Chapter Twenty-one Nitya-dharma O Sambandhabhidheya-prayojana (Prameyantar-gata Abhidheya-vicara Raganuga-sadhana-bhakti)
Eternal Religion and Sambandha, Abhidheya and Prayojana (Abhidheya: Raganuga-sadhana-bhakti)
Chapter Twenty-two Nitya-dharma O Sambandhabhidheya-prayojana (Prameyantar-gata Prayojana-vicararambha)
Eternal Religion and Sambandha, Abhidheya and Prayojana (The Discussion of Prayojana Begins)
Chapter Twenty-three Nitya-dharma O Sambandhabhidheya-prayojana (Prameyantar-gata Nama-tattva-vicararambha)
Eternal Religion and Sambandha, Abhidheya and Prayojana (The Discussion of the Holy Name Begins)
Chapter Twenty-four Nitya-dharma O Sambandhabhidheya-prayojana (Prameyantar-gata Namaparadha-vicara)
Eternal religion and Sambandha, Abhidheya and Prayojana (Offenses to the Holy name)
Chapter Twenty-five Nitya-dharma O Sambandhabhidheya-prayojana (Prameyantar-gata Namaparadha-vicara)
Eternal religion and Sambandha, Abhidheya and Prayojana (Offenses to the Holy name - continued)
Chapter Twenty-one Nitya-dharma O Sambandhabhidheya-prayojana (Prameyantar-gata Abhidheya-vicara Raganuga-sadhana-bhakti)
Eternal Religion and Sambandha, Abhidheya and Prayojana (Abhidheya: Raganuga-sadhana-bhakti)
The same wonderful thought rose in the hearts of Vijaya-kumara and Vrajanatha. With one mind they decided that they must accept initiation (diksa) from the saintly babaji. When he was a child, Vijaya-kumara was initiated by his family-guru. Vrajanatha has received gayatri initiation but not initiation into any other mantras. From the saintly babaji they had learned that by chanting a mantra given by an impersonalist guru one goes to hell. Therefore they decided to be properly re-initiated by a Vaishnava spiritual master. If he is initiated by a perfect pure devotee, the disciple very quickly attains perfection by chanting the sacred mantras. Therefore they both decided, "Tomorrow morning we will first bathe in the Ganges and then accept initiation from the worshipable and saintly babaji." Their hearts fixed in that decision, the next morning they bathed in the Ganges, decorated their bodies with twelve tilaka markings as previously described, and then offered dandavat obeisances to the feet of Srila Raghunatha dasa Babaji. The saintly babaji was a perfect devotee. Aware of what they were thinking, he asked them, "Why have you come this morning?" The two of them replied, "O master, we are fallen and worthless. Please be merciful to us." The saintly babaji took them separately to his cottage and gave them the eighteen-syllable mantra klim krishnaya govindaya gopi-jana-ballabhaya swa ha. Again and again chanting the mantra, the two disciples became maddened with spiritual love. Calling out "Jaya Gauranga!", they danced. Seeing the tulasi beads on their necks, their splendid sacred threads, their twelve tilaka marks, their bright faces, some beginning symptoms of sattvika-bhava ecstasy on their bodies, and streams of tears flowing from their eyes, the saintly babaji embraced them and said, "Today you have purified me." Again and again the two disciples took the dust of the saintly babaji's feet and placed it on their heads. Vrajanatha had arranged that many excellent foods would be offered to Lord Mahaprabhu. By his arrangement, two servants from his house brought a great abundance of palatable foods. Vijaya-kumara and Vrajanatha said to the Sri Vaishnavas, "We have brought these foods. Please offer them to Lord Mahaprabhu." The leader of the devotees at Srivasa's courtyard had the pujari cook the foods and offer them to the Panca-tattva Deities.
The conchshell sounded. Playing karatalas and mrdangas, the Vaishnavas sang as the bhoga arati was offered to Lord Mahaprabhu. Gradually many Vaishnavas came. They were all filled with happiness. The arati ended gloriously. A place was arranged before the temple for the Vaishnavas to honour the prasadam. Loudly chanting the holy names of Lord Hari, each Vaishnava brought his bowl. At the time of honouring prasadam, poetry was read. The Vaishnavas sat down to honour the prasadam. Vrajanatha and Vijaya-kumara would not sit down and place the prasadam in their mouths. The leaders of the babajis forced them to sit. The babajis said, You are householders who have become Vaishnavas. Therefore by offering dandavat obeisances to your feet, we become fortunate." Vijaya-kumara and Vrajanatha said, "You are great sannyasi Vaishnavas. Therefore, by accepting the nectar remnants of the prasadam that has touched your lips, we become most fortunate. If we associate with you as equals, it will be an offense on our part." The Vaishnava babajis said, "Vaishnava who are householders or sannyasis are not different. It is devotion to the Lord that makes one a great Vaishnava." Conversing in this way, all the Vaishnavas honoured the prasadam. Hoping to get the remnants of the prasadam eaten by their spiritual master, Vijaya-kumara and Vrajanatha hesitated to honour the prasadam. Seeing that they were reluctant to honour the prasadam, the Vaishnavas said to Srila Raghunatha dasa Babaji, "O best of the Vaishnavas, please be merciful to your disciples. They will not honour the prasadam." Hearing this, the elderly babaji placed the remnants of his prasadam in his disciples' hands. They accepted them as very valuable things. They said, "We offer obeisances to our spiritual master", and then they began to honour the prasadam. As the prasadam was honoured many descriptions of the glories of prasadam were spoken, as also was the advice, "O devotees, please be careful". Ah! The area before Srivasa's courtyard was so beautiful then. Then suddenly the devotees saw Lord Mahaprabhu and His personal associates honouring the prasadam with them, and Sri Saci, Sita, and Malini-devi were themselves distributing the prasadam. The devotees remembered these lines of Sri Jagadananda Pandita's Prema-vivarta:
"Lord Gaura enjoys pastimes in Mayapura eternally. The power of their transcendental pious deeds enables the Lord's devotees to see these pastimes directly."
As long as these pastimes were present before their eyes the Vaishnavas were stunned and motionless, like a row of columns. No one was honouring the prasadam. After a short while these pastimes again became invisible. The devotees looked at each other and burst into tears. No one could describe the unprecedented wonderful delicious taste the prasadam now had. Everyone said, "These two young brahmanas have attained the mercy of Lord Mahaprabhu. Lord Gaura again revealed His pastimes at their festival. Weeping and weeping, Vrajanatha and Vijaya-kumara said, "We are poor and worthless. One thing we know: It is because of the mercy of our spiritual master and the mercy of the Vaishnavas that we have seen these things."
After honouring prasadam and taking permission from the Vaishnavas, Vijaya-kumara and Vrajanatha returned home. From that day forward, every day they would bathe in the Ganges, offer obeisances to the feet of their spiritual master, see the Deity form of the Lord, circumambulate Tulasi, and perform many other devotional activities. This they did every day. A day did not pass where they did not learn something new. On the fourth or fifth evening, after concluding their evening duties at Srivasa's courtyard, seeing the arati and chanting the holy names in sankirtana, the two of them went to the saintly elderly babaji in his cottage and asked him, "O master, by your mercy we have been able to understand sadhana-bhakti. Now we request you, please be merciful and explain raganuga-bhakti to these two lowest of persons." The saintly babaji happily replied, "Lord Gauranga has accepted you two as His devotees. Therefore I cannot withhold anything from you. Please listen carefully, and I will explain raganuga-bhakti to you. Again and again I offer my respectful obeisances to Srila Rupa Gosvami, whom the Supreme Personality of Godhead rescued from the clutches of the yavanas and whom, at Prayaga-ksetra, the Lord taught the science of transcendental mellows. I surrender to the feet of Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami, whom the merciful Supreme Personality of Godhead rescued from the abyss of material life, placed in the hand of Srila Svarupa Damodara Gosvami and gave the gift of all spiritual perfections.
"However, before I describe raganuga-bhakti, I shall first describe the nature of ragatmika-bhakti.
Vrajanatha: Please tell what the word 'raga' means. I wish to understand that first.
Babaji: Materialists fall in love with the objects of the material senses. This love may be called 'raga'. In this way the eyes become excited when they see beauty and other attractive qualities. In this way one is attracted to the material sense objects and the mind develops 'raga' or love for them. When that love (raga) is placed in Lord Krishna as its only object, that is called 'raga-bhakti'. Srila Rupa Gosvami explains that when love is focused on a single object of desire, that is called 'raga'. When this kind of love exists in devotional service, then the devotional service is called 'ragatmika-bhakti'. In brief, when there is a love-filled thirst to attain Lord Krishna, that is called ragatmika-bhakti. As long as this raga has not manifested itself, one is enjoined to follow vidhi-bhakti, following the rules and regulations of scripture. Awe, fear and faith are the three aspects of vaidhi-bhakti. An intense desire to meet Lord Krishna and associate with Him in His pastimes is the main feature of ragatamika-bhakti.
Vrajanatha: Who is qualified to perform raga-bhakti?
Babaji: A person whose faith rests in the rules of the scriptures is qualified to engage in vaidhi-bhakti. A person whose faith rests in an intense desire to attain Lord Krishna is qualified to engage in ragatmika-bhakti. Manifested according to their different rasas (relationships with Lord Krishna), Lord Krishna's personal associates in the spiritual world of Vraja with strong faith engage in ragatmika-bhakti. A person who has a strong desire to love Lord Krishna as the residents of Vraja in the spiritual world do, is qualified to engage in raganuga bhakti.
Vrajanatha: What are the qualities of this strong desire?
Babaji: One quality is that when one hears about the sweetness of the love and other emotions manifested by the residents of Vraja in the spiritual world, one yearns to go there. When a person qualified to engage in vaidhi-bhakti hears the descriptions of Lord Krishna, he calmly things about these descriptions, using his intelligence, logic, and the evidence of scripture. However, when a person following the path of raganuga-bhakti hears these descriptions, he does not carefully consider them in terms of intelligence, logic and scripture. Instead he is overcome with the desire to love Krishna as the residents of Vraja do.
Vrajanatha: What are the activities of raganuga-bhakti?
Babaji: The devotee engaged in raganuga-bhakti yearns to become one of the residents of Vraja in the spiritual world and there serve Lord Krishna directly. He always thinks of that desire. He likes to talk with other devotees about the pastimes of his beloved Krishna. He resides in Vraja, either with his external body, or within his thoughts. Yearning to attain the spiritual love that they possess, he becomes a follower of the people of Vraja. He always serves the Lord in two ways. Externally he performs sadhana-bhakti. Internally he thinks of his original spiritual form and in that form he serves the Lord.
Vrajanatha: What is the connection between raganuga-bhakti and the different limbs of vaidhi-bhakti?
Babaji: A person engaged in raganuga-bhakti also performs the different activities of sadhana-bhakti, such as hearing and chanting the glories of the Lord. However, within his heart he is a follower of the people of Vraja. In this way he tastes the nectar of always serving the Lord. At the same time he serves in this way within his heart, he engages in the activities of sadhana-bhakti with his external body.
Vrajanatha: How is raganuga-bhakti glorious?
Babaji: By engaging in raganuga-bhakti one quickly attains what takes a long time to attain by performing sadhana-bhakti. Vaidhi-bhakti is weak, but raganuga-bhakti is both independent and very powerful. By following in the footsteps of the people of Vraja, one attains raga. That raga naturally pushes one to engage in the devotional activities of hearing, chanting and remembering the Lord's glories, serving His lotus feet, bowing down before Him, and surrendering everything to Him. When the heart is free of the three material modes, one naturally desires to follow in the footsteps of the people of Vraja. Therefore the attraction to raganuga-bhakti, or the intense desire to attain raganuga-bhakti is the inspiration that pushes one to true spiritual life. As there are many different kinds of ragatmika-bhakti, so there are also many different kinds of raganuga-bhakti.
Vrajanatha: What are the different kinds of ragatmika-bhakti?
Babaji: Ragatmika bhakti is of two kinds: 1. kama-rupa (devotion born from desire) and 2. sambandha-rupa (devotion born of a relationship).
Vrajanatha: Please explain the difference between kama-rupa and sambandha-rupa.
Babaji: In the Seventh Canto )Srimad Bhagavatam 7.1.30-31) it is written:
"Many, many persons have attained liberation simply by thinking of Krishna with great attention and giving up sinful activities. This great attention may be due to lusty desires, inimical feelings, fear, affection, or devotional service. I shall not explain how one receives Krishna's mercy simply by concentrating one's mind upon Him.*
"My dear King Yudhisthira, the gopis, by their lusty desires, Kamsa by his fear, Sisupala and other kings by envy, the Yadus by their familial relationship with Krishna, you Pandavas by your great affection for Krishna, and we the general devotees, by our devotional service, have obtained the mercy of Krishna."*
Here six items are mentioned: lusty desires, inimical feelings, fear, familial relationships, affection, and devotional service. Among these, inimical feelings and fear are not appropriate sentiments for devotees of the Lord. When it becomes the idea that the Lord is a friend, affection is appropriate in vaidhi-bhakti. However, when affection becomes pure love (prema) it is no longer within the realm of sadhana bhakti. That kind of love belongs in the path of raga. It has no place in sadhana-bhakti. The word 'bhaktya' in Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu 1.2.135 refers to vaidhi bhakti. In some situations the word 'bhakti' refers to the vaidhi-bhakti performed by the great sages, and in other situations the word 'bhakti' refers to 'jnana-misra-bhakti' (devotional service mixed with impersonal speculation). Here the words 'many attained Him" mean that because Lord Krishna is identical with the impersonal Brahman in the same way the rays of sunlight are identical with the sun planet, when the impersonalists merge into Brahman, or when Krishna's enemies merge into Brahman, they certainly attain Krishna. In this way they become plunged into the happiness of Brahman liberation, which is a perverted reflection of sarupya liberation. In the Brahmanda Purana it is said that they attain Siddhaloka, which is on the farther shore of the ocean of maya. Two different kinds of beings reside in Siddhaloka. They are the impersonalists, who are plunged into Brahman happiness and the demons killed by Krishna. Among those liberated impersonalists, some attain a faint scent of love for Krishna (raga). By worshipping Lord Krishna's lotus feet, these impersonalists eventually become dear devotees of the Lord. In this way they attain love (prema) for Lord Krishna. As the sun is not different from the rays of sunlight, so Lord Krishna is not different from His Brahman effulgence. Therefore the word 'tad-gati' (that attainment) here means "Krishna-gati" (the attainment of Lord Krishna). Therefore the impersonalists and demons who attain sayujya (impersonal) liberation attain Lord Krishna's Brahman effulgence. On the other hand, the devotees, who love the Lord, attain direct service to Lord Krishna, who is like the sun-planet from whom the sunlight that is the impersonal Brahman has come. In this way we have described four of these emotions: inimical feelings, fear, affection, and devotional service. Only lusty desires and familial relationships remain to be described. In the path of raga-bhakti lusty desires and familial relationships are both very important. Thus raga-bhakti is of two kinds: 1. lusty desires (kama) and 2. familial relationships (sambandha).
Vrajanatha: What is the nature of devotional service with lusty desires?
Babaji: The word 'lust' means 'the thirst to enjoy'. When it is manifested in ragatmika-bhakti, that thirst to enjoy becomes causeless love for Lord Krishna. Thus it becomes the thirst to enjoy the association of Lord Krishna. In this situation the devotee acts only to please Lord Krishna. The devotee does not act for his own happiness. The devotee accepts his own happiness only if it leads to Krishna's happiness. This very wonderful unprecedented love is perfectly manifested in the gopis of Vraja. because it possesses the qualities of wonderful sweetness and playfulness, panditas use the word "lusty desires" (kama) to describe the gopis love (prema). However, the truth is that the gopis 'lusty desires' are spiritual and free from the slightest scent of any fault. On the other hand, the lusty desires felt by the souls in Maya's prison are wretched, lowly and filled with faults. When they saw it, Uddhava and other dear devotees of the Lord yearned to attain the 'lusty desires' felt by the gopis of Vraja. The gopis' lusty desire cannot be compared to anything else. It can be compared only to itself. These 'lusty desires' in ragatmika bhakti exist only in Vraja and not in any other place. The 'lusty desires' that Kubja manifested in Mathura are called 'kama-praya' (resembling lusty desires). Although they bear some resemblance to the gopis' lusty desires, they are different.
Vrajanatha: What is the nature of raga-bhakti with familial relationships?
Babaji: Raga-bhakti in the rasa of familial relationships is manifested when one identifies himself as Krishna's parent or other relative. When one thinks, "I am Krishna's father", or "I am Krishna's mother", or when one thinks of oneself as another kind of relative of Krishna, that is called devotional service in the mood of familial relationships. In the Vrsni dynasty there are also devotees who identify as Krishna's father and mother. Still, devotional service in familial relationships is first manifested in Vraja: in Nanda, in Yasoda, and in others also. Pure love for Krishna is manifested in these kinds of 'lusty desires' and 'familial relationships'. That is why the eternally liberated souls take shelter of them. In raganuga-bhakti these two sentiments are mentioned only briefly. In the practice of devotional service, these two sentiments take two forms: 1. kamanuga (following lusty desires), and 2. sambandhanuga (following familial relationships).
Vrajanatha: What are the qualities of kamanuga-bhakti in the practice of raganuga-bhakti?
Babaji: When a devotee thirsts to follow the path of kama devotional service, that is called 'kamanuga'. Kamanuga-bhakti is of two kinds: 1. sambhogecchamayi (yearning to enjoy), and 2. tat-tad-bhavecchamayi (yearning to love).
Vrajanatha: What is the nature of sambhogecchamayi?
Babaji: Sambhogecchamayi means 'the desire to participate in Lord Krishna's pastimes (keli) with the gopis".
Vrajanatha: What is the nature of tat-tad-bhavecchamayi?
Babaji: Tat-tad-bhavecchamayi means 'the desire to attain the sweetness of love that the Vraja-gopis felt for Lord Krishna."
Vrajanatha: How are these two sentiments manifested in the practice of raganuga-bhakti?
Babaji: By seeing the sweetness of Lord Krishna's Deity form and by hearing the descriptions of Lord Krishna's pastimes, one develops a desire to fall in love with Krishna. Devotees who have that desire practice raganuga-bhakti that is either kamanuga or sambandhanuga.
Vrajanatha: Lord Krishna is male, and the Vraja-gopis are all female. Therefore I can see that only women are qualified to practice this kind of raganuga-bhakti. How can men be qualified to attain it?
Babaji: Each individual soul residing in the material world has an original spiritual form that manifests one of the five rasas (relationships with Lord Krishna). Four of these rasas, namely, dasya (servitorship), sakhya (friendship), vatsalya (parental love) and madhura (conjugal love) are present among the people of Vraja. In Vraja, males participate in the rasas of dasya (servitorship), sakhya (friendship) and the fatherhood portion of vatsalya (parental love). In these three rasas males engage in direct service to Lord Krishna. However, it is only females who serve the Lord in madhura (conjugal love) and in the motherhood portion of vatsalya. Among both liberated souls and beginners engaged in sadhana bhakti, many souls with external male material bodies have original spiritual forms that are female.
Vrajanatha: How do souls with male external material bodies follow in the footsteps of the Vraja-gopis?
Babaji: In different ways, as they are qualified, they become attracted to the rasa of conjugal love (srngara-rasa). Even though their external material form is male, their original spiritual form, which is female, is always present. According to one's inclination and one's original spiritual form, one is qualified to become the follower of a particular Vraja-gopi. By following that gopi, one's original spiritual form is again openly manifested and in that original form one serves Lord Krishna directly. In the Padma Purana an example is given of souls who, although their external material bodies were male, eventually became gopis. There it is said that when they saw the handsomeness of Lord Ramacandra, the sages of Dandakaranya forest yearned to attain Him as their husband. When Lord Krishna manifested His Gokula pastimes, these same sages were born as women. In those forms they served Lord Krishna in the rasa of conjugal love.
Vrajanatha: I have heard that the women of Gokula are eternally liberated souls in the spiritual world who descended to the material world to help Lord Krishna's pastimes. Why, then, does the Padma Purana say that these sages were born as gopis in Gokula?
Babaji: Many eternally liberated souls came to this world to participate in Lord Krishna's pastimes. In addition to them, many souls from the material world, who by engaging in devotional service became qualified to do so, also participated in Lord Krishna's pastimes. Worshipping Lord Krishna in kamanuga-bhakti, they took birth in Gokula. These gopis are described in Srimad Bhagavatam 10.29.8-11, where it is said that by serving Lord Krishna in meditation they abandoned their external material bodies and regained their original spiritual forms. Many of these gopis had previously been the sages of Dandakaranya.
Vrajanatha: Which gopis were eternally liberated and which became liberated by engaging in devotional service?
Babaji: Srimati Radhika is Lord Krishna's internal potency (svarupa-shakti). She expands into the forms of Her eight close friends (asta-sakhi) and they expand into the forms of other gopis (sakhis). These gopis are all eternally liberated (nitya-siddha). These gopis are not manifested by the jiva-shakti. Rather, they are manifested by the Lord's internal potency (svarupa shakti). In addition to these gopis, there are other gopis (also sakhis) who attained liberation by engaging in devotional service (sadhana-siddha), and were thus allowed to join Srimati Radhika's entourage. These gopis are individual souls (jiva) who attained perfection by engaging in devotional service (sadhana-siddha). By the power of the Lord's hladini-shakti they attained salokya liberation and were allowed to associate with Sri Radha, the queen of Vraja. Devotees who follow the path of raganuga-bhakti and aspire for srngara-rasa eventually attain liberation as a result of their devotional service. Thus they are able to join the company of gopis (sakhis). Devotees who follow the path of vidhi-bhakti and desire to enjoy (riramsa) Krishna, which means they desire that Lord Krishna will become their husband, become the Lord's queens at Dvaraka. Devotees who follow the path of vidhi-bhakti do not become followers of Sri Radha, the goddess of Vraja. Only devotees who follow the path of vidhi-bhakti externally and the path of raganuga-bhakti internally attain devotional service in the land of Vraja.
Vrajanatha: How does one become purified of the desire to enjoy (riramsa) Krishna, which means the desire that Lord Krishna will become one's husband?
Babaji: These devotees who have accepted the role of Lord Krishna's queens should renounce all pride and humbly serve Lord Krishna as a wife serves her husband. However, even if they do this, these devotees may not attain the desire to become one of the gopis of Vraja.
Vrajanatha: Please explain more clearly.
Babaji: Devotees who aspire to attain Lord Krishna as their husband (svakiya) become the Lord's queens (mahisi-bhava). These devotees cannot taste the rasa where Krishna is one's paramour (parakiya), a rasa relished by the Vraja-gopis. For this reason these devotees cannot follow in the footsteps of the gopis. Only by following the path of raganuga-bhakti and cherishing the idea that Lord Krishna is one's paramour (parakiya) can one attain the rasa of a gopi in Vraja.
Vrajanatha: By your mercy, I have understood all this. Now please kindly explain one thing: What is the difference between 'lust' (kama) and 'love' (prema)? If there is no difference, why did you use the word 'prema-rupa' (the nature of love)? When I hear it, the word 'lust' (kama) brings pain to my ears.
Babaji: There is a difference between lust and love. When we say 'love' we mean an emotion like what is felt in raga-bhakti when the devotee considers Krishna a relative in his family (sambandha). In that devotional service as a family member, there is no idea of trying to exploit Krishna for one's own enjoyment. In devotional service where one relates to Lord Krishna as a family member, there is no scope for an amorous relationship. Still, that relationship is undoubtedly based on love (prema). However, when this love for Krishna is gracefully mixed with the desire to enjoy Krishna, the result is devotional service (bhakti) performed in the spirit of lust (kama). In the other rasas lust and devotional service are not mixed together in this way. This combination is present only in the rasa of conjugal love. Aside from the Vraja-gopis, no one practices this kind of devotional service mixed with lust. In this material world the word 'lust' means to desire material sense pleasures. However, the 'lust' felt by the gopis is very different from material lust. The lust felt by the gopis is completely pure and faultless. Material lust is a perverted reflection of the gopis' lust. Though it was directed Lord Krishna, the lust felt by Kubja cannot be said to be like the gopis lust (saksat-kama). Lust to enjoy with the material senses is an emotion that is worthless, wretched, and degraded. On the other hand, lust that is a feature of pure love for Krishna is exalted and full of bliss. Because material lust is wretched and degraded, what shall stop you from using the word 'spiritual lust' (aprakrta-kama) to describe the emotion felt by the gopis?
Vrajanatha: Now please explain the aspect of raganuga-bhakti where one thinks of Krishna as one's family member?
Babaji: Devotional service where one has a family or other kind of relationship with Krishna is called 'sambandhanuga-bhakti'. This kind of relationship is present in three rasas: dasya (servitorship), sakhya (friendship) and vatsalya (parenthood). In this relationship one thinks, "I am a servant. Krishna is my master", or one thinks, "I am Krishna's friend", or one thinks, "I am Krishna's father", or one thinks "I am Krishna's mother". These are the thoughts of one in sambandha. This sambandhanuga-bhakti is manifested in its pure form among the residents of Vraja.
Vrajanatha: How is raganuga-bhakti cultivated in the dasya, sakhya, and vatsalya rasas?
Babaji: A devotee attracted to dasya-rasa (servitorship) should follow in the footsteps of Raktaka, Patraka, and other eternally liberated servitors of the Lord. By emulating the sweetness of their love for the Lord, he will eventually serve Lord Krishna directly. A devotee attracted to sakhya-rasa (friendship) should follow in the footsteps of Subala and the other friends of the Lord. In this way he will eventually serve Lord Krishna directly. A devotee attracted to vatsalya-rasa (parenthood) should follow in the footsteps of Nanda and Yasoda. In this way he will eventually serve Lord Krishna directly.
Vrajanatha: How does one follow in their footsteps?
Babaji: The soul's eternal nature gives rise to certain actions. These actions are called 'mudra'. For example, Nanda Maharaja has a certain eternal nature, and because of that nature he deals with Krishna in a specific way. One should following in the footsteps of those activities. However, one should not think, "I am Nanda", "I am Subala", or "I am Raktaka". One should only follow in the footsteps of their activities. In that way one will not commit an offense.
Vrajanatha: What rasa should I cultivate in raganuga-bhakti?
Babaji: Baba, look at your own nature. Because of that nature you have a certain inclination. According to that inclination you naturally accept a particular rasa. You should follow the footsteps of an eternally liberated soul who serves the Lord in that rasa. You should closely examine your own inclination. If you are inclined to the path of raga-bhakti, then you should follow your inclination. If you are not inclined to the path of raga-bhakti, then you should follow the path of vaidhi-bhakti.
Vijaya-kumara: Master, I have studied Srimad Bhagavatam for many days. Whenever I hear or read of Lord Krishna's pastimes, in my heart I yearn to serve the divine couple as Srimati Lalita does.
Babaji: Don't say anything more. You are a manjari follower of Sri Lalita-devi. What service do you think is appropriate for you?
Vijaya-kumara: In my heart I think Sri Lalita has ordered me to string garlands of flowers. I gather many beautiful flowers, make them into garlands, and place them in her beautiful hand. She gives me a smile of mercy, and then she places them around the necks of Sri Sri Radha-Krishna.
Babaji: May you attain that service. I give you my blessings.
At that moment Vijaya-kumara fell, weeping, at his spiritual master's lotus feet. Seeing his emotional state, the saintly babaji said to him, "Baba, within your heart you should always practice raganuga-bhakti, and externally you should engage in vaidhi-bhakti." Seeing Vijaya-kumara's good fortune, Vrajanatha placed these words before his spiritual master's feet: "O master, when I think of Lord Krishna's pastimes I desire to become a follower of Subala."
Babaji: To what kind of activities do you feel attracted?
Vrajanatha: Subala and I will fetch the calves that have strayed far away. As Krishna sits down and plays the flute, by Subala's mercy I will let the calves drink water, and after I will bring them again to our brother Krishna. That is my desire.
Babaji: I give you my blessings. May you become a follower of Subala and in that way serve Lord Krishna. You are qualified for sakhya-rasa.
This was all a great wonder. From that day on, in his heart, Vijaya-kumara began to think of himself as a maidservant of Srimati Lalita. Then he began to see the elderly babaji as an incarnation of Sri Lalita. Vijaya-kumara said, "O master, what more need be done by your mercy?" The saintly babaji replied, "Nothing more need be done. Only you should know the name, form, and garments of your spiritual body. Come to me in private and I will tell you of them." Saying, "As you order", Vijaya-kumara offered dandavat obeisances.
From that day on Vrajanatha saw the elderly babaji as an incarnation of Subala. The babaji said to him, "Come to me all along and I will tell you the name, form and garments of your spiritual body." Saying, "As you order", Vrajanatha offered dandavat obeisances.
Thinking that their lives had not become perfect, Vrajanatha and Vijaya-kumara happily followed the path of raganuga-bhakti. Externally everything was as before. Externally Vijaya-kumara was a male, but within his heart he had become a gopi. Meanwhile within his heart, Vrajanatha had become a cowherd boy.
A good part of the night had already passed. Chanting on japa beads the mantra:
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna
Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama
Rama Rama Hare Hare
that their spiritual master had given them, the two of them walked toward Bilva-puskarini. Almost half the night had passed. The moon rose. The season place a pleasant situation in every direction. When they came to Laksmana-tila, the two men sat under an amalika tree. Vijaya-kumara asked Vrajanatha, "O Vrajanatha, the desires in our hearts are now fulfilled. Because we have attained the mercy of a great Vaishnava, we will not attain the mercy of Lord Krishna. Now we should consider what will happen in the future. Vrajanatha, with an honest heart please tell me: What will you do? Will you marry, or will you take parivrajaka sannyasa? This request does not come from me. I only ask so I can tell your grandmother."
