Free Press Journal

Understanding the law of gratitude and gratefulness


It is primarily and predominately our attitude which reinforces gratitude within our personalities, writes RAVI VALLURI

Almighty divinity, through the prowess of the grandeur nature, and the resplendent and ever mutating cosmos is eternally showering bounties on humans. However, the human mind is not wakeful or grateful to accept this materiality.

It is well-nigh impossible for the human mind to capture the geometry of galaxies, the architecture of the universe or the munificent abundance bestowed on us. Humans forever focus their span of attention on what they fail to achieve.

If the mind focuses on bounty, it has a multiplier effect and we will receive gargantuan largesse. However if the leitmotif is to focus on antipathetic thoughts and on only lack, then surely whatever is available with us, in disputation and hostility of the mind, goes adrift and astray. Humans get sucked in the cesspool and whirlpool of exiguousness.

 A question of attitude

It is primarily and predominately our attitude which reinforces gratitude within our personalities. The word gratitude strikes its roots in the word the Latin word gratus, meaning to be thankful.

How many of us express gratitude and gratefulness to the human body? Do we nourish or ascribe to this efficacious attribute? Individuals eat junk food, skip breakfast, invariably do not exercise, sleep inordinately late, partake of excessive quantities of salt and sugar; we do not eat mindfully as we are invariably coalesced to the idiot box or fingers are ceaselessly on various gizmos among others. Humans neither savour the food nor express gratitude before or after a meal.

It is always sagacious to recite a short prayer before a meal. Language is no trammel. Annadata Sukhi Bhava. By remembrance of these lines (Sanskrit), we express our gratefulness and indebtedness to the agrarian community and the cook for producing and preparing the meal respectively. This straight forward and plain selling process facilitates in the digestive process of the preparation.

Body: a divine instrument

Nature has gifted us with something incomparable and priceless, the human body. We have been provided us with a supercomputer of a brain. But we pay scant regard to the competency of the body or the mind and in the process we seldom realize its embryonic capabilities.

Prowess of the breath

Next humans are blissfully unmindful of the power of our breath. It can be likened to a cell phone which nature has provided to connect us with divinity. Breath is perhaps the most potent form of effervescence and pizzaz of our personalities.  Humans are incognizant of the simple process of inhalation and exhalation. Trained yoga sophists expound on the prowess of breath. We are unperceptive that we inhale energy and that the body and mind relax during the process of exhalation.

Humans are insensible to the fact that ninety percent of toxins get expatriated from our bodies through the potency of breath. If we delve deep into the ancient practices like pranayama or the unique rhythmic technique of Sudarshan Kriya (imparted in various bouquet of courses of the Art of Living) the primacy of breath is understood by us. Humans are heedless of the enormous energy we can derive through practicing such techniques.

But individuals are in such a tearing hurry today, that in pursuit of crass commercialisation we pay scant attention to our body, breath and mind and over a feel enervated and sapped of energy. We are simply not grateful species on planet earth.

 An inestimable nun

Aeons ago lived an exalted and celebrated Zen nun. There were far and few like her. It was believed that few women could attain the venerable state like this pious lady.

Once she had undertaken an arduous pilgrimage and arrived at a village as the sun sank in the horizon. In all humility she begged for lodgings for the night. However the villagers slammed their doors and were unwilling to accommodate her in the village. They were opposed to the tenets of the Zen school of thought. They thought it to be exceedingly revolutionary in nature. To their minds Zen mutated personalities in such a manner that they metamorphosed into alternative genus.

Thus the clichéd and conformist individuals were unwilling to accept the nun into their fold even for a night. The traditionalists banished her from the village and she was compelled to wage the battle against inclement weather out in the cold. It was a combat against perilous climate and carnivorous animals on the prowl. She found shelter under a cherry tree.

At the stroke of midnight, she woke up abruptly unearthed the cherry tree which fed her ravenous body with sweet fruits, talking to the full moon which lightened up the sky. Immediately she was engulfed with waves of emotions and suffused with love and affection for all those who had exiled and expatriated her from the village.

She experienced the quintessential silence of an awaked one. She was extremely grateful to the villagers who had not accommodated her, to the cherry tree which fed her, the meditative silence which encompassed her body, all of which had wily nily contributed to her awakening, an almost celestial spectacle which she could discern happening within her.

Thus a stock individual, a savant, a sage or a nun becomes a Buddha the moment he / she accepts all that life brings with it variegated, paradoxical situations. The one who accepts these situations which gratitude and gratefulness, without admonishing anyone or carping verily becomes an awakened one – The Buddha.

“Good men and bad men differ radically. Bad men never appreciate kindness shown them, but wise men appreciate and are grateful. Wise men try to express their appreciation and gratitude by some return of kindness, not only to their benefactor, but to everyone else,” said Gautama Buddha.