|NITAAI-Veda.nyf > All Scriptures By Acharyas > Bhaktivinoda Thakura > Shikshashtaka > Sloka-Seven|
What are the internal symptoms of perfection?
shunyayitam jagat sarvam
govinda virahena me
govinda virahena—in separation from Vrajendra-nandana Shri Krishna; me—my; nimeshena—even a moment; yugayitam—it seems like a millenium; cakshusha pravrishayitam—tears are falling from my eyes like torrents of rain; sarvam jagat shunyayitam— this entire world seems void to me.
"Hey Sakhi! In separation from Govinda, even a moment seems like a millenium to me; tears begin to flow from eyes like torents of rain; and this entire world appears to be void."
Shri Sanmodana Bhashyam
When bhakti attains to the stage of rati, as described in the previous shloka, the sthayi bhava (or in other words, the permanent emotion in one of the five transcendental relationships with Shri Krishna) becomes clearly manifest. When the sthayi bhava mixes with the other four bhavas—vibhava, anubhava, sattvika bhava, and vyabhicari bhava—it is transformed into bhakti rasa. In that state the anubhavas and sattvika bhavas of bhakti are fully exhibited. In Bhakti Rasamrita Sindhu (1.4.1) Shrila Rupa Gosvami, establishes the definition of prema in the following words:
bhava sa eva sandratma
budhaih prema nigadyate
"Bhava bhakti which melts the heart much more thoroughly than in its beginning stage thus making it completely soft, which produces supreme exultation of transcendental bliss, and which gives rise to a very deep sense of possessiveness (mamata) in relationship to Shri Krishna is called prema by learned persons."
(The term `mamata' here refers to the sense of possessiveness by which one thinks, "Krishna is my master, Krishna is my friend, Krishna is my son, or Krishna is my lover." It is a characteristic trait of the four higher rasas only.)
According to the philosophical conclusion of this verse, bhava bhakti which is fully matured owing to the upsurge of a very powerful sense of possessiveness (mamata) in relationship to Shri Krishna should be understood to be prema.
In Bhakti Rasamrita Sindhu (2.5.115–116) it is described that in accordance with the five kinds of principal relationships exchanged between the vishaya (the object of prema—Shri Krishna) and the ashraya (the receptacle of prema—the devotee), there are five principal rasas (mukhya rasa)—shanta, dasya, sakhya, vatsalya, and madhura. According to the difference of the secondary relationships, there are seven secondary rasas (gauna rasa)—hasya (laughter), adbhuta (astonishment), karuna (tragedy), vira (chivalry), raudra (anger), bhayanaka (dread), and bibhatsa (ghastliness). Of the five types of mukhya rasa, madhura rasa is the highest. As the intensity of madhura rasa increases, it is transformed into prema, pranaya, mana, sneha, raga, anuraga, bhava, and mahabhava.
Development of prema from rati to mahabhava:
Krishna rati which is predominated simply by ullasa (elation) is called shanta rasa. The prominent features of shanta rasa are attachment to Brahman and indifference toward all else, including the other rasas. When Prema is augmented due to the appearance of a strong sense of possessiveness (mamata) in relationship with Shri Krishna, it is called dasya rasa. On the appearance of dasya rasa, priti or affection is so deep, that even though there may be sufficient cause to bring about a break in affection, it is not influenced even slightly.
When prema is possessed of even greater faith in the object of worship it is called pranaya. This pranaya is the essence of sakhya rasa. When pranaya is present, there is an absence of awe and reverence even toward qualified persons. In its mature condition, pranaya assumes a crooked nature due to excessively developed affection. This surprising and unusual state is called `mana'. When mana is present, the Lord Himself is compelled to appease the devotee, just to savour the loving sentiment of the devotee who is overcome with anger aroused by their lover's quarrel.
When prema is very deep and melts the heart to an abundant extent, it is called sneha. When sneha arises, it is marked by a great profusion of tears. In sneha, the devotee's ardent desire to see the Lord is never diminished. Although Shri Krishna is supremely competent, the devotee becomes apprehensive that some harm may come to Him. These two symptoms are observed in the vatsalya rasa.
Sneha which is possessed of an intense longing is called raga. Upon the appearance of raga, even a moment's separation is intolerable, whereas in meeting, great sorrow appears like happiness. The complete opposite of this situation is found in separation (i.e. great happiness becomes a source of unbearable distress). This raga causes its worshipable object to be experienced as eternally fresh, and being ever increasingly fresh itself, it is transformed into anuraga.
