Nourished by Seva Making a gentle entry, absorbing Pujyashri Gurudevshri’s teachings and moving closer to Him through the bountiful gifts of seva; meet the trustee of Shrimad Rajchandra Educational Trust, the co-ordinator of Shrimad Rajchandra Love and Care activities, Yuva Seva Ratna, Sarvarpit Dhaval Mehta Before Bapa came into my life, I was going through a phase where hurt, emptiness, negativity, insecurity, together made up the majority of what I would feel every single day. Few of my friends had been following Bapa since long. Whenever I would meet them, invariably the talks would lead to Bapa. In 2003, I started attending pravachans at FPH but at that time it was not out of love for religion or an attraction towards Bapa but only because I wanted to explore this world, to know more about myself and to clean myself of impurities I could see within me. For an entire year that I attended the pravachans, I would sit on the first floor and so I never saw Bapa in person. At Sasmira too, I would sit on the terrace. It was only when Bapa Himself moved around all floors to give darshan on His birthday, that I actually saw Him in person for the first time! After this, I wrote Him my first letter, which had over 40 questions. He replied, “Read I am the Soul”. After reading the book, I requested Bapa for an appointment. During this first meeting, He said, to let go of my attachments. It was I who had to rise and reach an elevated state, as if on top of a building. He said, from there, all problems would seem insignificant. He told me to come for a sadhana bhatti. Bapa also allowed me to attend the Sarvarpit meetings and also the Sarvarpit Shibir in Dharampur. The very day the shibir was over, I wrote to Bapa requesting Him to allow me to join the group. He accepted me in the group. In 2004, during one of the pravachans, was the launch of the website of the Sanstha. In that, there were activities of the Sanstha listed from letters A to Z. On V was Vidyavihar. I had always wanted to pursue social service and had explored a little on this before I started coming to Bapa, but could never find the right direction. I asked Bapa if I could join Vidyavihar seva. He told me to visit the place and report to Him on what could be done there. I sent Him the report. One day, Bapa told me about His upcoming visit to Vidyavihar and if convenient for me, then I could come to Dharampur and visit the school with Him. Of course, I said yes. Surely Bapa was not calling me because I was needed at the school, but because He was giving me a higher purpose in life. Few weeks later, Bapa announced in the Sarvarpit meeting that a team had been formed for Vidyavihar and from Sarvarpit Group, along with others, I was blessed with this seva. First, I believed seva was a way to express my love and gratitude for all that You have done for me Bapa, only to realise that seva is just another blessing received from You. It is only You who are giving…always! Sadguru Whispered: Seva is given to you to rid you of your hidden flaws. On one occasion, during Vidyavihar seva, the SRV team made a mistake. We were to go to Vidyavihar for a session in the afternoon. The kids were expecting us to come. However, due to some reasons we had to cancel this session. After a few days, Bapa called the team to meet Him at Magictouch. He told us that these children mean the same to Him as Sachi and Rhea and that we must learn to respect them and love them. He said that we have taken this seva lightly, as it did not come with recognition. He said we will become orphans if seva is taken away from us. The immense love He has for each and every soul was evident, as well as the sincerity in seva He expected from us. We were clear that seva is our need and not that this seva needed us. After this, I was blessed with cleaning seva at Sarvarpit meetings and then seva in Cards for a Cause. August 2009, a form was circulated to few sevaks in the Sanstha to fill up their strengths and weaknesses. I filled up one of my weaknesses as Public Relations. People who know me from before, know that I am an introvert and not at all a social person. Few weeks later I got a call that I was blessed with seva in a new department being formed in the Sanstha – Public Relations. I could not understand this. Public Relations was a whole new world for me. Few months later I got a call that I was blessed with seva in Shrimad Rajchandra Youthwing. This too, a whole new world for me. During the Poornahuti Mahotsav I got a message that I had been selected for Master Plan Seva. Sadguru Whispered: The Guru binds you in seva and ajnas until the virtues of your soul bloom. During one of the meetings for the launch of Shrimad Rajchandra Love and Care Programme, Bapa said that whatever someone needed in life – whether education, medical treatment, any other form of social aid, and of course spiritual upliftment they would know that they could get it all from Param Krupalu Dev. When I submitted the 10 Care final file I thought this project for me was over. However, Bapa blessed me with Tribal Care Seva and later the seva of coordinating SRLC activities. First, I believed seva was a way to express my love and gratitude for all that You have done for me Bapa, only to realise that seva is just another blessing received from You. It is only You who are giving…always! In the 10th year of the Ashram, the Magazine was to be launched. At that time, I was told that I must coordinate the seva section. This was another seva that Bapa blessed me with. Once, Bapa was leaving for a dharmayatra. I went for His darshan to the airport. Bapa called me towards Him and blessed me with seva of being an SRET Trustee and to hand over seva of SRY Core Committee. Bapa, the Yuva Seva Ratna award too was a total surprise. Bapa, every seva of the Mission brings me great joy but the greatest joy is to experience that it is only You who are doing it all! Sadguru Whispered: Be like a flute, empty of ego and concepts. Let the Divine Flutist blow the divine melody through you. He was organising my day with sadhana and seva in such a way that there was no chance for karmas or moods to snuggle in. Without sadhana and seva, life was filled with negativities, emptiness, desires and attachments. During the Kshamapna shibir in Goa, while filling up the Kshamapna booklet, as well as in letters, I have written to You on all the faults within me that I could see. Surely there will be many more that I cannot but You can. I am still so far away from implementing in day to day life all that You are teaching us. Sadguru Whispered: Do not wait to