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Dakshina-vibhaga (Southern Division)
General Characteristics of Bhagavad-bhakti-rasa
Shloka 14—Overview of Bhakti-rasa
The Causes of Tasting Bhakti-rasa
External Symptoms of Ecstacy
Symptoms of Ecstacy Arising from Sattva
Internal Transitory Emotions
Permanent or Dominant Emotions
(14) Overview of Bhakti-rasa
vibhavanubhava-sattvika-bhava-vyabhicari bhava-milanena raso bhavati. yatra vishaye bhavo bhavati sa vishayalambana-vibhavah krishnah. yo bhava yukto bhavati sa ashrayalambana-vibhavo bhaktah. ye krishnam smarayanti vastralankaradayas te-uddipana-vibhavah. ye bhavam jnapayanti te anubhava nritya-gita-smitadayah.
ye cittam tanunca kshobhayanti te sattvikah. te ashtau—stambha-sveda-romanca-svarabheda-vepathu-vaivarnyashru-pralaya iti. te dhumayita jvalita dipta uddipta suddipta iti panca-vidha yathottara-sukhadah syuh. ete yadi nitya-siddhe tada snigdhah. yadi jataratau tada digdhah. bhava-shunya-jane yadi jatas-tada-rukshah.
mumukshu-jane yadi jatas-tada ratyabhasajah. karmi-jane vishayi-jane va yadi jatas-tada sattva-bhasajah. picchila-citta-jane tad-abhyasa pare va yadi jatas-tada nihsattvah. bhagavad-dveshi jane yadi jatas-tada pratipah.
When krishna-rati, or in other words, the sthayibhava (the permanent emotion of the heart in one of the five primary relationships of shanta, dasya, sakhya, and so on) becomes exceedingly tasty for the devotee by virtue of the elements known as vibhava, anubhava, sattvika-bhava and vyabhicari-bhava, induced through the medium of shravana, kirtana, and so on, it is called bhakti-rasa. In other words, when the sthayibhava or krishna-rati mixes with vibhava, anubhava, sattvika-bhava and vyabhicari-bhava and becomes fit to be tasted in the heart of the devotee, it is called bhakti-rasa.
Components of Bhakti-rasa
When the sthayibhava mixes with vibhava, anubhava, sattvika-bhava and vyabhicari-bhava and produces an extraordinary taste within the devotee’s heart, it is called bhakti-rasa.
Vibhava - Alambana (that in which rati is tasted)
- Vishayalambana (the object
- Ashrayalambana (the reservoir of
Uddipana (that which stimulates rati)
Sthayibhava—The permanent sentiment in one of the five primary relationships of shanta, dasya, sakhya, vatsalya, or madhurya, which is known as mukhya-rati. This also refers to the dominant sentiment in the seven secondary mellows (gauna-rati) of laughter, wonder, chivalry, compassion, anger, fear, and disgust.
Anubhava—Visible actions which illustrate the spiritual emotions situated within the heart (dancing, singing, and so on).
Sattvika-bhava—Eight symptoms of spiritual ecstacy arising exclusively from vishuddha-sattva or in other words, when the heart is overwhelmed by emotions in connection with mukhya-rati or gauna-rati.
Vyabhicari-bhava—Thirty-three internal spiritual emotions which emerge from the nectarine ocean of sthayibhava, cause it to swell, and then merge back into that ocean.
The terms vibhava, anubhava, sattvika-bhava, sthayibhava and bhakti-rasa are defined in the following quotes from Bhakti-rasamrita-sindhu:
vibhavyate hi ratyadir yatra yena vibhavyate
vibhavo nama sa dvedhalambanoddipanatmakah
That in which rati is tasted and that cause by which rati is tasted are called vibhava. Vibhava is of two varieties: (1) alambana (the support or repository of rati), and (2) uddipana (that which stimulates or excites rati).
anubhavastu cittastha-bhavanam avabodhakah
te bahir-vikriya prayah prokta udbhasvarakhyaya
The symptoms which reveal the spiritual emotions situated within the heart are called anubhavas. When they manifest mostly as external actions, they are known as udbhasvara (that which gives light or makes apparent).
