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NITAAI-Veda.nyf > All Scriptures By Acharyas > Bhaktivinoda Thakura > Chaitanya Shikshamrita > Chapter-V

Chapter Five


Part One

bhava bhakti


Prema bhakti is the result of sadhana bhakti.  Prema has two stages: a preliminary stage called bhava and  prema.1  Prema is like the sun and bhava is like  a ray of the sun.  Bhava is essentially visuddha sattva, and makes the heart soft with taste.  When the cultivation of Krishna  which was described previously in the discussion of bhakti's general characteristics  becomes pure sattva and makes the heart soft with taste, it becomes bhava.2 When bhava appears in  the mind it  takes possession of the mind. Actually bhava is self revealing, but taking shelter of the mind, it appears to have been manifested from it.  Another name for bhava is rati (attraction).  Rati is  itself taste incarnate, but appears as the cause of taste of Krishna.   It should be noted here that rati is a spiritual entity, having no connection with the material world.  The attraction that conditioned souls have for material objects is but a perverse material transformation of the spiritual rati.     When a person cultivates devotion to the Lord in the material world, rati, a portion of the samvit sakti from the spiritual world,  becomes the cause of taste for all objects related to the Lord. At that time  also, a portion of the hladini sakti bestows genuine bliss to the devotee.  Rati is the seed of the desire tree of prema. When various other elements (bhavas) appear to assist  rati, rati combines with these  elements and gives rise to the tree of prema.  Specific examples will be given later in the discussion of rasa.


Rati is the smallest divisible portion of prema, beyond which  division is impossible. Just as the number 100 has a hundred small indivisible units, so prema has small indivisible parts called rati. All the states that are experienced in sadhana bhakti, such as faith, ruci, and asakti, are but fragments of one unit of rati.  Though the faith and ruci which arise due to devotional association may be fragmented, they are reflective of true spiritual elements. However, for those people who are opposed to any moral laws, the fragments of rati are very distorted in form.  In the people who follow morality, the  forms of rati are somewhat ordered.  In the theistic, moral  people, the form is even more ordered, but still distorted. In the devotee practicing sadhana bhakti there is no distortion, but they remain fragmented pieces, not a complete unit.  When the devotee advances, rati, one unit of prema, appears, and when all the units of rati are present, the soul reaches perfection.  Until the person who has achieved rati leaves his material body, he is still in contact with the material elements.  Attachment to matter is the cause of perversion of rati.  But if he establishes rati towards the Lord, he is freed from that perversion of rati, and is situated in his real nature.


Rati or bhava is of two types: due to sadhana and due to mercy.  Bhava due to sadhana is of two types: due to vaidha sadhana and due raganuga sadhana.3  A faithful devotee by careful practice  gradually develops ruci or taste for the Lord.  By further practice that  ruci becomes asakti, then rati or bhava.  Those are the successive stages of  sadhana bhakti.  Narada is an example of achieving bhava through vaidha sadhana bhakti.  The woman who attained bhava mentioned in the Padma Purana is an example of bhava developed through raganuga.4


Bhava due to mercy is of two types: from mercy of Krishna and mercy of the devotee.  Mercy from Krishna may be by word, by sight or by emotional impression.5 When the Lord is pleased with a person he may give pleasure to the devotee through speaking.  Or he may give mercy by showing his form.    Or he may create an extraordinary sensation in the heart of the devotee.  By the mercy of devotees such as Narada, many souls have attained bhava.6   The devotees of the Lord develop immense powers; and, being merciful,  they can spread that power to other souls.  Prahlada and the hunter obtained genuine bhava by Narada's mercy. 


Concerning the bestowal of devotional energy by the mercy of the devotee something  should be mentioned.  The power of the prema bhakta is unlimited, and thus the prema bhakta, if he is merciful, can transfer his power to any type of person.  The bhava bhakta, being merciful, can instill power in the sadhana bhaktas so that they can assume a position similar to his own; and  by the strength of his personality, the bhava bhakta can raise materialistic people who have  gained some qualification due to previous deeds to the level of ruci. Vaidhi and raganuga sadhana bhaktas  can instill faith in  materialistic people who have attained qualification  by previous deeds, by dint of their teaching and example.


