Personal Transformation Experience

Transformation through Service Opportunities

I was about 15 years of age when I first heard the name, Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba. As a young child I had always wondered, how is it that we have so many faiths? Isn’t there only one God? I, myself, was raised a Greek Orthodox Christian and I wondered, what if I was born in a different country, I might be a Muslim or a Buddhist or a Hindu.

Listening to my mum explain the teachings of Sai Baba, “All Forms are One; Hands that help are Holier than lips that pray; Love All, Serve All”, it made sense to me and I immediately accepted and believed in Him. From then until now, life continues to be a journey of self-transformation!

 

Something I have come to understand, is the importance of recognising the everyday opportunities to serve. From the smallest action, such as giving a glass of water and remembering to do it with love, to bigger opportunities, such as working within Health in Kind in Melbourne and assisting with the health checks. In my role as a Social Worker, I listen to people and provide emotional support and it is in remembering to do this action with love.

 

My Godfather said to me a few years back, “do more service, while you’re fit enough to do so”. It hit me that the energy of being a youth is a wonderful thing in that you are blessed to have the strength to do service. As we get older, we may not have that much strength, so we need to remember that and make the most of the opportunities that come our way.

 

The most important thing I have realised is being grateful for these opportunities to serve. The understanding that if the recipient gets benefited too, that’s a great thing; but it is my good fortune to have the opportunity for my own development and transformation. As Swami says, “We are all connected, so when we help another, somewhere we are only helping ourselves”. Through service activities, I’ve had the opportunity to hear other people’s stories, their struggles with ups and downs in life. This has helped me to have more understanding and compassion for the suffering of others, as well as, the joys of others. I feel my heart opening more and more. I learn a lot about values and qualities in people; what to do and what not to do. I learn to see things from other people’s perspectives. When I think about our deeper inner connection with everyone and everything, I feel so much joy. The knowledge that we are all part of the Divine and serving God through our fellow man, who is our own true Self. I feel so humbled. It has helped me to understand and put into practice selfless love!

 

It can be easy to talk about and harder to put into practice, but I hope, that day by day, little by little, the transformation is happening. May Swami bless us, with hearts and minds filled with selfless love, so that we all recognise the daily opportunities to serve!

Staasi Toulantas

Region 1

Melbourne, Australia