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C H A P T E R 3 6
Madhura-Rasa: Sthayibhava & Stages of Rati
The next day, Vijaya Kumara arrived punctually at the
lotus feet of his Gurudeva, offered sastanga-dandavat, and sat
in his place. Shri Gopala Guru Gosvami observed Vijaya's eagerness
to know about sthayibhava and said, "Madhura-rati is the
sthayibhava of madhura-rasa."
Vijaya: What causes the appearance of rati?
Gosvami: Rati arises from abhiyoga, visaya, sambandha, abhimana,
tadiya-visesa, upama and svabhava. Each of these causes is progressively
superior to the previous one, so the rati that arises from
svabhava is the best of all.
Vijaya: What is abhiyoga?
Gosvami: Abhiyoga is expressing one's bhava. There are two types
of abhiyoga: that which one reveals personally, and that which
someone else reveals.
Vijaya: What is visaya?
Gosvami: There are five types of visaya, namely, sound (sabda),
touch (sparsa), beauty (rupa), taste (rasa) and fragrance (gandha).
Vijaya: What is sambandha?
Gosvami: Sambandha refers to the glories of four aspects: lineage,
beauty, qualities and pastimes.
Vijaya: What is abhimana?
Gosvami: Abhimana is the definite decision to accept only one
particular object although many other beautiful objects are present.
For example, when Krishna went to Mathura, a certain vraja-gopi
had awakened her rati for Krishna. However, she had not been able
to have His association because she had not yet attained full youth.
One of her friends saw the exquisite beauty of her age, and spoke
to her in a solitary place to test her: "O sakhi, Krishna has left Vraja
and gone away, and now your new youthfulness and other qualities
are developing. There are so many youths in Vraja who are
handsome and qualified. If you want to marry any of them, whisper
to me, and I will speak with your mother and make all the necessary
When that vraja-gopi heard her friend's words, she replied, "O
sakhi, this whole world may have so many expert young men, who
are like waves of beauty and sweetness, each sweeter and more
beautiful than the one before. Let them be. Highly qualified young
ladies may accept them. As far as I am concerned, if someone does
not wear a crown of peacock feathers upon His head, if there is no
murali splendidly adorning His lips, and if His body is not
beautified by tilaka and other decorations made with minerals such
as gairika-dhatu, then I will consider him to be as insignificant as
a piece of straw, and I will not have the slightest inclination towards
This is an example of abhimana.
Vijaya: I have understood abhimana. What is tadiya-visesa?
Gosvami: Krishna's footprints, the pasturing grounds of Vrndavana,
and Krishna's priya-jana are called tadiya-visesa. Krishna's priya-jana
are those who have raga, anuraga and mahabhava for Him.
Vijaya: What is upama?
Gosvami: Upama is a resemblance between one object and another.
In this context, it refers to some resemblance to Krishna.
Vijaya: What is svabhava?
Gosvami: Svabhava is the nature that is self-manifest and does not
depend on any other cause. There are two kinds of svabhava: nisarga
Vijaya: What is nisarga?
Gosvami: Nisarga is the desire or samskara arising from firmly
established habits or practices. Hearing about Krishna's guna, rupa
and so on is only a partial cause of the awakening of rati. Nisarga
consists of the impressions caused by steadfast raty-abhasa developed
in many lives of the jiva. It is awakened suddenly and unexpectedly
when one hears the descriptions of Krishna's guna, rupa
and so on. This means that hearing about Krishna's qualities and
beauty is not the only cause of rati.
Vijaya: Please explain svarupa.
Gosvami: Svarupa is the bhava that has no birth and no origin, and
which manifests its own perfection independently. There are
three types of svarupa: krishna-nistha, lalana-nistha and ubhaya-nistha.
Those who have a demonic nature cannot attain krishna-nisthasvarupa,
but it is easily attainable for those who have a godly nature.
Lalana-nistha-svarupa is self-manifest rati that is expressed
as an involuntary impulse towards Shri Krishna, even when one has
not seen Him or heard about His beauty and qualities. The svabhava
in which both krishna-nistha and lalana-nistha are manifest is called
Vijaya: That means that there are seven causes all together:
abhiyoga, visaya, sambandha, abhimana, tadiya-visesa, upama and
svabhava. Do all types of madhura-rati arise from these seven causes?
Gosvami: The krishna-rati of the gopis of Gokula occurs naturally
and of its own accord. It is self-manifest, and is not aroused by
abhiyoga and so on. However, these causes also play a role in many
pastimes. The rati of the sadhana-siddhas and nisarga-siddhas is
awakened by these seven causes, beginning with abhiyoga.
Vijaya: I have not been able to comprehend this subject thoroughly.
Please give one or two examples to help me to understand.
Gosvami: The rati that I am talking about arises only from raganugabhakti,
but this type of rati is very far away as long as vaidhi-bhakti
does not become bhavamayi. A sadhaka who develops a greed for
those moods on seeing the vraja-gopis' ecstatic emotional performance
of krishna-seva gradually attains rati arising from the six causes
other than svabhava, and especially from priya-jana. When he becomes
sadhana-siddha, he experiences a sphurti, a momentary, internal
manifestation of lalana-nistha-svarupa.
