What is gratitude? If we peel our eyes properly and look around at the way life is happening to us, if you are able to clearly see all that is involved to make your life happen, you cannot help being grateful. Let us say a plateful of food appears in front of you. To make bread, do you know how many people have worked? From the farmer who sowed the seeds to all the things that happen on the land, the one who harvested, the one who sold it, the one who brought it to the shop, the one who bought it from there, just look at the whole lot of things involved.
Just look like this at every aspect of life, from your breath, to food, to everything that you are enjoying and experiencing—instead of thinking, ‘Okay, I have paid for it, so what the hell, I have to get it.’ If these people in this whole chain were not there or did not do what they have to do, it does not matter how much you pay, you would not have those things. Just open your eyes and see how you are nurtured and supported by every kind of creature on this planet and beyond. If you see this, you do not have to develop an attitude of gratitude. Gratitude is not an attitude. Gratitude is something that flows out of you when you are overwhelmed by what is being given to you. If it is an attitude, it is horrible. It is not just about saying, ‘Thank you, thank you.’
Everything in the existence is somehow collaborating to keep you alive and well right now. If you are able to look through just one chain of events, you cannot help being overwhelmed with gratitude for all those people and all those things which have nothing to do with you right now, but they have given everything to you every moment of your life. So if you open your eyes and look at the way life is happening, how can you help but be grateful? Only if you are blatantly living, thinking you are the king of this planet, then you miss out on everything. Only if you are too full of yourself, you can miss out on the whole process of life. Otherwise if you just look, everything will overwhelm you with gratitude.
If you are grateful, you are also receptive. If you are grateful to somebody, you look up at them. If you
look up at something, you are more receptive. The whole process of yoga is to make you receptive in deeper and deeper ways, in ways that you do not know right now. That is the only goal. So definitely being overwhelmed by gratitude is a very beautiful way to be receptive. It opens you up to a certain extent.
Even if something is given, somebody should take it. If everybody in the existence, everybody in this world is absolutely receptive, just in a moment I will enlighten the whole world. The hardest part of the work is to make them receptive. If they worked on their own receptivity, giving them what they need is very simple. If one is hungry, is it difficult to make that man eat? No effort is needed. But to make him hungry, that is a hard job.
Everything in the existence is somehow collaborating to keep you alive and well right now. If you are able to look through just one chain of events, you cannot help being overwhelmed with gratitude for all those people and all those things which have nothing to do with you right now, but they have given everything to you every moment of your life.
Sadhguru is a yogi, mystic, visionary and a bestselling author. He was conferred
the Padma Vibhushan in 2017. Isha.sadhguru.org