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NITAAI-Veda.nyf > Compiled and Imp Scriptures > Jaiva Dharma > 29. Rasa-Tattva: Anubhavas in Santa, Dasya, & Sakhya Rasas


C H A P T E R 2 9

Rasa-Tattva: Anubhavas in Santa, Dasya,

& Sakhya Rasas


Vrajanatha and Vijaya Kumara considered their situation care

fully and decided that they would spend Caturmasya in Puri

and hear about all the aspects of rasa-tattva from Shri Gopala Guru.

When Vrajanatha's grandmother heard the glories of residing in

Puri during Caturmasya, she also agreed with their suggestion. From

then on, they regularly went to receive darsana of Shri Jagannathadeva,

morning and evening, took bath in Narendra Sarovara, and

visited the important holy places in and around Puri. In addition

to this, they had darsana of Shri Jagannathadeva with great

devotion whenever a special service, ceremony or dressing took

place. In this way, they passed their time in a very regulated and

sublime manner. They expressed their innermost feelings before

Shri Gopala Guru.


When they expressed their intentions to Shri Guru Gosvami,

he was delighted and said, "I have already developed such thick

parental affection for you both within my heart that I think I will

feel great distress when you leave. The longer you stay here, the

more pleased I will be. One can easily attain a sad-guru, but it is

not easy to find a sat-sisya."


Vrajanatha very humbly requested, "Please be so kind as to explain

rasa-tattva in such a way that we can easily understand the

vibhavas and other features of the various rasas."


Gosvami: It is an exceedingly beautiful subject. Listen carefully

and I will happily speak whatever Shri Gaurasundara inspires me

o speak. First comes santa-rasa, in which the sthayibhava is santirati.


The ananda in brahmananda of the nirvisesa-vadis is extremely

limited and feeble, and so is the atmananda of the yogis. The ananda

of realizing Isa (isvara) is somewhat superior to these, and realization

of the svarupa of isvara is the cause of much satisfaction and

bliss. The support (alambana) of santa-rasa is the four-armed form

of Narayana, who has qualities such as supremacy and opulence.

Santa-rati has its abode in peaceful personalities (santa-purusa),

namely, those who are atmarama, and ascetics who have faith in



The four Kumaras - Sanaka, Sanatana, Sanat-kumara and

Sanandana - who wander in the forms of bala-sannyasis, are prominent

among those who are atmarama. At first, they were inclined

towards nirvisesa-brahma, but later they became attracted to the

sweetness of Bhagavan's form, and they engaged in the worship of

that murti which is the condensed embodiment of cit (transcendence).

Ascetics who enter into santa-rasa have performed appropriate

renunciation (yukta-vairagya), by which they have already

vanquished all obstacles and dispelled all attachment to the objects

of the senses. However, they still have desire for liberation.


The uddipana (stimuli) of santa-rasa are as follows: hearing all

the prominent Upanisads; residing in a solitary place; discussing

and deliberating on tattva; establishing the predominance of the

knowledge potency (vidya-sakti); honoring the universal form

(visva-rupa); associating with those devoted to Shri Hari, and who

also cultivate empirical knowledge and philosophical speculation

(jnana-misra-bhaktas); and reflecting upon the tattva of the

Upanisads in the company of equally learned persons. Further

uddipanas are the fragrance of tulasi offered to Bhagavan's lotus

feet; the sound of the conch-shell; sacred mountains and forests;

siddha-ksetra; the Ganga; the inclination to diminish contact with

the objects of sense gratification (that is, the desire to vanquish

all sinful reactions); and contemplating the conception of the alldevouring

influence of time. These are the vibhavas (impetuses for

tasting) of santa-rasa.


Vrajanatha: What are the visible symptoms (anubhavas) of this rasa?


Gosvami: Some of the anubhavas of santa-rasa, which are specific

(asadharana) to those who have santi-rati, are staring at the tip of

the nose; behaving as an ascetic beyond all codes of social conduct

(avadhuta); walking with the vision extended not more than

four cubits ahead; exhibiting the jnana-mudra; holding no malice

towards those who are inimical to Bhagavan; the absence of excessive

affection toward the premi-bhaktas of Bhagavan; a mood of

honor and reverence towards liberation and the disintegration

of material existence; indifference; freedom from feelings of proprietorship

and false ego (mamata); and observing silence. Yawning,

contorting the limbs, instructions on bhakti, offering pranama

and stava-stuti to Hari are some of the common emotions of santarasa.


