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C H A P T E R 3 7
Srngara-Rasa: Srngara Svarupa
Vijaya Kumara relished the aspects of madhurya-bhava that he
had heard the previous day, and he was still in this mood
when he again presented himself before Shri Gurudeva. He offered
pranama, and inquired from him submissively, "Prabhu, I have
understood about vibhava, anubhava, sattvika-bhava and vyabhicaribhava,
and also the svarupa of sthayibhava. However, although I have
combined these four kinds of ingredients with sthayibhava, I still
cannot awaken rasa. Why is this?"
Gosvami: Dear Vijaya, you will not be able to awaken rasa in
sthayibhava until you have become conversant with the svarupa
(intrinsic nature) of srngara-rasa.
Vijaya: What is srngara-rasa?
Gosvami: Srngara is the super-excellent and profuse transcendental
charm of madhura-rasa. There are two kinds of srngara:
vipralambha (love in separation) and sambhoga (meeting and performing
joyful transcendental pastimes together).
Vijaya: I would like to know the characteristics of vipralambha.
Gosvami: Vipralambha is the delightful emotion that manifests
when the nayaka and the nayikas cannot fulfill their cherished and
delightful longing for pastimes such as embracing and kissing each
other. Vipralambha can occur in any state, either during meeting
(milana) or separation (viyoga), and it especially nourishes the mood
of sambhoga. Vipralambha is also called viraha or viyoga.
Vijaya: How does vipralambha nourish the mood of sambhoga?
Gosvami: Dipping a colored cloth repeatedly in the same dye
increasingly enhances the brilliance of the color. Similarly,
vipralambha enhances the super-excellent brilliance of sambhogarasa.
Sambhoga cannot develop fully without vipralambha.
Vijaya: How many different types of vipralambha are there?
Gosvami: There are four types: purva-raga, mana, prema-vaicittya
Vijaya: What is purva-raga?
Gosvami: Purva-raga is the fascination and enchantment that
arises when the nayaka and nayika see each other and hear about
each other before they actually meet.
Vijaya: What are the different ways of seeing each other?
Gosvami: The nayika may see Krishna directly in person, see His form
in a picture, or see Him in dreams.
Vijaya: And what are the different ways of hearing about each other?
Gosvami: One may hear someone reciting the nayaka's stutis and
glorification, hear about Him from the lips of sakhis and messengers
(dutis), and listen to songs praising Him.
Vijaya: What causes the appearance of this rati?
Gosvami: When I explained sthayibhava before, I mentioned that the
appearance of rati is caused by abhiyoga, visaya, sambandha, abhimana
and so on. These are also the causes of rati appearing in purva-raga.
Vijaya: Does this purva-raga manifest first in the vraja-nayaka, or
in the vraja-nayikas?
Gosvami: There are many considerations here. In mundane affairs,
the man generally initiates the longing for mutual attraction,
because women are usually more shy than men. However, since
women also have more prema, purva-raga manifests first in the doeeyed
gopis. The bhakti-sastras state that purva-raga manifests first
in the bhakta, and Shri Krishna reciprocates accordingly. The vrajadevis
are the topmost of all bhaktas, so purva-raga manifests perfectly
in them first.
There is an ancient adage in regard to this trait of human
nature - "The woman feels attraction first, and the man responds
to her gesture." However, there is no fault in reversing the above
order, if the intensity of prema is the same in both of them.
Vijaya: Please explain the sancari-bhavas of purva-raga.
Gosvami: Disease, doubt, jealousy, exertion, fatigue, depression,
eagerness, humility, anxiety, sleep, awakening, dejection, inertia,
madness, bewilderment and longing for death are all sancari- or
Vijaya: How many different types of purva-raga are there?
Gosvami: There are three types: praudha (fully matured), samanjasa
(intermediate), and sadharana (general).
Vijaya: What is praudha (fully matured) purva-raga?
Gosvami: Purva-raga is praudha when it occurs in those possessed
of samartha rati. On this level of purva-raga, the ten dasas (states)
beginning from intense longing (lalasa) up to the desire for death
(marana) can manifest. Since this purva-raga is praudha (fully
matured), the states that manifest in it are also praudha.
