Lessons in Gratitude
I was blessed by Swami to be born into a family of His devotees. Whatever little memory I have of my kindergarten years revolves around going to Balvikas with my mother, learning Vedam and Shlokas. It has been quite a few years since then and my relationship with Swami has only strengthened.
In the year 2008, our family relocated to Ahmedabad. That is the year I started getting involved in Seva. My mother would often tell me and my brother to take that as a lesson in being grateful for what we have and learning to be responsible towards society. One instance that really shook me up was the plight of the poor sitting around a temple near my house. It was my brother’s birthday and we had decided to give out homemade food parcels to them. As we started the distribution, they came forth and started grabbing the entire stack of parcels from us. My brother and I were shell shocked, as we stood there watching them physically grappling each other over the food packages. My nine-year-old-self learned a great lesson in gratitude in front of the Shirdi Sai Mandir that afternoon.
The next major incident that truly touched my heart would happen about five years later in the year 2015. By then we had relocated to Dubai and had also become members of the Sai Hridayam family. It was during Swami’s second visit to Dubai when Srinivas Sir who accompanied Swami, was asked to speak to us. He spoke about the establishment of the Sri Sathya Sai Sanjeevani Hospital and narrated an incident which was probably the most heartwarming one I had ever heard. He spoke to us about a mother who had given everything she had for her child’s treatment but to no avail. She had nothing left and her child was still very sick. In this state of helplessness, she reached the Raipur Hospital with the child. By Sai’s grace, the child was cured and the very description of the mother’s tears of joy moved me. I had been very definitive regarding my choice of career at a young age of 13. I had decided that I would become a Cardiac surgeon. Now there was something different. Now I decided come what may, I will only work in Swami’s hospital, to treat Swami’s children and do Swami’s work, whatever maybe the cost.
Many a times I catch myself being ungrateful towards all that I have. I take things for granted and fail to realise that what I have as a basic necessity is high-grade luxury for many. At that time, I think of how much Sai has blessed me with and how it is my responsibility to give forward what I receive.