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C H A P T E R 2 6
Introduction to Rasa-Tattva
Vijaya Kumara was absent for about a month. During this time,
Vrajanatha's grandmother, who understood the dispositions
of both Vrajanatha and Vijaya Kumara, arranged for a suitable
bride through a brahmana mediator. When Vijaya Kumara was
informed, he sent his younger brother to Bilva-puskarini to organize
the wedding ceremony, which was duly performed at an
astrologically auspicious time on an auspicious day.
Vijaya Kumara arrived some time later, when all the marriage
proceedings had been completed. He sat without much interest
in the situation around him, and did not discuss worldly affairs
such as health and prosperity, for his heart was deeply absorbed
in spiritual matters. Vrajanatha detected his indifference, and
said, "Uncle, your heart appears to be uncertain these days. Why
is that? It is simply by your order that I am bound in the shackles
of worldly life. What have you decided to do yourself?"
Vijaya Kumara said, "I have decided to finally go to Shridhama
Puri to have the darsana of Shri Purusottama (Shri Jagannathadeva).
Some pilgrims are setting out for Puri in a few days, and I will also
go with them. I shall go and take permission from Shri Gurudeva."
After taking lunch that afternoon, Vrajanatha and Vijaya
Kumara went to Mayapura, where they offered dandavat-pranama
at Shri Raghunatha dasa Babaji's feet and begged his permission
to make a pilgrimage to Puri. Babaji Mahasaya was delighted to
hear their plea. His heart melted with affection and he said, "It is
very good that you are going to Puri to take darsana of Shri
Jagannathadeva. Shriman Mahaprabhu's sitting place is in Kasi
Misra's house in Puri, and Shri Gopala Guru Gosvami, the disciple
of Shri Vakresvara Pandita, is present there now in all his glory. Be
sure to have his darsana and accept his instructions with devotion.
Nowadays, it is only in that mahatma's throat that the splendor
of Shri Svarupa Gosvami's teachings is fully manifest."
Having received Shri Gurudeva's permission, Vrajanatha and
Vijaya Kumara joyfully returned home. On the way, at Vrajanatha's
eager request, Vijaya Kumara agreed to also take him to Puri. When
they arrived home, they disclosed their plans for the pilgrimage
to everyone. Vrajanatha's grandmother was also ready to go with
them, so finally it was decided that all three would go to Puri
The famous Ratha-yatra of Shri Jagannatha, Shri Baladeva and
Shri Subhadra-devi is held in Puri in the month of Asarha (June-
July). At that time, those who are dedicated to dharma flood in
from all corners of India and descend on Puri en masse. For this
reason, pilgrims from distant places set out from their homes many
days beforehand in order to arrive in good time. The month of
Jyestha (May-June) had scarcely begun when these three also set
out for Puri, along with the other pilgrims. After walking for some
days, they passed Dantana and arrived in Jalesvara. Gradually
moving on, they took darsana of Ksiracora Gopinatha, and came
to Shri Viraja-ksetra, where they performed nabhigaya-kriya and
took bath in the Vaitarani. Later, they had darsana of Shri Saksi
Gopala in Kataka, and Shri Lingaraja in Ekamra-kanana, and finally
arrived in Shri Ksetra, Puri-dhama.
All the pilgrims were accommodated in various places as
directed by their respective pandas (guardian priests). Vijaya
Kumara, Vrajanatha, and Vrajanatha's grandmother found lodgings
at Haracandi Sahi. In accordance with the regulative
principles, they took bath in the sea, and then went for darsana
of Shri Jagannatha. They began to take darsana, perform parikrama,
and honor the prasada of the various tirthas of that dhama. After
three or four days, Vijaya Kumara and Vrajanatha had darsana of
the shri-vigraha of Shriman Mahaprabhu as well as His footprints,
and also His fingerprints impressed on the Garuda stambha (column
of Garuda) in the temple of Shri Jagannathadeva. When
Shriman Mahaprabhu took darsana of Shri Jagannathadeva, He
would become overwhelmed with prema and streams of tears would
flow from His eyes. At such times, the stones beneath His feet
melted from His touch and were marked with His footprints. At
the same time, His prema also melted the Garuda stambha, which
He used to support Himself, and the marks of His fingers became
imprinted there. When Vijaya Kumara and Vrajanatha saw these
impressions, they became overwhelmed with prema.
That same day they went to Kasi Misra Bhavan. In that great
house constructed from stone is Shri Gambhira, the small room in
which Shriman Mahaprabhu would reside in His state of prema.
