Today Swamiji answers a question about the types of relationships we can enjoy with deities:
Much of post-modern Western religion focuses on a “personal relationship” with a deity.
Within our tradition, Rama Krishna had a deeply personal relationship with many deities.
What is the path to having a relationship with your deity ?
Its is like the relationship with guru, and which is continuously at the forefront of consciousness even as we are engaged in “mundane” activities.
There are five kinds of relationships between devotees and God:
- A child of God
- A lover of God
- The Beloved of God
- The servant of God
- The Yogi – I am One with God!
This relationship is in constant motion between all the states, and it rarely stays the same for any lengthy period.
According to Ramakrishna, the safest one of these attitudes is the child of God, and the story is told of the Mother who, seeing an infant child in danger, rushes to protect her baby, but when she sees a grown child in a similar predicament, may feel the child is old enough to take care himself, and so leaves him to his own devices.
Certainly, when we are engaged in “mundane” activities, we want to remain a servant, and thereby become free from all fault.
Servants are only responsible to do what the Master directs.
But from time to time we become the lover of God, like Radha to Krishna; the Beloved of God, like Sita to Ram; the child of God, like the infant Krishna; or the Mother of God, like Yashoda to the child Krishna; the servant of God, like Lakshman to Ram; or the Yogi – I am One with God, like Lord Shiva.
We are empowered to enjoy each of these relationships.