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NITAAI-Veda.nyf > Compiled and Imp Scriptures > Jaiva Dharma > 28. Rasa-Tattva: Mukhya-Rati


C H A P T E R 2 8

Rasa-Tattva: Mukhya-Rati


The next day, Vijaya Kumara and Vrajanatha came as usual to

the lotus feet of Shri Gopala Guru Gosvami, and after offering

their sastanga-dandavat-pranama, they began to ask questions

in order to clarify the subjects that they had discussed the previous

day. Vrajanatha inquired, "Prabhu, from everything you have

explained about vibhava, anubhava, sattvika-bhava and vyabhicaribhava,

it seems that they are all bhavas. Then, where is sthayibhava

amongst them?"


Gosvami: It is true that they are all bhavas. Sthayibhava is that bhava

which subjugates all the compatible bhavas such as hasya, as well as

the incompatible bhavas such as anger, and which predominates

and continues to reign as the emperor of all the other bhavas.

Sthayibhava is the rati that the bhakta has in his heart for Krishna in

identifying himself as asraya and Krishna as visaya. In the description

of the ingredients of rasa, you see that asraya has been classified

within vibhava as alambana (support). That bhava brings the

other bhavas under its control, and accepts some of them as motivations

for rasa, and some as assistants to taste rasa. In this predominant

position, although it has the form of a relishable bhava,

at the same time, it relishes the other bhavas itself. Study this very

deeply, and reflect on how the sthayibhava is different from the other

bhavas. Rati in the form of sthayibhava can be either primary or secondary,

so there are two types of rati: mukhya-rati and gauna-rati.


Vrajanatha: What is mukhya-rati?


Gosvami: In the context of bhava-bhakti, mukhya-rati is rati characterized

as suddha-sattva-visesatma svarupa (the atma's unique

svarupa within the state of pure goodness).


Vrajanatha: Hearing your pure deliberations today has dispelled

the misconception that I developed about rati when I was studying

mundane alankara-sastra. Today, I have properly understood

that bhagavata-rasa arises within the pure svarupa of the jiva as

the innate inclination of his atma. The rati to which worldly authors

refer is only experienced within the conditioned jiva's gross

body, and the mind and citta (heart) of the subtle body. Now I have

also understood through your explanation that rasa which is the

exclusive wealth of the pure jiva. By the mercy of the hladini sakti

the conditioned jiva can realize it to a very minute degree. Please

explain the different types of suddha or mukhya-rati to us.


When Guru Gosvami saw Vrajanatha's comprehension of tattva,

tears of joy flowed from his eyes. Embracing Vrajanatha, he said,

"I have become blessed today by having a disciple like you. Now

listen. There are two types of mukhya-rati: mukhya-rati that

nourishes itself (svartha mukhya-rati) and mukhya-rati that

nourishes other ratis (parartha mukhya-rati)."


Vrajanatha: What is svartha mukhya-rati?


Gosvami: Svartha rati supports and nourishes itself by the compatible

bhavas, whereas the incompatible bhavas create regret or

apathy in it.


Vrajanatha: What is parartha mukhya-rati?


Gosvami: Parartha mukhya-rati accommodates both the compatible

and the incompatible types of bhava by shrinking away

(sankucita). There is also another way of classifying mukhya-rati.


Vrajanatha: What is that?


Gosvami: Mukhya-rati is divided into five parts: suddha, dasya,

sakhya, vatsalya, and madhura. Just as the same sun is seen in a

variety of different ways when reflected on different surfaces such

as crystal, similarly, specialities of sthayibhava arise from the different

receptacles of rati.


Vrajanatha: Please explain suddha-rati.


Gosvami: There are three kinds of suddha-rati: general (samanya),

clear (svaccha), and tranquil (santa). General or common (samanya)

rati is the rati of ordinary people and girls towards Krishna. Svaccha

(clear) rati varies according to the relationships of the sadhaka

with different types of bhaktas, each of whom has his own disposition

and particular type of sadhana. Svaccha-rati is like a completely

clean and pure crystal, and reflects the bhava of whatever

types of association (bhakta-sanga) the sadhaka has. That is why it

is called svaccha (clear) rati. Those who have this rati sometimes

call Krishna 'Prabhu,' and offer prayers (stava), sometimes they call

Him 'Mitra' (friend) and cut jokes with Him, sometimes they

maintain and nourish Him, considering Him as their son,

sometimes they joyfully address Him as 'Kanta' (beloved), and

sometimes they have the mood that He is Paramatma.


