Love whispers in my ear,
"Better to be a prey than a hunter.
Make yourself my fool.
Stop trying to be the sun and become a speck!
Dwell at My door and be homeless.
Don't pretend to be a candle, be a moth,
so you taste the savor of Life
and know the power hidden in serving."

Rumi, Mathnawi V, 411-414, quoted in: Helminski, Kabir (2000). The Rumi Collection. P.136.

Human beings have three spiritual states. In the first, a person pays no attention whatsoever to God and worships anything - sex, money, rank - but God. When he starts to learn something deeper, then he will serve no one and nothing but God. And when he progresses in this state he grows silent; he doesn't claim: "I don't serve God," nor does he boast: "I do serve God;" he has gone beyond these two positions. From such beings, no sound comes into the world. Rumi, quoted in: Helminski, Kabir (2000). The Rumi Collection. P.68.

The word 'service' means an obedience to the order through body, mind and speech. A disciple with a pure soul shall of necessity carry out the order of the preceptor risking his life and staking his possessions even if the task is not within his power. The word Sisya (disciple) means a person who is worth of being ordered about. The Siva-Purana, Vol.I, Ch.18 - Vidyesvarasamhita, 87-88.

"Jiva is Shiva (all living beings are God). Who then dare talk of showing mercy to them? Not mercy, but service, service, for man must be regarded as God!" Ramakrishna, quoted in: Rolland, Romain. (1994). The Life of Ramakrishna. P.85.

(To a young spiritual aspirant, who could not achieve peace in meditation, Swami Vivekananda said "in a voice full of loving sympathy"): My boy, if you take my word, you will have first of all to open the door of your room and look around, instead of closing your eyes. There are hundreds of poor and helpless people in your neighbourhood; you have to serve them to the best of your ability. You will have to nurse and procure food and medicine for the sick. You will have to feed those who have nothing to eat. You will have to teach the ignorant. My advice to you is that if you want peace of mind, you shall have to serve others to the best of your ability. Vivekananda, quoted in: Nikhilananda, Vivekananda, A Biography, P.122.

Selfishness is the Devil incarnate in every man. Every bit of self is of the Devil. Take away self on one side and God enters by the other. Vivekananda, quoted in: Nikhilananda, Vivekananda, A Biography, P.199.

Are you unselfish? That is the question. If you are, you will be perfect without reading a single religious book, without going into a single church or temple. Vivekananda, quoted in: Nikhilananda, Vivekananda, A Biography, P.199.

Keep busy doing constructive things for your own self-improvement and for the benefit of others, for whoever would enter God's kingdom must try also to do good for others every day. Paramahansa Yogananda, Man's Eternal Quest, P.210.

It is important that you and I, in our humble way, even as Isaiah did, in his great way, recognize that we have work to do through our affiliation with the community and that work is part of God's charge to each of his children. Like Isaiah, we recognize our limitations and weaknesses. Even as we dare to say these words: "Here am I: send me," we know ourselves to be unworthy of our glorious privileges. But his very knowledge, painful though it may be, is at the same time immensely stimulating and encouraging. At his moment, we are what we are, but in contact with God, our Teacher and Friend, our Master and Leader, we can each become a true servant. We can feel our kinship with God, and let it raise us to new heights and infinite possibilities. "You shall be holy for the Eternal Your God is holy" (Isaiah 6:9). Lily Montagu (1873-1963, England), sermon delivered at the Liberal Jewish Synagogue, June 1944, quoted in: Michael Shire, The Jewish Prophet, P.103.

If you want to be a true doer of divine works, your first aim must be to be totally free from all desire and self-regarding ego. All your life must be an offering and a sacrifice to the Supreme; your only object in action shall be to serve (...) All stress of egoistic choice, all hankering after personal profit, all stipulation of self-regarding desire must be extirpated from the nature. There must be no demand for fruit and no seeking for reward; the only fruit for you is the pleasure of the Divine Mother and the fulfillment of her work, your only reward a constant progression in divine consciousness and calm and strength and bliss. The joy of service and the joy of inner growth through works is the sufficient recompense of the selfless worker. Sri Aurobindo, quoted in: Harvey, Andrew (Ed). (2001). Teachings of the Hindu Mystics, P.123.

Last updated: 200707/27

See the related subjects: Charity, Karma Yoga.