Vrajanatha: Uncle, I am devoted to you. You are a pandita and a Vaishnava. In the absence of my father, you are my guardian. The path that you order, I will follow. I do not wish to become attached to material things, and thus forget the spiritual goal of life. Therefore I do not wish to marry. What do you think?
Vijaya-kumara: I will not force you. You decide for yourself and tell me.
Vrajanatha: I will ask our spiritual master. I will do whatever he says.
Vijaya-kumara: Good. Tomorrow we will go and hear what Prabhupada says about this.
Vrajanatha: Saintly uncle, what do you think? Should I become a householder? Should I not become a parivrajaka sannyasi?
Vijaya-kumara: Baba, my conclusion is the same as yours. We are of one mind. Accept parivrajaka sannyasa and extinguish the fire of household life. If you accept household life your heart will dry up. You will be cheated of the nectar of devotional service. My wish is that you follow whatever Sri Prabhupada says about this.
A large part of the night had passed. It was right that they return home. Again and again singing the glories of Lord Hari, the uncle and nephew returned home, honoured prasadam and went to sleep.
Chapter Twenty-two Nitya-dharma O Sambandhabhidheya-prayojana (Prameyantar-gata Prayojana-vicararambha)
Eternal Religion and Sambandha, Abhidheya and Prayojana (The Discussion of Prayojana Begins)
Today is ekadasi. Under the bakula tree in Srivasa's courtyard the Vaishnavas are chanting the holy names of the Lord. Some call out, "O Gauranga! O Nityananda!" and sigh. Our saintly babaji was motionless, plunged in ecstatic love. Who knows what he was thinking? After a few moments he said, "Alas!" and began to weep. "Ah! Where is rupa? Where is Sanatana! Where is Raghunatha dasa Gosvami! Where is my life's brother, Krishnadasa Kaviraja? I cannot be with them. Today I am all alone. I cannot be happy. The memory of Radha-kunda brings me pain. O my life, now you are leaving me. I pray that Rupa and Raghunatha show themselves to me and save my life. Even though I am separated from you, still I remain alive. How pathetic is my life." Again and again speaking in this way, he began to roll about in the dust under the bakula tree in Srivasa's courtyard. The assembled Vaishnavas said to him, "Babaji, be peaceful. Rupa and Raghunatha are in your heart. Lord Chaitanya and Lord Nityananda are dancing before you. Saying, "Where? Where?" the babaji jumped up. As he gazed at the Panca-tattva Deities before him, his grief went far away. He said, "O glorious Mayapura! Only Mayapura makes the sadness of Vraja go far away." Saying these words, he danced for some moments and then sat down in his cottage. At that moment Vijaya-kumara and Vrajanatha came and offered dandavat obeisances. When he saw them, the babaji's heart blossomed with happiness. He said, "How is your devotional service progressing?" Folding their hands, the two disciples humbly said, "O master, your mercy is the be-all-and-end-all of our lives. In the past we must have performed many, many pious deeds that we so easily have attained your fearless lotus feet. Today is ekadasi. by your order we are fasting even from water. We have come to see your sacred feet." The babaji replied, "You are fortunate. Very soon you will attain bhava." Vijaya-kumara asked, "O master, what is bhava?" Is there something called 'bhava' that you have not yet taught us?"
Babaji: Up till now I have taught you about sadhana-bhakti. By practicing sadhana-bhakti again and again, one eventually comes to the stage of spiritual perfection. The stage that immediately precedes the perfect stage is called 'bhava' (ecstatic love). The perfect stage is described in these words of the Dasa-mula:
"When his sadhana-bhakti reaches maturity, the living entity becomes aware of his original spiritual form. Then, by the power of the Lord's hladini-shakti, the ecstatic love (bhava) of madhura-rasa becomes manifested. Then the living entity bears in his heart ecstatic love (bhava) for Sri Sri Radha-Krishna in Vraja. Then he attains ecstatic love (priti) and bliss. Gradually he attains happiness and good fortune that have no equal anywhere in this world. He enters the Lord's pastimes. There he attains direct service to the Lord. There is nothing higher than that."
In this verse the final goal of life (prayojana), which is pure love for the Lord, is described. The beginning stage of that pure love is described in the final verse of the Dasa-mula:
"Who is the Supreme Lord? Who is the individual spirit soul? What is the material world? Considering these questions, a devotee becomes learned in the scriptures. He shuns all offenses, sins, material pious deeds, and aspirations to become one with the Lord, and, thinking himself a servant of Lord Hari, in the company of other devotees he drinks the blissful nectar of Lord Hari's holy name."
What a wonderful poem is the Dasa-mula. In it the individual souls find the essence of the teachings that have come from Lord Mahaprabhu's sacred mouth.
Vijaya-kumara: I would like to hear a summary of the Dasa-mula's glories?
Babaji: Then listen.
"A person who carefully studies this Dasa-mula becomes free of ignorance. By associating with devotees, he attains spiritual love and bliss."
Vijaya-kumara: O master, this wonderful Dasa-mula will become the necklace we all wear. Every day we will recite this Dasa-mula and offer dandavat obeisances to Lord Mahaprabhu. Now please be merciful and explain the clear meaning of these truths.
Babaji: Pure love of God (prema) is like a sun. The pure rays of that prema-sun are the spiritual state of 'suddha-sattva'. The internal nature of 'suddha-sattva' is called "bhava". The suddha-sattva manifestation called 'bhava' is also called by the names 'rati' and 'premankura' (the sprouting of love). When the all-enlightening svarupa shakti (internal potency) is manifested in the activities called 'samvid' (knowledge), those activities are called "suddha-sattva" (spiritual existence). These are not activities of maya (material illusion). When the activities of the samvit-shakti join with the activities of the hladini-shakti, the result is the manifestation of bhava. The activities of samvit-shakti bring knowledge. The activities of hladini-shakti bring pleasure. In this way the activities of the Lord's svarupa-shakti bring knowledge of the Absolute Truth, Sri Krishna. The small knowledge potency (samvit-shakti) of the individual souls (jiva-shakti) cannot bring understanding of the Absolute Truth. By the mercy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself, or by the mercy of the Lord's devotee, the Lord's svarupa-shakti (internal potency) will appear in a living entity's heart. Then the svarupa-shakti's activities of knowledge (samvit) can act in the living entity's heart. Then knowledge of the spiritual world becomes manifested there. The real form (svarupa) of the spiritual world is the state of spiritual existence (suddha-sattva). The real form of the material world is maya is gross matter, which is a mixture of the three modes of material goodness, passion, and ignorance. When knowledge of the spiritual world combines with the essence (sara) of the hladini-shakti, the result is that one is able to relish (asvada) the pleasures of the spiritual world. When the relishing of the pleasures of the spiritual world reaches its perfection and fullness (purna-svarupa), the result is called 'prema' (pure love of God). Prema is like a sun, and bhava is the rays of that sun. That is the nature of bhava. The specific nature of bhava is this: Ruci (attraction to Krishna) makes the living entity's heart melt and become soft (masrna). Here the word 'ruci' means 'the desire to attain Krishna, the desire to please Krishna, and the desire to have a friendly relation with Krishna". Bhava is said to be the first manifestation of the splendour of prema. The word 'masrna' means 'the melting of the heart'. In the Tantras it is said that bhava is the first manifestation of prema. When bhava appears, the sattvika-bhava ecstatic symptoms, such as the standing erect of the body's hairs, become slightly manifested. In eternally liberated souls these ecstatic symptoms appear spontaneously. In souls imprisoned in the material world these ecstatic symptoms appear as activities of the mind, and only gradually do they manifest their original spiritual nature. Although these ecstatic symptoms come of their own accord, they seem to be induced by something external. The activities of sattvika-bhava ecstasy reveal the true nature of Lord Krishna and His transcendental pastimes. Manifested among the imprisoned souls as what seems to be an activity of the mind, it seems to bring knowledge of other, non-spiritual truths. The truth is that it enables one to relish spiritual pleasures. In this way it enables the souls imprisoned in the material world to relish the spiritual pleasures of Lord Krishna and Lord Krishna's transcendental pastimes.
Vijaya-kumara: Does bhava manifest any variety?
Babaji: Yes. Bhava is of two kinds, according to its place or origin. Bhava may come from the practice of sadhana-bhakti, or it may come from the mercy of Lord Krishna or the mercy of Lord Krishna's devotee. Generally it comes from the practice of sadhana-bhakti. It only rarely comes from mercy.
Vijaya-kumara: What is the nature of bhava produced by the practice of sadhana-bhakti?
Babaji: There are two kinds of bhava created by the practice of sadhana-bhakti. One is created by the practice of vaidhi bhakti and the other by the practice of raganuga-bhakti. In the first of these two kinds of bhava created by sadhana-bhakti, at the beginning there is ruci (attraction to Krishna). From that comes ashakti (attachment to Krishna). At the end comes rati (love for Krishna). In the Puranas and the Natya-sastras it is said that 'rati' and 'bhava' are symptoms. I also say that they are symptoms. Vaidhi bhakti first creates faith, and from faith attraction to Krishna (ruci) follows. However, when one practices raganuga-bhakti, ruci appears at once (without any intervening stages).
Vijaya-kumara: What is the nature of bhava created by the mercy of Lord Krishna or Lord Krishna's devotee?
Babaji: When bhava suddenly appears without its recipient having practiced either vaidhi-bhakti or raganuga-bhakta, then bhava is created by the mercy of Lord Krishna or Lord Krishna's devotee.
Vijaya-kumara: What is the nature of bhava created by the mercy of Lord Krishna?
Babaji: Lord Krishna's mercy is manifested in three ways: 1. vacika (by His words), 2. aloka-dana (by a glance), and 3. harda (by the mercy in His heart). Lord Krishna may give His mercy to someone by saying, "O king of the brahmanas, may devotion to Me, devotion that brings all transcendental bliss and is the crest jewel of all auspicious things, appear within you." Simply by the Lord's speaking these words, bhava suddenly appears in that brahmana. The aborigines residing in the jungle had never seen Krishna before. However, simply by seeing them they at once attained bhava because of the compassion in Lord Krishna's heart. That is called 'aloka-danaja-bhava (bhava created from a glance). When feelings of compassion arise in Lord Krishna's heart, they produce the bhava called 'harda'. This bhava is seen in Sukadeva Gosvami and other devotees. When He descended to this world, Lord Mahaprabhu granted these three kinds of bhava from mercy on many occasions. Simply by seeing the Lord, many people attained bhava. Jagai, Madhai, and many others attained bhava because of the Lord's words. Srila Jiva Gosvami attained bhava because of the mercy in Lord Krishna's heart.
Vijaya-kumara: What is the nature of bhava created by the mercy of a devotee of Lord Krishna?
Babaji: Because of the mercy of Sri Narada Gosvami, auspicious desires appeared in the hearts of Dhruva and Prahlada. By the mercy of Srila Rupa Gosvami, Srila Sanatana Gosvami and their associates, the desire to perform devotional service appeared in the hearts of numberless persons.
Vijaya-kumara: What are the symptoms of bhava's appearance?
Babaji: When the seed of ecstatic emotion (bhava) for Krishna fructifies, the following nine symptoms are manifest in one's behaviour: forgiveness, concern that time should not be wasted, detachment, absence of false prestige, hope, eagerness, a taste for chanting the holy name of the Lord, attachment to descriptions of the transcendental qualities of the Lord, and affection for those places where the Lord resides - that is a temple or holy place like Vrindavan. These are all called 'anubhava', subordinate signs of ecstatic emotion. They are visible in a person in whose heart the seed of love of God has begun to fructify.*
Vijaya-kumara: What is 'forgiveness'?
Babaji: Forgiveness is when, even though there is ample reason to become agitated and angry, one is not agitated and angry. This is called 'forgiveness'. "Tolerance' is a synonym for forgiveness.
Vijaya-kumara: What is 'concern that time should not be wasted"?
Babaji: It means not to spend time in useless activities. To always be engaged in devotional service to Lord Hari is called 'concern that time should not be wasted.'
Vijaya-kumara: What is 'detachment'?
Babaji: To find that one sees no pleasure in so-called material sense pleasures is called 'detachment'.
Vijaya-kumara: When a person accepts sannyasa can he claim to have attain 'detachment'?
Babaji: Sannyasa is a material convention in the material world. When the heart finds its pleasure in the spiritual world, and when the heart finds its pleasure in the material world grow less and less until finally it disappears almost completely, that is called 'detachment'. A person who is detached from the material world and then accepts sannyasa to remove the obstacles that prevent him from attaining bhava can claim to be a 'detached Vaishnava'. However, a person who accepts sannyasa prematurely, before he has any understanding of the happiness of spiritual life (bhava) is not properly initiated as a sannyasi. He is not a true sannyasi. The Lord's punishment of Chota Haridasa taught this to the entire world.
Vijaya-kumara: What is "absence of false-prestige"?
Babaji: Birth, varna, asrama, wealth, power, beauty, a high statue in society, and many other things make a person proud. To renounce the pride that comes from all these things is called 'absence of false prestige'. In the Padma Purana is written the story of a great king who attained devotion to Lord Krishna. Renouncing the pride that comes from royal opulence, this king passed his life as a beggar performing madhukari in the capitol city of the king that had been his rival and enemy. He always offered respectful obeisances to everyone, not caring whether they were brahmanas or candalas.
Vijaya-kumara: What is 'hope'?
Babaji: To engage in devotional service with firm conviction, thinking "Lord Krishna will certainly be merciful to me", is called hope."
Vijaya-kumara: What is 'eagerness?'
Babaji: Intense greed to attain what one desires is called 'eagerness'.
Vijaya-kumara: What is 'a taste for chanting the holy name of the Lord?"
Babaji: Of all the different activities of devotional service, chanting the holy name of the Lord is the best. To always chant the holy name of the Lord." A taste for chanting the holy name of the Lord fulfils all spiritual desires. You will learn more about the holy name separately, at another time.
Vijaya-kumara: What is 'attachment to descriptions of the transcendental qualities of the Lord?"
Babaji: In Sri Krishna-karnamrta (verse 65) it is written:
"He is sweeter than sweetness personified. His youthfulness is Kamadeva himself. He is more restless and playful than restlessness and playfulness personified. Alas, He has stolen my heart. What will I do now?"
One may hear again and again of Lord Krishna's transcendental qualities, but one's desire to hear them will never be satiated. Rather, one's attachment to hear of them will grow stronger and stronger.
Vijaya-kumara: What is 'affection for those places where the Lord resides?"
Babaji: When he circumambulates the holy Nabadwip, a devotee will ask, "O residents of the Lord's sacred place, where did the Lord take birth? Walking down what pathway did the Lord perform sankirtana? Please tell me: where did the Lord enjoy pastimes with the gopas in the morning?" The residents of the holy abode may reply, "In Mayapura, in a raised tulasi-forest, the Lord took birth. In Ganganagara, Simuliya, Gadigacha, Majida, and many other villages He performed sankirtana. By drinking with the cup of his ears these nectar words from the mouth of a resident of the land of Gauda, a devotee will manifest ecstatic symptoms, such as shedding tears and the hairs of his body standing erect, as he circumambulates the holy place. This is called 'affection for those places where the Lord resides".
Vijaya-kumara: When this kind of emotion is present can we say without doubt that "Krishna-rati" (pure love for Krishna) is definitely present?
Babaji: No. When the heart is pure, then 'rati' arises within it. The symptoms I have described may appear when other kinds of devotional emotions are manifested. They are not manifested only when there is rati.
Vijaya-kumara: Please be kind and give one or two examples so I may understand.
Babaji: A person thirsty fro impersonal liberation may again and again chant a dim reflection of Lord Hari's holy name (namabhasa). Hearing that the holy name has the power to give liberation, he may weep again and again and may fall down almost unconscious. Still, one should not say that he has attained Krishna-rati (love for Krishna) in the stage of bhava (ecstasy). Such a person does not have sincere love for Lord Krishna. Rather, he makes a show of ecstatic symptoms (bhavabhasa) only because he is greedy to attain his own petty desire. A person desiring material sense pleasures may worship Goddess Durga, and after the worship may pray for many things, saying, "Please grant me boons. Please give me wealth." Thinking of how the goddess has the power to fulfil his desires, he may weep and roll on the ground. Still, one cannot say that has attained bhava. Perhaps one can say he has attained a glimpse of bhava (bhavabhasa) or a mocking imitation of bhava (bhava-dauratmya). Bhava does not appear in a person who is not a pure devotee of Lord Krishna. When a person who desires material sense gratification or impersonal liberation manifests a glimpse of bhava (bhavabhasa), that is not true bhava. Rather it is only a mocking imitation (bhava-dauratmya) of true bhava. As he stands before the Deity of Lord Krishna, such a person may faint and remain unconscious for twenty one hours. Even then, he does not display true bhava. Ah, the eternally liberated souls and the souls free from all material desires diligently search for bhava. Still, bhava remains hidden from them. Even after a person performs many devotional activities, Lord Krishna does not very quickly or easily give him the gift of bhava. How can pure love (rati) for Lord Krishna rise in a heart that does not have pure devotion to the Lord, or in a heart crushed by desires for material sense gratification or impersonal liberation?
Vijaya-kumara: O master, many times it is seen that, when they participate in the chanting of Lord Hari's holy names (hari-nama-sankirtana), persons who thirst for material sense gratification or impersonal liberation may manifest the previously described symptoms of bhava. What shall we call that display?
Babaji: Only fools think that display is wonderful. Persons who know the truth of bhava avoid these persons and say that outward display is only a glimpse of bhava (bhavabhasa).
Vijaya-kumara: What are the different kinds of this glimpse of bhava (bhavabhasa)?
Babaji: It is of two kinds: 1.pratibimba-raty-abhasa (the reflection of ecstatic love), and 2. chaya-raty-abhasa (the dim shadow of ecstatic love).
Babaji: A person who desires impersonal liberation may think he can easily attain that liberation by attaining bhava for Lord Krishna. Thus desiring the happiness of impersonal liberation, he puts on a false show of the symptoms of bhava. This is called 'pratibimba-raty-abhasa. An impersonalist may think, "Attaining knowledge of impersonal Brahman is the only way to attain impersonal liberation. There is no other way. However, the process by which one attains that impersonal knowledge is very difficult and troublesome. If by chanting the holy names of Lord Hari one can easily attain liberation, that must mean that by chanting the holy names one may easily attain knowledge of impersonal Brahman." Hoping to easily get impersonal liberation, such a person may then make an outward display of ecstatic symptoms, such as shedding tears and standing erect of the bodily hairs. All this is only a glimpse (abhasa) of true bhava.
Vijaya-kumara: Why is it called pratibimba (a reflection)?
Babaji: When they engage in chanting the Lord's holy names or in other devotional activities, persons who thirst after material sense gratification or impersonal liberation may by destiny attain the association of true devotees. When the moon of true bhava arises in the hearts of these true devotees, that moon becomes reflected in the hearts of the hedonist or impersonalist pretenders. That is why their bhava is called pratibimba (a reflection). Pure bhava does not appear as long as one thirsts after material sense gratification or impersonal liberation. However, when a person sees pure devotees (suddha-bhakta) of the Lord, the devotees' bhava becomes reflected on him. That is called pratibimba-bhavabhasa (a reflection of true bhava). Pratibimba-bhavabhasa does not bring eternal auspiciousness to the soul. As soon as the pretender attains his goal of sense gratification or liberation, his devotional activities stop. Therefore this pratibimba-bhavabhasa is said to be one of the offenses against the holy name. It is not praiseworthy.
Vijaya-kumara: What is chaya-bhavabhasa (the dim shadow of ecstatic love).
Babaji: An honest neophyte devotee not very learned in the science of spiritual life may come into contact with activities, times, places, or persons that are dear to Lord Hari, and by this contact they may attain a small, pleasant, suffering removing, flickering shadow of true love (rati) for the Lord. That is called "chaya-raty-abhasa". When a person has a small quantity of pure devotion to the Lord, but that devotion is not very strong, then this kind of shadow devotion (raty-abhasa) is manifested. This shadow of devotion may appear in a person because in the past he performed many pious deeds. This shadow of devotion may gradually bring more and more auspiciousness to the person who obtains it. By the mercy of a pure devotee of Lord Hari, this shadow love can be transformed into genuine pure love for the Lord (suddha-bhava). However, if one commits offenses to pure Vaishnavas, this shadow love may gradually diminish, like the waning of the moon in the dark fortnight. This is not said only of the shadow of love. Even pure love (suddha-bhava) for Lord Krishna can be destroyed (abhava) if one commits offenses to Lord Krishna's devotees. Or that pure love may gradually become changed into shadow love, or it may be reduced to a lower level of love. If one closely associates with impersonalists, then his love for Krishna may also become changed into shadow love, or else one may become an impersonalist himself, and become convinced that he himself is the worshipable Supreme Personality of Godhead. It is because of this bad association that new devotees (navya-bhakta) sometimes have impersonalist ideas and think they have become god as they dance in Krishna-kirtana or perform other devotional activities. This is sometimes seen. Unaware of the consequences, new devotees, may sometimes associate with impersonalists. That bad association beings many troubles. Therefore new devotees should carefully avoid the association of impersonalists. Sometimes bhava may suddenly appear in a person who has not performed any devotional activities (sadhana). this means that the person involved performed many very good devotional activities in his previous births. Because of certain obstacles, the results of those activities were not immediately manifested. Now that the obstacles are removed, the results are suddenly manifested. If the highest kind of love (bhava), which is all powerful and wonderful to everyone, suddenly becomes manifested, it should be said that it was produced by the mercy of Lord Krishna. Even if you see some faults in his activities, you should not become the enemy of a person who has natural love (bhava) for the Lord. Why not? A person who has attained love for the Lord has made his life a complete success. A devotee will never commit a sin. However, if it is seen that somehow or other a devotee has committed a sin, the one should think of this in two ways: 1. by accident a great soul has somehow committed a sin, but that sin will not stay, 2. This sin is only the reflection of a previous misdeed (purva-papabhasa). The devotee's spiritual love (bhava) will quickly destroy that sin. Very quickly it will be destroyed. In this way in one's heart one should not see the faults of the devotees. To see that devotees have faults is one of the offenses against the holy name. In the Nrsimha-Purana it is written:
"If a person has completely engaged his mind, body, and activities in the service of the Supreme Godhead, but externally he is found to be engaged in some abominable activities, those abominable activities will surely be very quickly vanquished by the influence of his staunch devotional service. On the full moon there are some spots, which may appear to be pockmarks. Still, the illumination spread by the full moon cannot be checked."*
One should not think that this instruction means that the devotees of the Lord are always committing sins. The truth is that when a person has faith in devotional service, he no longer desires to commit sins. However, as long as the material body is present, there may be some accidental slip into a sinful action. Devotional service, however, which is like a blazing fire, at once burns all these sins into ashes, and after than the devotee is cautious not to sin again. When unalloyed devotional service appears in someone, the ignorance that is the root of sin is flung far away from such a devotee. If it is seen that a person commits sins again and again, one should not be under the misunderstanding that he possesses unalloyed devotion to Lord Krishna. Why not? To commit sins with the hope that his devotional activities will nullify his sins is an offense. Devotees do not commit that offense.
Love (rati) for Krishna makes one desire to please Krishna more and more. It is filled with warmth and power. It is sweet like millions of moons.
Hearing these explanations of ecstatic love (bhava), Vrajanatha and Vijaya-kumara became stunned. Their hearts were filled with love. Even after the babaji had finished speaking, they both remained for a while stunned and silent. Finally they said, "O master, the nectar of your teachings have brought a flood of love to our burnt-out hearts. Ah, what will we do? Where will we go? We are not able to be steady and calm. We are filled with pride because we were born in brahmana families. In our hearts is not the slightest bit of humbleness. The hope of one day attaining ecstatic love (bhava) for the Lord is very far from us. Our only hope is that you, a personal associate of the Lord, a devotee filled with pure spiritual love (prema), may place a single drop of spiritual love (prema) in our hearts. Then our lives will become a great success. Because of our relationship with you, the bird of hope now lives in our hearts. We are very poor and lowly and worthless. You are a great king among the true devotees of the Lord. You are very merciful. Please be merciful to us and explain to us what our duties should be. In my heart I yearn to renounce the material world and household life and become a servant of your feet." Then Vijaya-kumara took this opportunity to say, "O master, Vrajanatha is still a boy. His mother wishes that he become a householder. However, in his heart he does not see the same way she does. Please be merciful and say what is to be done."
Babaji: Lord Krishna has given His mercy to you. Your householder life will be Lord Krishna's household life, for you will render service to Lord Krishna there. Our Lord Mahaprabhu taught the entire world, and the world should follow His teachings. In this material world there are two kinds of situations: 1. household life, and 2. sannyasa. As long as one is not qualified to become a sannyasi, he should remain as a householder and serve Lord Krishna in that asrama. In the first twenty four years of His pastimes, the Lord set the example of ideal Vaishnava household life, and in the second twenty four years of His pastimes, the Lord set the example of ideal Vaishnava sannyasa life. Householders should follow the Lord's example. It is my opinion that for the present you should act as He did. In your heart do not think that in the householder asrama you cannot attain the highest stage of pure love for Lord Krishna (Krishna-prema). The devotees who received the greatest mercy from Lord Mahaprabhu were all householders. The Vaishnava sannyasis offer prayers to these householders and respectfully touch the dust from their feet.
It was late at night. In the company of the Vaishnavas, Vijaya-kumara and Vrajanatha sang songs glorifying Hari again and again. In that way they passed the night in Srivasa's courtyard. The next morning they washed, bathed, performed various duties, sang the holy names with the Vaishnavas and accepted a maha-prasadam breakfast. In the afternoon they slowly walked to Bilva-puskarini. As they thought about it, both uncle and nephew decided that they should serve Lord Krishna within the householder asrama. That would be best. Vijaya-kumara said to his sister, "Vrajanatha has decided to marry. You make all the arrangements. I will go to Modadruma for a few days. When I hear news that Vrajanatha's wedding day is coming, I will come with all the relatives to celebrate the happy day. Tomorrow I will sent Kanistha Harinatha to help with the arrangements." Vrajanatha's mother and grandmother were flooded with bliss. The gave garments and other gifts to Vijaya-kumara and bade him farewell.
Chapter Twenty-three Nitya-dharma O Sambandhabhidheya-prayojana (Prameyantar-gata Nama-tattva-vicararambha)
Eternal Religion and Sambandha, Abhidheya and Prayojana (The Discussion of the Holy Name Begins)
The village of Bilva-puskarini is very beautiful. The river Ganges flows on its northern and western sides. There, on the shore of the Puskarini, in a grove of Bilva trees, is a temple of Lord Shiva. Not far from there is a place called Bhava-tarana. On one side is Bilva-puskarini and on the other side is Brahmana-puskarini. Between them lies the village called Simuliya, which on one side borders the town of Nabadwip. In the middle of Bilva-puskarini and north of the royal road lies Vrajanatha's house. After travelling a short distance, Vijaya-kumara returned to his sister. In his mind he had decided, "I won't leave until I have learned the truth about the holy name." Returning to Bilva-puskarini, he saw his sister and nephew and told them, "I will stay another day or two and then I will go." That afternoon two Vaishnavas in the Ramanuja-sampradaya wearing Sri-tilaka came to the Candi-mandapa at Vrajanatha's house. Sitting in the shade of the panasa tree before Vrajanatha's house, the two Vaishnavas made a fire with some dried twigs and began to smoke ganja. Vrajanatha's mother was very happy to get the opportunity to show hospitality to some guests. Seeing that they were not eating anything, she brought them different kinds of food. Pleased, the began to cook some capatis. Seeing that the Vaishnavas were peaceful and bright-faced, Vrajanatha and Vijaya-kumara gradually felt attracted to them. Seeing that Vrajanatha and Vijaya-kumara wore tulasi beads on their necks and twelve tilaka marks on their limbs, the two Vaishnavas respectfully greeted them and spread a cloth for them to sit. As Vrajanatha questioned them, one of the sannyasis said, "O maharaja, we have seen Ayodhya and now we are going to Nabadwip. In our hearts we have decided to see the places of Chaitanya Prabhu's pastimes." Vrajanatha replied, "You are in Sri Nabadwip now. Please rest here today and tomorrow see the birthplace of Lord Mahaprabhu and the courtyard of Srivasa. The two sannyasis then happily recited these words of Lord Krishna in the Bhagavad-gita (15.6):
"They who reach My supreme abode never return to this material world."*
The two sannyasis said, "Today we are very fortunate, for we will see holy Sri Mayapura, the best of the seven holy cities."
As they sat under the panasa tree, the two sannyasis discussed the 'artha-pancaka' (five topics) of the Ramanuja-sampradaya. The five topics are: 1. sva-svarupa (the nature of one's own self), 2. para-svarupa (the natures of others), 3. upaya-svarupa (the means for spiritual advancement), 4. purusartha-svarupa (the true goal of life), and 5. virodhi-svarupa (obstacles that prevent one from attaining the true goal of life). With great attention Vijaya-kumara heard and considered the sannyasis' explanations of these topics and the tattva-traya (three truths) of the Sri-sampradaya. After discussing these points for a long time, Vijaya-kumara asked, "What is your sampradaya's explanation of the holy name?" When they heard the two Vaishnava's explanations, Vrajanatha and Vijaya-kumara did not become very happy. Vrajanatha said, "Uncle, after considering all these points, I have come to the conclusion that only taking shelter of Lord Krishna's holy name, and nothing else, brings auspiciousness to the living entities. It was to preach the pure holy name of Lord Krishna to the world that Sri Gauranga, the master of our lives, descended to this world and came to the holy city of Mayapura. When he was teaching us yesterday, Sri Gurudeva explained that chanting the holy name is the best of all devotional practices. He also asked us to give special attention to understanding the truth of the holy name. Uncle, let us go there this evening and learn about this." They spent that afternoon showing hospitality to their guests and talking about many things, but in their hearts they felt no attraction to the spiritual conception of the Sri Vaishnava sannyasis.
