A mother was beating her child, and there were painful screams. Later when we came back she was caressing the child, hugging as though she would squeeze the life out of it. She had tears in her eyes. The child was rather bewildered, but was smiling up at the mother. Love is a strange thing, and how easily we lose the warm flame of it! The flame is lost, and the smoke remains.
The smoke fills our hearts and minds, and our days are spent in tears and bitterness. We never know how to keep the flame clear of smoke, and the smoke always smothers the flame. But love is not of the mind, it is not in the net of thought, it cannot be sought out, cultivated, cherished; it is there when the mind is silent and the heart is empty of the things of the mind.
What do you mean by devotion? ‘Love of the highest; the offering of a flower before the image, the symbol of God. Devotion is complete absorption, it is a love that excels the love of the flesh. I have sat, for many hours at a time, completely lost in the love of God. In that state I am nothing and I know nothing. In that state all life is a unity, the sweeper and the king are one. It is a wondrous state.’
You spend several hours a day in what you call the love, the contemplation of God. Is that devotion?
The man who gives his life to social betterment is devoted to his work; and the general, whose job is to plan destruction, is also devoted to his work. Is that devotion?
Your devotion is the love of yourself covered over by the chant of your mind. The picture is yourself, it is the reflection of your mind.