Sri Ramakrishna: On Selfless Service

If a householder gives in charity in a spirit of detachment, he is really doing good to himself and not to others. It is God alone that he serves – God, who dwells in all beings…. If a man thus serves God through all beings, not through men alone but through animals and other living beings as well; if he doesn’t seek name and fame, or heaven after death; if he doesn’t seek any return from those he serves; if he can carry on his work of service in this spirit – then he performs truly selfless work, work without attachment. Through such selfless work he does good to himself. This is called karmayoga. This too is a way to realize God. But it is very difficult, and not suited to the Kaliyuga. – Sri Ramakrishna

Swami Nikhilananda, trans., The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna. New York: Ramakrishna-Vivekananda Center, 1978; c1942, 671.

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