There are many paths that the spiritual aspirant can take to advance towards the ultimate goal of awakening to one’s inner divinity, often referred to as self-realization. While all paths share a common goal and are interwoven, for the sake of understanding, they can be divided into 3 categories known as yogas: karma yoga (the path of work), bhakti yoga (the path of devotion), and jnana yoga (the path of inquiry). Sri Sathya Sai Baba has designed his organization to have 3 wings: service, devotional and education. Each of these interrelated, coordinated wings helps to develop spiritual growth through work, worship and wisdom.
Baba has described selfless service to be the most important activity of his organization.
“I consider Seva (service) as the most important activity of the centers, for it is the highest spiritual practice”.
Sri Sathya Sai Baba Discourse, Dec 23, 1971
To be considered spiritual service, it is not the quantity or number of instances one serves that matters, but rather the motive that leads one to serve, the genuineness of love and compassion that saturates the service and the knowledge that when one serves the ‘other’, they are truly serving none other than divinity, who lies at the core of all, including themselves.
“Hands that serve are holier than lips that pray.” – Sri Sathya Sai Baba
When done in a spiritual manner – by seeing the one who is serving, the act of serving and the one who is being served all as one interconnected being, the sense of separateness diminishes and our awareness of oneness with the universe is increased. Each Sai Center regularly performs service activities in their community such as feeding the homeless, mentoring school children, working with the elderly, teaching computer basics to seniors and low-income people; toys, clothes and food drives for shelters, distributing winter care kits to the needy and environmental seva, to mention just a few.