Vijaya: How many kinds of rati are there?
Gosvami: There are three kinds of rati: sadharani (general),
samanjasa (proper), and samartha (competent). The rati of Kubja
is an example of sadharani rati. It has been condemned because its
fundamental basis is the desire to enjoy union. The rati of the
mahisis of Dvaraka is called samanjasa (proper), because it satisfies
worldly standards of righteous conduct, and it is awakened by the
regulative principles of marriage. "I am His wife, He is my husband,"
this rati is limited by such sentiments. The rati of the residents of
Gokula is samartha because such rati magnificently goes beyond
even the boundaries of social restrictions and religious principles.
Samartha rati is not actually improper. Indeed, from the perspective
of the ultimate transcendental objective (parama-paramartha), only
samartha rati is correct in the highest sense. Sadharani rati is like a
jewel; samanjasa rati is like cintamani; and samartha rati is supremely
rare, like the Kaustubha-mani.
Vijaya's eyes filled with tears and, weeping continuously, he said,
"Today, I am extremely fortunate to hear such an unprecedented
and exalted subject. Prabhu, by your causeless mercy, please describe
the characteristics of sadharani rati."
Gosvami: Sadharani rati appears from the desire for sambhoga. It is
stimulated by utter infatuation when one sees Krishna face-to-face,
but it is not so deep and neither is it thick nor permanent. When
the desire for sambhoga subsides, this rati also subsides, which is
why it is categorized as inferior.
Vijaya: What is the nature of samanjasa rati?
Gosvami: Samanjasa rati is the full and concentrated rati that is
aroused by hearing about Krishna's beauty and qualities, and which
arises from the conception, "I am His wife, and He is my husband."
Sometimes the desire for sambhoga also occurs in this rati. When
the desire for sambhoga is separate from samanjasa rati, it is not
possible to control Shri Krishna by expressing one's mood, or by the
hava, bhava, hela and so on arising from the desire for sambhoga.
Vijaya: What is the nature of samartha rati?
Gosvami: The desire for sambhoga with Krishna is present in every
type of rati. In sadharani and samanjasa rati, the desire for sambhoga
is for one's own personal satisfaction. Samartha is the special bhava
that is completely selfless and free from the self-interested desire
for union, and which attains the state of tad-atmya or oneness with
the desire for union.
Vijaya: What is the nature of that special bhava? Kindly clarify this
point a little more.
Gosvami: There are two types of desire for sambhoga. The first is
the desire for sambhoga in which one desires that one's own senses
are satisfied by the beloved for one's own happiness. The second
is the desire for sambhoga that consists entirely of the conception
that one should satisfy the senses of the beloved for His happiness.
The first type of desire can be called kama, because the desire
for one's own happiness is inherent in it. The second type of desire
has been called prema, because it consists exclusively of the desire
for the happiness of one's beloved. The first type of desire, kama,
is powerful and it is prominent in sadharani rati, but it does not
predominate in samanjasa. The latter characteristic, namely prema,
or the exclusive desire for the happiness of one's beloved, is the
inherent distinctive function (visesa-dharma) of the desire for
sambhoga in samartha rati.
Vijaya: One must feel happiness from the touch of one's beloved
in sambhoga. Is there no desire for this happiness in samartha rati?
Gosvami: It is certainly extremely difficult to be completely free
from such a desire. Nevertheless, although such a desire is present
in the heart of one who has samartha rati, it is extremely faint. This
samartha rati becomes powerful with the support of its visesadharma
(specific characteristic) when it embraces and becomes one
with the desire for sambhoga. This type of rati is celebrated by the
name samartha (capable) because it is endowed with great capability
(to control Krishna).
Vijaya: What is the special glory of samartha rati?
Gosvami: As soon as this samartha rati appears, one becomes oblivious
to all types of obstacles, such as family, religious principles,
patience and shyness. This is so, whether it was aroused by
sambandha, tadiya, svabhavika-svarupa, or any of the other causes
beginning with abhiyoga that I mentioned previously. This type of
rati is extremely deep.
Vijaya: How does the desire for sambhoga attain oneness when it
mixes with suddha rati?
Gosvami: The samartha rati of the vraja-gopis is only for the sake of
Krishna's happiness, and whatever happiness they experience in
their sambhoga is also to please Krishna. Therefore, the desire for
sambhoga combines with rati, which is exclusively the desire for
Krishna's happiness, and assumes the most astounding splendor with
waves of vilasa. This rati does not allow the desire for sambhoga to
exist separately from itself. Sometimes this rati can terminate itself
Vijaya: Aho! How extraordinary this rati is! I want to hear about
its ultimate glory.
Gosvami: When this rati is mature, it attains the condition of
mahabhava. All liberated personalities are searching for this rati,
and five kinds of bhaktas attain it to the degree that they are capable
of doing so.
Vijaya: Prabhu, I wish to know about the sequence in which rati
syad drdhe 'yam ratih prema prodyan snehah kramad ayam
syan manah pranayo rago'nurago bhava ity api
(Ujjvala-nilamani, Sthayibhava-prakarana 53)
The meaning is that this madhura-rati is made unshakable by
the presence of antagonistic elements. Then it is called prema.
