Seeing Maaike Snel of the Netherlands, who is very faithful in carrying out her seva duties, Maharaj gives us a wonderful talk based on her good qualities:
I feel that faith and responsibility are two separate things. The person who has both is very special. There can be faithful people who don’t do any good. Or there can be a person who is faithful and who also regards her duty as a great responsibility. That is a rare combination. When a person is carrying out her duty with faith, she becomes a great example. When such people are found, one can be sure that God’s full blessing is on them.
Ritual, doing just for show is a different thing. Some people may pretend that they are praying or whatever. But there are others who are so engrossed in their duty that they are oblivious to anyone else’s presence. They know, “God is aware of what I am doing.” You can spend a thousand years acting in a make-believe way for show, but you will not get any blessings from God. Often people make claims publicly—that they get up at 2 a.m. to worship, for instance. But from a sensitive point of view, love is something that you hide. Those who make it known are not in love.
True love is such that it affects your thoughts, your mind, your entire being, your body. Why? Truly, love has no eyes, no ears, no tongue. Love has no goal. There is no goal except love. You have lost your self-consciousness when you are so deeply in love.
When gyan (enlightenment) comes, how can you speak of it? Even a second of that love cannot be expressed. That is what the enlightened ones have been talking about. It happens within a fraction of a second. Then you know everything. You know that He is pervading everywhere and has authority over everyone.
One may have read a lot of books, but no one has been able to describe what love really is. It cannot be expressed in words. When you have this experience, you will say, “I am as if mad. I don’t know what is happening.” But you will also say, “I am not crazy. It is my Lord who has made me crazy with love.” That experience of gyan can only be reached when you lose consciousness of yourself. One’s mind becomes like the mind of a child.
For example, a lot of maggots were crawling out of the wound of Mansur, the Sufi saint. He said to them, “Why are you leaving your house? I am not throwing you out.” Otherwise, a person would destroy them. But Mansur felt that he had made some mistake, for he could see God even in those maggots.
Many people went to idols to do puja, but Mirabai [an Indian princess] would actually talk to the idol, thinking it was Krishna himself. When her jealous in-law gave her a bowl of poison, even in that she saw Krishna, so she drank it and started dancing in ecstasy, singing, “No one except You will understand my state, my anguish.” The statue no longer remained a piece of stone. He asked her, “What do you want?” She said, “You know fully well that it is my desire to merge in You.” Eventually they found only her prayer beads; her body was not there. For thousands of years people had been worshipping Krishna, but that had never happened.
When Bhagat Nam Dev offered milk to a statue he was worshipping, the statue put out his hand and drank it. Similarly, when Ramakrishna offered milk to a statue of the Goddess, she accepted it with her hand, because he really believed that the Mother was sitting there herself.
This is different from worshipping as a ritual or a show—there is little love in that. When love comes, one cannot speak of that inner attraction. Most people are engaged in ritualism, which has nothing to do with love. If you are in love, it doesn’t matter how you are sitting. Jesus said, “Love God in private where no one can see you. God knows and sees.” God’s Light, God’s blessing will pick up that person and will not leave him hidden. He will be shown to the whole world: “Those who love Me, reach Me.”