Selfless service

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Selfless service or Seva (Punjabi: ਸੇਵਾ) is a service which is performed without any expectation of result or award for the person performing it.

Religious significance[edit]

The idea of selfless service (seva also sewa) is an portant concept in most Indian religions and yogic traditions. Because God is perceived as having a relationship with others, as well as oneself, serving other people is considered an essential devotional practice of indirectly serving God. Service to make life easier for others. It is one of central tenets of Sikhism.[1]

"Living creatures are nourished by food, and food is nourished by rain; rain itself is the water

of life, which comes from selfless worship and service." - Bhagavad Gita, 3.14 [2]

Selfless service is also important in Christianity. Jesus often preached it (Matthew 20:25-28, Mark 9:35; 10:42-45, Luke 9:46-48; 17:7-10, John 13:12-15), and both Peter and Paul, respectively, wrote about it (1 Peter 4:10-11), (2 Corinthians 4:5, Philippians 2:5-7, Colossians 3:23-24). Christian singer Ray Boltz' song "I've Come to Serve" is about Jesus' command to his Apostles (after he washed their feet) to serve each other as he served them (John 13:12-15).

The Book of Tobit mentions the blessings of service to others. "Give to the hungry some of your bread, and to the naked some of your clothing. Whatever you have left over, give away as alms; and do not begrudge the alms you give."


The term is used in military awards like, Ati Vishisht Seva Medal (AVSM), Param Vishisht Seva Medal (PVSM), and institutions like Seva Foundation, Gandhi Seva Sadan and Seva Bharati

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Sewa, Selfless Service
  2. ^ Selfless service The Times of India, Jun 17, 2011.