When we pray to God, "Do not give me freedom", we are actually telling God, "I want to remain bound —- bound inside Your Heart or bound at Your Feet."1A few weeks ago, I composed a particular song in English. The words are:
Give me no freedom!
Give me no freedom!
My Lord Supreme,
If you really love me,
Then give me no freedom,
Even for a fleeting moment.
During our Christmas trip, I would like all of you to stand up and sing this song twice every morning. It will give me tremendous joy, because if we pray to God not to give us freedom, and if we sincerely mean it, then our progress is bound to be very, very, very fast.
When we pray to God for freedom, God says, "Take it." Then immediately we enter into the jaws of a roaring lion. But when we pray to God, "Do not give me freedom", we are actually telling God, "I want to remain bound —- bound inside Your Heart or bound at Your Feet."
If we are at the Feet of God or inside His Heart, then we can never misuse freedom. To be guided by God's Will all the time is the greatest freedom. Freedom means joy. What else is freedom, if not the purest joy? This joy we can get only at the Feet of God or inside the Heart of God.
Seekers who want to run faster than the fastest approach God through devotion or through love. Seekers who choose the devotional aspect ask God to allow them to sit at His Feet. Seekers who choose the love aspect want to remain always inside the Heart of God. The others also love God, but their feeling is that God's Feet give more protection than His Heart.
Outwardly, it may seem puzzling. If somebody is inside the Heart of God, is he not well-protected? Inside the Heart of God, we are safe, true, but there we may not be able to taste the Sweetness of God. That is why seekers who choose the devotional aspect always like to be in front of God. They get more joy by touching the Feet of God than by living inside the Heart of God. They feel that it is sweeter.
Sri Ramakrishna and some other spiritual Masters of the highest order used to say, "If I am inside You, then I become You. I do not want to become You; I want to taste You."
Let us say the ocean of nectar is right in front of you. You can be inside the ocean and lose your identity. I always say that when a little drop enters into the ocean, it becomes the ocean itself. That is one way. The other way, the devotional aspect, is when a seeker says, "God, I do not want to become You; I want to enjoy You. Please stay right in front of me, and I will remain at Your Feet so that every day, at every moment, I can taste, I can devour, Your Sweetness, Compassion and Love."
So those who take the side of devotion say, "I want to taste You at every moment. You are so sweet. I will be at Your Feet." And those who take the side of love say, "I have suffered enough, enough, enough. Now I do not want to have my own personality. I want to be as vast as You are. I want to become what You are."
We cannot say that one aspect is better than the other aspect. It is a matter of individual choice. At the last moment, God Himself says, "Either you can merge into the Nectar-Ocean, or you can enjoy it drop by drop. If you want to have Me totally, what I have and what I am, then take it. But if you get more joy by worshipping Me all the time, then you can be at My Feet."
In the love aspect, the lover and the Beloved want to become one. In the devotion aspect, the seeker is like a slave, not an ordinary slave, but a divine slave. He wants to be at God's Feet and worship Him all the time.
So these are two different approaches. It depends on the seekers, at the last moment, when they have realised God, to decide what they want to do. Both the love aspect and the devotion aspect have one source: wisdom. But the individual seeker or God-realised person at the last moment has to make the choice between them.
Some spiritual Masters in India wanted only devotion, devotion, devotion. Sri Ramakrishna is one of those and also Sri Chaitanya. Again, there are others such as Ramana Maharshi and a few more who have chosen the love aspect. So you have to choose. For you perhaps it will take a little time before you have to make the choice!
SCA 1234. Sri Chinmoy offered these comments in Sanya, China, on 26 November 2004.↩