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NITAAI-Veda.nyf > All Scriptures By Acharyas > Bhaktivinoda Thakura > Jaiva Dharma > Chapter-37

Chapter Thirty-seven


Shringara-rasa (Madhura-rasa)



     Again and again relishing the sweetness of the bhavas, Vijaya-kumara offered dandavat obeisances to his spiritual master's lotus feet. He asked, "O master, I have understood vibhava, anubhava, sattvika-bhava, and vyabhicari-bhava. I have also understood sthayi-bhava. However the rasa that comes from the meeting of the sthayi-bhava with the previously described four ingredients has not yet manifested within me. Why is that?"


     Gosvami: O Vijaya-kumara, you should understand about the rasa called shringara-rasa. Only then will you be able to understand the sweetness of sthayi-bhava.

     Vijaya-kumara: What is shringara-rasa?

     Gosvami: When madhura-rasa becomes very beautiful, it is called "shringara-rasa". This rasa is of two kinds: 1. vipralambha (separation), and 2. sambhoga (enjoyment).

     Vijaya-kumara: I wish to learn about vipralambha.

     Gosvami: Whether they meet or not, the two youthful lovers yearn to embrace and enjoy many pastimes. When these desires remain unfulfilled, their love (bhava) becomes very great. This most intense emotional state, which make the happiness of meeting all the greater, is called "vipralambha". The word "vipralambha" means parting (viraha) or separation (viyoga).

     Vijaya-kumara: How does vipralambha make the happiness of sambhoga (meeting) greater?

     Gosvami: When a red cloth is polaced again into red dye, the cloth is made even more red. In the same way, vipralambha increases the enjpyment of the lovers when the finally meet. Without vipralambha, the enjoyment of sambhoga does not become increased.

     Vijaya-kumara: What are the different kinds of vipralambha?

     Gosvami: There are four kinds of vipralambha: 1. purva-raga, 2. mana, 3. prema-vaicittya, and 4. pravasa.

     Vijaya-kumara: What is purva-raga?

     Gosvami: Before the young lovers meet they may somehow see each other, hear of each other, or in some other way come to know of each other. When, by these activities they become attracted to each other and begin to fall in love, that is called “purva-raga".

     Vijaya-kumara: What are the different ways they may see each other?

     Gosvami: The lover may see Krishna directly, see a pciture of Him, or see Him in a dream. These ways of seeing Him are called "darshana".

     Vijaya-kumara: What are the different ways they may hear of each other?

     Gosvami: They may hear from the mouth of a poet reciting prayers, from the mouth of a gopi-friend, from the mouth of a gopi-messenger, or from a song, or in some other way. That is called "shravana".

     Vijaya-kumara: What causes them to be attracted and fall in love (rati)?

     Gosvami: I have already described the many causes of rati, causes that begin with abhiyoga. These are said to be the causes in purva-raga also.

     Vijaya-kumara: Who attains purva-raga first: Krishna or the gopis?

     Gosvami: This may be considered in different ways. In the material world woemn are shy and possess other feminine qualities. For this reason it is the man who pursues the woman. However, it is also said that women are naturally more attracted to the affairs of love, and therefore doe-eyed women feel purva-raga first. In the Bhakti-shastras it is said that the devotee feels purva-raga first, and the Supreme Personality of Godhead feels purva-raga afterward. Therefore it is said that the vraja-gopis feel purva-raga most intensely, and they feel it first.

     Vijaya-kumara: What are the vyabhicari-bhavas in purva-raga?

     Gosvami: Included among the vyabhicari-bhavas in purva-raga are: disease, doubt, envy, fatigue, disappointment, eagerness, humility, anxiety, dizziness, alertness, lamentation, inertness, madness, confusion, and death.

     Vijaya-kumara: How many different kinds of purva-raga are there?

     Gosvami: There are three kinds of purva-raga: 1. praudha, 2. samanjasa, and 3. sadharana.

     Vijaya-kumara: What is praudha purva-raga?

     Gosvami: When it is manifested in samartha-rati, purva-raga is manifested as praudha-purva-raga. In this kind of purva-raga, yearning, death, and other conditions of life are manifested. The vyabhicari-bhavas are filled with yearnings.

     Vijaya-kumara: Please describe these different conditions of life.

     Gosvami: It is said in the Ujjvala-nilamani:




     tanavam jadimatra tu

vaiyagryam vyadhir unmado

     moho mrityu-dasha dasha



     "Yearning, anxiety, wakefulness, emaciation, being stunned, bewilderment, disease, madness, illusion, and death are the ten conditions present in purva-raga."


