Question: In your books, you always say that you can make the fastest progress with this quality or that quality. For example, at one place you say we can make the fastest progress with gratitude, and at another place you say with love. My mother wants to know how she can make the fastest progress. She wants to concentrate on only one quality.

Sri Chinmoy: Let us say that on a plate you have put ten different items — a very small quantity of each one. Your mother should take love as a tiny portion, devotion as a tiny portion, surrender as one portion, gratitude as one portion. So a little gratitude, a little love, a little devotion, a little surrender she can eat — they go together. Each one is complementary. If she gives importance only to love, then if she sees a beautiful flower, she will be loving the flower, but she will not take the next step. She will be wise if she says, "Who has given this beauty to the flower?" Somebody is responsible. So she has to say, "I am so grateful to the one who gave the beauty to this flower, and I am so grateful to the beauty of the flower. I am so grateful that when I look at the flower, I am getting such joy, because it is so beautiful, so fragrant."

When your mother is reading a poem on love or devotion or surrender, then immediately she has to offer gratitude because she is getting joy from the poems. We have to go always to the Source. Anything that you see, just ask, "Who created it?" Immediately the answer comes: "God." It is He who gives me the capacity to look at the beauty of the flower, to enjoy the beauty of the flower. Will I not show gratitude? Why did He not bring so-and-so into the garden to appreciate the beauty? Always the immediate answer has to be gratitude. Anything that we see, anything that we feel, if immediate gratitude follows it, then we are safe. But if gratitude is not there, then we are separating ourselves at every moment. We feel, "I can do it, but nobody else can do it." So tell your mother that if she feels love, if she feels devotion, if she feels surrender and then offers her gratitude, she will always remain safe in the Heart of our Lord Supreme.