Sama-svabhava is the ananda that arises in the mind of one who,

being endowed with the quality of equilibrium, dispels all desires

for sense gratification from the mind. The rati that such naturally

equipoised people have for Krishna arises from knowledge of

Paramatma, and is called santa-rati. This rati is called pure and

unmixed (suddha) rati, because it has no connection with the

tastes present in dasya-rati, sakhya-rati, vatsalya-rati, and so on.


These three types of rati - dasya, sakhya and vatsalya - are also

divided into two categories, namely exclusive (kevala) and congested

(sankula). In kevala rati, only one type of rati is active, without

even a scent of any other type. In Vraja, kevala rati is exhibited

by servants such as Rasala; friends such as Shridama; and

Krishna's superiors such as Nanda Maharaja. Congested (sankula)

rati is rati in which two or more types of rati are combined together.


The rati of Uddhava, Bhima, and Vrajesvari Shrimati Radhika's

nursemaid Mukhara is called sankula rati.


Vrajanatha: At first I had the conception that there was no santarati

in the devotees of Vraja, but now I see that it also exists in

them to a limited extent. Mundane poets think that there is no

rati in santa-dharma, but it is certainly visible in rati for parabrahma.

Now please explain the symptoms of dasya-rati.


Gosvami: Dasya-rati or priti is the rati composed of sentiments of

reverent service arising from the conception, "Krishna is the master,

and I am the servant." Those who have attachment to such rati

do not have priti for anything else.


Vrajanatha: What is the symptom of sakhya-rati?


Gosvami: In sakhya-rati, one has steadfast confidence in Shri Krishna,

and thinks of Him as equal to himself. Sakhya-rati is characterized

by habitual laughter and joking.


Vrajanatha: Please describe the symptoms of vatsalya-rati.


Gosvami: The vatsalya-rati of Shri Krishna's superiors (guru-jana), is

composed of the desire to show favor and kindness to Him. In this

rati, there are activities such as nourishing and protecting Krishna,

performing rituals for auspiciousness in His life, offering blessings,

and touching His chin.


Vrajanatha: Now please be so kind as to describe madhura-rati.


Gosvami: Madhura-rati is the rati between the doe-eyed gopis of

Vraja and Shri Krishna, in which there are eight types of meeting

and enjoyment, beginning with remembering, seeing and so on.

It is expressed in activities such as casting sidelong glances,

expressions and indications through the eye-brows, sweet words,

and laughter. Rati becomes increasingly more relishable and

rapturous as she progresses from santa to madhura, and she shines

eternally within the varieties of bhava-bhaktas. So far I have briefly

described the symptoms of the five types of mukhya-rati.


Vrajanatha: Now please explain gauna-rati in the context of



Gosvami: Gauna-rati is the special bhava that arises from vibhava,

specifically the excellence of alambana, and which is self-maniRASA-

fest through a contracted rati. The seven gauna-bhavas are hasya

(comedy), vismaya (astonishment), utsaha (enthusiasm), soka or

karuna (compassion), raudra (anger), bhayanaka (fear) and jugupsa

or bibhatsa (disgust). Krishna-bhava is possible in the first six gaunabhavas.

From the point of view of rasa, the seventh rati is the disgust

or reproach that the bhaktas feel for the inert material body

and its activities when suddha-rati awakens. The word rati has still

been used for bhavas such as hasya because of their combination

with parartha mukhya-rati, even though they are different from the

distinct (svartha) rati of suddha-sattva. That is why they are referred

to as hasya-rati, vismaya-rati and so on. Sometimes gauna-rati such

as hasya attain a permanent status in some bhaktas, but this does

not always occur. They are therefore referred to as occasional, and

'that which is not manifested as a constant flowing current.' In

certain circumstances, they become so powerful that they even

overpower the natural suddha-rati and establish their own



Vrajanatha: Eight types of bhava, such as srngara, hasya and karuna,

have been enumerated in poetic literature of the material world

(jadiya-alankara). Now I can understand that the vibhava of this

sort of bhava can only seem beautiful in the insignificant rasa

between a mundane nayaka and heroine (nayika). This has no

place in the chinmaya-rasa of Vraja, in which the pure atma (spirit

soul) alone is active; the activities of the mind cannot reach into

that sphere. Therefore, the mahajanas have decided that rati is

the sthayibhava and have divided its mukhya-bhavas into five types

of mukhya-rasa, and its gauna bhavas into seven kinds of gaunarasa.

This classification is appropriate. Now kindly describe the

symptoms of hasya-rati (laughter).