Vrajanatha: What are the sattvika transformations in santa-rasa?


Gosvami: Almost all the sattvika-vikaras - such as the standing of

romanca (the bodily hairs), sveda (perspiration), and stambha (becoming

stunned) - are visible in this rasa. The only exception is

pralaya (fainting and falling unconscious on the ground). However,

these sattvika transformations do not extend to the stage of

dipta (burning).


Vrajanatha: Which of the sancari-bhavas are evident in this rasa?


Gosvami: The sancari-bhavas that are commonly seen in santa-rasa

are: remorse and nirveda (self-disparagement), patience, jubilation,

conviction or understanding, remembrance, despondency, ardent

desire, absorption and excitement, and argument.


Vrajanatha: How many types of santi-rati are there?


Gosvami: Santi-rati is the sthayibhava in santa-rasa, and it is divided

into two types: equal (sama) and condensed (sandra). Sama santi-rati

occurs in asamprajnata-samadhi (the stage where the practitioner has

achieved trance, but the atma has not yet reached the platform of

perceiving his own svarupa), wherein jubilation, trembling, and

horripilation are manifest in the body due to experiencing a sphurti

of Bhagavan.


Sandra-santi-rati is the rati in which sandrananda is manifest.

This occurs in nirvikalpa-samadhi, the trance in which all the functions

of the mind are arrested because of complete annihilation

of avidya, wherein one directly sees Bhagavan before him. The extreme

condensed bliss that arises then is called sandrananda.


Santa-rasa is also divided into paroksa (indirect) and saksatkara

(direct). Sukadeva and Bilvamangala rejected the brahmananda

derived from jnana and plunged themselves into the ocean of

bhakti-rasananda. The same is true of the renowned scholar, Shri

Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya.


Vrajanatha: Why has santa-rasa not been accepted in the mundane

literary tradition (alankara)?


Gosvami: The reason that mundane authors have not accepted

santi-rati is that in worldly affairs, variety and diversity disappear

as soon as santi (peacefulness) appears. However, in transcendental

dealings, the aprakrta-rasa increases progressively from

the appearance of santa-rasa. Bhagavan has stated that the quality

of having one's intelligence firmly fixed in Him is called sama.

Since it is impossible to fix the intelligence firmly in Bhagavan

unless one has santi-rati, santa-rasa must necessarily be accepted

in cit-tattva.


Vrajanatha: I have thoroughly understood santa-rasa. Now kindly

explain dasya-rasa along with its vibhava and so on.


Gosvami: Learned scholars call dasya-rasa 'prita-rasa'. There are

two types of prita-rasa: sambhrama and gaurava. Servants in

sambhrama-prita-rasa have the mood that they are fit to receive

the kindness of their master, and those in gaurava-prita-rasa have

the attitude of being maintained or reared by Krishna.


Vrajanatha: What is sambhrama-prita-rasa?


Gosvami: Sambhrama-priti towards Vrajendranandana Krishna arises

in those who have the self-conception, "I am Krishna's servant."

When that priti is gradually nourished more and more, it is called

sambhrama-prita-rasa. Krishna and His servants are the alambana in

this rasa.


Vrajanatha: What is Krishna's svarupa in this rasa?


Gosvami: In Gokula, the alambana for sambhrama-prita-rasa is

Krishna's two-armed form. In other places, He is sometimes alambana

in His two-armed form, and sometimes in His four-armed form. In

Gokula, Shri Krishna is alambana in the form of that Prabhu who is

dressed as a cowherd boy, whose complexion is as radiant as a fresh

monsoon cloud, who holds a murali flute in his hand, whose midriff

is adorned with a yellow cloth that defeats the beauty of gold,

and who wears a crown of peacock feathers on His head.


