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NITAAI-Veda.nyf > Compiled and Imp Scriptures > Jaiva Dharma > 27. Rasa-Tattva: Sattvika-Bhava, Vyabhicari-Bhava & Raty-Abhasa


C H A P T E R 2 7


Sattvika-Bhava, Vyabhicari-Bhava

& Raty-Abhasa


The next day, when Vijaya Kumara and Vrajanatha had

honored prasada, they again went to Shri Radha-Kanta Matha,

arriving just after midday. Shri Gopala Guru Gosvami had also

honored maha-prasada, and was waiting for them. Shri

Dhyanacandra Gosvami was sitting by his side writing Upasanapaddhati

(The Procedures for Worship). At that time, Shri Guru

Gosvami's appearance was most remarkable. He was attired in

the dress of a sannyasi, his forehead was marked with urddhvapundra

tilaka, the syllables of hari-nama were written on each of

his limbs, and four thick strands of tulasi adorned his neck. He

held a japa-mala in his hand, and at intervals, streams of tears

flowed onto his chest from his eyes, which were half-closed in

meditation. Weeping and sighing, he sometimes called out

loudly "Ha Gauranga! Ha Nityananda!" His body was somewhat

plump, and his complexion was dark and effulgent. His coconut-

shell cup full of water was standing close to the seat of banana-

tree bark on which he was sitting, while his two wooden

sandals lay at a distance.


When Vijaya and Vrajanatha saw all this, unprecedented sraddha

arose within their hearts. They both offered their sastangapranama,

and remained lying on the ground for a long time. The

residents of the Matha generally respected Vijaya and Vrajanatha,

having seen their Vaishnava qualities and their scholarship and

profound understanding of many sastras, and also knowing them

to be residents of Shri Navadvipa-dhama. Today, however, all were

especially struck with wonder on seeing such ideal Vaishnava

sentiments. When Guru Gosvami saw them lying down and offering

pranama in this way, he lifted them up, embraced them

lovingly, and made them sit down close to him. Vrajanatha

waited for an appropriate moment, and then gradually and politely

raised the subject of rasa. Shri Gosvami began to speak, his

heart filled with prema, "Today, I will make you understand the

subject of anubhava and so on, and cause you to enter into rasatattva.


"There are four ingredients of rasa: vibhava, anubhava, sattvika

and vyabhicari. Yesterday I explained vibhava-tattva, and today I

shall first explain anubhava. Listen carefully.


"Vibhava refers to the personalities who are the cause of rati

arising. Now, anubhava refers to those visible symptoms that

cause rati to become evident, and by which the bhavas in the

heart are realized. In other words, anubhava consists of activities

such as sidelong glances and hairs of the body standing on end,

which are manifest as external bodily transformations, but which

actually reveal the bhavas of the heart. These internal bhavas

are revealed by the following outward expressions of agitation:

dancing (nrtya), rolling on the ground (vilunthana), singing (gita),

crying out loudly (krosana), stretching the body and writhing

(tanu-motana), roaring (hunkara), yawning (jrmbhana), sighing

and breathing deeply (dirgha-svasa), indifference to public

opinion (lokanapeksita), salivating (lalasrava), laughing loudly

(atta-hasa), dizziness (ghurna), and hiccupping (hikka)."


Vrajanatha: How can these external transformations nourish the

tasting of the rasa of the internal sthayibhava? I also have another

question. At the time of tasting rasa internally, these anubhavas

are manifested externally in the body, so how can they be

separate and distinct ingredients of rasa?


Gosvami: Baba, you are indeed a real pandita of nyaya-sastra. To this

very day, no one has posed such subtle questions as you have. When

I used to study rasa-sastra in the company of Shri Pandita Gosvami,

exactly the same arguments would arise in my mind. However, my

doubts were quickly dispelled by Shri Gurudeva's mercy. The

confidential significance is that in the pure consciousness (suddhasattva)

of the jiva, when vibhava stimulates the function of

consciousness (citta) and assists the function itself, at that time a

natural wonderment (vaicittya) arises, which makes the heart

blossom in various ways, and this in turn causes some outward

transformations to become evident in the body. These external

transformations, such as dancing, are called udbhasvara, and they

are of many types. When the heart dances, the body also begins to

dance, and when the heart sings, the tongue also sings. You should

understand the action of other transformations in the same way.

However, the action of udbhasvara is not the original action. Rather,

the anubhavas that arouse and nourish the vibhavas then spread

throughout the body in the form of udbhasvara.