This prema gradually manifests its own sweetness as it develops
into sneha, mana, pranaya, raga, anuraga and bhava.
Vijaya: Prabhu, please give an example to help me understand this
Gosvami: Just as the seed of sugar cane grows and progressively
develops into cane juice, guda, khanda, sarkara, sita and sitotpala,
similarly rati, prema, sneha, mana, pranaya, raga, anuraga and bhava
are all one substance in progressive stages of development. In this
context, the word bhava refers to mahabhava.
Vijaya: Why have you referred to all these bhavas as prema when
they all have different names?
Gosvami: Panditas have used the word prema to denote all the stages
beginning with sneha because they are six progressive stages in the
development of the unmitigated pleasure sports (vilasa) of prema
itself. As prema for Shri Krishna appears in His bhaktas, the
corresponding type of prema also arises in Krishna for His bhaktas.
Vijaya: What is the primary characteristic of prema?
Gosvami: In madhura-rasa, the bond of emotion between the youthful
couple never breaks despite there being cause for the
destruction of the relationship. That indestructible emotional
bond is called prema.
Vijaya: How many kinds of prema are there?
Gosvami: There are three kinds: praudha, madhya and manda.
Vijaya: What is the nature of praudha-prema?
Gosvami: In praudha-prema, the heart of the beloved flounders in
anxiety over the pain that her lover must be feeling when she is
late for the meeting.
Vijaya: What is madhya-prema?
Gosvami: Madhya-prema is that in which the beloved can tolerate
the distress of the lover.
Vijaya: What is manda-prema?
Gosvami: Manda-prema is prema in which forgetfulness may occur
under some particular circumstances of time and place, or in which
there is no sacrifice or respect, as the lovers are always extremely
familiar which each other, due to being very intimate and remaining
together. Although this prema is mild (manda), there is no
disrespect or neglect in it.
Vijaya: If there are any more important points on this subject,
please explain them.
Gosvami: Praudha, madhya and manda-prema can also be easily
understood by one other type of characteristic. The prema in which
separation is intolerable is praudha-prema; the prema in which the
pain inflicted by separation is tolerable is madhya-prema; and the
prema in which forgetfulness may occur in certain special
circumstances is called manda-prema.
Vijaya: I have understood prema. Now please describe sneha.
Gosvami: When prema attains its ultimate limit and illuminates
the lamp of the citta (mind) and melts the heart, it is called sneha.
Here the word citta denotes the attainment of the object (visaya)
of prema. The marginal characteristic of sneha is that one is never
satiated, despite repeatedly looking at the object of one's affection.
Vijaya: Are there any superior and inferior divisions within
Gosvami: Yes. There are also three divisions in accordance with
the gradations of the development of sneha. These are uttama,
madhya and kanistha. In kanistha-sneha, the heart melts on touching
the limbs of one's beloved; in madhya-sneha, the heart melts
simply upon seeing one's beloved; and in uttama-sneha, the heart
melts merely by hearing anything in connection with one's dearest
Vijaya: How many types of sneha are there?
Gosvami: The natural characteristic of sneha is that it can manifest
in two ways: ghrta-sneha and madhu-sneha.
Vijaya: What is ghrta-sneha?
Gosvami: Ghrta-sneha is deep with a great deal of respectful affection.
Ghrta (ghee) is not independently sweet like honey; it is only
delicious when it is mixed with sugar and other ingredients. Similarly,
ghrta-sneha is not independently sweet like madhu-sneha, and
it only becomes highly palatable when mixed with other bhavas
such as garva (pride) and asuya (jealousy). Ghrta-sneha is cool in
its natural state, so it becomes thick with mutual honor and deep
respect. In other words, ghrta-sneha solidifies in contact with the
mutual respect (adara) of the nayaka and nayika, just as ghee naturally
solidifies in contact with a cool substance. This sneha is called
ghrta-sneha because it has the characteristics of ghee.
Vijaya: You have mentioned adara (honor). What is its nature?
Gosvami: Adara is born from gaurava (awe and veneration), so adara
and gaurava are mutually interdependent. This honor (adara)
becomes clearly manifest in sneha, although it is present in rati.
Vijaya: What is gaurava?
Gosvami: Gaurava is the conception, "He is my guru-jana (respectable
superior)," and the bhava that is aroused by this conception
is called sambhrama. Adara and gaurava are mutually interdependent.
Maintaining a respectful attitude is a sign that gaurava (awe
and veneration) is naturally present.
Vijaya: What is the nature of madhu-sneha?
Gosvami: Madhu-sneha is the affection that is imbued with excessive
possessiveness (madiyatva), which makes the lover think, "He
is mine." This affection manifests its own sweetness without
depending on any other bhavas. It is independently full of sweetness,
and a variety of rasas are combined within it. It also creates
heat because of its natural tendency towards mad passion. It has
been called madhu-sneha because it has these characteristics of
Vijaya: What is possessiveness (madiyatva)?
