Read Summary of Gratitude
Men hail in my coming the Almighty's force Or praise with thankful tears his saviour Grace. (Savitri) 
- 1 What Is Gratitude?
- 2 Why is Gratitude Needed?
- 3 How is Gratitude Awakened?
- 4 How is Gratitude Expressed?
- 5 How to Express Gratitude to Sri Aurobindo?
- 6 Acceptance with Gratitude
- 7 What Prevents Gratitude?
- 8 References
What Is Gratitude?
A loving recognition of the Grace received from the Divine. A humble recognition of all that the Divine has done and is doing for you. The spontaneous feeling of obligation to the Divine, which makes you do your best to become less unworthy of what the Divine is doing for you. 
Gratitude Is One of the Five Psychological Perfections
...that to do the integral yoga one must first resolve to surrender entirely to the Divine, there is no other way, this is the way.But after that one must have the five psychological virtues, five psychological perfections, and we say that these perfections are: Sincerity or Transparency Faith or Trust (Trust in the Divine, naturally) Devotion or Gratitude Courage or Aspiration Endurance or Perseverance. 
Types of Gratitude
The gratitude that awakens in us all the details of the Divine Grace.
The whole being offers itself to the Lord in absolute trust.
We say: the capacity for enthusiasm, something which throws you out of your miserable and mean little ego; and the generous gratitude, the generosity of the gratitude which also flings itself in thanksgiving out of the little ego. These are the two most powerful levers to enter into contact with the Divine in one's psychic being. This serves as a link with the psychic being—the surest link. 
Gratitude of the Mind
The gratefulness of the mind for what makes it progress. 
Gratitude of the Vital
The Ananda you describe is evidently that of the inner vital when it is full of the psychic influence and floods with it the external vital also. It is the true Ananda and there is nothing in it of the old vital nature. When the psychic thus uses the vital to express itself, this kind of intense ecstasy is the natural form it takes. This intensity and the old vital excitement are two quite different things and must not be confused together. Where there is the intensity with a pure and full satisfaction, contentment and gratitude leaving no room for claim, demand or depressing reaction, that is the true vital movement. 
Gratitude of the Physical
In the physical the joy of being is the best expression of gratitude towards the Divine. 
Gratitude of the Psychic
Compassion and gratitude are essentially psychic virtues. They appear in the consciousness only when the psychic being takes part in active life. 
The ego thinks of what it wants and has not. This is its constant preoccupation. The soul is aware of what it is given and lives in endless gratitude.
As to gratitude, it is a psychic feeling and all that is psychic helps the soul to flower. There is nothing wrong from the spiritual point of view in emotion. The only thing is that it should not become a tie of bondage in the path. 
That [feeling the Mother's Presence, Love, Joy, Beauty] is one part of the psychic experience—the other is a complete self-giving, absence of demand, a prominence of the psychic being by which all that is false, wrong, egoistic, contrary to the Divine Truth, Divine Will, Divine Purity and Light is shown, falls away, cannot prevail in the nature. With all that the increase of the psychic qualities, gratitude, obedience, unselfishness, fidelity to the true perception, true impulse etc. that comes from the Mother or leads to the Mother. When this side grows, then the other, the Presence, Love, Joy, Beauty, can develop and be permanently there. 
Gratitude of Animals
Animals have an altogether rudimentary mind. They are not tormented by incessant thoughts like human beings. For example, they feel a spontaneous gratitude for an act of kindness towards them, whilst men, ninety-eight times out of a hundred, begin to reason and ask themselves what interest one could have in being good. This is one of the great miseries of mental activity. Animals are free from this and when you are kind to them they are grateful to you, spontaneously. And they have trust. So their love is made of that, and it turns into a very strong attachment, an irresistible need to be near you… The unselfish movement, uncalculating, is one of the most beautiful forms of psychic consciousness in the world. But the higher one rises in the scale of mental activity, the rarer it becomes. For with intelligence come all the skill and cleverness, and corruption, calculation. For instance, when a rose blossoms it does so spontaneously, for the joy of being beautiful, smelling sweet, expressing all its joy of living, and it does not calculate, it has nothing to gain out of it: it does so spontaneously, in the joy of being and living.
Why is Gratitude Needed?
The nobility of a being is measured by its capacity of gratitude.
Physically, materially, upon earth, it is in gratitude that one finds the source of the purest delight. 