Usually bhava is attained by sadhana and bhava due to mercy is very rare.  However, even persons of lowest qualification can attain bhava by mercy.  The cause is the Lord's inconceivable power and  His mastery of all of His rules.  No one should think that this distribution of mercy  is unfair, for Krishna, being independent,  has the right to do this as master. What is right?  The Supreme Lord's will is right.  Following the rules which stem from that will is normally considered  proper.  However, for the person with independent will, the rules are insignificant and dependent on Himself. Krishna is above the standards of humanity, which determine material right and wrong.


Rati may be of five types according to the type of devotee,7 but these will taken up in the discussion of rasa.


When bhava sprouts in the heart, the life of the devotee becomes extremely pure, so  when bhava arises in the vaidha bhakta, his life-style will naturally change. The bond of rules becomes slackened, and conduct becomes to a small degree unpredictable.  The change from vaidhi life to bhava is not abrupt, but  the activities of the bhava bhakta appear to be independent of the rules, for  full, natural  rati becomes the regulator of all his activities.8 Though the bhava bhakta may be independent in action, that cannot cause any obstacle to his progress. He has no taste for pious activities or sin, and has no interest to perform obligatory works. He has no inclination to imitate others.  Because of previous practice, all the activities for preservation of body, mind, society and soul are accomplished without effort. Having contempt even for pious activity, there is no question of his performing sinful activity.  While engaged in his life of bhava he may at times perform acts incongruent with vaidha standards, but the vaidha bhaktas should not show any ill feeling toward him because of that. He has reached true success in life,9 so to offend him will lead to gradual dissipation of the vaidha bhakta's  accumulated  devotion.  The activities of the bhava bhakta are very similar to those of a sadhana bhakta, but certain new characteristics in the bhava bhakta  should be carefully noted.   


1 B.R.S.1.1.

2 B.R.S.1.3

3 B.R.S.1.3

4 A young girl who danced with joy all night invoked the mercy of the Lord. Padma Purana.

5 B.R.S.1.3

6 Who could list the innumerable transcendental qualities of Prahlada Maharaja?  He had unflinching faith in Vasudeva, Lord Krishna, and unalloyed devotion to Him. His attachment to Lord Krishna was natural because of his previous devotional service.  Although his good qualities cannot be enumerated, they prove that he was a great soul. S.B.7.4.36

7 B.R.S.1.3.24

8 Having achieved love of Godhead, the devotees sometimes cry out loud, absorbed in thought of the infallible Lord.  Sometimes they laugh, feel great pleasure, speak out loud to the Lord, dance or sing.  Such devotees, having transcended material, conditioned life, sometimes imitate the unborn Supreme by acting out His pastimes.  And sometimes, achieving his personal audience, they remain peaceful and silent. S.B.11.3.32


An intelligent person who has controlled his mind and conquered fear should give up all attachment to material objects such as wife, family and nation and should wander freely without embarrassment, hearing and chanting the holy names of the Lord, the bearer of the chariot wheel. S.B.11.2.39

Sometimes, upon seeing the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Prahlada Maharaja would loudly call in full anxiety.  He sometimes lost his shyness in jubilation and began dancing in ecstasy, and sometimes, being fully absorbed in thoughts of Krishna, he felt oneness and imitated the pastimes of the Lord. Sometimes, feeling the touch of the Lord's lotus hands, he became spiritually jubilant and remained silent, his hairs standing on end and tears gliding down from his half-closed eyes because of his love for the Lord.  S.B.7.4.40

9 B.R.S.1.3.59




Part two

Qualities of the bhava bhakta


Among the qualities of the bhava bhakta the following nine are prominent:1  tolerance, not wasting time, detachment, pridelessness, optimism, eagerness for Krishna, constant relishing the Name, attachment to the descriptions of Krishna's qualities, and attachment to places of Krishna's pastimes.


