Text size: A A A

Please Click Here
to Return to
Love and Light

Region 3 - Narayan Seva

"Service to man is Service to God" ~ Baba

The time has arrived when we all need to engage ourselves in selfless service.

"Hands that serve are holier than lips that pray." ~ Baba

The Lord is pleased when we serve our fellow human beings; it brings people together and we are able to practice His message of Love in Action.

On 18th November 2012, which is the third Sunday of the month, 40 volunteers came together at Central London Sai Centre to participate in the monthly Narayan Seva, where guests many of whom are homeless are provided with a hot lunch. November's Narayan Seva is of particular significance as it falls during the month of Swami's birthday. During this month, individuals alongside their lunch are also given a jacket, hat, socks and various different toiletries to support them during the winter months.

"Love all men without distinction; know that mankind is a single community." ~ Baba

There were two aims for the day; the first was to provide a cooked meal and the second was to distribute clothes and toiletries to our fellow beings.

On the previous evening, volunteers came to clean and set up the hall with chairs and tables. On the day itself, the hot drinks and food areas were set up in preparation to serve the lunch. In the smaller hall volunteers organised the clothes and toiletry items ready for distribution at designated work stations. The needs of our friends was paramount and great consideration was taken beforehand via feedback and a questionnaire to select items they really needed. The Centre was given the task of collecting the items in advance.

At 10am, a group meeting was held where a schedule for the day and the tasks left to do were discussed. The importance of serving peacefully and with love was emphasized.

"Service is worship. Each act of service is a flower placed at the feet of God." ~ Baba

At 11am, the guests started arriving; they were provided with a drink of their choice and were seated. This gave them an opportunity to meet and chat with friends and volunteers. Each guest was treated just as if the Lord had walked through the door.

"If you lift the hand to serve, to console, to encourage another man, you are lifting it for God, for God is in every man." ~ Baba

The atmosphere was wonderful, where many souls had gathered with lots of smiley faces. Our guests were really excited about the gifts, and were very much looking forward to receiving them.

At 12pm, a prayer was recited and then lunch was served. The guests remained seated and waited patiently while the volunteers lovingly prepared the plates with hot food, which consisted of rice, a few different curries, salad and a popadum. For dessert, they were all given a bowl of fruit salad. All food was served to them at their tables.

We ensured there was a relaxing atmosphere and encouraged individuals to take their time whilst eating. Once all were finished, we started calling out table numbers. Each table was numbered and a raffle system was used to ensure fairness and equality, so that individuals could to go into the smaller hall to receive their gifts.

135 bags were pre-packed which consisted of a hat, a pair socks and various toiletries. In addition we had a range of different jacket sizes, enough for all the guests. 135 bags were given out, 27 were given to women; which meant 108 were given to men.

It was wonderful to see the guest’s joyous smile when receiving the gifts.

Phil, one of the guests on the day, commented that a friend he had brought (for the first time) was so overwhelmed by the gift of love she received that she was close to tears. This is the power of God’s Love.

Love was given and received by both the guests and volunteers alike. Each person whether a volunteer or a guest left with the gift of Love; this is also the power of God's Love.

God always gives us the opportunities to serve our fellow human beings, and we must be ready to take up that opportunity. The loving volunteers came together and performed Swami’s message of Love All Serve All. Let us continue with this message of Love in Action and make our life His Message.

Article submitted by Reshma Shah and Janki Joshi