In other places, He is present in a two-handed form, but He is

alambana in His opulent form, carrying sankha and cakra and so

forth in His hands, and wearing pearls and jeweled ornaments on

all His limbs. Shrila Rupa Gosvami has written in Bhakti-rasamrtasindhu

(Western Division 2.3.5):


brahmanda-koti-dhamaika-roma-kupah krpambudhih

avicintya-mahasaktih sarvva-siddhi-nisevitah


avataravali-bijam sadatmarama-hrd-gunah

isvarah paramaradhyah sarvva-jnah sudrdha-vratah


samrddhiman ksama-silah saranagata-palakah

daksinah satya-vacano daksah sarvva-subhankarah


pratapi dharmikah sastra-caksur bhakta-suhrttamah

vadanyas tejasa yuktah krta-jnah kirtti-samsrayah


variyan balavan prema-vasya ity adibhir gunaih

yutas catur vidhesv esa dasesv alambhano harih


That Shri Hari Krishna, who is the embodiment of alambana

for the four kinds of dasya-bhaktas, possesses the following

qualities: millions of universes are situated in each and

every pore of His transcendental body (koti-brahmandavigraha);

He is the ocean of compassion (krpambudhi); He is

endowed with inconceivable potency which is beyond the

understanding of the jiva's insignificant intelligence

(acintya-maha-sakti); He is served by all types of mystic perfections

(sarva-siddhi-nisevita); He is the origin of all

avataras such as the guna-avataras, lila-avataras, and

saktyavesa-avataras (avataravali-bija): He steals the hearts of

self-satisfied yogis, such as Sukadeva (atmarama-ganakarsi);

He regulates everything (isvara); He is supremely

worshipable for all jivas and devatas (paramaradhya); He is

omniscient (sarva-jna); He is firmly fixed in His vow

(sudrdha-vrata); He is opulent (samrddhiman); He is forgiving

(ksama-sila); He is the protector of the surrendered souls

(saranagata-palaka); He is supremely liberal (daksina); His

words never prove false (satya-vacana); He can perform difficult

tasks with ease (daksa); He acts for the welfare of

everyone (sarva-subhankara); He is valorous (pratapi); He is

religious (dharmika); He sees and acts in accordance with

sastra (sastra-caksu); He is the best well-wisher of His

bhaktas (bhakta-suhrt); He is magnanimous (vadanya); His

body is radiant, extremely powerful, and influential (tejasvi);

He is grateful (krtajna); He is famous (kirtiman); He is the

most excellent (variyan); He is strong (balavan); and He is

controlled by the love of His bhaktas (prema-vasya).


Vrajanatha: Who are the four types of dasa?


Gosvami: There are four types of dasa who are alambana as the asraya

of dasya-rati. They are: 1) those who have taken His full shelter,

and who always keep their eyes down; 2) those who carry out the

orders of Bhagavan; 3) those who are trustworthy; and 4) those

who consider Krishna to be Prabhu, and are thus endowed with a

humble disposition. Their tattvika names are 1) adhikrta-dasa, 2)

ashrita-dasa, 3) parisada-dasa and 4) anugata-dasa.


Vrajanatha: Who are examples of adhikrta-dasa?


Gosvami: The devas and devis headed by Brahma, Siva and Indra

are adhikrta-dasas and dasis. They engage in Bhagavan's service

when they have attained the qualification to perform tasks related

to the material universe.


Vrajanatha: Who are ashrita-dasa?


Gosvami: There are three types of ashrita-dasa: those who have taken

refuge (saranagata); those who are jnanis attached to the path of

jnana; and those who are fixed in the service of Bhagavan (sevanistha).

Kaliya-naga and the kings who had been imprisoned by

Jarasandha are in the category of saranagata-dasa. The rsis headed

by Saunaka are called jnana-nistha dasa, because they gave up the

desire for mukti and took shelter of Shri Hari. The seva-nistha dasa

are bhaktas like Candradhvaja, Harihara, Bahulasva, Iksvaku and

Pundarika, who were attached to bhagavad-bhajana from the very



Vrajanatha: Who are parisada-dasa?