Upon the appearance of anuraga, the sentiment, exchanged between lover and beloved, of having been brought under one another's control is tremendously increased. Prema Vaicitrya (variegated love) is a division of vipralambha which comes in anuraga. It begins to manifest as the desire to take birth as inanimate objects (aprani) that are connected to Shri Krishna (an example of this is Shrimati Radharani's desire to take birth as a bamboo rod so that She could become a bamboo rod flute and thus drink the nectar of Shri Krishna's lips). Another aspect of prema Vaicitrya is that, even though separated from Shri Krishna, the beloved begins to see Krishna everywhere, as if He were directly before Her.
When anuraga becomes matchless and filled with astonishment, it obtains a state of complete madness (unmada) and is called mahabhava. In the state of mahabhava, when the devotee is in the Lord's association, even a moment's obstruction in seeing the Lord due to the blinking of the eyes is intolerable. Similarly, a day of Brahma (a kalpa) appears to be but a moment. Conversely, when the devotee is separated from the Lord, even a moment appears to be like an entire kalpa. In the state of mahabhava, both in union and in separation, the sattvika bhavas, sancari bhavas and other symptoms of ecstacy are displayed to their fullest extent.
In this one shloka, Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu has very concisely expressed the essence of the systematic development of prema through its various stages, as has been described by Jiva Gosvami in the Priti Sandarbha. In particular, He has described the fully developed and radiant prema of the Gopis (ujjvala madhura prema).
It may be noted that the order of the stages of prema that is given by Shrila Jiva Gosvami in the Priti Sandarbha differs slightly from that which is given by Shrila Rupa Gosvami in Ujjvala-nilamani. In Priti Sandarbha the order is given as rati, pranaya, mana, sneha, raga, anuraga, bhava, and mahabhava; whereas in Ujjvala-nilamani it is given as rati, sneha, mana, pranaya, raga, anuraga, bhava, and mahabhava. There is no contradiction between these two different lists because sometimes the order of sneha, mana, and pranaya is reversed in accordance with different rasas. ·
The word `yugayitam' (appearing like a millenium) is simple and straight-forward. The phrase `govinda virahena' expresses the attitude of separation from the Lord. As mentioned in Bhakti Rasamrita Sindhu (3.5.25), self-realized rasika devotees have described various divisions of vipralambha (love in separation), such as purva raga (love in separation experienced between lovers who have not yet met), mana (anger which prevents a loving couple from meeting each other), and pravasa (separation due to living at a distant place), etc. Nonetheless, the esoteric mystery implied in this verse of Lord Chaitanya is that the sadhaka jiva who is still within the world of matter is only fit to taste love in separation (vipralambha) in the condition of purva raga.
It is essential for the sadhaka jivas to cultivate only the mood of vipralambha, and because they have never experienced meeting with Krishna, their vipralambha will come only in the category of purva raga. But without having ever met with Krishna, how can they experience separation in purva raga from Him?
By hearing the lila-katha of Shri Krishna from others, purva raga is awakened. This was the case with the dvija-patnis as well as the ladies of Mathura previous to Krishna's arrival there. Rukmini also had never seen Krishna, but by hearing about Him from Shri Narada, purva raga arose within her heart. Thus she became exceedingly anxious to meet with Krishna. Similarly, by hearing from the guru and Vaishnavas or by reading the shastras, the jivas may have purva raga vipralambha awakened within their hearts. The jivas have qualification only up to this extent because they have never experienced meeting with Krishna. Therefore, the other types of vipralambha such as mana and pravasa are not possible for them. ·
Separation (viraha) is said to be of ten kinds: (1) cinta (anxious consideration), (2) jagarana (sleeplessness), (3) udvega (agitation), (4) tanava krishata (emaciation of the body), (5) malinangata (discoloring of the limbs of the body), (6) pralapa (incoherent speech), (7) vyadhi (being stricken with a tormenting ailment), (8) unmada (madness), (9) moha (bewilderment), and (10) mrityu (death) or murccha (unconsciousness).
Shri Chaitanya Caritamrita (Antya Lila 20.40-41):
udvege divasa na jaya, kshana haila yuga-sam
varshara megha-praya ashru varshe nayana
govinda virahe shunya haila tribhuvana
tushanale pode-jena na jaya jivana
Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, absorbed in intense feelings of separation in the ecstacy of mahabhava, speaks as follows:
"Hey sakhi! On account of agitation caused by separation from the son of Maharaja Nanda, I am unable to tolerate the passing of time. Each and every moment appears to be like an entire millenium (yuga). Tears are flowing incessantly from my eyes just like torrents of rain from the clouds. Now I simply can not tolerate separation from Govinda. This entire universe appears as if void. My body is always burning in the fire of separation as if my limbs had been bound by straw and set ablaze. Yet I remain alive. What am I to do now?"
