November 23, 1972 — Disneyland Hotel Anaheim, Thanksgiving Day 1972
This is thanksgiving day for all — each one of us personally should stand up and thank Him, you see. Not only this moment, but throughout the day, every day, every moment of life. He has given us the man body; that is the greatest reason for Thanksgiving Day, because there are hundreds of other bodies in which we can do nothing. Man body is the golden opportunity which has been afforded us in which we can go back Home. Is it not the greatest Thanksgiving Day?
Guru Arjan says that we should be giving thanks every moment of life: When you eat, thank God! When you have got a home to live in, thank God — compare with others who are on the roadsides. If you are rich, thank God — just compare with others who cannot afford to have a morsel of food. When you are hungry, thank God. When you have got good things to think of throughout your future life or about God, thank God — there are many others who do not believe in Him.
So how Thanksgiving Day started, that is the history before us; but that’s not the only thing, you see. Be thankful every moment. Kabir says, Every breath we take, we should thank Him. Every breath of life is worth three planes of the whole universe the macrocosm. So we must give thanks, you see.
Once the earth was asked (in a parable way, you see), “You have got mountains, you have got rivers, you have got trees, you have got animals,you have got men — so many burdens on you. How can you bear it?” And the earth replied, “That is no burden to me.” They asked him, “What is it that is burdensome to you?” He said, “Well, when any man who is ungrateful walks on me, I cannot bear the burden.“
We should be thankful to God for everything we have been given and at every moment, not only on this day. That is just an historical event. It is good that they had some land to live on, and had their crops. You know, every day crops are going on. Have they stopped? They are more magnificent than before. So we should be more thankful. And the greatest thing for which we should be thankful is that He has given us the man body, in which we can go back Home.
So for every work we do, for anything we live in, drink, associate with, we should thank God, we should be always thanking Him. Man can be thankful when? When he is conscious of a Higher Power working. Are you conscious? Then your thanks should go to Him. Otherwise you should give thanks to Him that you have been put on the Way, you have got something to start with, some Power to look after you, to finish off your give and take and wind up all your karmas by bringing you into contact with the God into Expression Power. There are many things to thank Him for — not just the crops at the time they found land. Have more thanks now — there are hundreds of crops growing, fruit trees growing, other things — so many things . . . We should be more thankful from day to day so here somebody has left something for me . . . [Master reads a note.]
What can you people give to me? Give thanks to God, not to me. If I have come to you, it is His Grace. Praise should go to Him. If you think you have got a little good from me, that is through the Grace of God. And if you still want to give me some thanks — not forgetting God — then I think that thanks can be acceptable if you simply live up to the commandments. That is all. That is the most thanksgiving. Then it is you who are benefiting — by living up to the commandments. Christ said, If ye love me, keep my commandments. Have a chaste life; have a good moral way of living. Love all. No schism — where your heart feels something, your mouth speaks something else, your brain thinks something else — that is no thanksgiving.
We should be thankful for the rest of whatever days are fixed for us. That is Thanksgiving Day. We should thank God for everything. Now you have been put on the way; how will you give more thanks? By living up to it, or by leaving off?
So it is very kind of you [referring to the note] but all these thanks go to Him. On my 75th birthday, there was a Diamond Jubilee; men of all religions of India and also men from outside India were there, and they spoke very highly, of course. When a man is in a lecture room, he gives tall talks; you may be due all that or may not be due all that. So they all gave lectures, high comments. When I stood up, I told them, “Well, dear friends, you have been hearing all these talks from these different friends of mine. Truly speaking, I am not worthy of all that they have said; I have been passing on all these things to my Master.” You see, it was His Grace. So it is all the Grace of God or the Master through whom you got this Way.
So from this day onward, be grateful for everything. You have got something, — maybe not one hundred per cent. Maybe one per cent you have got it; but what do you do? For one thing which we have not got, we forget to be thankful for all the other things which we have is it not’? Go and ask anybody, — “Oh, this thing I have not got.” But what about the others which we have? The sheep which bleats, the more morsels go out of its mouth. Be thankful for what you have got. And expect more. When you are not thankful for what you have got, for one thing only you are ungrateful to God, always complaining — “God has not given me this thing, God has not given me that thing” — does it include Thanksgiving Day? Tell me.
So whatever we get as a reaction of our past, be thankful. The greatest thing for which to be thankful is that you have got the man body. And further, the greatest day of thanksgiving is that day when you are put on the way back to God. That is His Grace. So we wish, “Peace be unto all the world over — here, there and everywhere.” From this day onward, I think you will try to put in more time to go back Home; the sooner you reach there, the better — is it not? Before it gets dark — when you will be able to do nothing. Christ also said, I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day; the night cometh, when no man can work. Night comes when? When you leave the body. It is day time when you are alive — is it not?
So we should learn to be thankful to God for everything. Sometimes unwanted things do come up. But they are the reactions of our own doings, you see. We should be thankful we are paying off these things. So I wish I may also be — and you, each one of you — thankful to God for everything we have got. When something is wanting, everybody becomes irked. Nobody is all grateful. He says, “This thing is not given.” He never thinks of giving thanks to God for what he has got already. If he has got ten things, and one thing he has not got, all he can say is “I have not got this thing.“
This is Thanksgiving Day. The greatest lesson you have learned is to be thankful for what you get. It is the best we can hope for. He is our Father. He makes the arrangements to wind up all our actions — to wind up all our actions. Should we not be grateful — that we are paying off all debts in this earthly life and going back Home?