There, in order to console Him when He was immersed in feelings
of separation from Krishna, His dear associates, Shri Svarupa
Damodara and Raya Ramananda, would recite slokas and sing
bhajanas about the pastimes of Radha and Krishna. Vijaya Kumara
and Vrajanatha took darsana of that place, and of Shriman
Mahaprabhu's paraphernalia, such as His wooden sandals, that
are gloriously present there. On one side, within, is the mandira
of Shri Radha-Kanta, and on the other side was the seat of Shri
Gopala Guru Gosvami.
Vijaya and Vrajanatha fell at Shri Gopala Guru Gosvami's feet.
They were carried away in the happiness of prema and began to
shed tears. Shri Guru Gosvami was very pleased to see their ecstatic
sentiments and embraced them. He made them sit down close to
him and immediately asked, "I wish to know who you are." When
Vijaya and Vrajanatha introduced themselves, Guru Gosvami's
eyes began to stream with tears of love. Hearing the name of Shri
Navadvipa, he said, "Today I have become blessed by seeing the
residents of Shridhama Navadvipa. Tell me, how are the Vaishnavas
in Mayapura, such as Shri Raghunatha dasa and Goracanda dasa?
Are they well? Aho! When I remember Raghunatha dasa, the
memories of my siksa-guru Shri Dasa Gosvami come to my mind."
Guru Gosvami called his disciple, Shri Dhyanacandra, and said,
"These two mahatmas will take prasada here today." Shri Dhyanacandra
took them both to his room and offered them shri-mahaprasada.
Afterwards the three of them discussed many subjects.
Dhyanacandra Gosvami was overjoyed when he saw Vijaya Kumara's
vast erudition in Shrimad-Bhagavatam, and recognized Vrajanatha
as a fine scholar of all the sastras. He related all their discussions to
Shri Guru Gosvami, who was also delighted to hear of their
expertise in sastra. Shri Gopala Guru Gosvami called them near to
him, and said, "You are both very dear to me. Kindly allow me to
see you every day, as long as you stay in Shri Purusottama Dhama."
Vijaya Kumara humbly replied, "O Prabhu! Shri Raghunatha dasa
Babaji of Shri Mayapura has bestowed great mercy upon us. He has
given us so much siksa, and he ordered us to accept instructions
at your divine feet."
Guru Gosvami said, "Raghunatha dasa Babaji is a highly learned
scholar, and you should follow his instructions thoroughly. If you
want to know anything further, you may come here tomorrow
afternoon and present your inquiries. You may honor mahaprasada
here tomorrow." They conversed for some time, and then
Vijaya and Vrajanatha took permission from Shri Guru Gosvami
and returned to Haracandi Sahi.
The next day, Vijaya Kumara and Vrajanatha returned to Shri
Radha-Kanta Matha at the appointed time. They honored prasada,
and then approached Shri Gopala Guru Gosvami. When they had
offered their respectful pranama to him, they said, "Prabhu, we
want to know about rasa-tattva. Our lives will become successful
when we hear about krishna-bhakti-rasa from your lotus mouth. You
are the pre-eminent holy master of the Nimananda-sampradaya
and you are reigning as jagad-guru on the seat of Shriman
Mahaprabhu's successor, Shri Svarupa Gosvami. We desire to hear
rasa-tattva from your divine lips, so that our scholarship may become
Shri Gopala Guru Gosvami was overjoyed, and taking these
worthy disciples, to a solitary place, he spoke to them. "Shachinandana````@P@````PP@P°`° `@```š`@°°`°° @@P` ` P@ °P`0@````@`` P`@ `PPP```@`PP`°°°Ppppppp p````@@@@ppppp````````` P```` ```````````````_8Ȱ_Ȱ_娜粜娈粜が粞〼粞ぜ粞
Nimai Pandita appeared in Shri Navadvipa-Mayapura, and
He is the very life-breath of the bhaktas of Shri Gauda-mandala, Shri
Ksetra-mandala and Shri Vraja-mandala. May that Shachinandana````@P@````PP@P°`° `@```š`@°°`°° @@P` ` P@ °P`0@````@`` P`@ `PPP```@`PP`°°°Ppppppp p````@@@@ppppp````````` P```` ```````````````_8Ȱ_Ȱ_娜粜娈粜が粞〼粞ぜ粞
give us joy. May Shri Svarupa Gosvami, whose madhura-rasa-seva
always fills Shri Mahaprabhu with elation, be manifest in the core
of our hearts. Shri Vakresvara Pandita thoroughly captivated Nimai
Pandita with his dancing. He also showered his mercy on
Devananda Pandita by purifying him and making him Krishna's
bhakta. May that Shri Vakresvara Pandita confer all auspiciousness
"Rasa is an unequalled tattva which can be compared to the
rising of the moon, whose radiance is the expanding lila of parabrahma
Shri Krishna. Bhakti-rasa is the function of krishna-bhakti when
it becomes absolutely pure."