Gosvami: Two conceptions are active in rati. One type of rati is imbued
with the idea, "I am His," and the other type of rati is imbued with
the conviction, "He is mine." The predominant mood in ghrta-sneha
is "I am His," whereas the predominant mood in madhu-sneha is "He
is mine." Ghrta-sneha is Candravali's characteristic mood, while
madhu-sneha is Shrimati Radhika's. Both these bhavas are madiyatva.
When Vijaya heard about these two types of bhava, his hair began
to stand on end. Choked with emotion, he offered his
dandavat-pranama to Shri Guru Gosvami and said, "Today I have
become fortunate, and my human birth has become successful. Although
drinking the nectar of your instructions, my thirst to hear
is still not satiated. Now please be causelessly merciful to me by
explaining about mana."
Gosvami: Mana is sneha that has attained the pinnacle of its excellence
and has externally assumed a guileful or crooked mood to
cause the nayaka and nayika to realize a new sweetness.
Vijaya: How many types of mana are there?
Gosvami: There are two types of mana: udatta and lalita.
Vijaya: What is udatta-mana?
Gosvami: There are also two types of udatta-mana. One type takes
on a submissive mood (daksinya-bhava) externally, and a contrary
mood (vamya-bhava) internally. The other is expressed through
extremely cryptic behavior; it hides the bhavas of the mind and is
characterized by profound gravity, laced with a slight scent of
vamya. Udatta-mana occurs only in ghrta-sneha.
Vijaya: What is lalita-mana? I cannot say why, but for some reason
I have more interest in it.
Gosvami: When madhu-sneha becomes turbulent due to its tendency
to boil over, conveying unrestrained and extremely sweet
crookedness and humor, it is called lalita-mana. There are also two
types of lalita-mana, namely kautilya-lalita-mana and narma-lalitamana.
When the heart independently assumes a crooked nature,
it is called kautilya-lalita-mana, and mana that is infused with
humor is called narma-lalita-mana. Both types of lalita-mana arise
Vijaya: What is pranaya?
Gosvami: When mana is imbued with visrambha so that one considers
oneself non-different from one's beloved, it is called pranaya.
Vijaya: What is the meaning of visrambha in this context?
Gosvami: Visrambha is intimate confidence, and it is the intrinsic
nature of pranaya. Visrambha is not the instrumental cause
(nimitta-karana) of pranaya; rather, it is the ingredient cause
(upadana-karana). There are two kinds of visrambha: maitra and
Vijaya: What is maitra-visrambha?
Gosvami: Maitra-visrambha is the implicit trust that is imbued with
courtesy and humility.
Vijaya: What is sakhya-visrambha?
Gosvami: Implicit trust is called sakhya-visrambha when it is free
from all types of fear and is imbued with the full confidence that
one's beloved is controlled by one's love.
Vijaya: Please clearly explain the inter-relationship between
pranaya, sneha and mana.
Gosvami: In some circumstances, pranaya arises from sneha, and
then develops the characteristic behavior of mana. In other cases,
mana arises from sneha, and then becomes pranaya. Therefore,
mana and pranaya are interchangeably related as cause and effect.
That is why visrambha has been described separately. The
appearance of maitra and sakhya is caused by the differences
between udatta and lalita. Moreover, there is also the further consideration
of sumaitra and susakhya in pranaya (i.e., the prefix su
indicates special or good).
Vijaya: Now please describe the symptoms of raga.
Gosvami: Pranaya is called raga in its highest condition, when even
extreme distress seems like happiness.
Vijaya: How many types of raga are there?
Gosvami: There are two types of raga: nilima-raga and raktima-raga.
Vijaya: How many types of nilima-raga are there?
Gosvami: There are also two types of nilima-raga, namely nili-raga
Vijaya: What is nili-raga?
Gosvami: Nili-raga is raga that has no possibility of becoming weakened
and when it is visible externally, it conceals the other bhavas
with which it is combined. This raga can be seen in Candravali
Vijaya: What is syama-raga?
Gosvami: Syama-raga is the raga that is displayed through timidity,
ausadhaseka and so on. It is manifest somewhat more than niliraga,
and is attained after a long time.
Vijaya: How many types of raktima-raga are there?
Gosvami: There are two types: kusumbha-raga and manjistha
Vijaya: What is kusumbha-raga?
Gosvami: Kusumbha-raga is the raga that is infused at once within
the heart, and that manifests its own beauty according to necessity,
although it illuminates the splendor of other ragas at the same
time. Kusumbha-raga is stable in the heart that has a special capacity
to contain it, although it sometimes diminishes when it is
mixed with manjistha in Krishna's beloveds.
Vijaya: What is manjistha-raga?
Gosvami: Manjistha-raga is the raga that is self-manifest; that is, it
is not dependent on others; it is never destroyed; it is always
steadfast; and it is never dulled, unlike kusumbha. Such raga is found
in Shrimati Radha and Krishna.
The conclusion is that the bhavas that I have already described
- such as ghrta-sneha, udatta, maitra, sumaitra, and nilima - are
found in Candravali and the mahisis such as Rukmini. All of the
progressively superior bhavas - such as madhu-sneha, lalita, sakhya,
susakhya and raktima - are found fully in Shri Radhika. They are
sometimes manifested in Satyabhama, and under special circumstances
in Laksmana as well.
