In a classroom, a teacher asked the children to list down the Seven Wonders of the World. All the students except one little girl had written down the present day wonders. The teacher was amazed when she came across the paper on which the small girl had listed the following 7 wonders: 1. To see 2. To hear 3. To laugh 4. To feel 5. To taste 6. To love, and, more importantly 7. To be grateful.
How true!! All these aspects, which are indispensable to our existence itself, are no less than wonders! Yet we never realise their significance in our lives. For instance, if we specifically talk about 'being grateful', then ponder– We use the word “thank you” many times a day. We thank others for their favours, their gifts, and their concern. But, how often do we really thank the Almighty for His blessings? It has been rightly said, "We thank the one who gave us the wrist watch, but forget the One who gave us the wrist!"
However, noble souls find ample reasons to thank the Lord in every situation. The French poet, Lamartine, was taking a walk in a poor quarter of the city when he came across a humble stonecutter at work. The poet was surprised to hear him utter the words, “Thank you!” after each stroke of the hammer.
“My good man, whom are you thanking?” enquired the poet haughtily.
The stonecutter answered– “I am thanking God.”
Lamartine further said, “Had you been wealthy and prosperous, it would be natural for you to thank God. But, God thought of you just once when He made you and hasn't remembered you since then, for He has left you to pull on a hard and tough life!”
“Did you say that God thought of me at least one time? Ah! My great fortune! I thank God that He remembered a poor stonecutter, at least once! How great He is!! How kind He is to give a lowly stonecutter His priceless thought!!! Thank you God! Thank you very much!” – exclaimed the stonecutter and continued with the stroke of the hammer even more joyfully.
Such is the spirit of true gratitude. When you thank God for the roses as well as the thorns, you have truly mastered the spirit of gratitude to God! When you accept all that comes your way and rejoice in all that happens to you, you thank God and offer Him praise. You expect nothing; you hope for nothing; you need nothing; you lack nothing. You actually then become the happiest person on earth. Someone has said very beautifully, “Worthy is the one who remembers to thank the Lord for all His blessings; but admirable is the one who still thanks God in spite of difficulties.”
There is a story of a king that His Holiness Ashutosh Maharaj Ji often narrates in this context. The king one day, while having his food, asked his most devoted servant who was standing in his service, to share a cucumber with him. The servant thanked the king and happily ate the piece of cucumber given to him. When he had finished, the king then took a bite of the cucumber. “Yukk!” he cried, as he made a weird face and spat the cucumber. “This is intolerably bitter! How could you have eaten your piece if it tasted like bitter poison?” – The king asked with utter amazement. The servant replied– “My dear king, I have enjoyed so many favours and blessings from you all these years. Whatever you gave me tasted sweet. If now you want me to taste something bitter, how can I complain about it? With all willingness, I must enjoy this as well.”
The servant had received so much from the king that he did not think it was his right to complain if one of those gifts was bitter. In fact, even the thought of complaining didn't arise in his heart and mind. He accepted all that the king gave him with love and gratitude. This is the kind of relationship we need to cultivate with the King of kings. A true lover of God nurtures immense gratitude in his heart and so is able to receive the good, the sweet as well as the bitter in the form of a gift from his beloved Lord.
Be thankful for the smallest blessing, and you will deserve to receive greater. Value the least gifts no less than the greatest ones, and simple graces as special favours. If you remember the unconditional love and blessings of all-time compassionate God, then no gift blessed by Him will seem small or valueless.
Shri Ashutosh Maharaj Ji says “An ideal disciple always thanks his Master in every situation. He accepts the cloudy days with the same gratitude as the sunny ones.”
Let's learn to accept and regard all the favours blessed on us by God. Whatever He does, is the best and will always be the best, because He knows how to give us nothing but the best.
It is said that every pore of Arjuna chanted “Krishna, Krishna…”, even while he was asleep. It was so powerful that one night, the Lord Himself was pulled towards it to see who was remembering Him with that kind of depth and intensity! O' our revered Master, may every pore of our being also powerfully say “thank you, thank you…” for the bountiful showers of grace You have deluged us with.
It is known that Mother Sita thought of none other than Lord Rama, even in the sleep and unconscious state. O' benign Master, may we not think of anything or anyone other than thanking you in our sleep, wakeful and unconscious state.
O beloved Master, we'll always be thankful for whatever life brings to us because we know You'll be there with us, by us forever...
As a flower spreads fragrance, blossoms to the fullest, beautifies the garden, until it is plucked; similar may our life become that disseminates
the fragrance of positivity and peace, and beautifies the surroundings by imbibing your principles and saying 'THANK YOU!' every minute, every breath...until the day it is plucked from this garden of the world.
In the end, leaving you with a question to ponder… the same question that was asked by William A. Ward: “God gave you a gift of 86,400 seconds today. Have you used even one second to say 'Thank You' to Him?”