“The act of service is not to be judged, according to the cost or publicity it entails; it may be only the offering of a cup of water in the depth of a jungle. But the need of the recipient, the mood of the person who offers—these decide whether the act is gold or lead. Fill every act of yours with love. Let no one suffer the slightest pain as a result of your thought, word or deed. Let this be your sādhanā (spiritual discipline). It will surely help you to achieve the goal.” – Sathya Sai Baba.

Selfless service is perhaps the single, most efficient and universal tool for understanding, experiencing and expressing this Divine Principle of Love. Service is love in action. Sathya Sai Baba says that the best way to love God is to love all; serve all. The main purpose of the Sathya Sai Organisation is to help one realise one’s innate Divinity by the practice of Divine Love through selfless service. Baba has also made it clear that the quality of service is most important, not the quantity. The spirit or the motive behind service is the deciding factor. When we render service, we should feel that we are serving God. This is why He says, “Service to man is service to God”. Service done in this manner makes us realise that “service is done by God, to God, and for God”. The person who is serving, the recipient of the service and the process of serving are all one—and are all divine. Just as the proof of rain is in the wetness of the ground, pure, self- less, loving service transforms and we enjoy supreme peace and equanimity – the “peace that passeth understanding”.

Sathya Sai Baba cautions us about major obstacles that stand in the way of selfless service: ego and attachment; and the feeling of doer-ship and enjoyer-ship. A true Sathya Sai volunteer strives to overcome these obstacles through selfless service. Service done in a pure, selfless manner then becomes yoga—leading to union with God. Baba says that when we realise “service to man is service to God”, we also experience the ultimate truth – “God pervades everything”.

This study guide is a compendium of quotes from the following works of Sathya Sai Baba: Sathya Sai Speaks, Vahinis, Summer Showers. The editors have attempted to remain faithful to the presentation of the quotes as they occur in the online editions of the works from which they come, with the following exceptions: 1) correction of typos; 2) correction of grammar and syntax; 3) changes that incorporate gender-inclusive language; 4) standardisation of the transliteration of Sanskrit; and 5) minor changes to facilitate readability and coherence in the context of the study guide. Since every quote occurs with a citation indicating its online source, the reader can easily find the quote by visiting the “His Words” section.

Download: StudyGuide-SelflessService.pdf