The following is an excerpt from a samvaad (dialogue) session with Acharya Prashant.
Question (Q): Acharya Ji, how are Gratitude and Love connected with each other?
Acharya Prashant (AP):
Love is the urge to move towards That.
Gratitude is the lightness you keep experiencing as you move towards That.
Love is what brings Sudama to Krishna.
Gratitude is what Sudama feels as he keeps coming closer to Krishna, and as he returns after meeting Krishna.
Out of these, obviously Love will come first.
You love Him, you move close to Him.
He showers his bounties on you, Gratitude arises.
But obviously Love cannot be in expectation of bounties.
And that also explains Gratitude.
Gratitude says, “I did not even want it or dream of it, and I am still receiving it. How fascinating! I don’t even deserve it, and yet I am being blessed with it.”
Q: Acharya Ji, how to show Gratitude?
AP: You distribute it.
Gratitude is the realisation that you have something beyond your capacity, beyond your eligibility.
Once you are grateful, you stop measuring others on the eligibility scale. Just as you received something irrespective of your eligibility, similarly you start distributing it to others irrespective of their eligibility.
Q: Why are there so many forms of God as Krishna, Ram, or Shiva?
AP: Because you are so many. Even sitting here, I have to speak in two languages. You are so many, that different words, different names are needed. And if there are eight hundred crore of you currently alive, then how many names and how many definitions and forms will be needed?
God is one, but you are many. Therefore Gods are many.
Q: So, there is no difference between…
AP: For you there is a lot of difference.
Q: Yes they were different for me. Now, should I try to understand the commonality and singularity that all of them represent?