Paramhansa Yogananda sang a Bengali chant that was translated into English as:
Oh devotee, I can give thee salvation,
but not My love and devotion;
for when I give those away, I give Myself away.
Ask of Me salvation, but not My love and devotion;
for when I give those away, I became poor, walking on your heart’s wave.
Swami Kriyananda explained the meaning of this chant in a talk that he gave:
“Divine Mother is very conscious of you, and especially of your soul’s needs. She will help you, but She will help you more if you ask from Her that which She really wants to give. Master [Yogananda] put it in a beautiful way when he sang a certain song in Bengali. Somehow he gave me the power to remember his words. I even remembered this song well enough so that ten years later when I went to India and learned Bengali, I realized that I had learned it exactly right.
“The song was, “Oh devotee, I can give you salvation, but don’t ask my love and devotion. If you ask for those, and if I give them away, I become poor because then I give myself away. So ask of me any gift, ask of me even salvation, but don’t ask me for my love.” Of course, the meaning is that Her love is what you really should ask for.
“Ask for love, ask for God’s love, ask for Divine Mother’s love. There’s nothing else worth praying for, even salvation. It’s not important whether you’re living in this world or in another world. Be in love with God.
“There’s a beautiful thing that St. Theresa of Lisieux said: “I want to go to hell because I want there to be at least one person in hell who loves God.” Have that longing for devotion. If you pray for anything, pray for devotion. If Master brought anything to us, above everything else, it was that love of God.”
- Devotion: Your Protection in Difficult Times by Swami Kriyananda