Q: How do you define gratitude?
Ans.: Gratitude is a state of mind when we recognize any favor or service rendered by others for our physical, mental, monetary or spiritual needs. Here we feel we are indebted to our benefactor; realising in depth what we have received and are thankful from the core of our heart to the benefactor. This state of consciousness about one’s own thoughts regarding the benefactor lead to a stronger bond between the two; a bond of love; a bond of indebtedness; an urge to pay-in-kind; a bond that has the potential of making our relations more meaningful and beautiful.
Q: Who is grateful?
Ans.: The person who has a feeling of gratitude in one’s heart, is called grateful.
Q: Who is ungrateful?
Ans.: An individual who receives the favors but fails to recognize the benefactors is ungrateful. Moreover, he may has hatred towards a benefactor and quench his low thirst by harming his benefactor by some means.
Q: What is beneficence?
Ans.: Any favor or service done by another for our physical, mental, monetary or spiritual needs is called beneficence.
Q: Who is the benefactor?
Ans.: The person, who provides the favor or service to someone, is called benefactor.
Q: Who is beneficiary?
Ans.: The person, who is the recipient of the favor or service, is the one who is the beneficiary.
Q: How many kinds of benefactors are there?
Ans.: Benefactors can be broadly categorized into four different groups:
1. Inanimate World The sun, moon, stars, wind, water, earth, etc., upon which the humans, animals, and trees are dependent.
2. Plant Kingdom—All plants and trees that provide us with oxygen, grains, fruits, and flowers in the form of food, medicines, etc., for all humans and animals.
3. Animal Kingdom—All animals, birds and living creatures that maintain the ecological balance
in this world and provide different benefits to mankind.
4. Human Kingdom—Parents, siblings, spouse, grandparents, relatives, teachers, farmers, shopkeepers, soldiers, police officers, scientists, doctors, engineers, postal workers and all others that work consistently for our smooth lives.
Q: How many kinds of favors/obligations are there?
Ans.: Favors/obligations can be broadly classified into four different parts:
Q: What are physical obligations?
Ans.: Our parents gave us life, raised and protected us. Our siblings and relatives take care of us, give us love, doctors take care when we are sick, scientists developed medicines, farmers grew food, construction workers and engineers made the roads and houses that we live in, animals provided dairy, plants gave grains, fruits, vegetables and medicines after taking the energy from the sun, oxygen from the air and we got water to quench our thirst, etc. Thus, all the forces that helped in the protection and development of our physical being can be categorized as those that provide us with physical favors.
Q: What are mental obligations?
Ans.: The thing that makes us different from animals is our progressive intellect. We get our intelligence in a hereditary manner from our parents and forefathers, its development is done by our parents, teachers and society. They taught us how to speak, survive, and provided the ability to earn. Numerous teachers spent their time and put in their efforts, authors wrote books, government and philanthropists opened schools and colleges where we got the education to become smart individuals. So, all the people/forces that help to carve our minds and improve our intelligence provided us with mental favors.
Q: What are financial obligations?
Ans.: Along with a healthy body and mind, we also need money, as a resource to secure our basic needs. There are so many people in our lives whose efforts make us capable of earning money, parents leave us their hard-earned money, house, and inheritance. If we have a business, our patrons are the source of our income and if we are employed, our employers are in the category of financial benefactors.
Q: What are spiritual obligations?
Ans.: We do have a body, a mind, and money, but nevertheless the most important one is our Life Force known as Soul in spiritual terms that governs us. There are people who, with their life, sayings and teachings show us the real purpose of life and help in the betterment of our souls, those who provide inspiration with superior thoughts and deeds, help to reduce negative thoughts and actions like pride, ego, jealousy, violence, corruption, cheating and other impure feelings, those who help us to cultivate positive thoughts and feelings in our hearts and souls like respect, gratitude, service, honesty, purity, humility, tolerance, patience, simplicity and satisfaction. In this way, all the services that help to develop and protect our soul, come in the category of spiritual beneficence.
Q: What is the reason despite being a recipient of various obligations, some people never recognize them?
Ans.: Human beings by nature are pleasure lovers and self-centered. The egoistic and selfish hearts seldom can look beyond their own needs and wants; their state blinds them to see any of their benefactors; their state of mind doesn’t permit them to feel their feelings or any faint murmur of good that surrounds them; in short, these lower feelings make them deaf and blind towards their benefactors.
Q: What are the signs of existence of gratitude in a heart?
Ans.: The following are signs of a grateful heart:
1) A grateful person when looks around surroundings, is able to see benefactors all around in the four kingdoms of Nature easily.
2) This person recognizes the obligations received; remembers them forever and remains in a constant state of thankfulness.
3) A grateful person not only remembers his benefactors; but in his heart, he recognizes
the indebtedness for all that he has received and from a pure heart, he speaks highly and respectfully of his benefactors.
4) A grateful person further recognizes the fact that favors received are to be passed on like a relay race and works towards finding ways of passing on benefits to others and/or paying them back with interest to his benefactors.
5) During the appropriate time, a grateful person feels immense pleasure by using his body – mind – money to serve his benefactor; he or she with their pure heart feels a stronger bond between themselves and the benefactor.