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Third Wave (Bhava Bhakti)
(1) suddha sattva visheshatma prema suryamshu samyabhak
rucibhis cittamasrnya krdasau bhava ucyate
Devotional service whose constitutional characteristic is it's situation on the platform of unalloyed goodness (suddha sattva), is like a ray of the sun of Prema. Such devotional service causes the heart to become softenned by various tastes and it is called bhava.
Notes: In the second wave of the Eastern division of Shri Bhaktirasamrta sindhu three divisions of bhakti have been described-(1) sadhana bhakti, (2) bhava bhakti and (3) prema bhakti. Sadhana bhakti is of two types-(1) vaidhi bhakti and (2) raganuga bhakti. Raganuga bhakti is also of two types-(1) kamanuga and (2) sambandhanuga. All of this has been thoroughly analyzed up to this point. Now in this third wave the explanation of Bhava bhakti begins.
The symptoms of uttama bhakti are that it is favorable to Krishna's pleasure (anukulya) and it involves the culture of activities in relationship to Krishna (Krishna anushilana). The word anushilana means the accomplishment of endeavors favorable to Shri Krishna with the body, mind and speech. From this understanding, the general character of bhakti (samanya bhakti) may be divided into two kinds-(1) ceshta rupa and (2) bhava rupa. Ceshta rupa has been further divided into two parts-(1) sadhana rupa: activiti
es as the cause of bringing about bhava bhakti and (2) phala rupa: activities as the effect of bhava bhakti or in other words those activities which follow as a result of the development of bhava bhakti. These are known as anubhavas. Activities as the cause of bhava bhakti (sadhana rupa) have been elaborately described by the analysis of vaidhi and raganuga bhakti given in the previous wave on sadhana bhakti. Activities as the result of bhava bhakti (phala rupa) or in other words the anubhavas, will be described in the next division in connection with the description of Rasa.
According to the methodology of rasa, bhava bhakti is also of two forms-(1) sthayi bhava rupa and (2) sancari bhava rupa. Sancari bhava rupa will be described next in the context of rasa. Sthayi bhava rupa is described here in relationship to bhava bhakti. Bhava is the essential element of this bhakti. It is alluded to by the words rati, prema, sneha, etc. This bhava is the sprout of prema. In other words, bhava is the name of the state just prior to the manifestation of prema. Bhava is also described as the ray of the sun of prema. Just as the first ray of dawn, prior to the rising of the sun, begins to illuminate the universe, similarly on the manifestation of bhava, prior to the rising of prema, the heart becomes melted and characterized by affection for Shri Krishna.
By continuous engagement in the performance of bhajan, such as sravana, kirtan, etc., when all material contamination has been eradicated from the heart and when the heart is fit for the manifestation of suddha sattva, then by the hladini potency of Shri Krishna which continually difuses suddha sattva in all directions, suddha sattva becomes manifest in the heart of the sadhaka and it is then transformed into rati or bhava.
What is meant by the word suddha sattva? The svarupa-shakti (or cit-shakti) of Shri Krishna is self manifest and all of it's functions (vrtti) are also self-manifest. By the specialized function (vishesha vrtti) of the self-manifest svarupa shakti, the form of the Lord is manifest along with His eternal associates. That specilized function of svarupa shakti is called suddha sattva. Because it has not even the slightest connection with maya, it is also called visuddha sattva.
The personality of Godhead is the form of eternality, bliss and knowledge (sat-cit-ananda). From the existential aspect (sat) of the svarupa shakti of the Lord, the sandhini potency is eternally extant. From the cognitive aspect (cit), the samvit potency is manifest and from the aspect of transcendental bliss (ananda), the hladini potency is present. These three aspects eternally permeate the specialized function (vishesha vrtti) of svarupa shakti, or in other words visuddha sattva. But sometimes the presence of the hladini aspect within visuddha sattva becomes prominent, at which times the influence of the other two aspects is less. Sometimes the sandhini aspect becomes prominent at which times samvit and hladini is less and sometimes the samvit aspect becomes prominent, at which times hladini and sandhini is less.