So this is what I want to say to each one of you. Anyone else want to come up to say thanks? Thanks come from the heart, not from the mouth, mind that. When the heart is thankful, then the same things come up through the mouth. The mouth should only give what is in your heart. He sees our hearts, not the outward expression. So from this day onward we should learn this lesson of gratefulness, thankfulness if we have not been doing it in the past, then now we must change, is it not?
[At this point, the Master gave a meditation sitting to all present. Afterward, He continued with His talk:]
So this is Thanksgiving Day. Thank God that you have got the man body. This is the golden opportunity that has been given to us, because in the man body alone can we know God. God is all Light — all Consciousness. We are drops of the Ocean of All Consciousness. We are all Children of Light. So in the man body we have to come in contact with All Consciousness. We have to become more conscious — like Him. If we have got the man body, that is the greatest blessing we can have; but further, the greatest blessing — you might say say double or superlative blessing — is that you have been put on the Way. So you should know yourself and come in contact with All Consciousness so that you might become more conscious and go back to your true Home.
If we don’t contact our souls with God, Who is All Consciousness, if we just contact with the material things of the world, then naturally our consciousness will be lessened. If our consciousness is lessened, we will go to the level of bodies in which consciousness is comparatively less than man’s.
So he who has got the man body and does not come in contact with All Consciousness, well, that is playing with suicide, Masters say. It is suicide when you become less conscious. You are to become more conscious by coming in contact with God. The Masters say, Well, what is it? If we do not come in contact with God, we forget Him; even coming in contact with something else is to forget Him altogether. Well, it is a practical death, in the terminology of the Saints. Guru Nanak says,
Who is alive, O Nanak?
He who is conscious of God,
who sees God face to face as we see each other.
And those who do not see,
they are dead.
So we should be thankful that we have got the man body, which is the highest blessing. And further, we have been put on the Way. We must now do what? Keep the commandments. Remain as much as you can, as long as you can, with that All Consciousness so that your consciousness may become more and more like God. If you have not known God — if you have not found Him within your man body, which is the true temple of God — then all your actions: reading, eating, drinking, enjoying outside things, adorning your bodies, this and that — all that is just like men adorning dead bodies.
So they say, when you have got the man body, you see, the highest aim is to know God. There are two purposes of the man body: one is to wind up all actions and reactions and to pay off all debts coming from the past; and the further purpose is to know God — to love God. Love resides in every heart; we should love everybody. If we do not do that, then the Masters say that those who are animals, birds, reptiles, they are better than us, who have the man body in which we have not done anything. How can you have all this blessing? Only through coming in contact with a Saint or Godman, Word made flesh. When you come to him, he gives you a contact with the God into Expression Power; those who do not see, they begin to see. God is Light; God is Sound Principle. You see?
So the Masters say, you have got the man body: you must stand on your own legs, pay off all debts to those who are connected with you by the flowing pen of God, and also be of help to others. Otherwise, if you are doing any practices, any performances, any rituals, any customs, that is meant for preparation of the ground. And He for Whom you make all these preparations, if He does not turn up then what is your fate? So all these things are the elementary steps, you might say; the preparatory steps. Try to understand things: God is Light; we light a candle. God is Music of the Spheres; we ring a bell. These are the symbols of God — not seeing God. These are good actions, of course; they will give you good results because they are performed in the Name of God. But this doership is not gone. If the ego is there, Whatever you sow, so shall you reap. Good thoughts will bring you good results; bad thoughts will bring you bad results.And what is good and bad in the terminology of the Saints? Whatever actions bring you closer to God, they are good actions. Whatever actions take you away from God, they are bad actions. That is the definition given by the Saints. Sometimes you find that in one religion something is good and in another religion the same thing is not good. To sit in Sikh temples bareheaded is a sign of disrespect. But to sit bareheaded in churches is a sign of respect. So this definition is given by the Masters: whatever brings you closer to God, those are good actions; whatever takes you away from God, whether “good” or “bad,” is a bad action.
So in the man body we have had it. We work day and night, just like a man who is held up in conscription: he works from morning till night with nothing to be had in the evening. This is just what you do. So meet some Master and hear from him what great fortune you have. You have got the man body; still greater fortune awaits us if we come in contact with God in man or man in God. He gives you a contact with the God already within you. Your attention is now simply identified with the outside world so much so that we have forgotten. Unless you are withdrawn from outside and come to your own self, know your self, how can you know God? The first step is to know your self, the demonstration of which is given by a Master when you meet him. It comes only through the Saints.
So suchlike opportunity is afforded to us by God; we do not know. He whose eyes are closed, how can he know the man with eyes? So when the God within you sees that you are yearning for God, you cannot live without Him, then He makes some arrangement to bring you in contact with somewhere where He is manifest. He comes to you; you do not know Him, Who He is. But He affords us the opportunity: when we hear the talks, naturally we are dragged, attracted, and put on the Way.
So today is Thanksgiving Day. Give thanks to God. Ungratefulless is the most heinous crime that can ever be committed. Give thanks for what you have got. Generally, we simply say that this thing has not been given to us, and we don’t give thanks for the other things. So from today onward, if we learn this lesson — to be thankful to God for everything He has given us — it will be, I think, acceptable to God.
If you have got three, four or five children and they are all fighting — “I have not got this, I have not got that” (but all the other things they have got) — and one child is there, who says, “Father, thank you. You have given me these things,” whom do you think the Father would like? He does not want anything returned, but at least He wants that we should be thankful for what we get. We should not be ungrateful. So this is, I think, a great virtue which, if you adopt from today onward, you will advance like anything.