Bhakti and mood of service are inseparable. If someone is in Bhakti it alternatively means that that person has service attitude. It is however necessary to understand the nature of service of the Bhakta as compared to the layman’s idea of service. The two, namely, the devotee’s servitude mood and that of the Good Samaritan are significantly diverse yet both represent some aspect of service only. A person who serves others namely a person with a helping nature is also understood to have been serving yet it may not qualify as transcendental service.
A person who has a good heart may seem to be helping the poor, the needy, the weak and so on. Although such things are highly worthy of being praised, still it falls short of being called true service. A person who feeds the world is noble and great but such a person may be classified as even pious but yet all his activities will only signify material activities, the result of which is temporary and miniscule when compared with eternity. Thus an intelligent person will want to serve in a way that may have eternal significance. It should be noted that all acts of service when not motivated by devotional mood simply accumulates limited merit which will benefit the person who serves, materially, in the long run. Such a person will be definitely materially benefitted during the course of his/her current lifetime or the next. The disadvantage yet of such a service is that it binds the individual to material nature and furthers the cycle of birth and death. What is the use of such service where the solution to the question of life itself is not answered?
However when one takes up to the path of Bhakti where one serves the Lord through the medium of a Sadhguru and takes up devotional activity, such a living entity performs the service of the highest kind; he performs service that has an undying effect on itself and the cosmos. A person who nurtures the seed of Bhakti and performs devotional activities waters the root of the plant of creation and sustenance and he becomes free of the disease of death and decay. When one glorifies and serves the Lord, one is actually taking real onus for oneself and relieving oneself from the bonds of life and death. As one unshackles the chains of bound living, one releases merit around oneself and to the people with whom one is connected in this life. When one serves the Lord and also engages others in that act, one is not trying to cope up with the current material existence but working towards eternal release through the process of Bhakti. One goes beyond the concept of Food, Clothing, and Shelter and beyond eating, sleeping, mating and defending and addresses the very issue of bound life thus freeing oneself through service to the Lord. A person who is engaged in serving the Lord, through personal demeanour becomes a teacher of one’s environment. Everything that comes in contact with such a person automatically gets promoted to the platform of true service sooner or later.
A person who takes to the path of Bhakti works within oneself and the process itself cleans one’s heart and the scum of lust, anger, greed, illusion, pride and envy flee from one’s heart. The heart becomes soft and the environment itself inundates itself in service. Such a devotee is also free from the disease of doership unlike a person who engages in bodily or monetary service to society who retains the evil of doership in one’s heart although he may not desire to keep such a feeling. Since a spiritually blind servitor of society is not informed on the science of true service, one’s heart remains contaminated although externally there may be loads of services visible externally. A person who retains a materially motivated contaminated mind in reality can never render any service. Hence one should realize that true service is only possible through the medium of Bhakti towards the Supreme personality, Sri Sri Radha Krishna.