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Gratitude To God

Let us develop a sense of gratitude to the Lord by focusing our attention on what we have - Swami Chinmayananda


A saint was walking along a crowded road, when his eyes fell on a child begging by the wayside.

To each and every passer-by, the child called out, "Give me something in the name of God! My parents are blind! Help me feed them!"

The saint told the boy, "Why do you need to beg my child when you are so rich!"

The beggar boy was taken aback. "Alas sir, I am poor! My parents are blind and we live on the alms I get."

The saint thought for a while, and then said, "I shall give you Rs 10,000/ -. Will you cut your hands and give it to me?" The boy was horrified.

The saint persisted, "How about your legs? Take 10,000/-, but give both your legs." The boy shook his head, speechless with shock

"All right then, give me those pretty eyes of yours for 10,000/-..."

"How cruel you are!" the boy burst out. "Will you have me disfigured, deformed and maimed for life?"


The saint smiled. Lovingly he said, "My dear child, God has blessed you with such strong and healthy limbs. Why don't you make use of them effectively? Why beg when you can work hard and live a life of self respect.! "

God blesses us every moment. But we are habituated in taking all His blessings for granted. . . or we are busy comparing and proving that we got less. . . or we pay more attention to what is missing and thus miss out what is present. At the end of the day there is a thankless, discontented heart craving for more. No wonder why our hearts ever remain hard and dry, in spite of receiving so much in abundance.

The statement ''Man gets and forgets while God gives and forgives" makes the cause of our misery plain and clear.

True happiness lies not in gaining what we don't have, but in recognizing and appreciating what we already have. Soon we will discover that counting our blessings is the hardest arithmetic to master!

Once in a children's camp, the teacher asked the children to list down the 'seven wonders ofthe world'. While the grown up ones rushed in to present their standard stereotype answers, a small girl too, about five or six years of age, hesitatingly submitted her list of wonders. They were l To see 2.To hear 3.To smell 4.To feel 5.To taste 6.To love 7.To laugh.

How true! ! As has been rightly said, "We thank the one who gave us the wrist watch but forget the One who gave us the wrist!"

God's gifts are priceless and invaluable. Lose it, and it's lost for ever. In spite of all the modem technological advancements, they remain, even to this day, irreplaceable.

Someone has put it nicely, "I was sad that I didn't have shoes till I saw someone who didn't have legs!"

Noble sows find ample reasons to thank the Lord even in the most tragic situations.

Recently, in one of the reputed hospitals, a cancer patient, whose case was declared incurable by the expert doctors, was seen joyously chanting aloud Lord's name. An astonished visitor, seeing his blissful state asked him with curiosity, "Sir, how is it possible for you to thank God in spite of giving you such a painful end?"

The patient smiled and replied, "Sir, I am truly grateful to God. How lucky I am that I know the arrival of death long before I die! Now every moment has become precious for me. Facing the inevitable end, my mind now doesn't wander anymore. All relatives have left me and thus I clearly , perceive that God alone is my true companion. With His sweetest name on my lips, I weep and pray from the depth of my heart, which I was unable to do before. Thanks to this disease, I feel His consoling presence as never before. . ."

Cheerfully accepting even the bitterest experience as prasadam from the Lord is the sign of a true devotee.

O Lord, next time when You answer our prayers, ensure that You have given us the most (and the only) important thing - a thankful heart filled with gratitude.


Messages of gratitude as the above article from the 'Vedanta Vani' magazine of Chinmaya Mission, help one to acknowledge and appreciate the gifts of life which we have long forgotten in today's mad pursuit. The surge of gratitude to God in one is a profound way of looking at life more positively.

Story first published: Tuesday, December 6, 2011, 16:41 [IST]
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