As soon as the sthayibhava in the heart is stimulated by the

vibhava, anubhava begins its function as another action of the

heart. Thus anubhava is a separate individual ingredient. When

this is revealed through activities such as singing, it is called

"cooling" (sita); and when it is revealed through activities such

as dancing, it is called "throwing" (ksepana). There are also many

other symptoms of anubhava - such as swelling of the body, oozing

of blood, and separation and contraction of the bone-joints

- which are very rarely seen, so I will not elaborate upon them

any further. The extremely astonishing anubhavas that were seen

in the body of my Pranesvara Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, such as

becoming like a tortoise, are not possible in sadhaka-bhaktas.


After Vijaya and Vrajanatha had heard these confidential instructions

of Guru Gosvami, they remained silent for some time,

and then asked, "Prabhu, what is sattvika-bhava?"


Gosvami: The word sattva refers to the citta (pure heart or consciousness)

that is stimulated by any bhava in relation to Krishna,

either directly or with some obstruction. The bhavas that are

born from this sattva are called sattvika-bhavas. There are three

types of sattvika-bhavas: smooth (snigdha), smeared (digdha), and

rough (ruksa).


Vrajanatha: What is snigdha (smooth) sattvika-bhava?


Gosvami: Snigdha sattvika-bhava has two divisions: mukhya (primary)

and gauna (secondary). Mukhya-snigdha sattvika-bhava

occurs when mukhya-rati that is directly in relation to Krishna

overpowers the heart. Examples of mukhya-snigdha sattvika-bhava

are becoming stunned, perspiring and so on. Gauna-snigdha

sattvika-bhava arises from an invasion of the heart by gauna-rati,

when Krishna is at some distance, or there is some obstruction. Two

examples of gauna-sattvika-bhavas are: fading of the bodily color

(vaivarnya) and faltering of the voice (svara-bheda). Smeared

(digdha) sattvika-bhava arises when any bhava other than the function

of mukhya-rati and gauna-rati overwhelms the heart. Trembling

is an example of the digdha (smeared) sattvika-bhavas that

follow on from rati.


Sometimes, when someone who only appears to be a bhakta

hears about the extremely wonderful and sweet bhavas of Krishna,

he becomes astonished and experiences elation, although he actually

has no rati. This is the third type of sattvika-bhava, which

is known as 'rough' (ruksa). An example of ruksa sattvika-bhava is

seen when the hairs of the body stand on end (romanca).


Vrajanatha: How does sattvika-bhava arise?


Gosvami: When the heart (citta) of the sadhaka becomes saturated

with sattva-bhava (pure emotion related to Krishna), it submits itself

to the life air (prana). Then, when the prana has been excited,

it is transformed and causes the appearance of profuse agitation

in the body. At that time, the bodily transformations such as

stambha (becoming stunned) occur.


Vrajanatha: How many types of sattvika transformations are



Gosvami: There are eight sattvika transformations, namely, becoming

stunned (stambha); perspiration (sveda); horripilation

(romanca); faltering of the voice (svara-bheda); trembling

(vepathu); transformations of the bodily color (vaivarnya), such

as dirtiness and thinness, which occur due to emotions such as

despair, fear and anger; shedding tears (asru); and devastation



Under some circumstances, the life-air (prana) remains as the

fifth element (air) along with the other four elements (earth,

water, fire and sky). However, sometimes when it predominates

- that is, when it situates itself in the air (vayu) element - it

travels throughout the body of the jiva. When prana comes in

contact with the earth element, inertness (stambha) occurs;

when it takes shelter of the water element, tears (asru) appear;

when it is situated in the fire element, change in bodily color

(vaivarnya) and perspiring (sveda) are evident; when prana takes

shelter of the sky element, loss of consciousness or devastation

(pralaya) occurs; and when prana is self-dominating and takes

shelter of the air element, the transformed conditions of

horripilation (romanca), trembling (vepathu), and faltering of the

voice (svara-bheda) are manifested, depending on whether the

degree of strength of prana is mild, moderate or intense,



Since these eight transformations are active both internally and

externally, they are sometimes called bhava and sometimes anubhava.

However, the anubhavas - such as dancing, rolling on the ground

and singing - are not considered the same as sattvika-bhavas

because they are only active in the outer body. The anubhava

activities, such as dancing, are not the results of bhava arising from

sattva (i.e., sattvika-bhava). Rather, the activity is instigated by the

application of intelligence. However, in transformations such as

becoming stunned, sattvika-bhava acts directly, without relying

on the intelligence. For this reason, anubhava and sattvika-bhava

are considered to be separate and distinct ingredients.


