Tuesday, June 12, 2018
God as Master and Friend
Dasya bhakti is love of God as the servant of God. To serve God and to carry out his wishes - realising his virtues, his nature, his mystery and his glory and considering oneself as a slave of the supreme master - this is dasya bhakti. Serving and worshipping the murtis (images) in the temples, sweeping the temples, meditating on God and serving Him like a slave (mentally), serving the saints and the sages, serving the devotees of God, serving the poor and the sick, is also included in dasya bhakti.
To follow the words of the scriptures, to act according to the injunctions of the vedas considering them to be direct words of God, is dasya bhakti. Association with and service of love intoxicated devotees and service of those who have knowledge of God, is dasya bhakti. The purpose of this is to be ever with God, in order to offer your services to him and win his divine grace and thereby attain immortality.
Arjuna prays with the sentiment of a servant and a disciple in order to get the grace of Lord Krishna: "O Lord, I am your disciple. I have taken refuge in you. Teach me." The aspirant should completely give himself up to God and should not retain any personal reservations. Ananya bhakti is total relinquishment of the self to God.
Sakhya bhava is the cultivation of the friend-sentiment with God. The Bhagavatam says: "Oh how wonderful is the fortune of the people of Vraja, of cowherd Nanda, whose dear friend is the perfect, eternal Brahman or absolute bliss."
To be always with the Lord, to treat him as one's own dear relative or friend, belonging to one's own family, to be in his company at all times, to love him as one's own self, is sakhya bhava of bhakti marga (the path of devotion). The devotee takes up with eagerness any work of the Lord, leaving aside even the most important and urgent and pressing personal work, and totally concerning himself with the love of the Lord. How do real friends love in this world? What an amount of love passes between them. Such love is developed for God - physical love is turned into spiritual love. There is a transformation of the mundane into the eternal.
It is a great pity that sakhi bhava (the attitude of God's beloved) is misunderstood. The jiva chaitanya (individual soul) is the real sakhi. Sakhi bhava is purely an internal state, not a mere external show. The individual soul is united with the supreme soul by self-surrender. The lover and the beloved become one. This is the acme of bhakti. This is the culminating point. Bhakti begins with two and ends with one.