Shri Shikshashtakam: Song 7–in four parts (Gitavali)
gaite gaite nama ki dasha haila
krishna nitya dasa mui hridaye sphurila
janilama maya pashe e jada jagate
govinda virahe duhkha pai nana mate
ara je samsara mora nahi lage bhala
kahan jai krishna heri e cinta vishala
kandite kandite mora ankhi varishaya
varsha dhara hena cakshe haila udaya
nimesha haila mora shata yuga sama
govinda viraha ara sahite akshama
"While repeatedly chanting the holy name of Shri Krishna, I was overtaken with a most astonishing condition. The realization that I am the eternal servant of Lord Krishna began to manifest within my heart. Having become averse to Lord Shri Krishna, I am firmly held in the dreadful grip of maya. Thus I am suffering from various kinds of miseries in this material world."
"Now this material world no longer holds any attraction for me. Where shall I go now? What shall I do? Where will I meet Shri Krishna? Without seeing Him, I can get no relief. This has become a great anxiety. As I cry repeatedly, the tears are flowing from my eyes in an incessant downpour, like rains falling from the clouds in the monsoon season. In separation from Lord Govinda, a single moment appears like hundreds of milleniums (yugas). O Sakhi! Now I simply can not tolerate separation from Lord Govinda."
shunya dharatala, caudike dekhiye,
parana udasa haya
ki kari ki kari, sthira nahi haya,
jivana nahika raya
vraja vasi gana, mora prana rakha,
dekhao shri radhanathe
bhakativinoda, minati maniya,
laohe tahare sathe
shri krishna viraha ara sahite na pari
parana chadite ara din dui cari
"Now this entire universe seems void, and my life has become gloomy. Where shall I go? What shall I do? I am unable to attain any sense of calm. My vital air (prana) is on the verge of quitting this body. O residents of Vraja dhama! Give me a glimpse of Shri Radhanatha and save my life. Please hear the prayer of this Bhaktivinoda and take him along with you. Otherwise I cannot tolerate separation from Krishna anymore. In two or four days at the most, I shall give up my life."
gaite govinda nama upajila bhava grama
dekhilama yamunara kule
vrishabhanu suta sange, shyama natavara range,
bansuri bajaya nipa mule
dekhiya yugala dhana, asthira haila mana,
jnana hara hailu takhana
kata kshana nahi jani, jnana labha haila mani
ara nahi bhela darashana
"When I began to chant the holy name of Shri Govinda in a loud voice, various symptoms of ecstacy began to manifest in my body. Suddenly, I saw the beautiful shore of the Yamuna. In a charming and lush green grove beneath a kadamba tree, natavara (the best of dancers) Shyamasundara, displaying HiHiHis graceful three-fold bending form (tribhanga-lalita), was playing the flute accompanied by the daughter of Maharaja Vrishabhanu. Seeing the matchless divine couple, I could not remain steady. I lost consciousness and fell upon the ground. How long I lay in that condition, I do not know. When I awoke, I looked here and there. But inspite of searching for a long time, I was unable to obtain their darshana."
sakhi go! kemane dhariba parana
nimesha haila yugera samana
shravanera dhara, ankhi varishaya,
shunya bhela dharatala
govinda virahe, prana nahi rahe,
kemane banciba bala
bhakativinoda, asthira haiya,
punah namashraya kari
dake radhanatha, diya darashana,
prana rakha, nahe mari
"Now this entire universe has begun to appear void. Streams of tears flow from my eyes like torrents of rain during the month of Shravana. The life air within this body has become very restless and agitated. I feel that my life is about to come to an end—how shall I go on? In separation from the divine couple, a single moment appears like hundreds of milleniums. Deeply agitated, this Bhaktivinoda chants the holy name again and loudly cries, `Hey Radhanatha (O Lord of Radha), Hey Krishna-Pranapriye (O dearly beloved of Krishna)! Please give me Your audience and save my life. Otherwise, I will surely perish.’”
"Hey Govinda! In separation from You, this entire universe seems void to me. A stream of tears is incessantly flowing from my eyes like torrents of rain during the monsoon season; a moment (nimesha) appears like a millenium (yuga)."
This is a very nice example of vipralambha rasa. For jata-rati bhaktas, it is absolutely essential that one seek to experience vipralambha rasa, without concern for sambhoga (meeting with the Lord). This shloka has been cited in order to demonstrate this point.
Feelings of separation which are experienced in material relationships are simply full of misery, whereas in aprakrita vipralambha rasa, one experiences complete paramananda even though externally it appears like intense suffering. Therefore, it has been said regarding the separation of a Vaishnava: yata dekha vaishnavera vyavahara duhkha, nishcaya janio sei parananda sukha—"Although the feelings of separation experienced by a Vaishnava appear like ordinary distress, you should understand that for him they are nothing but transcendental bliss." Vipralambha rasa always gives nourishment to sambhoga.