When I discussed alambana-vibhava earlier, I analyzed the divisions,
such as svapaksa, between the various devis of Gokula, which
arise from these different types of bhava.
Scholarly personalities take support of transcendental intelligence
(the power of prajna) to comprehend the various separate
divisions that can occur by the mutual combination of the fortyone
other mukhya-bhavas mentioned in Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu. I
am not giving a separate explanation here.
Vijaya: Which bhavas do you mean when you use the term "other
Gosvami: This means the sthayi-madhura-bhava, thirty-three
vyabhicari-bhavas, and seven gauna bhavas beginning with hasya.
The term 'other bhavas' (bhavantara) refers to this total of fortyone
bhavas taken together.
Vijaya: I have understood the subject of raga. Now please explain
Gosvami: Anuraga is eternally newer and newer and causes one's
beloved to be always experienced as new at every moment.
Vijaya: Does this anuraga manifest any other fascinating features?
Gosvami: Anuraga is manifest in forms such as the sentiment in
which the lovers feel that each has subjugated the other by their
love, by prema-vaicittya and by the desire to take birth among lifeless
objects. Anuraga also causes the sphurti of Krishna to appear at
the time of separation.
Vijaya: I can easily understand the sense of mutual subjugation,
and the desire to take birth as an inert object such as a tree. But
please, mercifully instruct me about prema-vaicittya.
Gosvami: Prema-vaicittya is included in vipralambha; I will tell you
about this later.
Vijaya: That is fine. Then kindly tell me about mahabhava.
Gosvami: My dear child, my acquaintance with vraja-rasa is utterly
insignificant. Where am I, and where is the description of the
supremely elevated mahabhava? Nevertheless, I am speaking on the
strength of the merciful siksa I have received from Shri Rupa
Gosvami and Pandita Gosvami. You should realize that by their
mercy alone I can say something in accordance with Shri Rupa
Gosvami's specifications. When anuraga in the form of yavadasraya-
vrtti attains the condition of svayamvedya-dasa and becomes
manifest (prakasita), it is called bhava or mahabhava.
Vijaya: Prabhu, I am thoroughly worthless and destitute. I am
inquiring foolishly. Please be compassionate and explain the
symptoms of mahabhava in simple language that is suitable for my
Gosvami: Shri Radhikaji is the asraya of anuraga, and Krishna is the
visaya of anuraga. Shri Nandanandana in His srngara form is the
ultimate limit of visaya-tattva, and Shri Radhaji is the ultimate limit
of asraya-tattva. This means that Shri Krishna alone is the supermost
visaya of anuraga, and Shri Radhaji is its supermost asraya. Their
anuraga is the sthayibhava. When that anuraga reaches its ultimate
limit, it is called yavad-asraya-vrtti. In that condition, it attains
the svayamvedya-dasa, the condition that is only completely realized
by that special beloved. At that time, anuraga is illuminated
by the bhavas such as suddipta.
Vijaya: Aho! Mahabhava! What is the meaning of mahabhava - today
I have understood something. Mahabhava is the ultimate limit of
all bhavas. I have become intensely eager to hear an example of this
mahabhava. Please be merciful and describe something to satisfy
Gosvami: This sloka is an example of mahabhava.
radhaya bhavatas ca citta-jatuni svedair vilapya kramad
yunjann adri-nikunja-kunjara-pate nirdhuta-bheda-bhramam
citraya svayam anvaranjayad iha brahmanda-harmyodare
bhuyobhir nava-raga-hingula-bharaih srngara-karuh krti
(Ujjvala-nilamani, Sthayibhava prakarana 155)
Shri Radha-Krishna continuously enjoy Their loving play in
the nikunjas. Vrnda-devi, having realized the excellence
of their anuraga, says to Krishna, "O King of mad elephants,
who sports in the groves on Govardhana Hill, there is an
accomplished artist of the name Srngara rasa and upon the
fire generated from the heat of Your two bhavas, he has
slowly melted Your shellac-like hearts and made them one.
Then mixing that with profuse quantities of the kunkuma
of Your everfresh raga, he is painting an astonishing picture
upon the inner walls of the grand temple of the universe."
Here, 'nirdhuta-bheda-bhramam' means Radha and Krishna have
become free from Their duality and become one, thus culminating
in the stage of svayamvedya dasa. The grand temple of the universe
should be understood to refer to yavad-asraya-vrtti and the
term "he is painting" indicates the condition of prakasita.
Vijaya: Where is this mahabhava to be found?
Gosvami: Mahabhava is extremely rare, even in the mahisis headed
by Rukmini. It is only experienced by the vraja-devis headed by Shri
Vijaya: What is the purport of this?
Gosvami: Svakiya-bhava is present wherever the nayika is bound
to the nayaka by the regulations of marriage. In svakiya-bhava,
rati is samanjasa, so it is not competent to attain the most elevated
conditions such as mahabhava. Svakiya-bhava is also present
in some gopis in Vraja, but parakiya-bhava is predominant. In
Vraja, rati is samartha, so it develops fully, and reaches up to the
condition of mahabhava.
