69-SERVE OTHERS TO FEEL OBLIGATED
In selfless service the recipient does not feel that he is under any obligation to the person who has helped. Never think you are obliging anybody by rendering any kinds of help on contrary believe that the recipient of your generosity has given you a chance to serve. Serve to other without expectation of appreciation. True selfless service means the rendering of service to other without any thought of gain or reward, and also without least intention of putting others under an obligation.
Intricacies of Selfless service
It is very important that service, even when it is utterly selfless, be guided by spiritual understanding; for selfless service when unintelligently handled, often creates chaos and complications. For every problem it solves, it often creates ten other problems owing to the unforeseen and uncontrollable side results of such activity. Worldly people try to counteract evil through opposition, but in doing so they often unconsciously become authors of other evils.
If the action is to be pure blessing for the universe, it must be born of consummate understanding of life. Selfless service must be based upon understanding if it is to be unmixed boon for all concerned.
That which is looked upon as service by ordinary person might, under special circumstances, be considered as disservice by a Perfect master; He has unerring knowledge of the situation and a deeper grasp of its spiritual demand. The tendency to beg for food as charity creates undesirable sanskaras, and feeding a person who comes to you with this tendency, you may help him to increase the burden of such sanskaras. If you render service in order to oblige a person and if you feel proud of doing it, you not only spiritually harm the recipient of your service but also yourself. If while serving, you take a delight in it and develop pride in doing a good thing, you are getting attached to your act and thereby binding yourself. Hence the way to remain free from karma is to remain completely detached in service.
The value of service depends upon the kind of good secured through it. The kind of well-being that is sought through service will depend upon the vision of the person, and one who has the clearest perception of the final good will be in a position to render the most important and valuable type of service.
The activities you are engaged in of serving the nation and the people are good. But to acquire the full bliss through karma yoga, there is only one way and method. And that is, while rendering service, there should not be the least thought or feeling of “I serve. I do this work.” Real service requires selflessness and should be done selflessly. There should not be the least thought of “I-ness” or “I do this.” Because such egoistic thoughts create pride, which gives rise to extremely dense and deep sanskaras, and it is most difficult to eradicate these types of sanskaras.
People all over the world do some kind of service. Some persons serve their community and some their country. But in their service, the degree of egoistic self-respect and selfishness is immense. Some serve to bring their name into the newspapers, some with a view to be looked upon highly, some to gain prominence and applause, and some to appear good and decent in the eyes of others. Thus everyone serves with an ulterior motive of selfish ambition or superior pride, and this is not serving at all. What is done is all useless, worthless and totally meaningless.
The scope of service is not completely exhausted by great gestures like giving big 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 gloom, have as much claim to be regarded as service generous sacrifices and heroic self denials. A glance which wipes out bitterness from the heart and sets it throbbing with new love is also service, although there may be no thought of service in it. When taken by themselves, all these seem to be small, but life is made up of many such small things. And if these things are ignored, life will be not only unbeautiful but unspiritual.
In a society which is dominated by merely material conceptions of life, service is interpreted in terms of supplying bread and clothes, or physical amenities of existence. In a society which values intellect, service is interpreted in terms of spreading learning in different forms. In a society which has developed a taste for beauty, service is interpreted in terms of organising the production and distribution of work of art. In a society which is responsive to the ineffable values of heart, service is interpreted in terms of constructing those channels which will facilitate the culture and expression of heart. And in a society which is alive to the supreme importance of the spirit, service is interpreted in terms of imparting spiritual understanding. Of these different type of service, the service which is concerned with spiritual understanding is the highest, because spiritual understanding includes the right perspective to all human problems, and promotes a solution of them all.
Be true karma yogis; serve, but serve with absolute selflessness. Keeping your "I-ness" at arm's length, serve in the name of Beloved God