Devotees would often complain to Sri Ramakrishna that in spite of their efforts they seem to make no progress in spiritual life.
They would also say that even if there is love for God in their hearts, how do they understand that God loves them. Sri Ramakrishna would say that God is a slave of pure love. He does not look for any splendour or pomp or glory.
He is satisfied with the least of offerings and it is very easy to please Him. That is why in the Gita it is said:
पत्रं पुष्पं फलं तोयं यो मे भक्त्या प्रयच्छति।
तदहं भक्त्युपहृतमश्नामि प्रयतात्मनः।।
Patram puspam phalam toyam yo me bhaktya prayacchati.
Tad aham bhakty-upahrtam asnami prayatatmanah
Whoever with devotion offers Me a leaf, a flower, a fruit, or water, that I accept — the devout gift of the pure-minded. (Gita 9.26)
Sri Ramakrishna would also give a beautiful example from daily life. He would say that when a cow is fed with fodder, it takes quite some time to consume it. It does not find much taste or delight in consuming normal fodder. But if a little oil-cake is mixed with the fodder, the cow consumes it very quickly and in no time. In the same way, whatever a devotee offers to God it may all be of very ordinary nature. His spiritual practices, his rituals and his offerings and all that is connected with his devotional practices may be very ordinary when looked at from the spiritual point of view. But if there are even traces of pure love for God in the heart of the devotee, He feels tremendous attraction for such devotes and accepts all that they offer. Very soon such devotees become very dear to God.
Just as a mixture of a small quantity of oil-cake completely converts ordinary fodder into something very tasty for the cow, in the same way the mix of true devotion or love for God makes devotional practices extremely attractive to God. Such devotees progress fast in spiritual life.
-by Swami Shantatmananda, Sunday Guardian, 2nd May 2015