Our relationship with God remains like that of a beggar and his donor as long as we pursue worldly objectives. Before asking favours from God we try asking them from others, but if fulfilled we hardly seek help from God. It means that for our requirements we are a beggar before others and in their turn they have the same reputation of being a beggar. When there is nobody left from whom we may seek help, only then do we turn to God. Sometimes He fulfils and sometimes He pays no attention to our requirements. After sometime we, too, forget and the process of begging continues this way. This kind of relationship with God is shaky.
It is only after a serious feeling of disgust or disappointment, and when no one else remains to be blamed, that we happen to question God. But when one finds that God is blameless and he surrenders to Him, then the relationship starts in the form of a servant/follower of God. This is when we seriously try to find out characteristics of God and try to please Him through prayers and the repetition of His name, to save us from distress, which is created by the mind’s attitude. The situation definitely improves and after some time the relationship unwittingly changes into friendliness. Here equality is established and now one is frank in dealing with Him (with others as well). Worldly desires get reduced. The devotee is selfless and the pleasure of equality is being enjoyed. Sometimes, though, a feeling may arise in the devotee that God is not responding as expected or that He has forgotten.
Surprisingly, to overcome this, the devotee gradually is elevated to play the role of parent and starts considering God as his child. Now he has to take care of God and please Him through various means. Fear of losing Him still remains, as in the case of an only child. The parents of such a child, particularly the mother, out of affection won’t allow him to be out of sight. Similarly, the devotee tries to remember God through various means. He becomes restless, even if he forgets Him for a while. So, in parental love the mother’s love is the more affectionate type and this is being enjoyed most by God-as-a-child. But the fear of losing sight of Him makes the mother worried easily. The game of hide and seek continues.
Up to this stage the loving relationship between a devotee and God is quite elevated and worldly desires are coming to nil. The only wish of the devotee now is not to forget Him and seek His welfare by all means, through service to mankind. Then a lady form appears that is seen as the all-in-all to God. She is considered to be the source of God’s pleasure. She is most respected by God and by the devotee. Here the devotee (even when being a man) inwardly becomes a lady and now is serving the Supreme Lady as well as enjoying all previous relations with God frankly. In this stage the devotee considers all souls on Earth to be female lovers and God is the only one to enjoy love in male form.
However, neither God nor the soul have a gender. It’s only to show the height of ecstasy that we express the love between soul and God as one of female and male. In other words, we can say that this love blossoms beyond the physical body through the mind.
SP Sharma, India