Gosvami: The awakening of hasya-rati is the blossoming of the heart

due to a comical misrepresentation of words, appearance, or

activities; its symptoms are a widening of the eyes and a quivering

of the nose, lips and head. This laughter is only called hasya-rati

when it has been nourished by sankucita-rati (contracted rati), and

arises from activities related to Krishna.


Vrajanatha: Please tell me about the symptoms of vismaya-rati



Gosvami: The transformation of the heart that occurs when one

witnesses something uncommon is called vismaya, and this

vismaya is called vismaya-rati when it is related to Krishna. In this

vismaya-rati, anubhavas are manifest, such as looking with eyes wide

open; expressions such as "Wah! Wah!"(in astonishment), and



Vrajanatha: What are the symptoms of utsaha-rati (enthusiasm)?


Gosvami: Utsaha is the steadfast attachment of the mind to performing

as soon as possible a great task whose fruit is praised by

sadhus. It is characterized by urgency, abandoning patience,

tremendous exertion, and so on.


Vrajanatha: What are the symptoms of krodha-rati?


Gosvami: Krodha (anger) is the burning of the heart that arises

due to an incompatible bhava. In krodha, one experiences transformation

such as harshness, frowning and redness of the eyes.


Vrajanatha: What are the symptoms of bhaya-rati?


Gosvami: Bhaya (fear) is the excessive restlessness of the heart

that occurs when one witnesses a terrible scene. The symptoms

of hiding oneself, dryness of the heart, and the endeavor to run

away are characteristic of bhaya.


Vrajanatha: Kindly tell me about the symptoms of jugupsa-rati.


Gosvami: Jugupsa (disgust) is the contraction, or shying away, that

occurs on seeing, hearing, or remembering detestable things. Its

symptoms include spitting, distorting one's face, and vocally

expressing disgust, "Chih! Chih!" They are only accepted as rati

when they are favourable to Krishna; otherwise they are only mundane

human sentiments.


Vrajanatha: How many bhavas are there altogether in bhaktirasa?


Gosvami: There are eight sthayibhavas, thirty-three sancari-bhavas

and eight sattvika-bhavas, making a total of forty-nine bhavas. If

these bhavas are mundane (prakrta), they are full of the happiness

and distress that arises from the three material qualities; and if

they are manifest in relation to Shri Krishna, they are transcendental

(aprakrta), and consist of full-blown ananda, beyond the three

material qualities.


Even despondency (visada) is composed of immense happiness

when it is related to Krishna. Shri Rupa Gosvami has said that Krishna

and His bhaktas, headed by His beloved consorts, are the cause of

rati as alambana. The sattvika-bhavas, such as becoming stunned

(stambha), are the activities of rati, and the sancari-bhavas, beginning

with self-disparagement (nirveda), are the assistants of rati.


When rasa awakens, the transformations are not called the

cause, the effect, or the assistant; rather, they are called vibhava

and so on. Panditas have given vibhava its name because it implants

(vibhava) in rati the qualification to become specifically relishable.

Nrtya (dancing) and so on are called anubhavas because they

illuminate (anubhava) the implanted (vibhavita) rati after they

have expanded it. Sattvika-bhavas are so called because they arouse

sattva. Sancari-bhavas are those that make the implanted and

illuminated (vibhavita and anubhavita) rati charming in a variety

of ways by transmitting (sancarita) the transitory bhavas, such as

nirveda. According to the bhaktas who are well-versed in poems

and dramas related to Bhagavan, vibhava and so on are the fundamental

cause of seva (transcendental service). In fact, these bhavas,

as part of rati, are by their very nature the vilasa of maha-bhakti,

and they have the quality of distinct, inconceivable svarupa

(acintya-svarupa-visista). Sastras such as Mahabharata describe

them as beyond reasoning, and have also established that it is

improper to argue about the host of bhavas (bhava-samuha) that

are beyond rational contemplation. The tattvas that are beyond

prakrti (the modes of material nature) are acintya-tattvas.


Rati which is part of the inconceivable rasa-tattva is enchanting

to the mind. It actually implants (vibhavita) Krishna's rupa and

so on within itself, and in this way nourishes itself along with

vibhava and so on. Rati illuminates Krishna's qualities, such as His

rupa, which are the abode of all types of madhurya. Consequently,

when Krishna's rupa and other qualities are relished, they expand

the rati. Hence, vibhava, anubhava, sattvika and vyabhicari-bhavas

assist rati, and rati also nourishes these bhavas.


Vrajanatha: What is the difference between visaya-rati and krishnarati?


Gosvami: Visaya-rati is mundane, whereas krishna-rati is transcendental.

