The power of blessings
Blessings are the most powerful gifts you can ever receive from anyone, says Suma Varughese
When I was editor of Society magazine, we carried a story about a man whose family puja (worship) room had some rough-hewn black stone idols of deities. These idols had been passed down from generations as a sacred trust. On a whim, this man took one of the idols to a jeweller for cleaning and valuation. The rough black colour gave way to a scintillating light. Under its unprepossessing appearance was a diamond of exceptional size and clarity. The man tried to sell the stone and the other idols too. But he could not because few on earth possessed enough money to buy them. And in the meantime, he was filled with fear that someone would steal these priceless diamonds from him.
To me, this is a good allegory of the times we live in. The sacred is rejected for the mundane. Spirit is mined in pursuit of the material. In the battle between God and Mammon, Mammon holds the trump card. I wondered to myself,
how many blessings those deities may have silently bestowed upon the family, unbeknown to him, all of which he forsook in pursuit of money.
There truly is nothing more powerful than blessings. When we think of the innumerable things that can go wrong in our lives, we must acknowledge that God’s grace is a very real thing. Every moment of life lived healthily and happily is a gift that may have made its way through the blessings of our elders, ancestors, or divine souls. We must actively solicit and value the blessings that come our way. Be grateful when you get the opportunity to serve someone, perhaps someone poor or old, and gratefully accept the blessings they give you. How valuable they may be, you will have no idea, but they could well protect you from disease and disasters.
On the occasion of a marriage, wise are the families or couples who refuse gifts and ask only for blessings. They know that these are far more valuable than even the fanciest of dinner sets or crystal glasses.
When my mother died in 2012 after being paralysed for two and a half years during which I was her chief caregiver, I truly felt I had earned her blessings because my life opened up thereafter. My financial situation improved hugely, my spiritual evolution increased, and I became much happier. My life has only expanded since then. Despite being diagnosed with arthritis and asthma, I am barely afflicted by these two ailments. I have always put it down to the many blessings of LP readers who have, over the years, sent me letters of appreciation and gratitude.
Earn the blessings of the poor, the sick, the shelterless, and the abandoned by serving them. Who knows what they may protect you from? We are not meant to take care of our wants and needs alone. We are meant to look after the needs and wants of those who do not have enough. In the ancient scriptures, it was established that the householder was to look after all those who, for whatever reason, were unable to fend for themselves financially. This included widows, orphans, sadhus (holy people), (religious mendicants), beggars, and others of that ilk. In Kerala, upper-class households cultivated the habit of issuing a cry to those going to bed hungry, before closing their doors for the night.
The more we align ourselves to the laws of the Universe and free ourselves of our ego, the more blessings we will naturally earn not just from others but from life itself. And only these blessings will help us thrive and flourish. Make no mistake about it.
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