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Author Topic: Seva  (Read 6 times)
Steve Hydonus
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« on: May 04, 2018 06:41 pm »

Choose a path that benefits others and serve with selfless love.
~ Amma
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« Reply #1 on: Jun 13, 2018 04:53 am »

I am inspired by the similar message between Amma and Inayat Khan or the path of the Sufi. 
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~Peace~
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« Reply #2 on: Jul 17, 2018 08:12 pm »

My first experience with Amma was wonderful. It ended abruptly when I was volunteered by people in blue vest asking I do Seva. I am ashamed to admit I was not in the mood. The night before seeing Amma I could not sleep. I woke up groggy, tired and had a total of 2-3 hours sleep. I had decided to fast the day of as well and was already hungry but waiting for the food provided after Darshan. I remember when the workers in blue vest asked me early morning if I had seen Amma before. When I said no I was jumped to the front of the line. I made a few friends with the people sitting next to me. After receiving my hug from Amma I went back and talked more with my new friends. I left them to use the bathroom and during this I was waved down by a tall and slender woman with blonde hair wearing a blue vest, she asked me if I was going to get a message and then, if I was the message therapist. I thought our awkward exchange was due to a language barrier and after us staring at each other confusingly I decided to proceed to the bathroom. Once there an asian gentleman also in a blue vest approached me and said, "You're the guy? You're the guy!" Here the same lady came back and said, "Yes! You're big and strong you will help carry the food! It's Seva!" Hungry, needing to use the bathroom and feeling a bit guilty at the time I agreed to try and help out thinking it would be a good thing.
Finally after using the bathroom I was rushed to the food, ah the smells were amazing! I was hungry and ready to eat- feeling the weight of my fatigue and the stress on my nerves. Instead of enjoying food with the guest I was handed a hairnet and the asian man abruptly clipped a tag on the collar of my shirt to indicate I was a worker- there I met a short bearded man who only asked, "How long is your shift?" Having no clue what was going on I told him how I was kind of roped into this experience, he seemed displeased- not with me but how I ended there. Long story made short, I became increasingly withdrawn and negative through out the experience and was criticized by a few people for carrying a large pot of food by myself instead of with the other worker. At this point I decided to retire my hairnet and apron and leave the building not saying goodbye to my new friends, listening to any of the music or eating the food.

Well, I am embarrassed by my behavior and feeling a bit remorseful- I hadn't the proper understanding of Seva or the culture and selfishly, I wanted to experience the vendors and the foods as a guest. I read something from Autobiography of a Yogi that helped place things in perspective. You know, Seva isn't just in helping serve during festivities- I see it's something we do in our every interaction with God, his Creation. To Serve You is to Serve God. I almost cried thinking upon this. I do hope Amma forgives me. She may have indeed sensed these things and played with my then weak mind-state.

I do hope for the opportunity again... Whether I need to speak up or simply jump in it willing and happily... Here is what I read from Autobiography of a Yogi, Chapter 15 The Cauliflower Robbery

"Many guest went upstairs to receive a pudding of channa and oranges. I made my way to a group of brother disciples who were serving today as cooks. Food for such large gatherings had to be cooked outdoors in huge cauldrons. The improvised wood-burning brick stoves were smoky and tear-provoking, but we laughed merrily at our work. Religious festivals in India are never considered troublesome; each devotee gladly does his part, supplying money, or rice and vegetables or his personal services.

...

By sunset we had served our hundreds of visitors with khichuri(rice and lentils), vegetable curry, and rice pudding. We laid cotton blankets over the courtyard; soon the assemblage was squatting under the starry vault, quietly attentive to the wisdom pouring from Sri Yukteswar's lips. His public speeches emphasized the value of Kriya Yoga, and a life of self-respect, calmness, determination, simple diet, and regular exercise.

...

...From ten o'clock until midnight, ashram residents washed pots and pans and cleared the courtyard. My guru called me to his side.
'I am pleased over your cheerful labors today and during the past week of preparations. I want you with me; you may sleep in my bed tonight.'
This was a privilege I had never thought would fall to my lot. We sat a while in a state of intense divine tranquility. About ten minutes after we had lain down to sleep, Master rose and began to dress.
'What is the matter sir?' The joy of sleeping beside my guru was suddenly tinged with unreality.
'I think that a few students who missed their proper train-connections will be here soon. Le us have some food ready.'
'Guruji, no one would come at one o'clock in the morning!'
'Stay in bed; you have been working very hard. But I am going to cook.'
At Sri Yukteswar's resolute tone, I jumped up and followed him to the small daily used kitchen adjacent to the second floor inner balcony. Rice and dal were soon boiling.
My guru smiled affectionately, 'Tonight you have conquered fatigue and fear of hard work; you shall never be bothered by them in the future.'
As he uttered these words of lifelong blessing, footsteps sounded in the courtyard. I ran downstairs and admitted a group of students."



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~Peace~

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