Dwelling in gratitude, there are so many things to remember with profound thanks. For every human being we give thanks for the gift of life, for which we travailed 8.4 million incarnations to achieve. How fortunate we are to be granted this gift of life and health as a conscious being, dwelling in God in this sacred body temple, and then within a millisecond, in the grand scheme of this creation, this life has passed like a spark in the night. The more we learn to dwell in gratitude in each moment that we are here together, to serve each other in thankful remembrance of the One within everyone, the greater will be our impact and our legacy in this earthly realm. As the Siri Singh Sahib taught us, when you are grateful to God “You will be great and you will be full.”
Conversely, when we become entrenched in the ego or the illusory realm of separation of consciousness from our Divine birthright, then gratitude eludes us. When we are distracted by the maya of this temporal realm-whether suffering in pain or frolicking in pleasures of delight-if we forget the source of all pleasure and pain, it is at that moment that we forget to be grateful.
“By your ego you get yourself, which is very earthly and limited. Whenever you want to get to your own unlimited self, you have to relate with gratitude.” –Yogi Bhajan 7/10/75
The habit of a grateful mind brings us into the realm of the divine. It’s in every religion, every spiritual path, it’s written in books by scholars and philosophers. Our thoughts create the vibratory frequency of that which we draw to ourselves. Vibrating the essence of gratitude is the most positive, uplifting, and encouraging frequency we can project in our cocreation of this world. Many have seen the fascinating experiments conducted by the beautiful Japanese scientist, Dr. Emoto, on the formation of water crystals from various messages. They clearly show that our thoughts of gratitude are a powerful agent for change and that the frequency of our thoughts directly impacts our environment!
“Attitude of gratitude brings you opportunities beyond your concept. And when the prayer becomes the vibration of the soul, mind, and self, we can create a miracle.” –Yogi Bhajan 12/8/89
If, instead, we choose to express ourselves negatively, that can mean only one thing: we are ungrateful to God. Our happiness in life lies in gratitude, the path to prosperity in life, to love in life is in gratitude. No matter how hard we try if we do not have an attitude of gratitude, we cannot be great. We have often heard that it is easier to remember to be devotional when we are in pain. We then seek relief in prayer and meditation and find our way back to our spiritual essence. In 20/20 hindsight, we know that it is, in fact, our pain and suffering that hone our character and grit and truly magnify the soul; yet, remembering to be grateful while we are suffering is the fast track out of pain and suffering. Cultivating a habit to constantly remember to be grateful, to indelibly imprint upon our mind this graceful, living reality is the Grace of the True Guru, Sat Gur Prasad. Over and over, throughout the Siri Guru Granth Sahib, we repeat these words that all is Guru’s Grace. The Siri Singh Sahib taught us a very effective means to counteract any negative mental habit. The very moment such a thought arises in our mind, we recite five times:
Ik Ong Kar Sat Gur Prasad Sat Gur Prasad Ik Ong Kar
There is One Creator of the creation, the Creator and creation are One, there is One Spirit that moves throughout all creation, this I know by the Grace of the True Guru.
When we focus our attention on our blessings, it shifts the energy around us, and our auras change to allow more positive things to flow through. We begin to vibrate the frequency of abundance, thus allowing more abundance in. Poverty cannot even touch us when we live in gratitude. A very powerful exercise the Siri Singh Sahib gave us to train our minds to live in gratitude is to sit down with pen and paper and make a list of everything for which we are grateful. Each day, we do this again; and again; and again. This is an honoring process. It opens our eyes to everything we have in our life to be grateful for and takes us deeper and deeper into the detail of every facet of life that is good. It takes us into the inner workings of the play of our life and all that is positive and great. It shows us how blessed we are and shifts our focus from anger, fear and lack to gratitude, courage, and abundance. Prosperity flows in that state of grace, it flows easily, without stress, worry, or frustration, or any emotions that drain our life force. When we are grateful, we are naturally filled with kindness and compassion.
“The attitude of gratitude is the highest way of living, and is the biggest truth, highest truth.” –Yogi Bhajan – 8/30/91
The Gurus taught us that to keep our prosperity flowing, in gratitude to the One from whom all blessings flow, we share some of what we have with others. Guru Nanak said:
ghaal khaa-ay kichh hathahu day-ay.
One who works for what he earns, and gives some of what he has,
naanak raahu pachhaaneh say-ay.
O Nanak, he knows the Path.
Siri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, p. 1245
In the time of Guru Amar Das Ji, he set up a more formal structure for giving to provide for Langar. Guru Ram Das Ji enjoined his Sikhs to give Dasvandh, literally meaning a “tenth part” of their earnings for the common resources of the community. The idea of sharing and giving back in gratitude to God for all that we have is an important part of almost every spiritual and religious tradition, because it is such a powerful tool for teaching us the truth about abundance and fulfillment and living in constant gratitude in our lives. I was recently asked by someone how to say “Thank you” in Punjabi. The formal and most common word for thank you is Meherbani, which literally means “Compassionate Vibration.” When we are thankful, we are compassionate, and therefore we share, we give, and we serve one another and that is how we can create a bountiful, blissful world, and make the heavenly realm a living reality on this beautiful blue earth.
Guru Arjan Dev Ji has said
narak ghor baho dukh ghanay akirat-ghanaa kaa thaan.
In the most horrible hell, there is terrible pain and suffering. It is the place of the ungrateful.
Siri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, p. 31
When we are grateful for what we have, the Universe will give more.
“The only way a relationship between you and God can be established is if you become grateful and build up a standard of gratitude. Only then will fulfillment come in life. Only then can you be happy in life. Only then will you be fulfilled in life. Because in God we trust and in God we dwell.” –Yogi Bhajan, 8/30/1991
The Siri Singh Sahib taught us that our mission is to be prosperous, so that in our prosperous spirit, our light, our radiance, our love, and in our gratitude to God, all of our prosperity is there to share with others: Nam japo, vand chhako, dharma dee kirat karo.
Meditate, share, and earn.
“Attitude of gratitude is when you are grateful for every breath of life.” –Yogi Bhajan – 6/26/98