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NITAAI-Veda.nyf > All Scriptures By Acharyas > Vishvanatha Chakravarti Thakura > Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu Bindu

Shri Shri Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu Bindu


(A summary of Shrila Rupa Goswami's Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu)

by Shrila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura


adau sraddha tatah sadhu-

sango 'tha bhajana-kriya

tato 'nartha-nivrttih syat

tato nistha rucis tatah

athasaktis tato bhavas

tatah premabhyudancati

sadhakanam ayam premnah

pradurbhave bhavaet kramah


"In the beginning there must be faith. Then one becomes interested in associating with pure devotees. Thereafter one is initiated by the spiritual master and executes the regulative principles under his orders. Thus one is freed from all unwanted habits and becomes firmly fixed in devotional service. Thereafter, one develops taste and attachment. This is the way of sadhana-bhakti, the execution of devotional service according to the regulative principles. Gradually emotions intensify, and finally there is an awakening of love. This is the gradual development of love of Godhead for the devotee interested in Krishna consciousness."



He, Whose form is the embodiment of the highest bliss realized from the twelve mellows begining with neutrality, Who has completely subjugated Taraka and Pali, the leaders of two groups of gopis, Who has made Shyamala and Lalita completely loyal and obedient to Him, Who is very skilful and intent upon dispensing the greatest affection and delight upon Shri Radhika, that very Personality Shri Krishna is conspicuous by His supermost eminence.


Uttama Bhakti Defined


"Superior devotion is described as the total absence of any other desire beside the desire for the exclusive happiness of Shri Krishna which is not covered by the least taint of fruitive desire or desire for knowledge (of itself and for itself) and which has as its substance the cultivation of favourable endeavour and activities of the body, mind and words meant for the pleasure of Shri Krishna (anyabilasitasunyam)." 


This treatise begins by describing the symptoms of superior devotion (uttamabhakti). As, by the usages of a verb, all of the various meanings of the verb root can be told, so also, by the use of the word "anusilanam" (cultivation or application), all of the possible meanings of this verse (anyabhilasita) can be expressed.


(Anusilan) Activities are of two kinds: 1) pravritti -  activities instigated by one's instinct, inclination, tendency., propensity, predilection, desire, will or urge; and 2) nivritti -  the cessation or suspension of activities, ie. renunciation NOTE:.(ln this case the activities are not really suspended but rather they are internalized). In the first case the activities can be executed with the body, mind or words but in the second instance this is not possible.


Now as regards (anusilan) cultivation or application; When this application, either through active endeavour or contemplation, is in relation to Krishna and on account of Him, then it can be called bhakti (devotion).


In the usage of this word anusilan, the fault of avyapti (deficiency of a definition) does not occur. The impetus for the desire to perform activities which are in relation to Krishna and which are on His account Krishnanusilanam is, in the case of active endeavour, acceptance of the shelter of a spiritual master, etc., etc. In the instance of internal contemplation, attachment to a permanent mellow and various other ecstatic symptoms are the impetus. In both instances, to actively endeavour on Shri Krishna's account and to cultivate internal contemplation of service to Him, is the result only of the mercy of Shri Krishna and His devotees. Though the existence  of krishnanusilan or bhakti (devotion) indicates the presence of Krishna's internal potency, (swarupa sakti) still, that devotion appears only after the internal potency has conformed to the individual nature of a particular devotees proclivities or inclinations manifested through his physical, mental, etc. self. This will be explained later on.


The word 'Shri Krishna' is being used to refer to the 'Supreme Personality of Godhead'. Devotion expressed towards Krishna's different plenary expansions will be comparatively analyzed further on in this discussion.


The adjective, favourable (anukulya visista), has been mentioned in order to convey its function as that which is the cause of the perfection of bhakti. If one's conduct is in opposition or contrariety, then this type of devotion will not he recognized or celebrated The word `favourable' indicates that devotional activities performed on Krishna's account should be agreeable to Krishna's 1iking.  However, according to this meaning, the faults of ativyapti - extension of the application of a definition'1 and avyapti - deficiency of a definition, occur. For instance - the demon's activities which are to fight with Krishna can actually be according to Krishna's taste or liking in relationship with the mellows of fighting.


Yet how is it possible that the activities of demons are to Krishna's liking? In answer to this, one verse (113.30) of the Shrimad Bhagavatam may be quoted: "I like fighters who have accepted a good lashing from the enemy." To ordinary outsiders it may appear that the activities of warriors are causing distress, but amongst heroes themselves, they may take each others blows as enjoyable. Therefore, if the aforementioned blows of the asura's against Krishna's body can he called devotion, then the fault of ativyapti (extension of the application of a definition) has taken place. The demon's activities of fighting, which are completely inimical, are totally opposed to devotion; therefore the symptoms of bhakti are completely covered.


Again, if it is said that it was not to Krishna's liking when, though He was happily engaged in drinking her breast milk, Mother Yashoda put Him down in order to attend to the milk pot which was boiling over (10.9.3) and therefore her actions cannot be accepted under the heading of devotion, then the fault of 'avyapti' (deficiency of a definition) has occurred.


By describing the multitude of favourable conditions of devotional service and the total absence of opposition or contrariety in its application it is our intention that the faults mentioned in the above examples of the demons and Mother Yashoda can be prevented. Unless contrariety is made zero, bhakti cannot be perfected Now in the presence of this corollary, because the demons are in opposition and aversion to the Supreme Lord, the fault of ativyapti, (extension of the application of a definition) is not present; or in other words - unless there is the total absence of antagonistic rivalry, then there is no question of devotion. Then again in the case of Mother Yashoda, though there may appear to be some adversity present, in reality the total absence of even a particle of opposition renders this example free from the fault of 'avyapti' (deficiency of a definition). Because Mother Yashoda went to set the boiling pot of milk aright on account of her son (as that milk would be used in the service of Krishna), therefore her devotion is found to be free of any contrariety. Now we will analyze the word `favourable' (anukulya); which is an adjective modifying devotion (bhakti). When devotion by its own inherent meaning always and in all cases must necessarily be favourable, then the use of the adjective becomes superfluous. This apprehension is now to be suppressed.


If the meaning of 'anukulya' (favourable), is taken to be simply the absence of any opposition then, is this the perfection of bhakti? No, because it is seen that in a waterpot there is no contrariety but that in itself does not indicate the presence of devotion. The word 'anusilan' (cultivation) indicates some activity, some endeavour; in the absence of which devotion cannot be perfected.


In describing the cause of the perfection of superior devotion, as well as its constitutional symptoms, two adjectives have been used:-1)'anyabhlasita sunyam'~devoid of any other desire) and 2)jnana karmadi anavrtam' (uncovered by fruitive activities or desire for knowledge). So, 'anusilan' (cultivation) becomes of what type? It becomes devoid of any desire, like receiving some material reward such as going to the heavenly planets, etc., other than to attain pure devotion. Devotion is produced by devotion. In the 11th Canto of the Shrimad Bhagavatam it is enjoined that one engage in devotion (sadhana bhakti - hearing, chanting, etc.) for the purpose of attaining devotion Therefore that devotion (sadhana bhakti) which is practiced for this end only, and not for any extraneous desire, is called superior devotion (uttama bhakti).


