Questions and answers

The following questions were asked at the New York Sri Chinmoy Centre on 6 February 1977.

Question: What three qualities are most needed for survival on our spiritual path?

Sri Chinmoy: Most people want to know how to run the fastest, and you want to know how to survive. All right. There is only one quality that we all need. Three qualities are redundant. Only one quality can solve all your problems — everybody’s problems — and that quality is called gratitude-heart. Just think what you were before you accepted our path, and what you have become. Immediately you will see the difference between night and day. Again, you will see that the day can also become bright, brighter, brightest. Now it is dawn. Soon there will be proper morning. Then there will be the brilliant noon. The earthly day is followed by night, but the inner day does not have any night. There is only the infinite effulgence of ever-increasing Light. After the inner dawn comes the inner day. When dawn is over, you enter into the eternal, infinite Day that is filled with infinite Light and Delight.

You are so happy when you think of what you were and what you have now become. Now you are entering into the eternal Day. Think of what you are going to become. What you have already become you know, and that is satisfying to you. When you look around, you see that your old friends are still wallowing in the sea of ignorance. You have already become something; therefore you are grateful. Now you can say that you want to become something else. So God has given you something to become constantly, and that is your gratitude-heart. He brought you into this world from the soul’s world, and He has given you the opportunity to manifest Him. There are still countless souls in the soul’s region, but He has brought you and given you the golden opportunity to serve Him and manifest Him. You can easily offer Him your gratitude-heart for what He has already done for you, for it is not by virtue of your own will that you entered into the spiritual life.

Every day count the petals of your gratitude-heart. Every day open another petal. If you want to name the petals, they are simplicity, sincerity, purity, humility and so on. Constantly offer your heart of gratitude. That is the only quality that will help everyone solve their problems. And they will not only solve their problems but also run the fastest. Gratitude embodies all the divine qualities in God’s creation. If we are grateful, it is enough. When a child offers a smile to his parents, it is his gratitude-heart coming to the fore. Sometimes when adults smile at a spiritual Master, they may not know what the actual reason is for the smile, but I wish to say that it is their gratitude-heart. Yesterday Casey’s mother came to the meeting. I was smiling at her and all of a sudden she smiled back. Casey asked her, “What do you feel?” She said, “I don’t know. I just smiled.” Actually, all of a sudden her soul came to the fore and offered its qualities, but she did not know it. She thought it was just a smile. I smiled at her, so she smiled at me.

You do not need three qualities to survive; you need only one quality to survive and to run the fastest, and that is a gratitude-heart.