In mundane rati, there is pleasure in meeting and extreme

distress in separation. However, when bhaktas who love Bhagavan

achieve krishna-rati, it turns into rasa and gives rise to the pleasure

of union. At the time of separation (vipralambha), that very rati

assumes the form of an extremely wonderful and astonishing

whirlpool of joy (ananda-vivarta). In the conversation between

Shriman Mahaprabhu and Raya Ramananda, Raya Ramananda

explains this astonishing ananda-vivarta of separation in his own

sloka, pahilehi raga nayana-bhange bhela (Chaitanya-charitamrita,

Madhya-lila 8.194). This sloka appears to describe intense suffering,

but in fact it is full of the highest type of happiness.


Vrajanatha: Logicians say that the rasa that we see is not fully

manifest, but is only a part of the whole rasa. How can we answer

this contention?


Gosvami: Actually it is true that the rasa aroused by interactions

in the material world (jada-rasa) is only a part of the whole rasa,

because rasa is only manifested when sthayibhava combines with the

ingredients (samagri) of rasa. Prior to that it remains unmanifest.

But this is not the case with the transcendental rasa (aprakrtachinmaya-

rasa). In the stage of perfection (siddha), it is eternal,

undivided and self-manifest. During the stage of sadhana, one can

realize this same rasa in the manifest form in the mundane world.

Mundane rasa does not endure in separation, whereas transcendental

rasa becomes even more beautiful in the condition of



This aprakrta-chinmaya-rasa, as the playful pastime manifestation

(vilasa-rupa) of the hladini maha-sakti, has attained tadatmya (oneness)

with the supreme bliss (paramananda). In other words,

paramananda is itself rasa. This is beyond the realm of logic and

argument because it is acintya.


Vrajanatha: How many types of rasa are there in aprakrta-tattva?


Gosvami: There is one mukhya form of rati, and seven gauna forms,

so there are eight types of rati altogether. Similarly, mukhya-rasa

is also one of the five types, and there are seven types of gaunarasa,

so there are also eight types of rasa.


Vrajanatha: Kindly tell me the names of all eight. The more I hear,

the more my desire to hear increases.


Gosvami: Shri Rupa Gosvami has stated in Shri Bhakti-rasamrtasindhu

(Southern Division 5.115):


mukhyas tu pancadha santah pritah preyams ca vatsalah

madhuras cety ami jneya yatha purvvam anuttamah

hasyo 'dbhutas tatha virah karuno raudra ity api

bhayanakah sa vibhatsa iti gaunas ca saptadha


There are five types of mukhya-bhakti-rasa: santa, prita, preya,

vatsalya and madhura. It is to be understood that the first

of these five is lower than the second, the second lower

than the third, and so on in sequence. Besides these, there

are seven types of gauna-bhakti-rasa: hasya, adbhuta, vira,

karuna, raudra, bhayanaka, and bibhatsa.


Vrajanatha: What is the meaning of the word bhava in the context

of chinmaya-rasa?


Gosvami: In rasa-tantra, the word bhava indicates the sentiment

that is awakened by deep spiritual impressions (gadha-samskaras)

of the subject of meditation in the heart of the learned, whose

intelligence is exclusively applied to spiritual subject matter. I

have mentioned earlier that there are two types of bhava: cintya

(conceivable) and acintya (inconceivable). One can apply logic

to the subject of cintya-bhavas, because all such bhavas that arise

in the conditioned mind of the baddha-jiva are born of the inert

material nature. This means that one can think about their subject

matter. Similarly, any mundane thoughts about Isvara are also



Actually, bhavas related to Isvara are not cintya because isvaratattva

is beyond the mundane substance. However, it is a mistake

to think, "Isvara-tattva is beyond the inert material energy, and

consequently there is no conceivable bhava in Him. Therefore,

there is no bhava at all in isvara-tattva." Actually, all the bhavas

exist in relation to Isvara, but they are acintya because they are

beyond the thinking capacity of the material mind. Bring those

inconceivable bhavas into the heart and go on cultivating them

with undivided attention. You should know that one of those

bhavas is permanent (sthayi), and you should accept the other

acintya-bhavas as the ingredients (samagri) of rasa. When you do

so, the eternally perfect (nitya-siddha) rasa, which is full and uninterrupted

(akhanda), will arise within you.


Vrajanatha: Prabhu, what are the deep impressions (gadhasamskaras)

you have spoken of in this context?


