Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare / Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare

Monday, September 14, 2015

Gratitude - an essential ingredient

Continuous feelings of gratitude and thanks within our heart is an essential ingredient for the heart to cultivate bhakti or devotional service. The more we are conscious of our gifts, and feel grateful, the more the seed of bhakti has a favorable environment to blossom into the mature fruit of love of God. This feeling of thanks when uninterrupted by mundane dualities of life grows deeper within us softening and preparing the heart for love of God. Therefore, in the beginning stages, as a matter of practice one must exercise discipline in spending time to express thanks to the Absolute Truth. Such disciplined prayer gradually will develop into a stream of unending mellow of tears of gratitude continuously flowing from our heart even amidst life threatening situations.

Below are thoughts on how gratitude can evolve and become uninterrupted within our hearts as we evolve as a devotee of God. This evolution of gratitude will attract the mercy of the Lord thus reviving our dormant love for Him.

  • Feeling grateful even during toughest times by meditating on how there are more people worse than my current state of existence. This will help us to not get into a mood of self-pity and complaint. 
  • Feeling grateful towards mother nature for her gifts towards living beings. Gifts such as sunshine, water, air, solid ground, grains etc can help us appreciate even the bare-bones of life. Without this - life cannot exist! Being cognizant of this can help us cultivate humility and a positive outlook towards life under all circumstances. We should do this as a daily exercise.
  • Personally thanking the gods for daily sustenance by way of periodical ceremonies. This will not only enhance our humility but also a sense of personal connection with the gods.
  • Grateful to guru, sadhu, and shastra for revealing the knowledge about the Supreme Absolute Truth. This is the beginning of our connection with the Supreme Being. This will begin our journey in the cessation of all miseries by way of cutting our bonds to this earthly existence. Feeling a deep gratitude for that knowledge on how to cut bonds, cease our miseries, and establish a personal connection with the Supreme Being will soften our hearts even more than the above mentioned points
  • Grateful for being allowed to engage in loving and submissive service to that Supreme Absolute Truth. As our service becomes more and more unalloyed and uninterrupted, our gratitude also increases. Love of God will germinate from here on as we will see all incidences, things and beings as an opportunity to engage in that loving unalloyed service. Being grateful for those opportunities will give us a sense of supreme positivity and happiness in our lives!

Hare Krishna.

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