Vijaya: What are the ten dasas (states)?
Gosvami: They are as follows:
lalasodvega-jagaryas tanavam jadimatra tu
vaiyagryam vyadhir unmado moho mrtyur dasa dasa
(Ujjvala-nilamani, purva-raga division, 9)
The ten states are intense longing (lalasa), anxiety (udvega),
sleeplessness (jagarana), emaciation (tanava), inertia
(jadata), impatience (vyagrata), illness (vyadhi), madness
(unmada), delusion (moha), and longing for death (mrtyu).
Vijaya: What is lalasa?
Gosvami: Lalasa is the intense longing to attain one's heartfelt
desire (abhista), and its symptoms are eagerness, fickleness, reeling,
and heavy breathing.
Vijaya: What is udvega?
Gosvami: Udvega is perturbation of the mind, and it manifests itself
through symptoms such as deep, heavy breathing; fickleness;
motionlessness; thoughtfulness; tears; change of bodily color; and
Vijaya: What is jagarana?
Gosvami: Jagarana is sleeplessness, and it gives rise to motionlessness,
and dryness of the senses.
Vijaya: What is tanava?
Gosvami: Tanava is leanness of the body, and it is accompanied by
symptoms such as bodily weakness and reeling of the mind. Some
people read vilapa (lamentation) in place of tanava.
Vijaya: What is jadata (inertia)?
Gosvami: Jadata is shown by the absence of discrimination, by not
responding even when asked something, and by the loss of ability
to see and hear. It is also known as jadima.
Vijaya: What is vyagrata (impatience)?
Gosvami: The condition in which the transformations resulting
from bhava do not manifest externally is called "gravity." Vyagrata
is the state in which this gravity is agitated and becomes
intolerable. The symptoms of vyagrata are discrimination, despondency,
regret, and jealousy.
Vijaya: What is vyadhi?
Gosvami: When one becomes acutely disappointed because one
has not attained one's cherished goal (abhista) - namely one's
beloved - the resultant state has symptoms such as becoming pale,
and developing a high fever. This is called vyadhi, and it gives rise
to anubhavas such as cold and shivering; desire; delusion; deep, long
breathing; and falling unconscious on the ground.
Vijaya: What is unmada (madness)?
Gosvami: Unmada is the condition in which the nayika always
mistakenly perceives her beloved in different objects everywhere
- for example, taking a tamala tree to be Krishna, and embracing it.
It is the result of intense absorption of the mind in constant
thoughts of one's beloved, and of being overwhelmed by bhavas
such as despondency, dejection, and humility. Its anubhavas are
aversion, making jealous remarks to one's beloved, long breathing,
not blinking the eyes, and feeling extreme pangs of separation.
Vijaya: What is moha?
Gosvami: Moha means to become unconscious, and its anubhavas
are becoming motionless, falling unconscious and so on.
Vijaya: What is mrtyu (longing for death)?
Gosvami: When the nayika is unable to meet with her kanta (beloved),
even though she employs all means, such as sending loveletters
and messages through sakhis, Cupid's arrows cause such
unbearably intense pangs of separation that she strives for death.
In this state, she gives away her cherished belongings to her sakhis.
Uddipana-vibhavas, such as bees, a mild breeze, moonlight, kadamba
trees, clouds, lightning, and peacocks stimulate the development
of this state of mrtyu.
Vijaya: What is samanjasa-purva-raga? Kindly explain.
Gosvami: Samanjasa-purva-raga is the purva-raga that appears prior
to meeting, and it is the specific characteristic of samanjasa rati.
In this condition, the nayika can gradually manifest the ten
conditions, namely, longing (abhilasa), contemplation (cinta), remembrance
(smrti), glorifying the qualities of the lover (gunakirtana),
agitation and anxiety (udvega), lamentation (vilapa),
madness (unmada), illness (vyadhi), inertia (jadata), and longing
for death (mrtyu).
Vijaya: What is the meaning of abhilasa in this context?
