Hands that Serve are Holier than Lips that Pray. - Sathya Sai Baba -
Service or Karma path aims to translate the message of Sathya Sai Baba by encouraging devotees to take part in selfless service to the community, by way of providing meals for the homeless (narayana seva), blood donation drives, and visiting retirement homes to care for the elderly through providing support and companionship (home seva) among others. Through service, Sathya Sai Baba believes the ego is eliminated, bringing man closer to God, and promoting love and humility.
Sathya Sai Baba has said,
"The members of our Organization must be ready and eager to help students, the sick, and the poor. Feel that this is work that pleases Me. Spend your days and years in activities that help those in dire need, and thus make this human existence of yours worthwhile and fruitful."
"The inner significance of this activity is that the entire creation is only the manifestation of God in different names and forms and service is the form in which Love is expressed. Therefore, by rendering loving service to fellow-beings, the individual will be serving and loving God. He will thus be fulfilling his purpose in life and ensuring his lasting happiness and joy. The objective is that through Seva, one is able to get rid of one's delusion and ego, and thereby awaken himself to the awareness of his inherent Divinity."
"Society is the coming together of people. Co-operation among people in society motivated by spontaneity and pure intentions is the hall-mark of Seva (service). Seva can be identified by means of two basic characteristics-compassion and willingness to sacrifice."
"Service is the best form of worship, the highest spiritual discipline, the essence of devotion. The bliss you receive through service cannot be gotten through any other activity. Service is more fruitful than repetition of the name, meditation, or sacrifice. There is no morality higher than truth, no prayer more fruitful than service."
Feeding the hungry or Narayana Seva is carried out by most centers and groups in Japan. Sathya Sai Baba says,
"Narayana Seva which is feeding the hungry with reverence and humility, is the seva that is urgent today. The cry for food is being heard everywhere, though if each one worked hard, the problem would not arise at all. We talk of stomachs to be filled, but each stomach arrives in the world with two hands. Those hands, if they are kept idle or unskilled, cannot fulfill their assignment of finding the food for the stomach. Work hard.....that is the message. And share the gain with others. The harder you work, the greater your gain, the more you can share. Work hard and, more important still, work together with others in loving kinship."
"Serve man as God. Give food to the hungry, food that is gift of Goddess Nature. Give it with Love and humility, give it sweetened with the name of the Lord."
"The best service is giving a thirsty man a cup of water, and the best time is when he is thirsty. The best type of service is feeding the hungry. Set aside a handful of rice every day while cooking, as an offering to God; each week, feed a few hungry people with it."
Visit of Hospitals, Orphanages and Homes for the Elderly & the Handicapped
Volunteer members also visit hospitals, orphanages, homes for the elderly and the handicapped to provide companionship and support to those who are in the homes, as Sathya Sai Baba says,
"You too should keep God in your mind as the pace-setter, whether you are serving patients in hospitals or cleaning drains in the streets. That is the highest form of spiritual exercise."
"These little acts of Seva can confer on you great spiritual benefit, firstly it will destroy your egoism. Pride will transform friends into enemies, it will keep even kinsmen afar, it will defeat all good schemes. Seva will develop in you the quality of humanity. Humanity will enable you to work in happy unison with others."