Selfless service is divorcing ego from action

It is important to point out the distinction between actions that are prompted by the ego (such actions serve to strengthen the ego) and actions that are divorced from the ego.

Selfless service necessarily means divorcing the ego from action.

When service is directed to help others without any selfish motive, such service becomes sacrifice.

In Western culture and civilisation, the ego is accorded a lot of importance as it is viewed as the center of consciousness.

It can safely be said that there is even a premium attached to it.

It is viewed as a reflection of a person's ability, initiative and enterprise. The ego is worshipped for example in American culture and society.

Actions prompted by the individual ego is viewed in positive terms.

It is therefore believed that the pursuit of the sectional or individual interest must lead to the development of the general interest.

But in Eastern culture and civilization this is not the case.

The ego and the intellect are treated as separate entities. The truth of the matter is that the essence of life is sacrifice.

The five elements (air, fire, water, wind and ether) give selflessly without any expectation of return. The river Ganges accepts everyone in her fold whether they be young or old, sick or healthy, human beings or animals.

The reality of life consists in the truth that the more one gives, the more one receives. This is the powerful message that Mother Nature provides her children every single day even if it not appropriated as such.

Unfortunately, the sway of Western culture in the Asian context is influencing people to move in its direction.

As Swami Rama observes: “In the East sacrifice is a virtue not at all related to a sense of self-depletion or having to give something under duress.

The East considers the greatest of all human beings to be those who sacrifice their selfish pleasures for the sake of selfless service and the attainment of eternal wisdom.”

“The essence of sacrifice is giving selflessly. It is a complete expression of love in the true sense.

“Those who learn to be content with only their essential needs fulfilled are truly happy and they use all their resources in the love and service of others. The little bit that is left over is used for the sustenance of their existence in the world so that they can continue giving. Such individuals live for others. But the selfish are not aware of the law of giving and are doomed.”

For the spiritual aspirant, all thought, speech and action must be transformed into offerings to the Supreme Being. Such offerings then become sacrifice. Such living results in harmony.

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