Gosvami: Abhilasa refers to the endeavors made to meet one's
beloved, and its anubhavas are decorating one's body, approaching
the beloved on the pretext of doing something else, and displaying
one's attraction (anuraga) towards Him.
Vijaya: What is the nature of cinta here?
Gosvami: Cinta is meditation on how to achieve association with
one's lover, such as informing him of one's condition through a
brahmana, or sending a letter. Its symptoms are tossing and turning
in bed; long, deep breathing; and gazing.
Vijaya: What is meant by smrti here?
Gosvami: Smrti is deep absorption in thoughts of the beloved
whose association has been experienced by seeing Him and hearing
about Him and His beauty, His ornaments, His pastimes and various
blissful dealings, and everything related to Him. Its anubhavas are
trembling, fatigue, change in bodily color, tears, detachment and
renunciation, and deep breathing.
Vijaya: What is guna-kirtana?
Gosvami: Guna-kirtana is the glorification of the nayaka's qualities,
such as His form and beauty, and its anubhavas include trembling,
horripilation, and choking of the voice. Anxiety, lamentation
accompanied by madness, illness, inertia, and longing
for death - these six symptoms are manifest in samanjasa-purvaraga
to the same extent as they are in samanjasa rati.
Vijaya: Now, please explain the symptoms of sadharana-purvaraga.
Gosvami: Sadharana-purva-raga is exactly like sadharani rati. In this
condition, the first six stages (dasas) - up to lamentation (vilapa)
- appear in a mild way. I do not feel the need to give examples here,
because they are very simple. In this type of purva-raga, the lover
and beloved exchange love-letters (kama-lekha-patra), garlands,
and so on through confidential companions.
Vijaya: What are kama-lekha-patra (love-letters)?
Gosvami: Love-letters are expressions of mutual loving sentiments
in writing. There are two kinds: saksara, those written with letters
or inscriptions of the alphabet, and niraksara, those written
without using letters.
Vijaya: What are niraksara-kama-lekha?
Gosvami: An example of a symbolic love-letter is a half-moon
shaped impression made with a nail on a red-colored leaf, without
any other mark or letter on it.
Vijaya: What are saksara-kama-lekha (written love-letters)?
Gosvami: Written love-letters are letters exchanged between the
nayaka and nayika that they have written in their own handwriting,
expressing their heartfelt emotional state in natural language.
These love-letters are written with colored inks which are
obtained either from minerals from the mountains, by squeezing
red flowers, or from kunkuma powder. Large flower-petals are used
instead of paper for writing on, and the letters are tied with fibers
from the stalks of lotuses.
Vijaya: What is the gradual development of purva-raga?
Gosvami: Some say that affection is aroused at first simply by seeing
one's beloved. This is followed by contemplation, attachment,
making a vow, desire for meeting, sleeplessness, emaciation, distaste
for everything else, loss of shyness, madness, falling unconscious,
and longing for death - in that order. Such is the extension of the
intensity of kama (prema). Purva-raga manifests both in the nayaka
and in the nayikas, but it appears in the nayikas first, and then in
Vijaya: What is mana?
Gosvami: Mana is the bhava that prevents the nayaka and nayika
from engaging in their cherished activities of embracing, looking
at each other, kissing, talking in a pleasing way, and so forth, even
though they are both in the same place and they share a deep
attachment for each other. Mana causes the appearance of sancaribhavas
such as despondency, doubt, anger, restlessness, pride,
jealousy, concealing the sentiments, guilt, and serious
Vijaya: What is the underlying principle of mana?
Gosvami: The basis of mana is pranaya; mana does not normally
arise prior to the stage of pranaya, and even if it does, it is only in
a contracted or unripe state. There are two types of mana: mana
with a cause (sahetu) and mana without a cause (nirhetu).
Vijaya: What is mana with a cause (sahetu-mana)?
Gosvami: Irsya (jealous feelings) rise in the heart of the nayika
when she sees or hears about the nayaka behaving with special
affection for a nayika from the rival (vipaksa) or marginal (tatastha)
groups. When this irsya (jealousy) becomes overwhelmed by
pranaya, it develops into sahetu-mana. It has long been held that,
just as there is no bhaya (fear) without sneha, similarly, there can
be no irsya without pranaya. In this way, all these various expressions
of mana only illuminate the intensity of the prema between
the nayikas and the nayaka.
