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NITAAI-Veda.nyf > Compiled and Imp Scriptures > Jaiva Dharma > 36. Madhura-Rasa: Sthayibhava & Stages of Rati


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

and svarupa.


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

in samanjasa.


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

from madhu-sneha.


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

and syama-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

and Krishna.


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

bhavas" (bhavantara)?


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

my ears.


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

Shrimad-Bhagavatam (10.31.19)


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

or mannerisms.


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

of madana?


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

madhura rati?


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.