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c.smith
09 January 2014, 05:55 PM
Hari Om!

Have a burning desire to perform more and more seva as of late and would like ideas that other forums members might suggest, perhaps activities that they themselves have undertaken in relation to serving Guru or Ashram, etc. Yes, this can be highly personal but anything that one is willing to share would be of great benefit.

My want is to serve Guruji with all of my heart and mind, to fall at His feet and to secure His blessings with what I may offer as acceptable and beneficial, nothing more.

I realize that I have posted this same topic before but with a different intention and focus. Please forgive the oversight with this new thread but do realize that my desire here is of a different nature.

Jai Jai Gurudev!!

Om

Eastern Mind
09 January 2014, 06:00 PM
Hari Om!

Have a burning desire to perform more and more seva as of late and would like ideas that other forums members might suggest, perhaps activities that they themselves have undertaken in relation to serving Guru or Ashram, etc. Yes, this can be highly personal but anything that one is willing to share would be of great benefit.

My want is to serve Guruji with all of my heart and mind, to fall at His feet and to secure His blessings with what I may offer as acceptable and beneficial, nothing more.

Jai Jai Gurudev!!

Om

Vannakkam: Any of many local temples may need help landscaping, cleaning, mailing etc. Speak with the people who run it, or just start doing stuff on your own that you can tell nobody will mind. Generally there is a need. Often local temples, with high volunteer or board turnover from year to year, need a lot of help.

Aum Namasivaya

yajvan
09 January 2014, 09:19 PM
hariḥ oṁ
~~~~~~
namasté

I have a different view on this matter...

If we see the guru as an ~individual~ , then perhaps the activity of service is appropos. Yet we are told the guru is none other then brahman-in-form ; hence he is none other then the Self in form (svarūpa).

Now if guru is Self/brahman what possibly can he need ? Everything is himself already. What then can you give him ? The secret is in bowing.

We bow, and we touch our head to his feet. This is no doubt a symbol of humility yet there is more. Would it not make sense to touch our head to his head ? Consciousness to consciousness , no ?

The notion is this... the feet is the furthest from the head, from the residence of the ego. So for the guru his feet can be looked at as ~ pure awareness~. Now, our head is the residence of ego¹. We are bowing and offering the ego to him. This smallness of 'me', we wish to become pure awareness ( his feet), that is the offer, the highest service.

Now is it okay to offer one's actions to the guru in doing service. This doing can be for him, for the community for the mandira (temple). But if it is done and it swells the head ( code for feeding the ego) we have only increased the problem , no ?
What stands between you and the Supreme is this limited 'me-ness' of which the ego is the prime operative. You see, the beauty of spiritual growth is not to become something that you are not, it is just to get the things out of the way that is not the fullness of Being. The ego is none other then 'limited being' . We wish the full daylight of Being, of wholeness.

It is like the moon being out in the daylight. It is there but its light compared to the full rays of the sun ( ātman) has little affect.
The guru is the sun; give the moon to the sun and all will be well.

iti śivaṁ


1. ego = ahaṃkāra - is the 'I' doer; this is self(me) awareness; differentiated awareness within the realm of objects and within the world some call tripuṭā ( the 3's )

ameyAtmA
10 January 2014, 04:01 AM
Namaste

My want is to serve Guruji with all of my heart and mind, to fall at His feet and to secure His blessings with what I may offer as acceptable and beneficial, nothing more.
The best way to serve the Guru is
1. Follow their instructions and order (ādnyā , ājña).
2. Help them help others . Make this easy for the Guru without letting ahaṃkār get in the way.


The notion is this... the feet is the furthest from the head, from the residence of the ego. So for the guru his feet can be looked at as ~ pure awareness~. Now, our head is the residence of ego¹. We are bowing and offering the ego to him. This smallness of 'me', we wish to become pure awareness ( his feet), that is the offer, the highest service.

Namaste, this is so beautiful and true. This praṇām has become so automatic, and yet fully from the heart - not mechanical , that funnily it confuses people including the saint (if repeated frequently during the day). They may think, "what do you wish for now? "
Oh nothing. At all . I shall not even ask "you" to remove "my" vikār (faults). It is just this inherent bhāgvat dharma, that makes one do such a thing. Just feel reverence for You that is all .
It truly brings more and more and more samarpaṇ (submission) - of the ego of course.
Even so, this is just happening on its own --- perhaps because I am not the doer, never was . Some entity is bowing to another entity.

Hands fold automatically but in reverence, in front of picture frames [and mirrors!] -- who is in it? Could be anyone from Bhagvān, Deva, a siddha (perfected being), santa (saint), elder in family to an ordinary living being, family member, even a 4 year old child, or even yourself in the mirror !

When children under 8 are seen sitting quietly in satsanga, katha or discourse next to their parent, this heart wants to bow down to their feet, but can't actually do that or they would get confused . Adults get confused ("Why are you offering namaskar to me [of all people]?" ) , so why wouldn't children .


But if it is done and it swells the head ( code for feeding the ego) we have only increased the problem , no ?

So very true.

praṇām to all

Eastern Mind
10 January 2014, 07:52 AM
But if it is done and it swells the head ( code for feeding the ego) we have only increased the problem , no ?


Vannakkam: If a tree falls in the forest when nobody hears it, does it still make a sound?

If a devotee does service when nobody is around, and never tells anyone, does it feed the ego?

I think it is paramount that we not worry about such things as ego when doing seva, bhakti, etc. This worrying limits our action, can stop us from doing anything at all.

I can recall the day our temple board was appointed. The first order of business was to select a president from the members on the board. Somebody had to do it. The question, "Will you do it?' went around the circle of 11 people three full times before someone reluctantly agreed. Why? Each person felt he/she would be accused of having an ego. Had that person not stepped up, the temple I go to today may well not exist.

Aum Namasivaya

yajvan
10 January 2014, 08:53 AM
hariḥ oṁ
~~~~~~
namasté


