Radhanath Swami on Gratitude

106 Gratitude

Gratitude is a divine virtue so important that practically no other divine virtues could exist without it. Spiritually grows like a seed within the field of our hearts. Balancing our lifestyle protects that seed; our spiritual practises of chanting God’s names, reading scriptures, doing service to God and to others are like watering that seed; but it’s gratitude that makes the ground fertile so that all of these other virtues will actually have the maximum effect. This is so because only a fertile soil allows the seed to have deep roots and grow very strongly.

Gratitude is to seek beyond the immediate circumstances that come upon us, and to actually seek the essence of that situation. To seek the essence is real wisdom, and the essence of every situation is that we can feel and find a beautiful opportunity to grow—if we are grateful: grateful for success and failure, honour and dishonour, happiness and distress, health and disease, victory and defeat, heat and cold, pleasure and pain. And ultimately, in every situation is the opportunity to take shelter of the higher power of God. It is in that taking shelter that we find that life has inconceivable treasures at every moment. To seek the essence, to look for the hand of God in every situation—this is the actual definition of success from a spiritual perspective.

By Radhanath Swami

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