Sri Ramakrishna would often extol the power of love and how it could be used as an instrument for Sadhana. He would illustrate the idea using the following story.
Once a servant of a rich man came to his master’s house. He held his master in great esteem and hence was standing in a corner of the house with great reverence and humility. He was holding something in his hand which he had covered with a piece of cloth. The master enquired as to what he was holding in his hand. The servant brought out a small custard-apple from beneath the cloth and kept it humbly before the master stating that he would be much gratified if the master would accept it. The master was much pleased to see the loving devotion of the servant and accepted the offering although it was a trifling one. With great delight he exclaimed, “Ah! What a fine fruit is this! Where did you get it from?” The servant was also overjoyed seeing that the master had accepted his offering.
Sri Ramakrishna would explain that in the same way God looks into the heart of the devotee. Although He has infinite power, glory, wealth, etc, yet He is responsive to devotee’s love and devotion. God does not look at the quantity or worth of an offering which are measurable only by worldly standards. He looks at the sincerity and genuine love in the heart of the devotee. Thus it is very easy to please the Lord. That is why in the Bhagavad Gita it is said that even a humble offering such as a leaf, flower, fruit or water pleases the Lord and he accepts it if offered with devotion.