The nayika's heart is imbued with bhavas such as intense loving
possessiveness for her beloved (susakhya). When she sees the
nayaka, who is exceedingly attached to her, favoring a rival nayika
and sporting with her, she becomes restless and impatient. Once,
in Dvaraka, Shri Krishna presented a parijata flower to Shri Rukmini.
However although all the queens heard about this incident, only
Satyabhama's heart was overpowered by mana. Satyabhama's mana
was aroused when she understood the unique position afforded
to her rival.
Vijaya: How many ways are there of discovering the special
position of rivals (vipaksa-vaisistya)?
Gosvami: There are three ways: hearing (sruta), inference
(anumati), and seeing (drsta).
Vijaya: What is hearing (sruta)?
Gosvami: Sruta-vipaksa-vaisistya comes about when the nayika
hears from a priya-sakhi or from a parrot about the pastimes of her
beloved with a nayika from the opposing party.
Vijaya: What is anumati-vipaksa-vaisistya?
Gosvami: Anumati-vipaksa-vaisistya occurs when the nayika sees
that the body of her lover bears evidence of amorous pastimes with
another nayika, or when she hears her lover inadvertently say the
name of a rival nayika, or when she sees her rival nayika in a dream.
The marks of union seen on the bodies of the nayaka and a rival
nayika are called bhoganka, and speaking the name of a rival nayika
is called gotra-skhalana. When this occurs, the nayika feels that it
is more painful than death.
Vijaya: I would like to hear an example of gotra-skhalana.
Gosvami: Once, when Krishna was returning to His home after
spending time with Shrimati Radha, He suddenly met with
Candravali. Shri Krishna inquired from her, "O Radhe, is everything
fine with you?" When Candravali heard Krishna speaking like this,
she replied rather angrily, "O Kamsa, are You well?" Krishna was
surprised, and asked her, "O beautiful one, why are you so bewildered?"
Candravali became flushed with anger, and promptly
replied, "Where have You seen Radha around here?" Then Krishna
understood the situation, and thought to Himself, "Oh, I have
addressed Candravali as Radha by mistake." Understanding His
own mistake, He felt ashamed and lowered His face. He was also
smiling mildly to see Candravali's spontaneous and cunning
eloquence, which resulted from her irsya (jealousy). May this Hari,
who dispels all miseries, protect us all.
Vijaya: What is understanding the particular position of a rival
through a dream (svapna-drsta-vipaksa-vaisistya)?
Gosvami: The activities of Krishna and His vidusaka friends while
dreaming are examples of this. For example on one occasion, Krishna
and Candravali were sleeping on the same bed after amorous
pastimes in the krida-kunja. While dreaming, Krishna said, "O Radhe!
I promise You that You alone are My most beloved; only You are
inside and outside My heart; only You are in front of Me, and behind
Me, and everywhere. What more can I say? Only You are present
in My house, in Govardhana, and in its forested valleys." When
Candravali heard Shri Krishna speaking like this in His dream, she
got up from the bed due to mana arising in her heart, and walked
Now here is one of Madhumangala's dreams. Once he was
sleeping on a raised platform outside a kunja in which Krishna and
Candravali were engaged in happy pastimes, and in his dream he
said, "O Madhavi, Krishna is talking very expertly and flattering
Padma's sakhi Candravali just to deceive her. Try to bring Radha
here quickly, so that She can meet with Krishna. Don't worry." When
Candravali heard Madhumangala speaking like this in his dream,
she became distressed. At that time, Padma was sitting in a nearby
kunja, and when she saw Candravali's condition, she said to Saibya,
"Oh sakhi, just see how miserable Candravali's face has become
since she heard Madhumangala talking in his dream! She has
lowered her head and she is burning with grief."
Vijaya: What is directly seeing (darsana)?
Gosvami: This means that the nayika directly sees her nayaka
engaged in pastimes with another nayika.