When the evening arati ended, the Vaishnavas assembled under the bakula tree in Srivasa's courtyard. Chanting the holy names on his tulasi beads, saintly elderly Raghunatha dasa Babaji sat among them. Vrajanatha and Vijaya-kumara came and offered dandavat obeisances to him. The saintly babaji embraced them and said, "Are you happy in your devotional service?" Vijaya-kumara replied, "O master, by your mercy everything is auspicious for us. Please be merciful and teach us this evening about the holy name of the Lord. His face blossoming with happiness, the saintly babaji said, "The Supreme Personality of Godhead has tow kinds of names: 1. mukhya (primary) and 2. gauna (secondary). Names that show His relation to the material creation and the material modes of nature are all secondary names. "Srsti-karta" (the creator of the material world), "Jagat-pata" (the maintainer of the material world), "visva-niyanta" (the controller of the material world, "visva-palaka (the protector of the material world), and "paramatma" (the Supersoul present everywhere in the material world) are examples of some of these many secondary names. Some other names, although beyond the touch of the material modes of nature, are also counted among these secondary names. "Brahma" (Brahman) is an example of these names. When they are chanted, these secondary names bring many different kinds of benefits, but they do not directly or quickly bring the highest spiritual benefit. The names that describe the Lord as He is manifested in the spiritual world, which is beyond material time and space, and where time is manifested as an eternal present (nitya-vartamana) are names that are all spiritual and primary. "Narayana", "Vasudeva", "Janardana", "Hrsikesa", "Hari", "Acyuta", "Govinda", "Gopala" and "Rama" are examples of these primary names. All these primary names are identical with the form of the Supreme Lord Himself, and therefore they exist in the eternal present in the spiritual world. Attracted by devotional service, these holy names dance on the tongues of certain very fortunate souls in the material world. These names have no connection at all with the material world. When it descends to the material world, the holy name of the Lord, which has all the Lord's powers, destroys the illusions of maya. The individual souls in the material world have the holy name of Lord Hari as their only friend. They have no other true friend. In the Brhan-naradiya Purana it is said:
"The holy name, the holy name, the holy name of Lord Hari is my very life. In this age of quarrel and hypocrisy, the only means of deliverance is the chanting of the holy names of the Lord. There is no other way. There is no other way. There is no other way."
The holy name has limitless power. The holy name uproots all the sins of the conditioned souls burning in a great forest-fire of sins. In the Garuda Purana it is said:
"If one chants the holy name of the Lord, even in a helpless condition or without desiring to do so, all the reactions of his sinful life depart, just as when a lion roars, all the small animals flee in fear."*
A person who takes shelter of the holy name becomes free of all sufferings. The holy name has the power to destroy all sufferings. In the Skanda Purana it is said:
"I offer my respectful obeisances to the limitless Supreme Personality of Godhead. When a person remembers Him or chants His holy names, that person's diseases of the mind or body all run to their extinction."
A person who chants the holy name of Lord Hari purifies his family, friends, and all others. In the Brahmanda Purana it is said:
"Even if he has committed many great sins, a person who chants the holy name of the Lord day and night become pure at heart. He purifies all his relatives."
A person who is devoted to the holy name becomes free of all sufferings. In the Brhad-Visnu Purana it is said:
"The chanting of Lord Hari's holy name cures all diseases, removes all obstacles and rescues one from all calamities."
The age of Kali cannot make trouble for a person who loudly chants the holy name of Lord Hari. In the Brhan-Naradiya Purana it is said:
"The age of Kali cannot make trouble for a person who always chants 'Hare! Kesava! Govinda! Vasudeva! Jaganmaya!"
Simply by hearing the holy name of Lord Hari, the residents of hell become delivered. In the Nrsimha Purana it is said:
"When they began to chant the holy name of Lord Hari, the residents of hell began to develop devotion to Lord Hari. They they were carried to the heavenly worlds."
By loudly chanting the holy name, a person destroys his prarabdha karmic reactions. In the Srimad Bhagavatam (12.3.44) it is said:
"Terrified, about to die, a man collapses on his bed. Although his voice is faltering and he is hardly conscious of what he is saying, if he utters the holy name of the Supreme Lord he can be freed from the reactions of his fruitive work and achieve the supreme destination. But still people in the age of Kali will not worship the Supreme Lord."*
The holy name of Lord Hari is more glorious than all the Vedas. In the Skanda Purana it is said:
"My son, don't study the Rg Veda. Don't study the Yajur Veda. Don't study the Sama Veda at all. Simply chant 'O Govinda!' Always chant the holy names of Lord Hari."
The holy name of Lord Hari is more glorious than all holy places. In the Vamana Purana it is said:
"By chanting the holy names of Lord Visnu, a person attains the benefit of visiting hundreds of thousands of millions of sacred pilgrimage places."
Even a glimpse (namabhasa) of the holy name is infinitely better than all material pious deeds. In the Skanda Purana it is said:
"Neither giving millions of cows in charity, nor residing at Prayaga by the Ganges for a kalpa, nor performing millions of yajnas, nor giving a Mount Meru of gold in charity brings a benefit equal to one hundredth part of the benefit obtained by chanting the holy names of Lord Govinda."
The holy name of Lord Hari gives all benefits. In the Skanda Purana it is said:
"Chanting the holy names of Lord Visnu removes the six troubles of material life, defeats enemies, and is the root of spiritual knowledge."
The holy name of Lord Hari has all powers. In the Skanda Purana it is said:
"Lord Hari has gathered from charity, vows, austerities, pilgrimages, the demigods, the great saints, the rajasuya and asvamedha yajnas, and the study of transcendental knowledge all their powers to bring auspiciousness and removes sins, and placed these powers in His holy names."
The holy name of Lord Hari brings bliss to the entire world. In the Bhagavad-gita (11.36) it is said:
"O Hrsikesa, the world becomes joyful upon hearing Your name, and thus everyone becomes attached to You."*
The entire world bows down before a person who loudly chants the holy name. In the Brhan-Naradiya Purana it is said:
"In every direction the people bow down to offer respect to the devotees who always chant, 'Narayana! Jagannatha! Vasudeva! Janardana!'."
The holy name is the only shelter of the shelterless. In the Padma Purana it is said:
"Even though they may be materialistic, distraught, completely impious, or bereft of knowledge, renunciation, celibacy, and a host of virtues, persons who completely surrender to Lord Visnu and even only once chant His holy name easily attain the supreme spiritual destination that all the pious saints cannot enter."
One should chant the holy name of Lord Hari always and everywhere. In the Visnu-dharmottara Purana it is said:
"A person who is greedy to chant the holy name of Lord Hari does not consider whether the time or place is right for such chanting. He does not accept any restrictions on chanting the holy name."
The holy name easily gives impersonal liberation to they who want it. In the Varaha Purana the Supreme Personality of Godhead declares:
"A person who always chants, 'Narayana! Acyuta! Ananta! Vasudeva! may, if he wishes, merge into My existence."
In the Garuda Purana it is said:
"What is the use of sankhya? What is the use of yoga? O king of kings, if you wish to attain impersonal liberation, then you should chant the holy name of Lord Govinda."
The holy name of Lord Hari sends the individual souls to the spiritual world of Vaikuntha. In the Nandi Purana it is said:
"Persons who in the past have committed every possible sin in every possible situation, but who now chant the holy name of the Lord, go to the supreme abode of Lord Visnu."
By chanting the holy name one pleases the Supreme Personality of Godhead. In the Brhan-Naradiya Purana it is said:
"O brahmanas, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is beyond the touch of the material senses, becomes very pleased with a person who, in spite of hunger, thirst, and many troubles, continues to always chant His holy name."
By chanting the holy name of Lord Hari one can bring the Supreme Personality of Godhead under one's control. In the Mahabharata, Lord Krishna declares:
"When I was away from Draupadi she cried with the words, 'He Govinda!' This call has put Me in her debt, and that indebtedness is gradually increasing in My heart."*
The holy name of Lord Hari gives the final goal of life to the people. In the Skanda and Padma Puranas it is said:
"Chanting the holy name of Lord Damodara brings the greatest auspiciousness, the greatest wealth, the greatest benefit."
Chanting the holy name of Lord Hari is the best of all devotional activities. In the Vaishnava-cintamani it is said:
"By working very hard to always remember Lord Visnu, one can destroy all sins. However, one can attain an even greater benefit simply by moving the lips to chant the Lord's holy name."
In the Visnu-rahasya it is said:
"The same result that was obtained in the Satya-yuga by worshipping Lord Hari and in the Treta-yuga by performing hundreds of sacrifices is obtained in the Kali-yuga simply by chanting the holy name of Lord Govinda."
In Srimad Bhagavatam (12.3.52) it is said:
"Whatever result was obtained in Satya-yuga by meditating on Visnu, inn Treta-yuga by performing sacrifices, and in Dvapara-yuga by serving the Lord's lotus feet, can also be obtained in Kali-yuga by chanting the Hare Krishna maha-mantra."*
O Vijaya-kumara, think about it and you will see that even the shadow of the holy name of Lord Hari is better than all material pious deeds. And why not? Pious deeds are only the means to attain an end. Once the end is attained, the means are thrown away. Pious deeds are all material. However, the holy name of Lord Hari is spiritual. The holy name may be the means to attain an end, but when one attains the end he finds that the holy name itself is also the end itself. Think about it and you will see that all the different limbs of devotional service take shelter of the holy name of Lord Hari.
Vijaya-kumara: O master, the holy name of Lord Hari is spiritual. I have faith in that truth. However, so that my faith may be free from doubts I need to understand how it is that the holy name, which is a series of syllables, is spiritual. Please be merciful and explain.
Babaji: The scriptures (Padma Purana) declare:
"The holy name of Krishna is transcendentally blissful, It bestows all spiritual benedictions, for it is Krishna Himself, the reservoir of all pleasure. Krishna's name is complete, and it is the form of all transcendental mellows. It is not a material name under any condition, and it is no less powerful than Krishna Himself. Since Krishna's name is not contaminated by the material qualities, there is no question of its being involved with maya. Krishna's name is always liberated and spiritual. It is never conditioned by the laws of material nature. This is because the name of Krishna and Krishna Himself are identical."*
Vijaya-kumara: How can a name, which is after all a series of syllables, be different from other sounds in this material world?
Babaji: The holy name of Lord Hari does not take its birth in the material world. Only when he is situated in his original spiritual body is the individual soul, who is a tiny particle of spirit, eligible to pronounce the pure holy name of Lord Hari. The material senses of a soul imprisoned in Maya's world have no power to pronounce the pure holy name of Lord Hari. However, by the mercy of the Lord's hladini-shakti, such a soul can be situated in his original form. Then the holy name will appear before him. By the mercy of the pure holy name, the holy name enters the devotee's thinking process,, and then descends to the tongue if the tongue is purified by devotional service. On that tongue the holy name dances. The holy name is not a series of material syllables. It only seems to be material syllables when it dances on a tongue made of matter. That is the secret of the holy name.
Vijaya-kumara: Of the primary names of the Lord, which name is the most sweet?
Babaji: In the Sata-nama-stotra it is said:
"One utterance of the name Visnu is better than all the Vedas. One utterance of the name Rama is equal to a thousand utterances of the name Visnu."
Then, in the Brahmanda Purana it is said:
"The pious results derived from chanting the thousand holy names of Visnu three times can be attained by one repetition of the holy name of Krishna."*
Therefore the holy name of Lord Krishna is the best. That is why our Lord, Sri Gauranga, taught the mantra that begins "Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna". You should always chant that mantra.
Vijaya-kumara: What is the path of chanting the holy name?
Babaji: Using tulasi beads, or, in the absence of beads, counting on your fingers, and carefully avoiding offenses, you should always chant the holy name of Lord Hari. By chanting the holy name purely one attains prema (pure love of God). The purpose of counting is to know whether or not the number of names chanted is gradually increasing. Tulasi is very dear to Lord Hari, therefore touching tulasi beads as one chants the holy name brings a better result. When one chants one should be conscious that the name of Lord Krishna is not different from Lord Krishna Himself.
Vijaya-kumara: O master, there are nine processes of devotional service, and sixty four categories of devotional activities. If one constantly chants the holy name, which is only one of the activities of devotional service, how will one find time to perform any other devotional activity?
Babaji: What is the difficulty? The sixty four devotional activities are actually included within the nine devotional processes. One may worship the Deity of the Lord, or one may chant the holy name in a solitary place. One can practice the nine processes of devotional service in any situation. In the presence of the Deity one can purely hear, chant, remember, and in other ways serve the holy name of Lord Krishna. All these activities may be counted together as devotion to the holy name. If one has no opportunity to see the deity, one may remember the Deity and in this way in the presence of the Deity one may practice the nine devotional activities beginning with hearing and chanting the holy name. If in the past one has performed many pious deeds, then he will naturally yearn to chant the holy name. By constantly chanting the holy name one automatically performs all the activities of different limbs of devotional service. Of the nine processes of devotional service beginning with hearing and chanting, chanting the holy name is the most powerful. If one can taste bliss by chanting the holy names, that is enough. It is not that one must perform every devotional activity.
Vijaya-kumara: What does 'to always chant the holy name' mean?
Babaji: Aside for the time when one sleeps, one can chant the holy name throughout the day as one performs various activities. That is called constant chanting of the holy name. One can chant the holy name in any place, at ant time, or in any situation. There are no restrictions.
Vijaya-kumara: Aha! Unless you first give us your mercy, we will never have the power to always chant the holy name in this way. Without your mercy we do not see any hope that we will ever become true Vaishnavas.
Babaji: First I will tell you of the different kinds of Vaishnavas. Lord Gauranga, the master of our hearts, told Satvaraja that any person who has once uttered the holy name of Lord Krishna should be considered a Vaishnava. Then again, a person who always chants the holy name of Lord Krishna is a better Vaishnava. A person the sight of whom makes the holy name of the Lord appear on others' mouths is the best Vaishnava. By chanting the holy name of Lord Krishna with faith you will become true Vaishnavas.
Vijaya-kumara: Please describe to us the pure holy name of Krishna and all other things we should know.
Babaji: When the holy name of Lord Krishna appears in a person who has full faith and who practices unalloyed devotional service, that is said to be the 'true holy name of Lord Krishna'. When the holy name appears in any other situation the name is either 'namabhasa' (a glimpse of the holy name) or 'namaparadha' (the holy name chanted with offenses).
Vijaya-kumara: O master, should we call the holy name the goal (sadhya) or the means (sadhana) to attain the goal?
Babaji: When a devotee practices sadhana-bhakti, his chanting of the holy name may be said to be the means for attaining the goal (sadhana). However, when one practices bhava-bhakti or prema-bhakti, his chanting of the holy name is said to be the goal (sadhya) itself. In this way the holy name contracts or expands according to the devotees' stage of spiritual advancement.
Vijaya-kumara: Is Lord Krishna really not different from His name? Or is this not really true?
Babaji: There is not the slightest difference. However, there is one secret difference: The holy name is more merciful that Lord Krishna Himself. If one commits an offense to Him, Lord Krishna will not forgive. But if one commits an offense to Lord Krishna, or His Holy name, then the holy name will be merciful and forgive. You should carefully understand the offenses to the holy name. Carefully avoiding these offenses, one should chant the holy name. Why should one avoid them? A person who is not free from offenses cannot chant the holy name purely. Tomorrow you will learn about these offenses.
After thus learning about the true nature and glories of the holy name, Vrajanatha and Vijaya-kumara respectfully touched the dust of their spiritual master's feet, and then they both returned to Bilva-puskarini.
Chapter Twenty-four Nitya-dharma O Sambandhabhidheya-prayojana (Prameyantar-gata Namaparadha-vicara)
Eternal religion and Sambandha, Abhidheya and Prayojana (Offenses to the Holy name)
That evening Vrajanatha and Vijaya-kumara purely chanted 50,000 holy names (29 rounds) on their tulasi beads. Late at night they finally fell asleep. As they purely chanted the holy name, they both felt the presence of Lord Krishna's mercy. The next morning they told each other all they had felt. They were blissful. They bathed in the Ganges, worshipped Lord Krishna, chanted the holy name of Lord Hari, recited the Dasa-mula, studied Srimad Bhagavatam, served the Vaishnavas, honoured the Lord's prasadam, and performed other devotional activities. In this way they passed the day. At dusk they visited the cottage of the elderly saintly babaji at Srivasa's courtyard. After offering dandavat obeisances, they said down, thinking of what had been proposed during the previous evening's talks, Vijaya-kumara asked about the offenses to the holy name. With the cheerfulness that was a part of his nature, the saintly babaji said, "As chanting the holy name is the best of all spiritual activities, so offenses to the holy name are the gravest of sins. When a person takes shelter of the holy name, all his sins flee far away. But the offenses to the holy name do not flee away so easily. In the Padma Purana it is said:
"The chanting of Hare Krishna is recommended for persons who commit offenses, because if they continue chanting they will gradually chant offenselessly. Even if in the beginning one chants with offenses, one will become free from such offenses, one will become free from such offenses by chanting again and again."*
Baba, look. How difficult it is to become free from offenses to the holy name! An intelligent person will strive to chant the holy name without offense. A person who takes great care to avoid offenses is quickly able to chant the pure holy name. A person may display ecstatic symptoms, may shed tears, and the hairs of his body may stand up, but he may still be committing offenses and he may still not chant purely. If they do not take special care, the aspiring devotees will not be able to chant the holy name purely.
Vijaya-kumara: O master, what is pure chanting of the holy name?
Babaji: When one does not commit the ten offenses to the holy name, then he chants purely. Chanting purely here does not mean chanting with accurate pronunciation. In the Padma Purana it is said:
"If a devotee once utters the holy name of the Lord, or if it penetrates his mind or enters his ear, which is the channel of aural reception, that holy name will certainly deliver him from material bondage, whether vibrated properly or improperly, with correct or incorrect grammar, and properly joined or vibrated in separate parts. O brahmana, the potency of the holy name is therefore certainly great. However, if one uses the vibration of the holy name for the benefit of the material body, for material wealth and followers, or under the influence of greed or atheism - in other words, if one utters the name with offenses - such chanting will not produce the desire result very soon. Therefore one should diligently avoid offenses in chanting the holy name of the Lord."*
Vijaya-kumara: Now I can see that the aspiring devotee has no alternative but to be aware of the offenses in chanting the holy name. Please be kind and describe those offenses.
Babaji: There are ten offenses to the holy name. They are described in these words of the Padma Purana (Brahma-khanda 25.15-18):
"1. Blasphemy of the great saintly persons who are engaged in preaching the Hare Krishna maha-mantra, is the worst offense at the lotus feet of the holy name. The nama-prabhu, who is identical with Krishna, will never tolerate such blasphemous activities, even from one who passes as a great devotee. 2. In this material world, the holy name of Visnu is all-auspicious. Visnu's name, form, qualities, and pastimes are all transcendental, absolute knowledge. Therefore if one tries to separate the Absolute Personality of Godhead from His holy name or His transcendental form, qualities and pastimes, thinking them to be material, that is offensive. Similarly, to think the names of demigods such as Lord Shiva to be as good as the name of Lord Visnu is also blasphemous.*
"3. To consider the spiritual master to be material and therefor to envy his exalted position. 4. Blasphemy of Vedic literature, such as the four Vedas and the Puranas. 5. To give some interpretation on the holy name of the Lord. 6. to consider the glories of the holy name to be imaginary. 7. To think that since the Hare Krishna mantra can counteract all sinful reactions one may therefore go on with his sinful activities and then at the same time chant the Hare Krishna mantra to neutralise them is the greatest offense at the lotus feet of Hari-nama. One who thinks in this way cannot be purified by any means, such as by austerities or by the various punishments of Yamaraja.*
"8. It is a great offense to consider the chanting of the Hare Krishna mantra to be equal to the performance of religious ceremonies, following austere vows, practicing renunciation, and fire sacrifices, which are all materialistic auspicious activities. 9. It is an offense to preach the glories of the holy name to those who will not hear, to those who are atheistic and those who have no faith in the chanting of the holy name.*
"10. That lowest among men, who, even after hearing the glories of the transcendental holy name of the Lord, continues in a materialistic concept of life, thinking, 'I am this body, and everything belonging to this body is mine (aham mameti)', and does not show respect and love for the chanting of the Hare Krishna maha-mantra is an offender to the holy name."*
Vijaya-kumara: Please kindly explain each verse separately so I may understand the offenses.
Babaji: Two offenses are described in the first verse. The first offense is blasphemy of the great saintly persons who have renounced karma, dharma, jnana and yoga, and have completely taken shelter of the holy name. That is a very great offense. And why should it not be a great offense? The holy name of Lord Hari will not excuse the blasphemy of great souls who properly preach the glories of the holy name to the world. The holy name is quickly merciful to persons who chanting the holy name in the company of the most saintly devotees and who avoid blaspheming devotees attached to the holy name.
Vijaya-kumara: I can understand the first offense very easily. O master, please explain the second offense.
Babaji: In the second half of the verse we are discussing, the second offense is described. This offense may be explained in two ways. The first explanation is this: Lord Visnu and Lord SadaShiva are the leaders of the demigods. To see that Their qualities, names, and other features show that They are both independent of each other is an offense to the holy name. The idea that Lord Visnu may be a supreme controller, but Lord Shiva is also a supreme controller, and he is independent of Lord Visnu, is an idea that leads to bhava-isvara-vada, the idea that there are many independent gods. That idea is a great obstruction blocking the path of unalloyed devotional service. The truth is that Lord Shiva and the other demigods have no power independent of Lord Visnu. If one understands in this way, then he does not commit this offense to the holy name. The second interpretation is this: To think that the name, form, qualities and pastimes of the all-auspicious (Shiva) Supreme Personality of Godhead are different from the transcendental and eternally perfect spiritual body of the Lord is an offense to the holy name. The truth is that Krishna's for, Krishna's name, Krishna's qualities, and Krishna's pastimes are all spiritual. They are not different from each other. A person who understands this theoretically (jnana) and practically (vijnana) when he chants the holy name of Lord Krishna does not commit this offense to the holy name. It is with this knowledge that one should chant the holy name of the Lord.
Vijaya-kumara: I understand the first and second offenses. By your mercy I have understood that Lord Krishna's form is spiritual and not material, that He is not different from His qualities, names, parts-and-parcels, and all else in relation to Him. A person who takes shelter of the holy name is obliged to learn the truth of matter and spirit by approaching the feet of a bona-fide spiritual master. Now please explain the third offense.
Babaji: One should have unwavering devotion to the spiritual master who gives one the holy name, for the holy name is the highest of all spiritual activities. A person who disrespects the spiritual master who gives the holy name, a person who thinks that although his spiritual master may be learned in the scriptures describing the holy name, he is not learned in Vedanta and other philosophies, a person who then thinks he knows more about philosophy than his spiritual master, commits an offense to the holy name. No teacher is superior to the spiritual master who knows the truth of the holy name. Therefore to think lightly of him is an offense to the holy name.
Vijaya-kumara: O master, if we are purely devoted to you, then our lives will be auspicious. Now please be merciful and explain the fourth offense.
Babaji: In the Sruti sastras it is said that chanting the holy name is the best of all spiritual activities. There it is said (the Vedas, quoted in Hari-bhakti-vilasa 11.510-512):
"O Lord Visnu, now that we understand the truth, we worship the glory of Your holy name.*
"Om Tat Sat Om. I offer my respectful obeisances to the feet of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. To attain liberation, the pure devotees chant and hear His transcendental holy names.*
"As far as they can understand You, the sages in ancient times chanted the glories of You, who are perfect and complete, and who are the father of the Vedas. O Lord Visnu, now that we understand the truth, we worship the glory of Your holy name."*
In this way it is seen that all the Vedas and all the Upanisads chant the glories of the holy name. To blaspheme all these scriptures is an offense to the holy name. If one honours the scriptures but blasphemes the parts of the scriptures that teach the glories of the holy name, one commits an offense to the holy name. Because of this offense one will not feel attracted to the holy name. Fully aware that the holy name is the crest jewel of all the Vedas, one should respectfully chant the holy name.
Vijaya-kumara: O master, your mouth is showering nectar on us! Now we thirst to learn about the fifth offense.
Babaji: The fifth offense to the holy name of Lord Hari is to give some interpretation on the holy name of the Lord. In the Jamini-samhita it is said:
"Persons who give the interpretation that the glories of the holy name as described in the Sruti-, Smrti and Puranas are exaggerations, live always in hell."
In the Brahma-samhita, the Supreme Personality of Godhead explains to Bodhayana:
"Any person who, after hearing the descriptions of the various benefits obtained by chanting the holy name thinks these benefits are exaggerated, I throw into a host of sufferings and torture in many horrible ways."
The scriptures explain that the holy name has all the powers of the Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself. The holy name is perfectly spiritual. Therefore it has the power to deliver one from the cycle of birth and death. In the Visnu-dharma Purana it is said:
"My dear king, this word Krishna is so auspicious that anyone who chants this holy name immediately gets rid of the resultant actions of sinful activities from many, many births."*
In the Brhan-Naradiya Purana it is said:
"O best of the brahmanas, chanting Lord Hari's holy names is the only way the people can become free of all sins. I do not see any other way."
In the Brhad-Visnu Purana it is said:
"A person who chants the holy name of Krishna can at once counteract the resultant actions of more sinful activities than he is able to perform."*
These descriptions of the holy name's glories are all completely true. However, when they hear these descriptions, persons who earn their livelihood by performing the rituals of karma or teaching the impersonal speculations of jnana, in order to protect their livelihood, say these descriptions are all exaggerations. Their interpretation is this: "The scriptures' descriptions of the glories of the holy names are not really true. Exaggerated descriptions of the benefits brought by chanting are given so that the mind may be attracted to the holy name." Persons who commit this offense do not attain attraction to the holy name. Therefore, with full faith in the words of scripture, you should chant the holy name of Lord Hari. But you should avoid the company of people who give the interpretation that the glories of the holy name are exaggerated. If somehow you see such a person, you should at once bathe while still wearing all your clothing. That teaching Lord Gauranga has given.
Vijaya-kumara: O master, it is not easy for householders to chant the holy name purely. And why not? They are always surrounded by non devotees who are all offenders to the holy name. Brahmana panditas like myself find it very hard to have the company of pious devotees. O master, please be merciful and give me the spiritual strength to avoid the company of non devotees. As I hear the words from your mouth, my faith grows more and more strong. Now please explain the sixth offense.
Babaji: The sixth offense is to consider the glories of the holy name to be imaginary. The impersonalists and fruitive workers think that the Supreme is formless and nameless. They think the sages invented the names Rama, Krishna and the other names of the Lord to help the people attain perfection. Persons who accept this conclusion are offenders to the holy name. The truth is that the holy name is spiritual and eternal. The holy name appears only on spiritual senses engaged in devotional service. Taking lessons from the bona fide spiritual master and the holy scriptures, you should understand that the holy name is real, spiritual and eternal. The holy name will not be merciful to you if you think he is imaginary.
Vijaya-kumara: O master, before we had taken shelter of your feet, which bring freedom from fear, we stayed in the company of fruitive workers and nyaya logicians and we thought as they did. Now, by your mercy, we have thrown those ideas far away. Please be merciful and now explain the seventh offense.
Babaji: To think that since the Hare Krishna mantra can counteract all sinful reactions one may therefore go on with his sinful activities and then at the same time chant the Hare Krishna mantra to neutralise them is an offense at the lotus feet of Hari-nama. A person who commits sins expecting that the holy name will purify him does not become purified even by practicing austerities. And why not? His action is counted among the offenses to the holy name. Its only atonement is the atonement that removes offenses to the holy name. That is the only way it is removed.
Vijaya-kumara: O master, in this world no sin exists that is not destroyed by chanting the holy name. Why, then does the holy name not destroy this sin? Why is it counted among the offenses to the holy name?
Babaji: Baba, on the day when a living entity purely takes shelter of the holy name, from that day forward all his sinful reactions, either prarabdha (that have already begun to bring suffering) or aprarabdha (that will bring suffering in the future), are at once destroyed. Eventually the holy name gives him prema (pure love of God). A person who purely takes shelter of the holy name throws sinful desires far away. He does not even desire the benefits attained by performing material pious deeds. He throws talk of material piety and sin far away. Neither is he attracted to impersonal liberation. Thus a person who purely chants the holy name does not commit sins. However, if a person commits offenses while he chants the holy name his chanting is namabhasa (a reflection of the holy name). It is not pure chanting of the holy name. In the stage of namabhasa, the chanter's past sins are all destroyed and at present he is not attracted to sinning. However, some remnant of past sinful habits remains and only gradually is destroyed. It is because of past habits the chanter accidentally commits some sins, the namabhasa (reflection of the holy name) throws that sin far away. However, if a person who takes shelter of the holy name thinks, "The chanting of the holy name destroys all sins. If I commit a sin, then the holy name will then destroy that sin." and if he then commits sins expecting to be forgiven, his sinful action is an offense to the holy name.
Vijaya-kumara: Now please explain the eighth offense and thus make us happy.
Babaji: It is a great offense to consider the chanting of the Hare Krishna mantra to be equal to following the varnasrama-dharma, giving charity, performing religious ceremonies, following austere vows, practicing renunciation and performing fire sacrifices, astanga-yoga and other like deeds, which are all materialistic auspicious activities. These and the other pious deeds described in the scriptures are all material activities. However, the holy name of the Lord is beyond the world of matter. The pious activities described here are all means to attain certain goals. The final goal is spiritual in nature. All these pious deeds are means. They are not goals. However, the holy name of Hari is a means during the period of sadhana-bhakti, and a final goal when the devotee reaps the fruit of his spiritual activities. Therefore ordinary material pious activities are not equal to chanting the holy name of Lord Hari. A person who thinks ordinary material pious activities are equal to chanting the holy name of Lord Hari commits an offense to the holy name. Material pious deeds bring only very small and pathetic benefits. A person who prays that the holy name grant him these pathetic material benefits commits an offense to the holy name. And why not? Such a persons thinks material pious deeds are equal to chanting the holy name. A person who knows that material pious deeds bring only small and pathetic results and who understands that the holy name of Lord Hari is perfectly spiritual has the knowledge called 'abhidheya-jnana (knowledge of how one makes spiritual advancement by engaging in devotional service).
