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103 -Sthayi'bhava or Rati
1. What is sthdyi-bhAva?
Sthayi-bhava brings all other bhdvas under its control and governs them. When a person's attachment for Krsna becomes stronger and is mixed with undeviated affection, it transforms into sthdyi-bhdva. When sthdyi-bhdva is mixed with the necessary ingredients, it is called rasa. Although this attachment has crossed its determined limit and has reached the platform of prema, still it should be called attachment. Prema is unlimited and is not always identified only as attachment. Sometimes prema becomes manifest when it conquers the highest ingredients of rasa. Attachment, rati, should therefore be accepted as sthdyi-bhdva. (Caitanya-siksdmrta 7/1)
2. What is rati? How many types of rati are there?
Rati is the preliminary stage of prema, and prema is the mature stage of rati. Prema is just like the sun whereas rati (bhdva) is the sun's ray. When our rati is awakened, we slowly exhibit the symptoms of ecstatic transformation. Although rati appears within the mind of the conditioned soul, it is fully spiritual. Despite being self-manifest, it appears like an object and function of the mind. There are two types of rati. One arises by the mercy of Krsna or His devotees and the other from sddhana. Rati that arises only from sddhana is found most often in this world. Rati arising from mercy is rarely found. The rati that arises from sddhana is further divided into two: vaidhi-sddhana-rati and rdgdnugd-sddhana-rati. (Sri Manah-siksd, Chapter 11)
3. What are temporary and eternal rati?
Rati (affection) for the material body is burned at the crematorium along with the body. It does not remain with us permanently. Rati experienced in dealings between men and women in this world is insignificant, because the body's pleasure is finished with the body. The living entities are spirit souls; they have eternal bodies. In the eternal body every living entity is stri, enjoyed, and Sri Krsnacandra is the only purusa, enjoyer. The material body's demands should be reduced and those of the eternal body increased. As a woman's rati rushes powerfully toward a man, the transcendental rati of the eternal stri's body rushes toward Sri Krsna. The heart's lust for sense objects is called temporary rati, and the spiritual body's natural lust for Krsna is our eternal rati. (Prema-pradipa 7)
4. Where does the bhava appearing in the hearts of those who have no concept of rasa come from?
People have no concept of rasa. Lacking knowledge, they discuss rasa, considering it meditation, trance, worship, glorification, or prayer. Whenever a worshiper absorbs himself in the activities of worship or prayer, a flash of bhava appears in his heart like lightning and moves his mind. It also awakens symptoms such as horripilation. He feels at that time that if such bhava can remain within him eternally, he will no longer have to suffer. O brother! What is that bhava? Is it of the nature of matter or thought? Is it the opposite of matter? You will never find such bhava, even if you search the entire world. Even the most subtle material objects—electricity and magnetism—do not possess it. You will not find this bhava even after scrutinizing all material thoughts, what to speak of those thoughts that are considered the opposite of matter. Where did such bhava come from? Consider deeply and you will find that this bhava appeared from the living entity's perfect existence. (Caitanya-Siksdmrta, Part 2, 7/2)
5. Is rati a conditional function of the mind?
Rati is a natural propensity. It has no cause. It becomes agitated as soon as it sees its object. Rati is the seed ofprema— and as such, should be sprouted by the watering process of hearing and chanting. (Prema-pradipa 7)
6. What is the symptom of a person who has attained rati?
In its preliminary stage, unblossomedprema is full of bliss. At that time it is called rati. This rati is first realized in sdnta-rasa. When we develop rati, everything other than Krsna appears insignificant. (Sri Manah-siksd, Chapter 11)
7. How does sthdyi-bhdva or rati gradually transform into rasa?
The more our anarthas are destroyed, the more we surpass higher levels like nisthd, ruci, and dsakti and gradually approach bhava. When bhava or rati becomes permanent and mixes with various ingredients, it becomes rasa. (Sajjana Tosani 10/10)
8. How do those practicing devotional service see themselves after attaining bhava?
On the platform of bhdva, a person does not identify himself with his material body. Rather, he predominantly identifies himself with his spiritual body.
9. Does rati bring fearlessness?
Possessing mystic opulence and material enjoyment both cause fear, but developing our rati in the abode of Vrndavana brings no fear.
