A Thanksgiving Message by Swami Jyotirmayananda
An aspirant must always promote the awareness that everything good and gracious that unfolds in his personality proceeds from God. It is not due to his cleverness, not due to his egoistic advancement, but solely due to the Divine Presence within him.
In every form of success or accomplishment, one should not give recognition and thanks to the ego, but rather to God. An interesting story is told in the Mahabharata to this effect. After the war, Arjuna was crossing a city with some possessions when he was attacked by a band of robbers. Exercising his skill in fighting, Arjuna fought with all his strength, but yet could not overcome them. All of his divinely given weapons had become useless.
Since Krishna had already departed from the earth, Arjuna, totally despondent, went to Sage Vyasa in order to find out why his weapons were so useless. Vyasa explained, “Oh Arjuna those weapons never possessed any power, nor did you possess any power within yourself. It was all Krishna’s will that made your victorious during the Mahabharata. Now these weapons no longer have any purpose, so you might as well discard them.” Arjuna then went and threw his arrows into the ocean.
A human being therefore, achieves his greatness through the Divine Will alone. An aspirant must always promote the awareness that everything good and gracious that unfolds in his personality proceeds from God. It is not due to his cleverness, not due to his egoistic advancement, but solely due to the Divine Presence within him. The recognition of success therefore, should cause humility and fill the mind with the sense of Divine Presence.
When this is not well understood and people attain any form of success, their minds often become full of vanity. They believe and assert, “How great we are!” Soon however they realize that others do not feel the same way. When a person feels he is so great, and people around him do not recognize his greatness, then he becomes very upset. This is the basis for much disharmony and bitterness in human relationships.
Therefore, the recognition that every form of excellence, success, and victory belongs to God is a step up the ladder of spirituality. When you are industrious in any work, and you are able to sustain your effort, it is due to Divine Grace. God alone is to be thanked for it. Do not thank your ego. When mine becomes filled with sattwa, or purity and harmony, then again, that sattwa is a manifestation of the Divine Self.
God comes to the aspirant in all developments in life. Learn to experience His Presence in every form of prosperity and success, and gradually even extend this practice to include adversity as well. Adversity is prosperity in disguise, because there is a Divine purpose behind it.
Remember the teaching of Lord Krishna in the Gita – “Be thou and instrument in My Hands.“ Thus an aspirant should try to submit his will to the Divine Will and move towards Self-realization!