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Shri Sanmodana Bhashyam
When rati-bhakti reaches the state of sthayi-bhava, or constancy in spiritual emotions, then in mixing together with the other four bhavas-vibhava, anubhava, sattvika and vyabhicari-it becomes transformed into bhakti-rasa, or the sweet mellow of devotional service. In this stage, the ecstatic symptoms of anubhava and sattvika-vikara find their full expression. Shrila Rupa Gosvami, in describing prema, writes in the Bhakti-rasamrita-sindhu:
“Bhava-bhakti which, from its very first stages, so excessively
affects the heart that it melts and becomes a sublime salve of love, bringing
the highest feelings of divine bliss within easy reach, and generates an
intense desire for Krishna. The fully perfected souls term this over-vaulting
ecstasy as prema.”
From this statement it is obvious that extreme attraction, deep affection, and spontaneous dedication to Lord Krishna is synonymous with prema, love of God.
The relationship between the vishaya, or object of love (Krishna), and the ashraya, or the abode of that love (the devotee), is exchanged through five principal rasas, or mellows namely, neutral, servitor, friendly, parental and conjugal. When the relationship is cursory, there are seven subsidiary mellows: laughter, wonder, pity, chivalry, anger, fear and ghastliness. Of the principal rasas, the conjugal or madhurya-rasa is the most excellent. As madhurya-rasa increases in intensity it becomes prema, pranaya, mana, sneha, raga, anuraga, bhava and maha-bhava, manifesting different features and excellences of divine love one after another.
Shanta-rasa, or neutral love of Godhead, is marked by excessive exultation. Attachment to brahman is quintessential in shanta-rasa, coupled with an air of disregard and unconcern for everything and all other rasas. With the increase of mamata, or affection, this attraction deepens and is then known as dasya-rasa, or love in servitorship. In awe and reverential worship, there is a lack of pranaya. But such pranaya ecstasy, in a mature state turns mischievous and introduces a crooked mood which, due to a plethora of affection, is very unusual in texture. This is known as mana. The mood of mana becomes active when the devotee expresses loving resentment. Even the Supreme Lord, desires to relish this particular emotional exchange, and especially enjoys the mood of reconciliation with His devotee that follows resentment.
The super-abundance of love that completely melts the heart to a state of unimaginable liquidity is known as sneha, which is indicated by profuse, unchecked tears. It is in this stage that the devotee's yearning to see Krishna never admits fulfillment. Although Krishna is admittedly the master of everyone and everything, in vatsalya-rasa or parental love, the devotee anxiously hopes that no harm befall Him. These are the peculiar symptoms of the mellow of parental love.
Sneha supplemented by intense craving becomes raga, and in this stage of pure love, even a moment's separation from the beloved is unbearable, while in union, even extreme grief feels exhilarating. Raga is disposed in such a manner that the object of worship is made to appreciate His own ever-fresh, perennial form. This ever-new raga transforms itself into anuraga, where the sense of lover and beloved enrapturing each other into the state of complete compliance increases. In the rapture of anuraga, there are longings to be born as animals and other lower species that have a direct connection with Krishna. This is known as prema-vaicitra, or varied love. Even in separation, Krishna begins to manifest Himself as only the lover knows and loves Him, giving the lover excessive bliss.
When anuraga is filled with unsurpassable and matchless magnificence of love, reaching the plateau of madness, it becomes maha-bhava. In this stage, even the blinking of an eyelid veiling the view of the beloved for less than a moment, becomes intolerable, and seconds stretch to eons. Separation for even a moment seems to expand to timeless eternity. In maha-bhava, both in union and in separation, all the symptoms of sattvika-bhava and sancari-bhava find their fullest expression. In this shloka, Lord Chaitanya has very succinctly given us, like an ocean bottled in a pitcher, a synopsis of the elaborate dissertation on the different gradations of the most sublime loving relationship with the Supreme Lord, as found in the Priti-Sandarbha by Shrila Jiva Gosvami.
The word yugayitam is simple and direct. The phrase govinda virahena expresses deep feelings of separation. Self-realized rasika devotees have divided vipralambha, or the mood of separation, into purva-raga, mana, pravasa, and so on. Yet the recondite import lodged deep within this shloka composed by Lord Chaitanya is that the devotee living in this world need only relish the separation of purva-raga. The scriptures also say that the mood of viraha, or separation, has ten attendant conditions: pondering, sleeplessness, perturbation, emaciation, pallor, incoherent speech, being stricken, madness, delusion, and death (or unconsciousness).
In Chaitanya-caritamrita [Antya-lila 20.40-41] Lord Chaitanya says,
“In My agitation a day never ends, for every moment seems like a millennium. Pouring incessant tears, My eyes are like clouds in the rainy season. The three worlds have become void because of separation from Govinda. I feel as if I were burning alive in a slow fire.”