Vrajanatha: Is rasa a principle that is predetermined?
Gosvami: I cannot answer that question in a single word, "Yes"
or "No." I will explain the subject elaborately so that you can
understand it clearly. The krishna-rati about which you have heard
from your Gurudeva is called sthayibhava. When the other components
(samagri) of rasa are combined with the sthayibhava, the
resultant manifestation is called krishna-bhakti-rasa.
Vrajanatha: Will you kindly explain in detail what is sthayibhava,
and what are the constituent ingredients (samagri) of rasa? We
have heard from our Gurudeva about bhava, but we have not heard
how bhavas combine with each other to form rasa.
Gosvami: Ordinarily, at the stage of bhava, bhakti is krishna-rati. This
rati arises in the heart of the bhakta from the samskaras of past
and present lives, and develops further to the stage of rasa, when
it becomes the very embodiment of ananda. It is made up of four
different ingredients: 1) vibhava, 2) anubhava, 3) sattvika and 4)
vyabhicari or sancari. I will first explain these ingredients.
Vibhava is the cause of tasting rati, and it has two divisions:
alambana (the support) and uddipana (the awakening stimulus).
Alambana also has two divisions, namely, the object (visaya) and
the abode (asraya). The asraya of rati is the person in whom rati
exists, while the visaya of rati is the person towards whom rati is
directed. Krishna's bhaktas are the asraya of rati because they have
rati in their hearts, whereas Krishna is the visaya of rati, because
rati is directed towards Him.
Vrajanatha: So far we have understood that vibhava is divided into
two parts: alambana and uddipana, and that alambana is also
divided into two categories, namely, asraya and visaya. Krishna is
visaya, and the bhaktas are asraya. Now we are inquisitive to know
whether Krishna is sometimes the asraya of rati.
Gosvami: Yes, He is. When bhaktas have rati towards Krishna, Krishna
is visaya and the bhaktas are alambana, and when Krishna has rati
towards the bhaktas, then Krishna is asraya and the bhaktas are visaya.
Vrajanatha: We have heard from our Gurudeva about Shri Krishna's
sixty-four qualities. If there is anything further to be described in
regard to Shri Krishna, please tell us.
Gosvami: Although all the qualities exist fully in Shri Krishna, His
manifestation is complete in Dvaraka, more complete in Mathura,
and most complete in Gokula. This is because of the degree to
which the qualities are manifested in the respective dhamas. Krishna
is one, but He plays the parts of four types of heroes (nayaka) according
to the differences in His lila. They are 1) dhirodatta, 2)
dhira-lalita, 3) dhira-santa and 4) dhiroddhata.
Vrajanatha: What type of nayaka (hero) is dhirodatta?
Gosvami: The symptoms of Krishna as dhirodatta-nayaka are gravity,
courtesy, forgiveness, compassion, modesty, and concealed
Vrajanatha: What kind of nayaka is called dhira-lalita?
Gosvami: Krishna falls under the control of His beloved gopis because
He is expert in relishing loving mellows (rasika); He is on
the threshold of youth (nava-yauvana); He is ingenious in joking
(parihasa-caturi); and He is free from anxiety (niscintata). That is
why He is called dhira-lalita-nayaka.
Vrajanatha: And what are the symptoms of dhira-santa?
Gosvami: Krishna is known as dhira-santa-nayaka when He is
decorated with the qualities of being naturally sedate, forbearing,
judicious and humble.
Vrajanatha: What is dhiroddhata?
Gosvami: Sometimes in His lila, Krishna is also seen to be jealous,
egotistical, deceitful, angry, fickle, and boastful. At that time, He
is known as dhiroddhata-nayaka.
Vrajanatha: The qualities that you have described are mutually
contradictory, so how can they possibly exist at the same time in
Gosvami: Krishna is by nature fully independent, autocratic, and
supreme, and He has boundless opulence. It is by the action of
Krishna's acintya-sakti (inconceivable potency) that these contradictory
qualities exist in Him at the same time. For example, we
read in the Kurma Purana:
asthulas canus caiva / sthulo 'nus caiva sarvatah
avarnah sarvatah proktah / syamo raktantalocanah
aisvarya-yogad bhagavan / viruddhartho 'bhidhiyate
tathapi doso parame/ naivaharya kathancana
gunaviruddha apy ete / samaharyah samantatah
All contradictory qualities are splendidly and very beautifully
manifest in Bhagavan at the same time. Although
He is intangible and minute in every way, He is tangible
and all pervading in every way. He is devoid of mundane
color, but He has a transcendental syama hue, and the corners
of His eyes are reddish. This is how He has been described
in the sastras. Bhagavan is said to possess contradictory
virtues on account of His mystic opulence. Nevertheless,
no fault can be attributed to Paramesvara. Although
the aggregate of His qualities seems to be contradictory,
these qualities are certainly virtues in all respects.
