Secrets of Holistic Living - Gratitude

Jul 26, 2018

Our present way of life which consists of piped water, covered drainage, smoke-free cooking, refrigerators, air-conditioners, telephones, TV, car, office automation, internet, systems of education - everything has originated from west; hence we must be grateful to the western nations and the scientists for having made our life so comfortable. Whenever we get time, we must pray for their well-being. Our goodwill must go to them. We should even be grateful to the British people for the gift of international language we can use in our communication, system of land revenue, penal code, railways, police, judiciary etc.

We must express our gratitude to parents for looking after us during our childhood, our education, guiding us during our difficult times - in short, playing a crucial role during first twenty years of our life. Whenever we are alone, we must contemplate upon various episodes in life when parents played an important role in changing the course of events. One can refer early chapters of ‘Autobiography of Yogi’ or life story of any great personality to see how one has remembered the parents with gratitude.

Gratefulness should also be expressed by remembering those episodes in life where certain friends or acquaintances became useful at critical moment.

Gratitude should also be expressed to wife for protecting us during our times of frustration or preventing us from doing certain acts, which would have led to a disaster. Such actions should be remembered with effort.

Gratefulness to the land of our birth however backward and ugly it may be.

Gratefulness to all the poor people who give us a chance to exercise charity and allowing us feel worthy. Just imagine a life with no opportunity to do any act of charity, it leads to a feeling of worthlessness.

Gratitude to nature for providing us free air and water, various types of foods and fruits, its beauty of sunrise and sunsets, hills and valleys, flora and fauna, vast expanse of sky and sea, beauty of her forests and falls - the great mother in all her diversity and variety gives us a chance to observe and enjoy her majesty.

Gratefulness to the incidents of sickness, loss of wealth or any other painful experience which became instrumental in changing the course of life.

'Namaskar' which is very common to Indian practice is an act of respect and gratitude to all those godly persons who help us to experience a higher level of our consciousness.

Gratitude has to be cultivated with prolonged conscious effort to make it meaningful; otherwise it becomes ritual like ‘Thank you - Sorry' etc.

Gratitude is one of the principal parameters of applied spirituality. Solitude or retreat is essential for contemplation and developing a spirit of gratitude. No company or too much company may turn counter - productive.

When we go to bed every night, we must recollect something positive that has happened during the day, a pleasant chat with wife and children, a good customer, a loving smile from some holy person, nice music, a good order, a payment which was badly expected - any sweet experience during the day and offer our thanksgiving gratitude for this incident either to the person or to nature or God. 

A person who cannot recollect any sweet incident during the day has not developed worthwhile sensitivity to the workings of nature. Every day, there is sweetness except for few days when the painful development process is on which is in a way similar to the pains of childbirth where the result is sweet.

Gratefulness cannot be experienced by those who have not developed depth and seriousness in life.

Consciousness cannot be purified without adequate practice of gratitude.

Book excerpt from "Secrets of Holistic Living" by Shri Jayantilal Shah
Published by:
Vasant U. Patel, President
Vitrag Vignan Charitable Research Foundation