     Vijaya-kumara: What is yearning?

     Gosvami: Yearning is an intense desire to attain the beloved. In it eagerness, restlessness, moving to and fro, sighing, and other like symptoms are manifested.

     Vijaya-kumara: What is anxiety?

     Gosvami: Anxiety is when the mind is restless. In this condition there are deep sighs, restlessness, being stunned, worry, tears, becoming pale, perspiring, and other like symptoms.

     Vijaya-kumara: What is wakefulness?

     Gosvami: Wakefulness is when sleep is destroyed. In this condition there are being stunned, being withered, being angry, and other like symptoms.

     Vijaya-kumara: What is emaciation?

     Gosvami: Emaciation is when the body becomes very thin. In this condition there are weakness, giddiness, and other like symptoms. In some texts the word "vilapa" (lamentation is read here.

     Vijaya-kumara: What is being stunned?

     Gosvami: Inability to see any difference between what is desirable and what is not desirable, failure to answer questions, and the inability to see or hear are present when one is stunned. Inarticulate sounds made suddenly and for no reason, inertness, long sighs, and bewilderment are also included among the symptoms here.

     Vijaya-kumara: What is bewilderment?

     Gosvami: The state of being deeply upset and thus unable to cope is called bewilderment. In this condition there are disappointment, melancholy, envy, and loss of discrimination,

     Vijaya-kumara: What is disease?

     Gosvami: Disease is when, because of being unable to attain the beloved, one become pale and feverish. In that condition one yearns for coolness, one is bewildered, one sighs, and one falls to the ground.

     Vijaya-kumara: What is madness?

     Gosvami: When, in every place, every condition, and every time one is bewildered and says things are other than they actually are, that is called madness. Hatred of the beloved, sighing, blinking of the eyes, and separation from the beloved are included in madness.

     Vijaya-kumara: What is illusion?

     Gosvami: When the mind acts in a contrary, improper way, that is called illusion. Being motionless and fainting occur in illusion.

     Vijaya-kumara: What is death?

     Gosvami: When, in spite of all efforts to make Him return, the beloved does not return, the lover, tormented by love, yearns for her own death. She bequeaths to her friends all her favorite things: the bumblebees, the gentle breeze, the moonlight, and the kadamba flowers. This is the anubhava.

     Vijaya-kumara: What is samanjasa purva-raga?

     Gosvami: Samanjasa purva-raga is manifested in samanjasa-rati. In it are manifested desire, thoughtfulness, remembrance, glorifying the beloved's virtues, passion, lamentation, madness, disease, being stunned, and death.

     Vijaya-kumara: In this context what is desire?

     Gosvami: To yearn for the touch of the beloved is called "desire". To attain this desire the lover decorates herself with ornaments and reveals her passion.

     Vijaya-kumara: In this context what is thoughtfulness?

     Gosvami: To think of different ways to attain the beloved is called thoughtfulness. In this situation the lover carefully arranges the bed, sighs, and anxiously looks to see the beloved's arrival.

     Vijaya-kumara: In this context what is remembrance?

     Gosvami: To think of the beloved and things in relation to Him is called remembrance. In this situation the lover trembles, has a seizure where she loses control of her limbs, weeps, sighs, and performs other like activities.

     Vijaya-kumara: What is glorifying the beloved's virtues?

     Gosvami: To praise the beloved's handsomeness and other virtues is called glorifying the beloved's virtues. In this situation the anubhavas include trembling, standing up of the body's hairs, and choking of the voice. In this situation anxiety, mad lamentation, disease, being stunned, and death are manifested in samanjasa purva-raga as they are also in samanjasa-rati.

     Vijaya-kumara: O master, please describe sadharana purva-raga.

     Gosvami: Sadharana samanjasa purva-raga is like sadharana-rati. In it are manifested the six conditions beginning with lamentation, only their manifestation is softer. The situation is natural, so there is no need to give any examples. In this purva-raga the lovers send love-letters, garlands, and other things to be placed in each other's hands.

     Vijaya-kumara: What are the love-letters?

     Gosvami: Love-letters are of two kinds: 1. those that are not written with words, and 2. those that are written with words. Because in them the author reveals His or Her love, they are called "love-letters".

     Vijaya-kumara: What are the love-letters that are not written with words?

