The aspirant always has to be in readiness to serve the cause of humanity. Whatever service he can do, he renders it even in trying circumstances. The ordeals through which he may have to pass may be many, but his determination to serve whenever possible, must remain unshaken. Service should spring out of the spontaneity of freedom, and it has to come in the cooperative spirit in which there is no insistence upon the claims of the limited “I”.
If the aspirant is completely detached from all works and their results, he becomes free from the vitiating opposites of great and small. The worldly-minded feel their separate existence through achievements. Therefore, they have a natural tendency to judge their achievements in terms of tangible quantities. They grasp at the great things and avoid the little things. Spiritually, the so-called little things are often seen to be as important as the so-called great. Hence the aspirant attends to little things with as much zest as to great things.
The scope of service is not limited to big gestures like giving large donations to public institutions. They also serve, who express their love in little things.
A word that gives courage to a drooping heart or a smile that brings hope and cheer in the midst of gloom has as much claim to be regarded as service as onerous sacrifices and heroic self-denials. A glance that wipes out bitterness from the heart and sets it throbbing with a new love is also service.
When taken in isolation, these things seem to be small; but life is made up of many such small things. If small things were to be ignored, life would not only be ‘unbeautiful’ but unspiritual, too. The aspirant must be humble, honest and sincere. The service he renders should be the outcome of true love and not just from a sense of duty, as happens in worldly institutions where there are paid workers. At best, it is a cold sense of duty that prompts these workers to be efficient. Their work cannot have the inward beauty of work spontaneously done out of love.
The aspirant can best assimilate the lessons of true service if he has the good fortune to be in contact with a perfect Master. The Master teaches by example. When he serves others, he does so not because he is attached to the work but in order to help, and also to set an example to his disciples, of selfless service. While serving others, he sees himself in them and thus experiences having served himself. In his unwaning blissful feeling of oneness, he knows himself to be at once the master and servant of all.
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