In the previous episode, we had commenced discussion on a very important aspect of “Dharma”, called “Seva”. As witnessed, “Seva” simply means being in selfless service to Bhagawan and to the world. We had discussed some important points pertaining to “Seva” and how should one devote his/her life for serving others. In due course, we had witnessed an excerpt from the Valmiki Ramayana, wherein the sole purpose of the incarnations of Bharata, Lakshmana and Shatrughna were primarily to serve Bhagawan Rama and His Bhaagawathas (Ardent devotees). We witnessed that Lakshmana was an epitome of “Seshatva” which means, dedicating each and every minute of our life for selfless service towards Bhagawan. Bharata was an epitome of “Paaratanthrya”, which is another aspect of “Seva”, wherein one performs selfless service to Bhagawan, but according to Bhagawan’s wish. Finally, Shatrughna stood for “Bhaagawatha Seshatva” and “Bhaagawatha Paaratantrya” – This means, being of selfless service, not to Bhagawan directly, but to His ardent devotees (Bhaagawathas). These are the three dimensions of the “Seva” aspect of “Dharma”. Moreover, it is also emphasized in the Ramayana by Valmiki Maharishi repeatedly that being of service to Bhagawan’s devotees is more significant than being of service to Bhagawan directly. It is emphasized at various instances in the Ramayana text that Bhagawan likes someone who is of service to His devotees. It is for this reason we say that Bhaagawatha Seshatva and Bhaagawatha Paaratantrya are much higher in plane as compared to Bhagawath Seshatva and Bhagawath Paaratantrya.
It is for this reason thus, we repeatedly keep emphasizing often that we should try our level best to serve others. We might not know who are Bhagawan’s devotees or not, but given this ambiguity, this is a good opportunity for all of us to serve more and more people in this world. Every passing day we should take a statistic within our own self, whether have we helped others in some way or the other. It might be a small help, but even that counts.
Now for instance, the whole world is being gripped by a mysterious virus called COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus). It is saddening and depressing to see the news every day that thousands of people are succumbing to this global pandemic. Fortunately, with the divine grace of Bhagawan and with some excellent and proactive measures taken by our government, our Bhaarata Desha (India) is somehow well shielded from the onslaught of this Coronavirus. But this is not something that we can feel complacent about at this critical time. It only means that we’re doing a good job at the moment, and we should only intensify and continue doing it in the coming weeks and months.
As this situation is looming larger and larger every passing day, what are some things that we can do, so that we shall be of “Seva” (Selfless service) to our community of people? Here are my takeaways:
- As the scope of spreading of this pandemic is increasing day by day, governments all around the world are issuing advisories for people to stay indoors and work from home. There is a virtual “shut down” all across India and the world as well. Of course, some jobs can entail the option of “work from home”, whereas some jobs cannot. This includes small and medium businesses, daily-wage workers in factories, industries, domestic workers, roadside shopkeepers, temple priests, etc. The list goes on endlessly. Thus we can see here that a major chunk of people are being rendered jobless, for no fault of theirs. This is where we as “Dhaarmikas” have to chip in. For instance, even though our domestic helpers haven’t turned up for work at our house because of the virus fear, rather than penalizing them for their absence, we should make sure that we pay their wages for this whole month, without any deduction. We should always remember that just like how we have our family, those people too have families and for no fault of theirs, we should not cut their wages. If we cut their wages at this critical time, where will they go for buying food and other necessities for sustaining their lives? Hence, we should always have that compassion towards others and as part of our “Seva”, we should try and help those people who are starring at a potential financial threat in whatever way we can and make sure that we do not let them down.
- Adding another dimension to the whole crisis that is looming large, it is better at this moment that we stay indoors as much as possible. The reason behind it is that, if we roam around in the streets, we never know who is having the sickness within them and if by chance we get in close contact with such people, chances are high that we might easily contract the fatal disease. And, if we contract the disease, we should also remember that there might be elderly people in our family like our own parents, grandparents, etc. who stay with us at home. As this disease is proving extremely fatal for the elderly, we should be very careful here. Thus, our “Seva” towards our own family members at this hour of crisis is that, let us be healthy first and let us make sure that our family is healthy as well. Let us go out only if it is extremely necessary, else, let us stay indoors for the coming few days.
- We should always remember that there are thousands of doctors, nurses, paramedical staff and other hospital staff who are tirelessly working towards ensuring that all of us are safe and healthy. There are hundreds of medical staff who are on constant vigil at airports, sea ports, railway stations, etc., screening thousands and thousands of people who travel. We should also remember here that, to ensure our safety and health, they are risking their own lives! Isn’t this one of the highest levels of “Seva” (Selfless service) that these people are doing? Hence, for a moment, let us wholeheartedly thank all these people and pray to Bhagawan for their personal as well as their family well-being. Let us exhibit our gratitude to their phenomenal and relentless efforts, rather than picking up fights with them for some petty things here and there.
- As our Honourable Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has yesterday announced, let us make sure that we follow the “Janta curfew” this coming Sunday, the 22’nd of March 2020. Let us make sure that we do not venture out of our homes from 9 AM to 5 PM and at 5 PM, let us not forget to clap our hands and congratulate the mammoth effort that is taken by our respected doctors and all sorts of medical staff. If not for anything else, let us follow this curfew for our own safety and health.
If we acknowledge these above-mentioned points and act accordingly, this would be the biggest “Seva” that we can offer for the betterment of the world. Of course, we can always do our prayers towards Bhagawan and let us all join hands and pray ardently that this crisis should wane away as quickly as possible. If all of us pray together with sincerity and devotion, Bhagawan’s heart would definitely melt, just like how we saw Prahlaada being saved by Bhagawan countless number of times. So for this moment, let us awaken the “Prahlaada” within us, and let us invoke Bhagawan’s grace with all our heart.
We shall wait till the next episode to continue with the various aspects of “Dharma”, as narrated by Sage Sukhaachaarya! Stay tuned!