Sri Shuka Paramarshi says, “Son, the self-luminous akshara or alphabet i.e. its inherent nature that is Aksharam is one’s Guru, one’s teacher or Acharya, one’s best friend or Hiteshi, one’s companion or Sakha or Pārsada, one’s Father, one’s Mother, one’s sibling and one’s child. Supreme Self is one but forms are myriad. Why is being grateful and offering thanks imperative for one to become immersed and absorbed into the Self?
The reason is it is the first step to Self-Surrender. It is very easy to say that one has surrendered to the Supreme Self but it is difficult to emote and experience if it is not in entirety. The reason is that Self-Surrender is a process that one needs to be established in throughout one’s sadhana, anustana and practices. It is the initiator, the catalyst and the end goal of all practices, sadhanas and anustanas.
Self-Surrender will eventually lead to Peace or Shanti. But first, one has to be grateful and offer thanks for all that the Supreme Self has bestowed and blessed the created being with. Every other creation that a created being comes into communion with has to be understood and realized to be because of the self-luminous akshara or alphabet in whose form and shape he or it is in.
The self-luminous akshara or alphabet with its inherent nature of Aksharam in its unmanifest or Avyakta state is the propeller or charioteer or Saarthi to the “body” which is the manifest or Vyakta state of the self-luminous akshara or alphabet seen as the form and shape of the self-luminous akshara and all of creation with its differentials of light, sound, matter, time, space, ego, mind, intellect, five-fold attributes, five-fold elements and others leading to the knowledge, realization, experience of the unmanifest or Avyakta state of the self-luminous akshara that is the Primordial Light, the Sabda Brahman or Primordial Sound and Consciousness.
But this can be attained only through the Self and hence, the first step to Self-Surrender is gratitude or kritagyata.”