Sri Ramakrishna would emphasize that true devotion is a matter of experience and feeling and it does not depend upon one’s intellectual abilities and knowledge.  To illustrate this idea, he narrated this incident from the life of Sri Chaitanya.

It seems Sri Gouranga Mahaprabhu was on a pilgrimage to South India.  In the temple of Lord Vishnu at Srirangam he came across a person who was sitting in the prayer hall.  He was holding the Gita upside down, but seemed to be in an ecstatic mood and tears were flowing from his eyes.  Sri Chaitanya became curious and asked him whether he understood the meaning of Gita.  The devotee replied that he was illiterate and ignorant as opined by the Pandits of the place who often ridiculed and rebuked him.  With a feeling of wonder Sri Chaitanya asked him why he was shedding tears.  The man replied that although he did not know or understand a word of Gita, he had heard that Gita was nothing but Lord Krishna’s instructions to Arjuna in the battle of Kurukshetra.  He added that the moment he took the book in his hands, he could see with his inner eye the enchanting form of Sri Krishna seated on the driver’s seat of the chariot carrying Arjuna and the Lord giving a wonderful discourse containing many sublime truths.  This filled his heart with ecstasy and he was shedding tears of joy and love.  Sri Chaitanya told him that he alone was the true devotee of the Lord and his knowledge was the highest.  Because of his pure love for the Lord, he could realize him quite easily.

Mere knowledge of the Shastras obtained through dry intellect cannot take one far in the path of devotion.  Unless the river of pure love flows in the heart, it is not possible to have the vision of God.

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