Gratitude — The only legitimate function of mind

Acharya Prashant
4 min readNov 17, 2020

The following is an excerpt from a samvaad (dialogue) session with Acharya Prashant.

Question: I once heard you say, “A healthy man does not run away from the disease.” I have observed that after listening to this, I have become caring towards myself and for everyone else because now I have stopped running away from my disease. I am trying to be healthier. I have started taking steps to cure the disease in me. Thank you!

Acharya Prashant (AP): See, even this, ‘thank you’ should not come with a reason. Even the ‘thank you’ should not be objective, because you never know what to thank for. And you never know that what you are thanking somebody for, will actually turn out to be what. A ‘thank you’ directed towards heaven is sufficient. “Thank you.” For what? “I don’t know.” “Thank you.” To whom? “I don’t know.” A general sense of gratitude.

We had begun today’s session talking about attention. We may as well say that attention is gratitude. Attention is gratitude! A general sense of well-being. ‘It’s alright’. Even in the middle of the deepest chaos, you say, “It’s alright.” Even in the middle of the deepest pain, you say, “It’s alright. It’s just alright.” That is attention. That is gratitude.

Today you are acting in one particular way, tomorrow you may act in another way. Still say, “Thank you.” Today you are finding that the situations are showing up in one way, tomorrow they may reveal another face. Still say, “Thank You.” Our ‘thank yous’ must not be dependent on the turn of events. In fact, if there is any legitimate function of the mind, it is to thank again and again, and nothing else. It is to live in gratitude. And that is all!

Do not try to imagine this mind. Do not try to capture an image of this mind, that this mind is a laid-back mind, or it is a smiling mind. This sense of ‘thank you’ goes very-very far. What it can do to life, is unthinkable! This man who is grateful is unstoppable in whatever he does.

Let your sense of gratitude not arise from a particular situation. Once you have tasted it, let it go deeper and deeper. The mind will resist initially, but then it will learn. The mind has just been spoiled a little, but that is the game of life- being spoiled. The mind has played a particular part in…