There are five kinds of relationships with Krishna: Santa,
Vatsalya and Madhurya.
Each rasa includes all the qualities of the preceding one, plus
a distinguishing quality of its own.
"When the relationship with Krishna increases in affection,
the mood of fear and the consciousness of the superiority of
the Supreme Lord diminish. Here the fraternal relationship (sakhya)
manifests in a sense of equality between Krishna and His friends.
When the affection of the fraternal relationship increases,
it develops into the paternal relationship (vatsalya) that is
found between father and son. In other words, intimate relationships
with Krishna develop from an ordinary conception of the Supreme
Personality of Godhead (santa rasa); to the conception of master
and servant (dasya rasa); and when this becomes confidential,
it develops into a friendly relationship (sakhya), and when
the relationship further develops, it becomes paternal (vatsalya),
and when this develops to the highest point of love and affection
it is known as conjugal love (madhurya) with the Supreme Lord."
(TLC, chap. 29)
Santa rasa is the neutral attitude of devotees who are in
appreciation of the greatness of God, but are not actively engaged
in His service. "Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur states
that in Brajabhumi; the Yamuna River, the kadamba trees, the
cows, Krishna's cowherding stick and flute all belong to the
santa rasa (the mellow of neutrality or passive adoration)."
(Caitanya Caritamrita Madhya 8.294 purport)
In Dasya rasa there is freedom from all material attachments
and doubts, and appreciation of the greatness of God. There
is also active service in dasya rasa. This rasa may be mixed
with other rasas. Citraka, Patraka and Raktaka are direct servants
of Krishna. Those who are constantly engaged in the personal
service of the Lord are called anugas, or followers.
In this rasa one feels that Krishna is my friend. The devotees
relate with Krishna on equal terms and actually forget that
Krishna is superior. The friends in Vrindavana are in such intimate
friendship with Krishna that sometimes they think themselves
as good as Krishna. "Krishna is their lovable friend, and they
cannot forget Him for a moment. All day and all night they think
of Krishna. At night when they are sleeping they think, 'Oh,
in the morning I shall go and play with Krishna.' and in the
morning they go to Krishna's house and stand by while Krishna
is decorated by Mother Yasoda before going out with His friends
to play in the fields." (SSR)
Twelve important cowherd boy friends of Krishna are: Sridama,
Sudama, Arjuna, Subabu, Kusumasava, Mahabala, Subala, Vasudeva,
Mahabahu, Lavanga, Stoka Krishna and Dama.
Within Vrindavana, Krishna's friends are generally divided into
Krishna's well-wishers are a little older than Krishna, and
they have some parental affection for Him. Because of their
being older than Krishna, they always try to protect Him from
Friends who are younger than Krishna, who are always attached
to Him and who give Him all kinds of service are called ordinary
friends. Ordinary friends are called sakhas.
The more confidential friends are called priya-sakhas and are
almost Krishna's age. The behavior of other friends is on the
ground of paternal love or servitude, but the basic principle
of the confidential friends is simply friendship on an equal