Vijaya-kumara: O master, now I understand that nothing is equal to the holy name of Lord Hari. Now please explain the ninth offense. My heart thirsts to hear of it.
Babaji: The Vedas teach that the chanting of Lord Hari's holy name is the best of all spiritual activities. A person who has faith in unalloyed devotional service is naturally qualified to chant the holy name of Lord Hari. Persons who have no such faith are naturally averse to spiritual activities. When they hear the holy name they are not attracted to it. To teach such persons about the holy name is an offense. Chanting the holy name of Lord Hari is the best of all spiritual activities. The holy name brings auspiciousness to everyone. Therefore the teaching is that it is best to chant the holy name and allow such persons to hear the chanting. However, without first seeing that the recipient is properly qualified, one should not give initiation into the chanting of the holy name. When you become a parama-bhagavata (great devotee of the Lord), the you will have transcendental potency. By the Lord's mercy you will have the power to give people faith in the holy name. To such persons you may teach the truth about the holy name of Lord Hari. As long as you remain a madhyama-Vaishnava (intermediate devotee of the Lord) you should avoid the faithless, the non devotees and the persons who hate the Lord.
Vijaya-kumara: O master, pushed by greed for fame and money, many spiritual masters initiate unqualified persons in the chanting of Lord Hari's holy name. What is the status of these spiritual masters?
Babaji: They are offenders to the holy name.
Vijaya-kumara: Please be merciful and explain the tenth offense.
Babaji: A resident of the material world who is intoxicated with the idea, "I am wealthy and glorious. I have many servants and followers", and who on some rare occasions thinks favourably about renunciation or has a glimpse of spiritual understanding, or hears the glories of the holy name from panditas, but does not earnestly love the holy name as he should, commits an offense to the holy name. To teach these persons, the Lord says in Sri Siksastaka (verse 2):
"O my Lord, Your holy name alone can render all benediction to living beings, and thus You have hundreds and millions of names like Krishna and Govinda. In these transcendental names You have invested all Your transcendental energies. There are not even hard and fast rules for chanting these names. O my Lord, out of kindness You enable us to easily approach You by chanting Your holy names, but I am so unfortunate that I have no attraction for them."*
Baba, avoid these ten offenses and chant Lord Hari's holy name always. Then the holy name will quickly be merciful to you, give you prema (pure love of God) and turn you into a parama-bhagavata (a great devotee of the Lord).
Vijaya-kumara: O master, now I see that the impersonalists, fruitive workers, and yogis are all offenders to the holy name. When many people gather together to chant the holy name (sankirtana) is it right for a pure Vaishnava to join them?
Babaji: If offenders to the holy name are prominent among the chanters, then it is not right for a true Vaishnava to join them in chanting. However, if the chanters are mostly pure Vaishnavas or Vaishnavas whose chanting is on the level of namabhasa (the reflection of the holy name), then there is no harm. In truth it is good. That chanting brings spiritual happiness. Now it is late at night. Tomorrow you will hear more about namabhasa.
Their voices choked with love for the holy name, Vijaya-kumara and Vrajanatha offered prayers to the saintly babaji, touched the dust from his feet, and, signing the song "Hari haraye namah", began walking to Bilva-puskarini.
Chapter Twenty-five Nitya-dharma O Sambandhabhidheya-prayojana (Prameyantar-gata Namaparadha-vicara)
Eternal religion and Sambandha, Abhidheya and Prayojana (Offenses to the Holy name)
The next evening, at dusk, Vijaya-kumara and Vrajanatha approached the saintly babaji and offered dandavat obeisances to him. When it was appropriate, Vijaya-kumara said, "o master, please be merciful and fully explain namabhasa (the reflection of the holy name). We thirst to hear about the holy name." The saintly babaji replied, "You are very fortunate. To understand the holy name you should first understand three things: 1. nama (the pure chanting of the holy name), 2. namabhasa (the reflection of the holy name) and 3. namaparadha (offenses to the holy name). Now I will explain about namabhasa. The reflection of the holy name is called 'namabhasa'.
Vijaya-kumara: What kind of reflection is it, and how many kinds of reflection are there?
Babaji: The word 'abhasa' has three definitions: 1. kanti (light), 2. chaya (shadow) and 3. pratibimba (reflection). An effulgent object manifests light and also creates shadows. In this way the sun of the holy name manifests as nama-chaya (the shadow of the holy name) and nama-pratibimba (the reflection of the holy name). The wise speak of 'bhakty-abhasa" (the partial presence of devotional service), "bhavabhasa' (the partial presence of ecstatic love of God), 'namabhasa' (the partial presence of the holy name), and 'Vaishnavabhasa' (being a Vaishnava in part). Each of these 'abhasas' is divided into two aspects: 'pratibimba' (reflection) and 'chaya' (shadow).
Vijaya-kumara: How are bhakty-abhasa, bhavabhasa, namabhasa, and Vaishnavabhasa related to each other?
Babaji: A Vaishnava chants the holy name of Lord Hari. If he chants the holy name with bhakty-abhasa, then the holy name manifests before him as namabhasa, and he himself is a Vaishnavabhasa. The words bhava and bhakti refer to the same thing. They are called by different names because one is contracted and the other expanded.
Vijaya-kumara: In what condition of life is one a Vaishnavabhasa?
Babaji: In Srimad Bhagavatam (11.2.47) it is said:
"A prakrta, or materialistic devotee does not purposefully study the sastra and try to understand the actual standard of pure devotional service. Consequently he does not show proper respect to advanced devotees. He may, however, follow the regulative principles learned from his spiritual master or from his family who worships the Deity. He is to be considered on the material platform, although he is trying to advance in devotional service. Such a person is a bhakta-praya (neophyte devotee), or bhaktabhasa, for he is a little enlightened by Vaishnava philosophy."
The word 'sraddha' (faith) in this verse means 'sraddhabhasa' (the partial presence of faith). And why not? When faith is directed to the Lord alone and not to the Lord's devotees, such faith is called chaya (shadow) or pratibimba (reflection). That is the faith of ordinary materialist people. It is not the spiritual faith of pure devotional service. Because a bhaktabhasa (a person who is partially a devotee) has faith and worship that are material (prakrta) in nature, a bhaktabhasa devotee is also called a 'prakrta-bhakta' or a "Vaishnavabhasa'. Lord Mahaprabhu said that Hiranya-Govardhana was a 'Vaishnava-praya'. The word "Vaishnava-praya' means 'a person who, wearing beads, tilaka markings and other things, looks like a true Vaishnava, although his chanting of the holy name is only namabhasa'. Such a person is not a true Vaishnava or a 'suddha-Vaishnava" (pure Vaishnava).
Vijaya-kumara: If an impersonalist accepts the various outward markings of a Vaishnava and chants the holy name, is he then a Vaishnavabhasa?
Babaji: No. They cannot be called 'Vaishnavabhasa'. They are offenders. They should be called "Vaishnavaparadhi" (offenders to the Vaishnavas). They who take shelter of pratibimba-namabhasa (the reflection of the holy name) and pratibimba-bhavabhasa (the reflection of ecstatic love for the Lord) may be called Vaishnavabhasa. But it is not right to call the great offenders by the name "Vaishnava". They should be called something else.
Vijaya-kumara: O master, please explain more clearly the nature of the pure chanting of the holy name, so we may understand it better.
Babaji: When a person who chants the holy name is 'anyabhilasita-sunya' (free of all material desires), 'jnana-karmady-anavrta' (free of impersonalism and fruitive work), and 'anukulya-bhava' (favourable to Lord Krishna), then his chanting is pure chanting of the holy name. Here the word 'anyabhilasa' does not refer to the desire to taste the transcendental bliss that comes when the spiritual holy name is openly manifested. "anyabhilasa' here refers to the desire to attain impersonal liberation or freedom from sins as the result of one's chanting of the holy name. If these desires are present, then one's chanting of the holy name will not be pure. If one is not free from the desire to enjoy the so-called benefits obtained by jnana (impersonal speculation) and karma (fruitive work), then his chanting of the holy name will not be pure either. If one throws far away all feelings of enmity toward the Lord, and maintains only favourable emotions directed to the Lord, then one's chanting of the holy name will be pure. In this way you can see that when one's chanting is free of namaparadha (offenses to the holy name) and namabhasa (the partial manifestation of the holy name), then his chanting is suddha-nama (the pure chanting of the holy name), Lord Gauracandra, the purifier of the Kali-yuga has described this pure chanting in the following words:
"One should chant the holy name of the Lord in a humble state of mind, thinking oneself lower than the straw in the street. One should be more tolerant than a tree, devoid of all sense of false prestige, and ready to offer all respect to others. In such a state of mind one can chant the holy name of the Lord constantly."*
Vijaya-kumara: O master, how are namabhasa and namaparadha different?
Babaji: Namabhasa is not suddha-nama (the pure chanting of the holy name). In one circumstance the chanting of the holy name is called 'namabhasa' and in another circumstance it is called 'namaparadha'. When out of bewilderment and foolishness one does not chant the holy name purely, his chanting is called 'namabhasa'. On the other hand, when a rascal impersonalist who yearns to attain impersonal liberation chants the holy name, or when a hedonist who yearns after material pleasures chants the holy name, their impure chanting is called 'namaparadha' (offense to the holy name). I have already described to you the ten offenses. If a sincere person out of ignorance commits these offenses, his chanting is namabhasa. This should be understood: As long as one's chanting is namabhasa and does not have the nature of namaparadha, then one may hope that one day he will rise above namabhasa and attain suddha-nama (the pure chanting of the holy name). As long as one is in the stage of namaparadha it will not be easy for him to chant the holy name purely. I have already explained how one becomes free from namaparadha (offenses to the holy name). Aside from that, there is no other method by which one can attain auspiciousness.
Vijaya-kumara: What should a person whose chanting is namabhasa do to turn his namabhasa chanting into suddha-nama (the pure chanting of the holy name)?
Babaji: By associating with pure devotees one quickly becomes attracted to pure devotional service. When the holy name dances on the tongue of such a person, that chanting is suddha-nama (pure chanting of the holy name). However, such a person must scrupulously avoid the association of persons whose chanting is namaparadha. And why not? If he associates with them, he will not be able to chant the holy name purely. Association with saintly devotees is the only way for the individual soul to attain auspiciousness. For this reason Lord Gauracandra, who is the master of our lives, taught Sanatana Gosvami that association with saintly devotees is the root from which devotional service grows. When one associates with saintly devotees and avoids the association of non devotees and women, he will be able to chant the holy name of Lord Krishna properly.
Vijaya-kumara: O master, does this mean that if a man does not renounce the association of his wife he will not be able to chant the holy name purely?
Babaji: One should renounce association with women. When a householder Vaishnava associates with his wife and he lives Vaishnava household life in an unattached way, that is not what is meant here by "association with women". When a man has a material attachment to a woman or a woman has a material attachment to a man, that is what is meant here by 'association with women'. A householder may remain in family life, and if he is free from material attachment he can chant Lord Krishna's holy name purely and he can attain the final goal of life.
Vijaya-kumara: O master, what are the different kinds of namabhasa?
Babaji: In Srimad Bhagavatam (6.2.14) it is said:
"One who chants the holy name of the Lord is immediately freed from the reactions of unlimited sins, even if he chants indirectly (to indicate something else), jokingly, for musical entertainment, or even neglectfully. This is accepted by all the learned scholars of the scriptures."*
Vijaya-kumara: O master, what does it mean to 'chant indirectly' (sanketya)?
Babaji: At the moment of his death Ajamila called for his son, who was named Narayana. By speaking the word "Narayana", which is a name of Lord Krishna, Ajamila attained the benefit brought by chanting the Lord's name indirectly. The mlecchas use the words 'Harama! Harama!", which means "Pig"!, to show their horror and contempt. However, these words mean "Ha Rama!" (O Lord Rama!). By chanting the Lord's holy name in this indirect way, the mlecchas become free from Yamaraja's grip. Namabhasa (the glimpse of the holy name) brings liberation. That is the conclusion of all the scriptures. The holy names of Lord Mukunda (Krishna) are not different from the Lord Himself. Therefore a person who says the word "Mukunda" touches Lord Mukunda directly. In this way he easily attains liberation. By following the path of impersonal speculation one attains liberation only after much difficulty. But by namabhasa (the glimpse of the holy name)everyone attains liberation very easily.
Vijaya-kumara: O master, many arrogant impersonalist scholars, mlecchas completely ignorant of the truth and demons who stand opposed to all spiritual goals attained liberation by jokingly (parihasya) chanting the holy name. This I have read in many places in the scriptures. Please describe this joking chanting of the holy name.
Babaji: When a person disrespectfully chants the holy name that is called 'stobha'. As a Vaishnava chants the holy name aloud, a blasphemer may approach and say, "He, your 'Hari Kesta' will bring everything to you!" By thus chanting the holy name, even disrespectfully, the blasphemer will eventually attain liberation. That is the power of the holy name.
Vijaya-kumara: What is chanting the holy name neglectfully (helana)?
Babaji: That is chanting the holy name without honouring it. In the Prabhasa-khanda it is said:
"Krishna's name is the sweetest of sweet things, the most auspicious of all auspicious things, the transcendental fruit of the vine of all Vedic literature. O best of the Bhrgus, chanted even once, either with faith or contempt, it delivers the chanter."
In this verse the word 'sraddhaya' means 'with respect' and 'helaya' means 'without respect'. The words 'nara-matram tarayet' mean that the holy name delivers even the yavanas.
Vijaya-kumara: Is it not an offense to chant the holy name without showing respect?
Babaji: If it is done because of a demonic nature it is an offense. But if it is done because of ignorance, it is namabhasa (a glimpse of the holy name).
Vijaya-kumara: Please explain what benefit namabhasa brings and what benefit it does not bring?
Babaji: Sense pleasures (bhukti), liberation (mukti) and the eighteen yogic perfections are included among the benefits namabhasa brings. However, pure love for Lord Krishna (Krishna-prema) which is the highest goal of life, is not granted by namabhasa. If a person whose chanting is on the level of namabhasa associates with a pure devotee (suddha-bhakta), then the chanter can come to the level of a madhyama-Vaishnava (intermediate devotee). From that status he can become further elevated, attain pure devotion, chant the holy name purely, and finally attain pure love for Lord Krishna (Krishna-prema).
Vijaya-kumara: O master, in this world there are many devotees who are on the platform of Vaishnavabhasa. They have the outward marks of a Vaishnava and they diligently chant the holy name although their chanting is on the level of namabhasa. Even though they chant, after many days they still do not attain pure love for Lord Krishna (Krishna-prema). Why is that?
Babaji: The reason is confidential. It is this: Persons on the level of bhakty-abhasa (a glimpse of devotional service) are certainly eligible to eventually attain pure devotional service. However, if such persons mistakenly think impure persons, persons who do not have unalloyed devotion to the Lord, to be great saints, and if by this bad association they eventually associate with impersonalists and other offenders, by that bad association they also become offenders to the pure Vaishnavas. In this way their path of gradual spiritual advancement becomes checked. Thus by bad association they come to accept the doctrines of the impersonalists or other offenders. In this way they wander far away from pure devotional service and eventually they become offenders. However, if, because of past pious deeds they are able to shun bad association and remain in the association of good devotees, then they eventually will become pure Vaishnavas.
Vijaya-kumara: O master, what result is obtained by namaparadha (offenses to the holy name)?
Babaji: Even if they were multiplied millions of time, the five sins would not equal an offense to the holy name. You can very easily see the result reaped by offending the holy name.
Vijaya-kumara: O master, a person who offends the holy name certainly reaps an inauspicious result. Still, does he not also obtain a good result because he has spoken the syllables of the holy name?
Babaji: The holy name fulfils the chanter's desires, whatever they are. However, to the offensive chanter the holy name will not give pure love for Lord Krishna (Krishna-prema). Eventually the offensive chanter must taste the result of his offenses. However, a person who, although he commits offenses to the holy name, regularly chants the holy name will attain the result of his chanting. After some time his chanting will become a great transcendental pious deed. As that transcendental pious deed grows greater and greater, he will attain the association of saintly devotees who devotedly chant the holy name in a pure way. Thus by always chanting the holy name, the offender eventually becomes free of his offenses to the holy name. By following this path even impersonalists gradually become sincere devotees of Lord Hari.
Vijaya-kumara: By chanting the holy name only once a person is freed from all sins. Why, then should one chant the name always?
Babaji: Offenders to the holy name have hearts and activities that are always impure. They are naturally averse to the Lord. They are never attracted to saintly persons, holy objects, or holy times. They are naturally attracted to evil persons, evil theories, and evil deeds. However, constant chanting of the holy name turns them away from evil persons and evil deeds. Free from bad association, they come to chant the holy name purely. The holy name then gives them the strength to proceed on the spiritual path.
Vijaya-kumara: O master, from your saintly mouth flows a nectar stream of the descriptions of the holy name, a stream that flows through the cave of our ears and into our hearts. Drinking from this stream makes us intoxicated with the nectar of love for the holy name. Now we understand the difference between nama (the pure chanting of the holy name), namabhasa (a glimpse of the holy name), and namaparadha (offensive chanting of the holy name). Now our lives are a success. Please tell us the conclusion of all this. We yearn to hear it.
Babaji: In Jagadananda Pandita's Prema-vivarta the conclusion is eloquently taught. Please listen to it.
"O brother, the holy name of Lord Krishna does not come from a person who associates with non devotees. The syllables of the holy name may come from him, but the true holy name does not.
"Sometimes a glimpse of the holy name (namabhasa) comes from him. Always offenses to the holy name (namaparadha) come from him. O my brother, please know that these are all obstacles to the path of devotion to Lord Krishna.
"If you wish truly to chant the holy name of Lord Krishna, then stay in the association of devotees and keep far away from the desire for sense gratification, impersonal liberation, and yoga-siddhis.
"Avoid the ten offenses, remain aloof from praise and blame, perform your duties, and chant the holy name of Lord Krishna.
"Always accept what is favourable to Lord Krishna's devotional service and always reject what is not favourable to Lord Krishna's devotional service.
"Avoid impersonal speculation, yoga, and fruitive work. Avoid the pretended renunciation practiced by persons who are like monkeys. That so-called renunciation is only a funny comedy played on the stage of the material body.
"Always think, 'Krishna is my protector'. By humbly surrendering to Him you will be free of troubles.
"It is very difficult for a conditioned soul to meet a great saint. That is why Lord Krishna came, in the form of a great devotee, to the land of Nadiya.
"If you are wise, you will take shelter of Lord Gaura's feet. Where is there a saintly guru like Lord Gaura?
"O sannyasi brother, don't talk or hear gossip when you meet with others.
"O my sannyasi brother, even in dreams do not talk to women. O my brother, please remember that you have left your wife at home, and now you live in the forest.
"If you wish to keep Lord Gauranga's love, then please keep in your mind the story of Chota Haridasa.
"Don't eat opulent food. Don't wear opulent clothing. In your heart always worship Radha and Krishna.
"Like Haridasa Thakura, always chant the name of Lord Krishna. At every moment of the eight parts of the day worship Radha and Krishna in the groves of Vrindavan forest.
"To both householder and sannyasi, Lord Gaura Raya says, 'My brother, do not pass your days without chanting the holy name.'
"O my brother, there is no need to perform a great variety of many different devotional activities. You need only purely take shelter of Lord Krishna's holy name. Pass your life in that way.
"Merciful to the conditioned souls, Lord Krishna has descended as His holy name. Merciful to the people in Kali-yuga, Lord Krishna has descended as fair-complexioned Lord Gaura.
"Sincerely worship Lord Gaura's devotees. O my brother, that is the way to attain Lord Krishna's feet.
"In the company of Lord Gaura's devotees, chant the names of Lord Gaura, chant the Hare Krishna mantra, and dance again and again.
"O my brother, in this way you will quickly attain the wealth of love for the holy name, a wealth that our Lord personally came to Nadiya to deliver."
Hearing Sri Jagadananda Pandita's Prema-vivarta from the mouth of the elderly saintly babaji, Vijaya-kumara and Vrajanatha were overcome with spiritual love. For some moments the saintly babaji fell unconscious. Then, placing his arms around Vijaya-kumara's and Vrajanatha's necks, he began to sing:
"How powerful is the holy name of Lord Krishna!
"Ablaze with material desires, my heart has become like a desert scorched by the sun. But now something walks on the pathway of my ears. Now it enters my heart. It is like a peerless shower of nectar.
"That shower of nectar has now left my heart. Now it walks on my tongue. Assuming the form of a sound, it dances again and again. My voice is choked. My limbs tremble. My feet cannot stay still.
"A torrential stream flows from my eyes. My body is covered with perspiration. The hairs of my body stand erect. I fall unconscious. I think the end of the world has come. My entire body is filled with ecstatic love.
"It greatly troubles me. It showers my heart with nectar. It plunges me into an ocean of love. Now I do not understand anything. It has made me a madman. It has robbed all the wealth I keep in my heart.
"I take shelter of Him, and this is the way He acts. I cannot tell it all. The holy name of Lord Krishna is independent. He acts as He likes. If He wishes, He makes me happy. He is the wealth of my happiness.
"The holy name is the budding flower of love. It is the resting place of wonderful nectar. It shows so much power. The budding flower begins to open. It shows a little of its beauty and virtue. Binding me with the ropes of Krishna, it steals my heart.
"When it opens fully, that flower carries me to Vraja. It shows me its own form and pastimes. It gives me a perfect spiritual body. It places me by Krishna's side. It completely destroys my material body.
"The holy name of Lord Krishna is a cintamani jewel. It is the spring from which all nectar flows. It is eternally liberated. It is pure and sweet. If I can die plagued by the troubles brought by the holy name, then I will be happy."
Again and again he sang the glories of the holy name. In this way half the night passed. Then he stopped. Taking permission from their spiritual master, Vijaya-kumara and Vrajanatha, now plunged in the nectar of the holy name, returned to their own place.
Chapter Twenty-six Rasa-vicara Arambha
The Discussion of Rasa Begins
Vijaya-kumara did not come for almost a month. Knowing the desire of Vrajanatha and Vijaya-kumara, Vrajanatha's grandmother arranged, with the help of a matchmaker, for a suitable bride. Hearing this news, Vijaya-kumara sent his brother to Bilva-puskarini to perform his nephew's auspicious wedding ceremony. The auspicious day of the auspicious ceremony came. Hearing all about the wedding, one day Vijaya-kumara came there. His heart was restless for spiritual advancement. He would not talk of material things. Vrajanatha said to him, "Uncle, why is your heart not peaceful today? Tell me confidentially. By your order I now wear the shackles of household life. Please tell me what you are thinking about your own self." Vijaya-kumara replied, "Baba, I have decided that at least once I should see Jagannatha Puri. In a few days I will leave with a group of pilgrims from Jagannatha Puri. Come, let us go to our spiritual master and I will ask his permission. After lunch, Vrajanatha and Vijaya-kumara went to Sri Mayapura, told everything to saintly Raghunatha dasa Babaji and asked his permission to go on pilgrimage to Jagannatha Puri. With great happiness the saintly babaji said that nowadays in Jagannatha Puri, at Jagannatha Misra's home, where Lord Mahaprabhu stayed, resides Sri Vakresvara Pandita's disciple Sri Gopala-guru Gosvami, whose saintly feet Vijaya-kumara should see, and whose teachings he should devotedly hear, and around whose neck now rest the teachings of Sri Svarupa Damodara Gosvami. When Vrajanatha and Vijaya-kumara returned, Vrajanatha declared that he also wished to go to Jagannatha Puri. Vijaya-kumara was very glad to hear this. When they both explained all this, it was finally decided that Vrajanatha's grandmother would accompany them.
The month of Jyaistha (May-June) had not yet come when the pilgrims left their homes and entered the path to Jagannatha Puri. Walking and walking, after some days they came to Dantana and then Jalesvara. Eventually they saw the Deity Sri Ksiracora Gopinatha. Then they came to Sri Viraja-ksetra. After performing the nabhigaya-kriya ritual, they bathed in the Vaitarani River and then went to Cuttack, where they saw the Deity of Sri Gopala. Then they saw a Deity of Lord Shiva in a mango grove. Finally they came to Jagannatha Puri. There the panditas arranged lodgings for each of the pilgrims. Vijaya-kumara, Vrajanatha and Vrajanatha's grandmother all stayed at the home of Haracandi-sahi. They circumambulated the holy place, bathed in the sea, saw the five famous holy places, and honoured the prasadam foods offered to the Lord. Three or four days passed in this way. Then, in the temple Vijaya-kumara and Vrajanatha saw a picture of Lord Mahaprabhu as well as His footprints and fingerprints. Overcome with love, that very day they went to the home of Kasi Misra. In Kasi Misra's home they saw the stone Gambhira room and they also saw Lord Mahaprabhu's sandals and other things. On one side was the temple of Sri Radha-kanta and on the other side was the room of Sri Gopala-guru Gosvami. Their voices choked with the happiness of spiritual love, Vijaya-kumara and Vrajanatha fell before Gopala-guru Gosvami's feet. Gopala-guru Gosvami mercifully glanced at them, embraced them, and asked, "Who are you?" When Vijaya-kumara and Vrajanatha told about themselves, tears flowed from the eyes of Gopala-guru Gosvami. When he heard the word "Sri Nabadwip", he said, "I am fortunate, for today I have seen two residents of the holy abode. Please tell me: How are Raghunatha dasa and Gauracanda dasa and the other Vaishnavas in Sri Mayapura these days? Ah! Whenever I think of Raghunatha dasa Babaji I also remember my siksa-guru Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami. Then Gopala-guru Gosvami called for his disciple Sri Dhyanacandra and said to him, "These two great souls should be given prasadam." Going to Dhyanacandra's room, Vrajanatha and Vijaya-kumara honoured the maha-prasadam. After honouring maha-prasadam, the three devotees talked about many things. Learning that Vijaya-kumara was a scholar of Srimad Bhagavatam and Vrajanatha was a scholar of many scriptures, Dhyanacandra Gosvami became very happy. He approached Gopala-guru Gosvami and told him all about it. Gopala-guru Gosvami merciful said, "These two persons are the great treasure of my heart. Please bring them to see me every day that they stay in Jagannatha Puri. At that time Vijaya-kumara and Vrajanatha said, "O master, Raghunatha dasa Babaji Mahasaya of Sri Mayapura has been very merciful to us. He ordered us to take instructions at your feet." Gopala-guru Gosvami said, "Raghunatha dasa Babaji is very learned. You should carefully follow whatever advice he gives. If you wish to study something he has not yet taught you, then you may come tomorrow at midday, honour the Lord's lunch prasadam and then ask questions. After accepting Gopala-guru's invitation, the two devotees returned to Haracandi-sahi's home.
The next day, at the appointed time, the two devotees went to the temple of Sri Radha-kanta, honoured prasadam, and then placed some questions before Gopala-guru Gosvami's feet. They said, "O master, we wish to understand the transcendental rasas (relationships with Lord Krishna). By hearing the description of the rasas of devotional service to Lord Krishna from your holy mouth our lives will become successful. You are the foremost spiritual master of Lord Nimai Pandita's sampradaya. You stay in Lord Mahaprabhu's home, and you have accepted the seat given by Sri Svarupa Damodara Gosvami. You are the spiritual master of the entire world. When we hear from your mouth about the transcendental rasas, whatever little we have learned about the transcendental science will finally bear its proper fruit. Taking these two disciples to a secluded place, he happily said, "May Nimai Pandita, who is the son of Sri Saci-devi, and who, descending to this world in the land of Sri Mayapura, mercifully delivered the people of Bengal and Orissa, grant transcendental bliss to us. May Sri Svarupa Damodara Gosvami, who pleased Lord Mahaprabhu by describing to Him the sweet mellows of madhura-rasa, appear in our hearts. May Vakresvara Pandita, whose dancing made Nimai Pandita into his submissive servant, and who purified Devananda Pandita, grant auspiciousness to you.
"The rasas cannot be compared to anything else. When the moon of the Supreme Lord's transcendental pastimes directly rises, then the activities of pure devotional service become 'bhakti-rasa' (the mellows of devotional service).
Vrajanatha: What pious deeds must one have performed in the past in order that one may attain rasa?
Gosvami: I cannot answer this question with only a brief explanation. I will explain elaborately. Then you will understand. From your spiritual master you have heard about 'Krishna-rati' (attachment to Krishna), which is also called 'sthayi-bhava' (steady ecstasy). When that ecstatic love increases, it becomes Krishna-bhakti-rasa (the mellows of devotional service to Lord Krishna).
Vrajanatha: Please describe 'sthayi-bhava' (steady ecstasy) and "samagri' (the ingredients of rasa). I have already heard my spiritual master explain what is 'bhava'. I did not hear from him how these things combine to become 'rasa'.
Gosvami: Generally, bhava-bhakti (ecstatic devotional service) and Krishna-rati (attraction to Lord Krishna) appear because of transcendental pious deeds performed in this life or a previous life. In this way one attains a condition of life that is filled with bliss. There are four kinds of samagris (ingredients or rasa). They are: 1. vibhava (special symptoms or causes of ecstasy), 2. anubhava (subsequent ecstasy), 3. sattvika-bhava (constitutional or existential ecstasy), and 4. vyabhicari-bhava (aggressive ecstasy) or sancari-bhava (continuously existing ecstatic symptoms). Let me begin by explaining these different samagris (ingredients of rasa). Vibhava, which causes one to taste the sweetness of attraction to Krishna, is of two kinds: 1. alambana (basic) and 2. uddipana (impelling). Alambana is itself of two kinds: 1. visaya (the object of love), and 2. asraya (the reservoir of love). The object of love is the visaya-alambana, and the person who possesses the love is the asraya-alambana. thus the person who is the object of attachment or love is the rati-visaya, and the person who is attached or who loves is the rati-asraya. Thus a devotee who in his heart loves Lord Krishna is the rati-asraya, and Lord Krishna, who is the object of His devotee's love, is the rati-visaya.
