As you continue to do selfless service, your surrender to seva becomes deeper and deeper. You want to do seva not because you have to, but because it creates a pond of nectar, a river of love. You become the recipient of this beautiful gift, and others too experience great sweetness and divinity. They are able to see the reflection of God in your seva.
Gurumayi Chidvilasananda, Enthusiasm (SYDA Foundation, 1997), pg. 162
Seva is a profound spiritual practice. There is a saying that it is easy to be a saint on a mountain top but the real proof comes when you return to the marketplace. On the Siddha Yoga path, we test our attainment and refine our understanding through the practice of seva, or selfless service. As we work with others in a spiritual environment, we have a practical means to put the Siddha Yoga teachings into action.
During the practice of seva, we perform familiar activities – whether cooking, cleaning, teaching or working at the computer – with focus on the Self, with awareness. Siddha Yoga students in Australia offer seva at Siddha Yoga ashrams, meditation centres, and from home to support the Siddha Yoga mission, creating a tangible offering of love in action.
When we lovingly offer our time, skills and expertise in seva, we have an opportunity to see that love and skill manifest in a real and practical way. Because seva is a spiritual practice there is another element that we also come to see. This is the element of Grace. It infuses the results of our offering and it transforms us as we offer seva.
What is this site all about?
Under Australia’s Work Health and Safety (WHS) law, seva is considered to be volunteer work. This site aims to keep the Siddha Yoga Foundation (SYF) compliant with Australian law, as well as providing the deeper spiritual context of the practice. It provides practical information and helpful resources to assist you when you are offering seva.
To make sure you enjoy the seva you offer, and to keep yourself safe, please become familiar with our policies and all procedures that are directly relevant to your role. SYF now requires all sevites to complete a seva induction form (this is to ensure that the SYF has provided information we are legally obliged to provide to all volunteers and that you have received adequate training to confidently offer seva safely).
- Seva Induction Form ONLINE (please use this online form, completing all required questions, marked with an *)
If you cannot complete the form online, use the link below to print a copy of the form and return the form via email to firstname.lastname@example.org or alternatively to your supervisor. If you have any questions or queries, please discuss them with your supervisor.
This site is also a means of accessing resources for all those offering seva, whether new to the practice or currently offering. It will support and assist all aspects of this sacred practice, including:
- the attitude with which we offer,
- its relationship and place within Siddha Yoga philosophy and culture,
- systems and procedures in place,
- resources for the broad variety of areas where seva is offered.
As part of the intellectual property of the Siddha Yoga Foundation, please ensure the protection of all documents found within this site. Keep all printed copies of policies and procedures in a safe and secure place. Keep any electronic copies with other seva-related documents on your computer. Do not store with personal files, neither paper nor electronic. Please make sure you delete or shred all material after use.
For further information please refer to the Siddha Yoga path website here.
Community members are responsible for a key element while offering seva – confidentiality. Confidentiality entails safeguarding the privacy of all matters including procedures, systems, databases, documentation and organisational structure of SYF and the SYDA Foundation nationally and globally. All steps to protect personal information about another sevite is paramount.
SYF supports the principle of continuous improvement. If you feel strongly about something you see or experience, please discuss with your seva supervisor, or the relevant ashram or national manager, in the first instance. Issues can be addressed and resolved if raised at the time with the relevant people.