Gratitude is the most powerful message we can ever send to the universe. When we have enough to feel blissful, content and grateful, it is a sign to elevate our spirit to the next step of the journey and that is by giving to others. In this fast-paced world, we are all goal-driven. The quality of our lives is determined by our position at work, our possessions, our lifestyle and so on. These are great achievements and take an entire lifetime to accumulate. When the happiness of the spirit is to be considered, the requirements are of a completely different perspective.
The capacity for spiritual growth is endless. When we acknowledge our fellow spirits and share in their happiness, it is a true sign of understanding that we are all one. There are no limits to what we can give to another spirit. Sometimes, for divine entities such as parents and grandparents, we can give nothing more valuable than our time.
To give back to parents is an extremely difficult prospect. Will we ever be able to return to them all that they gave to us? We can only do so by paying it forward to future generations and being the diamonds in the lives of others; that our parents are in our lives because there is nothing that can surpass the act of giving life itself.
Giving is a spiritual activity and exists at all levels.
When an athlete gives their time and body towards a sport, they are rewarded with excellence, perfection and glory in that sport. When teachers dedicate their heart to their profession, the gift is the light glowing in so many young minds. It is the spark that sheds light on the path towards their entire future. The people who shine brightest in our hearts have given us things that don’t come in packages:
Our teachers and gurus, who instilled our lives with knowledge and wisdom.Our parents, who gave us life itself.
Such is the power of giving. It is the sign of the spirit being selfless and showing the quality of seeing others, understanding others and wanting happiness for others. To do this for a known person is goodness but to do this for a completely unknown spirit with no expectations is greatness indeed. This brings to mind a story, an instance rather, of the past where the care for a fellow creature surpassed all else.
A little village was the setting for a festive gathering. A large fire burnt in the middle of a huge crowd of people. Everyone sat huddled around the fire with happy grins to be part of this ceremonious ritual.
In all the commotion, a large snake meandering through the crowd went almost unnoticed. Drawn by the warmth, the snake slithered its way to the fire. Not realising it crawled towards its own demise, the snake found its way to the ritualistic flame and got caught in its blaze.
The villagers now all spotted the snake slithering into the fire and while everyone else froze, one man ran to the flame, and paying no heed to his own safety, stretched his arms into the fire and pulled the snake out from its own demise. The snake, being an instinctive creature, bit his rescuer. The sudden and stinging bite caused the villager to let go of the snake as it fell once again over the fire. Without a second thought, he reached out and pulled the snake out again and let it slither away on safe soil.
The entire village in complete rapture ran toward the man who was now in deep mortal peril. Having seen he had been bitten, they knew the venom would soon find its way through his body. Rushing him to help, they found a doctor with the antidote to cease the slow progress of the snake’s venom.
Through the pain, the man lost consciousness and his eyes dimmed but his lips stretched out in a smile. Fearing they may lose him, the villagers shook him awake. They simply couldn’t understand what made him act the way he did. Through the crowd, his family pushed forward, tears rushing down their cheeks. His dearest asked him why he would try to save a snake knowing very well the dual peril in approaching a raging fire and a poison laden snake. And then again, saving a creature that so mercilessly attacked him?
His reply was the cause for his smile. He simply said, “The snake is a simple creature, he saw danger in me and in an attempt to save his own life, bit me. It is my learning and my nature to protect something from any harm and that is all that I knew when I reached out to save him again. The nature of my surroundings must not overpower my own.”
There is so much to learn from this one act of absolute selflessness. The power of giving is beyond logic, it is beyond understanding. It is an act that goes above the mind and touches the spirit. To put others above our own selves is the state of a truly elevated and divine spirit.
The writer is a yoga master, spiritual guide, lifestyle coach and yogapreneur