The first step in the life of a bhakta is to discover your relationship with God. Just as you have a relationship with your mother, father, wife or husband, you also have a relationship with God. You will have to find your relationship for yourself. This takes time, but once you have discovered it, your journey will be nearly complete, for then you will be very close to Him.
In Rikhia, I realized that I am a servant of God. Before that, I thought I was a bhakta, a devotee of God, before that a jignasu sadhaka, a spiritual seeker, and before that a moksha sadhaka, a seeker of liberation. But none of these relationships was as good as that of a servant. Find out what is most special about your attitude towards Him. My bhavana is that of a servant, dasya bhava. For twelve years I was the servant of my guru and then for twelve years I was the servant of my disciples, so I decided to establish the same relationship with God. I am the servant of the servant of the servant of Narayana.
Once your mind becomes immersed in God, there will be an automatic metamorphosis. The moment I received the command, “Help your neighbours as I have helped you,” the means to implement it also started flowing in. I did not have to do anything. I did not go from village to village or from door to door. It was God’s command. I am not the doer. He is the doer, the supreme power. These are His orders and He will also implement them. I am neither a son, nor a father, nor a brother to anyone. I am simply the servant of God.
How can bhakti be developed? Everyone wants to love and to be loved. You don’t have to learn how to love, but how to streamline this love from matter to spirit. To channel the love you have for the material world towards God, you have to forge a relationship with Him. First, you have to discover what your inner nature is, then what your bhavana is, then what the manifest form of that bhavana is. Look for the most intense relationship you can feel so that your bhavana may merge quickly with Him.
Some people have affection, some have romantic love, some gentleness, others enmity. Is God your father, mother, husband, wife, child, boyfriend, girlfriend, friend or master? You have to be very clear. The relationship between you and God is very personal. My relationship with God is a direct relationship. It has nothing to do with my relationship with friends, disciples and devotees. The love between Radha and Krishna was like that of the individual soul and the cosmic soul, like prakriti and purusha.
Without discovering your relationship with God, you will not be able to reach Him. It took me many years to be able to do this. Finally, I realized that He is the master and I am the servant. Then the emotions began to grow and I began to feel my relationship. What is the feeling, attitude, philosophy, thought pattern, duties and limitations of a servant? He revealed it to me. Similarly, God will have to reveal to you your relationship with Him. If you say that you are the servant of God, but do not feel it in your heart, it is just lip service. Whatever connection or bond you want to establish with God, it must give rise to the corresponding feeling within your heart.
If we consider ourselves to be a servant of God, then all the qualities of the servant should be expressed in our attitude. How does a servant think? How does a mother think? How does a daughter think? Everybody has a particular psychology. If we think of ourselves as the beloved of God, all the symptoms of a deep erotic relationship must arise in us so that we feel the pangs of separation intensely and we lose sleep over Him.
Realizing our relationship is the simplest way to feel His love. You may say that God is your father or God is your mother, but the best relationship of all is master and servant. That is our true relationship with Him. As far as I am concerned I am His servant and I shall carry out all His wishes. After establishing one’s relationship with God, one races ahead with great speed in spiritual life.