The very first quality we must possess is humility. Only by acquiring humility can we receive God's Grace. We must have humility in our words, looks and actions. When a carpenter picks up a chisel, he worships the chisel before using it. Musicians also use their musical instruments only after worshipping them. This culture that we must revere everything is given to us by our sages. Their goal was to annihilate our ego completely through this practice.
While doing any action, the feeling that " I am the doer" should never arise. We must be aware that our actions are possible only because of God's power. All actions must be looked upon as worship to God. Humility and simplicity are two components which make God's Grace flow to us.
Once there was a great noble man who was an embodiment of humility. He never compromised his humility in any circumstance. When others praised or condemned him, he received both with humility. One day a demigod appeared before him and said, "I am extremely pleased with your humility. I will give you a boon. What would you like to have?" Eventhough the noble man said that he did not want anything, when he was pressed, he said, " each of my action must become a blessing to the world. But let me not know about it." Saying "It is granted", the demigod disappeared. From that day on, wherever this great man visited, wherever his shadow fell, everything, living and non-living, became indeed blessed. The drought filled land became luscious and green as soon as his feet touched it. Wilted dry trees and plants started to grow and began to have an abundance of fruits and vegetables. The streams nearby were filled with fresh and pure water. People who worked hard were refreshed. He provided consolation and comfort to sad women. Children were ecstatic with happiness. But the great man just continued living as an ordinary man without realizing any of this.
Humility is within us. It is our true nature. But we have not tried consciously to awaken the humility that is dormant within us. If we continue to show disinterest to practice humility, then nature will force us to learn. As we go through the bitter experiences of life, we will have to naturally practice humility.
No matter what other qualities one may possess, none of them will shine if he lacks humility. On the contrary, no matter how many qualities one may lack, if he has humility, he will surely win everyone's hearts. Just as water flows downward, God's Grace will flow towards him.
Amma, Sri Mata Amritanandamayi Devi