The relationship between the individual and the Divine is not limited to one particular form in the Yoga of love and devotion. There are a number of relations, any of which may be predominant at one time or another. They all enter into the complex and rich tapestry of love and intimacy which the human individual has with the Divine Personality. These aspects represent the deepening and widening of the Yoga of love and devotion.
Sri Aurobindo observes: “He is the friend, the adviser, helper, saviour in trouble and distress, the defender from enemies, the hero who fights our battles for us or under whose shield we fight, the charioteer, the pilot of our ways. And here we come at once to a closer intimacy; he is the comrade and eternal companion, the playmate of the game of living. But still there is so far a certain division, however pleasant, and friendship is too much limited by the appearance of beneficence. The lover can wound, abandon, be wroth with us, seem to betray, yet our love endures and even grows by these oppositions; they increase the joy of reunion and the joy of possession; through them the lover remains the friend, and all that he does, we find in the end, has been done by the lover and helper of our being for our soul’s perfection as well as for his joy in us. These contradictions lead to a greater intimacy. He is the father and mother too of our being, its source and protector and its indulgent cherisher and giver of our desires. He is the child born to our desire whom we cherish and rear. All these things the lover takes up; his love in its intimacy and oneness keeps in it the paternal and maternal care and lends itself to our demands upon it. All is unified in that deepest many-sided relation.”
Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis of Yoga, Part Three: The Yoga of Divine Love, Chapter 8, The Mystery of Love, pp. 577-578