Humility through Gratitude
Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharaj
Humility is one of the qualities we need to develop if we want to grow spiritually. To have humility is to eliminate the ego which can be a deterrent to our spiritual progress.
What is Ego?
Ego means we think we are the doers, while humility recognizes that God is the doer. As long as we think we are the doers, we focus on the aspect of ourselves that is temporary, which we leave behind when this life ends.
Humility recognizes that we are soul, and connects us with the permanent part of ourselves, the soul, which is a part of God. So, how can we develop humility?
Gratitude to God
One shortcut to developing humility is having gratitude to God. When we are grateful to God, we realize that whatever we receive in life is through God, not our own doing. If we develop gratitude, we will naturally develop humility and eliminate the ego.
We can develop gratitude when we develop right understanding about the realities of this human existence. It is only through the grace of God that we have been given this human form. We could have been any of the millions of species of life, but we have been fortunate to receive a human body.
Besides giving us a human body, God has graced us with many other gifts. Some of us may be rich. Others may be successful. Some of us may be CEOs of an organization, a king, a president, a powerful businessperson, or the owner of a large business. We may have become famous or powerful.
If we look at people who have been materially successful, many of them think they have achieved that status on their own merits. They do not think that whatever they have is a gift of God.
The trick of the ego makes us think that whatever we have gained is due to our own efforts. Instead of using our gifts to do good and be grateful to God, we relish the power we have over others.
The Choice is Ours
We have the choice to do good with what we have, or to be egotistical and use our power to rule over others.
God sees everything. When this life is over, we have to account for our deeds. We want to make the best use of this life by taking steps toward God. We can do so by putting in time for meditation and leading an ethical life.
Along with this we need to be grateful to God. We should recognize that God has given us all our gifts, and we should thank God. Through gratitude and humility, we can overcome the ego.
Try this experiment of remembrance
To thank God, we must live in God in every moment. Here is an activity we can try in our homes: Go through a day and see how many times we can remember God. Is it once or twice? Then do we forget God and go back to thinking we are the doers, causing everything to happen?
- Try to increase the amount of time we live in God. Can we take God with us to work, to our families, to our friends, and to our activities?
- Can we keep God walking with us at every moment?
We may call on God when our life is threatened, but can we call on God while eating, dressing, walking, talking, working, playing, or sleeping? Such a one who can do this will find joy and happiness at all times. They will rise above problems and not be affected by the ups and downs of life.
Living life by thanking God at every moment means we never forget God. If we never forget God, then all our actions will be in accordance with the godly virtues. We will act in all situations as if God were with us, guiding our actions. We will be loving, caring, and helpful to all.
Let us take stock of all we have received from God. Through gratitude to God, we open ourselves to be receptive to receive more and more, until ultimately we achieve our union with God in this lifetime.