There is a beautiful episode in Ramakrishna’s life:

Ramakrishna was appointed priest in the temple of Dakshineshwar in Calcutta. He was given a small salary of sixteen rupees every month, and assigned the job of doing puja, worshipping the idol of Goddess Durga, every day. But just a few days after his appointment he found himself in trouble with the managing trustees of the temple. They came to know that the new priest’s way of worship was all wrong! First he tasted the food himself and then made an offering of it to the Goddess. He even smelled the flowers before they were offered to the deity. It was, they thought, very improper of him to pollute the purity of the offerings.

So they sent for Ramakrishna and asked for an explanation. Why did he not observe the correct standards of worship and devotion? Ramakrishna said, “I have not heard that there are any accepted standards for worship, that there is a discipline of devotion.”

The trustees said, “We have heard that you first taste the food meant to be offered to the goddess. Isn’t it highly improper?”

Ramakrishna answered, “Before my mother served me any food, she always tasted it to know if it was properly cooked, if it was tasteful. How can I serve any food to the goddess without knowing whether it is delicious or not? The offering must be worthy of the goddess. I cannot do it otherwise. It is up to you to have my services or to dispense with them.”

Now a devotee like Ramakrishna cannot be content with an external God. He will soon find God is within him. So the journey which begins with the devotee completes itself with God. And God is not somewhere on the outside. After going round the whole world, we ultimately return to ourselves, we come home, and find that God is there. God has always been inside us.

Be Grateful

From this story what everyone remembered is own childhood. The person who loves us give us something to us only if that person finds that it is best for himself/herself. Whenever someone gives you anything receive in gratitude. Don’t judge other person’s integrity.

The Effects of Gratitude Last Longer Than You Think:

Feeling and expressing gratitude can make you happy in the moment—just think back to the joy you felt the last time a friend helped you out or your partner cooked a gourmet dinner—and a growing mound of evidence shows that giving thanks can also have a lasting effect on your mood. One study from the University of Pennsylvania found that people who wrote and delivered a heartfelt thank-you letter actually felt happier for a full month after, and the same researchers discovered that writing down three positive events each day for a week kept happiness levels high for up to six months.

Tools for Thankfulness:

So how can you cultivate a growing sense of gratitude—and its positive side-benefits—on your own? It turns out that the tools used by psychologists in research studies—namely a gratitude journal and some thank-you notes—are some of the best ones for boosting gratitude both in and out of the lab. By writing down positive things that happen to you and actively acknowledging those who have helped you, you become better at recognizing the good in your life, which naturally helps you feel more grateful and thankful more often. You can also find dozens of fun gratitude activities on Happify!

What Grateful People Have in Common:

Of course, the actual goal isn’t to have a notebook full of your declarations of gratitude, but rather to make gratitude a default feeling. According to researchers at Eastern Washington University, there are four primary characteristics of grateful people, and these are the ones that thank-you notes and a gratitude journal can help tap, strengthen, and invigorate. People who experience the most gratitude (and therefore the positive effects) tend to:

1. Feel a sense of abundance in their lives

2. Appreciate the contributions of others to their well-being

3. Recognize and enjoy life’s small pleasures

4. Acknowledge the importance of experiencing and expressing gratitude

Learning from the story Devotee: Be Grateful

Experience Learning

How Gratitude Changes You and Your Brain:

With the rise of managed health care, which emphasizes cost-efficiency and brevity, mental health professionals have had to confront this burning question: How can they help clients derive the greatest possible benefit from treatment in the shortest amount of time?

Recent evidence suggests that a promising approach is to complement psychological counseling with additional activities that are not too taxing for clients but yield high results. In our own research, we have zeroed in on one such activity: the practice of gratitude. Indeed, many studies over the past decade have found that people who consciously count their blessings tend to be happier and less depressed.

The problem is that most research studies on gratitude have been conducted with well-functioning people. Is gratitude beneficial for people who struggle with mental health concerns? And, if so, how?

We set out to address these questions in a recent research study involving nearly 300 adults, mostly college students who were seeking mental health counseling at a university. We recruited these participants just before they began their first session of counseling, and, on average, they reported clinically low levels of mental health at the time. The majority of people seeking counseling services at this university in general struggled with issues related to depression and anxiety.

We randomly assigned our study participants into three groups. Although all three groups received counseling services, the first group was also instructed to write one letter of gratitude to another person each week for three weeks, whereas the second group was asked to write about their deepest thoughts and feelings about negative experiences. The third group did not do any writing activity.

What did we find? Compared with the participants who wrote about negative experiences or only received counseling, those who wrote gratitude letters reported significantly better mental health four weeks and 12 weeks after their writing exercise ended. This suggests that gratitude writing can be beneficial not just for healthy, well-adjusted individuals, but also for those who struggle with mental health concerns. In fact, it seems, practicing gratitude on top of receiving psychological counseling carries greater benefits than counseling alone, even when that gratitude practice is brief.

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