The beauty and purity of gratitudeThere are three hundred and sixty-five days in a year. There are twelve months. Each month has four weeks, and a little more. There are seven days in a week. I wonder, is there anybody amongst us here who has offered seven times unconditional gratitude to our Lord Beloved Supreme — unconditional gratitude, seven times, with utmost soulfulness? I doubt if anybody has passed that examination.
There are some disciples who have been with us for many, many, many years and perhaps will remain to the end. In some cases I do not think they have offered even once unconditional gratitude to the Will of the Supreme.
Gratitude we offer when we do something great. Quite often we express our gratitude to the Supreme in front of others. While expressing our gratitude, we know that there is not even an iota of sincerity in our feeling; but while telling others, we make them feel that we are offering genuine gratitude. But we know in the depths of our heart that our expression is not sincere, and we do feel that it is our personal effort that has enabled us to accomplish something great.
If gratitude is sincere, genuine, soulful and pure, then it lasts; it has a long life. But if it is not sincere, then from the start it has no life. This moment we offer gratitude because we feel, or we try to make ourselves feel, that some higher forces have acted in and through us. But in five minutes we somehow manage to forget that those higher forces played the most significant role in and through us. We feel that it is we who have done it, and then and there our heart's gratitude-flower, gratitude-fragrance, gratitude-beauty dies. Everything, everything dies and disappears.
Some disciples who have been with us for many years have not offered gratitude and perhaps will never offer gratitude to the Supreme. Sometimes they feel they made a Himalayan mistake in joining the path. Sometimes they blame their deplorable fate. But do they ever care to think of their life in a different way, a divine way? If they had not joined the path, what would have happened? For a few seconds during their meditation if they want to identify themselves with their friends, dear ones and colleagues who have not accepted the spiritual life, then they will come to know whether their previous friends are happier than they are. God will definitely make them feel that they themselves are infinitely happier.
You may be a drop, but you are a conscious drop from the heart of the infinite ocean. And because you are conscious, one day definitely you are going to throw yourself into the vastness of the ocean. Then you will become the ocean itself. Others are not conscious that their source is the infinite ocean. You are one step ahead, because you are conscious. People who are conscious are definitely one step ahead of the unconscious ones.
Now, you may say that it is very difficult to express unconditional gratitude, and you may say that you do not even know what unconditional gratitude is. The meaning of the dictionary word "unconditional" you do know: without any condition. But the question is, how to practise it in your day-to-day life? I wish you to think of only one thing: joy. Try to imagine joy in your life. I always say imagination is a reality in itself, on another plane of consciousness. We have only to bring it down. Early in the morning, while you are getting up, just utter the Name "Supreme, Supreme" a few times. Inside your mantra "Supreme," try to feel joy. Imagine at that time that you are drinking something sweet. You are repeating the Name of the Supreme, who is the Source of your life, who is your All. While uttering "Supreme," please try to feel that you are drinking something very sweet and delicious.
When you have sweetness and joy in your mind and in your heart, it becomes easier to offer something unconditionally. Look at a child. He has a beautiful flower in his hand. And what does he do? He comes running towards you and gives you the flower. In return he does not expect anything from you. But why does he come to you? He comes to you because he is happy. There is happiness inside him, spontaneous happiness, and he wants to share that inner happiness with you. But he does not expect anything from you in return — not even a smile. Like that, if we have spontaneous inner happiness, we can offer gratitude to the Supreme.
If we make spiritual progress, then at every moment we can see that there are quite a few divine things we have been doing for years and years. These very things we have been doing precisely because Somebody has been inspiring us. If there is nobody to inspire us deep within, then every day, every hour and every minute we will invite death. But Somebody is inspiring us, Somebody is hoping in and through us, Somebody is promising to Himself inside us to transform the world. That Somebody is our Lord Supreme. He is inspiring us, He is hoping to create a new world with our dedicated service, and He is promising to Himself at every moment that with our service He will definitely create a new world. He will transform today's world into a world of boundless love, joy and peace.
If even once you have felt the beauty, the purity, the divinity and the reality of gratitude, then definitely something immortal you will feel in yourself. If five years ago you were able to offer gratitude, unconditional gratitude, that very day and time, that very incident, try to imagine.
In our human life there can be nothing as valuable as gratitude. God's greatest Power is His Forgiveness, and our greatest power is our gratitude. God has His Forgiveness as His supreme Power; we have our gratitude as our supreme power. God has divided Himself into two. We human beings are His representatives on earth. In the match, in the game, there are two equal players: God the man and man the God. God the man is at every moment using His Forgiveness-Power, and man the God should at every moment use his gratitude-power. Then God's Game will be perfect.
Once more I wish to tell you that nothing can be more meaningful or more fruitful than gratitude in our human life. All our bad qualities, all our undivine qualities can be washed away and will be washed away by our soulful gratitude. There is no crime in the inner world that cannot be excused by God when He sees that we are offering Him gratitude, most soulful gratitude, for what we are now. We could have been infinitely, infinitely, infinitely worse! And if we offer Him sincere gratitude, then sooner or later, at His choice Hour, He will make us infinitely, infinitely, infinitely better. Only by virtue of our gratitude we will be able to illumine or remove all our dark qualities.
Gratitude is the safest way for us to reach the supreme destination. The moment we offer our gratitude to the Supreme, many, many undivine forces leave us. Our complaints against the path, against other human beings, even against the Supreme Himself disappear. Our gratitude is infinitely, infinitely more powerful than all the negative forces that either consciously or unconsciously we cherish.
So, dear ones, if you want to get rid of your undivine qualities, you do have to pray and meditate. But along with your prayer and meditation, there is a supreme secret, the secret of secrets, to conquer the undivine qualities that you consciously or unconsciously cherish. You may be displeased with some human beings, displeased with the path, displeased with the Master, even displeased with God Himself. But if you want to make yourself happy, sincerely happy, if you want to grow into happiness, then right from this moment only offer gratitude, gratitude, gratitude to the Supreme, for you are on the path and you are doing the right thing by offering gratitude. Many, many times you sincerely want to be free from worries, anxieties, jealousies, frustrations and other undivine qualities, but you do not know how you can accomplish this task. I wish to say that sooner than the soonest you can free yourself from those negative forces just by offering gratitude to the Supreme. While offering gratitude to the Supreme, just look around. Where you saw a thick forest, where you saw thorns, there you will see a garden, there you will see flowers.
Dear ones, you give me your best quality, gratitude, and I shall also give you my best quality, gratitude. Let us together use our best quality to make our Source, the Supreme, happy.