In the Maha-Varaha Purana, it is stated:
sarve nityah sasvatas ca / dehas tasya paratmanah
hanopadana-rahita / naiva prakrti-jah kvacit
paramananda-sandoha / jnana-matras ca sarvatah
sarve sarva-gunaih purnah / sarva-dosa-vivarjitah
All the bodies of that Paramatma are nitya and free from
the two types of activities known as 'giving up' and 'accepting'.
His bodies are not born from material nature, but
are composed of consciousness and are the embodiment
of paramananda. Each and every limb of His body is filled
with all transcendental qualities and is free from all defects.
The Vaishnava-tantra states:
astadasa-mahadosaih / rahita bhagavat-tanuh
Bhagavan is endowed with all kinds of superhuman power,
perfect knowledge and joy, and His body is free from the
eighteen types of general faults.
These eighteen general faults are:
mohas tandra bhramo ruksa-rasata kama ulbanah
lolata mada-matsaryau himsa kheda-parisramau
asatyam krodha akanksa asanka visva-vibhramah
visamatva parapeksa dosa astadasodita
1) illusion, 2) lethargy, 3) bewilderment, 4) dullness, 5)
intense lust, 6) fickleness, 7) pride, 8) envy, 9) violence,
10) remorse, 11) desire for excessive peace and comfort, 12)
untruthfulness, 13) anger, 14) hankering, 15) fear, 16)
hallucination, 17) contradiction, and 18) the tendency to
depend on others.
All these transcendental qualities are present in the forms of
the avataras, and they are expressed to the utmost extent in Shri
Krishna, who is avatari (the origin of all avataras). In addition to
these, Krishna possesses a further eight qualities which indicate His
manliness (purusatva). These are: 1) sobha (beauty), 2) vilasa (fascinating,
transcendental pastimes), 3) madhurya (sweetness), 4)
mangalya (auspiciousness), 5) sthirata (stability), 6) teja (brilliance),
7) lalita (playfulness), and 8) audarya (munificence). His
beauty is particularly noticeable in kindness towards the lowly,
rivalry towards His peers, valor, enthusiasm, dexterity and the
revelation of truth. Vilasa is characterized in Him by His profound
manner, calm glance and humorous words. His madhurya (sweetness)
is noticeable for pleasing loveliness is manifest in all His
activities. His auspiciousness is the abode of faith of the entire
world. His stability means that He is not deviated in any activity.
His brilliance means attracting the attention of everyone towards
Himself. He exhibits an abundance of amorous sentiments and
endeavors and is thus called lalita (playful). His mood of completely
offering Himself is called audarya. Shri Krishna is the crestjewel
of all heroes, and in His human-like pastimes, sages such as
Garga have been described as His assistants in matters of dharma,
ksatriyas such as Yuyudhana in matters of war, and ministers such
as Uddhava in matters of counseling.
Vrajanatha: I have fully understood how Krishna is the heroic personification
of mellows. Now please tell us about Krishna's bhaktas
who are fit to experience rasa, and who are included in the category
Gosvami: Only those whose hearts are overwhelmed by loving
sentiments for Krishna can be bhaktas in rasa-tattva. All of the
twenty-nine qualities, from truthfulness to bashfulness (being
embarrassed by true statements), which have been described in
relation to Krishna, are also found in His bhaktas.
Vrajanatha: How many types of krishna-bhaktas are fit to experience
Gosvami: There are two types: the sadhaka and the siddha.
Vrajanatha: Who is a sadhaka?
Gosvami: Sadhakas are those in whom ruci for the topics of Krishna
has arisen, and who have acquired the qualification to have direct
darsana of Krishna, but who have not yet completely surpassed
all obstacles and difficulties. Madhyama-bhaktas adorned with the
symptoms described in Shrimad-Bhagavatam (11.2.46), isvare tadadhinesu,
are in the category of sadhaka.
Vrajanatha: Prabhu, are the bhaktas described in Shrimad-Bhagavatam
(11. 2. 47), arcayam eva haraye not eligible to experience rasa?
Gosvami: They are not sadhakas until they become suddha-bhaktas
by the mercy of other suddha-bhaktas. Only personalities like
Bilvamangala are genuine sadhakas.
Vrajanatha: Who are the siddha-bhaktas?