krishna sambandhibhih sakshat kincid va vyavadhanatah
bhavaish cittam ihakrantam sattvam ity ucyate budhaih
When the heart is overwhelmed by any of the five primary senti-ments (mukhya-rati) in relationship with Shri Krishna of dasya, sakhya, and so on, stimulated by direct contact with Him, or when the heart is overwhelmed by the seven secondary sentiments (gauna-rati) of laughter, tragedy, and so on, induced by a circumstance in which Krishna is somewhat apart, learned scholars called this condition sattva. The bhavas or spiritual emotions arising strictly from sattva are known as sattvika-bhavas.
The previously mentioned anubhavas such as dancing, singing, and so on, like the sattvika-bhavas, arise from emotion in relationship with Krishna, or in other words, when the mind is overwhelmed by emotion in relationship with Krishna. However, symptoms such as dancing and singing are done with conscious intention and therefore they are not counted as sattvika-bhavas. The sattvika-bhavas are also referred to as anubhavas because they illustrate the emotions situated within the heart. Therefore, to distinguish between anubhavas and sattvika-bhavas, the word udbhasvara is used to refer to those anubhavas which do not arise exclusively from sattva. The symptoms such as becoming stunned (stambha), standing of the hairs on end (pulaka), and so on arise spontaneously from sattva. Therefore they are known as sattvika-bhavas.
In his commentary on Bhakti-rasamrita-sindhu (2.1.5), Shrila Jiva Gosvami explains the nature of rasa.
vibhavair iti. esha krishna ratir eva sthayi-bhavah, saiva ca bhakti raso bhavet. kidrishi sati tatraha—vibhavair iti. shravanadibhih karttribhir vibhavadibhih karanair bhaktanam hridi svadyatvam anita samyak prapita camatkara visheshena pushtety arthah.
This krishna-rati is the sthayibhava, and it is transformed into bhakti-rasa. How does it become bhakti-rasa? By combination with vibhava, anubhava, sattvika-bhava and vyabhicari-bhava. In other words, when krishna-rati is aroused by the stimulating elements (vibhava) transmitted through the medium of shravana, kirtana, and so on, and gives rise to various ensuing emotions (anubhavas, sattvika-bhavas and vyabhicari-bhavas), the combination of all these elements produces an extraordinary taste within the heart which is referred to as bhakti-rasa.
Sthayibhava will be described elaborately further ahead. Here, it is sufficient to know that when krishna-rati is augmented, it attains to different levels such as sneha, mana, pranaya, raga, anuraga, bhava and mahabhava. All of these are known as sthayibhava (or permanent emotions) of shri krishna-bhakti. When these various gradations of the sthayibhava combine with the appropriate vibhavas, anubhavas, sattvika-bhavas and vyabhi-cari-bhavas, bhakti-rasa is produced and yields an unprecedented taste.
Bhakti-rasa is of twelve varieties and each of these has its own sthayibhava. For example: (1) the sthayibhava of shanta-rasa is shanti-rati (tranquility), (2) the sthayibhava of dasya-rasa is priti-rati (affection in servitude), (3) the sthayibhava of sakhya-rasa is sakhya-rati (friendship), (4) the sthayibhava of vatsalya-rasa is vatsalya-rati (parental affection), (5) the sthayibhava of madhura-rasa is priyata-rati (conjugal love), (6) the sthayibhava of hasya-rasa is hasa-rati (laughter), (7) the sthayibhava of adbhuta-rasa (wonder) is vismaya-rati (astonishment), (8) the sthayibhava of vira-rasa (heroism) is utsaha-rati (enthusiasm), (9) the sthayi-bhava of karuna-rasa (compassion) is shoka-rati (sorrow or lamentation), (10) the sthayibhava of raudra-rasa is krodha-rati (anger), (11) the sthayibhava of bhayanaka-rasa is bhaya-rati (fear), and (12) the sthayibhava of vibhatsa-rasa is jugupsa-rati (disgust). Although bhakti-rasa is accepted to be of twelve varieties, in the final analysis, five rasas are predominant. The five sthayibhavas on which these are based will be discussed elaborately ahead.
