It is very clear that the relationships that we pursue on this material world are on the bodily platform be it the relationship between mother and son, father and daughter, husband and wife, brother and sister or between friend and friend. The basis of all relationships is purely transactional although one may vouch for “higher” status for a relationship. The cure for one’s loneliness and the satisfaction of one’s innate selfish position can be the only basis of all relationships on the mundane or bodily platform.
It is seen in the life of our Lord Sriman Chaitanya Mahaprabhu that the relationship existing between various associates however did not follow this paradigm. It is seen that their love for each other and their love for Lord Gauranga was unparalleled and definitely not of this world. The associates of Sriman Mahaprabhu staked their various lives for the Lord and for each other. The leela took place five hundred and thirty years ago and at a time when Kaliyuga had already spread its web on the planet. Then how did these associates of the Lord display such pristine innocuous moods which transcended the general psyche of relationships?
The answer is relayed by the basis of these relationships. None of the Vaishnavas in the Chaitanya Leela were on the bodily platform. They had surrendered their all at the feet of Lord Gauranga and only the Lord was their heart and soul. They had nothing to gain from the world and their only motive was service at the feet of the Lord and to see their Lord happy. This was the mood of everyone in the Chaitanya Leela. Although Sri Gadadhara Pandita was the childhood mate of the Lord, He considered Sriman Mahaprabhu as the Lord of His life. The other friends of the Lord like Vasudeva Ghosh ,Vasudeva Datta, Sanjaya and Mukunda Datta , Narhari Sarkar although were of the same age as the Lord or even senior , they considered Lord Gauranga as their only shelter and offered their very life in service for the pleasure of the Lord. Their relationship with the Lord was that of a servant , a lover , a guardian and so on. The relationship was at the platform of the soul.
It is clear from the teachings of the Gaudiya Vaishnava acaryas that unless one enters into a personal rapport with the Lord and establishes one’s mood in one of the four rasas namely dasya, sakhya, vatsalya or madhurya with the Lord through the medium of the instructing spiritual master , one cannot but remain on the bodily platform. Similarly once the jeeva is able to understand one constitutional position with respect to the Lord , he is relieved of the clutches of maya. Such living entities are then collected and grouped together by the Lord Himself.
For the pleasure of the living entities who have thus surrendered one’s all for the satisfaction of the Lord are then bound to each other by the tender yet adhesive strings of unmotivated love. These living entities thus serve the Lord in each other’s association in “maître bhava” , divine friendship. This friendship is stronger than any other so-called bond between humans on the bodily platform because this relationship has been created by the Supreme Lord Himself for His service. The transactions between the Vaishnavas who are bound by these strings of love can never be separated even by the factor of Time and space. These bonds although may be formed newly or would have continued from a previous coordinate will remain eternally unaffected by any mundane component. The Vaishnava Sambandha (relationship between Vaishnavas) is based on the concept of “Sajatiya suhurtam” (Friendship born out of equanimity in the mood of service). The Vaishnavas who bear in their heart no envy , no malice , always humble and ready to a offer their lives in service , develop love for each other and thus the Lord manifests amongst them in their conversations, in their sharing , in their mood and in every transaction. Such Vaishnavas are most fortunate because even the Lord is excited when such Vaishnavas meet after a brief separation and the Lord participates actively amidst them and makes His presence felt during their intimate association.