The next day, Vijaya Kumara and Vrajanatha came as usual to the lotus feet of Sri Gopala Guru Gosvami, and after offering their sastanga-dandavat-pranama, they began to ask questions in order to clarify the subjects that they had discussed the previous day. Vrajanatha inquired, “Prabhu, from everything you have explained about vibhava, anubhava, sattvika-bhava and vyabhicaribhava, it seems that they are all bhavas. Then, where is sthayibhava amongst them?”
Gosvami: It is true that they are all bhavas. Sthayibhava is that bhava which subjugates all the compatible bhavas such as hasya, as well as the incompatible bhavas such as anger, and which predominates and continues to reign as the emperor of all the other bhavas. Sthayibhava is the rati that the bhakta has in his heart for Krsna in identifying himself as asraya and Krsna as visaya. In the description of the ingredients of rasa, you see that asraya has been classified within vibhava as alambana (support). That bhava brings the other bhavas under its control, and accepts some of them as motivations for rasa, and some as assistants to taste rasa. In this predominant position, although it has the form of a relishable bhava, at the same time, it relishes the other bhavas itself. Study this very deeply, and reflect on how the sthayibhava is different from the other bhavas. Rati in the form of sthayibhava can be either primary or secondary, so there are two types of rati: mukhya-rati and gauna-rati.
Gosvami: In the context of bhava-bhakti, mukhya-rati is rati characterized as suddha-sattva-visesatma svarupa (the atma’s unique svarupa within the state of pure goodness).
Vrajanatha: Hearing your pure deliberations today has dispelled the misconception that I developed about rati when I was studying mundane alankara-sastra. Today, I have properly understood that bhagavata-rasa arises within the pure svarupa of the jiva as the innate inclination of his atma. The rati to which worldly authors refer is only experienced within the conditioned jiva’s gross body, and the mind and citta (heart) of the subtle body. Now I have also understood through your explanation that rasa which is the exclusive wealth of the pure jiva. By the mercy of the hladini sakti the conditioned jiva can realize it to a very minute degree. Please explain the different types of suddha or mukhya-rati to us.
When Guru Gosvami saw Vrajanatha’s comprehension of tattva, tears of joy flowed from his eyes. Embracing Vrajanatha, he said, “I have become blessed today by having a disciple like you. Now listen. There are two types of mukhya-rati: mukhya-rati that nourishes itself (svartha mukhya-rati) and mukhya-rati that nourishes other ratis (parartha mukhya-rati).”
Vrajanatha: What is svartha mukhya-rati?
Gosvami: Svartha rati supports and nourishes itself by the compatible bhavas, whereas the incompatible bhavas create regret or apathy in it.
Vrajanatha: What is parartha mukhya-rati?
Gosvami: Parartha mukhya-rati accommodates both the compatible and the incompatible types of bhava by shrinking away (sankucita). There is also another way of classifying mukhya-rati. Vrajanatha: What is that?
Gosvami: Mukhya-rati is divided into five parts: suddha, dasya, sakhya, vatsalya, and madhura. Just as the same sun is seen in a variety of different ways when reflected on different surfaces as crystal, similarly, specialities of sthayibhava arise from the different receptacles of rati.
Vrajanatha: Please explain suddha-rati.
Gosvami: There are three kinds of suddha-rati: general (samanya), clear (svaccha), and tranquil (santa). General or common (samanya) rati is the rati of ordinary people and girls towards Krsna. Svaccha (clear) rati varies according to the relationships of the sadhaka with different types of bhaktas, each of whom has his own disposition and particular type of sadhana. Svaccha-rati is like a completely clean and pure crystal, and reflects the bhava of whatever types of association (bhakta-sanga) the sadhaka has. That is why it is called svaccha (clear) rati. Those who have this rati sometimes call Krsna ‘Prabhu,’ and offer prayers (stava), sometimes they call Him ‘Mitra’ (friend) and cut jokes with Him, sometimes they maintain and nourish Him, considering Him as their son, sometimes they joyfully address Him as ‘Kanta’ (beloved), and sometimes they have the mood that He is Paramatma.
Sama-svabhava is the ananda that arises in the mind of one who, being endowed with the quality of equilibrium, dispels all desires for sense gratification from the mind. The rati that such naturally equipoised people have for Krsna arises from knowledge of Paramatma, and is called santa-rati. This rati is called pure and unmixed (suddha) rati, because it has no connection with the tastes present in dasya-rati, sakhya-rati, vatsalya-rati, and so on.
