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Friday 6 May 2016

Attitude of Gratitude

The Ego and its negative Effects (777)
An attitude of gratitude.(A story from the Upanishads)

Once upon a time the Aryavarta in India was ruled by a powerful emperor. The emperor was basically a good man but the only problem with him was he was highly egoistic. He always used to boast his greatness in each and everything and some of the good people were not happy with this negative quality of the emperor. Hence they all went to Yajnyavalkya Maharshi and requested him to reform their emperor.

 Accordingly Yajnyavalkya Maharshi had visited the court of this emperor and he was very well received by the emperor and he said, “Maharshi ! I am very happy to see you here in my court and I am sure you will be happy to notice the richness of this very big hall, golden throne and my people are very happy and comfortable. I request you to join me for lunch tomorrow.” After some time the Maharshi went back to rest and next day he visited the great emperor.

The emperor received the Maharshi and his followers and requested them to be seated. Then the emperor said, “Maharshi, I am very happy that you have personally come to visit my court and also my home (palace). You might have seen the seat on which you are sitting is made of pure gold and studded with costly diamonds and even my throne is also made up of pure gold and studded with diamonds which are very expensive.”
 Maharshi, “you also might have seen this big house of mine and see the pillars, they are also gold coated and studded with very precious stones. Now I invite you to have food with me.” Maharshi,  “Please sit on this golden seat, even my seat is also made up of pure gold and studded with precious stones.”

Like this every time he was mentioning  that “mine”, “mine”, “mine” everything is mine.

The king sat for lunch and requested Yajnyavalkya Maharshi also to start. After listening to the way the king remarked for everything the Maharshi said, “Oh! Great emperor!, “Oh! Rich emperor ! I am a very poor brahmin, I don’t own a home or a palace which is full of golden furniture. Mine is a humble, simple cottage made up of leaves and I do not have a golden throne. I only use the  mats made of darbhas, a kind of dry grass, and I do not have golden plates and golden glasses instead I use banana leaf as a plate and ordinary a copper vessel to drink water. So today, I think, I am very fortunate to have these luxuries offered by you for which I am thankful to you.”

 But “Oh great emperor!, “Are you sure that  the first morsel of food which you are going to eat will be reaching your mouth? he questioned.

The emperor was surprised and shocked and said Maharshi, “What is this you are talking? The distance between the golden plate with the food and my mouth is not very far. I will be using my own hands to feed my own mouth. What is the problem?”

Then the Maharshi said, “Oh! Is it so?” O.k. ok. Then start your lunch. The emperor had lot of delicious and varieties of food. He  mixed everything he used pure ghee and butter. He made a very big and round ball of rice along with this delicacies and was about to eat, as the hand was about to reach the mouth suddenly a house fly has come and landed on the food. Immediately the emperor had thrown the food away. Observing this, the  Maharshi asked the emperor, “Why had he thrown that food? The emperor was surprised and asked Maharshi, “Did you not see the house fly landing on the food? How can I eat that food ? That is why I had thrown it out.” The Maharshi replied, “Oh great emperor! You were sitting on your own golden seat, you were eating from your golden plate, your vegetables, your food. Everything is yours and when a house-fly had come which also belongs to you then what is the need for you to reject the food? You are telling everything is mine; everything is mine so I thought that even the house-fly also belongs to you. In that case what is the need for you to reject the food?”

 Then the emperor got the message.

The Maharshi added.  “You are using your own hands and you wanted to put the food in your own mouth. Oh great emperor! “The wish of the God is greater than yours. Your sankalpa, your desire is never greater than the intent, the wish of the God. Everything you are owning because of the grace of the almighty. It is not your greatness. That is the reason in life everyone should be having dedication and devotion to the God. Whatever you are doing and whatever you are eating you should always think of that almighty God who has provided all the riches to you.” When the God’s intent combines with your own intent then it will materialize the way you want.”

The emperor apologized profusely and afterwards he was  completely a changed person. Then Yajnyavalkya blessed the emperor and he went off.

Hence this kind of ego will always bring unhappiness and uncertainty in our life. We should always have the attitude of gratitude towards the people, towards the creation of God and to the God himself. 
Author: Nanduri Sri Sairam.