Herein, in answer to the question why anyabhilasita is used instead of anyabhilas; it is stated that the suffix 'ita' is used to indicate that - if a devotee is in some difficulty and in that situation he cries out, "He Bhagavan! I am Your devotee. Please protect me from this danger," though this might indicate some slight extraneous desire, still this is not considered to be an obstacle This desire has arisen due to some confusion about his svabhavaa (original natural state) brought on by feeling of helplessness due to experiencing difficulty. The perfection of his svabhavaa however is not served by this desire - this is what should be understood.


In the word, 'jnana karmady anavrtam' it is questioned, what kind of jnana?" Herein, the knowledge which searches out undifferentiated oneness is prohibited. However knowledge which inquires into the subject of worship and devotional service is expected. As far as 'karma' goes - here the customary and occasional rituals practiced by smartas is what is being prohibited. Howevcr activities which arc characterized as devotional service which is suitable in the matter of worship are not restricted. Activities which are dedicated to the Supreme Worshipful Object are the substance of Shri Krishna anusilanam and are therefore not to be rejected The first and foremost indication that one is covered by 'jnana-karmadi' is the symptom of - 'phalgu vairagya' (false renunciation). Practice of mystic voga and intellectual (sankhya) gymnastics are also rejected as they are cove red by 'undesirable jnana and karma. All jnana and karma have not been rejected; only that which covers pure devotion.


The coverings of devotion are of two kinds: 1) fear that sin, some contrary course and/or detriment of some kind will take place by not following the daily duties set down by the authority of the scriptures and 2) following the daily and customary, permanent and occassional duties mentioned in the scriptures with the confidence that by doing so the desired result, namely devotion etc., will be obtained. Therefore if those who are high-minded and noble persons irreverently perform funeral duties etc., for the purpose of teaching others, but without full faith in those rites themselves, then they do not constitute a hindrance to pure devotion. The use of the term 'krishnanusilanam bhakti' is to indicate what is referred to in the devotional scriptures as bhakti - unmixed devotion.




Uttama Bhakti Bheda (Differences in levels of uttama bhakti)


The aforementioned uttama bhakti (superior devotion) can be divided into three kinds: 1) sadhana bhakti 2) bhava bhakti and 3) prema bhakti.


Now let us divide uttama bhakti into two divisions: sadhana and sadhya - devotional service in practice (sadhana) and devotional service in the perfected state (sadhya). Now let bhava bhakti be included within sadhya bhakti. Then what is the necessity of having three divisions? However this doubt is not appropriate. Since in the southern division of our source book (Nectar of Devotion), in the first wave it has been explained  -


"There are those whose attachment to Krishna has reached the stage of bhava, but whose service is not totally free from interruption or impediment though they are qualified to meet Krishna face to face. They are referred to as sadhaka bhaktas - devotees in the stage of practice. Thus within the sadhaka bhakta this symptom is seen, that, though his attachment has reached the stage of bhava bhakti, even after the appearance of bhava bhakti, impediments have not fully ceased. In light of this attribute it can be understood that within the sadhaka bhakta at least some portion of the prevalent tendency to commit serious offences is remaining. Therefore, that which is able to generate difficulty and obstacles - even a slight vestige of serious offence present within a devotee means that to that extent the appearance of perfected devotion (sadhya bhakti) is not possible.


Therefore in our source book (BRS-NOD) the symptoms of a perfected devotee whose devotion is characterized by the presence of sadhya-bhakti, have been de scribed as - 'one who doesn't know any kind of difficulty and who is constantly addicted to activities in relationship to Krishna - he is a perfected devotee.' Therefore bhava bhakti cannot be included within sadhya-bhakti.


In that case, let us now include bhava bhakti within sadhana bhakti. In answer to that we must again assert that there is no possibility of including bhava bhakti within sadhana bhakti. The reason is that the characteristic of sadhana bhakti is that devotional service in the stage  of practice one hopes to attain bhava bhakti. Therefore this doubt that bhava bhakti might be included within sadhana bhakti has also been expelled. Since bhava bhakti cannot possibly be the (sadhana) practices meant to realize bhava bhakti (bhava bhakti sadhana), so these three divisions, sadhana bhakti, bhava bhakti and prema bhakti have been delineated very nicely. Sadhana bhakti is of two types: vaidhi and raganuga.




Sadhana Bhakti (devotional service in practice)


In the verses, beginning with anyabhilasita sunyam, the general appearance of the symptoms of uttama bhakti have been described. Because it is through the functions of the senses that it is practiced its name is given as devotional service in practice (sadhana bhakti). Hearing, chanting and all of the other limbs of devotion practiced immediately preceding (anusilan) cultivation are designated as (activities performed through) the functions of the senses, or inspired by the senses. For the purpose of a sacrifice, gathering together ghee, wood and kusa grass is an activity prior to the actual sacrifice but still included within it. Similarly, hearing, chanting and the other activities of sadhana bhakti performed through the functions of the senses, which are actually prior to the appearance of devotion are included within devotion by virtue of their contribution made towards the goal. Other than devotion, no other kind of practice (sadhana), such as karma or jnana, can cause devotion to appear. Devotion is the only cause of bhakti, and bhakti is the only cause of devotion.


Hearing, chanting, etc., executed after a hint of an appearance of bhava bhakti has taken place is no longer referred to as sadhana bhakti, but is now a manifestation of bhava bhakti. For the purpose of preventing this - (thinking that hearing and chanting performed after the appearance of bhava bhakti is still within the stage of sadhana bhakti), in the original book the adjective 'sadhya bhava' has been used. That by which bhava is accomplished is called sadhya bhava.' Sadhana bhakti causes the appearance of bhava bhakti. Hence, that devotion which engenders realization of religion, economic development, sense gratification, liberation and the other objects man desires is being differentiated from that which comes under the appellation 'sahana bhakti'. Since, other than devotion no other trace of any desire can exist within uttama bhakti, the treatise on this topic is what is now being undertaken. If it is said that by sadhana bhakti, devotional service in practice, one can reach perfection (sadhya) then bhava bliakti has become imaginary or fabricated. Then, how can this transient bhava bhakti again become the 'supremely obtainable object'. With the aim in mind of refuting this doubt it is said - 'nityeti', this bhava is self-manifested from the eternally perfected associates (of the Lord). This word bhava is being used as an indication (that which having proved itself also verifies others is called 'upalaksana' or indication). For this reason, in the word bhava, the sign or undertaking of bhava bhakti, hearing, chanting, etc., must be accepted. As Shri Krishna appeared in the house of Vasudeva, but Vasudeva did not cause Krishna to take birth, similarly, engaging in the eternally perfect practices of hearing, chanting, etc. with the senses, ears, tongue, etc., it is sometimes seen that (real) hearing and chanting manifest themselves there. Devotion will be shown later on, in the section on Bhava Bhakti to be a state or faculty of the Lord's potencies.


