(1) Selfless Service a Source of Joy
human body is meant solely for service, never for indulgence. The secret
of happy life lies in renunciation. Renunciation is life. Indulgence is
death. Therefore everyone has a right and should desire to live 125
years while performing service without an eye on result. Such life must
be wholly and solely dedicated to service. Renunciation made for the
sake of service is an ineffable joy, of which none can deprive one,
because that nectar springs from within and sustains life. In this there
can be no room for worry or impatience. Without this joy, long life is
impossible and would not be worth-while even if possible.
The soul is omnipresent; why should she care to be confined within the
cage-like body, or do evil and even kill for the sake of the cage ? We
thus arrive at the ideal of total renunciation and learn to use the body
for the purpose of service, so long as it exists, so much so, that
service and not bread becomes with us, the staff of life. We eat and
drink, sleep and awake, for service alone. Such an attitude of mind
brings us real happiness and beatific vision in the fullness of time.
(2) Service Meant for Self-realization
I am here to serve no one else but myself, to find my own self-realization
through the service of these village folk. Man's ultimate aim is the
realization of God, and all his activities — social, political,
religious — have to be guided by the ultimate aim of the vision of God.
The immediate service of human beings becomes a necessary part of the
endeavour, simply because the only way to find God is to see Him in His
creation and be one with it. This can only be done through one's
country. I am part and parcel of the whole, and I cannot find Him apart
from the rest of humanity. My countrymen are my nearest neighbours. They
have become so helpless, so resourceless, so inert that I must
concentrate on serving them. If I could persuade myself that I should
find Him in a Himalayan cave, I would proceed there immediately. But I
know that I cannot find Him apart from humanity.
(3) Service Leads to Salvation
I am striving for the Kingdom of Heaven, which is spiritual deliverance.
For me the road to salvation lies through incessant toil in the service
of my country and my humanity. I want to identify myself with everything
that lives. In the language of the Gita, I want to live at
peace with both friend and foe. My patriotism is for me a stage on my
journey to the land of Eternal Freedom and Peace. Thus it will be seen
that for me there is no politics devoid of religion. They subserve
religion. Politics bereft of religion is a death-trap because they kill
(4) Service Should Be Constant
A life of service must be one of humility. He, who could sacrifice his
life for others, has hardly time to reserve for himself a place in the
sun. Inertia must not be mistaken for humility, as it has been in
Hinduism. True humility means most strenuous and constant endeavour,
entirely directed towards the service of humanity. God is continuously
in action without resting for a single moment. If we should serve Him or
become one with Him, our activity must be as unwearied as His. There may
be momentary rest in store for the drop which is separated from the
ocean, but not for the drop in the ocean, which knows no rest. The same
is the case with ourselves. As soon as we become one with the ocean in
the shape of God, there is no more rest for us, nor indeed do we need
rest any, longer. Our very sleep is action. For we sleep with the
thought of God in our hearts. This restlessness constitutes true rest.
This never-ceasing agitation holds the key to peace ineffable. This
supreme state of total surrender is difficult to describe, but not
beyond the bounds of human experience. It has been attained by many
dedicated souls, and may be attained by ourselves as well.