For the Harmony of Life
Human intelligence is such that unless there is a contrast it does not understand. You know, I have received hundreds of letters from people thanking me because they had been saved; but it is very, very rarely that someone writes to thank me because nothing has happened, you understand! Let us take an accident, it is already the beginning of a disorder. Naturally when it is a public or collective accident, the atmosphere of each person has its part in the thing, and that depends on the proportion of defeatists and those who, on the contrary, are on the right side. I don't know if I have written this—it is written somewhere—but it is a very interesting thing. I am going to tell you... People are not aware of the workings of Grace except when there has been some danger, that is, when there has been the beginning of an accident or the accident has taken place and they have escaped it. Then they become aware. But never are they aware that if, for instance, a journey or anything whatever, passes without any accident, it is an infinitely higher Grace. That is, the harmony is established in such a way that nothing can happen. But that seems to them quite natural. When people are ill and get well quickly, they are full of gratitude; but never do they think of being grateful when they are well; and yet that is a much greater miracle! 
For Pointing Out Our Weakness
Therefore, if someone laughs at you, or says something which is not kind, the first thing to do is to look within yourself and see what is the weakness or imperfection which has allowed such a thing to happen, and not to be disconsolate or indignant or sad because people do not appreciate you for what you consider to be your proper value; on the contrary, you should thank the divine Grace for having pointed out to you the weakness or imperfection or deformation that you have to rectify. 
...four virtues are indispensable, without which progress is uncertain and subject to interruptions and troublesome falls at the first opportunity: Sincerity, faithfulness, modesty and gratitude. 
To be grateful, never to forget this wonderful grace of the supreme who leads each one to his divine goal by the shortest ways, in spite of himself, his ignorance and misunderstandings, in spite of the ego, its protests and its revolts. 
For Curing Egoism
There is no better cure for egoism than a happy gratefulness. 
Help During Unfavourable Times
Periods of obscuration are frequent and common; generally, it is enough to keep quiet without worrying, knowing that these are spiritual nights which alternate with the full light of the days. But to be able to remain in peace you must keep in your heart gratitude towards the Divine for all the help He gives. If gratitude also is veiled, the obscure periods last much longer. There is, however, a swift and effective remedy: it is to keep always burning in your heart the flame of purification, the aspiration for progress, the intensity, the ardour of consecration. This flame is kindled in the heart of all who are sincere; you must not let ingratitude cover it up with its ashes.
It is a great ignorance that makes a being answer to the suggestions of the forces of darkness and destruction. With a true sense of gratitude for the Divine's infinite mercy, one would be saved from such dangers.
It is only by giving ourselves entirely to the Divine in perfect trust and gratitude that the difficulties will be overcome. 
Be grateful for all ordeals, they are the shortest way to the Divine. 
When man becomes a little wiser, he will not complain about anything and will take the things the Divine sends him as a manifestation of His all-compassionate Grace. The more surrendered we are, the more we shall understand. The more grateful we are, the happier we shall be. 
For Deepening Devotion
But there is another movement which should constantly accompany devotion.... That kind of sense of gratitude that the Divine exists; that feeling of a marvelling thankfulness which truly fills you with a sublime joy at the fact that the Divine exists, that there is something in the universe which is the Divine, that it is not just the monstrosity we see, that there is the Divine, the Divine exists. And each time that the least thing puts you either directly or indirectly in contact with this sublime Reality of divine existence, the heart is filled with so intense, so marvellous a joy, such a gratitude as of all things has the most delightful taste. 
So I find that devotion without gratitude is quite incomplete, gratitude must come with devotion. 
How is Gratitude Awakened?
...it is you who open all the closed doors and let the Grace which saves penetrate deeply. 
One may seek within oneself, one may remember, may observe; one must notice what is going on, one must pay attention, that's all. Sometimes, when one sees a generous act, hears of something exceptional, when one witnesses heroism or generosity or greatness of soul, meets someone who shows a special talent or acts in an exceptional and beautiful way, there is a kind of enthusiasm or admiration or gratitude which suddenly awakens in the being and opens the door to a state, a new state of consciousness, a light, a warmth, a joy one did not know before. That too is a way of catching the guiding thread. There are a thousand ways, one has only to be awake and to watch. 
There is nothing which gives you a joy equal to that of gratitude. One hears a bird sing, sees a lovely flower, looks at a little child, observes an act of generosity, reads a beautiful sentence, looks at the setting sun, no matter what, suddenly this comes upon you, this kind of emotion—indeed so deep, so intense—that the world manifests the Divine, that there is something behind the world which is the Divine. 
