Service means giving of oneself without expecting anything in return. In our present society we’ve been conditioned to think that the more we gain for ourselves the happier we’ll be. But in fact – as we are all realising – inner happiness lies in giving more, not taking more. Giving is indeed receiving. When we give we increase our sense of connection and feeling of oneness with all people and all things. Indeed, with the essence of all. The transformation of selfishness to selflessness is the transformation of one’s limited self (one’s limited sense of awareness) into the greater Self (infinite awareness). In this process our radius of love gradually increases to encompass the whole universe.
People get depressed when they feel disconnected, cut off from the joys and sorrows of the rest of the world, imprisoned in their own concerns. But the more we expand our sense of self and connection with others, the more we feel that we’re all in this cosmic drama together and we’re all helping each other through it. That feeling of connection comes from daily introspection and service. The more you feel it internally the more you feel like sharing it. And the more you share it the more you feel it internally. The two aspects – self-realisation and service – are complimentary, feeding into each other like a river feeds into the sea, the sea water in turn evaporating and feeding back into the river in a beautiful cycle of integrated oneness.
“It is action that makes a person great. Be great by your sadhana [spiritual practice], by your service, and by your sacrifice.”
Shrii Shrii Anandamurti
Ananda Marga runs service projects around the world. Visit our social service pages to learn more: