There are three forms of seva. We only have three things; it’s simple! We have one body, one mind and according to our destiny the money that we have earned, we have wealth, property, possessions; everything that we feel we have a right over. These are the three things that we basically have. Besides, everything that God and Guru have is Divine. It is not like They will attain Divine love upon taking our dirty things, rather they want to eliminate our deep-seated pride and vanity, our affection for our wealth and possessions. God says, “Oh souls! Whatever is most dear to you, offer it to Me in the form of charity.”
Thus, we have these three things and out of the three there is one thing that we can always donate, whereas, not everyone has the capacity to give the other two things. Even if we are physically close to our Guru, if let’s say there are a thousand devotees of the Guru, how could every devotee possibly do seva to the Guru? That kind of seva would be seldom attained.
The thing that we can always offer is our mind. Regardless of where we physically may be, we can always serve them with our mind. Saints attain God by serving with the mind alone. While meditating on the form of God with the mind, Saints give a bath to God and put on the paste of sandalwood- with the mind, decorate God with exquisitely attractive clothes-with the mind, feed God chhappan vyanjan (fifty-six varieties of food). The fruit of serving with the mind is exactly the same as physically serving God. It is the extreme Grace of God. Thus, we can always do seva with our mind and we should always do it too, because we cannot always be physically close to our Guru.
Also, not everyone can do monetary seva either. Some people can barely afford two meals a day, how can they do monetary seva? Although the scriptures advise that if you have the means to get two meals per day, you should eat one meal less and offer that money in charity so that you can evolve your spiritual life, very few people can make such a sacrifice. Such a person will not get the punishment. The one who has the capacity to make charity and yet he doesn’t give, will get punished.
There will never be an end to material desires. If someone is poor, he was also very wealthy in his past life but became poor because he did not give charity. After becoming poor, he will commit sins to fill his stomach. Ved Vyas Ji says, “The one who will not donate will become poor and as a result he will commit sins such as stealing and whatever else is possible in order to get money. That will further lead to a more pitiful situation of poverty which will cause him to commit more sins, and eventually he will lose the precious gift of human life.”
For this reason, we must all seriously reflect on the fact that we, meaning the soul, are formless and came out of our mother’s womb. It was God who gave us everything. He endowed a physical body, He brought us out of our mother’s womb, He produced the milk in mother’s breasts, He provided all kinds things to eat and to drink. After that, we utilized our intellect to earn money through proper and improper means and accumulated wealth. God made a rule that whatever is required for you to feed your stomach and cover your body is yours, and the remainder should be given in charity. That charity should be given to the right cause, not to a criminal, else you will end up in hell. You will receive the fruit of your charity according to the cause.
In essence, seva can always be done with the mind, and as for seva with the physical body and wealth, it is done according to one’s individual capacity. This is a brief explanation of the secret of seva.