How is Gratitude Expressed?
And then there are those who have an innate faculty of gratitude, those who have an ardent need to respond, respond with warmth, devotion, joy, to something which they feel like a marvel hidden behind the whole of life, behind the tiniest little element, the least little event of life, who feel this sovereign beauty or infinite Grace which is behind all things. 
Each morning when you get up, before you begin your day, with love and admiration and gratefulness hail this great family, these saviours of mankind who, ever the same, have come, come and will come until the end of time, as guides and instructors, as humble and marvellous servants of their brothers, in order to help them to scale the steep slope of perfection. Thus when you wake up, concentrate on them your thought full of trust and gratitude and you will soon experience the beneficial effects of this concentration. You will feel their presence responding to your call, you will be surrounded, imbued with their light and love. Then the daily effort to understand a little better, to love a little more, to serve more, will be more fruitful and easier at the same time. The help you give to others will become more effective and your heart will be filled with an unwavering joy. 
You may pray in order to ask for something, you may also pray to thank the Divine for what He has given you, and that prayer is much greater: it may be called an act of thanksgiving. You may pray in gratitude for the aspect of kindness the Divine has shown to you, for what He has done for you, for what you see in Him, and the praise you want to offer Him. And all this may take the form of a prayer. It is decidedly the highest prayer, for it is not exclusively preoccupied with oneself, it is not an egoistic prayer. 
By Being Happy
The best way to express one‘s gratitude to the Divine is to feel simply happy. There is no better way to show one‘s gratefulness to the Divine than to be quietly happy. Always joyfully accept what is given you by the Divine. To accept gladly what I give is never selfish. 
By Overcoming Egoism
The best thing we can do to express our gratitude is to overcome all egoism in ourselves and make a constant effort towards this transformation. Human egoism refuses to abdicate on the grounds that others are not transformed. But that is the stronghold of bad will, for each one's duty is to transform himself regardless of what others may do. 
By Identifying with the Divine
What is the best way of expressing one's gratitude towards man and towards the Divine?
Why do you put man and the Divine together? It is true that man is essentially divine, but at present, apart from a few very rare exceptions, man is quite unconscious of the Divine he carries within him; and it is just this unconsciousness which constitutes the falsehood of the material world. I have already written to you that our gratitude should go to the Divine and that as for men what is required is an attitude of goodwill, understanding and mutual help. To feel deeply, intensely and constantly a total gratitude towards the Divine is the best way to be happy and peaceful. And the only true way of expressing one’s gratitude to the Divine is to identify with Him.
By the Psychic Push
It is only when the psychic consciousness is all-powerful in the being that compassion for all that needs help, in whatever domain, and gratitude for all that manifests the divine presence and grace, in whatever form, are expressed in all their original and luminous purity, without mixing compassion with any trace of condescension or gratitude with any sense of inferiority. 
Do what I explained to you yesterday—make your brain work by studying regularly and systematically; then during the hours when you are not studying, your brain, having worked enough, will be able to rest and it will be possible for you to concentrate in the depths of your heart and find there the psychic source; with it you will become conscious of both gratitude and true happiness. 
Every moment and every movement of our being is to be resolved into a continuous and a devoted self-giving to the Eternal. All our actions, not less the smallest and most ordinary and trifling than the greatest and most uncommon and noble, must be performed as consecrated acts. Our individualised nature must live in the single consciousness of an inner and outer movement dedicated to Something that is beyond us and greater than our ego. No matter what the gift or to whom it is presented by us, there must be a consciousness in the act that we are presenting it to the one divine Being in all beings. Our commonest or most grossly material actions must assume this sublimated character; when we eat, we should be conscious that we are giving our food to that Presence in us; it must be a sacred offering in a temple and the sense of a mere physical need or self-gratification must pass away from us. In any great labour, in any high discipline, in any difficult or noble enterprise, whether undertaken for ourselves, for others or for the race, it will no longer be possible to stop short at the idea of the race, of ourselves or of others. The thing we are doing must be consciously offered as a sacrifice of works, not to these, but either through them or directly to the One Godhead; the Divine Inhabitant who was hidden by these figures must be no longer hidden but ever present to our soul, our mind, our sense. The workings and results of our acts must be put in the hands of that One in the feeling that that Presence is the Infinite and Most High by whom alone our labour and our aspiration are possible. For in his being all takes place; for him all labour and aspiration are taken from us by Nature and offered on his altar. Even in those things in which Nature is herself very plainly the worker and we only the witnesses of her working and its containers and supporters, there should be the same constant memory and insistent consciousness of a work and of its divine Master. Our very inspiration and respiration, our very heart-beats can and must be made conscious in us as the living rhythm of the universal sacrifice. 