These three types of rati – dasya, sakhya and vatsalya – are also divided into two categories, namely exclusive (kevala) and congested (sankula). In kevala rati, only one type of rati is active, without even a scent of any other type. In Vraja, kevala rati is exhibited by servants such as Rasala; friends such as Sridama; and Krsna’s superiors such as Nanda Maharaja. Congested (sankula) rati is rati in which two or more types of rati are combined together. The rati of Uddhava, Bhima, and Vrajesvari Srimati Radhika’s nursemaid Mukhara is called sankula rati.
Vrajanatha: At first I had the conception that there was no santarati in the devotees of Vraja, but now I see that it also exists in them to a limited extent. Mundane poets think that there is no rati in santa-dharma, but it is certainly visible in rati for parabrahma. Now please explain the symptoms of dasya-rati.
Gosvami: Dasya-rati or priti is the rati composed of sentiments of reverent service arising from the conception, “Krsna is the master, and I am the servant.” Those who have attachment to such rati do not have priti for anything else.
Vrajanatha: What is the symptom of sakhya-rati?
Gosvami: In sakhya-rati, one has steadfast confidence in Sri Krsna, and thinks of Him as equal to himself. Sakhya-rati is characterized by habitual laughter and joking.
Vrajanatha: Please describe the symptoms of vatsalya-rati.
Gosvami: The vatsalya-rati of Sri Krsna’s superiors (guru-jana), is composed of the desire to show favor and kindness to Him. In this rati, there are activities such as nourishing and protecting Krsna, performing rituals for auspiciousness in His life, offering blessings, and touching His chin.
Vrajanatha: Now please be so kind as to describe madhura-rati.
Gosvami: Madhura-rati is the rati between the doe-eyed gopis of Vraja and Sri Krsna, in which there are eight types of meeting and enjoyment, beginning with remembering, seeing and so on. It is expressed in activities such as casting sidelong glances, expressions and indications through the eye-brows, sweet words, and laughter. Rati becomes increasingly more relishable and rapturous as she progresses from santa to madhura, and she shines eternally within the varieties of bhava-bhaktas. So far I have briefly described the symptoms of the five types of mukhya-rati.
Vrajanatha: Now please explain gauna-rati in the context of
Gosvami: Gauna-rati is the special bhava that arises from vibhava, specifically the excellence of alambana, and which is self-mani- fest through a contracted rati. The seven gauna-bhavas are hasya (comedy), vismaya (astonishment), utsaha (enthusiasm), soka or karuna (compassion), raudra (anger), bhayanaka (fear) and jugupsa or bibhatsa (disgust). Krsna-bhava is possible in the first six gaunabhavas. From the point of view of rasa, the seventh rati is the disgust or reproach that the bhaktas feel for the inert material body and its activities when suddha-rati awakens. The word rati has still been used for bhavas such as hasya because of their combination with parartha mukhya-rati, even though they are different from the distinct (svartha) rati of suddha-sattva. That is why they are referred to as hasya-rati, vismaya-rati and so on. Sometimes gauna-rati such as hasya attain a permanent status in some bhaktas, but this does not always occur. They are therefore referred to as occasional, and ‘that which is not manifested as a constant flowing current.’ In certain circumstances, they become so powerful that they even overpower the natural suddha-rati and establish their own supremacy.
Vrajanatha: Eight types of bhava, such as srngara, hasya and karuna, have been enumerated in poetic literature of the material world (jadiya-alankara). Now I can understand that the vibhava of this sort of bhava can only seem beautiful in the insignificant rasa between a mundane nayaka and heroine (nayika). This has no place in the cinmaya-rasa of Vraja, in which the pure atma (spirit soul) alone is active; the activities of the mind cannot reach into that sphere. Therefore, the mahajanas have decided that rati is the sthayibhava and have divided its mukhya-bhavas into five types of mukhya-rasa, and its gauna bhavas into seven kinds of gaunarasa. This classification is appropriate. Now kindly describe the symptoms of hasya-rati (laughter).
Gosvami: The awakening of hasya-rati is the blossoming of the heart due to a comical misrepresentation of words, appearance, or activities; its symptoms are a widening of the eyes and a quivering of the nose, lips and head. This laughter is only called hasya-rati when it has been nourished by sankucita-rati (contracted rati), and arises from activities related to Krsna.
