God has created the sun, moon, earth, plants etc. for the soul to seek pleasure from them. For this, He has given the soul a body and a mind with sensory powers and sensory organs. The sun keeps giving heat and light, the moon keeps giving coolness, earth keeps giving support, plants keep giving oxygen and food but you never acknowledge their contribution.
Besides the above-mentioned things, you need love and care for your survival and growth that are generally given by your parents. Elders and teachers generally fulfill your need for knowledge and experience. In brief, you need many things to live that are being fulfilled by others. But you never think what the others have done for you because of your ego. All you think is what you have done for others, expecting something in return. You do not think what others are doing for you or have done for you, with the result that you remain tense, angry, frustrated etc. on not getting the things expected.
Learn to focus on the help given and sacrifices made by others, instead of your help to others. Your help to others is very little compared the help of God, nature and parents. Think deeply in order to become aware of their help and let gratitude for them develop in your heart.
Gratitude is a wonderful quality of the heart. It transforms your mind, removes your ego and makes your mind peaceful. Gratitude develops immense love and respect for those who helped you in your life in any way.
Gratitude is not merely words. It can only be felt. Words of gratitude without the feeling of gratitude are dead words. They cannot touch the heart of others, they can touch only the ego. So develop gratitude in your heart and make your words alive to touch others’ hearts. This is the right way to respond to others’ help. Your feeling of gratitude gives immense peace and happiness to those who have helped you. This is the biggest and only gift that you can give in return for their help. No material return can be equivalent to the help, support or sacrifices of parents, gurus and God.
To develop gratitude in your heart observe parents bringing up their child or a pregnant mother caring for her unborn baby or a bird caring for its eggs and then training them. Meditate to feel the feelings behind such care. Meditate to feel the force that is working behind such care. You will feel the love behind all this. The moment you are able to feel this love, your heart will start melting and love will start flowing from it. And when you will meditate on the persons or things that have helped you in any way, you will be filled with tears of gratitude, love and respect.
Develop a habit to sit in meditation in the morning and night to fill your heart with immense gratitude for everyone-whether a person or thing. This habit will take all your tension away and will give you immense peace.
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This article by Pavan Jain was published in his fortnightly column titled “Mind Mantra” in the Hindustan Times, Lucknow edition in 2003.