Premavirbhaver Krama - the gradual appearance of love


There are many stages in the appearance of Prema (love of Godhead). Those which are noticeable in all circumstances will be described. In the first instance it is seen that the world is made up of unlimited souls who, due to the fault of being inimical towards the Supreme Lord, have no permanent shelter and are therefore carried hither and thither by the waves in the ocean of material existence. When the Lord's favour somehow or other shines on them the  shackles which are keeping them tightly bound in material existence begin to rust away and the first thing that happens is that they get the association of saintly persons. In the association of such saintly persons they are then eligible to receive the great fortune of being able to hear from the scriptures about the greatness and influence of devotees, devotion and the Supreme Lord. By hearing from the scriptures faith and confidence can make their appearance. In this instance faith means that one comes to firmly believe in the import, reason and basis of the scriptures.


After the generation of firm faith, the association of saintly persons next affords one of the opportunity to learn the customs, practices and rites of adoration and service. Beginning from this one may begin to execute these different practices beginning with accepting the shelter of a spiritual master. By executing these different practices the unwanted things subside. These unwanted things are of 4 kinds: duskrtottah - (that which incites wicked behaviour) ignorance, self-conceit, thinking of oneself as the doer, attachment to worldly affairs, malice, hatred, wantonness; sukrtottah - persistent devotion to sense enjoyment; paradhottah - that which gives rise to committing offences; and bhaktyuttah - devotion which results in desires for profit, adoration and distinction. After the cessation of unwanted behaviour comes nistha, steadiness or undistracted, undivided, full attention towards devotional service. Next ruci develops, a taste or an ardent desire, eagerness or longing for the object of devotional service. Hereafter asakti (attachment) becomes manifest. The difference between steadiness and attachment is that steadiness is the result of the action of intelligence whereas attachment is spontaneous and not dependent on any kind of reasonable arguments. Now come bhava or rati (deep attachment), followed by prema. These are the gradual stages culminating in prema.


The 64 limbs of Bhajan (Worship)


1) Accepting a guru 2) initiation with Krishna mantra and accepting instructions concerning the culture and application of this mantra 3) serving the guru 4) following the examples set by saintly persons 5) inquiring on the subject 6) giving up material sense objects for the purpose of pleasing Krishna 7) living in a holy place or hearing the 'glories of holy places 8) to eat only enough, to accept only enough of anything, as is necessary to complete one's bhajana 9) observance of ekadashi, janmastami and other festival days 10) offering respects to the asvata and amalaki trees and as well to the brahmanas and cows.


These 10 limbs, which constitute the commencement of devotional service, are to be accepted before all others.


Next there are ten things to be avoided; 1) The association of those who are inimical to the Supreme Lord, unrestricted association with women, and association with those who are wicked or immoral should be avoided 2) Accepting too many disciples or unqualified disciplcs is not recommended 3) Holding huge functions which are ultimately a hindrance to one's worship should be given up. 4) Studying, explaining or disputing over the subject matters of many scriptures should be abandoned. 5) One should not be miserly in his dealings. 6) One should not be overcome by lamentation or anger. 7) One should not criticize or disrespect demigods 8) One should not be a source of anxiety by his body, mind or words to any other living entities. 9) One should avoid all of the offences in worship as well as the offences to the Holv Name. 10) One should not tolerate any criticism of Shri Krishna or His devotees.


In addition one should mark his body with tilaka and the other symbols of a Vaishnava, write the syllables of the Holy Name on his body, accept the remnants of the Lord's flower garlands on his body, dance before the Deity, offer his prostrated obeisances, rise upon the approach of the Deity, follow behind the Deity in procession, go to see the Deity in the temple, circumambulate the Deity, worship the Deity, serve the Deity, sing congregationally, chant individually, reveal one's heart to the Deity, recite hymns and prayers, accept the remnants of foodstuffs of the Lord, accept caranamrta, smell flowers and incense which have been offered to the Lord, touch the Deity, see the Deity, see the aroti, hear the glorification of the Lord's Name and Qualities, be dependent (and wait for) the Lord's mercy, remember and meditate on the pastimes of the Lord, His Form and Qualities, proudly consider oneself to be the servant of the Lord, to consider what is most beneficial for the Lord as His friend, offer oneself wholly and solely to the Lord, offer things which are dear to oneself or to Krishna to Him, and to do everything for the purpose of pleasing Krishna.


To seek shelter of the Lord in all circumstances: to accept everything which is favourable for the Lord's service, to reject everything which is unfavourable, to have firm faith that the Lord will always offer one protection and arrange for auspicious circumstances. To select the Lord as one's master, to offer oneself completely to the Lord, to feel oneself very humble and lowly and in that situation to call out to the Lord fervently; these are six kinds of saranagati. To worship Tulasi Devi by seeing, touching, meditation, glorification (kirtana), offering obeisances. Hearing her glories, planting, serving (watering), and worshipping her; in these nine ways Tulasi can be served. To study Vaishnava scriptures like Shrimad Bhagavatam, to reside in Mathura mandala, to serve the Vaishnavas, to observe the festivals celebrating the Lord's pastimes as much as one has the capacity to do so, to observe vows such as Kartikka-vrata (offering regulated service during the month of Kartikka), to observe the appearance days of the Lord and to always chant His Holy Names. These constitute fifty-nine branches of devotional service.


The next five items which will be mentioned are the best, and are superior to all the others. To worship the Deity, to hear Shrimad Bhagavatam in the company of advanced devotees, to associate with like-minded devotees, congregational chanting of the Holy Names of the Lord, and residence in Vrndavana - these make 64 different items constituting the performance of devotional service.


Seva Aparadhas - offences in Deity Worship


There are 32 offences considered in the worship of the Deity: To enter the temple in a palanquin or with shoes, to not observe festivals such as the appearance days of the Lord, to not offer ones obeisances when coming before the Lord, to offer prayers to the Lord without having properly washed after taken one's meal, to come before the Lord in an unclean state (uncleaniness from being in contact with contaminated objects or from a death in the family), to offer obeisances with one hand, to turn one's back to the Lord during circumambulation, to wash one's feet before the Lord, to sit in front of the Lord while holding one's knees or elbows with his hands, to lie down before the Lord, to engage in mundane talks with someone before the Deity, to cry before the Deity, to eat before the Lord, to tell lies before the Lord, to talk loudly before the Deity, to show favour or disfavour to anyone in His presence, to speak harshly or sruelly to anyone before Him, to come before the Deity having covered one's body with a blanket, to criticize anyone before the Deity, to praise anyone before the Deity, to speak vulgar or obscene words before the Lord, to offer inferior articles to the Lord during worship though one has the capabilitv to offer superior articles, to eat unoffered foods, to not offer seasonal fruits to the Lord, to offer foodstuffs which have already been tasted by someone else to the Lord, to sit with one's back to the Lord, to offer obeisances to anyone else before the Lord, to remain silent in front of the guru (to not recite prayers in his presence or to remain silent when questioned by him), to praise oneself, and to criticize or blaspheme the demigods.


