Service Not Moksha

From Bhakti Yoga Sagar, Volume Seven, Swami Satyananda Saraswati

Saints are born to help others, to serve others. Saints and ascetics are not born to seek their own liberation; it is not their mission. Householders seek moksha, worldly people seek liberation or final salvation because they are miserable. One who is in bondage needs release. One who feels he is a prisoner wants to be set free. If you feel that this world is a veritable bondage, only then will you seek release from this bondage. If you do so you must get it.

But why should I seek liberation? I fail to understand what I will do in the next world. I may be happy in the next world too where I will serve God. I am also quite at home in Rikhia. If I have to shift somewhere else tomorrow I will be happy there. I remain happy in every situation, in every country, in every association, in every garb, in every hue and colour, in every circumstance. I adjust myself to every mode and method. Saints and seers never seek final liberation; they do not need it. Only those need moksha who are in chains, in bondage, who are miserable, who are in terrible agony, who are frustrated and worried. One who is sick needs a doctor.

Does a river drink its own water? Do fruits and vegetables such as mangoes, guavas, apples, papaya, jackfruit, tomatoes or potatoes eat themselves? No, they are for all of us. This is called paramartha, the highest service. That which helps others is paramartha and that which is of no help to others is selfishness. Man’s greatest weakness is miserliness. Devas run after enjoyment, demons are cruel and human beings are miserly. So devas have to be learn self-restraint, demons have to learn to be kind and human beings have to learn to give.

—16 December 2001