Seva

Question

How may I know how God wants me to serve the society?

—Ankit Tripathi, Denmark

Answer

Dear Ankit,

“God has everything,” Paramhansa Yogananda said, “but our love!” God’s will for you is to realize God as your own true Self. If serving society helps to expand your consciousness beyond the ego and to God, then serving society is karmically useful.

My teacher, Swami Kriyananda, a direct disciple of Yogananda, put it this way: “It’s not the WHAT, but the HOW!” Whatever we do in life, if we can do with attunement to God and as an instrument of the divine presence, then we will advance toward freedom (moksha).

The details of what we do in life, how we serve, are less important than the consciousness with which we act. So, focus on deepening your attunement to God and guru through prayer, meditation, devotion and, yes, service to your fellow man (as your own Self). Pray for guidance, too, in your meditations in respect to the form of service that is karmically right for you.

Karma yoga is too often only (more) karma; but it can become yoga when your service is an act of devotion and attunement.

Krishna states in the Bhagavad Gita, “Even a leaf I accept” as an act of devotion. If you will act in this way, you will be guided to serve in the way that is best for your soul. If you see a need in society around you and if you feel inspired to serve that need and can do so with the spirit of God flowing through you, then by all means, do so!

But if in your service to society, you become stressed, angry or frustrated and lose your inner peace, then how can such service benefit anyone? “To the peaceless, how is happiness possible” Krishna says (in the Bhagavad Gita).

OK? Does this make sense for you?

Nayaswami Hriman
Seattle WA USA