There is also mention of offences in Deity worship in the Varaha Purana: To eat foodstuffs provided by materialists, to touch the Deity's body in a dark room, to go to the Deity at an irregulated time, to open the door to temple without having first rung the bell, to collect for use in the worship of the Deity any foodstuffs or other ingredient, any portion of which has been eaten or seen by a dog or other such animal, to break silence while performing worship, to go for passing urine or stool while worshipping the Deity, to offer incense without having offered sandalwood pulp and flower garlands first, to offer worship with forbidden flowers, to perform worship without having brushed one's teeth, after one has had intimate contact with a woman, seen a woman in her menses, touched a lamp or dead body, put on an unwashed, blood stained or blue cloth, or cloth belonging to someone eke, seen a dead body, passed air, become angry, gone to the cremation grounds, not digested one's meal, eaten safflowers, safflower spinach. or sesame oil cake, or having put oil on one's body.


Also. to present some other scriptures in preference to the Bhagavatam, to chew pan in front of the Deity, to worship with flowers which have been placed on a leaf of the Castor oil plant, to worship the Deity at improper (demoniac) hours, to sit on a wooden seat or on the ground while performing worship, to touch the Deities with one's left hand while bathirig Them, to worship the Deity with old or begged-for flowers, spit while worshipping, to praise oneself or consider oneself (while worshipping or in the matter of worshipping) to be the best pujari), to put on crooked tilaka to enter the temple without having washed one's feet, to offer foodstuffs cooked by non-Vaishnavas to the Deity, to not first worship Ganesh, to worship after having seen some tantrik, to bathe the Deity in water which was touched by the fingernails, to worship while profusely perspiring, to step over flowers, and to take vows in the name of the Deity. Beside these there are still other various offences mentioned in the sastras.


The Seriousness of Offences to the Holy Name


Even that person who is the perpetrator of unlimited offences can be delivered by taking shelter at the lotus feet of Shri Hari. That wretch who commits offences even to the lotus feet of Shri Hari, if he even slightly takes shelter of the Holy name of the Lord; then the Name itself will deliver him from his Offences. Of this there is no doubt. Therefore, Shri Hari nama is the best friend and wellwisher of everyone; if anyone commits Offences to Shri Nama then his downifall is inevitable.


1. To abuse the Vaishnavas

quoting from the Skanda Purana, Shri Jiva Prabhu mentions in the Bhakti Sandarbha that to physically beat, censure or blame, to bear malice towards, not to welcome, to be angry towards, and to not feel joy on seeing a Vaishnava - these six Offences towards a Vaishnava are the cause of one's downfall.

2) To consider Siva to be independent from Lord Vishnu.

3) To consider the guru to be an ordinary human being.

4) To blaspheme the Vedic scriptures.

5) To consider the glories of chanting Hari Nam to be imaginary.

6) To give some interpretation of Shri Hari Nam (abandoning the meanings explained in the scriptures).

7) To engage in sinful acts with the intention of chanting Hari Nam as a means of getting free from the sinful reaction.

8) To equate the chanting of Hari Nam with other ritualistic activities of the Vedas.

9) To instruct the faithless in the glories of Shri Nama.

1O) To not feel pleasure in chanting Hari Nam even after having heard the glories of Shri Nam.


These ten Offences must certainly be given up.


Vaidhi-Bhakti (Devotion in pursuance of rules and regulations)


If the various ways of devotion, hearing and chanting, etc., are executed in awe or apprehension of the authoritv of the scriptures then that is called Vaidhi-bhakti.


The inclination to execute the process of devotion according to raganuga is engendered by eager desire, whereas the inclination for Vaidhi stems from a sense of being obligated to adhere to the authority of the scriptures.


The meaning of the word raga is an intense craving to see the Deity form of the Lord and hear about His pastimes from the Tenth Canto of Shrimad Bhagavatam.


Raganuga Bhakti (Devotion in attachment)


When those who are greedy to obtain the service of Shri Braja Raj Nandan thus execute the above-mentioned limbs of bhakti, namely hearing and chanting, etc., with this end in mind, these devotional methods are celebrated as raganuga bhakti.


The performance of raganuga bhakti can take place in two ways. Externally with one's physical body and internally in a body which is suitable for rendering loving service, carried out through the process of internal contemplation. This service is rendered in pursuance of the order of Krishna's near and dear ones in Braja, such as Shri Radhika, Lalita, Visakha, Shri Rupa manjari,  and their followers - Rupa Gosvami, Sanatan Gosvami, etc. Coming to know of their intense attachment to Shri Krishna in conjugal love, one desires to obtain such attachment one's self and thus become Their devoted follower. This internal service executed with one's spiritual body follows after Shri Radha, Lalita, Visakha, Shri Rupa manjari, etc., whereas the external service carried out with one's physical body follows the example of Shri Rupa, Sanatan Gosvami and their associates.


In this instance some modern commentators have put forward the inconsistent opinion that one is to also imitate the service of Shri Radhika, Lalita and the others with his external body and since it is that they don't worship salagrama sila, follow the vow of Ekadashi, or accept a guru, therefore the sadhaka (practicing devotee) is also not obligated to do so. This wrong conclusion however has been refuted by Shri Jiva Prabhu in his commentary' to Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu.


The manner of raganuga bhakti is described as follows: The sadhaka engages his mind always in remembrance of Shri Krishna and Shri Krishna's near and dear ones in Braja, devoting his tongue and ears to hearing and chanting about them and himself physically residing in Brajadhama. In the matter of remembering Shri Krishna and His associates it is implied that one may, according to his own desire or mood (mellow), be especially attracted to certain personalities and therefore his meditation on them may be foremost. Those who are able to physically reside in Brindaban should do so and those who cannot should contemplate mentally that they are residing there.


In one's internal, spiritual body one is to follow in the footsteps of Shri Rupa manjari while performing his service mentally (manasik) and with his external physical body he follows in the footsteps of Shri Rupa Gosvanii while executing service with his working and other senses.


In this connection, Shrila Kaviraja Gosvami has introduced the following verses, 'The pastimes of Shri Krishna are the essence of nectar from which flow hundreds and hundreds of springs and streams in all the ten directions. The pastimes of Shri Chaitanya constitute an inexhaustible and eternal lake within which the swan-like minds of the devotees dive and sport. These devotees who are possessed of various moods and sentiments play within those waters like so many swans and cakravakas (ruddy geese or partridges). Within that tank of nectar Shri Krishna's playful sports are existing in the forms of the stems of lotus and lily flowers, which these swan- Like devotees are always able to relish and savour as their prime foodstuffs.


All devotees should hear about Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's pastimes with faith and love. By the grace of the Lord, one can thus attain shelter at His lotus feet. By understanding the pastimes of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu one can understand the truth about Krishna, By understanding Krishna, one can understand the limit if all knowledge described in various revealed scriptures.


