All devotees believe in service to God. Followers of Lord Shiva believe in serving our beloved Lord Shiva. Hence, we perform Abhishek, we offer our services at temples, in holy places of worship. We sweep floors of temples, wash them. We offer Prasadam after making it lovingly with our own hands. We bring new and ornate garments to drape statues with; present flowers, jewellery and ornaments to idols as an expression of faith, love and gratitude. We volunteer at major religious festivals and events at temples assuming duties and responsibilities.
What is “Shiv Gyani Jan Seva” ?
While this is undoubtedly a beautiful celebration of faith, an expression of love for Shiva, our revered deity, service needs to be understood in a wider and larger context, as has been expressed by seers and sages from time immemorial. According to Vivekanada, love of mankind is the worship of God. The values of love, compassion and kindness are invaluable and timeless. When we harness all these values to serve humanity, we are actually serving God. Therefore Serving Shiva is Serving People, Shiv Gyani Jan Seva. After all, God is omnipresent, isn’t He? He is everywhere. He lives on mountains, in seas, in cities, in villages. He is in mansions and in slums. He will stand with the rich. He will stand with the poor. He will be with the farmer. He will be with the Poojari. Then why do we, the pinnacle of His creation, create walls and divides between people? Moreover, aren’t we all manifestations of God? This is the essential truth of Shivoham – Lord Shiva is everywhere. He lives in fields and on hills, just as His presence can be found in temples and shrines. Not only that, He lives within each one us, I am Shiva, you are Shiva. We are all a part of Him; we are all Shiva. By serving a fellow man, aren’t we serving Lord Shiva? To stand with the poor and needy, perspire in the service of others is to be in true service of God.
The Shivoham Shiva Temple reflects this spirit of service to God as service to humanity. All contributions and donations made at the temple, all funds that are raised from the sales of tickets at the temple are channeled towards serving the underprivileged, the homeless and the destitute sheltered and treated at the RVM Humanitarian Hospital and Home. The former is a charitable hospital for the poor, while the latter is a shelter for the homeless and abandoned. Together, these two establishments care for 700 people everyday, providing free food, medication and advanced medical treatment to those who need it. Besides these amenities and facilities, and needless to say, the hospital and home provide love, compassion and support to the downtrodden and forgotten. Let us not forget that love of God is love of mankind and that Serving Shiva is serving people. In helping all these poor people, we are serving God.