“Be a servant, a servant of God, then all strength and joy will be added unto you... Feel that you are an instrument in His hand. Let Him shape you and use you as He knows best.”

Firstly, one is introduced to the Lord through Shravanam. Then, through Kirtanam, Smaranam, Padsevanam, Archanam and Vandanam one experiences Him more often and gets to know Him better. The Lord becomes more than an acquaintance. When one gets to know a person well, one wants to establish a relationship with that person. In the same way, when the devotee’s heart expands and gets filled with love for the Lord, it only makes him want more to establish a relationship with His Lord.

One can have any kind relationship with the Lord, for the Lord is the basis of all relationships. Some look to Him as mother, some as father, some as master, some as their beloved, and some as friend. Dasyam means to look at Him as the master and consider oneself His servant.

Daasyam is the seventh form of devotion where the devotee sees himself as not just the ‘servant’ of the Lord but also the servant of the Lord’s devotees, with no sense of inferiority. Daasyam refers to a heartfelt yearning to be of personal service to the Supreme. It is the ultimate expression of humility, yet it is bold in its aspiration to such a lofty position.

The Ramayana offers an extraordinary example of personal service. Rama did not have to instruct Hanuman or offer endless encouragement; as Hanuman’s pure love for the lord itself enthralled him, when he got the opportunity to serve Rama.

During his search for Sita, Hanuman was captured and ill-treated by Ravana. Yet Hanuman’s desire to serve Rama remained unchanged. Hanuman prayed to Rama with no expectations whatsoever, but prayed only for His blessings to be with him forever.

He prayed to Rama asking: “My dear Lord, if You like You can give me salvation from this material existence, or the privilege of merging into Your existence, but I do not wish any of those things. I do not wish anything which diminishes my relationship with You as servant to master, even after liberation.”

Thus Hanuman is the supreme example of daasya bhaktha or the one who realized God through serving Him wholeheartedly.

So for us, daasyam means not only to serve the lord directly, but to serve even those who serve Him. Our aspiration should rather be to serve the servants of the servants of the servants of the lord, stretching our humility as far as our realizations will allow. It is said that the servants or the devotees of the Lord are even kinder than the Lord Himself. That’s one reason we need a guru to attain daasyam. True humility thus naturally appears in a true guru, whose heart is ever-satisfied as the servant of Lord’s servants.

Dasyam expresses as seva (service) of the beloved. For it is that which gives maximum happiness to the devotee. But, by itself it is not seva, it is an attitude. It is the willingness in the devotee to serve.

The devotee considers himself as an instrument and becomes an able instrument in the hands of his beloved Lord. He considers all situations as coming directly from the Lord. He considers all actions coming from his own body mind as the Lords work, as His grace. For what is it that he can call his own.

Our Upanishadic Rishis are an example of this level of devotion. They wrote masterpieces but never claimed them to be their work. No Upanishad comes with the authors name on the text because they knew it was only through them, not from them. In the quietness of the mind, that knowledge, those thoughts, appeared. They were mere instruments to pass over the thoughts, they were not the originators of the thoughts. Hence they did not claim those noble thoughts or actions as theirs. That is true detachment and devotion


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