Devotees would often lament before Sri Ramakrishna about their ability to concentrate their minds on God. They would say that in spite of their best efforts the mind is ever restless and runs in thousand directions. This has been an age old problem and even Arjuna asked the same question to Sri Krishna. Sri Ramakrishna would patiently hear them and give a clue as to how to concentrate using a beautiful example from real life. He would ask them whether they have seen the women of Northern India carrying water pitchers on their heads. Quite often these pitchers made of clay are quite big in size and filled with water to the brim. The women would be walking effortlessly with the pitchers on their heads, both hands free and talking leisurely with their companions. How could these women do it? They seem to be totally unaware of the load or burden on their heads. One reason is that by virtue of doing the same task diligently over a period of time they seem to have developed deep powers of concentration. But, that alone would not have been enough. The load on their head did not appear to weigh on their minds at all. They seem to carry it effortlessly. In the same way, when devotees try to practice spiritual disciplines, unless they become effortless or there is a certain degree of felicity of such practices, these disciplines would appear difficult and burdensome.
Unless one develops love for God, any attempt to realize Him would appear extremely difficult. So, to develop the powers of concentration, in other words to develop the capacity of mind to concentrate on spiritual disciplines, consistent and sustained practice is necessary. Further, the spiritual aspirant should love his object of adoration and there should be a certain element of spontaneity in such practices. Then and only then it would be possible to enjoy Sadhana and progress in spiritual life.