Vijaya: How many types of mahabhava are there?
Gosvami: Mahabhava, which is the embodiment of the highest
nectar, attracts the heart and causes it to attain its own intrinsic
nature. There are two types of mahabhava: rudha and adhirudha.
Vijaya: What is rudha-mahabhava?
Gosvami: Rudha-mahabhava is the stage in which all the sattvikabhavas
are manifest in the uddipta condition.
Vijaya: Be merciful and explain the anubhavas of rudha-mahabhava.
Gosvami: In rudha-mahabhava, even the passing of a moment is
unbearable; this rudha-mahabhava churns the hearts of those
present; a kalpa seems to pass like a moment (kalpa-ksanatva); one
feels dejected because of the apprehension that Shri Krishna is
undergoing some inconvenience, although He is actually happy;
one becomes forgetful of everything, even oneself, although one
is not bewildered; and one moment seems to pass like a kalpa (ksanakalpata).
Some of these anubhavas are experienced during meeting,
and some during separation.
Vijaya: "Even the passing of a moment is unbearable" - please give
an example of this to help me understand.
Gosvami: This bhava is vaicittya-vipralambha (a particular manifestation
of separation). Even in meeting, there is the feeling of
being separated, and even a moment's separation is intolerable.
That is why, when the gopis looked upon Shri Krishna for the first
time after so long at Kuruksetra, they cursed Brahmaji, the creator
of their eyelids, because the blinking of their eyelids was
obstructing their vision of Krishna. Even the time that elapsed
during the blinking of their eyes became unbearable.
Vijaya: "This rudha-bhava churns the hearts of those who are
present" - what does that mean?
Gosvami: For example, at Kuruksetra, when the mahisis such as
Rukmini and the kings such as Yudhisthira saw the uncommon
anuraga of the gopis who had come to see Krishna, their hearts were
churned. That is what this statement refers to.
Vijaya: What is kalpa-ksanatva?
Gosvami: Although the night of the rasa-lila was as long as a night
of Brahma, it still seemed to be less than a second to the gopis. Such
a mood is called kalpa-ksanatva.
Vijaya: Please help me to understand the bhava of feeling dejected
for fear that Shri Krishna may undergo some inconvenience, although
actually He is happy.
Gosvami: An example is found in the sloka:
yat te sujata-caranamburuham stanesu
bhitah sanaih priya dadhimahi karkasesu
tenatavim atasi tad vyathate na kim svit
kurpadibhir bhramati dhir bhavad-ayusam nah
Even when the gopis hold the lotus feet of Shri Krishna upon their
breasts, they think, "It is lamentable that our breasts are so hard.
Krishna's soft lotus feet must be feeling pain when we keep them on
our breasts." Such regret is called dejection due to the fear of
difficulty for Krishna at the time of His happiness.
Vijaya: What is the phenomenon of forgetting everything even
in the absence of bewilderment?
Gosvami: All types of bewilderment (moha) are vanquished by the
sphurti of Krishna within the heart; that is, there is the complete absence
of moha. But when the sphurti of Krishna occurs, one loses awareness
of everything else in the entire world, including one's own body.
Vijaya: What is ksana-kalpata?
Gosvami: Krishna describes the state of the gopis' separation to
Uddhava, "Uddhava, when I was with the vraja-vasis in Vrndavana,
their nights with Me seemed to pass like a moment, but in
separation from Me, those same nights appeared to never end and
they felt those nights to be longer than a kalpa." In this way, they
would experience the passing of one moment to be like being lost
in a vast ocean of time.
Vijaya: I have understood rudha-mahabhava. Now please explain
Gosvami: Adhirudha-mahabhava is the mood in which all the
anubhavas that are manifested in resolute mahabhava attain special
characteristics that are even more astonishing than those anubhavas
in their normal forms.
Vijaya: How many types of adhirudha are there?
Gosvami: There are two types, modana and madana.
Vijaya: What is modana?
Gosvami: The adhirudha-mahabhava in which all the sattvika-bhavas
of the nayaka and nayika are aroused to a much greater extent than
in the uddipta condition is called modana. In this modana-bhava,
Krishna and Radha feel some anguish and fear.
Vijaya: Please describe the position of modana.
Gosvami: Modana does not occur anywhere other than in the yutha
of Shri Radhika. Modana is the dearest and most delightful pleasure
sport of the hladini-sakti. In some special conditions of separation,
modana becomes mohana, and as an effect of this helpless condition
of separation, all the sattvika-bhavas manifest in the suddipta
Vijaya: Please describe the anubhavas in the stage of mohana.
Gosvami: Krishna faints while being embraced by another lover;1 one
desires Krishna's happiness while personally accepting unbearable
distress; the bhava called brahmanda-ksobha-karita causes the whole
universe to feel anguish, and even birds and beasts begin to cry;
the powerful longing that, in the event of death, the five elements
of the body may associate with Shri Krishna. Divya-unmada (divine
madness) and other anubhavas also occur in the stage of mohana.
