Sairam dear readers. By the divine grace of my Master Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba; our team (consisting mainly of sisters who are homemakers) has been blessed to be part of some of the seva activities in Singapore as well as in India. What we are doing is just a little drop in the ocean in comparison of what many others throughout the world are doing; but what little we do gives us immense happiness, joy and peace. The purpose of sharing this is that many people ask us how they can be part of the activities and do their bit at their time of convenience and availability as most of them are home makers with family and many other responsibilities to balance with. So, inspired by Swami, I pen down the below.
I started the very first participation about 2 decades ago when we moved to Sg. I had grown up seeing my parents always involved in various spiritual and seva activities. Singapore gave the right platform for me to embark on this journey. I met various people with similar interests and they were also the ones who inspired me and remained as my rock pillar support for different activities. HE sent the right people with the right ideas and with constant guidance; our team was able to be consistently involved in various activities.
I have just compiled the ones which I am involved directly with but not necessarily initiated by me and also the ones I am aware of which is organised and done very well. So whatever suits one; depending on the time availability and interest; they can opt to be part of it.
For the benefit of the readers; I will roughly classify these activities into 3 paths of spirituality (as I understand) namely
Bhakti, Jnyan and Karma
Bhakti marg or the path of devotion- Chanting the name of the Lord through namasankirtan; reading the glory of the Lord; daily namasmaran. The activities available are
- Bhajans- Weekly/Monthly- Mainly at the Sai centres
- Lalita Sahasranama/Vishnu sahasranama chanting (weekly)
- Gayatri chanting groups (daily) (done from where you are)
- Shirdi Sai Satcharita Parayan- Life and teachings of Sri Shirdi Sai baba. (daily reading individually or group reading-single day- 3 to 4 times a year)
- Tapovanam Parayan- Sri Sathya Sai Satcharita- Life and teachings of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba (3-4 times a year group reading)
The others I am aware of are Narayaneeyam, hanuman chalisa chantings.
- Those who are religiously inclined and want to do their bit in conserving and renovating the ancient temples in India; opportunities are available and being a part of that also gives immense peace and happiness
Jnyan marg or path of knowledge involves knowing and understanding the scriptures and helping us to put into practise these learnings.
- Reading of scriptures- Geeta satsang classes are available where other than Geeta, Viveka choodamani, Panchadashi etc satsangs also happen. Geeta sessions are on in many places. Vedanta classes in Chinmaya mission. Most of them are weekly.
- Meditation- Power of Purity meditation sessions on weekly
- Imparting knowledge and ourselves also gaining knowledge by being a teacher or help out with teaching values and slokas to young children.
- Contribute and help out with articles, translating, typing, editing, and reviewing our blogs to share spiritual teachings and mainly human value based stories. This can be done from home at one’s convenient time. We are really looking for committed people to help out mainly in Indian languages as well as international languages.
Karma marg includes seva activities like Narayan seva, seva at the centres and various opportunities to help someone and make a difference.
- HOME (Humanitarian Organisation for Migrant Economies) shelter- For foreign workers. They are always looking out for help and we can help in any small way by getting them groceries for a week or in whatever capacity one is able to help.
- Narayan seva- Sai centres do these on a regular basis. One can even do at their own place by feeding the cleaners and helpers of their building maybe once a month. Opportunities for food seva for MRT workers are also available. Lot of MRT work is going on in and around our areas; we could feed those people who help us and this nation; at least once a month.
- Seva at the centres ( many spiritual centres need people to help out with the daily or routine activities)
- Other opportunities am looking to work at are recycling of used oil and recycling of our old silk sarees. Have to come up with some way to recycle this. Silk sarees could be used for some small self help groups to make some bags, purses etc. Looking at the possibilities.
These are some of the bare minimum activities I am aware of and try to take part. If any of you are interested in any of the above activities please do get in touch with me and I will put you to the right person. Having said that my only request is that whatever path you choose; to reap full benefits of joy and happiness; be consistent and share with all others. It is always best to work as a team to make a bigger impact. Of course we must continue our individual sadhana which any ways many of us do practise. Also for a start till you are comfortable; be part of the larger group; later please spread this work in your area and involve new people. Many are interested in being part of some such activity in their areas and are unable to travel to far off places as they have many other commitments and challenges. Yes, initially it will be difficult, challenging and may be even frustrating but slowly with dedication, consistency and perseverance; many will join and benefit. Even if there are just a handful; the quality matters more than the quantity.
Happy seva journey in whatever path you want to choose.
I don’t claim to be proficient in any Vedanta, Upanishad, texts etc so my version of Bhakti, Jyan and Karma may differ from what concepts others may have. These are purely the thoughts inspired by my Master as I have I understood.