What is Seva - service? It is the attitude of a person, which decides whether the act is an act of service, or not. The act in itself is not service. As Mananeeya Eknathji says, "Service may be out of - i) compassion for the people or ii) a sense of pity or iii) even a sense of kinship, fellow-feeling or brotherhood or iv) a desire for popularity, name and fame or v) an ulterior motive of obliging the people for some future benefit such as election, etc. Thus it is ego-satisfaction or the feeling of superiority complex arising through patronage. Therefore there is give-and-take, a barter, a mathematical precision in receiving the returns approximately for the service rendered. There is a dormant desire to serve others for one reason or the other and this desire is fulfilled through the act of service." So such an act of service is not service. Then what is service? He further explains in 'Sadhana of Service', "That service is the best and the noblest, which is performed with the attitude of total surrender to God. It is the divine design that I should render service on his behalf. He desires the betterment of the world and I am being used just as a tool or a means to carry out His design. I am just an instrument in His hands. The action must be performed without any attachment but sincerely and honestly to the best of our ability with an attitude of being a tool only. We have been called upon to execute whatever is essential and possible as willed by God. This is service. We are doing His work. Such work elevates us and leads to Self-realization, which is the supreme goal of human life. This work is done in freedom and not in slavery; for it liberates us from the cycle of births and deaths. Even the most trifling desires degenerate and make us slaves. Here there is no slavery. In doing His work there is no slavery and there is no thought of success or failure."
With this attitude if we do our work then ego has no place to enter in us. Any time egoistic thought appears or the desire torment or the workers are proud of any thought of any achievement means that Sadhana of service is still incomplete. Still they have not internalized the fact that they are just instruments in the hands of Ishvara. Egoistic worker is always a problem to himself as well as to the work. But doing service can slowly purify him of his ego. Any time a thought like 'I have done this' enters the heart and head of a worker, the work suffers. The thought that 'there is nobody like me' can destroy the worker and thus the work too. But if service is being done with this attitude of being instrument of Ishvara, then the difficulties will not arise. If difficulty of ego arises, then contemplation on instrumentality will further evolve the worker and thus the quality of work too.