Question: Sometimes when I approach you in person or when I try to approach you in meditation, I remember that you have said that inside gratitude everything is present.

Sri Chinmoy: Absolutely!

Question: I feel that I need to go towards sincerity before I can have any gratitude. I feel that if I admit I do not have this spontaneous feeling of gratitude, then I am being sincere. If I feel gratitude only on the surface, I think that it is not real.

Sri Chinmoy: It is real. Indians say that by doing japa they will realise God. In the morning, you may say "Guru" or "Supreme, Supreme, Supreme, Supreme." If you say "Supreme" four or five thousand times, perhaps the very first time your "Supreme" will not be coming from the very depths of your heart. It may happen that sincerity does not come at first. When you try to run your fastest in the 100-metre sprint, if you do not jog first, if you do not warm up, if you do not stretch your legs, can you run the fastest? No, you cannot. You need preparation.

I say inside gratitude, everything can be found, true. If you develop gratitude, inside that gratitude everything is found. But other divine qualities, like simplicity, must be there also. The mind has to be very simple, the heart has to be pure, and the whole life has to be childlike. These are like the stretching exercises. If you do not do the stretching exercises, if you do not jog, how will you run the fastest?

You are saying that if there is no sincerity, then gratitude is of no avail. What is the good of gratitude if it is not sincere? But I say that to get sincerity, you have to do a few preparatory things. You have to start with spiritual exercises, like japa. You say, "Supreme, Supreme, Supreme" or do other spiritual activities, and that is your stretching, that is your jogging. Then, after a few minutes, your goal is to run the fastest. At that time gratitude will come like the fastest sprinter.

Again, in the beginning you have to do japa or other spiritual exercises, like singing some spiritual songs. If you sing a few soulful songs, these are your stretching exercises. If you sing "Tomare Rakhibo", "Jiban Debata", "Bhulite Diyona" or other favourite songs, that will help you to bring forward your most sincere gratitude. Always in order to reach the highest, to do our best, we need something to prepare ourselves. Even in a car, if you put your foot on the gas pedal and immediately try to go sixty or seventy miles an hour, the car may be damaged and you may be injured.

Gratitude has to come little by little. It does not come all at once. Gradually, gradually some sprinters are able to take very little time to reach their fastest speed, while others take a long, long time. By practising and practising, if once you took, say, fifteen or twenty minutes to bring forward your utmost gratitude, gradually you can bring it down to five minutes or even three minutes.

Is it clear? These are cute questions, very nice questions!

From:Sri Chinmoy,Beyond likes and dislikes: illumining questions and answers, Agni Press, 2012
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