Swamiji said …
“The words ‘Thank God!’ ‘Thank heavens!’ are often heard in a tone that is part relief and part exasperation. God is rarely the actual recipient of the ‘Thanks’ in question in such cases. Yet, we often find ourselves thanking God repeatedly in different settings. We bow our heads, cross our hearts, touch our foreheads, when we pass a place of worship, end a journey safely, find something we thought we had lost etc. But what is the purpose of these gestures? Are they not a result of conditioning by society? Are not all these various ‘Thank yous’ to God not just a part of a quid pro quo, where thanks is offered in return for a favor or fulfillment of a desire?”
” How many of us truly ‘Thank’ God from the bottom of our heart for giving us much more than we deserve and for taking care of us every single day of our lives? How many of us truly acknowledge His Grace in enabling us to bring food to our table ; fulfilling the desires of the family that is dependent on us or having a loved one return home at the end of the day and look upon it as a blessing from God? We instinctively ‘thank’ God when we escape a turmoil, but do we ever ‘thank’ God after reflecting over all that He has blessed us with? We thank God eagerly on a big payday, but, do we ‘thank’ God for giving us another day to try and earn a living, achieve our dreams, or pursue our goals.”
” It is only when we reflect deeply and acknowledge the various things that we are blessed with and fortunate to have in our life, that we will truly be thankful to God. True gratitude and thankfulness emerges when we thank God not only after eating a hearty and healthy meal , but, also, when we see that we are spared the hunger that millions of other people die of everyday.
True gratitude arises in our heart when we learn to appreciate the supposedly ‘small’ things in life and are not put off by the lack of ‘wordly riches and spoils’. The world of ‘maya’ ensures that we are never happy after acquiring the best of possessions and titles.
Alexander conquered and plundered land after land, people after people, yet, could not bring happiness to himself or those that accompanied him on his conquests. Yet, the ‘yogis’ and saints he encountered were more than content with only the earth beneath their feet and the sky above their heads. This was because unlike Alexander, who thanked God only for his mighty victories and grand achievements, the sages and ‘yogis’ were filled with gratitude for whatever little they had, and , thus found no reason to remain discontented and unhappy.”
” Being truly thankful to God, from the heart and soul, is thus not a duty, but, actually the only way to contentment, happiness and a stress-free life. A heart filled with gratitude does not ‘seek’ but rather looks to ‘give’. And, this, would be the best way to live a truly meaningful and wonderful life.”