In the Vedas there is a description wherein Krishna (God) expands Himself into multiple forms in order to dance simultaneously with each of his many lovers (called the Rasa Dance). Over time, each lover becomes proud, thinking only they have an intimate relationship with Him. Perceiving their pride, God suddenly leaves the dance, humiliating and reminding them that being in relationship with Him is a gift; not an entitlement.
This story is instructive for us as individuals or members of like-minded collectives who may be tempted to think only “I” or “we” have a special relationship with the Source of Creation or that we alone “dance” with God. As the story reveals, such pride is a disqualifier for having true loving relationship with the Divine. Indeed, as we saw in the story, Krishna distances Himself from such arrogance.
ISKCON’s founder, Bhaktivedanta Swami, is celebrated as “delivering the Western world filled with impersonalism” which is the notion that everyone should think, feel and act the same in their quest for loving relationship with Krishna and all others. The antidote, personalism, is to know firmly that God is eternally engaging each one of us, meeting us where we are in a sacred dance tailored to accommodate our special needs and characters.
Barack Obama’s father succinctly put it this way, “ I believe in God but I also recognize that part of my job as a Christian is to recognize that I may not always be right, that God doesn’t speak to me alone and that the only way that I could live effectively with people who have different beliefs and different faiths is if we have a civil society that is, in fact, civil”.
People from all religious paths may find this insight relevant as persons of faith or even no faith. What a relief to know that the very same Lord living within our own heart is simultaneously moving in the hearts of all others, guiding, comforting and attracting us all to his eternal dance.[ dance ] [ faith ] [ interfaith ] [ rasa ]