Gosvami: Siddha-bhaktas are those who do not experience any
suffering, whose activities are all performed under the shelter of
Shri Krishna, and who always taste the happiness of prema. There
are two types of siddha-bhaktas: those who have gained perfection
(samprapta-siddha) and those who are eternally perfect (nityasiddha).
Vrajanatha: Who are the bhaktas who have gained perfection
Gosvami: They are also of two types: those who attained perfection
through sadhana (sadhana-siddha), and those who achieved
perfection by mercy (krpa-siddha).
Vrajanatha: Who are the nitya-siddhas?
Gosvami: Shri Rupa Gosvami has said:
atma-koti-gunam krsne / premanam paramam gatah
nityananda-gunah sarve / nitya-siddha mukundavat
The nitya-siddhas are those who, like Mukunda, are the
embodiment of ananda, and whose qualities are eternal.
Their main symptom is that they are endowed with a prema
for Krishna that is ten million times more than they have
even for themselves.
It is said in the Uttara-Khanda of the Padma Purana:
yatha saumitra-bharatau / yatha sankarsanadayah
tatha tenaiva jayante / nija-lokad yadrcchaya
punas tenaiva gacchanti / tat-padam sasvatam param
na karma-bandhanam janma / vaishnavanan ca vidyate
Vaishnavas are not bound by karma, nor do they take birth
like mundane human beings. Rather, they appear as
Laksmana and Bharata, the sons of Sumitra, appeared with
Shri Ramacandra; as Balarama and others appear in this
material world with Bhagavan Shri Krishna by His will, and
then return again to the eternal transcendental abode
along with Him; or as the members of the Yadu dynasty
also appear in Bhagavan's manifest pastimes, and then
return with Him to the supreme abode (parama-dhama)
when His pastimes become unmanifest.
Vrajanatha: Prabhu, I have understood the alambana aspect of
vibhava. Now kindly explain what is referred to as uddipana.
Gosvami: Uddipana is that which causes bhava to be excited or
stimulated. Krishna's qualities, His activities, laughter, and the
fragrance of His bodily limbs, His flute, bugle-horn, ankle-bells,
conch-shell and footprints, the places of His pastimes, Tulasi, His
bhaktas, the auspicious times such as Ekadashi (hari-vasara), and
so on - these are all uddipana. Krishna's qualities (guna) are of three
types, related to His body, mind and speech, respectively (kayika,
manasika and vacika).
Age (vayasa) is prominent among the qualities relating to His
body. There are three divisions of Krishna's age: kaumara, pauganda
kaumaram pancamabdantam / paugandam dasamavadhi
asodasac ca kaisoram / yauvanam syat tatah param
The kaumara period lasts until the age of five. The pauganda
period lasts from this point until the age of ten, and the
kaisora stage begins at the age of ten and continues until
the age of sixteen. The age after that is called yauvana.
The kaisora stage also has three divisions, which are called the
beginning, middle and end (adya, madhya and sesa). Among the
bodily qualities, the consideration of beauty is predominant.
Beauty is present when the bodily limbs are in proper proportion
to each other. Clothing, decoration and the arrangement of
articles, including the hair and so on, is called prasadhana.
Krishna has three kinds of flute: vamsi, venu and murali. The venu
is twelve fingers long and as thick as a thumb, and it has six holes.
The murali is two hands in length and has four finger-holes, besides
the hole in the mouthpiece. The vamsi is 17 fingers long. Of
this, there is a clear space of three finger-widths at the tail end.
At the head end of the flute is another space of four finger-widths,
which is also clear, except for the hole for blowing, which is half
a finger's width from the end. In the middle is a space containing
eight finger-holes separated from each other by a gap of half a
finger's width. The vamsi therefore has a total of nine holes.
The conch-shell that turns to the right and rests radiantly in
Krishna's hand is called Pancajanya.
Through these uddipanas, the rati of the bhaktas awakens, and
when it is directed towards Krishna, the object of rati, it becomes
the very embodiment of ananda. Rati is sthayibhava, and it alone
transforms into rasa.
Come here tomorrow at the same time; I will tell you about rasa,
and I will also explain anubhava and so on.
Vijaya Kumara and Vrajanatha offered dandavat at Shrila Gopala
Guru Gosvami's lotus feet and took their leave. Absorbed in
contemplation on the subject of rasa, they went to have darsana
of Siddha-bakula. From there, they went to take darsana of Shri
Jagannathadeva and then returned to their quarters.
THUS ENDS THE TWENTY-SIXTH CHAPTER OF JAIVA-DHARMA,
"INTRODUCTION TO RASA-TATTVA"