By Devakinandan Pasupuleti
Ashtottaram 37) OṀ KRUṪAJNATĀNUGRAHABHŨMYAI NAMAH
Ashtottaram 37: OṀ (AUM) –KRU-ṪA-JNA-TAA-NU-GRA-HA-BHOO-MYAI—NA-MA- HA
ॐ कृतज्ञतानुग्रहभूम्यै नमः
Krutajnata is defined as having a feeling of gratitude and appreciation toward other living beings and things (plants and animals) that have been helpful to us.
(Krutajnaṫa: Expression of gratitude; Anugraham: Help, acceptance, kindness)
‘If someone helps you, how small it may be, you should remember that for the rest of your life’– is the teaching of our parents, teachers, elders, and well-wishers. Maharṣhi Vālmīki, the celebrated author of the Rāmāyaṇam, was told by Brahmarṣhi Nārada muni about sho’daśa kaḷalu (sixteen great and noble qualities) that go to make a perfect man, that is Lord Shri Rama. Born as a human being and ruler, Lord Shri Rama stood as the symbol of Dharma (righteousness). We are very fortunate to be born on the land which was purified by the touch of Lord Shri Rama’s lotus feet.
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If somebody does a good deed to a Hindu, he looks forward anxiously to reciprocating something bigger good deed to that person. I cannot definitely say that this is happening nowadays in India but at least it used to be a norm in the olden days. Nowadays, it has become a fashion to say Thank you for everything, which is very mechanical and just lip service; there is no emotion or sincerity in that expression. Sometimes, pet animals like dogs are far superior to humans in showing their gratitude and affection towards their master and they protect the one who feeds and cares for them.
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Our parents, teachers, and elders teach us from childhood onward how to be grateful and thankful to people who are kind to us in times of need to show gratitude toward those who are helpful to us, and to reciprocate with similar gestures and actions. Those who listen to good advice will always follow that path. Even today in India, we still come across those kinds of people in our life.
The land which teaches us to show gratitude and to be thankful throughout our life is ‘Kruṫajnatānugraha Bhūmi’.