Shri Kaviraja Goswami has raised these points especially for those who are practicing the path of raganuga bhajan. They are herein being advised to relish the pastimes of Shri Krishna by approaching Them through the medium of the Pastimes of Shri Gauranga. For this reason such a sadhaka (practitioner) should remember the pastimes of Gaurachandra and follow in the footsteps of His associates. Though Shri Rupa Goswami is an eternally liberated associate of Shri Gaursundara, and is continually engaged in the service of Shri Krishna as Shri Rupa manjari, still in his external physical body he considers himself to be a sadhaka and plaintively prays to be able to attain some service at the lotus feet of Shri Krishna. Thus it sometimes comes to pass that while in this consciousness , he becomes internally aware of his identity as Shri Rupa manjari, and thus tastes service to Shri Krishna directly.


Therefore for those who are ardently desirous of attaining direct service to Shri Krishna and who thus submit themselves as followers of the residents of Braja, it is their duty also to follow in the footsteps of Shri Shrila Rupa Gosvami with the external physical body (sadhaka deha). Those who however, renounce those external activities which are meant for the aspiring devotee, like accepting a spiritual master, etc., they become the perpetrators of the principles of irreligion and the sahajiya tendencies instigated by their oversimplified understanding of these matters. At no time will it ever be possible for such persons to become perfect in their loyalty, subservience and allegiance to the residents of Brindaban (Brajabasis).


The principal part or feature of the aforementioned Raganuga~bhakti is remembrance. This remembrance must necessarily be in relation to Shri Krishna and His Dearmost One's, according to one's own particular rasa, sentiments, dress and specific nature. This is also true with the other limbs of bhakti beginning with kirtana. In worship of the Deity, the use of mudras, meditation on Dwaraka, worship of Krishna's queens, etc,, though they are prescribed in the agamana sastras, are nevertheless considered to be unfavourable and opposed to the culture of one's true sentiments and are therefore not necessary or proper. In the path of devotion if it is seen that there is some slight lassitude in the practice of some of the parts or limbs of bhakti there is no great fault or defect in this.


in this connection Shri Krishna has spoken to Uddhava, "He Uddhava, if one simply takes up the practice of the religion of devotion, in the matter of hearing and chanting about Me, even if there is some defect or omission of some of the limbs of bhakti, there is not the least harm in this. This devotional service is completely transcendental and absolute. Therefore, in no way, shape or form is there any possibility of its perishing, because this religion has been established by Me in affinitv with those devotees who have no material motivations." Bhag. 11.29.20


At the same time it is seen that if there is any injury to the fundamental limbs of devotion, namely: accepting the shelter of a guru, hearing and chanting, etc.; then there will certainly be some defect. Therefore one should be careful to see that there is no loss in the matter of executing the main limbs of bhakti. The scriptures have cautioned that, "Transgression of the precepts and procedures outlined in the Sruti, Smriti, Puranas and Narada pancaratra creates a great disturbance in the matter of executing single minded and intense devotion to Lord Hari.


If internally there is the presence of love in attachment (raga) - that is to say, the covetousness of attaining the moods and sentiments of Krishna's friends, family and associates in Braja has been generated - yet in that position one continues to perform all of the limbs of bhakti as phenomenal procedures, then he will attain the refuge of the queens of Krishna and thus become a follower of Rukmini and the other residents of Dwaraka. The path of vidhi execution of rules and regulations) is mixed with the mood and sentiments of family fidelity in urban civilization and therefore the Son of the King of Braja, Shri Krishna, is not obtained by this path.


Vidhi marge nahi paiya braje Krishnacandra (CC M22)


In this connection what is to be understood is this - When after hearing of the sweet moods and sentiments of the Brajabasis (specifically those in srngara rasa) one desires that, "if only I might also be able to experience these kinds of feelings towards Shri Krishna," then, once this kind of covetousness has been aroused there is no longer any dependence on the arguments or reason of the Scriptures. If such dependence exists then the perfection of said covetousness or eager longing is not possible. The philosophical arguments of the scriptures have not been seen to engender this eager longing within anyone. However, by hearing about this covetous subject matter or seeing some one or something related to these topics it can be noted that this eager longing is produced of and by itself. After such covetousness has already come into being then one might desire to know how he might obtain this specific mood which is found in Braja. Only in the sastra however has it been described how to attain this particular mood or sentiment. In this instance the scripture which is found to accomplish such devotion is Shrimad Bhagavatam.


Amongst all of the different limbs of performing worship it is seen that these devotional practices can be divided into five different groups: 1) tad bhavaamoy 2) tad bhavaasambandhi 3) tad bhavaanukul 4) tad bhavairudhah and 5) tad bhavaapratikul.


The various practices of devotional service which nourish sentiment in the mellows of servitorship and friendship are referred to as bhavamoy.  Devotional service beginning with the acceptance of the shelter of a spiritual master and finally culminating in chanting japa, hearing, chanting and remembering about the pastimes, qualities and transcendentally beautiful forms of the Most Dear One, Shri Krishna and His beloved Ones, and seeing Them in various ways according to Their activities at specific times of the day is known as Bhavasambandhi sadha. Because these devotional activities mould ones thoughts, feelings, emotions and sentiments in a particular way they are called bhavasambandhi (related to bhava).


The observance of Ekadashi, Janmastami, Kartikka vrata as well as the renunciation of sense pleasures and other austerities, offering respect to Tulasi and the banyan tree, etc.; all of these activities executed with eagerness for attaining one's most cherishable relationship with the Desired Object, because they are helpful and favourably disposed towards the attainment of this bhava are caled Bhavanukul sadhana.


Wearing the remnants of the Divine Couple's Worshipful Objects, flower garlands and other apparel and ornaments as well as the syllables of the Holy Names on one's body is referred to as Bhavaviruddha sadhana (that which is not opposed to the attainment of the desired goal). One is therefore obligated to perform these activities.


Affixing mantras to one's body (Nyas), various hand symbols (mudra), and meditation of Krishna's pastimes in Dwaraka, because they are adverse to the attainment of the desired sentiments (bhava) are therefore called Bhavaer pratikula, and consequently fit to be rejected by those following the path of Raganuga bhakti.


In this way, according to one's own qualifications, he is duty bound to observe various practices prescribed in the scriptures while rejecting those which are forbidden,


Bhava Bhakti


The symptoms of Bhava bhakti are stated in Bhakti-Rasaramrta-Sindhu: Devotion which is characterized by the quality of unadulterated goodness, which appears like a ray of the sun of love of God and which by its tasty quality gives great satisfaction and is very pleasing to the heart is called bhava.


The stage or state of bhava is not brought about or effected by any specific means or expedient. Nevertheless, by reason of maturity in the stage of sadhana bhakti (devotional service in practice) after continuously practicing devotional service for some time; hearing and chanting, etc., the heart becomes purified and then by the mercy of Krishna or His devotee, bhava bhakti makes its appearance there.


Following is a list of symptoms which herald the appearance of bhava: 1) ksanti- forbearance, forgiveness, tolerance 2) avyarthkalta- effective use of one's time 3) virakti- aversion, indifference (to worldly aifairs) 4) mansunyawta- absence of false prestige 5) asabandha- hopeful (that Krishna will bestow His mercy) 6) samutkantha- impatience, anxiety, eagerness (to attain one's goal) 7) namgane sada ruci- always possessed of a taste to relish songs describing Krishna's name, etc. 8) tadiya gunakhyan asakti- attached to hearing narrations of His qualities 9) tadiya basati sthale priti- affection for the places of His residence, ie. Mathura, Brindaban, Navadvipa, etc.


