Meaning: noun: Service, selfless service.
ਬਿਨੁ ਸੇਵਾ ਫਲੁ ਕਬਹੁ ਨ ਪਾਵਸਿ ਸੇਵਾ ਕਰਣੀ ਸਾਰੀ॥
ਸੇਵਾ ਤੋਂ ਬਗੈਰ ਕਦੇ ਕੋਈ ਫਲ ਪਰਾਪਤ ਨਹੀਂ ਕਰ ਸਕਦਾ, ਸੇਵਾਹੀਸਰਬ-ਸ੍ਰੇਸਟਕਰਨੀਹੈ।
bin sevaa phal kabahu na paavas sevaa karṇee saaree.
Without selfless service, no one can ever receive the reward; selfless service is the most excellent action. -Guru Nanak Sahib, Guru Granth Sahib, 992
Message: In the Sikh faith, selfless service (seva) has been given much prominence. Seva is the concept of transcending one’s personal self and immersing in the whole. It is a sense of connectedness with greater humanity and is open to all irrespective of race, gender, or economic and social differences. With a true understanding of the Guru’s teachings, seva is almost akin to the flowering of one’s soul.
When we are committed to seva, we will not keep an eye on the wealth of others, but would rather help the needy from an honestly earned income. Seva implies that we do not expect any award, but do it to serve humanity. By embracing this concept that each of us is just like our own family, we are edging closer to the Divine.
The sole meaning of life is to serve humanity. -Leo Tolstoy.
Etymology: From Sanskrit sevaa (attendance on, homage) → Pali → Prakrit sevaa (service) → Hindi sew (obeisance) → Gujarati sev (attendance on).