Service is unavoidable – why not make it relishable?
The scriptural teaching that we are servants of God often seems unpalatable to our ego: “Why should I serve God?”
Rarely do we grasp the reality that service is unavoidable. Don’t we serve our bosses in office and spouses at home? In fact, whenever we subordinate our likings to those of others, aren’t we essentially serving? We may serve for paychecks or for peace or for some other reason. But serve we must.
Even if we are wealthy and powerful enough to do whatever we like, still we remain servants – servants of our likings.
Even if we are wealthy and powerful enough to do whatever we like, still we remain servants – servants of our likings. And most of our likings are exhausting and entangling. How do they exhaust? By making us fulfill one fancy after another ad infinitum as we toil in vain to pander to them. How do they entangle? By making us so frenzied for indulgence that we lose perspective and end up bound by irresistible attachments. Tragic examples of such bondage are the millions of addicts who started out to enjoy their likings, but ended up as slaves of those very likings. The Bhagavad-gita (15.07) depicts our existential plight: we are all struggling with our senses, which are the residences of our likings.
The same verse points to the solution: we are all parts of Krishna, who is the all-attractive source of all pleasure, and are meant to delight in loving service to him. Such devotional service connects our consciousness with him. This divine connection provides us a profound non-material enrichment that fulfills our deepest longings for happiness.
Moreover, by cultivating a devotional disposition, we redefine our various worldly obligations as forms of service to Krishna. These outer engagements thus become means for developing our inner Krishna-connection, thereby furthering our spiritual enrichment.
So, service is unavoidable, but choosing Krishna as the object of our service makes the unavoidable relishable.