There are five attitudes with which to relate with the master. Through each attitude, a different path unfolds, taking you closer to yourself.
One path is the attitude of the mother towards her child, looking at the master as your child. This is called vatsalya bhava which is how Yashoda, Krishna’s foster mother, related with Him.
Another is the attitude of the child towards the mother. This is called matru bhava. This is how Ramakrishna related with goddess Kali, looking at the master as mother.
The third is the attitude of a friend, looking at the master as your friend. This is called sakha bhava. This is how Kuchela and Arjuna related with Krishna.
The next is the attitude of a servant. It is called dasa bhava. It refers to the master-disciple relationship where in the disciple feels like a faithful servant of the master. This was how Hanuman, the monkey god, related with Rama in the famous Indian epic Ramayana.
The ultimate is the attitude of the beloved. It is called madhura bhava. This is how Radha saw Krishna. This is how Radha felt about Krishna, the attitude of the beloved. Let me be very clear, the attitude of a beloved is in no way connected to whether you are a male or female. It is in no way connected to the body. It is completely beyond the body. It is from the being.
If the master is male and you are also male, then too madhura bhava can happen. Or if the master is female and you are female also, then also madhura bhava can happen. Madhura bhava is in no way related to gender. It is beyond gender consciousness. It is a feeling of intense connection.
The last is the maha bhava. It is all the other five bhavas put together and something more! That is what the master–disciple relationship is all about. Sometimes with the master you will feel he is your son. At some other time you will feel he is like your mother. Sometimes you will feel he is your lord. Other times you will feel he is like your friend. Sometimes you will feel he is like a comforting beloved. The relationship with the master is all these five put together plus something more.
You can relate with the master in any one of these five attitudes or bhavas, or all the five put together.
source: Living Enlightenment