Sevā: The Heart of Spiritual Citizenship

We say, read, hear, and chant, “May all people be happy ~ lokāḥ samastāḥ sukhino bhavantu!” But what are we *doing* to make it happen? Are we actively engaged in creating happiness for us all? Are we devotedly working for the well-being of humanity, remembering that actions ricochet off one another in an endless dynamic that affects each person?  Phenomena are interdependently co-arising (pratītya-samutpāda), so everyone’s happiness is inextricably connected. What are YOU doing for people, now (atha)? 

In Indian traditions, the spirit of sevā (Sanskrit, “selfless service”) often centers around bhakti-yogis for whom this practice is the sole aim of life. The etymology of the word bhakti is even infused with the concept of sevā. Typically translated as “devotion,” bhakti derives from the verbal root /bh

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