Vrajanatha: Please tell me about the symptoms of vismaya-rati (astonishment).
Gosvami: The transformation of the heart that occurs when one witnesses something uncommon is called vismaya, and this vismaya is called vismaya-rati when it is related to Krsna. In this vismaya-rati, anubhavas are manifest, such as looking with eyes wide open; expressions such as “Wah! Wah!”(in astonishment), and horripilation.
Vrajanatha: What are the symptoms of utsaha-rati (enthusiasm)?
Gosvami: Utsaha is the steadfast attachment of the mind to performing as soon as possible a great task whose fruit is praised by sadhus. It is characterized by urgency, abandoning patience, tremendous exertion, and so on.
Vrajanatha: What are the symptoms of krodha-rati?
Gosvami: Krodha (anger) is the burning of the heart that arises due to an incompatible bhava. In krodha, one experiences transformation such as harshness, frowning and redness of the eyes. Vrajanatha: What are the symptoms of bhaya-rati?
Gosvami: Bhaya (fear) is the excessive restlessness of the heart that occurs when one witnesses a terrible scene. The symptoms of hiding oneself, dryness of the heart, and the endeavor to run away are characteristic of bhaya.
Vrajanatha: Kindly tell me about the symptoms of jugupsa-rati.
Gosvami: Jugupsa (disgust) is the contraction, or shying away, that occurs on seeing, hearing, or remembering detestable things. Its symptoms include spitting, distorting one’s face, and vocally expressing disgust, “Chih! Chih!” They are only accepted as rati when they are favourable to Krsna; otherwise they are only mundane human sentiments.
Vrajanatha: How many bhavas are there altogether in bhaktirasa?
Gosvami: There are eight sthayibhavas, thirty-three sancari-bhavas and eight sattvika-bhavas, making a total of forty-nine bhavas. If these bhavas are mundane (prakrta), they are full of the happiness and distress that arises from the three material qualities; and if they are manifest in relation to Sri Krsna, they are transcendental (aprakrta), and consist of full-blown ananda, beyond the three material qualities.
Even despondency (visada) is composed of immense happiness when it is related to Krsna. Sri Rupa Gosvami has said that Krsna and His bhaktas, headed by His beloved consorts, are the cause of rati as alambana. The sattvika-bhavas, such as becoming stunned (stambha), are the activities of rati, and the sancari-bhavas, beginning with self-disparagement (nirveda), are the assistants of rati.
When rasa awakens, the transformations are not called the cause, the effect, or the assistant; rather, they are called vibhava and so on. Panditas have given vibhava its name because it implants (vibhava) in rati the qualification to become specifically relishable. Nrtya (dancing) and so on are called anubhavas because they illuminate (anubhava) the implanted (vibhavita) rati after they have expanded it. Sattvika-bhavas are so called because they arouse sattva. Sancari-bhavas are those that make the implanted and illuminated (vibhavita and anubhavita) rati charming in a variety of ways by transmitting (sancarita) the transitory bhavas, such as nirveda. According to the bhaktas who are well-versed in poems and dramas related to Bhagavan, vibhava and so on are the fundamental cause of seva (transcendental service). In fact, these bhavas, as part of rati, are by their very nature the vilasa of maha-bhakti, and they have the quality of distinct, inconceivable svarupa (acintya-svarupa-visista). Sastras such as Mahabharata describe them as beyond reasoning, and have also established that it is improper to argue about the host of bhavas (bhava-samuha) that are beyond rational contemplation. The tattvas that are beyond prakrti (the modes of material nature) are acintya-tattvas.
Rati which is part of the inconceivable rasa-tattva is enchanting to the mind. It actually implants (vibhavita) Krsna’s rupa and so on within itself, and in this way nourishes itself along with vibhava and so on. Rati illuminates Krsna’s qualities, such as His rupa, which are the abode of all types of madhurya. Consequently, when Krsna’s rupa and other qualities are relished, they expand the rati. Hence, vibhava, anubhava, sattvika and vyabhicari-bhavas assist rati, and rati also nourishes these bhavas.
Vrajanatha: What is the difference between visaya-rati and krsnarati?
