The Seva is a Sanskrit word meaning selfless service, considered perhaps the most consequential component of Bhakti. Uka Khachar, an unfaltering devotee of Bhagwan Swaminarayan who was very intimate with Shri Hari was an exemplary embodiment of Seva.
One day, a dog defecated on the path leading towards the Akshar Oradi (Maharaj’s residence). This path was well traversed by hundreds of devotees daily as they went for the darshan of Shreeji Maharaj. Seeing the stool lying there baking under the hot sun, they condemned the dog for permeating the air with a foul odour and disrupting the cleanliness of the environment. Despite the complaints, not one of them conceived of actually assuming responsibility and cleaning it. Later, Uka Khachar headed down the same pathway to do darshan of Maharaj. Like the others, he too saw the stool which cluttered the path; the difference lies in what he did next.
UkaKhachar didn’t care to complain about the dog's actions or pass the blame to the creature—rather, he made his way to the river to obtain several buckets of fresh, clean water. He proceeded to lug the buckets back to the path, where he began to thoroughly cleanse the stool. While cleaning, he chanted the SwaminarayanMahamantra in loving memory of Maharaj. Once finished, Uka Khachar retraced his steps to the Ghela River to bathe, then remigrated for Maharaj’s Darshan.
Upon his arrival, Maharaj interrogated Uka Khachar for his tardiness. “Uka, what happened? Why are you late? You are well aware I do not like laggards.
”Maharaj, of course, knew everything that had transpired. Despite his omniscience, however, Maharaj impersonated as if he was oblivious to the event to use this event to teach a lesson to other devotees.
Uka Khachar began to chronicle the whole incident. Hearing the story, Maharajbecame extremely pleased and eulogized Uka Khachar. As a reward for his integral character, Maharaj blessed him with His transcendental footprints.
Uka Khachar has been exalted by Shreeji Maharaj in the Gadhada Madhya25th Vachanamrut- “One who has become an enthusiast of serving Me and My devotees like Uka Khachar will be redeemed of even the most abominable desires that may erupt within one’s heart.”
The moral of the story is:
We should develop such devotion to ‘Seva’ as Uka Khachar.