Even though there may be reason to be sorrowful or agitated yet one's consciousness nevertheless remains placid, this is called ksanti. Ceasing engagement in worldly affairs while remaining exclusively occupied with the service of the Supreme Lord is known as ayarthakalata. A natural distaste for matters pertaining to the material gratification of the senses with material sense objects is called virakti. Though one may in fact be in an eminently superior position still he remains very modest and humble- this is referred to as mansunyata. When one is firmly convinced and determined that he can attain the association of the Lord - this is called asabandha. The intense greed for the sake of attaining one's most cherished desire (the service of Krishna) is known as samutkantha. The loving 'thirst' to always sing the Lord's Holy Names is called 'namgane sada ruci. The natural attraction to and attachment for hearing descriptions of the Supreme Lord's sweet qualities is called `tadiya gunakhyam asakti'. The longing to reside in the Lord's Holy Abode (Shri Brindaban) is known as `tadiya basati sthale priti'. These symptoms appear in those devotees in whom the bud of bhava has begun to blossom. If these small sprouts of the creeper of loving devotion are observable, then it is to be understood that that devotee has attained the qualification to be able to meet Shri Krishna face to face.


If the symptorns of bhava are seen in those who desire sense gratification or liberation, in karmi (fnuitive workers) or in jnanis (mundane speculators) or in other persons of like mentality it however cannot he said that they have developed attachment in love to the Supreme Lord, Bhagavan. Rather, it may he accepted that the faint semblance of a reflection of such attachment is present there, by the result of association of devotecs such symptoms can be found in even ignorant persons. That indicates the presence of a shadow form of attachment in devotion.


Prema Bhakti


The mature stage of bhava bhakti (inspired devotion) is called Prema (love). The symptom of prema is, that interruptions and impediments to one's devotional sevice do not cause the slightest diminution of one's devotional sentiments. The presence of a supcrfluity of feelings of possessiveness transforms prema into sneha (affection). The symptom of sneha is that the condition of the heart becomes liquefied (melts). Beyond that is the stage of raga. The symptom of raga is deep attachrnent. Beyond that is pranaya. The symptom of pranaya is deep faith.


Attachment to Krishna in the stage of permanent mellows - when, by the action of vibhava, anubhava, sattvik and vyabhicari bhava, the devotee develops a genuine taste for hearing and chanting etc., this is called Bhakti-rasa (or relishing the liquid mellows of devotion). In other words, when attachment to Krishna in the stage of permanent mellow mixes with vibhava etc. then the devotee becomes qualified to actually relish or taste the liquid mellows of devotion (bhakti ras). This attachment to Krishna can be in any one of five permanent mellows: Santa, dasya, sakhya, vatsalya and madhurya. That by which attachment becomes vibhavito or tasteable (perceivable) is called vibhava. This vibhava is of two kinds: 1) alambana - support: that which is the object of affection; 2) udipana - stimulation of ecstatic love. Alambana is also divided into- visayolambana and asrayolambana. The object of attachment is called visayolambana. The receptacle of such attachment is asrayolambana. Those things which stimulate remembrance of Krishna are called uddipan vibhava. The symptoms which proclaim the presence of bhava (devotional sentiment), sweet laughter, dancing and chanting, are all known as anubhava.


That by which one's consciousness and body become extremely agitated is called sattvik bhava. This is of eight different varieties: 1) stambha(jarata) paralysis, stupefaction, benumbed condition; 2) sved(gharima') perspiration; 3) romanca- horripilation, standing of the bodily hairs on end, goose pimples; 4) svarbhanga- ephonia losing one's voice; 5) kampa- trembling: 6) vaivarnya- fading of bodily colour, pale lividness; 7) asru- tears: and 8) praloy (susupti dasa)- fainting. These 8 ecstatic symptoms are again further subdivided into five conditions: dhumayitva (smoking),jvalita (ignited), dipta (luminous) uddipta (inflamed) and suddipta (radiant). These conditions bestow successively increasing states of delight and happiness upon the person in whom they are experienced, namely the eternally perfected (nitya siddha) devotees of the Lord. The ecstatic symptoms (sattvik bhava) of the devotee who has developed attachment in love in the beginning or infantile stages are called digdha, (annointed). The devotional sentiments (bhava) of one in whom attachment (rati) has not yet awakened but who nevertheless feels some joy and wonder while experiencing the rudimentary stages of devotion, is called ruksa (rough).


Ecstatic emotions seen in someone who desires liberation are nothing more than reflections of genuine attachment in devotion, The infantile or rudimentary expressions of ecstatic love seen in those who are fruitive workers (karmis) or sense enjoyers (visayijan) are called sattvabhasaj (reflections of the presence of some goodness). Those who slippery minded, or addicted to fake imitation display, some 'ecstatic emotions' called nihsattva (feeble). The `ecstasies' of those who are inimical towards the Supreme Lord are called (pratip)- negative or adverse.


Now vyabhicari bhava will be examined, There are 33 different kinds of vyabhicari bhava: - self criticism, regret, humility, fatigue, perspiration, intoxication, pride, dread, fear, impulsive emotion, madness, hysteric convulsions, fever, fainting, death, laziness, inertness, shame, concealment, remembrance, deliberation, worry, contemplation, patience, mirth, eagerness, sharp temperament, intolerance, envy, fickleness, sleep, dreaming and awakening.


According to the heart of a particular devotee there is some disparity in the manifestation of various devotional sentiments, Therein it is sometimes seen that one's mood is as deep as the ocean and therefore unfathomable, whereas another's heart, like a small pond, is very light and unsteady and consequently very easily perceived. As there is no rule which governs such manifestations of bhava (devotional sentiments) we will not further elaborate on this matter.


Now sthayibhav will be described. There are three types of sthayi bhav - samanya rup (ordinarily constituted); swaccharup (individual or voluntary) and the five permanent mellows beginning with neutrality.


One who has never had the association of a devotee who is fixed in a particular mellow but who nevertheless, as a result of the mature stage of his execution of devotional service, has developed some slight attachment or devotion which is however non-specific, (according to the five different mellows) is said to have developed sanamya rup sthayi bhav (an ordinary constituted form of devotion). If again it is seen that someone, by association with devotees who are situated in different mellows, and as a result of his own mature execution of devotional service, manifests attachment at different times which correspond with all the varieties of devotional mellows, according to whomever he may be associating with at the present, then this is called svacchasthayi bhav. In other words, he experiences attraction to the different mellows at different times but has not yet developed attachment to a particular permanent mellow. The last category consists of devotees who have determined their particular permanent mellow.



These five mellows are considered to be consecutively superior from an impartial, neutral point of view. The quality of one in santa ras is that his intellect is fixed in Krishna; the quality of one in dasya rasa is that he renders service; one in sakhya rasa is devoid of reverential feelings or being awed by the presence of (his friend) Krishna; those in vataslya rasa are especially affectionate to Krishna and those in ujival rasa please Krishna by awarding Him the association of their bodies. Each mellow is successively superior to the other in consideration of the degree in which their respective qualities are manifested.


