Gratefulness is always towards the outside, and gratefulness is always because deep down you wanted something directly or indirectly and it has been given to you. That's why you are grateful. Gratefulness simply means thankfulness. That will make it clear. You thank the person who has fulfilled a desire which was hidden in you whether you were aware of it or not. Something has been gratified; hence you feel a thankfulness.
Thankfulness is going to be outward. It may be thankfulness towards God which does not exist. It can be thankfulness towards a friend who exists. But thankfulness is a gratification of conscious or unconscious desire being fulfilled.
Gratitude is a totally different phenomenon, though not in the dictionaries. In the dictionaries gratefulness, thankfulness, gratitude — all are put into the same category. Existence is not according to your dictionaries. Gratitude has no outward object nor inward object. Gratitude is almost like a fragrance arising out of a flower. It is an experience not directed to anybody.
When you reach to the very source of your being where you are completely in the mood of spring, and the flowers are showering on you, you suddenly feel a gratitude not directed to anybody, just like a fragrance arising out of you, just as incense brings ripples of smoke and fragrance moving towards the un.known sky and disappearing
Gratitude arises out of you just like a fragrance, not as a thankfulness to anybody. It is the shadow, the by-product of your becoming the buddha. It is not a gratification of any desire. If you have any desires, conscious or unconscious, you cannot become a buddha. It is only when all desires have passed on, when you have transcended all desires and demands, that you become a buddha. And out of a buddha a fragrance radiates. That fragrance has many elements in it. It is gratitude, it is compassion, it is love, it is blissfulness, it is ecstasy — it is manifold, multidimensional.
God is Dead, Now Zen is the Only Living Truth, Chapter #4
wishing you love and joy now and always……………