become free of faults to come to Me. Come to Me to become free of faults!! He knocked on my door, requesting me to give Him all the trash within me and in return giving me gold coins. And still, I am holding on to some of the trash. And still, He is giving me gold coins just like that. Yes, this is the story of Bapa and me. Bapa, You love me so much more than I love You! During the visit to Palitana in 2010, few of us were in Viklang Camp seva, which commenced from 8.00 a.m. onwards. Bapa was to go with everyone for jatra at 6.00 a.m. Since I was leaving for Mumbai that evening, a co-sevak and I started climbing up at 4.00 a.m., so we could report for seva by 8.00 a.m. On the way down we met Bapa, who was on His way up. Bapa asked where I was going. I told Him for the Viklang Camp seva. He said, “Tu maari seva kyare karshe?” I replied, “Whatever You say Bapa.” He hugged me and asked me to go for the seva. Few months later, a Baal Mela for rural kids was organised at the Ashram. During the function, I felt it was not up to Bapa’s expectations. After the event was over, Bapa said He was very happy with the event and the team. He loved the innocence of the children. He said, to love our children is not a big deal… but to love the kids that were there today, from whom we have no expectations, can come with only bhakti within. He blessed the team that night that may we get samyak darshan! There was silence all around, tears in all our eyes. I was judging the success of the event by the quality of the cultural programme, but He was seeing something very different. Sadguru Whispered: You will experience God not by polishing the intellect, but by cleansing the heart! He requires not a magnificent palace; all He needs is a pure heart! Soon, I was advised by family members and sevaks around to slow down as due to lack of sleep, my health was being affected. I would welcome every seva as Bapa’s blessings and moved forward. In fact, I felt I was not doing enough, and wanted to serve Him, serve the Mission, 24 x 7. During this time was the Marathon and I was part of the team. I was yet thinking in my mind… should I write to Bapa and take His advice on what people around me were saying? I had not yet decided to write to Him. But He knew it all. We were sitting after the Marathon with Bapa. He told me, “Dhaval, people around you may tell you to slow down… but I am telling you – increase your capacity!” That day, even the slightest vikalp on how I will manage everything, vanished. We experienced the impossible made possible only by Bapa’s Grace. One recent example of Bapa’s Divine Grace was the Mumbai Darshan for SRV kids. The event was on 8th October and everything seemed to be perfectly planned. On 7th October, I got a call that the Jet Airways visit was cancelled as written approvals from their CSR – Corporate Social Responsibility authority had not come in. For a brief moment, I interpreted this as ‘bad news’ as I was disappointed that the kids would miss out on this opportunity. Moreover, it seemed difficult to find alternatives last minute. Sadguru Whispered: Giving up is the greatest offense you can show your Sadgurudev. He who can make the impossible possible, can only be your Saviour! So don’t give up! We rushed to the Jet Airways office to request the CSR team to reconsider. By mistake… Sorry… by sheer Grace we reached the wrong Jet Airways office, in which was the CEO’s office and from whom eventually CSR was to get the approvals! We were told to try our luck and meet the secretary of the CEO to grant us approval. On reaching the CEO’s office, the secretary told us it was not possible to get approvals as the CEO was leaving in 5 minutes for the airport to catch a flight. We saw him leaving the office in front of us. Just then the secretary said, “Why not try to catch him in the elevator?” So we ran behind and got to meet the top most guy in Jet Airways, the CEO, that too, in the elevator, for just a few minutes to explain the situation. He immediately arranged for the approvals and even organised gifts for the children. We had tears in our eyes. This was much more than we had started off with, obviously all part of the Divine Plan of the top most person in the world – Bapa, on testing us on how we manage challenges. SRV kids had a blast at Jet Airways and thoroughly enjoyed the Mumbai Darshan. Bapa was very happy with the event and kissed my hand as the team had brought happiness in the lives of these children. I am one of those, that probably receive Bapa’s least pratyaksh samagam, yet I feel He is always around. I have experienced that when we converse with Him, in His physical absence, He is always listening. Whenever we reach out to Him, He is always there. There was a time when I would travel 100 days a year…it has become almost 0 today…no apparent reason. I used to devote maximum time at work…now I find it’s going on fine even if am occupied in seva for most of the day. I would like to thank family members, partners and factory staff for their support in my seva for the Mission. Once, my wife, Anuja had written a letter to Bapa, requesting Him to come home. On 6th May 2011, Bapa planned a surprise for me and came home for lunch! Later, Bapa told me He had come home only for Anuja. Bapa, as You rightly said during the lunch, You were feeling more at home than I was. During this time Bapa told me not to be involved in Master Plan Seva as I had other things at hand. He also gave me ajna that when I go for the family holiday I should not attend to any seva calls. This was His way of ensuring I spend quality time with family too. But 7 days without seva?? Sadguru Whispered: Do not tell God what He should give you. He decides what is Best for you and sends it to you. Your happiness lies in gifts of His choice, not yours! Once, I had gone to show Bapa some artwork of Mahila Gruha Udyog stickers. Bapa told me that He wished I had met Him earlier, then He would have taken me as part of His team! I am filled with so many impurities and yet You say this? I can only wish to have the feelings that would make me worthy of being part of Your team. Thank You Bapa for showering me with seva, drenching me in Your Love, cleansing away the dirt within me and leaving me feeling fresh within. It is You who are teaching me to do seva selflessly and with sincerity. You have said that when life is filled with the joy of making others happy, in God’s eyes life is a success. On behalf of all Mission sevaks I pray, that we may always serve the Mission, allowing You to flow through us, spreading Your love and joy to each and every soul.