Krishna-rati is of five kinds: shanta, dasya, sakhya, vatsalya and madhura. That in and by which rati is stimulated and thus caused to be tasted is called vibhava. Vibhava is of two kinds—alambana (the support) and uddipana (the stimulus). That in which rati is stimulated is called alambana (the support or shelter of rati). That by which rati is stimulated is called uddipana (the stimulus for rati). Alambana-vibhava is also of two varieties—vishayalambana and ashrayalambana. He for whom rati is aroused is called vishayalambana (the object of rati) and one in whom rati is aroused is called ashrayalambana (the receptacle of rati). Shri Krishna is the vishayalambana of krishna-rati and the devotees are the ashrayalambana. That by which rati is stimulated is called uddipana-vibhava. Uddipana-vibhava refers to all those things which stimulate remembrance of Shri Krishna such as His dress and ornaments, the spring season, the bank of the Yamuna, forest groves, cows, peacocks, and so on.
The actions which display or reveal the emotions situated within the heart are called anubhavas. The anubhavas are thirteen in number: (1) nritya (dancing), (2) viluthita (rolling on the ground), (3) gita (singing), (4) kroshana (loud crying), (5) tanu-motana (writhing of the body), (6) hunkara (roaring), (7) jrimbhana (yawning), (8) shvasa-bhuma (breathing heavily), (9) loka-anapekshita (giving up concern for public image), (10) lalasrava (salivating), (11) atöahasa (loud laughter), (12) ghurna (staggering about), and (13) hikka (a fit of hiccups).
That which causes perturbation to be aroused within the heart and body is called sattvika-bhava. The sattvika-bhavas are of eight kinds: (1) stambha (becoming stunned), (2) sveda (perspiration), (3) romanca (standing of the hairs on end), (4) svara-bhanga (faltering of the voice), (5) kampa (trembling), (6) vaivarna (palor or change of color), (7) ashru (tears), and (8) pralaya (loss of consciousness or fainting).
All these sattvika-bhavas are manifested in five stages of intensity: (1) dhumayita (smouldering—when a sattvika-bhava manifests in a very small quantity by itself or combined with another symptom and is capable of being hidden), (2) jvalita (flaming—when two or three symptoms manifest prominently at the same time and can be concealed only with difficulty), (3) dipta (burning—when three, four or five sattvika-bhavas manifest very powerfully and when it is not possible to suppress such expressions), (4) uddipta (brightly burning—when five, six or even all eight of the sattvika-bhavas manifest simultaneously and attain supreme exultation), and (5) suddipta (blazing—when all the sattvika-bhavas reach the summit of expression, being extremely bright in their radiance. This condition is observed only in the gopis of Vraja in the state of mahabhava). Each of these stages yields greater happiness than the one preceding it.
Sattvika-bhavas are further divided into three categories: (1) snigdha (smooth—sattvika-bhavas which arise when the mind is overwhelmed with emotion in relationship with either the five primary mellows, mukhya-rati, or the seven secondary mellows, gauna-rati), (2) digdha (smeared—sattvika-bhavas which are not instigated either by mukhya or gauna-rati but which follow in the wake of rati), and (3) ruksha (rough—emotion which arises in persons who are devoid of rati). Snigdha sattvika-bhavas are manifest only in the eternally perfected devotees (nitya-siddha bhaktas). Sattvika-bhavas which arise in jata-rati bhaktas (those in whom rati has made its appearance) are called digdha sattvika-bhavas. When these symptoms are seen in persons in whom rati has not been aroused, they are called ruksha-bhava. In actuality, sattvika-bhavas can occur only in persons in whom rati has been aroused. When symptoms resembling the sattvika-bhavas are manifest in persons who are devoid of rati, they are known as sattvikabhasa (a semblance of sattvika-bhava). Therefore, ruksha sattvika-bhavas are also said to be an abhasa.
