:

It has gushed out from the deep core of my heart with love and affection…. And this insignificant being is seeking fellow pilgrims to march on the path of freedom.(P 118- SDG)

We should do our duty to uplift the mankind not minding whether they are doing their duty towards us properly. (P152-SDG)

What is service and what is its significance? At the time of creation through manifestation, Divinity has sacrificed itself to condescend to come to our plane and share His delight in the form of service. As service happens to be the natural door way to God realization, it has come to stay that service to humanity is the true worship of God or Manava seva is Madhava seva.

Service can be categorized into three types- physical service, including financial support, educational service and spiritual service. We serve others not because he wants it badly but it is through this that we want to help ourselves.

To a hungry man nothing appeals except the offer of food which is his immediate need. Hosts of welfare organizations, social clubs have chosen to provide this type of physical service either in the form of providing food, clothing, immediate medical aids etc., The oddity of this service is that it calls for continuous non-stop support with no break and where one breaks or delays or denies- whatever be the reason- the fact that service is not now provided is broadcast more audibly and all the service done earlier go totally unrecognized. This service is one of relief and not upliftment. and relief has its own limitation in terms of money, men, time, energy etc.,

Educational Service is more enduring . As knowledge is power, knowledge dissemination has been mercilessly thwarted by the interested few as could be seen from the pathetic end of the great personality, Socrates. In a country like ours with high level of illiteracy, this Vidyadan is a real boon. Man’s ingenuity has however converted this as a fertile commercial proposition thus belittling its stature. That apart, many religious institutions have chosen to identify this purely for propagation, religious preaching, and some times notoriously as indoctrination. Educational service once provided, it remains stable and never goes diminished by further distribution nor does it vanish with the passage of time as in the case of physical service. Yet it too has its own limitation.

Spiritual service or Brahma Vidya is eternal and has lasting benefit to the beneficiary. In the mire of worldly attractions, the urge to avail this has become pathetically insignificant presumably because of the basic doubt entertained about its attainment or may be due to non-recognition of its values as compared to the glamour of the impermanent worldly pleasures. Being scarce and rich in value, it was kept as a closely guarded secret with lots of preconditions imposed for entry into the field lest it should fall on undesirable hands. Here the area is vast, and the benefit is infinite.

Traditionally it has been held that spiritual service is always on a one-to- one equation and never on a mass scale. Number and quality are inversely related. Being individual-based, unconsciously, I believe, ‘others-do not bother’ attitude might have crept into this at some weak past. The emphasis is on self-realization, upliftment of one’s spiritual condition and vertical growth. The Sanyasi ethics and off-the-home culture automatically have embraced it to make spirituality an exclusive privilege of the mendicant. True, spirituality is for the few, truer, it is for the lions and not for the sheep but yet, the loss of human face has its own deleterious impact in not making this to join with the main stream of social life.

The horizontal dimension to the realm of spirituality added a new flavor, a fresh outlook, and above all a soothing ‘I care for you’ attitude. Each flower has to grow to its own size concept, coupled with every Grihastha is entitled to realize God philosophy brought out a new enthusiasm and confidence to the beaming millions for whom service awaits with no pomp and no rigidities. Love is a fascinating word which symbolizes three angles-love asks not or questions not; love knows not the fear; love is never the means. “Unless there is love, philosophy becomes dry bones, psychology becomes a theory, and work becomes mere labor. With love, philosophy becomes poetry, psychology becomes mysticism and work the most delicious thing in creation” ( Swami Vivekananda’s works Vol. vi.P.72 ) Service through Ramchandra’s Raja yoga is a spiritual renaissance and a new darshana as Dr.KCV puts it.

Each one of us is an expression of the Divine is the basis on which empathy and concern for fellow human being develops. Humility makes the access natural and thus service emerges. Thanks to Lalaji, we have a system wherein “the Divine mind is introduced into the consciousness of any one and where you give relief to the mind, remove it from fearful concentration on itself, and try to develop a fearless life then you find the starting point of the spiritual revolution.”… “Yoga begins not with you but with God who loves you. That love, that purifies you, that sanctifies you, that divinizes you, that looks after you morning, noon, and night, as the breath of your breath, as the life of your life and this is what I feel, to be the real Yoga, the real union.:” (Dr.KCV.1-P432-434) Pranahuti ennobles the thought, enlivens the attitude, rejuvenates the mind and brings in shift in the levels of consciousness from animal plane, to human and from human to Divine. Thus what we have is a human transformation, emerging not out of Tapas or austerities, but out of voluntarily accepted fraternal obligation to effect a change in the mind of the fellow Abhyasi. In the whole process, God is Abhyasi-friendly and not the fearful metaphysical God with all the complexities of human conception in projecting Him as the creator of the Universe, omniscient or Omnipotent with attendant dogmas. Yes, such an easy reach of God is more than a revolution, a real spiritual ‘renaissance’.

Babuji’s unique inventions of point A&B meditation, Universal Prayer, and Commandment 6 all taken together as a package mean a lot of service, and concern for the fellow human beings. The clarion call has been that “we are all brethern connected intellectually, morally and spiritually- the main goal of human life… and there is no question of separation. We are all coming and closer and closer. ”(SDG) Strikingly, the Universal Prayer is designed to benefit others only with its cascading effect on one’s vertical growth as well.

Despite His call, man has deep doubt as to how one could influence the thought pattern of the Globe, particularly when we are conscious of the atmospheric contamination and the pure-minded persons doing Universal Prayer being very meagre. This arises out of one’s lack of awareness of the cosmic interconnectivity and not understanding the principle of the invisible link between all organisms at the inner conscious plane. It is the thought on Universal Prayer that sends waves to the Collective Consciousness and each participant is a building block to the Whole and with each additional entrant, the level of collective consciousness gets scaled up not at one-to-one ratio but by a phenomenally large rate. In one of the Seminar presentations Rev. Br. Shri. K.C.Narayana came out with a “scientific research which indicates that if 1% of the Earth’s population changes or raises its consciousness it will create a critical mass that will lift the entire collective Consciousness”. The intensity of the Universal Prayer and the expansiveness in the spread has to somehow touch the required Critical Mass so that the vibrations of the Collective Consciousness would bring in a sea-change in the thought –mix. and at that level, the Universal Prayer could have far reaching influence -- may be in geometric progression-- over the entire humanity and by our service in that direction, by our participation in that Yagna, we could change the thought pattern in the atmosphere—a thing unconceivably strange yet but largely true.

As Babuji puts it “history tells us that we have grown from poverty to power and from servant to Master” (P121 SDG)

One dimension of the closely held concept of spirituality has been the emergence of the superiority-cult in the form of Gurudom or Masterhood with its attendant side- effects.

Babuji refers to himself as one who cleanses the toilet indicating breaking up of the individual network, removing our samskaras etc., Gurudom pampers ego, displays the vanity of the self and anchors on power and authority. As Babuji puts it, “It is the idea of service that makes Master” , and not the status of Master that brings service from the disciples to establish and expand the empire of Gurudom which some Gurus have unfortunately allowed to perpetuate. Humility and service-mindedness lead one to perfection and love being the link, the reach rate through service is far higher which no power could conceive and no authority could confer.

To sum up : Babuji’s categorical declaration is that “a real cry of the pangful heart of a true seeker brings the Master to his door”(P146 SDG).