Gosvami: Visaya-rati is mundane, whereas krsna-rati is transcendental. In mundane rati, there is pleasure in meeting and extreme distress in separation. However, when bhaktas who love Bhagavan achieve krsna-rati, it turns into rasa and gives rise to the pleasure of union. At the time of separation (vipralambha), that very rati assumes the form of an extremely wonderful and astonishing whirlpool of joy (ananda-vivarta). In the conversation between Sriman Mahaprabhu and Raya Ramananda, Raya Ramananda explains this astonishing ananda-vivarta of separation in his own sloka, pahilehi raga nayana-bhange bhela (Caitanya-caritamrta,Madhya-lila 8.194). This sloka appears to describe intense suffering, but in fact it is full of the highest type of happiness.
Vrajanatha: Logicians say that the rasa that we see is not fully manifest, but is only a part of the whole rasa. How can we answer this contention?
Gosvami: Actually it is true that the rasa aroused by interactions in the material world (jada-rasa) is only a part of the whole rasa, because rasa is only manifested when sthayibhava combines with the ingredients (samagri) of rasa. Prior to that it remains unmanifest. But this is not the case with the transcendental rasa (aprakrtacinmaya-rasa). In the stage of perfection (siddha), it is eternal, undivided and self-manifest. During the stage of sadhana, one can realize this same rasa in the manifest form in the mundane world.Mundane rasa does not endure in separation, whereas transcendental rasa becomes even more beautiful in the condition of separation.
This aprakrta-cinmaya-rasa, as the playful pastime manifestation (vilasa-rupa) of the hladini maha-sakti, has attained tadatmya (oneness) with the supreme bliss (paramananda). In other words, paramananda is itself rasa. This is beyond the realm of logic and argument because it is acintya.
Vrajanatha: How many types of rasa are there in aprakrta-tattva? Gosvami: There is one mukhya form of rati, and seven gauna forms, so there are eight types of rati altogether. Similarly, mukhya-rasa is also one of the five types, and there are seven types of gaunarasa, so there are also eight types of rasa.
Vrajanatha: Kindly tell me the names of all eight. The more I hear, the more my desire to hear increases.
Gosvami: Sri Rupa Gosvami has stated in Sri Bhakti-rasamrta- sindhu (Southern Division5.115):
mukhyas tu pancadha santah pritah preyams ca vatsalah
madhuras cety ami jneya yatha purvvam anuttamah
hasyo ’dbhutas tatha virah karuno raudra ity api
bhayanakah sa vibhatsa iti gaunas ca saptadha
There are five types of mukhya-bhakti-rasa: santa, prita, preya, vatsalya and madhura. It is to be understood that the first of these five is lower than the second, the second lower than the third, and so on in sequence. Besides these, there are seven types of gauna-bhakti-rasa: hasya, adbhuta, vira, karuna, raudra, bhayanaka, and bibhatsa.
Vrajanatha: What is the meaning of the word bhava in the context of cinmaya-rasa?
Gosvami: In rasa-tantra, the word bhava indicates the sentiment that is awakened by deep spiritual impressions (gadha-samskaras) of the subject of meditation in the heart of the learned, whose intelligence is exclusively applied to spiritual subject matter. I have mentioned earlier that there are two types of bhava: cintya (conceivable) and acintya (inconceivable). One can apply logic to the subject of cintya-bhavas, because all such bhavas that arise in the conditioned mind of the baddha-jiva are born of the inert material nature. This means that one can think about their subject matter. Similarly, any mundane thoughts about Isvara are also cintya-bhava.
Actually, bhavas related to Isvara are not cintya because isvaratattva is beyond the mundane substance. However, it is a mistake to think, “Isvara-tattva is beyond the inert material energy, and consequently there is no conceivable bhava in Him. Therefore, there is no bhava at all in isvara-tattva.” Actually, all the bhavas exist in relation to Isvara, but they are acintya because they are beyond the thinking capacity of the material mind. Bring those inconceivable bhavas into the heart and go on cultivating them with undivided attention. You should know that one of those bhavas is permanent (sthayi), and you should accept the other acintya-bhavas as the ingredients (samagri) of rasa. When you do so, the eternally perfect (nitya-siddha) rasa, which is full and uninterrupted (akhanda), will arise within you.
Vrajanatha: Prabhu, what are the deep impressions (gadhasamskaras) you have spoken of in this context?
