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Seva Means to Establish a Relationship

~from a lecture by Sacinandana Swami, on August 15, 2020, in Goloka-dhama, Germany~

When you give your time, body and mind to Krsna it’s not that you are doing Krsna a favor, “I’m doing something for Your benefit.” No! He doesn’t need anything. He has everything. It is about you actually correcting your forgetfulness and illusion. This is a very wonderful secret in bhakti. The word seva means ‘to come close’, ‘to establish a relationship’. It can also mean to chant the holy name, to talk about Krsna, to worship the deity on the altar, to offer prayers to Krsna – seva has nine typical expressions. But it is always to be done with this idea: “I’m not renouncing the world, nor am I trying to enjoy it. I am trying to act in my eternal relationship with You my Lord.” And the result is the feeling of belonging to Krsna, mamatva. Rupa Goswmai describes in his Bhaktirasmrta-sindhu that this feeling is the foundation of bhakti: “I belong to you, You are mine and we have an experience.