Though there is cause for disturbance, the bhava bhakta does not become disturbed.2  If someone becomes his enemy, if a relative suffers or dies, if wealth is lost, if some family problem arises, if there is illness,  he may be involved with the immediate affair, but his heart is not disturbed, as it is fixed on the lotus feet of the Lord.  Disturbances of the heart refers to anger, lust, greed, fear, aspiration, lamentation and illusion. 


The  bhava bhakta cultivates all his service with eagerness in such a way that times is not wasted. In doing any activity he remembers  a suitable pastime of the Lord, so that in all cases he experiences bhava.  In all activities he identifies himself as a servant of the Lord.3


When there is a natural distaste for all objects of the senses it is called detachment.4  With the appearance of bhava this detachment becomes prominent; he develops a distaste  for sense pleasure. If he senses are directed to the Lord however he is very pleased.  There is a sect of babajis who called themselves viraktas.  They dress like babajis and think they are renounced, but it is mistaken to believe that a name will produce virakti. If virakti does not naturally appear with the attainment of  bhava, they should not accept the dress of a babaji.  Babaji means to  have developed virakti through bhava, by which all aspects  of material life become distasteful.  Those  who find the world and family life unfavorable for cultivation of devotion should restrict their needs, wear simply cloth and eat food obtained by begging which is offered to the Lord.5   This lifestyle  will gradually become natural.  When the transformation of character is examined by guru and judged in accordance with scriptural standards, and found to be qualified, that is real attainment of babaji status.  The present custom is extremely dangerous. 


What to speak of the development of bhava, many people, without being steady in vaidhi bhakti, whimsically or by temporary renunciation, accept babaji for the purpose  of making a living.   Temporary renunciation refers to the distaste for the world which arises from quarrel between man and wife, suffering in family life, inability to get married, satiation with prostitutes, or the influence of intoxicants.   With this sense of renunciation immature people boldly approach a babaji or gosvami and offer some donation to get a kaupina and cloth. The result is that in a short time the renunciation wears off and the man or woman,  being controlled by their senses,  fall into  illegitimate family life, or secretly satisfy their senses. They do not get spiritual benefit from this at all.  The vaishnavas community will derive no  benefit  until this type of babaji is completely eradicated.  In the discussion of varnasrama, the destructive nature of false renunciation was shown.  It is a sin relating to the sannyasa asrama.   Here the false renunciation is a great offense to devotional life.   In the appendix of Sat Kriya Sara Dipika, this has been delineated. 


Among those who identify themselves as vaishnava renunciates, those who have attained detachment through bhakti are actually very rare.  They should be given full respect. The false renunciates are divided into four classes: monkey renunciates, false renunciates, unsteady renunciates, and imitative renunciates. Those with no sense of renunciation, but who take on the cloth of a renunciate, travel around and commit sinful actions through their uncontrolled senses are called monkey renunciates.6   Those who take up the dress of the babajis so that they can eat with the vaishnavas during festivals, get  funeral rites performed by the vaishnavas when they pass away, and get donations from householders to enjoy food, ganja, and tobacco, are called false  renunciates. 7    Those who take up babaji dress due to temporary inspiration from suffering, poverty, sickness, failure of marriage, and quarrel are called unsteady renunciates.  Their renunciation does not last; they very quickly become false renunciates.    Those who, due to addiction to intoxicants, fail in married life and put on an act of devotion while intoxicated, or learn how to act as a devotee with false symptoms, or try to imitate the stage  of bhava by material emotions, are called imitative renunciates. All these types of renunciates are low, sinful and unbeneficial for the world.


The renunciation arising from bhakti is the beauty of devotional life.  To become renounced and then search out bhakti is unnatural and in most cases disastrous. Renunciation or detachment is the special ornament of the person who has attained  bhava. It is not an anga of bhakti but  a symptom of bhakti.


To have no pretensions in spite of being elevated in qualification is called manasunyata or pridelessness. However a person may have no pride simply because he has nothing to be proud of qualification.  Such pridelessness cannot be considered  as an ornament of devotional life. 8


When the bhava bhakta becomes convinced that he can attain the Lord,  it is called asabandha. At that time no doubts arising from material logic remain.