Sattvikabhasa is of four types: (1) ratyabhasa, (2) sattvabhasa, (3) nihsattva, and (4) pratipa.
Ratyabhasa literally means an abhasa or semblance of rati, and sattvikabhasa means a semblance of the symptoms known as sattvika-bhavas. Ratyabhasa sattvikabhasa, therefore, refers to those symptoms which resemble sattvika-bhavas arising due to a semblance of rati. This ratyabhasa refers to pratibimba and chaya-ratyabhasa previously described in the section on bhava-bhakti. Persons who are desirous of liberation may adopt the angas of bhakti not for the purpose of obtaining bhakti or krishna-rati but simply to attain mukti. When such persons chant the holy name in the association of bhava-bhaktas, they may manifest tears, horripilation and other symptoms. Because these symptoms arise from a reflection of the rati situated in the hearts of genuine bhava-bhaktas, they are known as ratyabhasa sattvikabhasa. When symptoms resembling sattvika-bhavas are seen in mumukshus (those desirous of liberation) they are said to arise from ratyabhasa.
Sattvabhasa refers to those symptoms which arise from an abhasa of sattva. Sattva refers to the condition wherein the heart possessed of rati is overwhelmed by spiritual emotions such as jubilation, wonder, and despondency. When a person who is devoid of rati hears or chants about the Lord’s pastimes in the association of pure devotees, he may become overwhelmed with some emotion which resembles those originating from sattva. In this case the symptoms he displays such as crying do not arise from a reflection of rati but merely from some emotion which resembles those arising from sattva. Therefore they are known as sattvabhasa sattvikabhasa. These emotions generally arise in persons whose hearts are naturally soft (shithila). When symptoms resembling sattvika-bhavas are seen in karmis or vishayis (sensualists), they are said to arise from sattvabhasa.
Nihsattva refers to those symptoms which do not arise from sattva. The hearts of such persons are described as picchila (slippery). Externally they appear to be soft-hearted, but internally they are hard-hearted. They exhibit symptoms merely by forced practice. Because the symptoms observed in such persons are devoid of even an abhasa of sattva, they are known as nihsattva sattvikabhasa.
The word pratipa literally means adverse, contrary, or displeasing. When the enemies of Krishna display symptoms which resemble sattvika-bhavas arising due to fear or anger, they are called pratipa-sattvikabhasa.
The Causes of Tasting Bhakti-rasa
Krishna’s qualities as vishayalambana
In the overview of bhakti-rasa given in the previous shloka, vibhava is said to be of two types: alambana, the support, and uddipana, the stimulus of rati. Alambana is also described to be of two kinds: vishaya, the object of rati, and ashraya, the reservoir of rati. Krishna’s qualities are now described as part of what makes Him the vishaya of rati.
The qualities of Shri Krishna are sometimes classified as vishay-alambana and sometimes as uddipana. Because Krishna’s qualities are part-and-parcel of His form, they are included as vishayalambana. When the principal meditation is upon Shri Krishna who possesses various qualities, those qualities are thought of as belonging to the object of love and are therefore classified as vishayalambana. When, however, the principal meditation is upon the qualities of Shri Krishna and that remembrance stimulates love for Krishna, those qualities are considered as uddipana. Shri Krishna has sixty-four principal qualities. Out of these the first fifty are present to a minute extent in great personalities who are recipients of the Lord’s mercy. The ordinary jivas, however, display but a shadow of a particle of such qualities.
(1) Suramyanga—The construction of His limbs is exceedingly beautiful.
(2) Sarva-sal-lakshana-yukta—His body is marked with all auspicious characteristics.
(3) Rucira—His beauty is a festival of bliss for the eyes.
(4) Tejasanvita—His body is radiant and He is extremely powerful and influential.
(5) Baliyan—He possesses great strength.
(6) Vayasanvita—He displays different ages and yet He is eternally situated in fresh youth.
(7) Vividhadbhuta-bhashavit—He is expert in different languages.
(8) Satyavakya—His words never prove false.
(9) Priyamvada—He speaks pleasantly even to offenders.
(10) Vavaduka—His words are ambrosial and pleasing to the ears.