The mellow of devotion in neutrality has as its object of support Shri Krishna, Who is the personification of eternality, knowledge and bliss, the Supreme Brahman in the form of a human being with four hands, Narayan, Who is the Supersoul (Paramatma), Who is decorated with the qualities of peacefulness, temperance, cleanliness, self-restraint, omnipresence, all~pervasiveness, and the Bestower of beatitude on the enemies killed by Him. The receptacle of this mellow (asroyalamban) are the ascetics headed by Sanaka, Sananda, Sanatan and Sanat Kumar. The mental speculators (jnanis) who have renounced their desires for liberation can also be considered as receptacles of this mellow if by the mercy of Krishna's devotees they become desirous of cultivating devotional service. The association of saintly hermits, residents of garden groves within the mountains (Himalayas) and residence in the various holy places provide inspiration and stimulation for the development of this mellow. The symptoms which indicate the presence of this mellow are:

staring at the tip of the nose, taking up the activities of a hermit, unselfishness, pitilessness, absence of malice towards those who are adverse to the ~rd, the absence of excessive devotion to the devotees of the ~rd, silence, and close application of the study of scripture. Ecstatic symptoms beginning with crying and horripilation may be expressed but praloy is conspicuous by its absence. Indifference, understanding and patience are passing sentiments (sancari bhav) and calmness (santi) is the permanent mellow (sthayi bhav).


Mellow of servatorship (Dasya bhakti rasa):

The object of the devotional mellow of servatorship is Shri Krishna, endowed with the qualities of being the Supreme controller (Iswar), the Master (Prabhu), All Omniscient ~rd, Who is very affectionate to His devotees (Bhakta vatmal). The receptacles of this devotion are of four kinds: l)adhikrta bhakta (responsible devotees] such as demigods like Brahma, Siva, etc., who have accepted various administrative posts for the execution of their devotional service; 2)ashrita bhakta (dependent devotees) who are again of three types: saranya (worthy of being sheltered), jnanicar (mental speculators who have become devotees) and sevanistha (those who render steady service). Kahyanag and the kings imprisoned by the King of Magadha, Jarasandha, fall into the category of Saranya. Those who were at first mental speculators but who later gave up their desires for liberation and became inclined towards devotion are known as Jnanicar. The

laM__sages headed by Saunaka are amongst this group. Those who are, from the begining, devoted to service are called Sevanistha. The kings Candradhvaja, Harihaya and Bahulasva are designated as such.


Amongst Krishna's eternal associates, the ksatriyas Uddhava, Daruka and Srutadeva and the cowherd men headed by Upananda, are also included in the third category of ~  Shri Krishna's attendents: Sucandra, Raktak, Patrak, Madhukantha,( etc.), in Braja are known as ~(4) bhaktas. Amongst all of them, those who are Krishna's own family members and who always render devotional service which is proper and suitable are called dhurjabhaktas(?). Those amongst Krishna's lady loves (mistresses) who are especially possessed of great fondness and affection for him are known as dhira bhaktas (steady devotees). Those who, having attained Krishna's mercy, are somewhat proud and therefore do not care for others are called Bir bhaktas (courageous devotees). Amongst these respectful and affectionate devotees, Pradyumna, Sambha, etc. are maintained by their Father, Shri Krishna, to Whom they are very obedi ant.


All of the aforementioned devotees are again classified according to nityasiddha (eternally perfected), sadhan siddha (perfected through devotional practices) and sadhak (practising devotee). The all merciful dust of His lotus feet and remnants of Krishna's foodstuffs (Mahaprasad) etc. provide stimulation for ecstatic love (uddipan vibhav). The symptoms of the presence of devotion (anubhav) are surrender and obediance to His instructions.


There are three stages in the development of the mellow of servatorship: prem (love), sneha (affection) and rag (attachment). Amongst the adhikrta and asrta bhaktas development can take place up to the stage of prem. Amongst the parisads , to sneha, though rag is also found in Pariksit, Daruka and Uddhav. Amongst Krishna's attendents in Braja, (Raktak etc.) and His devoted followers in Dwaraka (Pradyumna, etc.) the development of rag is also noticeable.


Two further states of the development of the mellows of servatorship are ayog (separation) and viyog (disunion). The state of never having seen Krishna is called ayoga. After having met Him, the condition of interruption of friendship or love is called viyoga. In viyog there is temperature in the body, weakness, wakefulness, sleeplessness, helplessness or restlessness, anxiety, inertia, sickness, madness, fainting and death or a state which is comparable to death. (In the separatior of ayoga one feels some ardour or zeal (anticipating an impendin~ meeting with the visoy) and in yoga (meeting) one is satisfied that he has attained the state of perfection.)


Mellow of devotion in friendship (sakhya ras):

The object of this mellow is Shri Krishna, Who is witty, clever, intelligent, dressed very handsomely and always endowed with an ecstatic mood of joy and delight. The receptacle of this mellow

ll_A__is those devotees who are possessed of great faithfulness to the visoy (object) Shri Krishna, and are equally very possessive of Him, extremely steady in their attachment to Him, beneficial to others by their behaviour and activities and devoted to rendering service as a friend. There are four divisions amongst Krishna's friends: l)sunrt 2)sakha 3)priya sakha and 4)priyanarma sakha. Those who are slightly older than Krishna and whose devotional sentiments contain a slight admixture of parental affection are called suhrt. In Braj a, Subhadra, Mandalibhadra and Balabhadra all fall into this category. Those who are slightly younger that Krishna and whose devotion is slightly mixed with dasya bhav (the mellow of servatorship) are called sakha. Some sakhas are Visal, Brsabha and Devaprastha. Those who are the same age as Shri Krishna are called His priya sakhas and include Shridama, Sudama and Vasudama. Those who assist Krishna in His pastimes of conjugal love with the cowherd girls who are His lady loves, are known as priyanarma sakhas. In Braja, Subal, Madhumangal and Arjun are all in this category. The stimulations for ecstatic love (uddipan bhav) include Krishna's various ages (Kaumar, Pauganda and Kaisor) and His buffalo horn, flute and other various musical instruments constructed of leaves and such. The period of kaumar lasts up to the age of five, pauganda up to the age of ten years and kaisor up to the age of fifteen. After that He is called yauvan; a fresh youth (adolescent). This is the general classification. Krishna however, actually continued His manifest pastimes in Braja up to the age of 10 years 8 months. Therefore it can be understood by this comparatively small amm9unt of time spent in Braja that His kaumar period would last until the age of 3 years 4 months, pauganda until the age of 6 years 8 months and Kaisor until the age ~f 10 years 8 months. Even after that He everlastingly remains as kaisor. In His seventh year during the month of Boisakh this kaisor period has its commencement. For this reason His sporting pastimes with His mistresses (the cowherd damsels) during the pauganda period are especially celebrated. In the course of discussing these various ages this subject has also been mentioned.


