Be the Cause

Seva Immortal

Anonymous Poem read at the Seva Cafe last night:

We are unbound with love & gratitude
Suffer not in silence brothers
Ours deeds of service, nameless, unrestrained
Dispersing into the four corners of the universe,
Seva abides at street corners, in the pockets of simple men.

Sisters, you have premitted Seva to stream through you.
Observe it flowing into the souls of every people.
You have taken today’s memory & transformed it as tomorrow’s dream.
Your seeds of selfless compassion are dwelling alive.

My brothers & siters –
You are the essence of Seva,
You are the fulfillment of God’s purpose,
You are the brilliant glow within the dark alleys of life.
You have awakened the heart of every man through your selfllessness.

As the calming tide returns to the shore,
We shall all come home to each other.
Let us not hasten the tide,
let us allow Seva to prosper among, within us & around us

Because of You
As I glimpse in the mirror,
Seva stands before me.


  • Projects, like friends, moments, and clouds in the sky,
    they come and go,
    But I remain not quite.
    Anythings possible ’cause
    still nothing’s for sure.
    I’ve looked around
    and I think I found
    what’s forgot or my thoughts rapt too tight.
    I’m all wrapped up, and I just can’t fight.
    after now, there’s more things worthwhile
    than to practice right action, thought out right
    making it afterall all worthwhile.
    That’s the reason next time why Supun won’t be constrained:
    I’ll have a few new skills
    etched within and without in my brain.
    Like his friend HigherMind’s words weeks ago electronicaly scent,
    “[we can’t live in the past or move to the future or hope to ascend,
    without being in the moment and creativing something in ourselves.]”
    So, take a look and wonder why you would think you could find it anywhere else.

    — written with (my cRaZy friend) Juan ‘more

    After the cafe closed, I got to do something that I’ve loved doing since I’ve joined this Gang. I listened to people talk. Suhk mentioned that everybody’s selfish and never selfless (ie, people can’t ever get rid of their self). I do agree that everyone’s selfish. But while driving home I disagreed about the use of the word selfless. For example, people used to say, “Supun is fast”. And I would be standing not moving at all. “fast describes an action I do; not me always.” Selfless describes actions, thougths and words we might use. Selfish describes us wanting. When we do Seva, our selfless actions benefit our selfish selves, “That being which that being that which… blah blah blah”

  • Sonali

    Wow, that’s profound: “Out selfish actions benefit our selfish selves.” It is true.

    However, this is also true: that there is an underlying unity that exists among us BTCer’s, to BE selfless, despite the seed of selfish intent. While we plant individual seeds of compassion, just look at the unifying & collective beauty which germinates from that! Amazing!

    It’s true that the more we contribute to the greater good our own good is attended to. It’s kindof a paradox, Yet, onward we go, in the pursuit of selflessness. We would have it no other way, right?

  • “Our selfish actions benefit our selfish selves.” is actually something Sukh found for me. I think my point was that it’s not a paradox at all, just as saying “Supun is fast” when I’m just standing in front of you. Being selfish can turn into greed if you become addicted to it or you aren’t mindful of your limits. Being Selfish and Selfless might even become a little pyschotic (meaning in the colloquial sense, not the medial term) if you don’t take the time to do some introspection. Really, thinking about this might be a sin (idolitry) if we think about it too much, I guess (just kidding). I was just reading some poems on what old school Hindus used to think about what the Self is. And I think they decided that anyone/anything that can reflect upon itself, not physically like a mirror but like bounce ideas against itself (to not beg the question by recursivly putting “self” in the definition let’s say “introspect”), has a self or a soul.

    It’s pretty easy to do selfless actions, and a self-proclaimed simpleton like me without having discourse or example from Sukh or Manuri or Sonali or Gianna or Kristeen or Raju or Sri or Gandhi or Jesus or Buddha or Juan can believe what that is without thinking too much. For example we all know what Seva means: Selfless Service, and I think that was the point to this service project as an ongoing “Evening of awareness” and “Compassion cell”. I think people no matter what they do are cursed and blessed to always ask themselves “why did I do that” and to just turn that off and just trust in other peoeple without letting them feel obligated takes alot of practice, and that’s what made it all worthwhile for me.

  • Madhavi

    Its a poetic frenzy! So long as we’re talking about poems, here’s another:

    Portentous intellectual journals I read
    About a world I will never live in
    I know about the wars, far away laws
    I know about the people, their cars, their jobs
    I know.

    Enemies impose their minds and mines
    Of poison, but I am free to choose
    I choose your money and hate your policies
    I choose to hate, distrust, dread
    I choose.

    Friends show the path of gratitude and love
    Big notions for a shallow skull
    I give of my wealth but not of my self
    I give my riches, my energy, my time
    I give.

    I have knowledge, freedom and power
    Responsibility I will not take
    Selflessly selfish, passionately passive
    I am a celebrated offspring of the civilized world.

  • gianna

    Madhavi, your poem rocks!

    Here’s another that reminds me of seva…excuse the ocean analogy/theme..a common subject I often return to :)

    Mystical Village

    Accompany me to
    a far-off land…
    where we both feel at home and understand.

    Swim with me to this far-off place
    which is mystical as can be…
    with mermaids, seals, sea lions…you see?

    This village is engulfed by fog and remains
    mysterious to many of near and far…

    But once one is past the mist, you can’t help
    but dance and swim and play!

    The music will inspire you to tap your feet,
    clap your hands.

    My love, come join me. For we long for this land.
    We’re part of this raucous, joyful & loving band.

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