As soon as we think of the result we begin to bargain and that takes away all sincerity from the effort. You make an effort to progress because you feel within you the need, the imperative need to make an effort and progress; and this effort is the gift you offer to the Divine Consciousness in you, the Divine Consciousness in the Universe, it is your way of expressing your gratitude, offering your self; and whether this results in progress or not is of no importance. You will progress when it is decided that the time has come to progress and not because you desire it. 
Absolute Trust in the Divine Grace
One must have a great purity and a great intensity in one's self-giving, and that absolute trust in the supreme wisdom of the divine Grace, that It knows better than we do what is good for us, and all that. Then if one offers one's aspiration to It, truly gives it with enough intensity, the results are marvellous. But one must know how to see them, for when things are realised most people find it absolutely natural, they don't even see why and how it has happened, and they tell themselves, "Yes, naturally it had to be like that." So they lose the joy of... the joy of gratitude, because, in the last analysis, if one can be filled with gratitude and thanksgiving for the divine Grace, it puts the finishing touch, and at each step one comes to see that things are exactly what they had to be and the best that could be.
What is the way to accept the Grace with gratitude?
Ah! First of all you must feel the need for it.
This is the most important point. It is to have a certain inner humility which makes you aware of your helplessness without the Grace, that truly, without it you are incomplete and powerless. This, to begin with, is the first thing.
It is an experience one can very well have. When, you see, even people who know nothing find themselves in quite difficult circumstances or facing a problem which must be solved or, as I just told you, an impulse which must be overcome or something that has disturbed them... and then they realise they are lost, they don't know what to do—neither their mind nor their will nor their feelings help—they don't know what to do, then it happen; there is within them something like a kind of call, a call to something which can do what one cannot. One aspires to something which is capable of doing what one can't do.
This is the first condition. And then, if you become aware that it is only the Grace which can do that, that the situation in which you find yourself, from there the Grace alone can pull you out, can give you the solution and the strength to come out of it, then, quite naturally an intense aspiration awakes in you, a consciousness which is translated into an opening. If you call, aspire, and if you hope to get an answer, you will quite naturally open yourself to the Grace.
And later—you must pay great attention to this (Mother puts her finger on her lips)—the Grace will answer you, the Grace will pull you out of the trouble, the Grace will give you the solution to your problem or will help you to get out of your difficulty. But once you are free from trouble and have come out of your difficulty, don't forget that it is the Grace which pulled you out, and don't think it is yourself. For this, indeed, is the important point. Most people, as soon as the difficulty has gone, say, "After all, I pulled myself out of the difficulty quite well."
There you are. And then you lock and bolt the door, you see, and you cannot receive anything any more. You need once again some acute anguish, some terrible difficulty for this kind of inner stupidity to give way, and for you to realise once more that you can do nothing. Because it is only when you grow aware that you are powerless that you begin to be just a little open and plastic. But so long as you think that what you do depends on your own skill and your own capacity, truly, not only do you close one door, but, you know, you close lots of doors one upon another, and bolt them. You shut yourself up in a fortress and nothing can enter there. That is the great drawback: one forgets very quickly. Quite naturally one is satisfied with one's own capacity. 
The best possible way [to "repay" the Divine Grace] is to allow the Divine Grace to work in you, never to oppose it, never to be ungrateful and turn against it—but to follow it always to the goal of Light and Peace and unity and Ananda. 
How to Express Gratitude to Sri Aurobindo?
By Practicing His Teaching
To express our gratitude to Sri Aurobindo we can do nothing better than to be a living demonstration of his teaching. 
To understand his teaching better and try to put it into practice, is certainly the best way of showing our gratitude to him for all the light, knowledge and force which he has so generously brought to the earth. 
By Meditating on His Remembrance
This evening, instead of answering questions, I would like us to meditate on the remembrance of Sri Aurobindo, on the way to keep it alive in us and on the gratitude we owe him for all that he has done and is still doing in his ever luminous, living and active consciousness for this great realisation which he came not only to announce to the Earth but also to realise, and which he continues to realise. 