In the condition known as prema-vaicitrya, which comes under the heading of vipralambha, sambhoga or meeting with the Lord is present in the external perception. In this condition, although one is directly in the Lord's presence (sambhoga), one feels intense separation (vipralambha) due to the fear of being separated from the Lord. Due to the intense rememberance of the Lord that takes place when the devotee experiences vipralambha, there is no possibility of forgetting the Lord for even a moment. This stage is the culmination point of all bhajana.
The group known as gaura-nagari, who are not genuine followers of Lord Krishna, make a licentious display of sambhoga rasa. Due their negligence of Lord Krishna, they simply create obstacles to the development of aprakrita rasa. Those who aspire for sambhoga (sambhogavadis) always endeavour for the selfish satisfaction of their own senses. Therefore, they are devoid of Krishna bhakti.
In the Chaitanya-Caritamrita, Adi-lila (4.165) it is said: atmendriya-priti-vancha-tare bali kama, krishnendriya-priti-iccha dhare prema nama—"The desire to gratify one's own senses is kama (lust), but the desire to please the senses of Lord Krishna is prema (love)." If the gaura-nagaris understood the meaning of this verse, they would not endeavour to present Lord Chaitanya as nagara (the enjoyer) and themselves as nagari (the enjoyed) which is based solely on the consideration of personal sense gratification. One should abandon this and perform bhagavat bhajana purely under the guidance of Vaishnavas.
The confidential secret of Shri Gauranga lila is that Shri Krishna Himself, accepting the bhava of an ashraya-tattva (a receptacle of loving sentiments or in other words a devotee), is always situated in the mood of vipralambha. The fullest display of the sentiment of the ashraya-tattva jiva, who is seeking to give nourishment to sambhoga rasa, culminates in the mood of vipralambha. In order to demonstrate this, Shri Krishna manifested His eternal Gaura svarupa who is the embodiment of vipralambha rasa. From this it can be concluded that the misplaced endeavours of those who aspire for sambhoga can never become successful.
Shri Bhajana Rahasya Verses
The following verse from Shri Krishna-Karnamrita (41) is an example of Shrimati Radhika's pralapa (incoherent speech or speech filled with lamentation) instigated by feelings of separation from Shri Krishna:
amunyadhanyani dinanta rani hare
anatha bandho karunaika sindho ha
hanta ha hanta katham nayami
"Hey Anatha-bandho (friend of the destitute), Hey Hare, Hey Karuna-sindho (ocean of mercy)! Alas, alas! How can I bear the passing of these miserable days and nights, being bereft of Your association?"
Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura has composed the following verse in this connection:
na heriye tava mukha, hridaye daruna
duhkha dina bandho karuna sagara
e adhanya divanishi, kemane katabe dasi,
upaya balaha atah para
"Being bereft of Your association, my heart is filled with unbearable distress. O friend of the poor, O ocean of mercy! How shall I pass these miserable days and nights? I am Your maidservant. Therefore, please tell me immediately what am I to do about this?"
The following verse from Padyavali (400) is a statement of Shri Madhavendra Puri which illustrates Shri Radha's bhavocchvasa (a deep outburst of feeling which expresses the bhava or spiritual sentiment which is hidden in Her heart. There are many different instances of this. The one mentioned here is instigated by feelings of separation. In the references from Bhajana-Rahasya given in text 8, there is a statement from Krishna-Karnamrita which shows an example of Shrimati Radhika's bhavocchvasa instigated by meeting with Krishna. See the comment given there for further explanation of bhavocchvasa):
ayi dinadayardranatha, he
hridayam tvad-aloka kataram
dayita bhramyati kim karomy aham
"Hey Dina-dayardranatha (compassionate Lord of the helpless), Hey Mathuranatha (Lord of Mathura)! When will I obtain Your darshana? Being bereft of Your association, my heart has become greatly agitated and unsteady. Hey Dayita (dearly beloved)! What shall I do now?"
The following verse from Ujjvala-nilamani (15.167) decribes ten conditions which arise due to separation from Shri Krishna and which thus promote the state of bhavonmada (a kind of divine madness which comes in the stage of mahabhava) in Shrimati Radhika:
cintatra jagarodvegau tanavam malinangata
pralapo vyadhirunmado moho mrityur-dasha dasha
"There are ten conditions which arise in sudur pravasa vipralambha (separation due to living at a distant place). These conditions are as follows: (1) cinta (anxious consideration), (2) jagarana (sleeplessness), (3) udvega (agitation), (4) tanava krishata (emaciation of the body), (5) malinangata (discoloring of the limbs of the body), (6) pralapa (incoherent speech), (7) vyadhi (being stricken with a tormenting ailment), (8) unmada (madness), (9) moha (bewilderment), and (10) mrityu (death) or murccha (unconsciousness)." When Shri Radhika is stricken with these ten conditions due to separation from Shri Krishna, Her distress knows no boundary.