Real Sewa – Making yourself happy while helping others without Expectations – 21 Feb 12


Yesterday I explained why I think parents should not tell their children how much they had done for them as if they expected something back from their children in return. This kind of expectation would not be right. That is however not only the case with the relationship of parents and children but in many other ways, too.

In order to describe this situation properly, I would like to mention two words which we have in Hindi: Sewa and Naukri. Sewa means service whereas Naukri simply means job.

Let me explain you the difference in between those words. Naukri is what you get paid for. It is your job and you do it in order to get paid. If in that time you do something for another person, it is only because you want to get a benefit. It may be that through your job you get to help others but in the end you expect something back, you expect to get paid. That is your job, Naukri.

Sewa is done without any expectation. While you do it, you don’t think about what you will get back. You don’t think that you will get anything back at all. Sewa is just doing something for another person only out of love. You make the other one happy and Sewa makes you happy while you are doing it. You don’t think however whether the other one would pay you or even do something for you in return. If you have this kind of expectation, it is not Sewa what you are doing.

So whenever you do something for another person, for your parents or the sick, for old people or young children, you should be doing Sewa. Do it without expecting anything back. If you expect to be paid, it is just like a normal job – a nursing job for example. A nurse may be happy that those whom she looks after get relief through her work but she does that in order to get paid. A nanny may love the kids she is taking care of but she takes care of them because she, too, will be paid at the end of the month.

If you however take care of your little baby and wipe his or her buttocks when changing diapers, you are not getting paid and you should not think you would get anything back. When you visit your old grandmother and go shopping for her, you don’t do it because she might give you a note of some Dollars when you come back but because you love her. In the same way we educate and feed the children of our school for free without thinking that any of them would come back to thank us for that someday. Maybe some will, most of them won’t but it doesn’t matter. We want to do real charity, Sewa, and we enjoy that.

You can be truly happy in the service for another person. You can see their happiness and be happy with that. The joy that you receive in this way is much bigger than any payment could be. So when you want to help someone, make sure it is Sewa, not Naukri.


  1. Julia

    People should stop doing things just out of selfish reasons. Many people just act for effectivness and making more profit instead of caring for others. They always think “What will I get in return when I do this?”.

  2. Tricia

    I have a question in this regard,and maybe I already have asked it, but just in case I’ll ask again. Do you think its better to give even if your heart isn’t in the right place? Or is it better to only give when your heart is in the right place?

Leave a Comment