Gosvami: Uddhava, Daruka, Satyaki, Srutadeva, Satrujit, Nanda,

Upananda, and Bhadra are in the category of parisada-dasa. Although

they are engaged in activities such as giving advice, they

also engage in appropriate services according to time and circumstance.

Bhisma, Pariksit, and Vidura are also parisada-bhaktas, and

premi-dasa Uddhava is the best among them all.


Vrajanatha: Who are anugata-dasa?


Gosvami: Those servants whose hearts are always attached to performing

seva are called anugata-dasa. They are of two types: those

who reside in Vraja and those who reside in Dvaraka Puri.

Anugata-dasas in Dvaraka Puri include Sucandra, Mandala,

Stambha and Sutamba. Those in Vraja include Raktaka, Patraka,

Patri, Madhukantha, Madhuvrata, Rasala, Suvilasa, Premakandha,

Makarandaka, Ananda, Candrahasa, Payoda, Vakula, Rasada and

Sarada. Raktaka is prominent among all these anugata-dasas of



Parisada and anugata-dasas are further divided into three categories,

namely dhurya, dhira, and vira. The dhurya-parisadas are

those who display due affection towards Krishna, His beloved gopis

and His servants. Dhira-parisadas are those who are not specifically

engaged in Krishna's service, but who take shelter of Krishna's

beloveds, such as Satyabhama. Vira-parisadas are those bhaktas who

have taken exclusive shelter of Krishna's mercy, and are therefore

not concerned about others. These three types of krishna-dasa -

ashrita, parisada and anugata - are divided into three types again

on the basis of nitya-siddha, siddha, and sadhaka.


Vrajanatha: Will you kindly explain the various types of uddipana

in dasya-rasa?


Gosvami: The uddipanas in dasya-rasa are the sound of the murali

and srnga (buffalo horn); Krishna's smiling glance; hearing His qualities;

a lotus flower; Krishna's footprints; a fresh monsoon cloud; and

the fragrance of Krishna's limbs.


Vrajanatha: What are the anubhavas in this rasa?


Gosvami: The anubhavas that are specific (asadharana) to dasyarasa

include being fully engaged in one's prescribed duties, obeying

the orders of Bhagavan, remaining free from envy and malice

in the service of Bhagavan, friendship with Krishna's servants, and

firm faith in Krishna. The expressions (udbhasvaras) that are common

(sadharana-anubhavas) to other rasas include dancing, showing

respect toward Krishna's near and dear ones, and detachment

from all else.


Vrajanatha: What types of sattvika-vikara are present in prita-rasa?


Gosvami: All the sattvika-bhavas such as stambha manifest in this



Vrajanatha: What types of vyabhicari-bhavas occur in this rasa?


Gosvami: Twenty-four vyabhicari-bhavas are present in this rasa.

They are jubilation, pride, fortitude, self-disparagement, depression,

humility, anxiety, remembrance, apprehension, resolve, ardent

desire, argumentation, deliberation, agitation, bashfulness,

inertness, bewilderment, madness, concealing emotions, awakening,

dreaming, fatigue, disease and yearning for death. There is no

distinct appearance of intoxication, exhaustion, fear, fainting and

falling on the ground, laziness, fury, intolerance, envy and sleep.

The bhavas of jubilation, pride and fortitude are exhibited in meeting

(milana), and the bhavas of debility, disease and death are exhibited

in separation. The other eighteen bhavas, such as self-disparagement,

are visible both in meeting and separation.


Vrajanatha: I would like to know about the sthayibhava of prita-rasa.


Gosvami: The sthayibhava of this rasa is the priti that results from

combining an attitude of respect towards Krishna with a trembling

of the heart evoked by awe, and the conception that He is one's



In santa-rasa, the sthayibhava is rati alone, whereas in this rasa,

sthayibhava occurs when rati has the mood of mamata (possessiveness)

and becomes priti. As this sambhrama-priti gradually increases,

it extends through the stages of prema and sneha up to the stage of

raga. When sambhrama-priti is free from apprehension and fear, it

assumes the form of prema. When a condensed form of prema gives

rise to a melting of the heart, then it is known by the name of sneha,

the stage in which the bhakta cannot tolerate even a moment's

separation. Sneha becomes raga when it has developed to the point

where even distress seems to be happiness. In such a condition,

there is a desire to give up one's life at the time of separation from

Krishna. Those who are in the categories of adhikrta and ashrita-dasa

can reach the stage of prema, but not further than that. Parisadas

can reach the level of sneha. Sthayibhava develops up to the limit

of raga in Pariksit, Daruka, Uddhava and the anugata-dasas of Vraja.

