Ingratitude and gratitudeUniversity of Edinburgh; Edinburgh, Scotland
17 June 1976
Dear seekers, dear brothers and sisters, I wish to give a short talk on ingratitude and gratitude. These are two forces. Ingratitude is a destructive force, whereas gratitude is a constructive force. Every day in our multifarious activities, either we express ingratitude or we express gratitude to our fellow human beings.
Ingratitude is not our inability to acknowledge the gifts we receive from others. Ingratitude is our deliberate unwillingness to acknowledge the gifts we receive from others. Gratitude is receptivity, the receptivity that acknowledges others' gifts, others' love and concern. Each time we express gratitude, we expand our hearts.
Receptivity can be increased. How can we increase our receptivity? We can increase it by cultivating it. The farmer cultivates the ground and then he sows the seed. He waters it and eventually the seed germinates and grows into a sapling and a tree. Here also, when we cultivate our gratitude-heart, we get the opportunity to sow our pure love there. This pure love grows into true concern, and true concern eventually becomes inseparable oneness.
When we want to pick a beautiful flower from a tree, we look around to see if anybody is observing us. We feel that nobody should know that we had to take the flower from some other place. We want to show the world at large that this flower was ours right from the beginning. In order to do that, we try to destroy the branches of the tree.
We receive gifts from our friends in the inner worlds but we do not want others to know about it. So we speak ill of our inner friends, consciously or unconsciously. We want to make the world believe that we are self-sufficient, but the rest of the world knows that we are receiving something from others. Ingratitude is nothing but a sense of inferiority, an inferiority complex. The gifts we get from others we do not want to acknowledge. We are afraid to expose ourselves to others.
Ingratitude, impurity and the doubting mind go together. It is impurity that divides and separates us and does not allow us to have the feeling of oneness or gratitude. And this impurity unconsciously or consciously is treasured by the doubtful mind. Gratitude, purity and the loving heart always go together. The gratitude-flower grows in our purity-heart. Purity expands our heart. Purity awakens our entire being within to the highest level of consciousness. The heart is self-giving. And what is self-giving today becomes tomorrow God-Delight and God-Perfection.
Here we are all seekers. Some of us are extremely sincere, while others are to some extent sincere. Those who are sincere seekers of the highest magnitude are all gratitude to the Supreme. When they observe their relationship with their Beloved Supreme, they see that He showers upon them Peace, Light and Bliss in abundant measure from Above. If they forget to offer their gratitude to their Inner Pilot, the Inner Pilot does not mind. He immediately forgives them. The Beloved Supreme is bound to forgive even insincere seekers if they forget to offer their loving gratitude while on the way to the Ultimate Goal. God is infinitely above our ingratitude-heart. But although God may forgive the seeker, the sincere seeker may find it impossible to forgive himself. When his sincerity-flower petal by petal fully blossoms, he gets tremendous pangs in the inmost recesses of his heart if he has not offered gratitude to the Supreme.
God does everything unconditionally. We try to become His perfect instruments and we try our utmost to become worthy of His infinite Compassion, infinite Love and infinite Light, Peace and Bliss. Our ideal is to be like Him. Our inner cry is to become exactly the same as our Transcendental, Universal Pilot Supreme.
Within us is the animal kingdom, the human kingdom and the divine kingdom. The animal in us does not allow us to become fully human. The human is us does not allow us to be fully divine. The animal in us is anger, jealousy, impure thoughts—these are the animal forces within us. They do not want us to become properly human. The animal in us is a hungry tiger. The human in us often feeds the tiger. But instead of being grateful, sometimes the tiger devours us. The human in us is our sense of division. The human in us wants to control itself without being part and parcel of any collective group. Always it wants to remain off by itself. It does not want to go to the divine, to the all-pervading, the all-loving, all-illumining and all-fulfilling divine. The divine in us brings us joy, love and satisfaction. But the human in us devours this joy and then does not care for the divine. It speaks ill of the divine. It falls short of the divine and then it becomes totally indifferent to the divine. It remains aloof and makes us feel that the divine does not exist. So the animal in us does not want the gift that it gets from the human in us, and the human in us does not want the gift from Above.
But again, we are all evolving. The animal in us is evolving into the human and the human in us is evolving into the divine. The divine in us wants to go to its Source, the Supreme. The human in us tries to become divine by mixing with someone who consciously embodies divinity and spirituality. When we see a spiritual Master, when we see a saint or a sage, someone who is embodying Peace, Light and Bliss, we try to serve him, please him, become a member of his inner family, his spiritual family. Then, when we become spiritual, we try to please our Eternity's Beloved Supreme. We try to become the exact prototype of His Universal and Transcendental Existence.
The animal grows into the human by serving, the human grows into the divine by serving, the divine grows into the Absolute by serving. While serving, we offer our gratitude, for it is the higher force that has granted us the opportunity to develop through our service. There are millions and millions on earth who are still fast asleep. But we have been awakened. By whom? By a higher force. So each time we get the opportunity to serve, we feel that it is because a higher force has kindled the flame of aspiration and dedication inside us. Therefore, we are grateful. Gratitude looms large when we are given the opportunity to be of service to the Supreme in mankind.
This gratitude-power is our expansion-power, our self-expansion-power. Each time we offer our gratitude to the Supreme, we expand our hearts and grow into the Universal Heart and Transcendental Reality.