Vrajanatha: I have understood that vibhava is divided into alambana and uddipana. Further, alambana is of two kinds: visaya and asraya. Lord Krishna is the visaya and the devotee is the asraya. This I desire to know: Is there any situation where Lord Krishna Himself is the rati-asraya (a person who loves someone).
Gosvami: Yes. When Lord Krishna loves His devotee, then Krishna is the rati-asraya and the devotee is the rati-visaya.
Vrajanatha: From my spiritual master I have heard the description of Lord Krishna's sixty four qualities. Please tell me what more may be said about Lord Krishna.
Gosvami: Lord Krishna is perfect and complete. He has all transcendental qualities and virtues. When He is in Dvaraka He is perfect. When He is in Mathura He is more perfect. When He is in Gokula He is most perfect. His transcendental qualities are manifested in this way in different degrees. In His different pastimes Lord Krishna appears as 'dhirodatta', 'dhira-lalita', 'dhira-prasanta', and 'dhirodhatta'. In these four ways Lord Krishna is a hero.
Vrajanatha: What is "dhirodatta"?
Gosvami: As a dhirodatta hero Lord Krishna is very grave, gentle, forgiving, merciful, and virtuous in many ways.
Vrajanatha: What is 'dhira-lalita'?
Gosvami: As a dhira-lalita hero Lord Krishna is naturally very funny, always in full youthfulness, expert in joking, free from all anxieties, and domesticated and very submissive to His lovers.
Vrajanatha: What is "dhira-prasanta"?
Gosvami: As a dhira-prasanta hero Lord Krishna is very peaceful, forbearing, considerate and obliging.
Vrajanatha: What is 'dhiroddhata'?
Gosvami: As a dhiroddhata hero Lord Krishna is very envious, proud, easily angered, restless and complacent.
Vrajanatha: Many of these qualities you have described contradict each other. How is that possible?
Gosvami: Lord Krishna possesses all powers and opulences without any limit. Therefore by His inconceivable potencies it is entirely possible that He possess many mutually contradictory qualities. This is described in the following words of the Kurma Purana:
"He is not great and He is not small. He is the greatest and He is the smallest. He has no colour. His colour is dark and the corners of His eyes are red.
"Because He has all powers and opulences, the Supreme Personality of Godhead possesses contradictory qualities. Even so, there is no fault in this. His contradictory qualities are glories."
In the Maha-Varaha Purana it is said:
"All the forms of the Supreme Personality of Godhead are eternal and everlasting. Nothing can be given to improve them, for they are perfect. Nothing can be taken from them. They are not material.
"They are full of transcendental bliss and knowledge. They are filled with all virtues and free from all faults."
In the Vaishnava Tantra it is said:
"The form of the Supreme Personality of Godhead is eternal, full of knowledge, bliss, power and opulence and free of the eighteen faults."
"The eighteen faults are: illusion, fatigue, errors, roughness, material lust, restlessness, pride, envy, violence, disgrace, exhaustion, untruth, anger, hankering, dependence, desire to lord over the universe, seeing duality, and cheating."*
The forms of the Lord's incarnations are all perfect. The form of Lord Krishna, who is the source of all incarnations is supremely perfect. Aside from what has already been said, Lord Krishna possesses the eight qualities of a great personality: 1. decorated, 2. enjoying, 3. pleasing, 4. dependable, 5. steady, 6. predominating, 7. a meticulous dresser, and 8. a magnanimous personality. It is said that a person is great if he is decorated with the qualities of being very merciful toward the unfortunate, very powerful, superior, chivalrous, enthusiastic, expert, and truthful. When a person is always happy and is accustomed to speak smilingly, he is considered to be in the mode of enjoyment. When one's characteristics are very sweet and desirable, his personality is called pleasing. Any person who is reliable in all circumstances is called dependable. A person who is not disturbed even in a situation of reverses is called steady. A person who can affect the mind of everyone is called predominating. A person who is fond of dressing himself is called lalita, or a meticulous dresser. Persons who can give themselves to anyone are called magnanimous. Although Krishna is independent of everyone, out of His causeless mercy He is dependent upon Garga Rsi for religion instruction, for learning the military art He is dependent upon Satyaki and for good counsel He is dependent upon His friend Uddhava*
Vrajanatha: Now I have learned how Lord Krishna is the hero of rasas. Now please describe the devotees who are qualified for the rasas and who have attain vibhava.
Gosvami: A person who in his heart has ecstatic love (bhava) for Lord Krishna is considered a devotee situated in the rasas. The 26 qualities of Lord Krishna that begin with truthfulness and end with shyness are all present in the devotees of Lord Krishna.
Vrajanatha: What are the different kinds of devotees qualified to participate in the rasas?
Gosvami: The devotees of Krishna can be classified into two groups: 1. sadhaka (those who are cultivating devotional service in order to enter into the transcendental kingdom), and 2. siddha (those who are already in the perfectional stage of devotional service).
Vrajanatha: Who are the sadhakas?
Gosvami: A person who has the stage of attraction for Krishna and who is not freed from the material impasse, but who has qualified himself to enter into the kingdom of God is called sadhaka. Sadhaka means one who is cultivating devotion in Krishna consciousness. The description of such a devotee is found in the Eleventh Canto, Second Chapter, verse 46 of Srimad Bhagavatam.*
Vrajanatha: O master, are not the devotees described in Srimad Bhagavatam 11.2.47 also qualified for the rasas?
Gosvami: If one has not obtained the mercy of a pure devotee and become a pure devotee himself, then he cannot be considered a sadhaka. An example of a sadhaka cultivating devotional service is Bilvamangala Thakura.
Vrajanatha: Who are the siddha devotees?
Gosvami: When a devotee is never tired of executing devotional service and is always engaged in Krishna conscious activities, constantly relishing the transcendental mellows in relationship with Krishna, he is called (siddha). There are two kinds of perfect devotees: 1. they who attained perfection (asamprapta-siddha) and 2. they who were always perfect (nitya-siddha).
Vrajanatha: Who are the samprapta-siddha devotees?
Gosvami: The perfectional stage can be achieved (samprapta-siddha) in two ways: one may achieve this stage of perfection by gradual progress in devotional service (sadhana-siddha), or one may become perfect by the causeless mercy of Krishna, even though he has not executed all the details of devotional service (krpa-siddha).*
Vrajanatha: Who are the nitya-siddha devotees?
Gosvami: Srila Rupa Gosvami writes (Bhakti-rasamrta sindhu 2.1.290):
"Persons who have achieved eternal, blissful life exactly on the level of Sri Krishna and who are able to attract Lord Krishna by their transcendental loving service, and who love Lord Krishna millions of times more than they love themselves are called eternally perfect (nitya-siddha)."
In the Padma Purana, Uttara-khanda it is said:
"Just as Lord Ramacandra descends along with Laksmana (an incarnation of Sankarsana) and Bharata (an expansion of Pradyumna), so the members of the Yadu dynasty and the cowherd men of Vrindavan also descend with Lord Krishna in order to join in the transcendental pastimes of the Lord. When the Supreme Lord returns to His eternal abode, His associates return with Him to their respective places, As such, these ever-liberated Vaishnavas are not bound by the material laws of birth and death."*
Vrajanatha: O master, now I can understand the alambana part of vibhava. Please explain the uddipana part.
Gosvami: Some things that give impetus (uddipana) or stimulation to ecstatic love of Krishna are His transcendental qualities, His uncommon activities, His smiling features, His apparel and garlands, His flute, His buffalo-horn, His leg-bells, His conchshell, His footprints, His places of pastimes (such as Vrindavan), His favourite plant (tulasi), His devotee, and the periodical occasions for remembering Him. One such occasion for remembrance is ekadasi.*
Vrajanatha: As far as Krishna's transcendental qualities are concerned, they can be divided into three groups: qualities pertaining to His transcendental body, qualities pertaining to His transcendental speech, and qualities pertaining to His transcendental mind. Krishna's age is considered in three periods: kaumara, pauganda, and kaisora. These are described in the following words (Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu 2.1.309):
"Krishna's age is considered in three periods: from His appearance day to the end of His fifth year is called kaumara, from the beginning of the sixth year up to the end of the tenth year is called pauganda, and from the eleventh to the end of the fifteenth year is called kaisora. After the beginning of the sixteenth year, Krishna is called yauvana, or a youth, and this continues with no change."*
Krishna's kaisora age may be divided into three parts. Among His many transcendental qualities manifested in this age, His handsomeness is very prominent. Lord Krishna's limbs are graceful and appropriately shaped. This feature is called 'saundarya' (handsomeness). Lord Krishna is dressed in exquisite garments, decorated with ornaments, and His hair is also decorated. All this is called 'prasadhana' (decoration).
There are three kinds of flutes used by Krishna. One is called venu, one is called murali and the third is called vamsi. Venu is very small, not more than six inches long, with six holes for whistling. Murali is about eighteen inches long with a hole at the end and four holes on the body of the flute. This kind of flute produces a very enchanting sound. The vamsi flute is about fifteen inches long, with nine holes on its body.* The right turning conchshell Krishna holds in His hand is called "Pancajanya". All these uddipana's increase the devotee's attraction and love for Krishna and fill the devotee with bliss. The result is that rati (attraction) and sthayi-bhava (continuous ecstasy) turn into rasa (the transcendental mellows of a personal relationship with Krishna). Come again tomorrow and I will describe anubhava and other things.
The two devotees then took their leave of the Gosvami's feet. Again and again thinking about the rasas, Vijaya-kumara and Vrajanatha happily saw the siddha-bakula tree and other holy places in Lord Jagannatha's temple. Finally they returned to their lodgings.
Chapter Twenty-seven Rasa-vicara
After the next day's noon-arati, the two devotees, thirsting to understand about rasa, honoured prasadam and then went to the Sri Radha-kanta temple. Sri Gopala-guru Gosvami honoured maha-prasadam and waited for the two inquisitive devotees. Nearby Sri Dhyanacandra Gosvami was writing a book about the path of devotional service. The features of Gopala-guru Gosvami were very wonderful. He was dressed as a sannyasi. He wore Vaishnava Tilaka. The holy name of Lord Hari was written on the various limbs of His body. On his neck were four strands of tulasi beads. His hands were always on His japa beads. He was rapt in meditation, his two eyes half closed. From time to time he was decorated with a stream of tears. From time to time he would call out, "O Gauranga! O Nityananda!" His body was a little large. His complexion was dark and splendid. He sat on a banana-bark seat. At a little distance were wooden sandals and a coconut shell pitcher of water. Vijaya-kumara and Vrajanatha were both learned in many scriptures, were sincere Vaishnavas and were residents of Sri Nabadwip. For these three reasons everyone at the temple carefully honoured them. Vijaya-kumara and Vrajanatha offered dandavat obeisances to Gopala-guru Gosvami and he respectfully embraced them. In the course of time Vrajanatha humbly introduced the topic of rasas. The Gosvami carefully said, "Today I will teach you about anubhava and other topics related to the rasas. The four samagris (ingredients of rasa) are vibhava (special symptoms or causes of ecstasy), anubhava (subsequent ecstasy), sattvika-bhava (constitutional or existential ecstasy), and vyabhicari-bhava (aggressive ecstasy). Yesterday I explained about vibhava. Today I will begin the explanation of anubhava. Please listen. When one is attracted (rati) to Krishna, that is called vibhava. When, as a result of that attraction, ecstatic love (bhava) appears in the heart, the result is called 'udbhasvara'. The bodily symptoms manifested by a devotee in expressing that ecstatic love for Krishna are called anubhava. Practical examples of anubhava are as follows: dancing, rolling on the ground, singing very loudly, stretching the body, crying loudly, yawning, breathing very heavily, neglecting the presence of others, drooling, laughing like a madman, wheeling the head, and belching.
Vrajanatha: How is it possible that these unusual external symptoms can increase the sweet taste of the rasas of sthayi-bhava? When the devotee relishes the rasas in his heart, that taste is manifested externally as these anubhavas. Why, then, should these anubhavas be considered a samagri separate and distinct from the taste of rasas in the heart?
Gosvami: Baba, you have learned the nyaya-sastra very well. Till this day I have not seen anyone raise such a subtle point of logic. When I studied the rasas I also asked this question of Srila Pandita Gosvami. By my spiritual master's mercy my doubt was thrown far away. The secret is this: When the heart is agitated by the ecstatic feelings of vibhava, many extraordinary and wonderful feelings (vaicitrya) are manifested. These feelings blossom in many different ways in the heart. When these feelings blossom in the heart, they eventually bear fruits of ecstatic symptoms that are manifested in the external body. These fruits are called 'udbhasvara'. The fruits of ecstatic symptoms are manifested as dancing and in many other ways also. Thus, when the heart dances, then the body dances also. When the heart sings, then the tongue sings also. In this way you should understand it. Thus the ecstatic symptoms called udbhasvara are the root from which all this comes. However, the anubhavas do increase the vibhavas within the heart. In this way the udbhasvaras are manifest in the body. Thus the sthayi-bhava and vibhava in the heart manifests the anubhavas, and the anubhavas in turn also have an effect upon the heart. Because the anubhavas have this effect they are considered separate samagris (ingredients of rasa). When there are singing, yawning, and other like activities, the symptoms are called 'sita', and where there is dancing and other like activities they are called 'ksepana'. There are other ecstatic symptoms, such as blossoming of the body, the flowing of blood, and expansion and contraction of the body's joints. However, because these symptoms are very rare, I will not describe them further. However, when He assumed the form of a tortoise and manifested other unusual activities, these symptoms were present on the body of our master, Lord Nimai Pandita. Still, these symptoms are not seen on the body of a sadhaka devotee.
After hearing these confidential explanations from Gopala-guru Gosvami, the two inquiring devotees were silent for a long time. Then, touching the dust of his feet, they asked, "O master, what are the sattvika-bhavas?"
Gosvami: When a devotee is always intensely affected by love for Krishna in a direct relationship with Him - or even a little apart from Him - his status is called sattvika-bhava' (existential ecstatic love). The symptoms originating from such existential ecstatic love are divided into three headings - namely moist (snigdha), burnt (digdha) and dried-up (ruksa).
Vrajanatha: What is moist sattvika-bhava?
Gosvami: Moist sattvika bhava is divided into two: direct and indirect. When the heart is directly attracted to Lord Krishna, that is called "mukhya-snigdha-sattvika-bhava" (direct moistened existential ecstatic love). Being stunned and perspiring are some of the symptoms of mukhya-sattvika-bhava. When the heart is attracted to Lord Krishna indirectly, that is called 'gauna-snigdha-sattvika-bhava' (indirect moistened existential ecstatic love). Changing of bodily colours and faltering of the voice are the two symptoms of gauna-snigdha-sattvika-bhava. Aside from direct and indirect moistened existential ecstatic love, digdha-sattvika-bhava (burnt existential ecstatic love) may also enter the heart. Trembling of the body is the symptom of digdha-sattvika-bhava. When a non devotee is filled with wonder and bliss by hearing the description of the great wonder that is Lord Krishna's sweetness, the ecstatic symptoms are called 'ruksa' (dried up). Standing of the hairs on the body is the symptom of ruksa-sattvika-bhava.
Vrajanatha: How is sattvika-bhava created?
Gosvami: When the sadhaka devotee's vital force of life is in contact with the various external elements, agitation and transformation result. From this agitation the various ecstatic symptoms, such as becoming stunned, are manifested.
Vrajanatha: What are the different ecstatic symptoms manifested?
Gosvami: There are eight symptoms of sattvika-bhava (existential ecstatic love): becoming stunned, perspiring, standing of the hairs on the body, faltering of the voice, trembling of the body, changing of bodily colours, shedding of tears and devastation. When the vital force of life is in contact with the earth one is stunned. When the same force comes into contact with water, there is shedding of tears. When the same force comes into contact with fire, there is perspiration. When the force comes into contact with sky, there is complete devastation. And when that force comes into contact with air, there is trembling, failing of the voice, and standing up of the hairs on the body. In this way the different ecstatic symptoms are manifested. These symptoms are sometimes manifested internally and sometimes externally. Sometimes they are called 'bhavas' and sometimes they are called anubhavas. All the anubhavas are manifested externally only. This is not said of the sattvika-bhavas. For example, in dancing or other like activities, the bhava (ecstatic love) is not manifested directly. The bhava is rather manifested by the intelligence or the heart. Therefore the various external symptoms of ecstasy, such as becoming stunned, are considered anubhavas, and are not sattvika-bhavas. Therefore the anubhavas and sattvika bhavas are different from each other.
Vrajanatha: I desire to understand why the ecstatic symptoms, such as becoming stunned are manifested.
Gosvami: Joy, fear, wonder, lamentation, and hatred create an emptiness in the heart that manifests the ecstatic symptom of becoming stunned. Joy, fear, anger and other emotions combine to moisten the body and thus manifest the ecstatic symptom of perspiration. Wonder, joy, eagerness, fear and other emotions combine to manifest the ecstatic symptom of the body's hairs standing up. Lamentation, wonder, anger, joy, fear, and other emotions bring the ecstatic symptom of faltering of the voice. Fear, anger, joy, and other emotions bring the ecstatic symptom of trembling of the body. Lamentation, anger, fear and other emotions bring the ecstatic symptom of changing of bodily colours. Joy, anger, lamentation, and other emotions bring the ecstatic symptom of shedding tears. When they are produced from joy, the tears are cold, and when they are produced from anger and other like emotions, the tears are hot. Happiness and unhappiness combine to make one fall unconscious and attain other like conditions of life, conditioned that are the ecstatic symptom called devastation. These transcendental ecstatic symptoms gradually develop, and in the course of such development, they are sometimes called smoky, sometimes called blazing, sometimes called shining, and sometimes called intensely shining. These are the four kinds. In dried up sattvika-bhava the symptoms are smoky. In moistened sattvika-bhava the ecstatic love rises higher and higher. Real love (rati) for Lord Krishna produces all bliss and wonder. When there is only the semblance of love (raty-abhasa), the symptoms are dried up. Then there is no wonder.
Vrajanatha: O master, the ecstatic love of sattvika-bhava brings all good fortune. However, to attain material benefits many people may make a show-of these ecstatic emotions, as if they were acting in a drama. What is the position of these people?
Gosvami: Genuine sattvika-bhava is manifested from genuine pure devotional service. The ecstatic love (bhava) felt by true Vaishnavas is genuine. Aside from this genuine bhava, the other so-called bhavas are divided into four groups: raty-abhasa, sattvabhasa, nihsattva and pratipa.
Vrajanatha: What is raty-abhasa?
Gosvami: When they hear the descriptions of Lord Krishna, the impersonalists or the sannyasi followers of Sankaracarya, manifest raty-abhasa.
Vrajanatha: What is sattvabhasa?
Gosvami: when they hear about Lord Krishna, persons who are naturally soft-hearted may manifest the semblance of joy, wonder, and other ecstatic emotions. The mimamsaka philosophers and ordinary women may manifest this when they hear about Lord Krishna.
Vrajanatha: What is nihsattva-bhavabhasa?
Gosvami: Some wicked-hearted persons exhibit artificial ecstatic symptoms as a sort of dramatic show. In this way they shed tears and perform other actions. These actions are called nihsattva. In this way some hard-hearted persons put on an artificial show of crying in ecstatic love. These persons are wicked at heart.
Vrajanatha: What is pratipa?
Gosvami: One who acts as Krishna's enemy manifests the semblance of the ecstatic emotions like anger and fear. This is called pratipa-bhavabhasa.
Vrajanatha: O master, now I have understood vibhava, anubhava, and sattvika bhava, and I have also understood the difference between sattvika and anubhava. Now please explain vyabhicari-bhava.
Gosvami: There are 33 vyabhicaris. These 33 bhavas work to increase the sthayi-bhavas. That is why they are called 'vyabhicari'. They are manifested in the words, limbs, and thoughts. They are also called 'sancari-bhava'. They are like waves in the nectar ocean of sthayi-bhava, waves that rise from, and then again disappear into the ocean of sthayi-bhava. The 33 vyabhicari-bhavas are: disappointment, lamentation, humility, guilt, fatigue, intoxication, pride, doubt, apprehension, intense emotion, madness, forgetfulness, disease, confusion, death, laziness, inertness, bashfulness, concealment, remembrance, argumentativeness, anxiety, thoughtfulness, endurance, happiness, eagerness, violence, haughtiness, envy, impudence, dizziness, sleepiness, and alertness. Some of the sancari-bhavas are independent (sva-tantra) and others are dependent on something else (para-tantra). The para-tantra sancari-bhavas are of two kinds: superior and inferior. The superior sancari-bhavas are themselves of two kinds: direct and indirect. The sva-tantra sancari bhavas are of three kinds: rati-sunya (without attachment to Krishna), raty-asparsa (with a touch of attachment to Krishna), and rati-gandha (with the scent of attachment to Krishna). If these bhavas are directed to the wrong object they are of two kinds: pratikulya (unfavourable) and anaucitya (improper). All these bhavas are manifested in four different conditions: 1. utpatti (growth), 2. sandhi (union), 3. savalya (variety) and 3. santi (peace).
Vrajanatha: Bhava-utpatti is easy to understand. What is bhava-sandhi?
Gosvami: When two like or unlike emotions meet, that is called 'sandhi'. Desirable laziness and undesirable laziness may both appear simultaneously. This is an example of the meeting of like emotions. Joy and fear may also appear simultaneously. That is an example of the meeting of unlike emotions.
Vrajanatha: What is bhava-savalya?
Gosvami: When two emotions clash, that is called 'bhava-savalya". When he heard about Krishna, Kamsa became simultaneously angry and fearful. That is an example of bhava-savalya.
Vrajanatha: What is bhava-santi?
Gosvami: When an intense emotion suddenly disappears, that is called 'santi'. When they could not see Krishna, the boys of Vraja became anxious, but when they heard the sound of Krishna's flute from afar, their anxiety was at once pacified. This is an example of the pacification of happiness.
Vrajanatha: If anything else remains to be known about this topic, then please explain it.
Gosvami: To these 33 vyabhicari-bhavas may be added the one primary (mukhya) sthayi-bhava and the seven secondary (gauna) sthayi-bhavas). In this way there are 41 bhavas that produce ecstatic symptoms on the body and the senses. The activities of the mind are the origin of these bhavas.
Vrajanatha: What are the various bhavas produced in this way?
Gosvami: They produce the eight sattvika-bhavas, the vibhavas and the anubhavas.
Vrajanatha: Are all these part of the original nature?
Gosvami: No. Some are part of the original nature and other come from outside the original nature. The sthayi-bhava is part of the devotee's original nature, but the vyabhicari-bhavas mostly come from outside the original nature.
Vrajanatha: Do all devotees possess the same bhavas?
Gosvami: No. The devotees have different natures. That is because the nature of the mind and heart is different in each devotee. According to the condition of the heart, the bhava is more or less exalted. The heart may be exalted, lowly or in an intermediate state. The bhavas are manifested according to the condition of the heart. However, nectar is always liquid, and therefore a devotee's heart is naturally soft and liquid for it like nectar. Today we will end here. Tomorrow I will describe sthayi-bhava.
Vijaya-kumara and Vrajanatha offered dandavat obeisances and took their leave.
Chapter Twenty-eight Rasa-vicara
Vrajanatha: O master, I see that vibhava, anubhava, sattvika-bhava, and vyabhicari bhava are all bhavas. What is sthayi-bhava?
Gosvami: The one bhava that controls all the other bhavas, both obstructed and unobstructed, and that is the monarch even of Lord Krishna Himself is called 'sthayi-bhava'. When 'Krishna-rati' (attraction to Krishna) takes shelter of a devotee's heart, that attraction is called 'sthayi-bhava', Look, among the samagris is vibhava and included within vibhava is alambana. However, there is another bhava, a bhava independent of all these others, a bhava that is the origin and the helper of the rasas, a bhava that becomes both the enjoyment (asvadana) and the object of enjoyment (asvadya). Please think deeply about this and try to understand how sthayi-bhava is different from the other bhavas. Sthayi-bhava is divided in two: primary (mukhya-rati) and secondary (gauna-rati).
Vrajanatha: What is primary sthayi-bhava?
Gosvami: In the description of bhava-bhakti you have already heard about suddha-sattva-rati. That is the same as mukhya-rati.
Vrajanatha: When I read the alankara-sastras (books of rhetoric) the love that I understood there was all material. It was very different. The spiritual love that is now described is very different from that material love. Now I understand that only when a person is pure in heart will he attain the nectar (rasa) of love for the Supreme Lord. The so-called love written about by the authors of the alankara-sastras is only the love that appears in the material bodies and material minds of souls imprisoned in the material world. Now I can understand the other kind of love, the love you have described in your explanation of the rasas. This pure spiritual love is the be-all-and-end-all of the pure liberated souls. By the mercy of the hladini shakti, this pure love is sometimes experienced even by the conditioned souls imprisoned in the material world. Now I wish to understand the different kinds of pure spiritual love (suddha-rati).
Seeing Vrajanatha's clear grasp of the spiritual truth, Gopala-guru Gosvami, shedding tears of happiness, embraced him and said, "I am very fortunate to have a disciple like you. Please listen, Mukhya-rati is of two kinds: svartha (for the sake of one's own self) and parartha (for the sake of the beloved).
Vrajanatha: What is the nature of svartha-mukhya-rati?
Gosvami: When no obstacles stop the bhava (aviruddha-bhava) then svartha-mukhya-rati increases. However, when obstacles do stop the bhava (viruddha-bhava), then svartha-mukhya-rati diminishes.
Vrajanatha: What is the nature of parartha-mukhya-rati?
Gosvami: Whether obstacles are present or not, parartha-mukhya-rati contracts of its own accord. Aside from these two, there is also another kind of mukhya-rati.
Vrajanatha: What is it like? Please tell.
Gosvami: This is suddha-mukhya-rati (pure love). It is divided into five rasas: santa (neutrality), dasya (servitude), sakhya (friendship), vatsalya (parenthood) and madhurya (conjugal love). As sunlight is divided into different colours when it passes through a prism or other like object, so sthayi-bhava assumes different features according to the different kinds of persons who contain it.
Vrajanatha: Please describe this suddha-rati (pure love).
Gosvami: Suddha-rati is of three kinds: samanya (ordinary), svaccha (clear) and santa (peaceful). Samanya-rati is the love the people in general feel for Lord Krishna. When mukhya-rati is manifested in different ways in the different kinds of devotees, as light assumes different colours as it passes through coloured glass, that kind of mukhya-rati is called 'svaccha' (clear). In this way some devotees offer prayers to Krishna and call Him "master", others joke with Krishna and call him "friend", still others protect Krishna and call him "son", and still others meditate on Krishna and call Him "the Supersoul". A devotee in santa-rati (neutrality) meditates with a peaceful mind on the unchanging Supreme. Suddha- rati is of two kinds: 'kevala' (unmixed) and 'sankula' (mixed). Among the residents of Vraja, Rasala and Sridama are examples of devotees whose love for Krishna is of one kind only, unmixed with even the slightest scent of any other kind of rasa. Their pure love (suddha-rati) is called 'kevala' (unmixed). Other devotees, such as Uddhava and Bhima have love that is a mixture of different rasas. Their pure love (suddha-rati) is called 'sankula' (mixed).
Vrajanatha: Formerly I thought their was not santa-rati in Vraja. Now I see it is slightly present there also. When they consider the different kinds of rati (love), books of material rhetoric (jada-alankara) do not accept santa-rati as a genuine kind of love. Here it is seen that santa-rati must be accepted as one kind of love for the Supreme. Now please describe dasya-rati (love in the rasa of servitorship).
Gosvami: When the devotee thinks, "Krishna is the master, and I am His servant", he loves Krishna in the dasya-rasa. When he is attached to Krishna in this way, a devotee is not attracted to or pleased by anything outside this rasa of servitorship.
Vrajanatha: What are the qualities of sakhya-rati (love in friendship)?
Gosvami: When a devotee is firmly convinced that Krishna is his equal, his love for Krishna is called sakhya-rati. In sakhya-rati there are joking, laughing, and other like activities.
Vrajanatha: Please described the nature of vatsalya-rati (parental love).
Gosvami: the kindly love that His elders give to Krishna is called vatsalya-rati. Embracing and fondling Krishna, performing auspicious rituals for His benefit, pronouncing blessings upon Him and affectionately touching His chin are some of the activities of vatsalya-rati.
Vrajanatha: Now kindly describe the qualities of madhura-rati (conjugal love for Krishna).
Gosvami: The eight kinds of pleasing activities, beginning with remembering Krishna and gazing at Krishna, that are performed in the deer-eyed gopis' love for Krishna are called the activities of 'priyata' (love) or 'madhura-rati' (sweet love). Included in these activities are sidelong glances, moving the eyebrows, speaking sweet words, and speaking joking words. beginning with santa and extending up to madhura-rati, the devotees' love, relish, and bliss increase more and more. Thus I have briefly described the five kinds of mukhya-rati (primary rasas).
Vrajanatha: Now please describe the secondary (gauna) spiritual rasas.
Gosvami: The secondary rasas (gauna-bhava) which are part of alambana, are: laughter, astonishment, chivalry, lamentation, anger, dread, and ghastliness. In the first six of these rasas the devotee always meditates on Krishna. When the devotee attains pure love (suddha-rati), then he finds the material body and material activities to be very distasteful. He is horrified by them. That is the seventh rasa, ghastliness. Although these seven rasas are different from pure love (suddha-rati) because they are in contact with parartha-mukhya-rati (the primary rasas), therefore these seven secondary emotions are included among the rasas and the word 'rati' (love) is used to described them. For some devotees one or more of these secondary rasas remain a permanent part of their relationship with Krishna. But this is not true for every devotee by any means. For most devotees these secondary rasas are manifested only temporarily. In some situations one or more of these secondary rasas become so strong that they eclipse the natural primary rasas.