(11) Supandita—He is learned and conducts Himself appropriately with different kinds of persons.
(12) Buddhiman—His intelligence is sharp and subtle.
(13) Pratibhanvita—He is expert at improvising original conversation on the spur of the moment.
(14) Vidagdha—He is skilled in the sixty-four arts and in amorous pastimes.
(15) Catura—He can accomplish many actions at the same time.
(16) Daksha—He can perform difficult tasks with ease.
(17) Kritajna—He is grateful for services rendered by others.
(18) Sudridha-vrata—His promises and vows always hold true.
(19) Desha-kala-supatrajna—He is an expert judge of time, place, and person and works accordingly.
(20) Shastra-cakshu—He acts in accordance with the religious scriptures.
(21) Shuci—He is free from all sins and He purifies others from sins.
(22) Vashi—He is in full control of His senses.
(23) Sthira—He perseveres until His work is completed.
(24) Danta—He endures even intolerable distress.
(25) Kshamashila—He excuses the offenses of others.
(26) Gambhira—It is very difficult to understand the import of His mind.
(27) Dhritiman—His desires are fulfilled and He remains calm even in the midst of great anxiety.
(28) Sama—He is devoid of attachment and aversion.
(29) Vadanya—He is chivalrous in giving charity.
(30) Dharmika—He is religious and He incites others to adopt the path of religion.
(31) Shura—He is enthusiastic to fight and expert in the use of weapons.
(32) Karuna—He is unable to tolerate the distress of others.
(33) Manyamana-krita—He is respectful to His guru, brahmanas, and elders.
(34) Dakshina—Because of His excellent disposition, His actions are very pleasing.
(35) Vinayi—He is devoid of pride.
(36) Hriman—He is bashful when He thinks that others have detected His amorous affairs and when glorified by others.
(37) Sharanagata-palaka—He protects those who take shelter of Him.
(38) Sukhi—He enjoys pleasure and is untouched by distress.
(39) Bhakta-suhrita—He is a friend to His devotees and is easily pleased.
(40) Prema-vashya—He is controlled only by love.
(41) Sarva-shubhankara—He is a well-wisher to everyone.
(42) Pratapi—He torments and terrifies His enemies.
(43) Kirttiman—He is famous by dint of His sterling qualities.
(44) Rakta-loka—He is the object of love and attachment for everyone.
(45) Sadhu-samashraya—He is partial to the sadhus.
(46) Narigana-manohari—He is attractive to all women.
(47) Sarvaradhya—He is worshipable to everyone.
(48) Samriddhiman—He possesses great opulence.
(49) Variyan—He is superior to all.
(50) ˆshvara—He is independent and His order can not be transgressed.
The next five qualities are partially present in Shri Shiva.
(51) Sada-svarupa-samprapta—He is never controlled by the dictates of maya.
(52) Sarvajna—He knows the heart of everyone, and He knows all things even though there may be an intervention of time, place and so on.
(53) Nitya-nutana—Even though His beauty is always experienced, it is new at every moment and so astonishing that it appears as if it were never previously experienced.
(54) Sac-cid-ananda-sandranga—He is the concentrated embodi-ment of existence, consciousness, and bliss. The word sat means that He pervades all time and space, the word cit means that He is self-manifested, the word ananda means that He is the abode of unadulterated prema, and the word sandra means that His form is so densely composed of sat, cit, and ananda that it is untouched by anything else.
(55) Sarva-siddhi-nishevita—All mystic powers are under His control.
The next five qualities are present in Shri Narayana and Mahavishnu.
(56) Avicintya mahashakti—He possesses inconceivable potencies by which He creates the universes and manifests even the indwelling antaryami of those universes, by which He bewilders even Brahma and Rudra, and by which He destroys the prarab-dha-karma of His devotees.
(57) Koöi-brahmanda-vigraha—Unlimited universes are situated within His body.
(58) Avataravali-bija—He is the source of all incarnations.
(59) Hatari-gati-dayaka—He awards mukti to the enemies killed by Him.