Great yearning to attain ones desired object is called samutkantha, eagerness.  The only desired object for the bhava bhakta is Krishna; samutkantha manifests itself strongly at this stage.9  


The devotee at the stage of bhava always have a taste for singing the name of the Lord.  He does not want anything else. 10  He also shows strong attachment to reciting the qualities of the Lord.11  When taste (ruci) becomes deeper  is called attachment (asakti).  When it becomes deepest, it is called rati  or bhava.


Affection for the places of the Lord is a symptom of the bhava bhakta. These places are of two types:  those located in the world and  those  beyond the world (transcendental).   Those places in the world are the places where the Lord performed his pastimes.  With eyes of devotion, those places become  replicas of the transcendental places, located in the spiritual world. The spiritual world is of two types: the pure spiritual world and the spiritual world within the material world.  The pure spiritual world is on the other side of the Viraja.  There  the Lord is eternally present, in forms suitable for the different rasas in separate places most suitable for the particular rasas,  along with pure souls who act as ingredients of respective rasas.  When a conditioned soul develops an attraction for the rasa which manifests in a particular place in the spiritual world,  the Lord manifests himself in the spiritual portion of the living entity--in his purified heart. Thus the spiritual world and the heart of the devotee are both  transcendental abodes of the Lord. Both the places where the Lord enacts  his pastimes on the earth and the places where the devotees live are beyond the material realm.  Places of the Lord's pastimes like Vrndavana, Navadvipa,  places of great devotees such as Naimisaranya, the bank of the Ganga, the place were tulasi grows, the places where the pastimes of the Lord are recited, the places where the forms of the Lord are installed, are all dwelling places of the Lord. 12  The bhava bhakta loves to reside in all these places.


1 B.R.S.1.3.25-26

2 B.R.S. 1.3.27

3 The devotees of the Lord, praising the Lord with words, remembering Him in his mind, offering respects, with tears in their eyes, not being satisfied without the Lord, offer their whole lives to the Lord.  Hari Bhakti Sudhodaya

4 B.R.S.1.3.30

While in the prime of life, the great Maharaja Bharata gave up everything because he was fond of serving the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Uttamasloka.  He gave up his beautiful wife, nice children, great friends and an enormous empire.  "Although these things were very difficult to give up, Maharaja Bharata was so exalted that he gave them up just as one gives up stool after evacuating.  Such was the greatness of His Majesty. S.B.5.14.43

5 If the sannyasi desires to wear something besides a mere kaupina, he may use another cloth around his waist and hips to cover the kaupina.  Otherwise, if there is no emergency, he should not accept anything besides his danda and waterpot. A saintly person should step or place his foot on the ground only after verifying with his eyes that there are no living creatures, such as insects, who might be injured by his foot.  He should drink water only after filtering it through a portion of his cloth and he should speak only words that possess the purity of truth.  Similarly, he should perform only those activities his mind has carefully ascertained to be pure.  S.B.11.18.15-16

Without any material attachment, with senses fully controlled, remaining enthusiastic, and satisfied in realization of the Supreme Lord and his own self, the saintly person should travel about the earth alone.  Having equal vision everywhere, he should be steady on the spiritual platform. S.B.11.18.20

By steady knowledge a sage should clearly ascertain the nature of the soul's bondage and liberation.  Bondage occurs when the senses are deviated to sense gratification, and complete control of the senses constitutes liberation. S.B.11.18.22