Vrajanatha: In material rhetoric (alankara) eight rasas, beginning with conjugal love, laughter, and compassion are described. I can understand how these material rasas look beautiful only from the point of view of pathetic material heroes and heroines. These material rasas have no bearing on the spiritual rasas of Vraja, which are the activities of the pure spirit soul,, and thus have nothing to do with the activities of the material mind. The great devotees have divided sthayi-bhava rati into five primary and seven secondary rasas. This is proper. Now please kindly describe hasya-rati (the rasa of laughter).
Gosvami: Certain unusual words, appearances, or activities cause laughter to appear in the heart. In laughter the eyes may open wide, and the nostrils, lips and cheeks may tremble. This laughter is produced by sankoca-bhava-rati directed toward Lord Krishna.
Vrajanatha: What is the rasa of astonishment (vismaya-rati)?
Gosvami: When one sees something extraordinary, astonishment is manifested in his heart. Some of the symptoms of astonishment are: opening the eyes wide, speaking words of praise, and standing of the body's hairs.
Vrajanatha: What is the rasa of chivalry (utsaha-rati)?
Gosvami: When the heart is determined to perform the noble deeds that are glorified by great saints, that is called chivalry. Promptness, impatience, and enthusiasm are among the symptoms of chivalry.
Vrajanatha: What is the rasa of anger (krodha-rati)?
Gosvami: When actions of an enemy make the heart burst into flames, that is called anger. Harshness, knitting the eyebrows, and redness in the eyes are among the symptoms of anger.
Vrajanatha: What is the rasa of dread?
Gosvami: When the sight of horrible things makes the heart wish to flee, that is called dread. Hiding oneself, dryness of the heart, and fleeing away are among the symptoms of dread.
Vrajanatha: What is the rasa of ghastliness?
Gosvami: When one is averse to abominable things, that is called ghastliness. Spitting, curling the lips and speaking harsh criticisms are among the symptoms of ghastliness. When this emotion is in relation to Lord Krishna, then it is considered on the spiritual rasas. Otherwise it is merely another material emotion.
Vrajanatha: How many bhavas (emotions) are present in bhakti-rasa (the mellows of devotional service)?
Gosvami: Sthayi-bhava has eight bhavas, sancari bhava has 33 bhavas, and sattvika bhava has eight bhavas. Combined together there are 49 bhavas. When these bhavas are manifested from the three modes of nature and are thus material, they are causes of material happiness and material suffering. When these bhavas help one attain Krishna, they are spiritual, beyond the material modes, and filled with bliss, and what seems to be sorrow in them is actually spiritual happiness. Srila Rupa Gosvami explain that Lord Krishna and Krishna's dear devotees are the two alambanas, or resting places, and therefore the causes of the rasas of spiritual love (rati). The ecstatic symptoms that begin with being stunned are counted among the effects of rati and the ecstatic symptoms that begin with lamentation help the progress of rati. When the rasas are awakened, these ecstatic symptoms are no longer called cause, effect, and helper. Then they are called vibhava. Because these activities then have an especially sweet taste, the panditas call them 'vibhava'. When dancing and other activities increase the sweetness of vibhava, the vibhava is called 'anubhava'. Spiritual (sattvika) activities bring spiritual results. Thus these actions are called 'sattvika-bhava'. When these vibhavas bring renunciation and other like emotions, the bhava is called 'sancari-bhava'. Readers attracted to poems, plays, and other books describing Lord Krishna know that the vibhavas are causes of devotional service. In truth these activities of rati (pure love) are inconceivable. They are very great pastimes of devotional service. In Mahabharata and other scriptures it is said that these activities of devotional service are very exalted. They are beyond the touch of ordinary, material logic. In the Mahabharata it is written that these bhavas are beyond the understanding of the material mind, and therefore material logic cannot be employed to understand them. Whatever is beyond the world of matter cannot be understood by the material mind. One who attains sweet love for Lord Krishna's form and other features attains vibhava. This vibhava does not remain static. It spontaneously increases, growing greater and greater. Rati (love for Krishna) enables one to directly perceive Lord Krishna, who is the resting place of transcendental sweetness and other virtues. On the other hand, when he directly sees Lord Krishna's form and other features, the devotees love Lord Krishna more and more. In this way vibhava, anubhava, sattvika-bhava and vyabhicari-bhava all increase rati, and rati increases them.
Vrajanatha: What is the difference between love for Krishna (Krishna-rati) and material love (visaya-rati). Please kindly explain.
Gosvami: Material love is part of the material world. Lord for Krishna is beyond the material world, and it is also the origin of many wonderful things. Material love is pleasant when the beloved and present and unpleasant when the beloved is absent. When a person loves Krishna and Krishna is present, then the lover experiences the taste of a certain kind of rasa, the rasa of sambhoga-sukha (the happiness of enjoying with Krishna). However, when Krishna is absent, the lover experiences the rasa of vipralambha (separation), which itself produces a specific kind of wonderful transcendental bliss. In answer to one of Lord Mahaprabhu's questions, Ramananda Raya described (Sri Chaitanya-charitamrta Madhya 8.194) the wonderful bliss the devotee feel in separation from Krishna, a bliss he called 'vivarta'. Therefore what seems here to be suffering is in truth the highest spiritual bliss.
Vrajanatha: Material logician says that the rasas are unimportant. They are only a small portion of what exists. What is the answer to that claim?
Gosvami: It is true that the material rasas are unimportant. And why not? In the material rasas material ingredients (samagri) may nourish the material sthayi bhava (permanent emotions). However, these are only material rasas. They are not spiritual. In the state of spiritual perfection, the spiritual rasas are eternal, complete and self-manifest. However, to an inexperienced devotee the spiritual rasas may seem to be material. When the lover is separated from the beloved, the material rasas o love do not remain indefinitely. The spiritual rasa of love in separation is much more beautiful and glorious than its material counterpart. The great potency hladini-shakti brings transcendental bliss to the rasa of spiritual love in separation. That is why the rasa of spiritual love in separation is blissful and why it is beyond the power of material logic to understand. Therefore it is said to be inconceivable.
Vrajanatha: How many kinds of spiritual rasas are there?
Gosvami: Even though the primary rasas are five, they are still considered as one. Therefore, adding the seven secondary rasas, there are eight rasas all together.
Vrajanatha: Please recite the names of these eight rasas. The result of my hearing your words is that my desire to hear grows stronger and stronger.
Gosvami: Srila Rupa Gosvami explains (Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu 2.5.115-116):
"The five primary rasas each more exalted than the preceding one, are: neutrality, servitorship, friendship, parenthood, and conjugal love.
"The seven secondary rasas are: laughter, astonishment, chivalry, lamentation, anger, dread, and ghastliness."*
Vrajanatha: In the context of the spiritual rasas, what is the proper definition of the word 'bhava'?
Gosvami: Considering the truth in their spiritually purified hearts, great panditas have written many books about rasa (rasa-sastras), and in these books they have defined the word 'bhava'. I have already explained that rasa is of two kinds: 1. cintya-bhava (bhava that can be understood by the material mind), and 2. acintya-bhava (bhava that is inconceivable, beyond the understanding of the material mind). Material logic can be used to understand cintya-bhava. And why not? The emotions that arise in the heart of a conditioned soul imprisoned in the material world are all material in nature. The conditioned souls material ideas and emotions about the Supreme Lord are also understandable by the material mind. However, true ideas and emotions directed to the Supreme Lord are inconceivable, beyond the power of the material mind to understand. And why not? The Supreme Lord is far beyond the touch of matter. Because the Supreme Lord is inconceivable, it is not good to think there can be no bhavas (emotions) in relation to Him. All emotions are possible in relation to the Supreme Lord. But they are inconceivable, beyond the material mind's understanding. In your heart remain rapt in meditation on one of the inconceivable rasas in relation to the Lord. Meditate on the appropriate sthayi-bhava and samagris. Then the eternal and perfect spiritual rasa will be manifest to you.
Vrajanatha: O master, what does 'being rapt in meditation' mean?
Gosvami: Baba, contaminated by matter, you have wandered in the circle of karma for many births. Meditation is of two kinds: previous meditation (praktani) and present meditation (adhunika). By staying in the material world your originally pure heart and pure thoughts have both become contaminated. However, by associating with saintly devotees and by performing spiritual pious activities, one can throw far away the contaminated material thoughts and regain his original, natural, spiritual meditation. When this spiritual meditation becomes strong, the inconceivable truth appears in his heart. That is the meaning of 'being rapt in meditation'.
Vrajanatha: Who is qualified to understand the spiritual rasas? That I would like to know.
Gosvami: A person who, by constant meditation in this way, finds that the inconceivable spiritual truth is manifested in his heart, is along qualified to understand the spiritual rasas. No one else is qualified to understand the spiritual rasa. No one else is qualified. Srila Rupa Gosvami explains (Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu 2.5.132):
"When one transcends the status of ecstatic love and thus becomes situated on the highest platform of pure goodness, one is understood to have cleansed the heart of all material contamination. In that pure stage of life, one can taste this nectar, and this tasting capacity is technically called rasa, or transcendental mood."*
Vrajanatha: Who is not qualified to thus taste the nectar of the transcendental rasa? As it is an offense to give the holy name to an unqualified person, so it must also be an offense to explain the rasas to an unqualified person. O master, please be merciful and explain this point to poor and fallen people like myself.
Gosvami: Renunciation that has nothing to do with pure devotional service is called phalgu-vairagya (false renunciation). Persons who are in the fire of false renunciation, the dry speculative habit, and who neglect devotional service are in a lamentable situation. Persons who are attached to the ritualistic ceremonies recommended in the Vedas and to the impersonal Brahman cannot relish the transcendental pleasure of devotional service. Therefore devotees who have already tasted the nectar of devotion should be very careful to protect devotional service from such dry speculators, formal ritual elevationists and impersonal salvationists. Devotees should protect their valuable jewel of spiritual love from the clutches of thieves and burglars. In other words, a pure devotee should not describe devotional service and its different analytical aspects to speculators and false renounces.*
Vrajanatha: I have become very fortunate. I will always honour the order that comes from your saintly mouth.
Vijaya-kumara: O master, I maintain my family by reading and lecturing on Srimad Bhagavatam. Srimad Bhagavatam is a book describing the rasas of devotional service. If man reads and explains Srimad Bhagavatam to the people in general in order to earn money, does he commit an offense?
Gosvami: Ah! Srimad-Bhagavatam is the crest jewel of all scriptures. It is the mature ripened fruit of the tree of Vedic knowledge. In Srimad Bhagavatam (1.1.3) it is said:
"O expert and thoughtful men, relish Srimad Bhagavatam."*
The meaning of these words is that only the expert and thoughtful, who know how to relish the transcendental rasas are qualified to taste the nectar of Srimad Bhagavatam. No one else is qualified. Baba, give up this profession. You are a person who likes to drink the nectar of the transcendental rasas. Don't commit an offense to the rasas. In the Vedas (Taittiriya Upanisad 2.7) it is said:
"The Supreme Lord is rasa."
This means that the rasas are Lord Krishna Himself. There are many other books you could teach to maintain your material body. Teach some other book for that purpose. You should not read Srimad Bhagavatam to the people in general in order toe earn money. If you find a person qualified to taste the spiritual rasas, then with great bliss you may read Srimad Bhagavatam to him, but do not accept any salary or any daksina (donation).
Vrajanatha: O master, today you have saved me from a great offense. What will come from the offense I have already committed?
Gosvami: That offense will not stay. With an honest heart surrender to the rasas and take shelter of them. They will certainly forgive you. You need not worry.
Vrajanatha: O master, if need be I will accept a very lowly profession. But I will not describe the rasas to an unqualified person, and I will not accept money for teaching about the rasas.
Gosvami: Baba, you are very fortunate. Lord Krishna has accepted you as His own devotee. If this were not so, then how could you be so sincere and dedicated to devotional service? Lord Gaura has given all His potencies to you.
Chapter Twenty-nine Rasa-vicara
Vrajanatha and Vijaya-kumara decided to stay in Jagannatha Puri for caturmasya. After hearing about the rasas from the mouth of Sri Gopala-guru Gosvami, they both decided to follow the path of worshipping the Lord according to the rasas. Hearing from him the glories of observing caturmasya, Vrajanatha's grandmother accepted his suggestion to stay in Jagannatha Puri. Every morning and evening they would all see Lord Jagannatha. They bathed in Narendra-sarovara, and they saw all there was to see in Jagannatha-puri. With devotion they saw Lord Jagannatha as He was being served. When he learned of their decision, Sri Gopala-guru was very happy. He said, "O Vrajanatha, O Vijaya-kumara, I love you as a father loves his sons. I am not happy to be separated from you. If your stay here for many days, then I will be happy. It is easy to find a sincere spiritual master, but it is not easy to find a sincere disciple."
Vrajanatha humbly asked, "O master, please explain the features of the different rasas. We will consider ourselves fortunate to hear about them from you.
Gosvami: Your proposal is excellent. Please hear the words Lord Gauracandra will place in my mouth. First is santa rasa (neutrality). In this rasa the sthayi-bhava is santa-rati. The happiness attained in the impersonal Brahman is very slight. The happiness attained in a relationship with the Supreme Person is much greater than that impersonal happiness. The cause of that personal happiness is the direct perception of the Supreme Personality of Godhead's spiritual form. The alambana (object of worship) in santa rasa is the four-armed form of Lord Narayana. This form of the Lord manifests qualities like supreme power and opulence. In this way the visaya and anubhava are manifested in alambana. Peaceful persons situated in santa-rasa are the asraya of santa-rati. Atmaramas and persons who have faith in the Supreme Personality of Godhead are qualified for santa rasa. The four sages headed by Sanaka and Sanandana are prominent among the atmaramas. These four sages are boy sannyasis. At first they were attached to the impersonal Brahman. Later they became attracted to the sweetness of the form of the Supreme Person. They began to worship the Lord's spiritual form. Persons who are austere and renounced, but who have not yet thrown far away the desire for impersonal liberation, are eligible for santa-rasa. Hearing the important Upanisads, living in a secluded place, meditating, searching for the truth, study, seeing the universal form, associating with persons engaged in devotional service mixed with impersonal speculation (jnana-misra-bhakti), and studying the Upanisads with others of equal scholarship are the uddipanas that inspire this rasa. The fragrance of tulasi offered to the Supreme Lord's lotus feet, the sound of the conchshell, sacred mountains, sacred forests, sacred places, the Ganges, being free of material desires, and the awareness that time will eventually destroy everything material, are also uddipanas that inspire santa-rasa.
Vrajanatha: What are the anubhavas of this rasa?
Gosvami: Staring at the tip of the nose, acting like an avadhuta, looking for a distance of four hands as one walks, assuming the jnana-mudra (joining the forefinger and thumb), not hating the enemies of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, being slightly inclined to the devotees dear to the Lord, being attracted to the soul's liberation and the end of his residence in the material world, being neutral and aloof, being free of false ego, material possessiveness, and material pride, and feeling a sort of cool tempered love for the Supreme are included among the anubhavas of santa-rasa. Yawning, swelling of the limbs, teaching about devotional service, bowing down before Lord Hari, and offering prayers to Lord Hari are also included among anubhavas.
Vrajanatha: What are the sattvika ecstatic symptoms in santa-rasa?
Gosvami: Devastation (except the aspect of falling to the ground) and being stunned are included among the many ecstatic symptoms in this rasa. There are no passionate (dipta) ecstatic symptoms in this rasa.
Vrajanatha: What are the sancari-bhavas in this rasa?
Gosvami: Lamentation, patience, joy, thoughtfulness, remembrance, melancholy, eagerness, anxiety and argumentativeness are seen among the sancari bhavas of santa-rasa.
Vrajanatha: How many are the different kinds of santa-rati?
Gosvami: Sthayi-bhava santa-rati is of two kinds: 1. sama (equipoised) and 2. sandra (intense). In sama santa rati is manifested asamprajnata-samadhi, where the activities of the body are filled with awareness of the Supreme Lord's presence. In sandra santa rati is manifested nirvikalpa-samadhi where all ignorance is destroyed and the direct manifestation of the Supreme Lord's form brings intense bliss. On the basis of these two kinds of santa-rati, there may also be divisions of pariksya (indirect) and saksat-kara-rupa (direct) santa-rati. Sukadeva Gosvami and Bilvamangala Thakura are examples of two persons who renounced santa-rasa and became expert in tasting the bliss of the rasas of direct devotional service. The great scholar Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya is also an example of that.
Vrajanatha: The books of material rhetoric (alankara) do not accept santa-rasa. Why is that?
Gosvami: Peacefulness is far away from all materialistic activities. When spiritual activities are performed, then the peacefulness of santa-rasa gradually become manifested. In this way the spiritual rasas become manifested. The Supreme Lord Himself declared, "Faith in Me brings peacefulness." Look, how can one attain faith in the Lord without first being situated in santa-rati? Therefore, at the beginning of spiritual life one must first accept santa-rasa.
Vrajanatha: Now I understand santa-bhakti-rasa. Now please explain, one by one, the vibhavas and other aspects of dasa-rasa (servitorship). Dasya rasa is also called prita-bhakti rasa by the panditas. Dasya rasa is of two kinds: 1. anugrahya-patra-dasya (the object of mercy), and 2. lalya-patra dasya (the object of affection). Prita rasa is also divided into these two kinds: 1. sambhrama-prita (with pride) and 2. gaurava-prita (with submission).
Gosvami: What is sambhrama-prita?
Vrajanatha: Persons who are proud to be servants of Krishna have sambhrama-prita for Krishna, the son of Nanda. When this rasa develops it is called sambhrama-prita. In this rasa Krishna and Krishna's servants are both the alambanas.
Gosvami: What form does Krishna manifest in this rasa?
Vrajanatha: In Gokula sambhrama-prita Krishna has two arms. In the other parts of this rasa He sometimes has two arms and sometimes four arms. In Gokula Krishna is a cowherd boy, has two arms, holds the flute and is decorated with a peacock-feather and other ornaments. When He is manifested outside of Gokula, Krishna is decorated with jewels and His feature is that of aisvarya (power and opulence). Srila Rupa Gosvami (Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu 3.2.11-15) explains:
"Krishna possesses the following qualities: 1. Many millions of universes come from the pores of His body, 2. He is an ocean of mercy, 3. He has inconceivable potencies, 4. He is served by all mystic powers, 5. He is the seed from which all incarnations have come. 6. His transcendental qualities attract the hearts of the liberated souls. 7. He is the supreme controller. 8. He is the supreme object of worship. 9. He knows everything. 10. He is determined. 11. He has all wealth. 12. He is tolerant and forgiving. 13. He protects the surrendered souls. 14. He is happy. 15. He is truthful. 16. He is expert. 17. He brings all auspiciousness. 18. He is powerful. 19. He is religious. 20. He sees through the eyes of the scriptures. 21. He is the best friend of the devotee. 2. He is generous. 23. He is glorious. 24. He is grateful. 25. He is the resting place of fame. 26 He is the best. 27. He is powerful. 28. He is controlled by love. In this way Lord Hari is the alambana (the object of love) for His four kinds of servants."
Vrajanatha: What are these four kinds of servants?
Gosvami: The devotees who have taken shelter of dasya-rasa are of four kinds: 1. prasrita (who humbly look down when they stand before their master), 2. ajnanuvarti (who humbly carry out their master's orders), 3. visvasta (who have full faith in their master), and 4. prabhu jnane namra-buddhi (who are humble and very conscious of their master's superiority). These four are also called: 1. adhikrta (they who are qualified), 2. asrita (they who have taken shelter), 3. parisada (associates) and 4. anugata (followers).
Vrajanatha: Who are the adhikrta servants?
Gosvami: Brahma, Shiva, Indra, and the other demigods and demigoddesses are adhikrta servants and maidservants. By fulfilling various duties in the material world, the eventually become qualified (adhikrta) to serve the Supreme Lord directly.
Vrajanatha: Who are the asrita servants?
Gosvami: The three kinds of asrita servants are: 1. saranagata (surrendered souls), 2. jnani (wise philosophers) and 3. seva-nistha (intent on serving). Kaliya and the kings imprisoned by Jarasandha are counted among the saranaagata servants. Saunaka and the other sages who have rejected the desire for impersonal liberation and taken shelter of Lord Hari are counted among the jnani servants. Because they were attached to worshipping the Lord from the very beginning of their lives Candradhvaja, Harihara, Bahulasva, Iksvaku and Pundarika are counted among both the seva-nistha and saranaagata servants.
Vrajanatha: O master, who are the parisada servants?
Gosvami: Uddhava, Daruka, Satyaki, Srutadeva, Satrajit, Nanda (this is another Nanda, not Lord Krishna's father), Upananda, and Bhadra are counted among the parisada servants. Although these persons give advice to Lord Krishna, at the appropriate times they also serve Him. Among the Kauravas, Bhisma, Pariksit, Vidura and others are counted among the parisada servants. Among them all Uddhava, who is filled with pure love (prema) is the best.
Vrajanatha: Who are the anuga devotees?
Gosvami: The anugata devotees, whose hearts are always eager to serve the Lord are of two kinds: 1. the servants who stay in Dvaraka, and 2. the devotees who stay in Vraja. Sucabdra, Mandala, Stambha, and Sutambha are included among the anuga devotees in Dvaraka. Raktaka, Patraka, Patri, Madhukantha, Rasala, Suvilasa, Premakandha, Makarandaka, Ananda, Candrahasa, Payoda, Bakula, Rasada and Sarada are included among the anuga servants in Vraja. Raktaka is the best of the anuga servants in Vraja. The parisada servants are of three kinds: 1. dhurya (leaders), 2. dhira (philosophers) and 3. vira (heroes). The asrita servants are also of three kinds: 1. nitya-siddha (eternally perfect), 2. siddha (perfect), and 3. sadhaka (aspiring for perfection).
Vrajanatha: What are the uddipanas of dasya-rasa?
Gosvami: The sound of Krishna's flute, the sound of His buffalo-horn bugle, His smiling glance, hearing the narration of His glories, His lotus footprints, His bodily limbs splendid like a new monsoon cloud, and the fragrance of His transcendental body.
Vrajanatha: What are the anubhavas of this rasa?
Gosvami: To perform one's duties in every situation, to follow orders, to be free of envy, to make friendship with devotees sincerely surrendered to Lord Krishna, and to have faith in Lord Krishna are included among the extraordinary anubhavas of this rasa. Dancing all the udbhasvaras, respect for Lord Krishna's personal friends, and renunciation for everything outside the realm of Krishna consciousness are also included among these anubhavas.
Vrajanatha: What are the sattvika-vikaras (ecstatic symptoms) of these three aspects of prita-rasa (dasya rasa)?
Gosvami: In this rasa are many sattvika-bhavas, among which being stunned is the most prominent.
Vrajanatha: What are the vyabhicaris in this rasa?
Gosvami: Joy, pride, determination, remorse, melancholy, humility, anxiety, remembrance, misgivings, thoughtfulness, eagerness, fickleness, argumentativeness, passion, shyness, being stunned, illusion, madness, concealment, awakening, dream, exhaustion, disease and death are the vyabhicaris of this rasa. Arrogance,, fatigue, fear, forgetfulness, ferocity, anger, envy and sleep are not present among the vyabhicaris in this rasa. When he meets the Lord, the devotee manifests joy, pride, and peacefulness. When he is separated from the Lord, the devotee manifests withering away, disease and death. The eighteen bhavas that begin with remorse are seen in all circumstances, whether the devotee meets the Lord or is separated from Him.
Vrajanatha: I wish to know what are the sthayi-bhavas of prita-rasa.
Gosvami: The sthayi bhava of this rasa is the love (priti) that appears in the heart when the heart is filled with awe and trembles at the thought of master. In santa-rasa, attraction to the Supreme is the only sthayi-bhava. In dasya-rasa, affection combined with the possessive idea that 'the Lord is mine' is the sthayi-bhava. This respectful affection gradually grows stronger and stronger until it becomes pure affection (prema), love (sneha) and intense love (raga). When it is free from fear and awe, and when it is deep rooted, this respectful affection (sambhrama-priti) becomes pure affection (prema). When that pure affection becomes intense, the heart melts and the pure affection (prema) is called love (sneha). In this condition of sneha, the devotee cannot bear even a moment's separation from the Lord. When this love (sneha) increases to the point where the devotee finds that even his sorrow brings happiness, the love becomes intense love (raga). At this point the devotee wishes to do whatever pleases Krishna, even if the devotees loses his own life in the process. Adhikrta and asrita servants experience love up to the stage of prema. The parisada servants experience love up to the stage of sneha. Pariksit, Daruka, Uddhava, and the anuga servants in Vraja experience love up to the stage of raga. When raga is manifested, then a small portion of sakhya-rasa (friendship inevitably comes with it). Panditas say that in this rasa meeting with Krishna is called 'yoga' and separation from Krishna is called 'ayoga'. Ayoga is of two kinds: 1. utkanthita (filled with longings), and 2. viyoga (tragic). Yoga is of three kinds: 1. siddhi (perfection), 2. tusti (happiness), and 3. sthiti (residence). Siddhi is to see Krishna after longing to meet Him. Tusti is to see Krishna after a long separation. Sthiti is to live in the same place with Krishna.
Vrajanatha: I understand sambhrama-priti (respectful affection). Now please explain gaurava-priti (love mixed with pride).
Gosvami: When he is proud to be able to embrace Krishna, the devotee's affection is called gaurava-priti. When the affection present in this rasa is increased by the vibhavas and other bhavas, it becomes gaurava-priti. Lord Hari and the servants Lord Hari love are the alambanas of this love. In gaurava-priti the devotee thinks that Krishna is more important, more famous, more intelligent, and more strong than the devotee. The devotee thinks Krishna is his protector and affection parent. In this way Krishna becomes the object (visaya) of the devotee's love. The affectionate devotees are of two kinds: 1. the devotees proud to be younger associates of Krishna, and 2. the devotees proud to be Krishna's sons. Sarana, Gada, and Subhadra are among the devotees proud to be younger associates of Krishna. Pradyumna, Carudesna and Samba are among the devotees proud to be Krishna's sons. Sri Krishna's parental affection, gentle smiles, and other activities are the uddipanas of this love. These affection devotees sit on a seat below that of Krishna. They respectfully follow behind Krishna. The renounce their own wishes and fulfil Krishna's wishes. These are the anubhavas of this relationship. The sancaris and vyabhicaris of this relationship are like those already explained.
Vrajanatha: What does the word 'gaurava' mean?
Gosvami: The word "gaurva" means 'the situation where the devotee is proud to have Krishna as his father or superior (guru)." Love that is mixed with pride to have such a relationship with Krishna is called 'gaurava-priti'. That is the sthayi-bhava of this rasa.
Vrajanatha: O master, now I understand the priti rasa (dasya rasa). Now please explain the rasa that is called preya-bhakta rasa or 'sakhya-rasa'.
Gosvami: In this rasa Krishna and His friends are the alambanas. Krishna, who is the prince of Vraja, and who holds the flute in His two hands, is the visaya. Krishna's friends are the asraya.
Vrajanatha: I wish to understand the different kinds of friends Krishna has and their qualities and features.
Gosvami: Their forms, qualities, and garments are like those of Krishna's servants. However, Krishna's friends are confident to approach Krishna as equals. They are not filled with awe and veneration like Krishna's servants. These friends are of two kinds: 1. friends in Dvaraka and 2. friends in Vraja. Arjun, Bhimsena, Draupadi, and Sridama Vipra are among the friends in Dvaraka, and the other cities. Among them, Arjuna is the best. The friends in Vraja are always eager to see Krishna. Krishna is their very life. They are the best of Krishna's friends. In Vraja, Krishna has four kinds of friends: 1. suhrt (well-wishers), 2. sakha (friends), 3. priya-sakha (confidential friends) and 4. priya-narma-vayasya (intimate friends). Krishna's well-wisher friends are a little bit older than Krishna and they have some parental affection for Him. Because of their being older than Krishna, they always try to protect Him from any harm. As such, they sometimes bear weapons so that they can chastise any mischievous persons who want to harm Krishna. Counted among the well wisher friends are Subhadra, Mandalibhadra, Bhadravardhana, Gobhata, Yaksa, Indrabhata, Bhadranga, Virabhadra, Mahaguna, Vijaya, and Balabhadra.* Among these friends Balabhadra and Mandalibhadra are the best. Friends who are younger than Krishna, who are always attached to Him, and who give Him all kinds of service are called ordinary friends, or simply friends. Such ordinary friends are called sakhas, and the names of some sakhas are Visala, Vrsabha, Ojasvi, Devaprastha, Varuthapa, Maranda, Kusumapida, Manibandha, and Karandham.* Among them Devaprastha is the best. The more confidential friends are called priya-sakhas and are almost Krishna's age. Because of their very confidential friendship, their behaviour is only on the basis of pure friendship. Some confidential friends are as follows: Sridama, Sudama, Dama, Vasudama, Kinkini, Stoka-Krishna, Amsu, Bhadrasena, Vilasi, Pundarika, Vitanka, and Kalavinka. There are other friends who are more confidential than the suhrt, sakha and priya-sakha friends. They are called priya-narma or intimate friends. Counted among the priya-narma friends are Subala, Arjuna, Gandharva, Vasanta, and Ujjvala.* Among them, Ujjvala, who is always eager to speak joking words, is the best. Among these friends some are nitya-siddha (eternally perfect), others are suracara (demigods who eventually attained this rasa) and others are sadhaka (human beings who by performing devotional service eventually attained this rasa). The friends serve Krishna in many different ways. Thus they perform a wonderful variety of different activities.
