Guru Seva

From the teachings of Swami Sivananda Saraswati

The first step on the spiritual path is selfless service of the guru. Serving the guru is the corner stone of the citadel of immortality. Discrimination, dispassion, and aspiration are the pillars. Eternal bliss is the super structure. Serve the guru, the poor and the sick. Guru seva is worship of God. Never forget this. Purify the intellect. A pure intellect helps you to reach the door of intuition and attain self-realization.

Aspirants should direct their whole attention in the beginning towards the removal of selfishness by protracted guru seva. Serve your guru with divine bhava. Guru seva and self-surrender to guru open the heart, expand the consciousness and deepen the spirit. Guru seva is the means by which the mind is prepared for meditation. Guru seva will not hinder your practice of meditation. On the other hand, it purifies your heart and helps you in meditation.

God can best be served or worshipped through guru seva. An hour’s guru seva with divine bhava is worth more than a year’s pilgrimage to tirthas. Guru seva alone can purify your heart and fill it with divine virtues. Guru seva alone can take you to the door of intuition and the realm of infinite bliss. Through guru seva, develop the heart and clean the mind. Cheerfully serve your guru who is God in disguise. The secret of sadhana is guru seva. It is the guide post to emancipation.

Live to serve the guru. Be prepared to do willingly any work assigned by him. By doing so you will develop your willpower. Serve him humbly, willingly, unquestioningly, unassumingly, ungrudgingly, untiringly and lovingly. There is no such thing as menial service in guru seva. Every form of seva is worship of God. The more energy you spend in serving your guru, the more divine energy will flow into you.

One who serves the guru serves the whole world. Serve the guru without selfish ends, without expectation of name, fame, power, wealth, etc. Unless a disciple serves the guru with bhava and purifies his heart, he lives in vain. His meditation will not bear fruit. The world is burning with misery and suffering. You are caught up in the wheel of samsara. Wake up! Approach the guru. Serve him with love. Serve untiringly. This will purify your heart. You will attain liberation and everlasting bliss.

Serve your guru with heart and soul, with burning love and a fiery spirit of sacrifice. The salt of life is service to guru. The bread of life is devotion to guru. Guru seva is your way, love of guru is your ideal and his grace is your light.