     Gosvami: Without writing any words, the author may use her fingernail to draw a half-moon on a red flower-petal or leaf. That is called "a letter written without any words".

     Vijaya-kumara: What is a love-letter that is written with words?

     Gosvami: When the lover personally writes with His or Her own hand verses in the Prakrit language, that is called a "love-letter that is written with words". The ink for the letter may be red hingula, musk, or black ashes and water. The pages of the letter are extraordinarily large flower petals. The stamp to seal the letter is made of kunkuma. Lotus fibers are the string to tie the pages together.

     Vijaya-kumara: What is the sequence of events in purva-raga?

     Gosvami: First there is the sight of something pleasing to the eye. Then there is thinking of what one has seen. Then there is attachment, then yearning, then loss of sleep, then becoming emaciated, then renouncing all else, then destruction of shyness, then madness, then falling unconscious, and then death. These are the stages of love. These stages are manifested in both the hero and the heroine. However, they are manifested first in the heroines, and only later in Krishna.

     Vijaya-kumara: What is jealous anger?

     Gosvami: When the lovers meet, but the heroine will not allow her lover to touch her, that is called jealous anger. Disgust, anxiety, restlessness, arrogance, envy, concealment, loss, and worry are included among the sancari-bhavas in jealous anger.

     Vijaya-kumara: Where does jealous anger rest?

     Gosvami: Jealous anger rests in pranaya (love). Before pranaya exists jealous anger cannot be said truly to exist. If it exists at all, it is very stunted. Jealous anger is of two kinds: 1. with a cause, and 2. without a cause.

     Vijaya-kumara: What is jealous anger with a cause?

     Gosvami: When the beloved gives His affection to a rival, and the lover feels jealous anger mixed with love (pranaya), that is called jealous anger with a cause. The ancient sages affirm that without sneha fear is not possible, and without pranaya, jealous anger is not possible. Therefore, when jealous anger is manifested, this reveals the love felt by the hero and heroine. A girl who sincerely loves her beloved cannot bear the idea of a rival for her beloved's affections. When the Dvaraka queens heard that Krishna had given a parijata flower to Rukmini, jealous anger arose only in the heart of Satyabhama and not in the heart of any other queen.

     Vijaya-kumara: In what different ways is the rival (vipaksha) discovered?

     Gosvami: There are three ways: 1. the lover hears about her rival, 2. she suspects the rival's existence, and 3. she sees the rival in a dream.

     Vijaya-kumara: What is hearing about the rival?

     Gosvami: the lover may hear from the mouth of one of her friends, from the mouthof a parrot, or from the mouth of someone else. In these ways she hears about her rival.

     Vijaya-kumara: How does she suspect her rival's existence?

     Gosvami: She may see the marks of amorous enjoyment, hear the name of her rival accidentally spoken, or see her rival in a dream. In these ways she may suspect the existence of a rival. On the limbs of her beloved she may see various signs of His having enjoyed with another girl. That is called "seeing the marks of enjoyment". Her beloved may accidentally speak the name of a rival. That is called, "hearing the name of her rival accidentally spoken". These things make the heroine so sad that she wishes she were dead. In a dream the lover may see Krishna and a rival beloved. This is called "seeing the rival in a dream."

     Vijaya-kumara: What is directly seeing the rival?

     Gosvami: The girl may directly see her beloved enjoying pastimes with a rival. That is called "directly seeing the rival".

     Vijaya-kumara: What is jealous anger without a cause?

     Gosvami: When there is no real cause, but there is only a flimsy reflection of a cause, and the heroine takse shelter of pranaya (love), the result is jealous anger without a cause. Jealous anger with a cause is itself a transformation of pranaya. When the pastimes of pranaya are manifested, one by-product is the creation of jealous anger without a cause. This kind of jealous anger is called "pranaya-mana". The ancient panditas declare that spiritual love moves in a crooked way, like the movements of a snake. That is way the heroine manifests these two kinds of jealous anger, anger with and without a cause. This rasa has many vyabhicari-bhavas. Among them concealment is the most important.

     Vijaya-kumara: How does the beloved pacify jealous anger without a cause?

     Gosvami: Jealous anger without a cause will be pacified spontaneously. No effort is needed to pacify it. In the course of joking and other like pastimes, it will go away. Jealous anger with a cause will be pacified when there are conciliation, quarrel, giving a gift, and bowing down to offer respects. Jealous anger may also be pacified by shedding tears, by joking pastimes, or in other ways also.