Vrajanatha: What are the uddipanas of this rasa?
Gosvami: Krishna's age, His beauty, His bugle, His flute, His conchshell, His pleasing attitude, His exceptional joking abilities, His great power, and His playful activities all provoke (uddipana) love in friendship for Him. When Krishna is spending His days as a cowherd boy, he is in the kaumara and pauganda ages. In the kaisora age, when Krishna appeared in Gokula, He acted as a cowherd boy, and then, when He was sixteen, He went to Mathura.
Vrajanatha: I request that you explain to me the anubhavas of Krishna's friends.
Gosvami: Krishna played with His intimate friends sometimes by fighting or wrestling with their arms, sometime by playing ball, and sometimes by playing chess. Sometimes they carried one another on their shoulders and sometimes they exhibited their expertness at whirling logs. And the cowherd friends used to please Krishna by sitting together with Him on couches or on swings by lying together on their beds, by joking together, and by swimming in the pool,* by playing with the monkeys and other animals and by dancing, singing and other activities. All these activities are called anubhava. The suhrt friends used to sit together and advise one another what to do, sometimes inducing one another to be engaged in welfare work. The sakha friends would offer betel nuts to one another, decorate one another's faces with tilaka, or smear pulp of candana on one another's bodies. The priya-sakha friends wanted to defeat Krishna. Sometimes they used to snatch His clothing or snatch away the flowers from His hands. Sometimes they would try to induce one another to decorate His body for Him, and failing this, they were always ready to fight, challenging one another to combat in wrestling. The priya-narma-sakha friends would make arrangements for Krishna's madhura-lila. Like the servants, these friends also decorated Krishna with forest flowers and fanned Him.
Vrajanatha: What are the sattvika bhavas and sancari-bhavas of this rasa?
Gosvami: They are like those for dasya-rasa, only a little more.
Vrajanatha: What is the sthayi-bhava for this rasa?
Gosvami: Srila Rupa Gosvami explains (Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu 3.3.105):
"When there are dealing between Krishna and His friends, which are completely devoid of any feelings of respect and they all treat one another on an equal level, such ecstatic love in friendship is called sthayi."*
Vrajanatha: What does the word 'visrambha' mean here?
Gosvami: It is said (Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu 3.3.106):
"Visrambha means firm confidence that one is equal to his friend."
Vrajanatha: How does this kind of friendship develop?
Gosvami: The stages of sakhya-rasa are: prema, sneha, raga and pranaya.
Vrajanatha: What are the qualities of pranaya?
Gosvami: In this kind of love awe and veneration are completely absent, even in situations where they might be appropriate. Sakhya-rasa is very wonderful and unprecedented. Sakhya-rasa is very different from either dasya-rasa or vatsalya-rasa. Among all the rasa, sakhya-rasa is especially dear to Krishna. And why not? Krishna and His friends have a very close relationship. In some ways the spiritual ecstasy of sakhya-rasa is almost similar to the ecstasy of madhurya-rasa.
Chapter Thirty Rasa-vicara
Today, after honouring kichari prasadam, Vijaya-kumara and Vrajanatha saw the samadhi of Haridasa Thakura. Then they saw the temple of Sri Tota-Gopinatha, and then they went to the temple of Sri Radha-kantha. There they offered dandavat obeisances to Sri Gopala-guru Gosvami and then sat down. They discussed many things with Sri Dhyanacandra Gosvami. Meanwhile, Sri Gopala-guru Gosvami honoured prasadam and then also sat down on his seat. Vrajanatha humbly asked him about vatsalya-bhakti rasa. Sri Gopala-guru Gosvami said, "In vatsalya-rasa Krishna is the visaya, and His elder relatives and superiors are the asraya. Krishna's body is dark and handsome. He has all virtues. He is gentle , a pleasing speaker, honest, sincere, shy, humble, respectful, and generous. The king and queen of Vraja, Rohini, the elder gopis, Devaki, Kunti, Vasudeva and Sandipani Muni are included among the devotees in vatsalya rasa. Nanda and Yasoda are the best among them. The uddipanas include Krishna's kaumara age and other ages and His form, garments, childhood, restlessness, talking, joking and pastimes.
Vrajanatha: What are the anubhavas in this rasa?
Gosvami: The anubhavas include smelling Krishna's head, massaging His limbs, offering blessings to Him, giving orders to Him, caressing Him, protecting Him, and giving good advice to Him, kissing Him, hugging Him and calling His name are also included among these activities.
Vrajanatha: What are the sattvika ecstatic symptoms in this rasa?
Gosvami: The sattvika ecstatic symptoms in this rasa include milk flowing from the breasts and the eight ecstatic symptoms that begin with becoming stunned.
Vrajanatha: What are the vyabhicari-bhavas in this rasa?
Gosvami: The vyabhicaris in vatsalya rasa are like those in prita-rasa (dasya rasa).
Vrajanatha: What are the sthayi-bhavas in this rasa?
Gosvami: The sthayi-bhavas are mercy and love that is free from awe and veneration. The parental love felt by Yasoda and other great devotees is naturally very strong. The sthayi-bhava in this rasa proceeds from prema, to sneha and raga. Lord Balarama's rasa is a mixture of dasya-rasa and vatsalya rasa. King Yudhisthira's rasa is a mixture of vatsalya, dasya and sakhya. King Ugrasensa's rasa is a mixture of vatsalya and sakhya. The rasa of Nakula, Sahadeva, Narada Muni and many others is a mixture of sakhya and dasya. The rasa of Shiva, Garuda, Uddhava and many other is a mixture of dasya and sakhya.
Vrajanatha: O master, now we have heard your description of vatsalya-rasa. Please be merciful now and describe madhura rasa, the most exalted of the rasas. By hearing your description we will become fortunate.
Gosvami: Madhura-rasa is said to be the most important of the bhakti-rasas. A living entity who has taken shelter of the material rasas may become devoted to the Supreme Lord and may thus gradually turn from the things of the material world and thus attain renunciation. A person who is not renounced in this way is not qualified to understand the spiritual rasas. Therefore the people in general are not qualified to understand the madhura-rasa. Madhura-rasa is very difficult to understand. It is not easy to find a person qualified to understand it. This rasa is very confidential. Therefore it is appropriate to keep it hidden from general view. Therefore, even though many things could be said about madhura-rasa, I will describe it only briefly.
Vrajanatha: O master, I am a follower of the cowherd boy Sri Subala. Please consider what I am qualified to hear, and tell me only that much.
Gosvami: The priya-narma-sakha friends of Krishna are to a certain extent aware of the activities of madhura-rasa. Taking this into consideration, I will tell you what is right for you to hear, and I will not tell you what is not appropriate for you to hear.
Vrajanatha: What are the alambanas of this rasa?
Gosvami: In this rasa the visaya is Sri Krishna, the hero whose handsomeness has no equal. The transcendental asraya is the devotees who relish pastimes with Him. Therefore the vraja-gopis are the asraya in this rasa. Of all the dear gopis, Sri Radha is the best. Of the many uddipanas in this rasa, the sound of Krishna's flute is the first. The anubhavas of this rasa include sidelong glances and smiles. All the sattvika-bhavas are gloriously present in this rasa. All the vyabhicaris, except for laziness and ferociousness, are also present in this rasa.
Vrajanatha: What are the sthayi-bhavas of this rasa?
Gosvami: The appropriate vibhavas act to increase the love present in madhura-rasa. No vijatiya or svajatiya bhavas can break the love that Sri Radha and Sri Madhava feel for each other.
Vrajanatha: How many are the different varieties of madhura-rasa?
Gosvami: Madhura-rasa is of two kinds: 1. vipralambha (separation) and sambhoga (meeting).
Vrajanatha: What is vipralambha?
Gosvami: Vipralambha is of many kinds, including purva-raga (the beginning of love), mana (jealous anger), and pravasa (the beloved goes far away).
Vrajanatha: What is purva-raga?
Gosvami: Purva-raga is said to be the situation before the lover's have met.
Vrajanatha: What are mana and pravasa?
Gosvami: Mana is well known. Pravasa is when the lover loses the association of the beloved.
Vrajanatha: What is sambhoga?
Gosvami: When the two lovers meet and enjoy (bhoga) together, that is called sambhoga. I will not say anything more about madhura-rasa. Persons qualified to understand madhura rasa should study the confidential description of it in the book Sri Ujjvala-nilamani.
Vrajanatha: Now please briefly describe the gauna-bhakti-rasa (the secondary rasas of devotional service).
Gosvami: The seven gauna-rasas are: laughter, astonishment, chivalry, lamentation, anger, dread, and ghastliness. When one of these secondary rasas becomes very powerful, it occupies the place of primary (mukhya) rasas. In this situation it seems to be independent of the primary rasas. Seemingly independent in this way, the secondary rasa then becomes nourished by its own sthayi-bhavas, vibhavas, and other bhavas. However, the truth is that the five rasas beginning with santa-rasa are the only primary rasas. The seven secondary rasas, which begin with hasya (laughter), are considered vyabhicaris in relation to the five primary rasas.
Vrajanatha: From my study of rhetoric (alankara), I have learned all these things about the rasas. I know all this about the secondary rasas, which begin with hasya (laughter). I wish to know how these secondary rasas are related to the primary rasas of devotional service. Please be merciful and explain this.
Gosvami: It is said that among the five rasas some are friends (compatible) and some are enemies (incompatible). The friends of santa-rasa are dasya, ghastliness, dharma-vira (chivalry in performing pious deeds), and astonishment. The friends of astonishment are dasya, sakhya, vatsalya and madhura-rasa. The enemies of santa-rasa are madhura rasa, yuddha-vira (chivalry in battle), anger, and dread. The friends of dasya-rasa are ghastliness, santa-rasa, dharma vira (chivalry in performing pious deeds), and dana-vira (chivalry in giving charity). The enemies of dasya-rasa are madhura-rasa, yuddha-vira (chivalry in battle), and anger. The friends of sakhya rasa are madhura rasa, laughter, and yuddha-vira (chivalry in battle). The enemies of sakhya-rasa are vatsalya rasa, ghastliness, anger, and dread. The friends of vatsalya rasa are laughter, compassion, and dread. The enemies of vatsalya rasa are madhura rasa, yuddha-vira (chivalry in battle), dasya rasa, and anger. The friends of madhura-rasa are laughter and sakhya rasa. The enemies of madhura rasa are vatsalya rasa, ghastliness, santa-rasa, anger, and dread. The friends of hasya-rasa (laughter are ghastliness, madhura-rasa and vatsalya-rasa. The enemies of hasya rasa are compassion and dread. The friends of adbhuta-rasa (astonishment) are chivalry, santa rasa, dasya rasa, sakhya rasa, vatsalya rasa and madhura rasa. The enemies of adbhuta rasa are anger and ghastliness. The friends of vira-rasa (chivalry) are astonishment, laughter, sakhya-rasa and dasya-rasa. The enemy of vira-rasa is dread. Some think that santa rasa is also an enemy of vira-rasa. The friends of karuna-rasa (compassion) are anger and vatsalya rasa. The enemies of karuna-rasa are chivalry, laughter, astonishment, and the sambhoga (meeting) part of madhura rasa. The friends of raudra-rasa (anger) are compassion and chivalry. The enemies of raudra-rasa are laughter, madhura rasa, and dread. The friends of bhayanaka rasa (dread) are ghastliness and compassion. The enemies of bhayanaka-rasa are chivalry, madhura rasa, laughter and anger. The friends of bibhatsa rasa (ghastliness) are santa rasa, laughter, and dasya rasa. The enemies of bibhatsa rasa are madhura rasa and sakhya rasa. All the other rasas are closely related.
Vrajanatha: Please explain the result of these rasas meeting with each other.
Gosvami: When the friendly rasas meet, the result is very palatable. It is good when an anga rasa (part) meets with an angi rasa (whole). The rasas may be primary or secondary, an angi rasa should meet with a friendly anga-rasa.
Vrajanatha: Please explain the difference between angi (whole) and anga (part).
Gosvami: Whether it is a primary rasa or a secondary rasa, when on rasa dominates another, the dominating rasa is called angi. The anga rasa (dominated rasa) then becomes a sancari-bhava that nourishes the angi-rasa. In the Visnu-dharmottara Purana is said:
"When rasas meet, the dominating rasa becomes the sthayi bhava and the others become the sancari bhavas."
Vrajanatha: How is it possible for one of the secondary (gauna) rasas to become an angi rasa (a dominating rasa).
Gosvami: Srila Rupa Gosvami explains (Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu 4.8.45):
"Lord Vamanadeva is actually the Supreme Personality of Godhead, but He appeared to have been 'born' as one of the brothers of Indra. Although Vamanadeva is sometimes taken as a less important demigod, He is actually the maintainer of Indra, the king of the demigods. Thus, although sometimes Vamanadeva is considered to be a subordinate demigod, His actual position is that of the supreme whole, the source f the entire demigod system. In the same way, a rasa which is actually prominent may sometimes appear to be manifested in a subordinate way, although its actual position is as the main or prominent loving feeling of a devotee."*
Vrajanatha: What happens when two inimical rasas meet?
Gosvami: It becomes like sweet nectar when something salty or sour is mixed in. This mixing of incompatible rasas is called 'rasabhasa'.
Vrajanatha: Is the mixing of incompatible rasas never good in any situation?
Gosvami: Srila Rupa Gosvami explains (Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu 4.8.63-64):
"When an opposing argument is to be refuted, or when remembering something, or when speaking impartially, or in a favourable way one stands between two rasas, or when there is a difference of the lover (asraya) and beloved (visaya), then the meeting of incompatible rasas does not produced an unpalatable result."
In this way it is seen that even though dasya-rasa and vatsalya rasa are enemies, when they are present, at different times, in the relationship of King Yudhisthira with Lord Krishna, there is no incompatibility. Although these two rasas are enemies, they are not present simultaneously. Sometimes, when the ecstasy of bhava is very intense, there is no incompatibility when incompatible rasas meet. Srila Rupa Gosvami explains (Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu 4.8.83):
"Sometimes, when they are present in very exalted and powerful personalities, many different incompatible rasas join to become compatible."
Vrajanatha: I heard from the Vaishnavas that Lord Mahaprabhu was not very happy to hear words contaminated with rasabhasa, and he would not agree to hear songs contaminated with that defect. Now I understand the fault of rasabhasa. Now please kindly explain the different kinds of rasabhasa.
Gosvami: Rasabhasa, or incompatible mixtures of mellows, may be classified as uparasa (false expression), anurasa (imitation), and aparasa (perverted or misrepresented mellows). In this way there is great, intermediate, or lesser expression of rasabhasa.
Vrajanatha: What is uparasa?
Gosvami: Pushed by sthayi-bhava, vibhava, anubhava, and the other bhavas, the twelve rasas may become uparasas. When sthayi-bhava, vibhava, or anubhava are manifested in a distorted way, then uparasa is manifested.
Vrajanatha: What is anurasa?
Gosvami: When the twelve secondary rasas are manifested, but they have no relation to Krishna, then they are anurasa. When chivalry and other like rasas only approach the borderline of having a relationship with Krishna, they are also considered anurasa.
Vrajanatha: If these sentiments have no relationship with Krishna, then they are not rasas at all. They are only material. What is the distinguishing feature of anurasas that makes them different from material feelings?
Gosvami: Anurasas do not have a direct relationship with Krishna. Some examples of anurasas are the gopis' laughing (hasya rasa) when they saw a monkey dance, and Narada's astonishment (adbhuta-rasa) when he heard two parrots debating Vedanta in Bhandiravana. In these examples one can see a relationship with Krishna, but it is distant. One cannot see a direct relationship with Krishna. In such a situation there is anurasa.
Vrajanatha: What is aparasa?
Gosvami: If Krishna becomes the object of His enemy's laughter or other unfavourable sentiment, that is called aparasa. When he saw Krishna flee from the battlefield, Jarasandha laughed again and again. That is an example of aparasa. Srila Rupa Gosvami explains (Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu):
"Some call these incompatible mellows 'tad-abhasa' and others call them 'rasabhasa'. But person who know the truth about the rasas use the word 'rasa' to refer to the compatible, pleasing rasas only."
After hearing these words, Vijaya-kumara and Vrajanatha, tears in their eyes and their words choked up, at once fell before the lotus feet of their spiritual master and said:
"I offer my respectful obeisances unto my spiritual master, who with the torchlight of knowledge has opened my eyes, which were blinded by the darkness of ignorance."*
Filled with the bliss of spiritual love, Sri Gopala-guru Gosvami embraced the two disciples. With a sincere heart he blessed them, "May the truth of the rasas be manifest before you."
Every day Vijaya-kumara and Vrajanatha discussed the spiritual truth with Sri Dhyanacandra Gosvami. They would also accept the caranamrta from Sri Gopala-guru Gosvami's feet and the nectar remnants of the prasadam foods that had touched his lips. Some days they stayed in their own bhajana-kutira. Other days they would visit Sri Haridasa Thakura's samadhi. Other days they would visit the temple of Sri Gopinatha. Other days they would see the many pure Vaishnavas performing devotional service under the siddha bakula tree. In these ways the two devotees became plunged in the nectar ocean of devotional service. Sometimes they would see the places where Lord Mahaprabhu was overcome with ecstatic love, places described in Srila Rupa Gosvami's Stava-mala and Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami's Stavavali. Sometimes they would join the pure Vaishnavas in chanting the holy names of Lord Hari. In this way Vijaya-kumara and Vrajanatha gradually became advanced in devotional service. Vijaya-kumara thought, "Sri Gopala-guru Gosvami briefly described madhura-rasa to us. I should hear a more detailed explanation of it from his mouth. Let Vrajanatha remain plunged in his mellows of sakhya rasa. I will go alone and learn all the truths of madhura-rasa." By the kind help of Dhyanacandra Gosvami, Vijaya-kumara got a copy of Sri Ujjvala-nilamani. He studied that book. When any doubts arose, he placed his questions before Sri Gopala-guru Gosvami.
One afternoon Vijaya-kumara and Vrajanatha were sitting by the seashore, looking at the waves, and observing how the wave-filled ocean was like life. Vijaya-kumara said, "No one could say what would happen next in life. We should learn about the path of raga-marga (raganuga-bhakti) from Sri Gopala-guru Gosvami." Vrajanatha said, "Sri Dhyanacandra Gosvami has written a book about raga-marga. I have seen it. If our spiritual master teaches us that book we will gain a great result. Good. I will make a copy of that book." After coming to this conclusion, he approached Sri Dhyanacandra and requested a copy of the book. Sri Dhyanacandra replied, "I cannot give you a copy. You must first get permission from Sri Gopala-guru Gosvami.
Then the two of them approached Sri Gopala-guru Gosvami and placed their request before him. He said, "Good. Get a copy and then return." With these words as their permission, Vijaya-kumara and Vrajanatha got a copy of the book. They thought that at appropriate times they would approach Sri Gopala-guru Gosvami and learn the book under his guidance.
Sri Dhyanacandra Gosvami was learned in all the scriptures. Especially in the scriptures that describe devotional service to Lord Hari, he had no equal. He was the foremost of Sri Gopala-guru Gosvami's disciples. Thinking them good candidates for devotional service, he taught Vijaya-kumara and Vrajanatha everything about the path of devotional service. Again and again they approached Sri Gopala-guru Gosvami's holy feet, and again and again Vijaya-kumara and Vrajanatha had their doubts answered. They learned about Lord Mahaprabhu's daily activities and Lord Krishna's daily pastimes. Following these pastimes, they worshipped the Lord during the eight portions of the day.
Autumn came. After five hours of night, the moon rose. Vijaya-kumara thought, "I should see Sraddhavali and Sundaracala. Vijaya-kumara had studied the method of worshipping the Lord in pure madhura-rasa. He liked only Lord Krishna's pastimes in Vraja and nothing else. He was always rapt in thinking of Lord Krishna's pastimes with the gopis in Vraja. He had heard that Lord Mahaprabhu saw Sundaracala as the land of Vraja. Vijaya-kumara set out for Sundaracala. He crossed the Balagandi and began to proceed toward Sraddhavali. As he walked he saw gardens on both sides. Finally Vrindavan appeared before him. Plunged in an ocean of spiritual love, Vijaya-kumara said, "Ah! How fortunate I have become today! Today I can see Vraja Puri, which even Brahma and the demigods cannot easily attain. Here is a forest garden. Here, in a bower of malati and madhavi vines, Sri Krishna, the master of my life, is joking with the gopis." Pushing aside all feelings of awe and veneration, agitated Vijaya-kumara ran to that place. As he was running, Vijaya-kumara fainted and fell unconscious to the ground. A gentle breeze blew on Vijaya-kumara. After a short time Vijaya-kumara became conscious again. He looked in one direction and then another. Not seeing the Lord's pastimes, he became unhappy at heart. Eventually Vijaya-kumara returned home. He went to bed. He did not tell anyone what he had seen. The sight of Lord Krishna's pastimes in Vraja made Vijaya-kumara's heart blossom with joy. In his heart Vijaya-kumara thought, "Today I have seen something very confidential. Tomorrow I will tell my spiritual master." After a few moments he remembered that a person who sees the Lord's confidential pastimes should not reveal that fact to anyone. Thinking about this again and again, he gradually fell asleep. When he rose in the morning he could think of nothing else. He honoured prasadam, went to the home of Kasi-misra and offered dandavat obeisances to his spiritual master. His spiritual master respectfully embraced him and asked about his welfare. Vijaya-kumara kept his eyes on his spiritual master's lotus feet. With a steady heart he asked about the madhura-rasa.
Vijaya-kumara, "O master, you have been merciful to me without limit. I would like to ask a question about the confidential truths of the splendid madhura-rasa. I have been reading Sri Ujjvala-nilamani, and some parts of it I do not understand." Hearing this, the spiritual master replied, "Baba, you are a very dear disciple of mine. You may place your questions before me. I will answer as far as I am able.
Vijaya-kumara said, "O master, it is said that among the five primary rasas, the madhura rasa is the most confidential. And why not? Madhura rasa eternally possesses all the virtues present in santa, dasya, sakhya and vatsalya rasas. Madhura rasa is the most wonderful and beautiful of all rasas. How can there be any doubt? Persons who follow the path of dry renunciation are completely unqualified to understand the truth of madhura rasa. On the other hand, the path followed by the materialists is not a good path to follow. The Vraja madhura rasa is completely different from material sexual activities. The madhura rasa cannot be understood very easily. If the madhura rasa is so wonderful, why it is so much like the affairs of ordinary men and women in the material world?
Gosvami: Baba Vijaya-kumara, you know very well that the wonderful variety present in the material world is only a perverted reflection of the wonderful variety present in the spiritual world. The confidential truth here is that in a reflection everything is the reverse of the original. Thus what is highest in the original is lowest in the reflection, and what is lowest in the original is highest in the reflection. When we look in the mirror, we see our limbs reflected in reverse. That is easy to understand, In the same way, when the shadow of the Supreme Lord's inconceivable potency is reflected in the material world, that reflected image is in reverse. Thus when the spiritual rasas are reflected in the material world, that reflected image is in reverse. The Absolute truth has a great variety of unprecedented and wonderful happinesses. The highest stage of those happinesses is the rasas. The conditioned souls think of these rasas only in terms of their material reflections. Some thinkers claim that the spiritual truth has no variety. These persons try to become one with the Supreme. They think variety exists only in the material world and in the world of spirit there is no variety. These persons cannot understand the truth about the spiritual world. However, a person who takes shelter of logic and simple common sense can easily understand the truth. The reality is that the Supreme is the resting place of all rasas. Therefore wonderful variety exists in Him. The great variety of material rasas are all reflected from Him. Therefore, by looking at the material rasas we can understand something of the original spiritual rasa, which cannot be perceived by the material senses. A great variety of rasas exist within the Supreme. That much may be understood. The lowest rasa in the spiritual world is the peaceful rasa called santa-rasa. Above that is dasya-rasa. Above dasya rasa is sakhya rasa. Above sakhya rasa is vatsalya rasa. Then, above them all, is madhura rasa. However, when these rasas are reflected in the material world, their positions are all inverted. Thus, in the material world the madhura rasa is in the lowest position. Above that is vatsalya rasa. Above vatsalya rasa is sakhya rasa. Above sakhya rasa is dasya rasa. Then, above them all, is santa rasa. They who analyse the different rasas in the material world come to the conclusion that madhura rasa is the lowest of all. That is why the activities of madhura rasa in the material world are very unimportant and are a source of embarrassment. However, in the spiritual world the madhura rasa is the most pure of all the rasas. It is filled with purity, splendour and wonderful sweetness. In the spiritual world when Krishna, the supreme male, meets with His potencies, who are all female, Their activities are supremely pure. Their activities are the root of spiritual reality. However, the perverted reflection of those activities in the material world is degraded and a source of embarrassment. The truth is that Krishna is the only male, and His potencies are all female. Therefore, in this rasa in the spiritual world there is nothing that is impious or goes against the teachings of religion. In the material world one individual soul is the enjoyer and another individual soul is the enjoyed. In this way the material madhura rasa contradicts the original spiritual reality. That is why the material madhura rasa is the resting place of revulsion and embarrassment. The truth is that it is not possible for one individual soul to be the enjoyer of another individual soul. All individual souls are meant to be enjoyed, and Lord Krishna is the only enjoyer. It is because it is so much in opposition to the true nature of the individual soul that the material madhura rasa is so abominable, repulsive, and embarrassing. How can there be any doubt? Look, consider the nature of a reflection in a mirror? There must be some similarity between the reflected material couples in the material world and their origin in Lord Krishna's supreme pure transcendental pastimes. However, the difference between them is that one is the most abominable and the other is the most exalted.
Vijaya-kumara: O master, now my life is a success. I fully accept your very pleasing conclusion. Now my doubt is destroyed. Now I am able to understand the madhura rasa present in the spiritual world. Ah, the very word 'madhura rasa' is sweet. It is spiritual and free from the touch of matter. It is the source of supreme transcendental bliss. Who is so unfortunate that he will refer to the happiness of santa rasa to the sweet happiness of madhura rasa? O master, I am very eager to understand the madhura rasa. Please be merciful to me.
Gosvami: Baba, please listen carefully, and I will speak. In madhura rasa Krishna is the visaya and His beloveds are the asraya. Their meeting is the alambana.
Vijaya-kumara: What are the features of Krishna when He is the visaya in madhura rasa?
Gosvami: Ah! That is a very pleasing question. Krishna's complexion is the colour of a new rain cloud. He is charming. All His features are sweet and charming. He is the strongest. His youthfulness is always new and fresh. He speaks eloquently and sweetly. He is intelligence, glorious, sober, profound the best, famous, charming to all women, always new and fresh, the enjoyer of incomparable transcendental pastimes, handsome, the most dear and expert at playing the flute. The supreme male Krishna has many transcendental qualities like these. The glory of all the Kamadevas is at once eclipsed by a mere glimpse of the glory of Krishna's feet. Lord Krishna's sidelong glance enchants the hearts of all. Krishna is the great treasure of transcendental pastimes. He is the good fortune attained by the gopis.
Vijaya-kumara: Krishna has a great host of wonderful spiritual qualities. Krishna is the only hero of the wonderful and spiritual madhura rasa. Now I can fully understand all this. Previously I studied many scriptures. I had praise only for material logic. Even though I would sometimes meditate on Lord Krishna, I did not have firm faith in Him. But now, by your mercy a little bit of devotion, devotion that is the root of attraction to Krishna, has risen in my heart. Now that my heart has become purified by devotion, I have attained the direct perception of Lord Krishna. I turned away from Krishna. But still Krishna never left my heart. Ah, how merciful He is! Now I can understand these words (Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu 2.5.131-132):
"Non devotees cannot understand the transcendental mellows experienced between the devotee and the Lord. In all respects, this is very difficult, but one who has dedicated everything to the lotus feet of Krishna can taste the transcendental mellows.*
"When one transcends the status of ecstatic love and thus becomes situated on the highest platform of pure goodness, one is understood to have cleansed the heart of all material contamination. In that pure stage of life, one tastes this nectar, and this tasting capacity is called 'rasa' or transcendental mood.
O master, now I can directly understand that the true rasas are the splendid spiritual rasas in the heart. The so-called rasas in the material world are not the true rasas. The true rasas are in the spiritual world. Each living being is a tiny particle of spirit, a soul. When the soul becomes rapt in the meditation of devotional service (bhakti-samadhi), then the spiritual rasas are manifested in him. By the mercy of the spiritual master one is able to understand both the soul's pure, original, spiritual identity, and the soul's conditioned existence in the material world. One who understands this has no doubts.
Gosvami: Baba Vijaya-kumara all you say is true. To further remove any doubts you may still have, I will explain more about the spiritual truth. Tell me: What is the relationship of pure truth and mixed truth?
Vijaya-kumara: (offering dandavat obeisances to his spiritual master's feet's) O master, only by your mercy I will be able to speak properly. If my explanations are faulty, then please be merciful and correct me. That which truly exists is called 'existence' (satta). Thus it is said that there is 'true existence of a particular place' (sthiti-satta), 'true existence of a form' (rupa-satta), 'true existence of certain qualities' (guna satta) and 'true existence of certain activities' (kriya-satta). True existence (satta) has neither beginning nor end. True existence is manifested in an eternal present, uncontaminated by past or future. It is filled with many great wonders and it is perfectly pure in nature. That is pure existence (suddha-sattva). Pure existence is manifested by the Lord's pure spiritual potency (suddha-cit-shakti). The material world of maya, where past and future are manifested, is only a shadow of the original spiritual potency (cit-shakti). When that something is seen to begin its existence in the world of maya, that beginning comes from the material mode of passion. When something is seen to come to an end in the material world of maya, that ending comes from the material mode of ignorance. These kinds of existence are all mixed. The pure spirit soul, however, is unmixed, pure existence (suddha-sattva). The form, qualities, and activities of the pure soul are all pure existence (suddha-sattva. However, when the individual spirit soul is imprisoned by maya, the soul's qualities are seen to be mixed with the material modes of passion and ignorance.
