In the Hindu tradition, unlike in the Western one, the love of God is an intense feeling-experience of oneness with Him and its realization. The Hindu sages from the ancient times to the time of Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa have declared that ‘religion is not in doctrines, in dogmas, nor in intellectual argumentation; it is being and becoming, it is realization.’
When Narendranath (later Swami Vivekananda) asked Sri Ramakrishna, ‘Sir, have you seen God?’ Sri Ramakrishna’s reply was: ‘Yes, I have seen God. I see Him as I see you here, only more intensely. God can be seen. One can talk to Him. But who cares for God? People shed torrents of tears for their wives, children, wealth, and property, but who weeps for the vision of God? If one cries sincerely for God, one can surely see Him.
Cultivate intense yearning for God and you will certainly realize him. To illustrate this he would say: love God even as the mother loves her child, the chaste wife loves her husband and worldly man his wealth. Add together these three forces of love and these three powers of attraction and give it all to God, then you will certainly see him. Given below is description of his account of one such vision.
‘And then – I had a marvelous vision of the Mother, and fell down unconscious. … The Divine Mother revealed to me in the Kali Temple that it was She who had become everything. She showed me that everything was full of Consciousness. The Image was Consciousness, the altar was Consciousness, the water-vessels were Consciousness, the doorsill was Consciousness, the marble floor was Consciousness—all was Consciousness or an infinite shoreless sea of light. However far and in whatever direction I looked, I saw shining waves, one after another, coming toward me. They were raging and storming upon me with great speed. Very soon they were upon me; they made me sink down into unknown depths. I panted and struggled and lost consciousness.’
It was not clear from this account that he actually saw the form of Mother Kali. But it would seem that he did; because the first words that he uttered on coming to himself were ‘Mother, Mother!’