     Vijaya-kumara: What is conciliation?

     Gosvami: Speaking affectionate words is called “conciliation".

     Vijaya-kumara: What is quarrel?

     Gosvami: Quarrel is of two kinds: 1. Crookedly praising one's own glories, and 2. using a friend to criticize the beloved.

     Vijaya-kumara: What is giving a gift?

     Gosvami: When on some pretext an ornament of other gift is given to the jealous beloved, that is called "giving a gift".

     Vijaya-kumara: What is bowing down to offer respects?

     Gosvami: When the lover humbly falls at the feet of the jealous beloved, that is called "bowing down to offer respects".

     Vijaya-kumara: What is "upeksha"?

     Gosvami: When, seeing that neither conciliation nor any other means will pacify His jealous beloved, the lover simply remains silent, that is called "upeksha". Some scholars say that "upeksha" here means that by speaking joking words the lover pacifies His jealous beloved.

     Vijaya-kumara: You used the word "rasantara". What does that word mean?

     Gosvami: To speak words that bring sudden fear to the jealous beloved is called "rasantara". Rasantara is of two kinds: 1. yadricchika, and 2. buddhi-purvaka. When it occurs accidentally it is called "yadricchika". When it happens because of the lover's great intelligence it is called "buddhi-purvaka".

     Vijaya-kumara: In what other ways can the lover break His beloved's jealous anger?

     Gosvami: One way is to play the flute at an appropriate time and place. There are also other ways to remove the jealous anger of the vraja-gopis. A small amount of jealous anger may be easily pacified. A moderate amount of jealous anger may require some effort. Intense jealous anger is difficult to pacify, even with great effort. When a gopi expresses her jealous anger at Krishna, she may say, "O crooked one, O crest-jewel of the malicious, O king of cheaters, O king of the deceivers, O best of the wicked, O great demon, O hard-hearted one, O shameless one, O rake whose playing is a host of sins, O lecher who hunts out the gopis, O thief of beautiful girls' hearts, O destroyer of the gopis' piety, O rake who mocks the saintly gopis, O king of the debauchees, O great darkness of sins, O thief of the gopis' garments, O highwayman who lurks in the valley of Govardhana Hill!"

     Vijaya-kumara: What is "prema-vaicittya"?

     Gosvami: When, even though her beloved is present before her, a girl suffers, mistakenly thinking He is far away, that is called "prema-vaicittya". When she is so overwhelmed with intense love that her mind mistakenly thinks her beloved is far away, that is called "vaicittya".

     Vijaya-kumara: What is "pravasa"?

     Gosvami: When, although previously they were together, the hero and heroine now stay in different countries, different towns, different rasas, or different localities, that is called "pravasa". The vyabhicaris of the pravasa separation are all the vyabhivaris of shringara-rasa except for joy, pride, passion, and shyness. Pravasa is of two kinds: 1. buddhi-purvaka, and 2. abuddhi-purvaka.

     Vijaya-kumara: What is buddhi-purvaka pravasa?

     Gosvami: When the beloved goes far away to perform a specific duty, that is called "buddhi-purvaka pravasa". Krishna's duty in this situation is to give pleasure to His devotees. This kind of pravasa is of two kinds: 1. going a short distance, and 2. going far away. When the journey is far away, it is of three kinds: 1. future, 2. present, and 3. past. When the journey is far away, the lovers exchange letters.

     Vijaya-kumara: What is abuddhi-purvaka pravasa?

     Gosvami: When fate forces the beloved to live far away, that is called "abuddhi-purvaka pravasa". In the grip of the demigods or other forces, the lovers are forced into many different situations. Anxiety, sleeplessness, agitation, being emaciated, bodily limbs becoming discolored, wild talking, disease, madness, bewilderment, and death are the ten conditions of life in this kind of pravasa. When Krishna goes far away, all these ten conditions of life are manifested. O Vijaya-kumara, these different kinds of spiritual love (prema) and these ten conditions of life can be understood only by mercy. With mercy they cannot be understood.

     Vijaya-kumara: When my heart thinks about this description of separation, it says that separation is not an end in itself. Rather, it is meant to increase the ocean of pleasure the lovers feel when they meet. Although a soul imprisoned by Maya will prefer the ocean of happiness obtained in meeting and think it better than the rasa of separation, still, the rasax of separatioon is eternally manifested. The Lord's pastimes would not be so wonderful if it were absent.