|NITAAI-Veda.nyf > Compiled and Imp Scriptures > Jaiva Dharma > 28. Rasa-Tattva: Mukhya-Rati|
C H A P T E R 2 8
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
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
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
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
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
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
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-
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.
THUS ENDS THE TWENTY-EIGHTH CHAPTER OF JAIVA-DHARMA,