The miraculous characteristics of mahabhava are manifest to the
fullest extent in Shri Radhika's mohana-bhava, even more than in
moha, which is included among the sancari-bhavas.
Vijaya: Prabhu, if you consider it to be appropriate, kindly describe
two symptoms of divya-unmada.
1 While Rukmini is embracing Krishna in Dvaraka, He sometimes
falls unconscious, remembering His playful pastimes with Radha
in the nikunjas of Vrndavana near the banks of the Yamuna.
Gosvami: When mohana-bhava attains a unique, indescribable mode
of behavior, developing into a wondrous condition that resembles
a state of utter confusion, then it is divya-unmada. It has many
different features such as udghurna and citra-jalpa.
Vijaya: What is udghurna?
Gosvami: The state of divya-unmada in which many varieties of
astounding and uncontrollable endeavors are manifest is called
Radhika experienced udghurna when Krishna departed for
Mathura. At that time, as if in complete forgetfulness due to feelings
of separation from Krishna, Radhika thought, "Krishna is coming;
He will be here in just a moment." Thinking in that way, She
made the bed in Her kunja. Sometimes She rebuked the dark clouds
like a nayika who expresses anger towards her unfaithful lover
(khandita), and sometimes She wandered around hurriedly in the
dense darkness of the night, like a nayika who makes a secret journey
to meet with her lover (abhisarini).
Vijaya: What is citra-jalpa?
Gosvami: Citra-jalpa consists of the discourses that occur when
one meets a friend of one's beloved. They are full of intense longing,
and they arise from bhavas such as jealousy, envy, restlessness,
pride, and eagerness.
Vijaya: How many angas of citra-jalpa are there?
Gosvami: There are ten limbs of citra-jalpa, namely, prajalpa,
parijalpa, vijalpa, ujjalpa, sanjalpa, avajalpa, abhijalpa, ajalpa, pratijalpa
and sujalpa. You can find a description of them in Bhramara-gita
in the Tenth Canto of Shrimad-Bhagavatam.2
2 For further details, one may refer to Shrimad-Bhagavatam, Canto
10, chapter 47 with Shrila Sanatana Gosvami's Vaishnava-tosani;
and Shri Chaitanya-charitamrita, Antya-lila 19, with Shrila
Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura's Anubhasya commentary.
Vijaya: What is prajalpa?
Gosvami: Prajalpa means to reveal the tactlessness of one's lover,
using various neglectful mannerisms that are imbued with malice,
jealousy, and pride.
Vijaya: What is parijalpa?
Gosvami: Parijalpa is showing one's own expertise through expressions
that establish faults in one's prana-dhana, such as His cruelty,
treachery and fickleness.
Vijaya: What is vijalpa?
Gosvami: Vijalpa refers to speech in which one outwardly makes
malicious allegations against Krishna, while the aspect of mana is
hidden in the heart.
Vijaya: What is ujjalpa?
Gosvami: Ujjalpa means speaking of Krishna's treachery, hypocrisy
and so on out of jealousy arising from one's pride, and always
making hostile allegations against Him.
Vijaya: What is sanjalpa?
Gosvami: Sanjalpa is establishing Krishna's ungratefulness, harshness,
deceitfulness and so on through cryptic joking accusations
Vijaya: What is avajalpa?
Gosvami: Avajalpa is expressing one's involuntary or helpless attachment
to Krishna with fear imbued with jealousy, while finding
in Him faults such as hard-heartedness, lustiness and villainy.
Vijaya: What is abhijalpa?
Gosvami: Abhijalpa means to lament with indirect expressions such
as, "Krishna even gives the distress of separation to His birds such
as His parrot and the peacocks, so attachment to Him is useless."
Vijaya: What is ajalpa?
Gosvami: Ajalpa means to expose Krishna's duplicity and persecution
due to self-disparagement, and to say that only subjects other
than Krishna's lila-katha give happiness.
Vijaya: What is pratijalpa?
Gosvami: Pratijalpa means showing respect towards a messenger
sent by Krishna, and saying, "Krishna is a knave and a dacoit when He
is seeking amorous love, so it is inappropriate to meet with Him,
because He is with other charming ladies at the moment."
Vijaya: What is sujalpa?
Gosvami: Sujalpa is inquiring about Krishna out of simplicity, with
a mood of gravity, humility, restlessness and eagerness.
Vijaya: Prabhu, am I qualified to know about the symptoms of
Gosvami: When prema, which is the embodiment of the essence
of hladini, increases even further than the mahabhava that I have
described so far, it attains an extremely advanced condition. The
paramount emotion in which it becomes jubilant (ullasa) due to
the simultaneous manifestation of all types of bhavas is called
madana. This madana is eternally and splendidly manifest only in
Shri Radha. It does not arise in other gopis, even in those such as
Vijaya: Is there jealousy in madana-bhava?
Gosvami: Jealousy is very prominent in madana-bhava; it is even
seen to be directed towards unworthy or inanimate objects. Madana
is also famous for causing Shri Radha to praise anything that has
even the faintest scent of a relation with Krishna, although She is
constantly in intimate union with Him. For example, Shrimati
Radha becomes envious of Krishna's vana-mala (garland of forest
flowers) and Krishna's sweethearts from the mountainous regions,
the girls of the Pulinda tribe.
