Charity and social service (seva) are important disciplines

Seva (service) should be done physically, mentally or financially. You can even supply groceries or contribute towards it. On any special occasion in the family like a wedding, naming ceremony, house warming, birthday, wedding anniversary etc. along with your personal expenses spend some money towards the old and needy people. Do annadana (giving food as a charity) on that day. You should understand that Swamiji is teaching you the important trait of sacrifice (tyaga). Donations should always be given happily. Complete your Guru runa (debt).

In the ancient times, whenever people donated huge money to build temples, they instructed that their name should be engraved on the floor or on the steps so that all devotees who visited the temple would walk on it. The idea was that their ego should be humbled and thereby destroyed completely.

Quite contrary to this the modern man seeks that for any small donation he makes his name be written on the fans, tube lights, ceiling, walls etc. so that it is advertised. This is so shameful. Our elders say that when the left hand should not know what the right hand has given away! It is to be so secretive. In fact once the donation is made, there should be no thought about it. Even if the thought comes by mistake, you should be ashamed of it.

Of course there are people who donate publicly, so as to encourage others to follow. This is good. If such people wish to have their name engraved then it should be on the floor not the ceiling.

  • Bhaktimala 1993


Look around you and help in any small way you can. It can have a great impact. Actually a small help brings great results. Feeding a hungry person is also a great act. Help others in your own small way. Pass on this good quality to others.

After all, what you are now giving belonged to someone else yesterday and it will belong to someone else tomorrow.  You brought nothing with you when you came to the earth. You will take nothing with you when you leave. Even God does not take the abhishekha that is done to him. He leaves it for you to take it as prasada. Everyone should understand this principle.

  • Bhaktimala Jan 06, Oct 98

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