How have you associated with Art of Living Seva projects? How has Seva changed your life?
– When question was asked to Krithika Santosh, she answered it brilliantly –
Krithika’s words :
“It is easier to answer these questions as one than individually as they complement each other.
To understand what Seva means, we need to get down to the meaning of two syllables that make up this word – ‘sa’ and ‘iva’. ‘Sa’ means ‘that’ and ‘iva’ means ‘like’. The underlying meaning of Seva is to be ‘like that’ or serve ‘like that’. And ‘that’ connotes the essence of nature; to serve without expecting reciprocity from any one.
Ever since I got introduced to the Art of Living in 2001 in Surat, I have been directly or indirectly involved in small and big projects from time to time. When I first started doing my home kriya regularly, I realized that the most important contribution I can make to the society is to change myself (like Gandhiji says, ‘Be the change you want to see in the world’).
It was during my stay in Surat. After realizing the importance of Sudarshan Kriya, I chose to share its benefits with people around me. When we had a handful of people do the course, we needed a place for long kriya follow-ups. Our residential colony did not have a hall which we could use for our Kriya. Hence, I met with my school Administrator and requested him if he would allow us to have weekend follow-ups in the school assembly. He was more than happy to offer the place for free. It continued for years after I moved out of Surat.
Being in AOL for over fourteen years, I find that seva is more of an attitude to be ‘available’. This mindset brings us more opportunities for volunteering. And being grateful for those opportunities turns knowledge into wisdom and enhances our chances of connecting with the world.
In 2005, we migrated to Canada, where I got to meet a huge AOL family. It was great organizing and assisting teachers in Happiness Program courses. On weekends, we along with our friends’ families would go talk to people about AOL programs and the benefits of SudarshanKriya. Like it is said, ‘tiny drops of water make a mighty ocean’, whatever little each one does adds up to a bigger cause.
This incident shows how Gurudev is always in ‘seva’ mode. As a new immigrant in Calgary, I missed getting involved in organizing His visit, as I had a busy schedule at my new job. But I could make it to the hall where Gurudev was to address Calgarians that evening. I got to the venue right after work and saw Gurudev first time so closely, but with hesitation to speak with him, for the only reason that I had not done any ‘seva’ to be eligible to meet him. After His address, He was escorted by teachers and core volunteers for dinner in a separate room. He was then accompanied to the car by the organizers. While I kept watching quietly, there came a moment when Gurudev reminded someone to fetch his luggage. Everybody rushed to bring his luggage, leaving Gurudev in the car. It was as if He called me and I saw myself go up to Him and thank Him for all His blessings and happiness showered on us. He smiled at me and tapped on my cheek while my eyes welled up with tears of gratitude. It revealed how Gurudev is available for everybody unconditionally, which is the whole idea of ‘Seva’.
Currently, I live in Muscat, Oman, a great place where AOL is vibrant with numerous Seva opportunities. Other than organizing and assisting Happiness Programs, some of the mega projects I have worked for are Happiness Program and DSN; our second mega DSN with much sought after SajeeNissanji is underway. WCF is yet another historic event I’m working for from Muscat. I’m helping with database management and promotion of the event. Assisting with harmony entries and handling leads from lead squared was also part of ‘Seva’ in Muscat. Off and on I have managed database for various events single-handed.
Working with other volunteers across continents helps us to learn immensely and grow in maturity. When I recall all the events I have involved in, it fills my heart with more and more gratitude for Gurudev for making me worthy of volunteering. I appreciate and thank every AOL teacher and volunteer for including me in their teams.
‘Seva’ experience teaches us that we have a lot to be thankful for!”
Credits : Krithika Santosh
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