‘Service is Dharma.’ ‘Any task done with complete surrender and devotion ‘Service.’ Give and take is business. True service is not a business. True happiness can only be experienced by rendering services. Hence, all saints advise us to his follow the triad – Sadhana, Satsang, Service. They have placed a strong emphasis on this triad, more so on Service, because it is only through service that one can subdue the ego. The Smritis state that “one who renders devotional service towards his parents will be blessed with health, wealth, success, strength and long life.” God Rishabh also says, “Services rendered to Gurus and saints is the only true service.”
Any form of service is service of God. Let’s look at an example. Nalakubar and Manigriva, the two sons of King Kubera, pray to the Lord to allow them to serve Him. They pray, “May our hands perform good work, may we hear only pure words, may we sing only your praises, may we only have pure thoughts of You, may we always be humble and may we constantly see only You.” Such service is ultimate service to God.
This is a story from the Ramayana. During the construction of the bridge to Lanka, a tiny squirrel also wanted to help Lord Rama. She would wet her body in water, roll around in the sand and scurry along to the construction site. There, she would shake her body vigorously so the tiny grains of sand would fall in the cracks between two boulders. She would then run back to the ocean, wet her body and roll around in the sand. She was determined to serve the Lord. Seeing the squirrel, all the monkeys ridiculed her. How can a tiny little squirrel be of any help in this monumental project? She was hurt. Her eyes filled with tears. Lord Rama noticed her and came to her. He caressed her back with His three fingers and asked her the reason for her tears. She narrated the incidence. Lord Rama said, “My dear, I have been watching how you are running back and forth. For such a tiny little creature, you are indeed doing a very big job. I am proud of you. Offer your services to me as you feel you can. I am blessing you and this will always show.” That’s why the squirrel’s back has the three lines.
No service is big or small. What matters most is that we serve as per our capabilities and with devotion. Sant Tukaram prays to the Lord “O Lord! Please accept my services to you. I love you and I am doing all I can within my capabilities.”