Five Ways To Give In The Relationship With God

[Krishna and Yashoda]“Generally, the bhakti-yogis are engaged in five different ways: 1) shanta-bhakta, engaged in devotional service in neutrality; 2) dasya-bhakta, engaged in devotional service as servant; 3) sakhya-bhakta, engaged as friend; 4) vatsalya-bhakta, engaged as parent; and 5) madhurya-bhakta, engaged as conjugal lover of the Supreme Lord. In any of these ways, the pure devotee is always constantly engaged in the transcendental loving service of the Supreme Lord and cannot forget the Supreme Lord, and so for him the Lord is easily attained.” (Shrila Prabhupada, Bhagavad-gita, 8.14 Purport)

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The recommendation from Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is to chant the names of Hari. Not only is a person supposed to hold on to the names of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, but the engagement should be continuous.

Like a waterfall or fountain. Like a river rushing in a certain direction. Like the steady sunlight over a given place. Like the tree that provides continuous shade over the area directly underneath it.

तृणाद् अपि सु-नीचेन
तरोर् इव सहिष्णुना
अमानिना मान-देन
कीर्तनीयः सदा हरिः

tṛṇād api su-nīcena
taror iva sahiṣṇunā
amāninā māna-dena
kīrtanīyaḥ sadā hariḥ

“One who thinks himself lower than the grass, who is more tolerant than a tree, and who does not expect personal honor yet is always prepared to give all respect to others can very easily always chant the holy name of the Lord.” (Chaitanya Charitamrita, Adi 17.31)

Upon hearing the recommendation, a person may ask what they stand to gain. What is the purpose? What will this practice produce? Is there a positive destination on the other side? How soon will the impact be made?

For the person who is already immersed in bhakti-yoga, well-situated and properly adjusted in consciousness, the question of gain is a little difficult to answer. This is because the thought process is reversed. There is no thought of gain. There is nothing to be extracted from the other side. Rather, the devotee only wants to give, in a mood befitting the relationship.

1. As a neutral observer

“God, you are so great. God, you are so amazing. As Hari, no one can be better at taking away. You are the most beautiful. You have those wonderful ornaments decorating your transcendental body, but these are not necessary. They increase in splendor due to association with you, who are the source of all effulgence, tejas.”

न तद् भासयते सूर्यो
न शशाङ्को न पावकः
यद् गत्वा न निवर्तन्ते
तद् धाम परमं मम

na tad bhāsayate sūryo
na śaśāṅko na pāvakaḥ
yad gatvā na nivartante
tad dhāma paramaṁ mama

“That abode of Mine is not illumined by the sun or moon, nor by electricity. One who reaches it never returns to this material world.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 15.6)

2. As a servant

“To wherever you command, I will go. However you want me to behave, I will follow. I certainly cannot live up to the standard of someone like Shri Hanuman. My skills do not compare to Arjuna, the great bow-warrior of the Pandava family. I am neither as reliable or as swift in flight as Garuda, who can travel from Vaikuntha.

[Hanuman holding Rama and Lakshmana]“But I will try my best. I will serve for one hundred years, if necessary. As Lakshmana agreed to take commands from your avatara of Shri Rama, in building the hut in Panchavati, so I will never reach an end in carrying out my work for your benefit.”

परवानस्मि काकुत्स्थ त्वयि वर्षशतं स्थिते |
स्वयं तु रुचिरे देशे क्रियतामिति मां वद ||

paravānasmi kākutstha tvayi varṣaśataṃ sthite |
svayaṃ tu rucire deśe kriyatāmiti māṃ vada ||

“O Rama, for as long as You shall stand before me, even if it be for one hundred years, I will always remain Your servant. Therefore You should be the one to choose a beautiful and appropriate place for the cottage. After You have selected a spot, please then command me to start building.” (Lakshmana speaking to Lord Rama, Valmiki Ramayana, Aranya Kand, 15.7)

3. As a friend

“Let’s go to the field today. We will have good fun playing. You won the last time, but today things will be different. I will turn the tables. You will have to admit inferiority in front of everyone. Actually, the outcome does not matter much. We are here for each other. There is no place I would rather be.”

4. As a parent

[Krishna and Yashoda]“You must eat something. I have prepared this offering just for you. I took into account the kinds of dishes you prefer. I am not so skilled in cooking, but I tried my best. If this dish is not up to your taste, I will try again. You cannot proceed hungry. How will you have enough strength to carry on, to stand tall in your duties on a given day?”

5. As a lover

This is the mood of Shrimati Radharani and the gopis of Vrindavana. They love Krishna no matter what. They desire only His association. While they are separated physically, the emotional attachment remains. They are willing to risk degradation of name and reputation within society, as long as Krishna is happy.

Whether Krishna curses them or speaks flattering words, they will remain in the same position. This is the embodiment of pure devotion. Instead of asking what God can do for me, I am always looking to serve. This aligns with the constitutional position, with the dharma of the living entity, who is part and parcel of Krishna.

In Closing:

Not in distance standing afraid,
While trembling commands obeyed.

God meant for service giving,
Aligns with constitutional living.

Like His glories always singing,
Or delicious offerings bringing.

As servant ready to strike,
Or friend sharing interests alike.

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1 reply

  1. Radhe Radhe ❣️ oshriRadhekrishnaBole ❣️ Hare Ram Hare Ram Ram Ram Hare Hare
    Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
    Jay Jay Shree Siya Ram

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