Vijaya: When does madana arise?
Gosvami: This fascinating madana-bhava only occurs at the time
of meeting. The eternal sporting pastimes of madana reign splendidly
in innumerable forms.
Vijaya: Prabhu, can we find a description of this type of madana
in the statements of any sages?
Gosvami: Madana-rasa is unlimited, so it is difficult for even the
transcendental Cupid, Shri Krishna, to understand the full extent of
its activities. That is why even Shri Suka Muni was not able to
describe it fully, and what to speak of the philosophers of rasa, such
as Bharata Muni.
Vijaya: Your statements are astounding. How is it possible that
even Krishna Himself, who is the embodiment of rasa and the constitutional
enjoyer of rasa, does not fully understand the behavior
Gosvami: Krishna is rasa Himself, and He is unlimited, omniscient
and omnipotent. Nothing is hidden from Him, and nothing is
inaccessible or impossible for Him. He is eternally eka-rasa, and at
the same time, He is also aneka-rasa, due to His acintya-bhedabhedadharma.
As eka-rasa (encompassing everything within Himself),
He is atmarama, and in this condition, no rasa exists separately
from Him. However, He is simultaneously aneka-rasa. Thus, besides
atma-gata-rasa (rasa experienced by oneself), there is also para-gatarasa
(rasa experienced by others) and the varieties of mixed atmapara-
vicitra-rasa. The happiness of His lila lies in the latter two
types of rasa. When para-gata expands to the ultimate degree, it is
called parakiya-rasa, and this highest development manifests abundantly
in Vrndavana. Thus for the atma-gata-rasa, the unknown,
exalted and unique happiness of parakiya-rasa is the last limit of
madana. This is present during the purely unmanifest lila in Goloka,
and also to a slight extent in Vraja.
Vijaya: Prabhu, you have shown unlimited mercy to me. Now please
explain the essence of all types of madhura-rasa in brief, so that I
may easily understand.
Gosvami: All the bhavas that arise in the vraja-devis are divine in
all respects, and beyond the jurisdiction of logic. Therefore, it is
not only difficult, but impossible to describe those bhavas thoroughly.
It has been stated in sastra that Shri Radhika's raga manifested
from purva-raga. Under special conditions, that very raga
becomes anuraga, and from anuraga comes sneha. Then it is further
manifest in the form of mana and pranaya. All these points
are not fixed, but the condition of dhumayita is certainly the last
limit of sadharani rati. Samanjasa rati develops as far as sneha, mana,
pranaya, raga and anuraga, in which dipta-rati is manifest in the
jvalita form. In rudha-mahabhava there is uddipta, and from modana
onwards there is suddipta-rati. You should understand that
madhura-rasa is sometimes like this because the order of the stages
may also be rearranged according to differences in time, place and
circumstance. Sadharani rati develops as far as prema, samanjasa rati
as far as anuraga, and samartha rati as far as mahabhava.
Vijaya: How far does rati develop in sakhya-rasa?
Gosvami: The rati of the narma-vayasa associates reaches up to
anuraga, but the rati of Subala and others reaches up to mahabhava.
Vijaya: I see that the characteristics of sthayibhava that you described
earlier reach up to the limit of mahabhava. If sthayibhava is
only one tattva from top to bottom, why do we see a difference
between the rasas?
Gosvami: This difference between the rasas arises from the different
kinds of sthayibhava. The mysterious activities of sthayibhava
are not evident. The different categories only become visible when
the ingredients are combined with the sthayibhava. The sthayibhava
attains the state of rasa by a combination of the appropriate
components of rasa, according to its particular, hidden identity.
Vijaya: Is the distinction between svakiya and parakiya eternal in
Gosvami: Yes, the distinction between svakiya and parakiya is
eternal; it is not an arbitrary designation. If this difference were
to be considered an arbitrary designation, then all the rasas headed
by madhura-rasa would also have to be considered arbitrary
designations. One's eternal and natural rasa is indeed his very own
distinctive category of eternal rasa. He has a corresponding ruci,
and performs bhajana accordingly, and this leads to a corresponding
type of attainment.
There is also svakiya-rasa in Vraja. Those who maintain the
mood, "Krishna is my husband," have a corresponding type of ruci,
sadhana-bhajana, and ultimate attainment. The quality of svakiya
in Dvaraka is a Vaikuntha tattva, whereas the quality of svakiya in
Vraja is a Goloka tattva. There is a difference between them.
Vasudeva Krishna, the son of Vasudeva, is situated within
Vrajanatha Krishna, and one should understand that the highest
condition of this svakiya-tattva in relation to Vasudeva Krishna
extends only as far as Vaikuntha.
After hearing this, Vijaya offered pranama to Shri Gurudeva and
returned to his residence, absorbed in great love.
THUS ENDS THE THIRTY-SIXTH CHAPTER OF JAIVA-DHARMA,
"MADHURA-RASA: STHAYIBHAVA & STAGES OF RATI"