Tuesday, November 26, 2013

A Story of Seva

Seva is selfless service. 

 There is a good lesson in this story for all of us: 

                There once was a very rich man, called Karori, who seemed to have everything in the world. However, he was not a happy man because he suffered from insomnia and indigestion. His life changed when he met Guru Nanak (founder of Sikhism) who could see right away that Karori was troubled.
                Instead of providing a remedy, Guru Nanak asked that Karori set up a community kitchen to provide meals to the poor and impoverished. Karori was taken aback by the Guru Nanak’s request, but he set out to fulfill the wise man’s request anyway, for Karori was also a proud man and this was an opportunity to show off his wealth.
                Soon Karori became deeply involved with serving the community. The community kitchen gave him a chance to get to know the people in the community and he came to understand these people as individuals. Over time, Karori started to care about the people around him. Not only he created the community kitchen, he also supervised the cooking and distribution. He worked hard to improve the welfare of the community. Before he realized it, his health has improved. He also changed from a proud, wealthy man to a kind and caring man.
                Karori believed his new and improved health was a miracle given to him by Guru Nanak. Guru Nanak smiled and told him: “The problems with your health were caused by your way of life and your attitude of mind. Your obsession with amassing wealth affected your sleep and your health. Once you started the free kitchen, you discovered the joys of giving and sharing. Your concern is now not for yourself but for others. Your obsession is no longer with how you can increase your holding of gold but the happiness and comfort that it can bring to the lives of others. You have subjugated the self to the service of mankind. You have attained a state of bliss, which many strive for but few achieve. You are now a true man of God.” (Dhillon, p.170)

This story is selected from The First Sikh Spiritual Master by Harish Dhillon, 2006. 

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