Brill’s Encyclopedia of Hinduism Online

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(3,014 words)

Sevā, from the Sanskrit root sev-, “to serve,” has become a central concept in contemporary Hinduism. Sevā means selfless service and is associated with karmayoga, disciplined action, and bhaktiyoga, disciplined devotion. Sevā is also connected to other Sanskrit concepts such as dāna (gift giving), karuṇā (compassion), and preman (kindness). Selfless service (sevā) is one of the main forms of generosity in Hinduism, the other being gift giving (dāna). Of these two forms of ge…

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Jacobsen, Knut A., “Sevā”, in: Brill’s Encyclopedia of Hinduism Online, Edited by: Knut A. Jacobsen, Helene Basu, Angelika Malinar, Vasudha Narayanan. Consulted online on 14 October 2019 <>
First published online: 2018

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