The True Meaning of Thanksgiving

So much can be said about Thanksgiving. In America, we celebrate by inviting friends and family over for a grand, sumptuous dinner and to spend THIS day in a joyous and festive mood. Nothing is wrong with this type of thanks, but when this thanks depends on the slaughtering of poor turkeys, to my mind, it is not thanksgiving but “thanks-taking a life”. Every living being has a right to live their allotted time. On this Thanksgiving Day, let’s reflect on these very important questions, “It is Thanks-GIVING — are we giving or taking? Have we ever given anything selflessly? Are we capable of giving anything?” If the answer is a ‘no or maybe’, then we should try our utmost to make it a ‘yes’. This would be the best thanks we could ever give.

True thanksgiving is giving thanks to God for this gift of human embodiment. We have gone through so many different embodiments because of our karma(actions) and finally, because of God’s divine grace we are here as human beings. This is our only chance to attain liberation or Moksha. God has given us a great and valuable gift — the human body — what we do with this gift, is, our gift back to God. The sole purpose of this human embodiment is to become Self-Realized. Through the infinite grace and mercy of Bhagwaan(GOD) we are here as human beings, please let us thank him by following the path of Dharma and become Jivan Muktas(SELF REALIZED INDIVIDUALS). This is the best thanks we can ever give to our Divine Master.

Let us learn to be thankful for prosperity as well as adversity. When we experience conditions of prosperity and success, it is Bhagwaan’s way of helping us to unfold our virtues of humility and righteousness. We should take full advantage of this and use whatever we have to serve humanity. This does not have to be monetary, it could be a special talent that he has lovingly bestowed upon us. Use it for the benefit of the less fortunate, help someone. Do not become proud of God’s special gifts to you. This leads to failure and delusion.

When we experience adversity, we should not be despondent. It is the mysterious workings of the Lord’s Divine Plan. We should trust him enough to know that whatever is happening is best for our progress towards the ultimate goal of Self-Realization. Adversities enable us to discover the immense strength within and to bring us closer to God. Be thankful and know that God is always with you, carrying you. Allow him to carry our burden, for he is ever willing to do it for us. Should we not be thankful for this? No one is ever willing to take our pain– pain that we have brought upon ourselves through previous Karma – but Lord Krishna is ready and willing to take our pain, all we have to do is surrender our minds to him and let him make our decisions.

Gita 18/66
Sarva Dharmaan Pari Tyajya,
Maam ekam Sharanam Brajah.
Aham Twa Sarva Paapay Bhyo,
Mokshyea Ishyami Maa Suchah.

Giving up all duties, take refuge in ME alone. I will liberate you from all sins. Do not grieve.

So on this Thanksgiving, let our actions be an offering of thanks to him, this is the true meaning of thanksgiving. Thanksgiving should not be limited to a one day celebration. It should be our way of life, and as we enjoy this day, may we be guided so that everyday will be a Thanksgiving Day for us. Trust in the Divine Master and remember the word THANKS means:

Truth – That is ‘Brahma Satyam Jagan Mithya’. Only truth is Brahman and everything else including this world is dependent on Brahman (Mithya).
Harmony – Within yourself and the world
Aspiration for Self-Realization
Negation of “I”ness and “My”ness
Knowledge – Aham Brahm Asi
Surrender – All actions to the LORD.

Om Om Om………….