A learned transcendentalist dedicated to the cultivation of knowledge and thus detached from external objects, or My devotee who is detached even from desire for liberation--both neglect those duties based on external rituals or paraphernalia.  Thus their conduct is beyond the range of rules and regulations. Although most wise, the paramahamsa should enjoy life like a child, oblivious to honor and dishonor; although most expert, he should behave like a stunted, incompetent person; although most learned, he should speak like an insane person; and although a scholar learned in Vedic regulations, he should behave in an unrestricted manner.   A devotee should never engage in the fruitive rituals mentioned in the karma kanda section of the Vedas, nor should he become atheistic, acting or speaking in opposition to Vedic injunctions.  similarly, he should never speak like a mere logician or skeptic or take any side whatsoever in useless arguments. A saintly person should never let others frighten or disturb him and, similarly, should never frighten or disturb other people.  He should tolerate the insults of others and should never himself belittle anyone.  He should never create hostility with anyone for the sake of the material body, for he would thus be no better than an animal. If at times one does not obtain proper food one should not be depressed, and when one obtains sumptuous food one should not rejoice.  Being fixed in determination, one should understand both situations to be under the control of  God. If required, one should endeavor to get sufficient foodstuffs, because it is always necessary and proper to maintain one's health.  When the senses, mind and life air are fit, one can contemplate spiritual truth, and by understanding the truth one is liberated.  A sage should accept the food, clothing and bedding--be they of excellent or inferior quality--that come of their own accord. S.B.11.18.28-35

6 There are many persons with little in their possession who accept the renounced order of life like monkeys.  They go here and there engaging in sense gratification and speaking intimately with women. C.C.Antya 2.120

Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu said, "My mind is not under My control.  It does not like to see anyone in the renounced order who talks intimately with women."  C.C.Antya 2.124

7 Narottama das Thakura describes the false renunciate (kapata vairagi): Becoming the servant of maya, I develop many material desires and forget to remember You. Aspiring for wealth, I put on the dress of the vaishnava and wander  from house to house.


8 B.R.S.1.3.32-33

9 B.R.S.1.3.36

10 B.R.S.1.3.38

11 Persons who are very expert and most intelligent in understanding things as they are engage in hearing narrations of the auspicious activities and pastimes of the Lord, which are worth chanting and worth hearing.  Such persons do not care even for the highest material benediction, namely liberation, to say nothing of other less important benedictions like the material happiness of the heavenly kingdom. S.B.3.15.48

12 How pious are the tracts of land in Vraja, for there the primeval Personality of Godhead, disguising Himself with human traits, wanders about, enacting His many pastimes! Adorned with wonderfully variegated forest garlands, He whose feet are worshipped by Lord Siva and goddess Rama vibrates His flute as He tends the cows in the company of Balarama. S.B.10.44.13



Part 3 - MISSING



Part four



Whether bhava bhakti arises from sadhana bhakti or from the mercy of the Lord or His devotee, in any case, it is nourished only by the association of Krishna's devotees.1  If that bhava bhakta happens to commit offense against the devotee, the priceless treasure of rati gradually decreases and disappears, or takes on inferior qualities.  This is very unfortunate.  Therefore it is very essential that the bhava bhakta or the any bhakta is careful to associate with devotees in love and avoid committing offenses against them.  By that association anartha nivrtti takes place in sadhana bhakti, and bhava is nourished in bhava bhakti. 


Sometimes  it seems that the priceless treasure of rati is visible in persons other than devotees of the Lord.  Pure rati of the Lord's devotee must be understood properly.  Not to speak badly of other persons or groups, for the satisfaction of  devotees who have asked this question, reply is here given.  Unavoidably, what is said here will be contrary to the practices of some groups. Please excuse us. By great fortune, the jiva attains rati at the stage of pure devotion.  It is impossible to teach rati to others through writing books, and thus this book was written for those with faith in  pure bhakti.  If by chance other groups read this it is not our fault.  If by good fortune, they agree with the conclusions, then it is all the better.  If they disagree, then they should give the book to someone else, and not be offended with us. 


