Gratitude for God’s Gifts🎁 — Giving Thanks!
How .. aware are we?
If we are at all aware of how dependent we are on God—for the air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat, and our very ability to eat and drink and breathe, to think and feel and will, and to walk, talk, and sense—we will feel grateful and want to reciprocate God’s kindness. We will want to do something for He (or She or They) who has done, and continues to do, so much for us.
We often take things for granted until we lose them. I use my right hand to chant on meditation beads, and one morning I found that I had severe pain in my hand and could no longer use it for chanting. I had taken the use of my hand for granted, but when I lost its use, I resolved to never take it for granted again and to always use it in the best way in God’s service.
Let’s Attempt 🎯 to Return
How can we attempt to return some of God’s favor, some of God’s care and love for us? My spiritual master, Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, gave one answer:
“Whatever you have got by pious or impious activities, you cannot change. But you can change your position, by Krishna consciousness. That you can change. Other things you cannot change. If you are white, you cannot become black, or if you are black, you cannot become white. That is not possible. But you can become a first-class Krishna conscious person. Whether you are black or white, it doesn’t matter. This is Krishna consciousness. Therefore our endeavor should be how to become Krishna conscious. Other things we cannot change. This is not possible.
tasyaiva hetoh prayateta kovido
na labhyate yad bhramatam upary adhah
tal labhyate duhkhavad anyatah sukham
kalena sarvatra gabhira-ramhasa
Kalena, by time, you will get whatever you are destined. Don’t bother about so-called economic development. So far as food is concerned, Krishna is supplying. Eko bahunam yo vidadhati kaman. He is supplying even cats and dogs and ants. Why not you? There is no need of bothering Krishna, ‘God, give us our daily bread.’ He will give you. Don’t bother. Try to become very faithful servant of God. ‘Oh, God has given me so many things. So let me give my energy to serve Krishna.’ This is required. This is Krishna consciousness. ‘I have taken so much, life after life, from Krishna. Now let me dedicate this life to Krishna.’ This is Krishna consciousness. ‘I will not let this life go uselessly like cats and dogs. Let me utilize it for Krishna consciousness.’ ”
I pray that I will dedicate this life and everything I have—everything God has given me—fully in God’s service, following His pure devotees.
manasa, deho, geho, yo kichu mora
arpilun tuya pade, nanda-kisora
“Mind, body, and home, whatever may be mine, I surrender at Your lotus feet, O youthful son of Nanda!” (Bhaktivinoda Thakura, Saranagati)
Yours in service,
About the Author – Giriraj Swami was born Glenn Phillip Teton in the home of a respected Chicago lawyer. He met His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, founder-acarya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, in March of 1969, while studying at Brandeis University in Boston, and considered that he learned more from Srila Prabhupada in five minutes than he had learned in his twenty years of academic education. After graduating from Brandeis cum laude, Glenn took formal initiation from Srila Prabhupada and was given the spiritual name – Giriraj Das.
In 1972, after Giriraj had toured India with Srila Prabhupada, Prabhupada appointed him President of ISKCON Bombay as well as a trustee of the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust. After Srila Prabhupada’s departure in 1977, Giriraj was awarded the renounced order of life and appointed president of ISKCON’s board of trustees in India. In 1982 he was made a member of the ISKCON’s Governing Body Commission, the ultimate managing authority for the movement, and went on to oversee the Society’s activities in Bombay, Mauritius, South Africa, Spain, Portugal, Sri Lanka, and Pakistan. Visit Website