A true seeker is he who loves, serves, becomes and eternally is. He is a seeker who wants to realise the highest transcendental Truth, who wants to claim God as his very own, who wants to offer all that he has and all that he is. What he has is love for God; what he is is concern for humanity. The seeker's role is of paramount importance both in Heaven and on earth.

Service, from the spiritual point of view, is self-giving. Now, this self-giving has to be sincere, direct, spontaneous, unreserved and unconditional. When our service is sincere, the world-body needs and utilises our service. When our service is direct, the world-vital needs and utilises our service. When our service is spontaneous, the world-mind needs and utilises our service. When our service is unreserved, the world-heart needs and utilises our service. Finally, when our service is unconditional, the world-soul needs and utilises our service.

Service is self-expansion. A sincere seeker serves precisely because he knows that there is and there can be nothing other than service. When he serves aspiring humanity, it is because his inner necessity commands him to serve. Each seeker has to be true to himself all the time. It is easy for him to fool the world around him, but if he is not sincere to himself, God-realisation will always remain a far cry.

Before we become sincere seekers, we follow the path of ego. Ego is our self-made human reality. This reality has to be transformed, or illumined and perfected. Otherwise before we know it, the ego will destroy our ideals and our inner potentiality.

An ordinary, unaspiring human being does not serve. What he wants to do and what he does is to offer a kind of help. His ego tells him that it is beneath his dignity to serve anyone. To him, service is a sign of inferiority. But in the spiritual life, if a seeker serves someone it means that God, out of His infinite Bounty, has entrusted that seeker with superior capacity. A seeker knows that each time he gets an opportunity to serve, he is nearing his destination. A man of service is constantly on the move. He is running fast, faster, fastest toward his transcendental Goal.

On the physical plane, service is very often misunderstood. We feel that, if we are going to serve, we have to serve each and every one, all and sundry. But in the spiritual life, we know that service has to be rendered only to those who are ready to receive it. If not, our service will be misunderstood. If somebody is fast asleep and you try to arouse that person because you see that the sun is up, he may become angry or displeased. He may say, "What right do you have to disturb my precious sleep?" But if our service is rendered to someone who wants to be awakened or who is ready to be awakened, to someone who wants Light or who needs Light, then only can our service be properly used.

Service is self-purification. Self-purification is the precursor of the physical nature's transformation. The transformation of the physical nature and God-manifestation are inseparable, like the obverse and the reverse of the same coin. The transformation of the physical and the manifestation of the spiritual always go side by side. Transformation is the dream-fulfilled Reality on earth; manifestation is the reality-fulfilled Dream in Heaven.

Service is God-receiving. We receive God with the devotion of our body, with the purity of our vital, with the eagerness of our mind, with the oneness of our heart and with the vastness of our soul.

The seeker realises God on the strength of his concentration, meditation and contemplation. Concentration, meditation and contemplation live in the world of aspiration. Aspiration is the mounting flame in us that climbs high, higher, highest, trying always to reach the ever-transcending Goal. When a seeker concentrates, God the divine Warrior energises him so that he can face world-ignorance and establish God's divine Kingdom on earth. When a seeker meditates, God the Liberator descends into his life of aspiration and grants him the capacity to liberate the world from the meshes of teeming ignorance. When a seeker contemplates, God the supreme Beloved descends into him to love the world, serve the world and become one with the world. At that time, God becomes one with the sufferings, the excruciating pangs of the world so as to transform the very face of the world with His Love.

A seeker can also use his power of concentration, meditation and contemplation to serve God. When he concentrates, he decreases the obscure, undivine thought-waves in the world. When he meditates, he serves the world of inner reality in infinite measure. And when he contemplates, he serves the supreme Beloved in himself, with whom he wants to establish his inseparable oneness. He is the supreme Lover and, through his contemplation, he becomes one with his Beloved Supreme. The seeker can serve God not only through his outer deeds but also through his inner silence. When one maintains deep silence, one's divine reality radiates from within and serves mankind. A spiritual Master serves the Supreme in his disciples through his silent gaze. He does not have to speak to his disciples. He does not have to give outer instructions. No! Through his inner gaze, through his inner silence, he serves the Divine in his disciples and illumines the disciples.

A seeker has to be like a tree. A tree always serves. From the root of the tree right up to the topmost bough, it is all sacrifice. The seed, the branches, the leaves, the fruit — everything in the tree is constantly ready to serve. When a tree serves us, we do not feel that the tree is inferior to us in any way. On the contrary, we offer our gratitude to the tree. The nobility of the tree and the generosity of the tree receive our gratitude.

A seeker serves God so that he can be God's chosen perfect instrument. God serves His children so that they can be conscious and constant representatives of Him. The life of a seeker is the life of a server, and the life of a server is the life of a liberator of aspiring humanity.

MMT 14. Sir Wilfrid Laurier University, Arts Building, Waterloo, Ontario, 26 March 1974

Sri Chinmoy, My Maple Tree, Bhakti Press, 1974