(60) Atmaramaganakarshi—He attracts the liberated souls or those who rejoice in the self.
The next four qualities are unique to Shri Krishna alone.
(61) Lila-madhurya—He is an undulating ocean of astonishing pastimes out of which rasa-lila is supremely captivating.
(62) Prema-madhurya—He is surrounded by devotees who possess incomparable madhura prema which develops up to the stage of mahabhava.
(63) Venu-madhurya—The sweet and mellow sound of His flute attracts the minds of everyone within the three worlds.
(64) Rupa-madhurya—His extraordinary beauty astonishes all moving and non-moving entities.
Four kinds of Nayakas or heroes
Because Shri Krishna is the reservoir of all qualities and activities He manifests the characteristics of all four different heroes at different times in accordance with specific pastimes. These four varieties of heroes are described below.
(1) Dhirodatta—The hero who is grave, humble, forgiving, compassionate, fixed in vow, unboastful, extremely powerful, and who thwarts the pride of heroic fighters is known as dhirodatta. Previous acaryas have described Bhagavan Shri Rama as possessing the qualities of a dhirodatta nayaka. These qualities are also observed in Shri Krishna.
(2) Dhira-lalita—The hero who is expert in the sixty-four arts and amorous sports, always situated in fresh youth, expert at joking, devoid of anxiety, and controlled by the prema of his beloveds is known as dhira-lalita. Shri Krishna clearly manifests the features of a dhira-lalita nayaka. In the Naöya-shastra these qualities are also said to be found in Kandarpa or cupid.
(3) Dhira-shanta—The hero who is peaceful, tolerant of miseries, judicious, and humble is known as dhira-shanta. Learned scholars of the Naöya-shastra have declared Maharaja Yudhishöhira to be a dhira-shanta nayaka.
(4) Dhiroddhata—One who is malicious, proud, deceitful, angry, fickle, and boastful is known as dhiroddhata. Learned scholars have accepted Bhimasena as a dhiroddhata nayaka. Although these characteristics appear to be faults, they are accepted as qualities in Shri Krishna, because they are appropriate in specific pastimes in which He chastises the wicked in order to protect His devotees.
(The Causes of Tasting Rati)
-Vishaya (the object of rati—Krishna)
-Anyarupa (in another form, e.g. when Krishna
assumed the form of the cowherd
boys and calves in the Brahma-
-Svarupa (in His own form)
-Avrita (in a disguised form,
e.g. Krishna disguised
Himself as a woman)
-Prakaöa (Krishna in His
-Ashraya (the reservoir of rati—the devotee)
-Sadhaka (bhava-bhaktas, e.g.
Nitya-siddha (eternally perfect)
Samprapti-siddha (those who attained perfection)
Sadhana-siddha (attained perfection through sadhana, e.g. Markendeya ‰shi
Kripa-siddha (attainedperfectionthrough mercy,e.g. Yajna-patnis,Bali Maharaja, and Shri Shukadeva)
(That which stimulates rati)
Things which stimulate the devotees’ rati or love for the Lord are known as uddipana-vibhava. The fourteen principal uddipanas are described below. A detailed outline of Krishna’s qualities, dress and ornaments, and flute are found on the following pages.
(1) Guna (qualities)
(2) Ceshöa (activities)
Krishna’s activities include rasa-lila,
killing the wicked, and so on.
(3) Prasadana (dress and ornaments)
(4) Smita (smile)
(5) Anga-saurabha (bodily fragrance)
(6) Vamsha (flute)
(buffalo horn) Krishna’s wild female buffalo horn, is mounted with gold on both ends, studded with jewels in the middle and known as mandraghosha.
(8) Nupura (anklets)
(9) Kambu (conchshell) Krishna’s conchshell, which opens to the right or southward, is called Pancajanya.
(10) Padanka (footprints)
(11) Kshetra (holy places)
(13) Bhakta (devotees)
(14) Bhagavad-vasara (holy days) Janmashöami, Ekadashi, etc.
Krishna’s qualities as Uddipana-vibhava
page 165 in printed edition
page 203 in PDF file