Burning Ungratefulness, Igniting Thankfulness
March 21, 2019
Falgun sud Poonam marks the Gujarati calendar as the day of Dhuleti, the day of colours, day of the triumph of good over the evil. Aligning in the same pursuit 97 mumukshus of Shree Raj Saubhag Ashram, Sayla had gathered at Saffronstays at Karjat to celebrate this festival with their beloved. Saffronstays at Karjat is a picturesque location with a European styled villa and a lush green lawn.
Armed with devotion in hearts, marigold in hands, excitement in the air mumukshus were all set for yet another auspicious welcome of the divine. The lyrics of 'Utsav Aaya' adorned the near complete atmosphere. No sooner the eyes lay on the physical manifestation of divine, hands started clapping, legs left the comfort of the ground.
Beloved Sadguru was welcomed with overwhelming hearts, tilak and garland.
After a hearty breakfast, mumukshus gathered in the hall of the villa with great anticipation.
"Badhane Jai Bhagwan, badhane Holi Mubarak", greets Param Pujya Bhaishree to all the mumukshus in his inimitable quirky style. Bhaishree expressed his pleasure for the beautiful place that all were in and thanked the almighty. Thus setting the tone for the swadhyay. Topic of the swadhyay was Gratitude.
Param Pujya Bhaishree drove home few and extremely crucial points with the help of interesting and humourous stories. One line that stayed with most of the mumukshus from the first story is,
"મારા માલિકને છેતરી શકું, પણ અમારા બેયના માલિકને શી રીતે છેતરી શકું? ને ધારો કે એનેય છેતરું, પણ મારા અંતરાત્માને છેતરવાનું તો અશક્ય જ છે ને!"
(I can dupe my master but how can I dupe the master of both of us? And imagine I dupe even Him but duping my soul is definitely impossible.)
Few initial tales culminated into a moral as - When we are in adverse or bad situations we should not be disturbed, on the contrary we should thank God for not making it worse. Another pearl of wisdom shared was 'If we want to be unhappy we should compare ourselves with the ones who are more fortunate than us and if we want to be happy we should compare ourselves to the ones who are less fortunate than us'.
Second point Bhaishree made was 'Happiness lies in contentment'. It has little to do with the material possessions and things that we hoard thinking they will make us happy. A glaring example is the simple lives of villagers. Toiling in the sun, eating simple food, little to no material comfort but praising the Almighty with song and dance each day surely pegs their quality of life much higher than most of the city dwellers. Bhaishree pierced the hearts of everyone when he stated, 'If we could acquire happiness with wealth and things, the materialistic we are, we would not have let it remain for anyone else'.
We should be grateful and content for what we have in life.
Third point Bhaishree elucidated is that feeling of gratefulness should be expressed not only for the Almighty or circumstances but also for our near and dear ones. He talked about couple of trivial situations in marriages which could have been made better just by simple acts of acknowledgement or heartfelt 'Thank-you's.
He asked us to be grateful also for the things which others do which they are anyway responsible for. Leading by example Pujya Bhaishree promptly thanked the organisers of this event then and there. He explains living without feeling of gratefulness is like living without sunlight. It's not impossible as people can still survive in darkness but living with light is a different deal altogether.
Thankfulness is the mother of all virtues.
Without it we gradually become insensitive.
Bhaishree stressed at the point that 'Happiness is born out of depth of realisation, simple living, high thinking, testing times and lending your helping hands to others.' He says thanking God is not for Him, for he is going to provide for us irrespective. Thanking is for us. This feeling of thanking softens our heart, sensitises us, keeps us in positive frame of mind and it's also a cause of other virtues.
He quoted Swami Shivanand expressing that
the biggest terror is the lack of gratefulness in our routine life.
Bhaishree, the visionary and compassionate that he is, saved the best for last. He says if the stream of gratefulness constantly flows from our life, if we practice gratefulness in everything we do, while eating, working, sleeping it will slowly but surely culminate into Bhakti (devotion). Anybody who follows Param Krupalu Dev knows what's the importance of bhakti in each one of our spiritual journeys. If somehow we are able to do this, there won't be much left for us to do then. Bhaishree concluded the swadhyay on this note. By now mumukshus were drenched in the colours of wisdom and water of devotion.
Swadhyay was followed by raas garba and the sacred tilak on each mumukshu's forehead by Bhaishree. Few mumukshus were seen practising what they had just been preached - Thanking each other. This was a sight to relish.
The property boasted of a huge cricket ground and the men were in no mood to disappoint it. Men took to the ground and started the game. Teams had men as experienced as 75 years and as young and exuberant as 10 years. Well, this took the day into lunch.
After a short siesta there was an interesting session conducted at the hall. Selected mumukshus came up to the centre and quoted Param Krupalu Dev. All the others were required to give reference to the context in which these torch-bearing, life-changing words have been said.
"માર્ગને પામેલો માર્ગ પમાડશે."
"આત્માની અનંત શક્તિઓ છે."
"અમે જ્યારે વીર પ્રભુના છેલ્લા શિષ્ય હતા તે વખતમાં લઘુશંકા જેટલો પ્રમાદ કરવાથી અમારે આટલા ભવ કરવા પડ્યા."
were a few that were discussed in detail.
This fascinating and engrossing session gave the mumukshus an insight into the situations which inspired these timeless words of wisdom. This marked the end of day at Saffronstays.
Entire group then paid a visit to a local Jinalay. Mumukshus got the privilege of doing chaitya vandan in Naminath Jinalay in the august company of Param Pujya Bhaishree.
Finally the day of colours of happiness, the triumph of gratitude over ungratefulness, celebration of devotion saw its end.
On this blessed occasion it's only befitting that we thank our Guru who's taught us Thankfulness.
પરમ પૂજ્ય ભાઈશ્રીના ચરણોમાં કોટી કોટી વંદન.