Vrajanatha: I would like to know the cause of asta-sattvika transformations

such as stambha (becoming stunned).


Gosvami: Stambha is a state in which one becomes inert without

speaking or having any other activity, and it is caused by jubilation,

fear, astonishment, dejection, regret, anger and weariness.

Sveda (perspiration) is moistness of the body caused by jubilation,

fear, anger, and so on. Romanca (standing of the bodily hairs) arises

from astonishment, jubilation, enthusiasm and fear. Svara-bheda

(faltering of the voice) occurs due to despair, wonder, anger,

jubilation, and fear. Vepathu (trembling ) is caused by fear, anger,

jubilation, and so on. Vaivarnya (change in bodily color) is due

to emotions such as despair, anger, and fear. Asru (tears) come from

the eyes through the influence of jubilation, anger, despair and

other emotions; tears of joy are cool, whereas tears of anger are

warm. In the state of pralaya (devastation), one is bereft of activity

and knowledge, and he becomes senseless and falls on the ground;

this may be due to happiness or distress.


There are four types of sattvika-bhavas corresponding to progressive

gradations of sattva (purity). These are called smoking

(dhumayita), alight (jvalita), burning (dipta), and blazing

(pradipta). The ruksa (rough) sattvika-bhavas are generally

dhumayita (smoking), whereas the snigdha (smooth) sattvikabhavas

gradually reach the higher stages. Rati is the cause of all

astonishing ananda, and in its absence, there is no wonderment

in the ruksa sattvika-bhavas and other emotions.


Vrajanatha: Prabhu, sattvika-bhavas arise by extreme good fortune,

but many people make a show of these bhavas when they

are playing a role in a drama, or to accomplish their own tasks

in worldly life. What may be said about the bhavas of such people?


Gosvami: Sattvika-bhavas that manifest naturally as one performs

the sadhana of sincere and pure bhakti, are Vaishnava bhavas. Apart

from these, whatever emotional symptoms appear can be divided

into four categories: the semblance of rati (raty-abhasa); the semblance

of sattvika-bhavas (sattvabhasa); symptoms that do not arise

from sattva (nihsattva); and adverse or contrary symptoms (pratipa).


Vrajanatha: What is raty-abhasa (the semblance of rati)?


Gosvami: Raty-abhasa occurs in those who desire liberation; it

arises in the impersonalist sannyasis of the Sankara sampradaya

when they hear discussions about the pastimes of Krishna.


Vrajanatha: What is sattvabhasa (the semblance of sattvikabhavas)?


Gosvami: Sattvabhasa is the semblance of joy and astonishment

that arises in those whose hearts naturally give rise to loose

emotions - for example, the adherents of jaran-mimamsa, and

ordinary women - when they hear krishna-katha.


Vrajanatha: What is nihsattva (the semblance of bhava that does

not arise from sattva)?


Gosvami: Nihsattva refers to symptoms such as horripilation and

tears that are exhibited by people whose minds are naturally

duplicit, and who practice them for the sake of a dramatic performance,

or in order to accomplish a material objective. Some

people are actually hard-hearted, but they are so practiced that

they can begin to weep in an instant, as if they are genuinely

crying. However, their crying is completely pretentious, and

they are said to be slippery-minded.


Vrajanatha: What are adverse or contrary symptoms (pratipa)?


Gosvami: Pratipa-bhava-abhasa is the semblance of bhava that

occurs because of anger, fear and other emotions resulting from

activities that are unfavorable towards Krishna. Kamsa and

Sisupala are obvious examples.


Vrajanatha: Prabhu, we have understood vibhava, anubhava and

sattvika-bhavas, as well as the difference between sattvika-bhava

and anubhava. Now please describe the vyabhicari-bhavas.


Gosvami: There are thirty-three vyabhicari-bhavas. Vi means 'distinctly',

abhi means 'towards', and cari means 'moving'. These

thirty-three bhavas are called vyabhicari because they move distinctly

towards the sthayibhava. They are also called sancaribhavas,

because they are communicated through words, limbs

and sattva and thus travel (sancarita) throughout the system.

They are like waves in the nectar ocean of the sthayibhava, for

they rise up, causing it to swell, and then they merge back into

the ocean again.