According to the abheda brahmavadis, brahman is without qualities. For worship, they must take support of some form, as it cannot be worshipped directly.   The individual soul is endowed with qualities, so he cannot help but perform worship involving qualities.  Because of this, at the first stage the person, being influenced by qualities,  should worship an imaginary form.  Gradually the mind becomes fixed, and then he can utilize jnana and vairagya to search out the qualitiless brahman.  Sankaracarya, the main proponent of abheda brahmavada has in his book Aparoksanubhuti advised that if a person practices the nine principles of detachment, discernment, control of mind, control of senses, indifference, tolerance, faith, conclusion and desire for liberation, and deliberates deeply,  he will attain knowledge of what to do.  To master these  nine practices he advises that following the duties of ones varna and asrama, practicing austerity and pleasing Hari  are the three activities which will qualify him for the nine practices mentioned above.  Pleasing Hari means worshipping devatas endowed with material qualities.  Prakrti, Surya, Ganesa, Siva and Vishnu are the five types of devatas endowed with material qualities.2  As the five devatas are worshipped differently, tantras giving  the method of worshipping each were written. Their import is that by worshipping these devatas the mind develops concentration.  By practice, this concentration can be done without an object, and it finally yields a realization of non distinction (nirvisesa). When this realization becomes deeper, there is realization that the self is brahman.


The advaita vadis say that brahman is the only substance or reality.  Everything else is insubstantial, unreal.  The devatas who are the object of worship during sadhana are also unreal.  In the final stage of nirvisesa, these devatas do not exist.  The devatas are imaginary, mental creations only. The deity forms  as well are imaginary.  Thus  Kali, Surya, Ganesa, Siva and Vishnu are all imaginary.  Astanga yogis and those who worship the five forms are of the same ideology; they are all brahma vadis and take liberation as the final goal.   Though they understand that the devata they worship are false and imaginary, they still worship them. The symptoms of rati or bhava that they display during worship they call rati.  During festivals they shiver, sweat, change color, shed tears and dance in ecstasy. Though these are symptoms of rati, it is not the unmotivated rati and faith that has been described previously in this book.3


How many types of rati are there?  Five types  are seen: pure rati, shadow rati, reflected rati, material rati, and fake rati.  Pure rati is called atma rati, bhagavati rati, cid rati, and bhava in the scriptures.  That function by which the soul in its pure state is connected with the Lord is called rati.  At that stage there is rati towards no other object except the Lord. The quality of rati is its exclusive devotion.  Softness, smoothness, joy, taste, attachment are but different states of rati.


The slight appearance of this pure rati is called shadow rati.4  Because of its meagerness, it is described as inferior, and it remains like this as long as the situation persists.  But it creates happiness and removes sorrow.  This chaya rati is experienced in association of devotees and while engaged in sadhana bhakti. It is not fixed, but fickle. Through association with devotees even common people may experience chaya rati. By good fortune, this shadow of pure rati appears in the heart of the individual, for once this has occurred, the person can experience higher and higher stages.  This is not real bhava but a resemblance.  By the mercy of the pure devotees, very quickly this chaya rati can become real rati or bhava.  but if there is offense against the devotees, this chaya rati  disappears.


Due to association with devotees,  the rati in the heart of the devotee gets reflected in the heart of the abheda brahmavadis and the worshipers of imaginary devatas.  The  ecstatic symptoms that  the seekers of liberation  display during kirtana or festivals after seeing the ecstasy of the devotees is called reflected.  The symptoms of rati in these devata worshipers  usually occurs in this way:  experiencing that the goal of liberation is too difficult  to attain by the methods given by their spiritual leaders, they express their difficulties to their imaginary devatas by showing signs of rati.  From this they experience the enjoyment of the their final goal, a small portion of happiness of liberation.  Both shadow rati and reflected rati are but resemblances  of rati (ratyabhasa); they are not pure rati.   Pure rati  will only appear in the person who has accepted the eternal form of the Lord, and practices real devotion.  As the worshipers of imaginary devatas do not believe the soul is itself eternal,  there is no  receptacle or shelter for rati. For them there is ultimately no particular form for the Lord, because their final goal is non difference from God, where there is no object to which  rati is directed. Thus their rati may be called a reflection of pure rati,5 or may be a form of material rati, or even false rati.


