“These are two important processes in serving the husband or the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Visrambhena means ‘with intimacy’, and gauravena means ‘with great reverence’”.
Not only do we find these two aspects in the husband/wife relationship and with the Supreme Lord, but in any close relationship of intimacy and confidentiality.
In modern day life we consider respect to be formality and impersonalism, and we try to artificially create intimacy in a cheap way by discarding respect. We don’t want to pay the price for true intimacy, which is service in humility while honoring the other.
And in return we simply create over-familiarity — taking each other lightly and using each other in subtle ways for our own gratification. Such tendencies also infiltrate our spiritual practice and dealings within our devotee communities. For example, at times we can observe how we are losing the tradition and etiquette of rising up from our seat when a senior person enters or passes by. Or, when meeting a devotee after a long time, we may not bother paying obeisances by going on our knees and lower our head to the ground, but we simply say with folded hands: “Oh, how nice to see you! Vancha kalpas!” Or we may speak about a sannyasi in a very casual way, referring to him by his name, without adding the title of Swami or Maharaja: “Did you hear — Kadamba Kanana is coming!” By doing so, we want to show off how we are a confidential associate and ‘buddies’ with such a highly elevated personality and enjoy an easy-going relationship with him. We use this person for our subtle sense gratification, showing off how close we are to him. Such behavior is becoming rather common and, sadly, demonstrates a very uncultured and disrespectful attitude.
We can observe a similar tendency when we show off and try to bring attention to ourselves by laughing loudly, behaving in a loose and frivolous way, or for us ladies dressing in an unchaste fashion. The root problem of such inappropriate behavior is, once again, disrespect. We use others to show off, either on a gross or subtle platform.
If we had genuine respect for others around us, we would not want to exploit them for our subtle gratification. Then, our respect manifests in our reserved behavior of not wanting to bring attention to ourselves and distract persons of the other gender from their attention towards Krishna.
We don’t want to disturb others’ minds. It is rather subtle yet factual and deep.
On the 11th of October I took a train to Nottingham.....
Your servant, Devaki dd