Service vs Karma

His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
Srila Bhakti Nirmal Acharya Maharaj
21 August 2011, part 4



Question: My purpose of life is service to the Lord, but what is service and what is not service? How to distinguish between these two things?

If you are fully surrendered, then you can realise what is service and what is not service. If what you are doing is not service, then this is some karma going on. Karma and service look the same same.

I have told this example many times—suppose two people are going to the market. Both buy some fruit, vegetables, but if you buying vegetables for the Lord, that is service, and if the other person buys fruit, flowers, etc. for his own enjoyment, then it is karma. Do you understand it? These are simple things. Suppose two wives or mothers are cooking—one mother is cooking for her son and the other mother has Deities and she is cooking to make an offering to the Deities. What the mother who is cooking for the Deity does is service, and what the other mother who is cooking for her son does, goes to karma and a reaction will come for that—every action has an equal and opposite reaction. If you do something for any purpose other than service to the Lord, reaction will come, but if you do service, reaction will not come—your action then goes to the Lord, it becomes nirgun (not tainted by the three modes of material nature).

You can read Srimad Bhagavad-gita, this is explained there clearly. The Lord says, "If you are drinking a glass of water, you must offer it to your Guru or the Lord first—when you first see the water, you must say or think, "Oh, I am giving it to my Guru." And if you do not offer what you take to the Lord or your Guru, it means you are doing papa-bhaksan (পাপ-ভক্ষণ)—you are eating sin. The Lord Himself says, "If you eat something without giving it to Me, then you are eating sin."



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