Where the shelter of rati, the individual soul, is considered to be temporary, and the object of rati, the Supreme Lord, is considered to be without particular identity or formless, the rati must also be temporary, a name sake, false, material or reflected.   If the worshipers of five deities realize, by chance, or by understanding the import of the teachers' words, or by development of ruci, that the object of worship is an eternal form and that the soul is his eternal servant, there will be a partial manifestation of rati. The rati of worshipers of Vishnu, Siva, and Ganesa gradually becomes directed towards real knowledge and finally directs itself to Krishna.  By meditation on the sun, the rati directed towards the sun gradually attains shelter of Narayan situated in the sun.  The rati of worshipers of prakrti, gradually transcending the meditation on sakti,   takes shelter of the Lord  endowed with all powers. Krishna says in the Bhagavad Gita that  those people who worship the devatas are actually worshipping Krishna but without following the proper rules.6   At last they attain Krishna.  The import is that  as long as there is some conflicting element pertaining to the asraya of rati or the subject of rati, rati does not manifest fully.  After rati gradually develops through cultivation over many births, the discordant elements regarding soul and the Lord disappear.  At that point it is possible to attain bhakti to Krishna. Of course, association with devotees is the cause of this development. 


There are many examples of material rati in the world, particularly  in those people addicted to liquor, women, assets and food.  When Urvasi leaves, King Yayati gives up  his life.  Romeo gives up his life for Juliet. Many examples like this may be found in fiction. These are signs of rati, but what kind of rati?  When the spiritual  soul becomes conditioned and thinks himself material, his svadharma, rati to the Lord, becomes distorted along with the soul.  Giving up the Lord as object of rati,   the person takes matter as the object of rati , and then displays symptoms of rati.    The forms used by the worshipers of imaginary devatas amongst the impersonalists are also all material.  The effect that arises from material rati towards the material object hold good for the rati directed to the imaginary devatas.   In hearing about Gulliver's adventures,  the reader identifies with him,  experiences the happiness and sorrow the Gulliver feels, and show symptoms of rati.  It is not surprising then that the worshipers, on hearing the pastimes of their devata, also exhibit symptoms of rati.  One old woman listening to the Ramayana became overwhelmed with grief on hearing of Rama's departure for the forest.  When others asked her the reason   she replied that her goat had wandered into the forest and never returned. On hearing the story of Rama she remembered her goat and began to weep.  Therefore understand that none of the people that cry in the name of worshipping the Lord have pure rati, and  among them, many are acting out of material rati. This material rati may in special cases be a reflection of pure rati in  which  the brahmavadis and the worshipers of imaginary devatas  then manifest all  symptoms of rati.


The  above four types of rati may also be  deceitful.   The unfaithful wife may show signs of material rati  to avoid making her husband suspicious.   With a desire to enjoy the offerings of the deity, especially goat meat, many low worshipers will display signs of rati.   This is an example of deceitful rati, or cheating. With the desire for favors from guru, fame among the devotees,  faith from the common people, or to receive respect at large gatherings, many people pretend to have rati for the Lord, and  exhibit dancing, sweating, tears, choking of voice, shivering and occasionally the symptoms of bhava.   But in their heart there is no sattvika vikara (transformations due to purified existence).7


Those who do not give proper respect to real rati for the Lord, due to the fact that there are many other types of rati in the world, are in a lamentable state. It is possible however that without performing any sadhana, a person may suddenly develop rati for the Lord.  In this case, it should be understood that in many previous lives he performed sadhana but due to some obstacle rati did not appear. When the obstacle is removed, the covering on rati is removed and it then suddenly appears. At that time the devotee develops appreciation for the Lord and detachment for all else. 8

1 By serving the feet of the spiritual master, one is enabled to develop transcendental ecstasy in the service of the Personality of Godhead, who is the unchangeable enemy of the Madhu demon and whose service vanquishes one's material distresses. S.B.3.7.19

2 Hari Bhakti Sudhodaya

3 B.R.S.1.3.41-43

4 B.R.S.1.3.49-56

5 B.R.S.1.3.46-48

6 Those who are devotees of other gods and who worship them with faith actually worship only Me, O son of Kunti, but they do so in a wrong way. B.G.9.23

7 Certainly that heart is steel-framed which, in spite of one's chanting the holy name of the Lord with concentration, does not change when ecstasy takes place, tears fill the eyes and the hairs stand on end. S.B.2.3.24

8 B.R.S.1.3.57