Vijaya: What is causeless mana (nirhetuka-mana)?
Gosvami: Causeless mana develops between the nayaka and nayika
when pranaya is enhanced by an apparent cause for mana, although
there is no cause for mana in reality. Panditas have concluded that
mana is the effect of pranaya, and that causeless mana is nothing
but an extension of pranaya arising from its vilasa (joyful pastimes).
They call this causeless mana 'pranaya-mana'. The previous
authorities (panditas) also maintain that the movements and
dealings of prema are crooked, like the movement of a snake.
Therefore, two kinds of mana are evident in the dealings between
the nayaka and the nayika: mana without a cause (nirhetu) and mana
with a cause (sahetu). The vyabhicari-bhava in this rasa is concealing
one's emotions and feelings (avahittha).
Vijaya: How is causeless mana pacified?
Gosvami: This mana is pacified by itself; it does not need any
remedial measures. When laughter occurs, then the mana disappears
automatically. However, to pacify sahetu-mana, the nayaka
has to adopt many appropriate means, such as sama (consoling
words), bheda (diplomatic remarks), kriya (taking an oath), dana
(presentations), nati (bowing down), upeksa (neglect and apparent
indifference), and rasantara (a sudden change of mood). The
sign that the nayika's mana has been pacified is that the nayaka
wipes away her tears, and there is laughter and so on.
Vijaya: What is sama (consolation with words)?
Gosvami: Sama is the use of sweet, pleasing words and promises to
pacify priya (the beloved).
Vijaya: What is bheda (diplomatic remarks)?
Gosvami: There are two types of bheda: one is expressing one's
greatness by various gestures and insinuations, and the other is
rebuking the nayika indirectly through sakhis.
Vijaya: What is meant by dana (presentation)?
Gosvami: Dana is the deceitful presentation of ornaments and
Vijaya: What is nati (humble submission)?
Gosvami: Nati means to fall at the nayika's feet with all possible
Vijaya: What is upeksa (neglect)?
Gosvami: Upeksa (neglect or indifference) is the mood of apparently
abandoning the nayika when all other means of pacifying
her mana have proved fruitless. Others say that upeksa refers to
using remarks with double meaning to please the nayika.
Vijaya: What does your expression rasantara (change of thoughts)
Gosvami: Rasantara is the sudden creation of fear in the nayika's
mind by words, or by some natural occurrence. There are two types
of rasantara: that which occurs by itself, and that which is created
by the sharp intelligence of the nayaka.
Here is an example of a change of mind that takes place spontaneously:
Once, Krishna was unable to pacify Bhadra's mana, despite
various endeavors. Suddenly there was a tremendous sound of
thunder, which frightened Bhadra so much that she at once
embraced Krishna who was sitting in front of her.
Here is an example of pacifying mana by an intelligent plan:
Once, Radhika was deeply absorbed in mana. Krishna, who is
supremely playful by nature, saw that He could not pacify Her by
any means, so He played a charming trick. He personally made a
very beautiful flower garland, and placed it around the neck of
Shrimatiji. She angrily took the garland off Her neck and threw it
away, and by the will of providence it fell on Krishna. He immediately
screwed up His eyes, made a face as if He had been badly injured,
and sat in one corner looking very depressed. Seeing this, Radhaji
became restless and anxious, and She held Krishna's shoulders with
Her two hands. Then Krishna laughed and enfolded Her in His strong
Vijaya: Are there any other means to pacify mana?
Gosvami: Apart from these methods, the mana of the vraja-gopis
can be pacified in special times and places, and with the sound of
the murali, even without using sama and so on. Mild mana can be
pacified without much effort, whereas pacifying moderate mana
requires careful efforts. The most deeply rooted mana (durjayamana)
is extremely difficult to pacify.