Gosvami: Baba! You have been revolving in the cycle of karma

birth after birth, and thus, because of attachment to worldly sense

gratification, your consciousness (citta) is made up of two types

of impressions (samskara), namely, those acquired in previous lives

(praktana), and those acquired in this lifetime (adhunika). During

this time, the pure tendency of the heart that was present in the

pure existence of your atma has become distorted. Now, by the

influence of spiritual merits (sukrti) accumulated in many previous

lives, you have attained sat-sanga in this life, and you are creating

samskaras by performing bhajana in this association. When

these samskaras dispel the distorted samskaras, your original

samskaras will arise. The acintya-tattva will manifest within your

heart to the degree that these samskaras deepen. This is known

as gadha-samskara.


Vrajanatha: I am curious to know who has the adhikara (eligibility)

to enter into rasa-tattva?


Gosvami: The only candidates for rasa-tattva are sadhakas who can

bring into their hearts the acintya-bhavas arising from the gadhasamskaras,

according to the sequence that I have described. Others

are not qualified. Shri Rupa Gosvami has said:


vyatitya bhavana-vartma / yas camatkara-bhara-bhuh

hrdi sattvojjvale badham / svadate sa raso matah

Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu (Southern Division 5.79)


Rasa is the miraculous sthayibhava, which is the veritable

repository of wonder, and which is experienced after the

sadhaka crosses beyond the path of contemplation. It is

relished in the heart that has become radiant from being

thoroughly and completely refined by suddha-sattva.


Vrajanatha: Who is unqualified (anadhikari) for this rasa? It is

offensive to explain rasa to someone who is not qualified, just as

it is an offense to give hari-nama to an unqualified person. Prabhu,

we are low and destitute wretches, so please give us your mercy,

and make us cautious in this regard.


Gosvami: Renunciation that is indifferent towards suddha-bhakti

can be called pretentious renunciation (phalgu-vairagya), and

knowledge that is indifferent towards suddha-bhakti can be called

dry speculation (suska-jnana). Those who are not favorable to

suddha-bhakti are all unqualified for the subject of rasa, for example,

false renunciants, dry speculators, those who are dedicated

to mundane logic, those who follow karma-mimamsa and who

praise the dry knowledge (suska-jnana) section of the uttaramimamsa,

those who are averse to relishing bhakti, and those who

follow the mundane philosophical system of kevala-advaita-vada.

Rasika-bhaktas will protect krishna-bhakti-rasa from these unqualified

people just as one protects a valuable treasure from thieves.


Vrajanatha: Today we have been blessed. We will obey the instructions

that we have received from your divine lips in all respects.


Vijaya: Prabhu, I support myself with whatever wealth I acquire

from reciting Shrimad-Bhagavatam in an open assembly of general

people, but Shrimad-Bhagavatam is rasa-grantha. Is there any

aparadha in collecting money by reciting it to common people?


Gosvami: Aho! Shrimad-Bhagavatam is the crest-jewel of all sastra,

and it is the embodiment of the fruit of all the Vedic sastras. One

should simply follow the instructions in the First Canto (Shrimad-

Bhagavatam 1.1.3):


muhur aho rasika bhuvi bhavukah


O rasika-bhaktas who are expert in relishing the rasa of

bhagavat-priti, even in your liberated stage you should keep

on repeatedly drinking the rasa of Shrimad-Bhagavatam,

which is the ripened fruit of the wish-fulfilling tree of the



According to this sloka, only bhavuka or rasika-bhaktas are considered

qualified to drink the rasa of Shrimad-Bhagavatam. Baba,

you should give up this occupation immediately. You eagerly desire

rasa, so don't make any more aparadha to rasa. Raso vai sah-in

this statement of the Vedas, it has been said that rasa is the very

svarupa of Krishna. There are many other occupations by which you

can maintain your life, and you should support yourself by one of

them. From now on, don't collect wealth by reciting Shrimad-

Bhagavatam to general people. Yes, if you meet any rasika listener,

you can recite Shrimad-Bhagavatam to him with great pleasure, but

don't take any remuneration or donation.


Vijaya: Prabhu, today you have saved me from committing a serious

aparadha. From now on, I will not do this any more, but what

will be the effect of the aparadha that I have already committed?


Gosvami: Those offenses will be vanquished. When you surrender

to rasa with a simple heart, rasa will certainly forgive you. Don't

be anxious about this.


Vijaya: Prabhu, I will maintain my life by some menial occupation,

but I will not describe rasa to unqualified people even if they

offer me money.


Gosvami: Baba! You are fortunate! Krishna has certainly accepted

you as His very own, otherwise, it would not be possible for you

to have such firm conviction in the subject of bhakti. Both of you

are residents of Shri Navadvipa-dhama. Shri Gaurahari has invested

you with His potency.