7 Effective Leadership Skills In Valmiki Ramayana – Ep 13

7 Effective Leadership Skills In Valmiki Ramayana – Ep 13 - Gratitude

उत्साहः पौरुषं सत्त्वमानृशंस्यं कृतज्ञता
विक्रमश्च प्रभावश्च सन्ति वानर राघवे।।
–Valmiki Ramayan 5.37.13।।

Maryadhapurush Ram exhibited seven effective leadership traits which are Enthusiasm, Fearlessness, Goodness, Kindness, Being Grateful, Commitment to work and Prowess as told by Sita Maa to Hanuman when Hanuman met her at Ashok Van.

Leadership Quality 4 – कृतज्ञता  -Being Grateful

The Oxford dictionary defines gratitude as the characteristics or state of being thankful by the party receiving kindness, appreciation of the good intentions of the benefactor, and intention to return the favor.

From a philosophical and theological standpoint, gratitude is a virtue, a good habit, signifying that gratitude is a personal trait worthy of encouraging. Gratitude is a trait necessary to maintain wellbeing and to prosper for human-being. Gratitude as a trait is not a one-off response. Gratitude manifests as a permanent gratefulness that continues to exist across time and space.  Gratitude is regarded as a personality trait that is correlated with positive behavior such as helping others and acts of kindness.


Gratitude and Indebtedness generally get mixed up. Though both roughly indicate repayment of a favour, Indebtedness is significantly different from Gratitude. Gratitude and indebtedness differ in three aspects:

(1) Indebtedness occurs with negative emotions such as discomfort and uneasiness; however, gratitude is an emotion with positive value;

(2) Indebtedness prompts avoidance motivation; however, gratitude prompts prosocial motivation;

(3) Indebtedness stems from the norm of reciprocity; even though gratitude also can be affected by norm of reciprocity, it may extend beyond the quid pro quo. If a beneficiary returns the favor due to indebtedness, the beneficiary will first consider the cost expended by the benefactor, and then repay something of equal value. Conversely, a grateful beneficiary will consider other options rather than only something of equal value when returning the favor. 

Why would gratitude be a leadership trait?

According to Maslow, self-actualized people tend to display the ability to appreciate everything by seeing the world through an innocent and novel point-of-view. In view of a wonderful life, they are in a state of awe, joy, wonder, or even in a spellbound or ecstatic state. Those who are grateful possess a sense of wonderment, thankfulness, and appreciation at life.

Gratitude is a feeling produced to thank others for their kindness. However, gratitude always need not be on individual benefactors. For example, an experiment conducted in 2003 found that subjects showed gratefulness for “waking up in the morning”, “life”, “living in the moment”, and “feeling lucky upon seeing other people’s misfortunes”. A specific benefactor was not indicated in these examples, illustrating the fact that the scope of gratitude expands beyond appreciation felt between individuals after a favor is received. This is a positive personality trait which will ensure eternal bliss and peace.

Expressing gratitude promotes humility. Feeling of gratitude gives peace and happiness to everyone all the time. Feeling of gratitude enhances emotional well-being and life satisfaction.

Showing humility and gratitude makes us stronger individuals and leaders. Being thankful for all the good things in life gives us the strength to face the hardships. Keep brooding about the hardships takes away the good things in our life. Humility and Gratitude are mutually reinforcing traits. Gratitude increases Humility and Humility facilitates Gratitude.


Sense of gratitude can bring happiness for both the parties. How does it bring happiness for both? This is how?

In medical terms, happiness is best understood as a subtle chemical process involving two chemical substances, namely: Dopamine and Serotonin.. They are both known as “happy hormones” because they make our body to feel happy.

It is important to note that while bodily movements and exercises have significant effects in producing the dopamine, it has been conclusively proven through various medical studies that words of appreciation yielding feelings of gratitude have a higher ability to induce such “happy hormones.

Interestingly, Vedic texts for thousands of years have emphasized greatly on having feelings of gratitude and contentment within before seeking anything outside. It is only when we can see what we have and are grateful for them that we are able to exploit opportunities for our benefits.

‘Being grateful’ gives us contentment leading to peace in life. Is contentment a desired quality? Would ‘being grateful’ stifle ambition? Is contentment antithesis to ambition? We will see in the next episode.


Disclaimer: The views/opinions expressed in this article belong to the author. Bhogya.online is neither responsible nor liable for the accuracy, completeness, suitability, or validity of any information in the article.


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