When raga arises, there is a partial appearance of sakhya-bhava.

Panditas call meeting with Krishna in this rasa "yoga", and separation

from Krishna "ayoga." There are two types of ayoga - anxious

longing (utkanthita) and separation (viyoga) and three types of yoga

- siddhi (perfection), tusti (satisfaction), and sthiti (residence).

Siddhi is seeing Krishna after being in the condition of anxious longing,

and tusti means meeting with Krishna after separation (viyoga).

Sthiti means to live with Krishna.


Vrajanatha: I have understood sambhrama-priti. Now please explain



Gosvami: Gaurava-mayi-priti is the mood of those who have the

abhimana, "Krishna should take care of me - nourishing and maintaining

me." When this priti is nourished by the corresponding

vibhavas, anubhavas and so on, it is called gaurava-prita-rasa.

Bhagavan Shri Krishna, His wards and dependent servants are the

alambana of this rasa. The visaya-alambana in gaurava-priti is Krishna

in the form of the great guru; the possessor of immense fame, intelligence

and strength; the protector; and the maintainer. Krishna's

wards (lalya-bhaktas) are divided into two categories: juniors and

sons. Sarana, Gada and Subhadra consider themselves juniors,

while personalities such as Pradyumna, Carudesna and Samba have

the abhimana of being sons. The uddipana of this rasa are Shri

Krishna's parental affection and gentle smiling. Examples of

anubhavas are sitting on a lower seat in Krishna's presence, following

the directives of one's worshipful superiors, and giving up

independent activities. You should know that the sancari or

vyabhicari-bhavas are the same as I have mentioned before in regard

to sambhrama-prita-rasa.


Vrajanatha: What does the word gaurava mean?


Gosvami: Gaurava refers to the relationship with Krishna based on

the conception, "Krishna is my father by bodily relationship," or

"Krishna is my guru." Gaurava-priti is affection with full absorption

towards Krishna with the sentiment that He is nourishing and maintaining

one. This is the sthayibhava of this rasa.


Vrajanatha: Prabhu, I have understood prita-rasa. Now please describe

preyo-bhakti-rasa (sakhya-rasa).


Gosvami: In this rasa, the alambana is Krishna and His friends; the

two-handed form of Vrajendranandana Shri Krishna holding a murali

is visaya-alambana, and His friends are asraya-alambana.


Vrajanatha: I would like to know the characteristics and divisions

of Krishna's sakhas.


Gosvami: Krishna's friends have forms, qualities and attire exactly

like those of the dasya-bhaktas, but they do not have sambhramabhava

as the servants do; rather, they are imbued with visrambhabhava.

Krishna's friends are divided into two categories: those who

reside in the city (pura), and those in Vraja. Arjuna, Bhima,

Draupadi and Shridama brahmana (Sudama vipra) are sakhas of the

city, amongst whom Arjuna is the best.


The sakhas who reside in Vraja always want to be with Krishna,

and they always have an intense hankering to see Him, for He is

their life and soul. For that reason, they are the principal sakhas.

There are four types of sakhas in Vraja: 1) suhrt, 2) sakha, 3) priyasakha,

and 4) priya-narma-sakha. The suhrt-sakhas are somewhat

older than Krishna, and they have some vatsalya-bhava mixed in their

moods towards Him. They carry weapons, and always protect Krishna

from miscreants. They include Subhadra, Mandalibhadra,

Bhadravardhana, Gobhata, Yaksa, Indrabhata, Bhadranga,

Virabhadra, Mahaguna, Vijaya and Balabhadra. Mandalibhadra

and Balabhadra are the most prominent among them.


