Attitude of gratitude

When we are recipients of gifts, good will or some invaluable help or support in one or the other form, we are overcome by a sense of obligation. More often than not we try to recompense the good deed by way of thanks.

Our gratitude could manifest itself as a thank you card, favour, a help, a return gift, a thanksgiving party or something else on those lines. Usually the gesture of thankfulness is directly proportionate to the kind of favour we may have received.

The urge to express our appreciation is most certainly appreciable. It gives us a sense of a small satisfaction. Yet it is important for the recipient not to equate the timely help with some materialistic reimbursement and consider that the equation has been balanced.

A popular Upakatha of Ramayana illustrates this point ever so well.

When Rama, Lakshmana and Sita returned to Ayodhya after the Great War, they recollected the timely help rendered by an assorted set of Samaritans they encountered.
Rama arranged a great feast for the huge monkey army, Vibhishana among other stalwarts.

Sita was overwhelmed by the help of Hanuman in particular as he had taken more risks and efforts than anyone else who had helped them.

Therefore she requested Rama that she should be permitted to cook a special feast for Hanuman as a token of distinguished thanksgiving. Rama was a little amused by her request, nevertheless permitted her to execute her wish.

Sita arranged for and exclusive feast for Anjaneya. She rallied some of the best cooks of her times and personally oversaw the preparations of hundreds of delectable dishes for the feast and served the grand meal to Hanuman by herself.

 Hanuman seemed to be enjoying his dinner thoroughly and showed no signs of winding up his dinner. Soon Sita was embarrassed for she did not know how to handle the situation as her pantry was empty.

At that point of time she turned to Rama for help. Rama asked her to place a Tulsi leaf chanting the name of Rama on Hanuman’s platter. Sita did as she was bidden. Almost immediately Hanuman burped and claimed that he could not eat a morsel more.

This episode was an eye opener to Sita. She understood that genuine gratitude does not require any flamboyant display, nor was it possible for anyone to square off anyone’s help or gestures of large heartedness.

 An attitude of gratitude would have served the purpose!

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