Brill’s Encyclopedia of Hinduism Online

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(3,007 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 generosity, dāna…

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Jacobsen, Knut A., “Sevā”, in: Brill’s Encyclopedia of Hinduism Online, Editor-in-Chief Associate Editors Knut A. Jacobsen, Helene Basu, Angelika Malinar, Vasudha Narayanan. Consulted online on 07 June 2023 <>
First published online: 2018

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