If a devotee does service when nobody is around, and never tells anyone, does it feed the ego?

I think it is paramount that we not worry about such things as ego when doing seva, bhakti, etc. This worrying limits our action, can stop us from doing anything at all.

If a devotee does service when no-body is around does it feed the ego ? The ego is there whether he/she is in a crowd or restrained in a single room.

Upon further inspection, consider where this worry comes from that you mention.

The limitations found on this good earth arise with the advent and feeding of the ego. The only service one does with a swelled head is to continue to nourish the ego... it thanks you, at the same time you think you are crushing it. Herein lies the thief.

And if a tree falls in the woods and no one hears it , much good comes from this fallen tree. Let this tree be the ego that falls.

iti śivaṁ

Eastern Mind
10 January 2014, 10:39 AM
Upon further inspection, consider where this worry comes from that you mention.


Vannakkam:

What worry? :)

Aum Namasivaya

c.smith
10 January 2014, 12:16 PM
Hari Om!

Still, the work must be done - no?

Does/Can one get to a place where the ego does not take over and actually offer selfless service by grace of Guru? Not saying that one could ever be equal to Guru by any means.

Had never thought of the ego aspect and appreciate that it was so blatantly yet lovingly pointed out. YajvanJi, you always seem to cut to the chase as they say.

Your continued guidance is greatly encouraged and appreciated.

Om

yajvan
10 January 2014, 02:54 PM
hariḥ oṁ
~~~~~~
namasté


What worry?

yes...

Hari Om!
Still, the work must be done - no?

Does/Can one get to a place where the ego does not take over and actually offer selfless service by grace of Guru? Not saying that one could ever be equal to Guru by any means.

Had never thought of the ego aspect and appreciate that it was so blatantly yet lovingly pointed out. YajvanJi, you always seem to cut to the chase as they say.

Yes, work is to be done. In fact if we alive we are compelled to action.
Can one get to a place where the ego does not take over? Yes. Humility¹ is the first step, as it grooms the right approach. Yet to be fully without the ego is to be possessed of the Self, and this too is possible.


iti śivaṁ

1. humility is not thinking less of your self, but less about yourself. This humbleness the ego does not enjoy because you are not 'feeding' it; it likes to be fed.