(Kalydna-kalpataru Song 1)
10. How can someone develop pure rati in this life without practicing sadhana ?
Someone may not have practiced sddhana, yet he may develop pure rati. In such a case, we can understand that for some reason the progress of his previous devotional service was checked. When the obstacle was removed, his devotional service bore fruit. (Sri Mana-siksd, Chapter 11)
11. If we see a discrepancy in the behavior of a person who has developed rati, should we disregard him?
Even if we find a discrepancy in the behavior of a person who has developed rati, we should know that that person is still glorious. No one should be envious of him. Actually a person who has developed rati is faultless. Some small act may appear contradictory to the regulative principles, but such a glorious person should not be blamed for that. These things appear faulty only in the eyes of neophytes attached to regulative principles. (Sri Mana-siksd, Chapter 11)
12. Is it possible for those desiring liberation or material enjoyment to develop rati?
It is rare to attain rati. The symptoms of rati that are found in those desiring liberation or material enjoyment are simply rati's reflections. There are two types of such reflections, perverted and shadow. When seeing either of these reflections, the ignorant think them genuine rati. (Sri Mana-siksd, Text 11)
13. Mayavadis or those who synthesize matter and spirit exhibit the external transformations of love. Are these exhibitions real transformations of love born of transcendental realization?
If an indifferent bdbdji develops bhdva, his life is glorious, but if he artificially displays the symptoms of bhdva for some purpose, we can understand that his symptoms are not real but reflective. Sri Rupa Gosvami, who was an dcdrya of pure love of God, said, "Rati has two types of reflections, perverted and shadow. All the symptoms of rati are found in its reflections, and foolish people become wonderstruck when they see them. Only those who actually relish rati can recognize true rati from its reflection."
(Sajjana Tosani 2/6)
14. What result do we achieve when we reach bhdva by practicing sddhana-bhakti?
When a devotional practitioner attains bhdva, his eyes are anointed with love of God by Krsna's mercy. Then he is able to see the Lord face to face.
15. How does santa-rati manifest?
The living entity's pure rati becomes perverted because of his extremely long association with matter. When the living entity is free of anarthas, he is reinstated in his original position. On that platform a devotee becomes peaceful. This is called the platform of santa-rati. (Caitanya-siksamrrta 7/1)
16. Who is the object and who is the subject of santa-rati?
One is called santa, peaceful, when he is confident that the worshipable object is not indistinguishable but personal. The rati developed by such a peaceful worshiper is called sdnta-rati. The peaceful living entities are the subject of santa-rati, and the personal God is the object of that rati. Living entities on the platform of santa-rati are devoid of the mundane mentality. Their mode of worship gives them spiritual happiness. They give up material enjoyment because they are situated in that happiness. Thus Krsna appears to them as Paramatma, or as the partial personal manifestation of Brahman, and becomes the object of their worship. (Caitanya-siksamrrta 7/3)
17. When does dasya-rati manifest?
When unalloyed affection is mixed with rati, it is called ddsya-rati. In ddsya-rati, a living entity establishes his relationship with the Supreme Lord by considering the Lord the master and himself the eternal servant. Ddsya-rati is of two types: ddsya-rati based on awe and reverence and ddsya-rati based on affection. In the first form, the living entity thinks himself favored, and in the latter form, he thinks himself cared for. The Lord's servants take shelter of ddsya-rati based on awe and reverence, while the Lord's sons take shelter of ddsya-rati based on affection.
18. What is the nature of dasya-rati?
When ddsya-rati is saturated with affection, it becomes prema, love of God. Therefore, on the platform of dasya, the symptoms of both rati and prema are present as sthdyi-bhdva. On this platform, affection and attachment are also present to some extent. (Caitanya-siksamrrta 7/1)
19. What is love of God in awe and reverence?
Persons who proudly identify themselves as Krsna's servants find that their love for Nanda's son develops with awe and reverence. When mature, this love is called love with awe and reverence. In this rasa, both Krsna and His servants are alambana, the shelter. (Jaiva Dharma, Chapter 29)
20. What is sthdyi-bhdva in sakhya-rati ?
In sakhya-rasa the sthdyi-bhdva is pranaya (with love). Rati and prema are included in that bhdva. The awe and reverence, as well as the affection, that is present in dasya becomes mature and transforms into firm faith on the platform of sakhya. (Caitanya-siksamrta 111)
21. How is vdtsalya-rati superior to sakhya-rati?
In vdtsalya-rasa, firm faith matures and transforms into compassion. (Caitanya-siksamrrta 111)
22. To what extent does the sthdyi-bhdva of srngdra-rasa mature?
The sthayi-bhava of srngdra-rasa gradually passes through prema, pranaya, and affection, then reaches the platform of attachment or rdga. Bhdva and mahdbhdva are awakened in this rasa. (Caitanya-siksamrrta 7/1)
23. Where do the transformations of ecstatic love (horripilation, etc.) come from in those who desire liberation?
The standing of the hairs on end of those who worship the Lord to attain liberation is simply a reflection of rati. A sudden reflection of unexpected joy and astonishment may appear in the hearts of those whose hearts are cold. All transformations born from this reflection are illusory.