There is a beautiful saying in the Thirukkural: “We should never forget a good act that has been done to us.” At the same time, it talks about the act that we should forget. That is the one that is not so good, the one that might have hurt us. We should forget it immediately. We should not even remember it for the next hour. Then we will not have anybody as an enemy.
Why do we call someone an enemy? Because we remember the harm that might have been done to us. If we forget it, there won’t be any enemy, is it not so? Enemies are created by our remembering what harm has been done to us. We create our enemies by remembering their misdeeds. If we have forgotten that, and if we remember all of the good deeds, even if somebody wants to be our enemy, he cannot because we see him as our friend.
No one is one hundred percent good or one hundred percent bad. People do many good things. Maybe once in a while, because of their lower nature, they might do something bad also. But if we are going to always remember the bad things, we will keep them as our enemies, which is not good. Instead, remember the nice things that they have done; then they will always be our friends.
You Should See That Everything is Thankful to You
On Thanksgiving Day, we thank the Lord for providing us with all our needs. We should be thankful always; but, if we forget, then at least this one day should be kept aside especially for that. All of the nicest things that we have come from God. God has provided us with everything. Even our bodies, our intelligence. The earth on which we live. The plants, the seeds, the food, the fruit. God has given us everything.
Nature and God are one and the same. Nature is another name for God. So, sometimes if you don’t feel comfortable with the name ”God,” you can say, “Nature provided everything.” We should be thankful to the nature; is it not so? We should be thankful to the Mother Nature, Mother Earth, Mother Sky, Mother Rain, Mother Wind.
Thanksgiving Day is a special day to remember to be thankful always for all the things we have. Not just to God, but to everyone. We always give and take, give and take, give and take; therefore we should be thankful to each other, and to each and everything in Nature—and, ultimately, to that one great power, the one great intelligence that we call God. It’s not possible for us to return in kind all that we get from Nature. How can we fulfill our obligation? It’s impossible. The only way is to remember and to be grateful.
Not only should we be thankful to everything, but everything should be thankful to us also. We should see that all the things are thankful to us by behaving properly, treating them well. We should see that we don’t hurt anyone, we don’t harm anyone, or anything. Let all those beings be thankful to us also. Everything. Even your book, for example. If you throw the book aside, the book won’t thank you. If you take good care of the book, read it gently, and close it gently, see that the covers are well kept, then the book also will be thanking you. So, let us keep this idea in our lives and see that we always give thanks to others.
(by Swami Satchidananda, from the November, 2008, IYTA Newsletter)