In visuddha sattva, when the manifestation of hladini becomes prominent, it is called `guhya-vidya' (confidential knowledge). There are two functions or faculties (vrtti) of `guhya-vidya'-bhakti and that which introduces bhakti. The state of visuddha sattva, which is also called rati or bhava, is the faculty known as bhakti (bhakti-vrtti). It is eternally manifest on account of being the self-manifest faculty (vrtti) of the self-manifest Personality of Godhead. In respect to the second function of guhya-vidya (that which introduces bhakti)-it is the supreme ocean of mercy Shri Krishna Himself who always transmits knowldege by which bhakti can be known. When the faculty known as bhakti (bhakti vrtti) in the form of visuddha sattva, manifests in the purified heart of the sadhaka it is called rati. The appearance of rati is not the effect of any performance of sadhana. Rati is absolute and self-manifest. It is not attainable by sadhana. The performance of bhajana and sadhana is necessary only for making the heart fit to receive the appearance of visuddha sattva. When by the performance of bhajan such as sravana, kirtan etc., all contamination is eradicated from the heart, the heart becomes freed from all anarthas and becomes situated steadily on the platform of nishta, then asakti attachment for the Lord manifests. When the heart is thus purified it becomes eligible to receive the manifestation of visuddha sattva. This attainment of eligibility for suddha sattva is itself the effect of sadhana and bhajan. The attainment of bhakti or rati is not an effect of sadhana because rati is an eternally established self-manifest reality. It is not something which is dependent on any kind of sadhana. When the heart attains eligibility for the appearance of suddha sattva, rati manifests there of it's own accord.
The constitutional characteristic (svarupa lakshana) of bhava bhakti is it's situation on the platform of unalloyed goodness (suddha sattva). This is indicated in the verse by the words suddha sattva visesatma. As above mentioned, this characteristic of suddha sattva is the essential nature of bhava bhakti. In the sun there is density whereas in the sun ray there is laxity. In the same way, the svarupa-shakti faculty is very thick in prema and in bhava it is thin. This is the only difference between prema and bhava. The constitutional nature of both prema and bhava is the same because they are both comprised of the essential nature of svarupa shakti predominated by the hladini potency.
The marginal characteristic (tatastha lakshana) of bhava bhakti is that it gives rise to various tastes which soften the heart. This is indicated in the verse by the words rucibhis citta masrnyakrt. There are three kinds of taste which are refered to here-(1) prapti abhilasa, desire for the attainment of Lord Krishna, (2) anukulya abhilasa, doing that which is favorable to Krishna and (3) sauharda abhilasa, serving the Lord with affection. When these three kinds of taste arise, bhava bhakti softens the heart.
(4) avirbhuya-manovrttau brajanti tatsvarupatam
svayam prakasharupapi bhasamana prakashyavat
(5) vastutah svayamasvada-svarupaiva ratistvasau
krishnadi karmakasvada hetutvam pratipadyate
This special form of suddha sattva known as rati manifests in the mental faculty (manovrtti) of the sadhaka and then attains identification (svarupata) with the mental faculty. Although it is self-manifest, it appears as though it has been manifest by the faculty of the mind. In reality, this rati is by nature self-tasting (svayam asvada), in other words, it itself is the object of taste for the devotee, and yet at the same time it becomes the cause of tasting Shri Krishna and Krishna's pastimes.
Notes: As stated above, bhava or rati is the essential nature of svarupa shakti predominated by hladini. It is by nature all-cognisant and self-illuminating. This rati reveals Shri Krishna, His associates, pastimes, etc. It appears within the mental faculty of the devotee and then attains the state of oneness with the mental faculty (tad atma), just as fire, when set to an iron rod, permeates through every part of the rod and appears like being one with the iron rod. In actuality, it is self manifest but it appears as if it has been brought into manifestation by the mental faculty.