Selfless service is the practice of serving others with dedication and no expectations of receiving thanks. You are doing it because you know it is good, healing, and liberating. You dedicate all your work as an offering to God.
When I lived the ashram life, I did my share of karma yoga, just to realize that karma yoga could be done anywhere. When we serve animals (pet care), nature (gardening), or human beings (supporting a charity or taking someone for Sunday afternoon tea) we realize One-ness and our own lack of limitations.
I like to read the Bhagavad Gita every time I start any job or task. It is believed that the one that reads at least few verses from this, one of the most important Hindu scriptures, will be liberated from the cycles of reincarnation and get over his karma.
If you look for an icon of the perfect karma yogi, it would be the sun. It shines, whether you look at it or not. It feeds your life, whether you acknowledge it or not. It makes your life brighter and happier for no fee! Its every magnificence is free!
I learned through my karma yoga that any work is a worship and an offering, whether you drive a bus or run a boutique. I try to chant mantras when I work because it expresses my love and devotion of God, and it translates into more love and dedication to my colleagues. I know why I am sitting at my desk. I know why I am writing all that I write and why send all the emails that I send. If we all looked at our jobs that way, imagine how different our daily lives could be and how satisfying our roles would become!?
Just look at commuting as karma yoga – next time try to help people with heavy loads, give a seat to people that need it, or simply smile because you see another soul on its journey somewhere. Give people blessings and say an internal prayer. Wahe Guru, Wahe Guru, Wahe Guru, Wahe Jio.
In scrubbing the toilets or washing the dishes at home after each single meal, so much dignity lies. And without dignity there is no divinity. Without a sense of divinity there is no happiness, there is no Bhakti. There is no Bliss.
Karma yoga, seva, or volunteering changes life. Giving without reservations and with pure joy, whether it is money, freebies, wise words or free community yoga classes, is the most powerful way to feel Grace in your life. Volunteering also creates lots of miracles, because your mind and body get totally purified, so the light can come in.
Volunteering is a perfect way to relate to your spirit, soul and your essence. Karma yoga cultivates the purest thoughts: by serving others you are serving God. And, so, you are living your mission. As Yogi Bhajan said, “pure thoughts are the way to universal knowledge and will make you bountiful, blissful, and beautiful.” You can see that you are already enough and your effort is divine, your work is blessed.
If external circumstances created a temporary rift between you and your Atma (soul) then there is no better way to bridge it than through surrender, and you will see the illusion of separation for what it is – just an illusion.
It is important to receive right support and keep a spiritual mindset during any selfless work.
Here are the mantras that allow me to feel the purpose of every action, word or conversation:
Open your Heart with Aad Guray Nameh by Deva Premal.
Rediscover inner peace with Sat Narayan by Guru Ganesha Singh.
Liberate your mind with a Krishna chant (Krishna is the main hero in Bhagavad Gita; the soul liberator who grants the perfect knowledge).
Share Unbridled Joy with Paramaysareh (Transcendent Lord) by Snatam Kaur.
Wish Peace to all beings with Lokaha Samastaha Sukhino Bhavantu with Wah!
Always share your gifts with others!