Gratitude is Key to Humility

Gratitude is Key to Humility

Swami Ram Swarup Yogacharya believes that ungratefulness inflicts pain on those who do good deeds, ultimately making them indifferent to kindness

Among the many sins that man should avoid, thanklessness is one that is cruelly double edged, causing more pain to the benefactor. To forget the good deeds done on you by someone breaks the heart of the good-doer. Consequently, many others with good intentions for the society curb their natural inclination for helping others when examples of ungratefulness are put forth to them. The world gets poorer when people start questioning the very moral of doing good to others and become indifferent to the problems of others. This is most damaging to the health of a society. The sinner who commits the act of thanklessness in fact, causes grievous injury to the society, much to its detriment.

At the spiritual level too,  man falls prey to acts of thanklessness, sometimes due to his arrogance. God, our ultimate Father, has sent us to this beautiful planet, provided us with all the requirements for survival, flora and fauna, a versatile body and a brain without a rival. And this, he has given us, without expecting anything in return. Of course, we can’t give him anything but we surely can give him some of our time, just a few minutes of the twenty four hours in a day.

Our saints have stressed in the holy books that man should remember God always. With firm determination and regular practice, it is possible to do so even when submerged in our daily activities. In time it becomes part of man’s existence and he need not consciously remember God all the time.

God has given us life, the means and spirit to survive, and to excel, and yet we fail to remember Him. It shows thanklessness, which sometimes becomes deep rooted in man and he finds difficult to cleanse himself of this sin. This happens because of his arrogance and his self deception that he is the doer and should come out winner by all means. With this kind of temperament he severs his in-born relationship with God.

If material gain is the purpose of life, or accumulation of wealth gives us inner peace, then Ravanna, Kansa and Duryodhan should have been most happy and content but then we see what kind of end they met with because they denied God, turning epitomes of thanklessness.

Being thankful makes a man humble and realise the true worth of his existence, which is to help and do good to his fellow beings. Always be thankful even to the smallest of good deeds. It spreads goodness all around. And that is the essence of life.


by Swami Ram Swarup Yogacharya

The author is the chief editor of a bi-annual magazine published by Ved Ishvareeya Vani