The gopis use various remarks to chastise Krishna when they are
in mana, for example, Vama (ungrateful one, who acts unfavorably),
Durlila-siromani (crest-jewel of the mischief-makers),
Kitava-raja (King of cheaters), Khala-srestha (supremely wicked),
Maha-dhurta (extremely crooked ruffian), Kathora (cruel and
hard-hearted), Nirlajja (shameless), Atidurlalita (extremely
hard to please), Gopi-kamuka (one who lusts after the gopis),
Ramani-cora (one who steals the chastity of the gopis), Gopidharma-
nasaka (one who spoils the religious principles and
chastity of the gopis), Gopa-sadhvi-vidambaka (one who mocks the
chastity of the gopis), Kamukesvara (Lord of lust), Gadh-timira (one
who puts others in the darkness of delusion), Syama (one who has
a very dark complexion, which puts others in the darkness of illusion),
Vastra-cora (one who steals the clothes of the gopis),
Govardhana-upatyaka-taskara (one who steals the chastity of gopis
in the hills of Govardhana).
Vijaya: What is prema-vaicittya?
Gosvami: Prema-vaicittya refers to heartfelt pangs of separation
that the nayika feels, even when she is very close to the nayaka,
and it is the intrinsic nature of prema in its highest state. This
super-excellent feature results in a type of helplessness or agitation
of mind that creates an illusion of being separate from Krishna,
and this unnatural state is called vaicittya.
Vijaya: What is pravasa?
Gosvami: Pravasa is the obstruction or hindrance between the
nayaka and nayika when they have been together and are now
separated, either because they live in different countries or different
villages, or because of a difference in mood (rasantara), or
because they are in different places. In pravasa, one experiences
all the vyabhicari-bhavas of srngara-rasa except jubilation, pride,
madness, and shyness. There are two types of pravasa: that which
is intentional, and that which is not pre-planned, or which takes
place by force of circumstance.
Vijaya: What is intentional pravasa?
Gosvami: Intentional pravasa takes place when the nayaka goes
away because of some obligation or responsibility. By His very
nature, Krishna is obliged to His bhaktas - for example, the moving
and non-moving jivas of Vrndavana, the Pandavas, and
Srutadeva in Mithila - to give them full happiness and good instructions,
and to fulfill their desires. Pravasa has two further
divisions: one is just going out of sight, and the other is going to
some distant place (sudura). There are three types of sudurapravasa,
corresponding to the three phases of time: past, present
and future. During sudura-pravasa, the nayaka and nayika exchange
Vijaya: What is unintentional pravasa?
Gosvami: Unintentional pravasa is the sudura-pravasa caused by
subordination to others, or by circumstances that are beyond one's
control. There are various types of subordination, classified as divya,
adivya and divyadviya. The ten states that occur in this pravasa are:
thoughtfulness, sleeplessness, anxiety, becoming thinner, darkening
of the limbs and face, incoherent talk, illness, madness,
bewilderment, and longing for death. In vipralambha caused by
pravasa, these ten states manifest even in Krishna.
My dear Vijaya, although various states appear as anubhavas in
the different distinct types of prema, I have not mentioned them
all. Generally, all of these states appear as the effect of the gradations
of prema, beginning from sneha and developing through mana,
pranaya, raga, anuraga, and bhava up to mahabhava. However, the
stage of mohana, an unparalleled state which I have already
explained, manifests in Shrimati Radhika. Some of the authors of
rasa-sastra have accepted vipralambha related to compassion
(karuna) as a separate division, but I have not explained this rasa
separately because it is another type of pravasa.
As Vijaya was contemplating Shri Guru Gosvami's instructions
on vipralambha, he said to himself, "Vipralambha-rasa is not an
independent phenomenon or a self-perfected rasa; it simply promotes
and nourishes the mood of sambhoga. For a jiva bound to
worldliness, such pangs of separation (vipralambha-rasa) manifest
in a special manner, and this is ultimately favorable for his pleasure
in meeting (sambhoga-rasa). However, in the eternal transcendental
rasa, the bhava of vipralambha exists eternally, to some extent. In
fact, the variegatedness of spiritual pastimes cannot be invoked
to its fullest possible degree without vipralambha."
THUS ENDS THE THIRTY-SEVENTH CHAPTER OF JAIVA-DHARMA,
"SRNGARA-RASA: SRNGARA SVARUPA &VIPRALAMBHA"