Sep 24, 2013

"True Gratitude" from Sermons in the Stroms

Feelingful remembrance of reliefs received at the time of dire need till the very last breath is the trait which the great classify as true gratitude.
Original True gratitude does not stop at just verbal thanks and outward acknowledgement of the help received. But goes ahead and when possible liberally repays without show and without being calculative about the measure.
The truly grateful don't treat help received as loans to be forgotten after repayment with interest. But in the right understanding that timely help can never be fully repaid even during one's whole life-time, exhibit their indebtedness by ever remembering their benefactors and serving them in a spirit of moral duty.
A Sanskrit verse rates the cocoanut tree as a model in high gratitude. The verse which is given below says that :—"The coccanut tree which drinks little water from the hands of man-kind through its roots, in grateful remembrance of that help bears over its head the weighty load of cocoanuts and gives back to them abundant sweet water and its energizing kernel for a life-time over and over again. Even so, the wise also act says the verse—by not forgetting till the end of living the assistance received.
 Here is a true case of a person who proved truly grateful to the very end.
Arvindkumar was orphaned at the age of 18 when he was studying in Matriculation at Calcutta. He was the only son of his well-to-do parents. But, diseases, doctors and drugs drained all their properties and they both died one after the other of heart and lung disease. And hence, after their sudden death with none to help him and with nothing to fall back upon, Arvind was stranded and in the streets.

The Head-Master of the Institution where he was studying allowed him to sleep in the school during the nights. Arvind who was free from false airs of ostentation, valued the dignity of labor and as such did not go about knocking the doors of Institutes of rich people for scholarships or financial assistance. He wanted to earn a living and get through his education. So, he took up some piece jobs outside his school hours and in return received ready meals twice and Rs.6/- p.m.
He passed the Matriculation Examination with distinction and joined a commercial college to study Short-hand, Type-writing, Book keeping & Accountancy.
It was during that time one day, while he was having bath in the Hooghly river that his foot-hold gave way and he was carried away by the fast water-currents. There were several bathers there then and amongst them, only one Shri. Sunil Babu an owner of a Chemist shop in the city rescued Arvind who knew no swimming.
Like the noble who help or serve the distressed and the needy in a non-patronizing spirit, Shri. Suil left the place after making sure that the boy would come round.
Being of cultural breed, Arvindkumar made prompt enquiries immediately he was on his feet — got the address of his rescuer and reached his house to tender thanks. Shri. Sunil Babu was at home. He met Arvind and told him that God alone sustains, succours and saves all and that He alone need be thanked.
Shri Sunilji didn't want to know who and what was Arvind. As do real karma yogis, having been privileged to do something good with the God-given strength, he wanted to forget the whole incident including its dedication to the Divine Director.
In 2□(1/2) years Arvindkumar had mastered the commercial subjects and secured part-time typing and clerical work in three firms. Working that way for three years he enlisted enough experience. Later, he joined a leading business house as a Steno-Typist-cum-Accountant. His intelligence, efficiency and diligence pleased his employers and he was given a responsible post by the end of his five years' service there and his salary was raised to Rs.450/ - per mensem. He served in that capacity for five years.
As he had seen hard days, he well knew the worth of money and so, he began investing Rs.200/- every month in sale and paying shares. When Lady Fortune chooses to favor her favorites, She heaps upon them gains, from all sides ; and thus, Shri. Arvind won a five figure prize in Derby Lottery, received a legacy of Rs.7,000/- and a house from one of his school days employers for special services rendered. His different investments also began to pay handsome dividends. No more needing the job, therefore, he gave it up and entered the share business and engaged needy students as part-time workers with a view to helping them in the prosecution of their studies.
Now, the first thing he did immediately after getting the Derby Prize, was to send 50% of it to Shri. Sunil Babu anonymously.
The secret present came to Sunilji as a pleasant surprise. He could not place anyone helping him that way. After that event of rescue, Sunilji and Arvindkumar never met and that aside, Sunil Babu had clean forgotten having saved anyone some thirteen years back.
Because of the hereditary heart and lung troubles which began to lay roots in him, the Doctors advised Arvindji against marriage. So, he led an unmarried life.
We see in this world variegated and successive changes preponderant in all aspects of life and activities. It is a repeat performance of the saying 'old order changes yielding place to the new' etc. So, according to this law of nature, the shining sun of Sunilji's happiness was setting. Troubles after troubles began to visit him. Sales showed slackness. Sickness assailed family members in succession. His eldest son was dismissed from a progressive post. One of his daughters became a widow. Debts mounted. Creditors started to press for immediate payments and the final blow came in the form of a Court decree attaching his properties. His state was awfully bad and pitiable.
Shri. Arvind came to learn about his benefactor's perilous pecuniary plight. It was now his turn to rise to the occasion and do everything he could to tide over the difficulties of a person who had risked his life to save him. Arvind took Rs. 25.000/- with him on the very night he learnt the state of Shri. Sunil Babu and somehow managed to plant the amount in a conspicuous place in Sunilji's house and leave unnoticed.
Next morning, when Sunilji woke up and was rummaging his problems, his eyes sighted a small cloth bound packet with sonic roses placed on it. When he opened it. he found 250 one hundred-rupee notes and a chit which read :—
"I have been directed by God to hand over this to you. Please accept it without any misgivings. 'Sevak'."
Shri. Sunilji called his wife and showed her the pseudonymous chit and cash. Both of them knelt there and voiced their heartfelt thanksgiving to the Redeemer of the distressed and deemed that amount as an oasis in the desert of their depressed days. Sunilji got the attachment order quashed, paid up the debts and won back the goodwill of his creditors. It was while he was looking for some opening in a new line of business that all of a sudden he fell seriously ill and died of cerebral meningitis.
During the sickness of Sunil Babu, Arvindji was shadowing and serving him to his very best. He did not anticipate Sunilji's death. He participated in the after-death ceremony and was engulfed in sincere sorrow.
After the shradda rituals etc., Shri. Arvindkumar presented himself before Shri. Sunil's wife and eldest son and told them that he owed Shri. Sunil Babu Rs.30,000 -  and that he would defray the amount in easy payments. The money which he thereafter began paying them and the affectionate interest which he took in their affairs kept Sunil's dear ones happy. With the passage of time, the payment of his self-imposed debt enabled Sunil Babu's two daughters and a son to get married. Arvndji also saw to it that Sunji's eldest son got a footing in the share business.
Shri. Arvindji served the Sunil family in that devoted manner and at the age of 42 died of cancer of the lungs after having lived in this world purposefully plus productively.
In his will Arvindji named all the members of Shri. Sunii's family as beneficiaries.
Many great souls come into this world of laughs and laments without drum beats and depart unknown after having usefully lived in it. Without doubt, Shri Arvindji was one such soul.