Love is freedom, but not total. If love becomes devotion, then it becomes total freedom. It means surrendering yourself completely.

Take Ramakrishna… If you look at Ramakrishna you will think that he is just a slave to the goddess Kali, to Mother Kali. He cannot do anything without her permission; he is just like a salve. But no one was more free than him. When he was appointed for the first time as priest in Dakshineshwar, at the temple, he started behaving strangely. The committee, the trustees gathered, and they said, “Throw this man out. He is behaving undevotionally.” This happened because first he would smell a flower and then the flower would be put at the feet of the goddess. That is against the ritual. A smelled flower cannot be offered to the divine – it has become impure.

First he would taste the food which was made for the offering, and then he would offer it. And he was the priest so the trustees asked him, “What are you doing? This cannot be allowed.” He said, “Then I will leave this post. I will move out of the temple, but I cannot offer food to my Mother without tasting it. My mother used to taste…whenever she would prepare something, she would taste it first and then only would she give it to me. And I cannot offer a flower without smelling it first. So I can go out, and you cannot stop me, you cannot prevent me. I will go on offering it anywhere, because my Mother is everywhere; she is not confined in your temple. So wherever I will be, I will be doing the same thing.”

It happened that someone, some Mohammedan, told him, “If your Mother is everywhere, then why not come to mosque?” He said, “Okay, I am coming.” He remained there for six months. He forgot Dakshineshwar completely; he was in a mosque. Then his friend said, “Now you can go back.” He said, “She is everywhere.” So one may think that Ramakrishna is a slave, but his devotion is such that now the beloved is everywhere.

If you are nowhere, the beloved will be everywhere. If you are somewhere, then the beloved will be nowhere.

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