Joy and Gratitude

(translated from Hindi)


The fact is you’re alive; I’m alive. In this world, many problems come, and people get stuck in them: “This should happen to me,” or “That should happen to me.” I have seen it and experienced it myself. The thing is, if you have patience, even that will pass.

Life is trying to teach us. We need to learn, to understand. Again and again, no matter what happens, the question always comes: What is the most important thing to you? What do you want in your life? Do you want joy? Do you want the peace of your heart?

Pay attention to that. This is what life is teaching us. Whenever our attention is swayed from that, we feel pain. We wander here and there, trying to be free of that pain. Then it becomes clear that in our life we want true happiness.

People do so many different things to find it. Recently, I was reading a newspaper, and I thought, “The stories don’t change—just the names.” It’s the same thing over and over again: Someone did this; someone did that. “I haven’t done this; I haven’t done that.” That’s all we keep thinking about: what we need to do and all the things we haven’t done. We forget to express gratitude for the gift of this life, this human body.

Prem Rawat

Who can express true gratitude except a human being? Maybe all the insects and animals express it in their own way; I don’t know if they do or not, but the human being can. And it is so important that from our heart we express gratitude for what we’ve been given.

Truly, only the person who has experienced it can do that. So, experience what has been given to you. Don’t weigh your life by what isn’t there; look at what you have been given. If we weigh our lives on the scale of the heart, we will see that we have been given so much that we can’t even grab it all. There is no bag we can fill with what we have been given. And we are receiving every day, every hour.

One breath. Just one breath—coming and going—what is the value of it? It is priceless. There is no amount of money or gold or diamonds in this world that is equivalent to the value of just one breath. People have made so many different advancements. They have gone to the moon. But who can bring back a breath? Nobody.

Without doing anything, we are being given this gift. The Creator doesn’t say, “You’re a sinner. You did this; you did that.” Whether someone is in pain or in joy, the Creator is giving the gift of life equally to everyone. But what if the one who is thirsty stops going to the water? How will their thirst be quenched? That’s why thirst is there. It beckons us, reminds us. All our attention goes there so that we don’t forget.

In your life, don’t put aside joy, because if you lose your joy, what will be left? We can waste our breath in worries or we can accept joy in our life. The one who accepts it will understand and fulfill their life.

— Prem Rawat