WHEN SOMETHING IS DONE OUT OF LOVE
An example of the difference between acting out of love and acting in order to conform to others is what easily might happen at Baba's Tomb.
Passers-by on the road, seeing people from different countries coming here, become interested in this place. They walk up the Hill out of curiosity. They watch as each person bows down to the Tomb; they hear the prayers being performed and arti being sung. So they think that by coming here, they also must bow down. That it is the traditional thing to do out of respect for this sacred place. So they also go to Baba's Samadhi, also stand in a queue and also bow down.
Now the behaviour of the passers-by and the pilgrims is just the same, but there is a great difference in their acts. Those who love Baba bow down because of love, and those spectators who see people bowing down, though they do likewise, bow down out of respect to tradition.
Remember well, that when something is done out of love, it cannot be a tradition; it cannot be a ritual. But when something is done because it is the traditional thing to do, it is a ritual. The truth is that each heart is its own witness as to whether it acts out of love or not.
THE SPIRITUAL TRAINING PROGRAMME, 2nd ed, pp. 22-23
2005 © Avatar Meher Baba Perpetual Public Charitable Trust