The sakhas are somewhat younger than Krishna, and their mood of

friendship is alloyed with a touch of dasya-bhava. They include Visala,

Vrsabha, Ojasvi, Devaprastha, Varuthapa, Maranda, Kusumapida,

Manibaddha and Karandhama. Devaprastha is the best of these.


The priya-sakhas are friends of the same age as Krishna with unalloyed

sakhya-bhava. These include Shridama, Sudama, Dama,

Vasudama, Kinkini, Stoka-Krishna, Amsu, Bhadrasena, Vilasi,

Pundarika, Vitanka and Kalavinka.


Krishna's priya-narma-sakhas are superior to the three other

groups of sakhas - namely the suhrt-sakhas, the sakhas and the priya??

sakhas - and they are expert at performing extremely confidential

activities. They include Subala, Arjuna, Gandharva, Vasanta and

Ujjvala, who always speaks joking words. Among the sakhas, some

are nitya-priya (nitya-siddhas); some were previously devatas who

attained the position of Krishna's friends by sadhana; and some are

sadhakas. They delight Krishna and create varieties of amusement

by a variety of distinctive moods and gestures in friendly service.


Vrajanatha: What is the uddipana in this rasa?


Gosvami: Uddipana in sakhya-rasa includes Krishna's age; His beautiful

form; His horn, venu and conch-shell; His joking and laughter;

His valiant deeds; and His performance of pastimes. In the

pasturing grounds (gostha), His kumara age is uddipana, and in

Gokula, His kaisora age is uddipana.


Vrajanatha: I would like to know about the anubhavas that are

common (sadharana) to all the groups of sakhas.


Gosvami: Some of the sadharana-anubhavas of the sakhas are wrestling;

ball games; riding on each other's shoulders; stick-fighting;

reclining or sitting together with Krishna on a bed, a sitting place,

or a swing; sitting down and joking; water sports; playing with

monkeys; trying to please Krishna; dancing; and singing. In addition

to these general activities, the suhrt-sakhas typically give good

advice and take the lead in all activities. The special activities of

the sakhas are offering tambula, drawing tilaka markings, anointing

Krishna with sandalwood paste and so on. The special activities

of the priya-sakhas are defeating Krishna in fighting, pulling Krishna

by His cloth, and being decorated by Krishna. The special prerogative

of the priya-narma-sakhas is to assist in Krishna's madhura-lila.

Like dasas, they decorate Krishna with forest flowers and render

service such as fanning Him.


Vrajanatha: What are the sattvika and sancari-bhavas in sakhya-rasa?


Gosvami: They are similar to those of dasya-rasa, but somewhat

more intense.


Vrajanatha: What is the nature of the sthayibhava of this rasa?


Gosvami: Shrila Rupa Gosvami has written in Shri Bhakti-rasamrtasindhu

(Western Division 9.3.45):


vimukta-sambhrama ya syad visrambhatma ratir dvayoh

prayah samanayor atra sa sakhyam sthayi-sabda-bhak


Sakhya-sthayibhava is rati that is full of intimacy and free

from feelings of reverence between two personalities who

are ordinarily equal.


Vrajanatha: What is visrambha?




visrambho gadha-visvasa-viseso yantranojjhitah

Shri Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu

(Western Division 3.46)


Visrambha is the deep confidence which is devoid of restraint,

which causes one to think that there is no difference

at all between oneself and Krishna.


Vrajanatha: Please be so kind as to tell me about the gradual development

of this visrambha.


Gosvami: This sakhya-rasa arrives at the stage of pranaya, after

incorporating prema, sneha, and raga.


Vrajanatha: What are the symptoms of pranaya?


Gosvami: Pranaya is rati that is completely free from the slightest

scent of reverence, even in circumstances that would ordinarily

invoke such feelings.


The greatness of sakhya-rasa is unprecedented. In prita-rasa and

vatsalya-rasa, Krishna's bhava and the bhava of His bhakta are different

from each other. Amongst all the rasas, prema-rasa - that is

sakhya-rasa - is certainly dear (priya), because in this rasa both Krishna

and His bhaktas have the same sweet bhava.