Seva in Sikhism

Sikh devotees performing bartan seva at Golden temple, Amritsar

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Seva means service. In Sikhism, seva refers to selfless service for altruistic purposes on behalf of, and for the betterment of a community.

Sikhs have a tradition of seva. A sevadar is one who performs seva through philanthropic, voluntary, selfless, service.

Seva is a means to promote humility and demote egoism which is a basic concept of the Sikh religion and is one of three fundamental principles of Sikhism.

  • Pronunciation: Save - awe
  • Alternate spellings: Sewa


Sikh sevadars perform many kinds of voluntary service caring for every aspect of the gurdwara and langar facility. Seva is also performed on behalf of the community outside of the gurdwara setting. International aid organizations such as United Sikhs and Ghanaia perform seva for communities needing relief due to a natural disaster such as a tsunami, hurricane, earthquake, or flood etc.

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Your Citation
Khalsa, Sukhmandir. "Seva in Sikhism." Learn Religions, Feb. 8, 2021, Khalsa, Sukhmandir. (2021, February 8). Seva in Sikhism. Retrieved from Khalsa, Sukhmandir. "Seva in Sikhism." Learn Religions. (accessed June 5, 2023).