The thirty-three sancari-bhavas are: 1) regret or indifference

(nirveda), 2) despair (visada), 3) humility (dainya), 4) physical

and mental debility (glani), 5) fatigue (srama), 6) intoxication

(mada), 7) pride (garva), 8) suspicion (sanka), 9) fear (trasa), 10)

agitation (avega), 11) madness (unmada), 12) confusion or absence

of mind (apasmrti), 13) disease (vyadhi), 14) fainting or delusion

(moha), 15) death (mrtyu), 16) laziness (alasya), 17)

inertness (jadya), 18) bashfulness (vrida), 19) concealment of

emotions (avahittha), 20) remembrance (smrti), 21) deliberation

or reasoning (vitarka), 22) anxiety (cinta), 23) resolve or wisdom

(mati), 24) fortitude (dhrti), 25) jubilation (harsa), 26) ardent

desire (autsukata), 27) ferocity (augrya), 28) impatience and indignation

(amarsa), 29) envy (asuya), 30) restlessness (capalyam),

31) sleep (nidra), 32) deep sleep (supti), 33) awakening (bodha).


Some sancari-bhavas are independent (svatantra), and some

are dependent (paratantra). There are two types of dependent

sancari-bhavas: superior (vara) and inferior (avara). The superior

category is also divided into two types, namely direct (saksat)

and separated, or secondary (vyavahita). The independent

sancari-bhavas are divided into three types: those that are devoid

of rati (rati-sunya); subsequently contacting rati (ratianusparsana);

and having a trace of rati (rati-gandha).


When these bhavas appear in people who are averse to Krishna, or

are perceived in inappropriate people or things, they are divided

into two types, namely, unfavorable (pratikulya) and improper

(anaucitya). All these bhavas have four conditions: generation

(utpatti), union (sandhi), overcoming (sabalya), and pacification



Vrajanatha: Generation of bhava (bhava-utpatti) can be easily

understood, but what is union (bhava-sandhi)?


Gosvami: Bhava-sandhi occurs when two bhavas - either of the

same type or of different types - meet together. For example,

when inertness caused by one's loved one (ista) and inertness

caused by something else both arise at the same time, this is an

instance of the union of two identical emotions (sarupa-bhavasandhi).

Conversely, jubilation and apprehension arising simultaneously

is an example of the union of two different types of

bhava (bhinna-bhava-sandhi).


Vrajanatha: What is overcoming (bhava-sabalya)?


Gosvami: Bhava-sabalya is the clashing and jostling of many

bhavas, in which one bhava suppresses another and becomes

predominant. For instance, when Kamsa heard about Krishna, he

became angry and fearful at the same time; this is an example of



Vrajanatha: What is pacification (bhava-santi)?


Gosvami: Bhava-santi occurs when an extremely powerful bhava

becomes pacified. When the vraja-vasis could not see Krishna

nearby, they were very anxious, but their apprehension was at

once pacified - that is, it went far away - when they heard the

sound of His vamsi. This is the pacified condition of despondency



Vrajanatha: If we are qualified to know anything more about this

subject, then please tell us.


Gosvami: Altogether, there are forty-one bhavas that cause transformations

of the body and senses. These are the thirty-three

vyabhicari-bhavas, one of the mukhya-sthayibhavas, and also the

seven gauna-sthayibhavas that I shall describe later. These are

all the propensities of the heart (citta-vrtti) that cause bhava to



Vrajanatha: Which types of bhava do they arouse?


Gosvami: They produce the asta-sattvika-bhavas and the

anubhavas that come in the category of vibhavas.


Vrajanatha: Are all the bhavas natural and inborn?


Gosvami: No, some of them are natural, while others are transitory.

The bhakta's sthayibhava is his natural bhava, and the

vyabhicari-bhavas are transitory.


Vrajanatha: Do all bhaktas have the same type of bhava?


Gosvami: There are different types of bhaktas according to the

difference in the dispositions of their respective minds (manobhavas),

so there is a gradation of awakening of bhavas, depending

on the disposition of the mind. This awakening is of three

types: garistha (heavy), laghistha (light), and gambhira (grave).

However, the nature of nectar is that it is always liquid, and the

heart of the krishna-bhakta is like nectar by nature.


I shall stop here for today. Tomorrow I will explain sthayibhava.


Vijaya and Vrajanatha offered sastanga-dandavat to Shri Guru

Gosvami. Taking his permission, they left for their place of residence.