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Seva or Serving the Ego!

by | Nov 16, 2021 | Competition, Ego, General Spiritual, I, Name/Roles, Paths, Relationship, Samsara, Service, Seva, Wealth, You


What is seva really? And from what space should an individual come from when he or she wants to do pure seva? I have noticed that I get into the same power struggle that I would, in a corporate office. I need some clarity there, please help.



There is a big difference between ‘doing seva’, and ‘serving your own Ego’.

What is the meaning of ‘Serving your own Ego’?

In the material world, man seeks for name, fame, power, position, status. The struggle is either with colleagues, boss, friend, relative, neighbors, spouse, parents, children even. One constantly seeks to prove to be better than the other. This happens at a subtle level. Ego has a subtle underlying craving to prove that ‘I am better’, or ‘I am different’, or ‘I am not like you’.

When you are ignorant and not on the spiritual path, you would not even realize that your Ego does this with your loved ones. But once you start walking this spiritual path with sincerity and commitment to your own spiritual growth, then only do you start observing the Ego clearly. When you observe yourself with keen awareness, you recognize the Ego always wants to prove ‘I am different’. And whenever you give into the game of ‘proving yourself better than others’, you are ‘serving the Ego’!

So, having understood what is the nature of the Ego and what it does? Now ask yourself this question;

Why are you doing seva?

    • If your answer comes back as; ‘Because I want to give back to society’. Red Alert! It is again the Ego. The Ego wants to prove that you are different or you are doing something ‘others are not doing’.
    • If the answer comes back as; ‘I want to help others be happy [but others should listen to me]’. If you have gotten into power struggles in seva too and have a hidden desire for power in the brackets, then this is a white lie that you are telling yourself. So again, Red Alert! You are serving your own Ego.
    • If the answer comes back as; ‘I have nothing else to do in my free time, this is a better way to spend my free time’. Red alert again! This is also serving the Ego. You will not give priority to seva and will drop it the moment something else comes up. The Ego may also want to quietly send out a message that at least in my free time, I don’t while away my life, sitting in front of the TV with popcorn and coke. You are serving the Ego.

Really, think, introspect, go within, and tell me what is the real answer that comes from a pure soul when he is asked, ‘Why are you doing Seva?’ You can comment below.

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  1. Shailaja

    Very thought-provoking article! My own answer would be one of the above-mentioned, at different times in life, unfortunately.

    But I know the real answer that comes from a pure soul (courtesy of talks by you and other Masters). A pure soul considers others as an extension of Himself/Herself only. It’s like the right hand helping the left hand. Or if there is a bruise on my knee, will my hand even hesitate before rubbing and soothing it? Will my hand think I am helping the knee?

    When even the idea is not there that one is doing seva or helping others, when it just comes naturally, that person is a pure soul. 🙏🏼 It’s not seva, but a way of life for them. A very noble state for us to aspire to.

    • Parul Bansal

      I have witnessed all the above responses from Ego while not knowing Who I am !

      Once understanding happens Where is the doer and where is the receiver of the seva ? There is no doer to do any seva , its all happening . “ I” the individual is dissolved than the question does not arises of who is serving whom!

  2. Arun K Aggarwal

    When mother takes care of her child, there is no ego involved. It is just natural. It is love. When I do seva, It is due to that love for this existence. Nothing else.

  3. Shalini

    I like to do it I enjoy it.

  4. Kimberly

    For me.. my first instinct, the first reason, happens prior to thought. It’s instinctual. It is just giving of itself. It’s not until later, for me, that the mind comes in and starts to play with it. To judge it, take credit for it etc..

    • Kimberly

      PS.. Thank you so a much for extending your grace and wisdom to Us! 🙏

  5. Arjun Advani

    True seva is like charity. Done silently . When you put your hand in your right pocket for charity even your left hand should not be aware of the action of a donation. Something done from your soul consciousness. Unaware with no expectations from even the receiver.

  6. Nehal Shah

    Spirituality tells us that there is no “I” and no “Other”. Everything is one. For most of us that just theoretical knowledge, till in deep meditation we totally dissolve the ego and see all boundaries collapse.

    If there is no “Other”, then everything we are doing, we are doing for ourselves.
    At visceral level we feel happy when we serve others. Till we realsie that “Other” and us are no different, we have to contend with that feeling of happiness, by helping so called “Others”.

  7. Vani Gangu

    I can’t help but do it !

  8. Mari

    This made me reflect on my own desire to help. Thank you for always moving us forward. Why do I want to serve? I will be honest, the underlying reason is ego. Because I needed to focus my energy on something positive. It is definitely ego. Ego has now been identified which is very helpful 🙂

  9. Hemant

    “I don’t know” with a smile …

  10. Chitra Reddy

    I have no reason. just like to do it. once I give or do any kind of help I feel satisfied.


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