The symptoms (anubhav) of those possessed of these devotional sentiments are: fighting with the arms (wrestling), playingand lying down together with Shri Krishna.  Shedding tears, horripilation, etc. comprise the ecstatic symptoms (sattvik bhav). The passing symptoms (sancari bhav) include happiness, mirth, pride and boasting.  This sthayi bhav (permanent mellow) is specifically endowed with a pervasive quality in which the mood of reverence is conspicuous by its absence. This is attributed to the fact that those in the mellow of friendship see no essential difference between themselves and Shri Krishna. This in turn is due to the action of His yogamaya potency. Attachment in friendship can gradually progress through the ecstatic stages of sakhya (friendship), pranoy (intimacy), prem (love), sneha (affection) and rag (deep attachment). Krishna's friends (sakhas) in Dwaraka are Arjun, Bhimasena and Sudam Vipra. In sakhya ras (the mellow of friendship) there are as in dasya ras ten different ecstacies which are experienced in separation (viyoga).

ll!M__Vatsalya ras (the mellow of parental love):<>

The object of this mellow of parental affection is Shri Krishna, Who is distinguished with all wonderful qualities, is very mild and submissive and Whose bodily limbs are as soft as a a lotus flower. The receptacles of this mellow of parental affection in Braja are His elders who are all very intelligent and very possessive towards their most favorite darling; including His mother Brajeswari, father Brajaraj, Rohini, Upananada and his wife, etc. His smiling face, sweet soft-spoken nature and childhood activities provide stimulation for ecstatic love (uddipan vibhav). The symptoms (anubhav) of those possessed of these devotional sentiments are: smelling the head of Krishna, giving Him their blessings, nursing and rearing Him. Ecstatic symptoms include the eight major symptoms beginning with shock and perspiration plus another extra symptom namely, dripping of milk from the breasts. The profligate(?) symptoms (byabhicari bhav) include delight, dread, etc. This permanent mellow of attachment in parental love can progress through the various stages of pram, sneha and rag. There are also the previously mentioned ten different conditions of separation (viyoga).


Madhur ras (the conjugal mellow):<>

The object (visoyalamban) of this mellow of conjugal love is Shri Krishna from Whom various reservoirs have been produced containing an ocean of graceful beauty, sweet pastimes and the topmost perfection of love's dalliance. The sound of His flute, the chirping of the cuckoos in Spring, a newly formed rain cloud, the call of peacocks and the sight of His transcendental bodily person all provide stimulation in ecstatic love (uddipan vibhav). The symptoms of those possessed of this conjugal mellow are sidelong glances and shy smiles. Ecstatic symptoms (sattvik bhav) include all the major eight symptoms beginning with stupefaction and extending up to the limits of blazing (suddipta,). The passing symptoms (sancari bhav) include laziness, fiery anger and various other symptoms like remorse. Amiable loving affection is the permanent mellow of conjugal love. In this mellow ecstatic love passes through the stages of prem, sneha and rag, finally reaching the topmost pinnacle of love, compared to a highly luminous, resplendant bright blue sapphire (ujjval nilamani).


The mellows of neutrality and servatorship are mutually friendly. Friendship and parental love are marginal, neither friendly or inimical. None of the mellows is friendly with Vatsalya ras. Servatorship and conjugal love are mutually hostile.


Sometimes the mellows are mixed. In the person of Shri Baladeva friendship, parental love and servatorship are all found together. The devotees headed by Mukhara possess an admixture of parental love and friendship as does Maharaja

sqA__Yudisthira and Bhimasena. Arjuna is both a friend and a servant to Shri Krishna, as are also Nakula, Sahadeva and Shri Uddhava. Akrura, Ugrasena and others possess servatorship and parental affection. Aniruddha is also a servant and a friend. Thus the predominant five mellows have been described.

@BULLET = Indirect, secondary mellows

Mirth, wonder, courageousness, compassion, anger, dread, and ghastliness comprise the seven indirect mellows. In all of the previously mentioned five direct mellows these seven indirect mellows make their appearaance. Therefore the receptacle (asroyalamban) of these mellows are the five primary rasas (types of devotion). Six of the rasas beginning with laughter have as their object Shri Krishna, His devotees and all those who are related to Him. Contemptible and despicable persons, impure substances like meat and blood, etc. are the objects of ghastliness. The objects of dread and wrath are those persons who are inimical to Shri Krishna. The symptoms (anubhav) of those possessed of such mellows are: expansion of the cheeks, dilation of the eyes, etc. Two or three of the ecstatic symptoms (sattvik bhav) may also be manifest. The profligate (?) symptoms (byabhicari bhav) include laughter and anger. The permanent mellow of mirth is laughter, of wonder amazement, of bravery determination, of pathos grief, of wrath anger, of dread fear, and of ghastliness hatred. Some subordinate determined objects of heroic persons include fighting, charity, mercy and religion. Alltogether, the sum total of five primary rasas and seven indirect ones is twelve.


The seven indirect mellows are included within the five primary ones. Laughter and heroic fighting (chivalry) make their appearance in the mellow of friendship. Wonder appears in all the mellows. In~ parental affection compassion, charity and mercy (chivalry) appear. Dread appears in servatorship and parental love; ghastliness in neutrality. A portion of the wrathful anger due to attachment can appear in parental love and conjugal love. By this one can determine mutual friendships and enmities between these various mellows.


  Rasabhas (incompatibility of mellows):<> Rememberance or praise, making a comparison, a difference between the asroy and visoy, making a distinction with another mellow or a description of hostile mellows does not constitute rasa bhas.

Otherwise, if two mellows which are inimical to one another mutually seek refuge together or try to mix then this is called rasabhas. The combination of two mellows which are mutually friendly is very savoury.

The union of any of the predominant mellows with a hostile mellow in diversity of the visoy and asroy is incompatible. Only in Shrimati Radhika, while She is absorbedin adhirudha mahabhava can union with a hostile mellow be described and then only if it is dscribed properly. If Shri Krishna Himself, becomes at one moment the object and receptacle of all the mellows that does not constitute rasabhas or an incompatible mixing of mellows.


Some examples which are for the most part accepted as rasabhas are included in this description:   If Krishna is not seen to be more wonderful than Brahma, then this constitutes rasabhas in the mellow of neutrality. If in front of Shri Krishna one of His servants becomes overly presumptuous or impertinent then this is considered to be rasabhas in the mellow of servatorship. If 1 amongst two cowherd boys1 one of them is predominantly in the mellow of friendship and one is predominantly in the mellow of servatorship then this constitutes incompatible mixing of mellows in the mellow of fraternal love. When, due to the excessive strength of one's sons1 one does not feel the need to maintain or look after them then this is rasabhas in the mellow of parnetal love. If between the hero and the heroine, only one of them is desirous of making love, or only one of them expresses their request that they meet together, then this is rasabhas in the mellow of conjugal love. If laughter and the other indirect mellows are omitted in relation to Shri Krishna, then this is rasabhas. Again if laughter and the other indirect mellows are found among the enemies of Shri Krishna then this is very incompatible.