How to Serve Others


I am learning to be a person of service. To be of service, to be aware of this in all that i do....but sometimes the weight of it, serving, service work, can be heavy. Judgements from others, opinions, perceptions, wheather reality or un reality, today the weight of it, of being of heavy. And I feel an extreem sadness. How can I attempt a glad heart?

—thea, usa


Dear Thea,

Thank you for your question and for your dedication to living a meaningful life. You’ve asked a very important question. Last night Swami Kriyananda gave an inspirational evening (April 7). It will appear in a day or two on, and will be archived on the Swami Kriyananda Talks page.

He was asked about service, and spoke of two things: the importance of “nishkam karma” – action without the desire for the fruits of action, and meditation. In order to truly serve, it’s useful to be clear whom we are serving. If we are focused on serving people only, it is very easy to become discouraged, heavy, sad, etc.

But if we see ourselves as children of God, part of God, channels for His light and energy, and try to do our best to serve Him, leaving the results of our service in His hands – we begin to feel lighter and more joyful.

Mother Teresa, a great saint of service, was asked by a reporter, “With all the suffering there is in the world, how can you feel successful at what you’re doing. It’s a drop in the bucket.”

She replied, “I’m not trying to be successful. I’m trying to be faithful.” She was simply doing what God asked her to do, to the best of her ability, with complete trust that He would help her, and with the joy of feeling His love flow through her.

You don’t mention God in your question, so the question for you is, Is He part of the equation? If not, please do what you can to explore how to make God part of your life – in whatever form, through whatever religion most speaks to your heart.

Yogananda wrote a book that Swami Kriyananda edited, which is invaluable for someone who might not feel drawn to a religious approach to God. It’s called God Is for Everyone. You might explore that if that’s been a block for you.

Meditation is the vehicle to discover that divine presence in the silence of your own being. Again, offers you ways to get started, including online meditation classes, if there is no Ananda center or meditation group near you.

Thea, you have taken a beautiful step in your life. I hope you will explore further inside yourself how to raise it to the highest possible level, so that you are able to feel all the joy that is possible for you.

In divine friendship and service,
Nayaswami Anandi