Sagun Nirgun

45: Gratefulness-Ungratefulness

The scriptures say that “Human birth is for philanthropy.” One who is aware of favours done for him is considered ‘grateful’, one who is not aware of favours done for him is ‘ungrateful’. Similarly, eating when hungry is natural, sharing our food with other is culture, and grabbing from other’s is mean. Keeping this in mind, the saint says that “beware of those that grab from others.”

‘Charity is a virtue and animosity is a sin’. When a drop of water falls on an oyster in swāti nakśatra, it becomes a pearl, and acquires beauty and value. Such are the benefits of good companionship. One should always associate with a those who are kind and benevolent. Shree Samarth Ramdas Swami says “Man adorns the body with jewellery. But it is only his benevolence that truly beautifies him.” A benevolent man is humbled by opulence, just as trees bearing fruit bend towards the ground. Water filled clouds come closer to the earth. The rivers do not drink their own water, trees do not eat their own fruit, clouds do not eat the crops in the fields. Similarly, a benevolent man is eager to help others. The trees on the Malayan mountains, due to their association with the sandalwood trees, smell like sandalwood. Similarly, associating with benevolent people is truly beneficial for everyone.

In the epic Mahabharata, Honourable Dronacharya was the Guru of the Kauravas and Pandavas. When their education was completed, Dronacharya said, “King Drupada insulted me. His defeat is my Gurudakshina.” The arrogant and proud Duryodhana refused to cooperate with the Pandavas. He wanted all the credit for defeating king Drupada. However, Duryodhana was defeated and became the King’s prisoner. Yudhishthira defeated King Drupada and rescued Duryodhana. Yudhishthira’s actions depict the behaviour of a benevolent man towards even his enemy.

Poet Bhartrihari says, “Gentlemen who strive for the benefit of others are truly benevolent and noble.” However, those who take pleasure in hurting others are sinful.”


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