The worthy person is grateful and mindful of benefits done to him. This gratitude, this mindfulness, is congenial to the best people.
Grateful and Mindful
The unworthy man is ungrateful, forgetful of benefits [done to him]. This ingratitude, this forgetfulness is congenial to mean people… But the worthy person is grateful and mindful of benefits done to him. This gratitude, this mindfulness, is congenial to the best people.
Gautama Buddha, also known as Siddhartha Gautama, was a spiritual teacher and the founder of Buddhism. Born in the 6th century BCE in Lumbini, now modern-day Nepal, he was destined for greatness. At the age of 29, he renounced his luxurious life as a prince and embarked on a spiritual quest to find the ultimate truth about human suffering and the nature of existence.
After years of intense meditation and self-discipline, Gautama attained enlightenment under a Bodhi tree in Bodh Gaya, India, at the age of 35. He became the Buddha, which means "the awakened one" or "the enlightened one." Gautama Buddha spent the rest of his life teaching the Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path, which formed the core principles of Buddhism. His teachings emphasized the importance of overcoming desire and attachment to achieve liberation from suffering. Known for his compassion and wisdom, Gautama Buddha's teachings have had a profound impact on millions of people worldwide, inspiring them to seek inner peace and spiritual enlightenment. His legacy as a spiritual leader and philosopher continues to resonate and guide individuals on their spiritual journeys to this day.
Wilson, Andrew, editor. World Scripture - a Comparative Anthology of Sacred Texts. Paragon House, 1991, p. 556 [Anguttara Nikaya i.61].
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Anguttara Nikaya 1.61
The Anguttara Nikaya is the fourth of the four major Nikayas making up the Sutta Pitaka, or Basket of Discourses, belonging to the Pali Canon, the collection of texts that Theravada Buddhists regard as buddhavacana or “word of the Buddha.”
A sense of gratitude and indebtedness to others is an important wellspring of a generous and virtuous life. All people can recognize that they are indebted to their parents, who gave them birth and raised them at considerable sacrifice. But our indebtedness extends much further than that. Fundamentally, we are indebted to God our Creator and the powers of nature that nourish and sustain our life. Then, since the food we eat travels from the soil to our dining table by passing through many hands–that cultivate, harvest, clean, package, transport, sell, and prepare it–we should recognize that we rely on the labors of many people in order to survive. A sense of gratitude to others is thus acknowledging our interdependent existence; it is an antidote to the illusion of egoism. Such gratitude is recalled and expressed in the prayer of grace or thanks offered before meals.
Another dimension of gratitude is directed towards those who are responsible for our education and enlightenment in the way of truth and salvation. Gratitude towards one’s teachers, and especially towards the sages and founders of religions who offered their lives to find the truth, is a proper attitude of faith. Most of all, we should be grateful to God, who quietly has been guiding and nurturing each person toward salvation, and without whose grace the world would be plunged in darkness.
—World Scripture: A Comparative Anthology of Sacred Texts, Andrew W. Wilson (Editor), David Hose (Illustrator), Ninian Smart (Foreword by).
Another Anguttara Nikaya Quote
[The] good person is grateful and thankful, for the virtuous only know how to be grateful and thankful. … It is totally the level of a good person to be grateful and thankful.”
—Bhikkhu Sujato, Peaceful Mind, Anguttara Nikaya 2.32-41
The Psychology of Gratitude, Robert A. Emmons
Over the past quarter century, unprecedented progress has been made in understanding the biological, psychological, and social bases of human emotions. As psychologists further unravel the complexities of emotions, gaps in understanding are revealed. One of those gaps concerns the psychology of gratitude. A distinguished emotions researcher recently commented that if a prize were given for the emotion most neglected by psychologists, gratitude would surely be among the contenders. In the history of ideas, the concept of gratitude has had a long life span, but in the history of psychology, a relatively short past. For centuries, gratitude has been portrayed by theologians, moral philosophers, and writers as an indispensable manifestation of virtue—an excellence of character. For example, gratitude is not only a highly prized human disposition in Jewish, Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, and Hindu thought (Carman & Streng, 1989), it is deemed an unrivaled quality in these traditions, essential for living life well. The consensus among the world’s religious and ethical writers is that people are morally obligated to feel and express gratitude in response to received benefits. For example, Adam Smith, the legendary economist and philosopher, proposed that gratitude is a vital civic virtue, absolutely essential for the healthy functioning of societies (Smith, 1976).
—The Psychology of Gratitude, Robert A. Emmons, Michael E. Mcculough, Editors Oxford University Press.