The Mother's Prayer of Gratitude to Sri Aurobindo
To Thee who hast been the material envelope of our Master, to Thee our infinite gratitude. Before Thee who hast done so much for us, who hast worked, struggled, suffered, hoped, endured so much, before Thee who hast willed all, attempted all, prepared, achieved all for us, before Thee we bow down and implore that we may never forget, even for a moment, all we owe to Thee. 
Acceptance with Gratitude
The… method is for those who have faith in a God, their God, and who have given themselves to him. They belong to him integrally; all the events of their lives are an expression of the divine will and they accept them not merely with calm submission but with gratitude, for they are convinced that whatever happens to them is always for their own good. They have a mystic trust in their God and in their personal relationship with him. They have made an absolute surrender of their will to his and feel his unvarying love and protection, wholly independent of the accidents of life and death. They have the constant experience of lying at the feet of their Beloved in an absolute self-surrender or of being cradled in his arms and enjoying a perfect security. There is no longer any room in their consciousness for fear, anxiety or torment; all that has been replaced by a calm and delightful bliss. 
Attitude of a Sadhaka
It is the fact that people who are grateful and cheerful and ready to go step by step, even by slow steps, if need be, do actually march faster and more surely than those who are impatient and in haste and at each step despair or murmur. 
The pure flame of gratefulness must always burn in our heart, warm, sweet and bright, to dissolve all egoism and all obscurity; the flame of gratefulness for the Supreme’s Grace who leads the sadhak to his goal - and the more he is grateful, recognises this action of the grace and is thankful for it, the shorter is the way.
If you can't as yet remember the Divine all the time you are working, it does not greatly matter. To remember and dedicate at the beginning and give thanks at the end ought to be enough for the present. Or at the most to remember too when there is a pause. 
Those who have the immense privilege of being here quiet and in safety must at least show their gratitude by discarding all petty quarrels and silly grievances. 
What Prevents Gratitude?
The unregenerate vital is not grateful for a benefit, it resents being under an obligation. So long as the benefit continues, it is effusive and says sweet things, as soon as it expects nothing more it turns round and bites the hand that fed it. Sometimes it does that even before, when it thinks it can do it without the benefactor knowing the origin of the slander, fault-finding or abuse... Most have this kind of experience, few escape it altogether. Of course, people with a developed psychic element are by nature grateful and do not behave in this way. 
A self-willed man cannot be grateful―because when he gets what he wants he gives all the credit for it to his own will, and when he gets what he does not want he resents it badly and throws all the blame on whomever he considers responsible, God, man or Nature.
I think that some element in me does not believe in the divine Grace: that is what prevents the gratitude...
At first I used to feel so much love for You, but now my love has become more selfish.
Yes, that is it; you began to bargain in your giving and that has dried up the source. If, however, you resolve not to demand anything in return for what you give, you will soon rediscover the incomparable joy of loving. 
Mother's Commentary on the Dhammapada
If one considers the life and action and heart of men as they are, one would have every right to be surprised at all the hatred, contempt, or at best, the indifference which are returned for this immensity of Love which the divine Grace pours upon the world, for this immensity of Love which acts upon the world at every second to lead it towards the divine delight and which finds so poor a response in the human heart. But people have compassion only for the wicked, the deficient, the misshapen, for the unsuccessful ones and the failures—truly it is an encouragement to wickedness and failure.
If one thought a little more of this aspect of the problem, perhaps one would have less need to insist on the necessity of returning love for hatred, because if the human heart responded in all sincerity to the Love that is being poured into it with the spontaneous gratitude of a love which understands and appreciates, then things would change quickly in the world. [Based on the verse: For, in truth, in this world hatred is not appeased by hatred; hatred is appeased by love alone. This is the eternal law.] 
Now I know why the darkness always returns to you, even after I have driven it away. It is because the sense of gratitude has not yet awakened in you. 
It is very difficult to keep up your gratitude; for a time it comes very strongly and again it goes back. The Divine can go on tolerating everything in spite of your ingratitude because He knows fully the how and why and wherefore of everything. He knows why you are doing a certain thing. He knows the full working and that is why He can tolerate it. 
Read Summary of Gratitude
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- The Mother, White Roses (Mother’s answers to Huta), p.35
- The Mother, White roses (Mother’s answers to Huta), 26 June 1964