You will find in your chanting, in your expression of devotion, that as soon as it becomes emotional, as soon as your heart begins to get excited with your feeling of longing for God, that you somehow fall a bit from the purity of that feeling. It’s as if you had introduced a kind of human consciousness into something that was pure.

We need to love God in such a way that there isn’t personal desire involved. If it’s an emotional kind of devotion, you feel drained afterwards. You get into a dry period and wonder why it should happen. But if you take the love that you feel and you surrender it to God, if you relax completely and give it to Him, then you will find that it can keep on growing.

In a way, you must feel that it’s God loving Himself through you. We must understand our devotion as something that isn’t even our own to give in the first place. But in another way, it is ours because it’s our own nature.

You will find that if you can take your devotion within when the heart is calm, that your love becomes so strong, and your joy becomes so strong, that your heart can’t contain it. You begin to feel as if the whole world is a part of your love, is a part of your joy.

Feel the love of other people in your love. Feel the joy of other people in your joy. Feel that your joy is making the sun shine. It’s true. You are a part of the Infinite. But try to feel calmness within and then, with that calmness, reflect God’s love. You must, if you want to know Him, have that kind of love.

From a 1976 talk at Ananda Village.

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