Service in Italy

by Prem


Service is an important subject, especially for us in Italy where we are going through a major clear out. First, we are trying to change perceptions that we consider are obstacles. Munirajji, as a manifestation of guru Dattatreya, taught us through his system: creating obstacles for students in order for them to develop and grow. We are asking ourselves: Would Babaji and Muniraji like what we are doing ?  Second, we, Babaji’s family, are mirroring the outer world, the political and financial situation, it is chaotic. We ask ourselves: What would we change if we had the power to change outer situations? Then we remember Babaji’s teaching that we need to care for Humanity. Today’s situation is inhuman. People behave inhumanely: they hurt living beings and the environment. The main weapon of evil, against humanity, is individualism. We need to think much more in terms of community and the collective good.


In the Italian Samaj we are discussing how to help immigrants from Africa. Maybe our ashram can be a place where we can help immigrants with food and a place to sleep. We can take for granted our material reality, but one day this will be gone, so we need to adjust ourselves to live with little resources. When Muniraji was with us it was not difficult to find a propellant for action, but now our motivation should be to help others.


My service is also to take care of a big property which I’ve rented for almost 30 years. When I first came here this big land was neglected, covered by bush and the walnut tree plantation was abandoned and ruined. With continuous effort I restored this property. I am also proposing to local farmers and the community to change their strategy regarding wood cutting: instead we can retain the big old trees and have a real forest environment for animals. This is my seva. I am taking care of part of this planet in a special place near Assisi. I am also offering this place for special events, like Haidakhandi Samaj meetings, music concerts, bhajan gatherings and special guests like Tibetan lamas, but mostly this place is for karma yogis.   I call our work karma yoga and seva, even though we are earning money from selling walnuts.

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