Yoga Retreat
Advanced Yoga Study ( By Swami Dharmananda
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The peaceful stage. In this stage the devotee finds joy in the thought of God and attains a certain degree of poise and tranquility. He feels God near him, helping and protecting him and taking care of his needs but as yet no definite relationship between the two has been realized. 

Dasya 
This is the servant stage. In this stage a very precise and definite relationship gets established. The devotee looks upon God as his master and he His servant or God a loving Father/ Mother and he a son. God is the protector and benefactor of his life. 

Sakhya 
The friendship stage. God is now realized as a friend and a playmate. He is felt to be nearer and the sense of awe or fear vanishes and the God of power and grandeur is forgotten. He is now only the God of love a cherished friend. 

Vatsalya 
This is the stage where God is looked upon as a child. God the child has to be taken care of, protected and provided with food, shelter or any other relevant needs. This stage is higher than the previous one because in human relationship a father or a mother has deeper affection for the child than what the child can offer to the parents. 

Madhura 
This is the highest stage and the sweetest of all relationships. The relationship between the lover and the beloved. The strongest of all human relationship between a man and his wife finds its ultimate realization in the new tie between man and God. In this tie God is the eternal lover and the devotee the eternal beloved. In this relationship all elements of love, admiration, service, comradeship, communion are simultaneously present. When this type of possess the heart then mystic union takes place. 

The Concept of Gunas 

Prakriti or Universal Energy has three modes or three aspects or three different types of energies creating three distinct characteristics in all objects in nature including human personality. The idea of the three modes of nature is a creation of the ancient Indian thinkers and its truth is not at once obvious because it was the result of long psychological experiment and profound internal experiences. Therefore, without a long inner experience without intimate self –observation and intuitive perception of the nature-forces it is difficult to grasp accurately this principle. Still certain broad indications may help the seeker on the way of Truth to understand analyze and control by his assent or refusal the combination of these forces in his nature. These three modes are termed as Gunas in the Hindu philosophy and are known as: 

 

   
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