• My hands were full of blisters due to continuous impact of hammer on bricks, my hair and clothes were soiled by carrying mud filled “taslas” (large sized metal pan to carry mud, bricks, stones and other construction material), my body was exhausted due to hardcore physical work, but the sense of service and gratitude filled my heart and soul with immense happiness.

This was I, from the age of 9 years and much before. My mother used to take me to ashrams and involve me in “Sewa” (selfless service) like aligning the shoes and slippers and offering water to the devotees. I was very fortunate to be a part of the family where every member had a different faith and Guru, and everyone respected each other’s choice. Being very active, inquisitive little girl and encouraged by my mother, I used to accompany every member in pooja, paath, satsang and sewa. I have been deeply involved in Sewa at RadhaSoami Satsang centres, Ruhani Satsang Centres, Sanatan Dharm Mandir Samitis, Hanuman Mandir, Vridh ashram, Anath ashram and Gurudwaras.

My personality was shaped during my childhood and teenage as I cycled to one of these centers after my school to learn and involve in making chapatis, cutting grass neatly, cleaning the premises, preparing the construction material and most importantly being in gratitude and feeling the divine strength every moment.

Life is not a bed of roses for anyone. We all have to face various highs and lows. Our struggles and agonies become worse when we have strong egos, non-flexibility to adapt in every environment and inability to work hard physically and mentally. These inhibitions were removed from my life long back due to deep involvement in Sewa and Gratitude. Even in the times when I was very lonely and humiliated, the divine presence assured me of greater hope and love, and I could go on through great hardships with a beaming smile on my face.

Now when I meet teenagers and people much older, losing hope and sinking in depressions and anxiety, I know they are going through the deficiency of Vitamin “S” and Vitamin “G” ie the Vitamins of Sewa (Selfless service) and Gratitude.

Good news is it’s never too late to fill up these deficiencies. So next time you plan a celebration or any important day in your life, try to devote few hours in an ashram, help the underprivileged, sit in gratitude and feel the presence of the divine through every breath you inhale and exhale.

Jai Shri Hari 😊

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Meena Arora

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