Staying with the Patel family in Bracebridge for a night and pursuing that morning walk by various falls on the Muskoka River is always inspiring. What could be more captivating than moving along a clean body of water in perfect weather (2 days left for summer) with the best people? Being in such a situation conjures up gratitude.
I am reminded of a beautiful purport from The Bhagavatam 11.5.41 telling us of obligation and appreciation. “Every ordinary conditioned soul is the recipient of innumerable benefits given by the demigods, who provide sun and moonshine, rain, wind, food and, ultimately, one’s own material body. In Bhagavad-gītā it is stated, stena eva saḥ: one who does not reciprocate with the demigods by offering them sacrifice is stena, or a thief. […] When we wake up in the morning our mind is refreshed by the sweet singing of birds, and on a hot day we enjoy the cool shade and breeze of the forest trees. We are accepting service from innumerable living entities, and we are obligated to repay them. Āpta means one’s own family members, to whom one is certainly obligated according to normal morality, and nṛṇām means human society. Until one becomes a devotee of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, one is certainly a product of his society. We receive mundane education, culture, tradition and protection from the society in which we live, and thus we owe a great debt to society.”
It was a slightly cool but fresh walk in the air and my brains became chilled with the reflection of thoughts on indebtedness to nature and the Creator.