(Continued from Part 3 and 4)…
A description is simple, for these five types of relationships! The first kind of relationship is called‘Shanta’. Shanta means calm and detached. So that’s one way of relating to God. The example that is often given is ~ from the ancient Vedic sages, the great Rishis who inspired, to whom the Vedic wisdom was revealed. They were intensely connected with that reality. You see them, always in a state of calmness! In fact, many times, the Sanskrit word for the sages is ‘Muni’. ‘Muni’ means the silent one. So, they had this intense love for God. Some of the relationships are like that. We can see that among human beings and animals, it can be in any form and different ways, the intense love, but it’s kind of a calm and serene way. There is not much way of externally expressing it. So that’s called ‘Shanta Bhava’.
The second kind of relationship described in books is called ‘Dasya’. ‘Dasya’ means a service-oriented relationship, looking upon God, as the master and looking upon oneself, as the servant of God. You find that in the lives of any saints and mystics, “I am just a servant of God, Whatever I am doing, God is the Master of this universe.” That’s why sometimes we see in books, we speak about the kingdom, God’s kingdom and God is the divine king. We are all subjects of that king.
A third relationship with God is in Sanskrit, called ‘Sakha’. ‘Sakha’ means relationship or friendship. The classical example that often is given is the relationship between Krishna and Arjuna in the Gita. They were cousins but what was more dominant in their relationship, was that, they were very close friends. You can see, those of you have studied the Gita, in the 11th Chapter of the Gita, when we see that cosmic form of Krishna was revealed to Arjuna. And he is terrified and in fact we find him saying, “Please forgive me of all this faith, I just saw you as my own friend. But you seem to be someone much too big for me and way beyond even my imagination, my comprehension!”
So sometimes you can see that revelations, the form of relationship we may have with God can change, can be questioned, can undergo modifications. If you see God in one way today, now, that’s nice and great. But don’t think that would remain the permanent way. We don’t know, with different experiences in life, the way we connect with God, the way we relate with God; may change, and might evolve.
The next way of thinking God is called ‘Vatsalya’. That is maternal. So, we know in the lives of a few of the saints, they looked upon God as the baby. And you see that in, there are people who worship Krishna, as a child Krishna, or Rama as a child Rama. There are many temples and images dedicated to Krishna as a child.
Finally, looking upon God as one’s own ‘Beloved’. We see that in the life of, for instance, Radha and Krishna. So, all of these different ways, it is possible to think of God, to approach God. We see great saints, as enlightened beings have emerged, following one or the other, of these classical relationships. Although it must be stressed, this is not like you got to choose between these choices, there is no other choice. These are just five classical ways, the way it has been done. But every one of us has the freedom to think of God, to approach God, to relate with God, in a way that comes naturally to us and we do get connected instinctively?
In fact, it is said often that there is one kind of relationship, which encompasses, all of these five. And that is looking upon God, as Mother. If we look upon God as Mother then every one of us, becomes God’s child. So Sri Ramakrishna called this way of seeing God, as a ‘Saantanabhava’. Looking upon oneself as the child of God. In Ramakrishna’s life we see that was his dominant connection with God. Dominant way he related to God. He saw God as Mother, he saw himself, as the child of God.
To be continued…
“To be or not to be, with my Mother?”
➢ God Talks With Arjuna ~~ Bhagavad Gita ~ Sri Sri Paramahansa
➢ Autobiography of a Yogi: Sri Sri Paramahansa Yogananda
➢ Understanding Vedanta: Swami Tyagananda.
➢ Meditation & Vedanta: Swami Adiswarananda
➢ Freedom Of Voice: Swami Vivekananda
➢ Inner Voice . Reflection, as Guided By Divine Mother Through Robbin Ghosh