Gosvami: Baba! You have been revolving in the cycle of karma birth after birth, and thus, because of attachment to worldly sense gratification, your consciousness (citta) is made up of two types of impressions (samskara), namely, those acquired in previous lives (praktana), and those acquired in this lifetime (adhunika). During this time, the pure tendency of the heart that was present in the pure existence of your atma has become distorted. Now, by the influence of spiritual merits (sukrti) accumulated in many previous lives, you have attained sat-sanga in this life, and you are creating samskaras by performing bhajana in this association. When these samskaras dispel the distorted samskaras, your original samskaras will arise. The acintya-tattva will manifest within your heart to the degree that these samskaras deepen. This is known as gadha-samskara.
Vrajanatha: I am curious to know who has the adhikara (eligibility) to enter into rasa-tattva?
Gosvami: The only candidates for rasa-tattva are sadhakas who can bring into their hearts the acintya-bhavas arising from the gadhasamskaras, according to the sequence that I have described. Others are not qualified. Sri Rupa Gosvami has said:
vyatitya bhavana-vartma / yas camatkara-bhara-bhuh
hrdi sattvojjvale badham / svadate sa raso matah
Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu (Southern Division 5.79)
Rasa is the miraculous sthayibhava, which is the veritable repository of wonder, and which is experienced after the sadhaka crosses beyond the path of contemplation. It is relished in the heart that has become radiant from being thoroughly and completely refined by suddha-sattva.
Vrajanatha: Who is unqualified (anadhikari) for this rasa? It is offensive to explain rasa to someone who is not qualified, just as it is an offense to give hari-nama to an unqualified person. Prabhu, we are low and destitute wretches, so please give us your mercy, and make us cautious in this regard.
Gosvami: Renunciation that is indifferent towards suddha-bhakti can be called pretentious renunciation (phalgu-vairagya), and knowledge that is indifferent towards suddha-bhakti can be called dry speculation (suska-jnana). Those who are not favorable to suddha-bhakti are all unqualified for the subject of rasa, for example, false renunciants, dry speculators, those who are dedicated to mundane logic, those who follow karma-mimamsa and who praise the dry knowledge (suska-jnana) section of the uttaramimamsa, those who are averse to relishing bhakti, and those who 632 follow the mundane philosophical system of kevala-advaita-vada. Rasika-bhaktas will protect krsna-bhakti-rasa from these unqualified people just as one protects a valuable treasure from thieves.
Vrajanatha: Today we have been blessed. We will obey the instructions that we have received from your divine lips in all respects.
Vijaya: Prabhu, I support myself with whatever wealth I acquire from reciting Srimad-Bhagavatam in an open assembly of general people, but Srimad-Bhagavatam is rasa-grantha. Is there any aparadha in collecting money by reciting it to common people?
Gosvami: Aho! Srimad-Bhagavatam is the crest-jewel of all sastra, and it is the embodiment of the fruit of all the Vedic sastras. One should simply follow the instructions in the First Canto (Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.1.3):
muhur aho rasika bhuvi bhavukah
O rasika-bhaktas who are expert in relishing the rasa of
bhagavat-priti, even in your liberated stage you should keep
on repeatedly drinking the rasa of Srimad-Bhagavatam,
which is the ripened fruit of the wish-fulfilling tree of the
According to this sloka, only bhavuka or rasika-bhaktas are considered qualified to drink the rasa of Srimad-Bhagavatam. Baba, you should give up this occupation immediately. You eagerly desire rasa, so don’t make any more aparadha to rasa. Raso vai sah—in this statement of the Vedas, it has been said that rasa is the very svarupa of Krsna. There are many other occupations by which you can maintain your life, and you should support yourself by one of them. From now on, don’t collect wealth by reciting Srimad-Bhagavatam to general people. Yes, if you meet any rasika listener, you can recite Srimad-Bhagavatam to him with great pleasure, but don’t take any remuneration or donation.
Vijaya: Prabhu, today you have saved me from committing a serious aparadha. From now on, I will not do this any more, but what will be the effect of the aparadha that I have already committed?
Gosvami: Those offenses will be vanquished. When you surrender to rasa with a simple heart, rasa will certainly forgive you. Don’t be anxious about this.
Vijaya: Prabhu, I will maintain my life by some menial occupation, but I will not describe rasa to unqualified people even if they offer me money.
Gosvami: Baba! You are fortunate! Krsna has certainly accepted you as His very own, otherwise, it would not be possible for you to have such firm conviction in the subject of bhakti. Both of you are residents of Sri Navadvipa-dhama. Sri Gaurahari has invested you with His potency.