Gosvami: Baba, your analysis is very subtle. Now please tell me: How does the living entity's heart become enlightened with pure existence?
Vijaya-kumara: As long as he remains imprisoned in the material world, the soul does not manifest its original, pure existence. Only the is the soul's original, pure form manifested. The soul's original form is not manifested as a result of impersonal speculation (jnana-cesta) or fruitive work (karma cesta). How can one become clean if he washes himself with dirt? Spiritual knowledge is like fire. With the fire of knowledge one should burn away the contamination of materialism. How does one attain the spiritual happiness that comes from washing away the contamination of matter? By the mercy of Krishna and the Vaishnavas one attains devotional service. By engaging in devotional service one regains his original spiritual identity. When that original identity is regained, the heart becomes effulgent with pure spiritual existence.
Gosvami: Baba, I am very happy to teach a qualified student like you. What other questions do you have?
Vijaya-kumara: Previously you said that there are four kinds of heroes: dhirodatta, dhira-lalita, dhira-prasanta and dhirodhatta. Which kind of hero is Krishna?
Gosvami: Krishna is all four of these heroes. If one asks how a personality can be beheld in four quite opposing ways the answer is that the Lord is the reservoir of all transcendental qualities and activities. Therefore, His different aspects can be analysed according to the exhibition of Hi limitless variety of pastimes, and as such there is no contradiction.*
Vijaya-kumara: If you are merciful, then please kindly explain all this. (speaking these words), Vijaya-kumara fell, with tears in his eyes at the feet of his spiritual master. The saintly Gosvami lifted him up, embraced him, and tears flowing from his own eyes, began to speak.
Gosvami: In madhura rasa Krishna assumes two roles: that of husband and that of paramour.
Vijaya-kumara: O master, Krishna is our eternal husband. How can He be a paramour?
Gosvami: This is very confidential. In the realm of spiritual activities, madhura rasa is a secretly hidden jewel. Among the many jewels of madhura rasa, the jewel where Krishna assumes the role of paramour (parakiya) is the best, the Kaustubha jewel.
Vijaya-kumara: The devotees who have taken shelter of madhura rasa worship Krishna as their husband. What is this secret, that Krishna can be a paramour?
Gosvami: If the Supreme is impersonal and without qualities, then there is no possibility of a rasa with Him. If He is impersonal, the Veda's declaration, 'raso vai sah' (The Supreme Personality of Godhead is the reservoir of transcendental rasas) has no meaning. If the Supreme has neither qualities nor happiness, then He cannot have any contact with rasa. Only if He has qualities may He have contact with rasa. The rasas are manifested in the heart. The rasas cannot be manifested in relation to an impersonal qualityless Supreme. They are manifest only in relation to the Supreme Person. In santa rasa the Lord's supreme power and opulence are prominent. The dasya rasa, where the Lord's position as the supreme master is prominent, is above santa rasa. The sakhya rasa, where the idea that one is the Lord's equal is prominent, is above dasya rasa. The vatsalya rasa where the idea that one is the Lord's superior is prominent, is above sakhya rasa. The madhura rasa is above the vatsalya-rasa. It is above all the other rasas. In madhura rasa, parakiya is above svakiya. These two are based on 'atma' (myself) and 'para' (another person). The one means that one is Krishna's, and the other means that one belongs to another. These two opposites are both manifested in relation to the Supreme Person. In one part of Krishna's pastimes, svakiya love is manifested, and in another part of His pastimes parakiya love is manifested. When the hero and heroine passionately meet, that is the wonderful parakiya rasa. Parakiya rasa is much great then svakiya rasa. The svakiya rasa is dry in comparison, and the parakiya rasa is blossoming with happiness. When Krishna is the hero, parakiya rasa is not at all abominable. If an individual soul is the hero, then one can consider whether his actions follow the path of religion or oppose it. If an individual soul is the hero in parakiya love, then that is very abominable. Therefore philosophers affirm that an individual soul who becomes a paramour is very rehensible. Srila Rupa Gosvami explains that in books of ordinary material rhetoric (alankara-sastra) it is accepted that a paramour is in an inferior position. This is true for a material paramour, but it is not true for Sri Krishna, the spiritual Supreme Personality of Godhead, the origin of all incarnations.
Vijaya-kumara: Lord Krishna then appears as both husband and paramour. Please first explain His role as husband.
Gosvami: When He accepts a girl's hand in marriage, then He is the husband.
Vijaya-kumara: What is the nature of His role as paramour and His parakiya rasa?
Gosvami: When love becomes everything for Him, and when, passionately desiring another's wife, He jumps over the rules of religion, then He is a paramour. When He ignores the religious rules that govern this life and the next and when He has only contempt for the institution of marriage, and when He thus offers Himself to a girl, then Lord Krishna enjoys the parakiya rasa. In parakiya rasa there are two kinds of heroines: 1. an unmarried girl and 2. the wife of another.
Vijaya-kumara: What is the nature of svakiya rasa?
Gosvami: When He accepts a girl's hand in marriage, becomes her husband, and protects her, and when she is always faithful to Him, that is svakiya rasa.
Vijaya-kumara: When does Sri Krishna accept the svakiya and parakiya rasas?
Gosvami: When He marries the queens in Dvaraka, He accepts svakiya rasa and when He becomes the lover of the girls of Vraja, He accepts the parakiya-rasa.
Vijaya-kumara: What is the position of these two kinds of beloveds in Lord Krishna's unmanifested pastimes?
Gosvami: This is very confidential. You know that Lord Krishna's opulences are four quarters. Three quarters are the spiritual world, and one quarter is the material world. Within that one quarter of the Lord's opulences exist the material universes that have fourteen planetary systems. On the boundary that divides the material and spiritual world flows the Viraja river. On the father shore of the Viraja is the spiritual world. The spiritual world is enclosed by a wall of light called the Brahmajyoti. Beyond that wall may be seen the spiritual sky of Vaikuntha. In Vaikuntha the Lord's opulence is prominent. There Lord Narayanacandra, the king of kings, is served by numberless spiritual opulences. In Vaikuntha the Lord accepts only the svakiya rasa. There Sri, Bhu, Nila and the other wives serve their husband, Lord Narayana. Above Vaikuntha is Goloka. In Vaikuntha the Dvaraka queens serve Krishna according to svakiya rasa. In Goloka the girls of Vraja serve Krishna according to their own rasa.
Vijaya-kumara: If Goloka is Lord Krishna's highest abode, why is Vraja gloried as the most wonderful place?
Gosvami: Vraja, Gokula, Vrindavan, and many other places are all situated within Mathura-mandala. Goloka is the highest abode. When it is manifested within the material world, Goloka is called Mathura-mandala. They are both the highest abode.
Vijaya-kumara: How is that possible? I don't understand.
Gosvami: It is possible by the power of Lord Krishna's inconceivable potency. Lord Krishna's inconceivable potency cannot be understood by material thought process or material logic, the spiritual realm called Goloka comes to the material world and is then called Mathura-mandala. In the Lord's unmanifested pastimes (aprakata-lila) that same world is called Goloka. Lord Krishna's transcendental pastimes are eternal. When one is qualified to see pure spirit, then he can see the world of Goloka. Then he sees that the Gokula present in the material world is the same as Goloka in the spiritual world. However, when a person's intelligence is tortured by material ideas, he cannot see that Goloka is the same as Gokula. He sees that they are different. He sees that Gokula is part of the material world.
Vijaya-kumara: How does one become qualified to see Goloka?
Gosvami: Sri Sukadeva Gosvami explains (Srimad Bhagavatam 10.28.14-15):
"Krishna immediately thought that His devotees in Vrindavan should be informed of the spiritual sky and the Vaikuntha planets therein. Thus Krishna showed them the eternal, ever-existing spiritual sky, which is unlimited and full of knowledge. Information of the spiritual sky can be had only from great sages and saintly persons who have already surpassed the influence of the three material modes of nature."*
Baba, with Krishna's mercy, no one can see Goloka. It was by His mercy that the people of Vraja were able to see Goloka. Goloka is the supreme spiritual abode, far beyond the material world. It contains all wonders. It is eternal and spiritual. It is the home of limitless spiritual pastimes. The spiritual effulgence called Brahmajyoti is the eternal effulgence emanating from Goloka. The devotees who have completely renounced the material world are able to see Goloka as it is.
Vijaya-kumara: Are all liberated souls able to see Goloka?
Gosvami: Among millions and millions of liberated souls it is hard to find a single devotee of the Supreme Lord. Persons who follow the path of astanga yoga or the path of impersonal speculation may attain liberation, but in that kind of liberation they forget their original spiritual identity in the spiritual world of Vraja. Devotees who are attracted by the Supreme Lord's opulences also cannot see the world of Goloka. Following their hearts, they go to Vaikuntha and there they serve the Supreme Lord in His form of opulence and majesty. Among the devotees who worship Krishna according to the rasas of Vraja, only they who by Lord Krishna's mercy are released from Maya's prison are able to see Goloka.
Vijaya-kumara: Well, if one these few liberated souls can see Goloka, then why is Goloka described in Sri Brahma-samhita, Hari-vamsa, Padma Purana and other scriptures? Simply by worshipping Him in Vraja one can easily attain Lord Krishna's mercy. Why, then do all these scriptures describe Goloka?
Gosvami: A rasika devotee who worships Krishna according to the rasas of Vraja Lord Krishna lifts from the material world and places in Goloka. Such a person can see Goloka in full. Among the pure devotees who worship Krishna in Vraja some, very few are able to see Goloka. There are two kinds of devotees: siddha (perfect devotees) and sadhaka (aspiring devotees). The sadhaka devotees are not qualified to see Goloka. The siddha devotees are of two kinds: vastu-siddha (perfect in reality) and svarupa siddha (perfect in conception). The vastu-siddha devotees are persons who by Lord Krishna's mercy are taken directly to Goloka. The svarupa-siddha devotees are persons who, although they are not taken, by Lord Krishna's mercy, from the material world and placed in Goloka, can still see the true form of Goloka. There are many kinds of devotees whose eyes of devotional service are gradually opened, by Lord Krishna's mercy. Some can see a little of Goloka, some can see more of Goloka and some can see a great deal of Goloka. According to the degree they have attain Lord Krishna's mercy, to that degree they can see Goloka. In the stage of sadhana the devotee can have a brief glimpse of Goloka in Gokula in the material world. When a devotee leaves the stage of sadhana-bhakti and attains bhava-bhakti, then he can see Goloka to a greater extent. When a devotee attains the stage of prema, then he can see Goloka to a very great extent.
Vijaya-kumara: O master, what is the difference between Goloka and Vraja?
Gosvami: Whatever can be seen in Vraja can also be seen in Goloka. However, persons with different kinds of qualification may see Vraja differently. The truth is that Goloka and Vrindavan are not different in anyway. However, there may be differences in different persons' ability to see. A person tightly bound by the mode of ignorance will see Vraja as just another place in the material world. A person influenced by the mode of passion will see Vraja as a pleasant place. A person in the mode of pure goodness will see Vraja more clearly than the others. In this way different people are more or less able to properly see the land of Vraja.
Vijaya-kumara: O master, I can understand a little. Please give one or two examples to help me understand. Examples comparing things in the spiritual world to things in the material world are always imperfect. Still, they can be useful, for the nature of one thing can be hinted by comparing it to another.
Gosvami: This is a very difficult topic. If one has a direct spiritual vision, he is forbidden to reveal it to others. If by Krishna's mercy one is able to see directly, one must keep that revelation always a secret. I will repeat to you what the previous acaryas have taught about this. Anything more than that you will soon see for yourself by Lord Krishna's mercy. Pure spiritual perception exists in Goloka. Material ideas do not exist there at all. To nourish the rasas, the Lord's spiritual potency (cit-shakti) manifests all wonderful states of being (bhava). In this way many ideas and conceptions are manifested. In Goloka Krishna is beginningless. He is never born. Still, to help the Lord's pastimes, the Lord's spiritual potency convinces Nanda and Yasoda that they are Krishna's parents. In this way the vatsalya rasa is manifested. In madhura rasa the wonderful varieties of vipralambha (separation) and sambhoga (enjoying pastimes together) are also manifested by the Lord's spiritual potency. In this way the parakiya rasa and svakiya rasa are manifested in an eternal present (nitya-vartamana). Look, in this way many different ideas and beliefs are manifested by Yogamaya in Vraja. Yogamaya convinces Yasoda that Krishna was born in her maternity room. Yogamaya convinces the gopis that they were married to Abhimanyu, Govardhana-gopa, and others. In this way the parakiya rasa is nourished. These various ideas and beliefs created by Yogamaya are not really untrue. They are part of the total reality of Goloka. Thus the different residents of Goloka do indeed see things differently.
Vijaya-kumara: Should one purify his thoughts by meditating on the Lord's pastimes in the eight periods of the day (asta-kalina-lila) and in this way be able to see the Lord in meditation?
Gosvami: It is not like that. One first sees the Lord's pastimes in Vraja, and then one remembers those pastimes of the eight periods of the day. By engaging in devotional service one obtains Krishna's mercy, and then the Lord's pastimes are manifested before one. There is no need to first purify one's thoughts by meditating on the Lord's pastimes.
Vijaya-kumara: It is said:
"One attains perfection that corresponds to his meditation."
Does this mean that when one attains perfection he will obtain what he meditated on during the period of sadhana-bhakti? Therefore one should strive to meditate purely one Goloka.
Gosvami: What you say is true. All the ideas and beliefs present in vraja are pure truths. There is nothing imperfect or wrong with about them. If there were anything untrue about them, they would be faulty. When one perfectly practices sadhana bhakti, he attains perfection. What one purely meditates on during the practice of sadhana bhakti, one directly sees when one attains perfection. Try to perform the duties of sadhana bhakti nicely. Do not try to purify these activities. To purify them is beyond your power. With His inconceivable potency, Lord Krishna Himself will purify them. If you try to purify them yourself, you will be pricked by the thorn of material ideas. If Krishna is merciful to you, the fruit you pick will not be bitter.
Vijaya-kumara: Today I have become fortunate. I have one more question. Do the Lord's wives in Dvaraka reside in Vaikuntha? If not, do they reside in Goloka?
Gosvami: All bliss is found in Vaikuntha in the spiritual world. There is no attainment higher than Vaikuntha. Dvaraka and all the cities where the Lord resides are manifested in Vaikuntha. each in her own abode, the Lord's wives in these different cities serve the Lord there. As far as madhura-rasa is concerned, only the girls in Vraja reside in Goloka. Whatever pastimes were manifested in Vraja in the material world are all manifested in Goloka. Also, in the Gopala-tapani Upanisad it is seen that Rukmini devi, following the svakiya rasa, enjoys pastimes in Mathura-puri in Goloka.
Vijaya-kumara: O master, the activities of parakiya rasa are manifested in a certain sequence in Vraja in the material world. Are they all manifested in exactly the same sequence in Goloka?
Gosvami: They are all exactly the same. They are all spiritual. Only the beliefs created by Yogamaya are absent. Those beliefs do not remain there. Only the pure spiritual part remains there. I cannot explain that any more clearly. By the power of your devotional activities you will come to understand what I mean.
Vijaya-kumara: At the time of cosmic devastation the entire material world disappears. How, then, is it possible that the Supreme Lord enjoys pastimes eternally in His abode of Vraja in the material world?
Gosvami: The Lord's pastimes in Vraja are eternal in two ways. Travelling in a great circle through the numberless material universes, the Lord manifests all His pastimes, one after another. In this way the Lord's pastimes are manifested eternally. Also, the Lord's pastimes always exist in the spiritual eternal present (nitya-vartamana), even when they may be invisible to material eyes (aprakata).
Vijaya-kumara: If the Lord openly manifests (prakata-lila) His pastimes in every material universe, does that mean that every universe has its own land of Vraja?
Gosvami: Yes, it does. Goloka has the power to manifest itself anywhere. In every material universe the abode of the Lord's pastimes is manifested. The world of Goloka also manifests itself in the heart of every devotee of the Lord. Why does the land of Mathura (Mathura-mandala) continue to exist in the material world, even though the Lord no longer manifests (prakata) His pastimes there?
Vijaya-kumara: The Lord continues to enjoy pastimes there eternally, even though those pastimes cannot be seen by material eyes (aprakata). Also, to show mercy to the devotees, the Lord keeps His abode manifested in the material world.
In that way the day's conversation ended. Again and again thinking of the Lord's pastimes during the eight periods of the day (asta-kaliya-seva), Vijaya-kumara returned to his residence.
Vijaya-kumara honoured prasadam and took rest at night. Vrajanatha completed his devotional activities, chanted the holy names of Lord on his beads, and went to sleep. Vijaya-kumara did not sleep. He used to think that Goloka was a different place. Now he could understand that Goloka and Gokula were not different. The parakiya rasa has its root in Goloka. However, how could Krishna be a paramour? That was his only doubt. Now he thought, "Krishna is the Absolute Truth. The potency and the master of potencies are not different. If Krishna and His potency are not different, then how can Krishna be the husband or the paramour of His potency?" Once he thought, "Tomorrow I will place this question before my spiritual master, and he will remove my doubt." Then again he thought, "It would not be good to ask the master again about Goloka. Still, I must throw this doubt far away." Thinking very seriously about all this, he fell asleep. Asleep, he dreamed that he met his spiritual master and placed this question before him. In the dream his spiritual master resolved the doubt. The spiritual master said, "Baba, Vijaya-kumara, Krishna's desires are not dependent on the wishes of others, pushed here and there like an elephant prodded with a goad. He eternally desires to conceal His own opulence and divine power, and instead manifest His charming sweetness. He makes His potency exist as a separate entity. Then His potency manifests Herself as millions and millions of beautiful girls. In this way His potency serves Him very diligently. Krishna is not very pleased when His potency serves Him in the mood of opulence. With the wonderful power of His potency, He makes these manifestations of His potency into married girls. Then He becomes their sole paramour. Desiring to enjoy the parakiya-rasa, Krishna rejects His own natural self-sufficiency (atmarama-dharma), and enjoys the rasa dance and other wonderful pastimes with His potencies, who are all convinced that they are the wives of others. In all these activities, His flute becomes a dear friend. In this way the parakiya-rasa is eternally perfect in the realm of Goloka. It is for this purpose that the pastime forests of Goloka and Vrindavan exist. Vraja's rasa-mandala, Yamuna shore, Govardhana Hill, and other pastimes places all exist in Goloka also. In this way svakiya rasa and parakiya rasa both exist in Goloka. Pure svakiya rasa is splendidly manifested in Vaikuntha. Svakiya rasa and parakiya rasa, which are simultaneously one and different from each other, are both seen in Goloka. Look. This is very wonderful. Although the parakiya-rasa in Vraja seems to be material and Krishna seems to be an ordinary paramour, the truth is that it is not material and Krishna is not a paramour at all. And why not? Krishna has been enjoying the company of His potencies from a time without beginning. Their relationship is actually the perfection of svakiya-rasa, of the love of a husband and wife. That His potencies are married to others and Krishna is their paramour is only an idea created to nourish the bliss of Their pastimes in Vraja. This same idea also nourishes the Lord's pastimes in Goloka, which is far from the world of matter. In Gokula, which is manifested within the material world, Yogamaya creates the idea that Krishna's potencies are married to others and Krishna is their paramour."
Hearing this explanation in his dream, Vijaya-kumara threw all his doubts far away. He became fully convinced that Goloka beyond the material world, and Gokula situated within the material world are indeed the same place. Then the bliss of the rasas of Vraja appeared in his heart. He became firmly convinced of Krishna's eternal pastimes in Vraja during the eight periods of the day (asta-kalina). Rising the next morning, he thought, "My spiritual master has been merciful to me without any limit". From that time he had full faith in his spiritual master's descriptions of the rasas.
Vijaya-kumara honoured prasadam and, at the appropriate time, shedding tears of love, fell down before his spiritual master's lotus feet. Filled with spiritual love, the spiritual master picked him up and said, "Baba, you have attained Lord Krishna's mercy. Simply by seeing you, I have become fortunate." He hugged Vijaya-kumara and then he began to sing these verses from Prema-vivarta:
"A person who has attained Lord Krishna's mercy is the most fortunate person in the entire world.
"The spiritual love of Goloka is manifest in his heart. He sees Goloka and Gokula. Maya flees from him."
After singing this song for many minutes, the spiritual master again became aware of the external world. Then Vijaya-kumara offered dandavat obeisances to him.
Vijaya-kumara: O master, I do not know anything about Lord Krishna's mercy. I only know that everything has come from your mercy. Stopping all efforts to see Goloka directly, I am now content to place my eyes on Gokula. For now it is good that I try to understand the wonderful variety of rasas in Vraja. Now I will return to the original topic we were discussing. O spiritual master, May it be said that the gopis who thought of Krishna as their husbands are situated in svakiya rasa?
Gosvami: The gopis who thought of Krishna as their husband may at that time be situated in svakiya rasa. However, the natural position of the girls in Gokula is parakiya rasa. Although their natural position is not svakiya rasa, because they marry Krishna by the gandharva rite or another rite, they may for some time be situated in svakiya-rasa. This is manifested in the Lord's Gokula pastimes.
Vijaya-kumara: O master, I have many questions. I shall ask them according to the sequence presented in Sri Ujjvala-nilamani. Now I would like to learn about the nayakas (heroes). There are four kinds of nayakas: anukula (friendly) daksina (sincere), satha (deceptive) and dhrsta (arrogant). What is the nature of the anukula hero?
Gosvami: A hero who is attached to one heroine does not desire any other, is an anukula hero. Lord Ramacandra has that kind of love for Sita. Lord Krishna has anukula love for Sri Radhika.
Vijaya-kumara: I wish to learn how the anukula hero is manifested in the four personality types that begin with dhirodatta. Please be merciful and describe the dhirodatta-anukula hero.
Gosvami: The dhirodatta-anukula hero is grave, humble, tolerant, merciful, true to His word, averse to praising Himself, modest and generous at heart. However, the dhirodatta-anukula hero will renounce these qualities in order to secretly meet with His beloved.
Vijaya-kumara: What is the dhira-lalita anukula hero?
Gosvami: The dhira-lalita hero is naturally very funny, always in full youthfulness, expert in joking, and free from all anxieties. If He always enjoys pastimes with the same heroine, the dhira-lalita hero becomes a dhira-lalita anukula hero.
Vijaya-kumara: What is a dhira-prasanta anukula hero?
Gosvami: A dhira-prasanta anukula hero is very peaceful, forbearing, considerate, and obliging.
Vijaya-kumara: What is a dhirodatta anukula hero?
Gosvami: A dhirodatta anukula hero is very envious, proud, easily angered, restless, and complacent.
Vijaya-kumara: What is a daksina hero?
Gosvami: The word 'daksina' means 'honest'. A hero who does not stop feeling respect, awe and love for His previous beloved, even after He becomes attached to a new beloved is a daksina hero. A daksina hero treats His many beloveds equally.
Vijaya-kumara: What is a satha hero?
Gosvami: A hero who is affectionate to His beloved when she is present, but blasphemes her when she is not present, is a satha hero.
Vijaya-kumara: What are the qualities of a dhrsta hero?
Gosvami: a dhrsta is expert at fearlessly speaking lies, even when His body clearly bears many marks showing how He enjoyed with another beloved.
Vijaya-kumara: O master, how many different kinds of heroes are there?
Gosvami: As far as we are concerned, there is no hero but Krishna. In Dvaraka He is perfect. In Mathura He is more perfect. In Vraja He is most perfect. In each of these places He is both husband and paramour. In this way He is six (3 x 2) heroes. In each of these six different situations He is also the four kinds of heroes that begin with dhirodatta. In that way he becomes 24 (2 x 3 x 4) different kinds of heroes. In each of these 24 situations he is also an anukula, daksina, satha and dhrsta hero. In this way He becomes 96 (2 x 3 x 4 x 4) kinds of heroes. Thus there are 24 svakiya heroes and 24 parakiya heroes. The svakiya heroes are less prominent and the parakiya heroes are more prominent. In the rasas and pastimes of Vraja the 24 kinds of parakiya heroes are manifested eternally. In different kinds of pastimes a different kind of hero is required. In this way Krishna assumes the roles of these different kinds of heroes.
Vijaya-kumara: O master, now I can understand the different qualities of the hero and heroine. Now I request that you teach me about the hero's different assistants.
Gosvami: The hero had five kinds of assistants. They are: ceta (confidential messenger), vita (valet), vidusaka (comedian), pitha-mardaka (constant companion), and priya-narma-sakha (dear friend). All these assistants are expert at speaking joking words, always bound by ties of strong friendship, an expert judge of time and circumstances, expert, and expert at speaking confidential words to pacify the gopis when they become angry.
Vijaya-kumara: Who are the cetas? Please say.
Gosvami: The cetas are expert at arranging Krishna's rendezvous with the gopis. The cetas are naturally bold and arrogant. Bhangura and Bhrngara are prominent among Krishna's ceta companions in Gokula.
Vijaya-kumara: Who are the vitas? Please say.
Gosvami: the vitas are expert in dressing and decorating Krishna. They are clever, skilled in conversation, and expert in bringing other under their control. Kadara and Bharatibandhu are prominent among the Krishna's vita companions.
Vijaya-kumara: Who are the vidusakas? Please say.
Gosvami: The vidusakas are fond of eating, fond of quarrelling and expert at inducing laughter by means of their funny gestures, expert jokes and funny appearance. Vasanta, Madhumangala, and many other gopas are prominent among Krishna's vidusaka companions.
Vijaya-kumara: Who are the pitha-mardakas?
Gosvami: The pitha-mardaka has qualities like those of the hero. He is the hero's constant companion. Sridama is Krishna's pitha-mardaka companion.
Vijaya-kumara: What are the qualities of the priya-narma-sakha?
Gosvami: The priya-narma-sakha companions have taken shelter of friendship with Krishna. They know Krishna's closest secrets. Subala and Arjuna are prominent among Krishna's priya-narma-sakha friends. The priya-narma-sakhas are the best of these five kinds of assistants. Among these five assistants - the cetas, vitas, vidusakas, pitha-mardakas, and priya-narma-sakha - the cetas are in dasya rasa, the pitha-mardakas are in vira-rasa (chivalry), and the others are in sakhya rasa. The cetas are servants, and the other four kinds of assistants are friends.
Vijaya-kumara: Are there no women among the assistants?
Gosvami: Yes. There are. They are the dutis (messengers).
Vijaya-kumara: How many different kinds of dutis are there?
Gosvami: There are two kinds of dutis: svayam-duti (messengers of their own accord) and apta-duti (they who are appointed as messengers). The svayam-dutis are Krishna's sidelong glance and the sound of His flute.
Vijaya-kumara: Ah! Who are the apta-dutis?
Gosvami: Vira, who is expert at speaking bold and outrageous words, and Vrnda, who speaks sweetly, are Krishna's two apta-dutis. The svayam-dutis and these two apta-dutis are extraordinary. In addition there are many ordinary dutis, such as Lingini, Daivajna, and Silpa-karini. It is better that I describe them later, when we discuss the heroines and messengers.
Vijaya-kumara: Now I understand Sri Krishna's natures, qualities, and other features as a hero. I have also learned that Krishna eternally enjoys pastimes as both a husband and a paramour. As a husband He enjoys pastimes in Dvaraka, and as a paramour He enjoys pastimes in Vraja. Our Krishna is a paramour. Therefore we must learn about the beautiful girls of Vraja.
Gosvami: Almost all of Krishna's gopi-beloveds in Vraja are in the parakiya rasa. And why not? In madhura rasa nothing is higher than parakiya. The svakiya rasa felt by the queens in Dvaraka is dull and stunted in comparison. Therefore the parakiya-rasa gives the most pleasure to Lord Krishna.
Vijaya-kumara: What is the meaning of all this?
Gosvami: Lord Shiva, who is expert at understanding the mellows of madhura rasa, explains that when women are very contrary or hard to find, or when they are protected by a host of obstacles, then Kamadeva uses his most powerful weapons. Visnugupta also explains that when the hero is forbidden to meet His beloved, or when His doe-eyed beloved is unapproachable then the hero's heart is very strongly attracted to His beloved. Look, even though He is always self-satisfied (atmarama), Krishna expanded into as many forms as there were gopis in the rasa dance pastime. A sadhaka devotee should try to understand the rasa dance pastime of the Lord. The instruction is given that if a sadhaka devotee desires to attain auspiciousness, then with devotion he should enter into an understanding of the rasa dance pastimes. Of course, he should not be so foolish as to try and imitate Lord Krishna's activities in the rasa dance. The meaning is that the devotee should try to understand how much the gopis love Lord Krishna.
Vijaya-kumara: Please clearly describe the love the gopis feel for Lord Krishna.
Gosvami: Krishna is a gopa. He is the son of Nanda. He enjoys pastimes of madhura rasa only with the gopis. He does not enjoy these pastimes with no other girls. A devotee who is qualified for madhura rasa, and who is either a sadhaka bhakta or a bhava bhakta should worship Krishna as the gopis do. In your meditation, you should serve Sri Sri Radha-Krishna as the fortunate gopis of Vraja do. If you cannot think of yourself as a gopi married to someone other than Krishna, then you will not be able to attain the parakiya rasa. To think that they are married to someone less is the nature of the gopis in Vraja. Srila Rupa Gosvami has written (Sri Ujjvala-nilamani, Krishna-vallabha-prakarana 19):
"The Vraja-gopis never meet with their husband, nor do their husbands even feel jealous, for the gopis husbands are all creations of Yogamaya."
The gopis' weddings and husbands are both creations of Yogamaya. The gopis never had any husband but Krishna. Still, in the eternal present (nitya-vartamana) that is the feature of time in the spiritual world, the gopis eternally think that they are married to someone other than Krishna. If this were not the case, then the wonderful rasas where the beloved in contrary, unattainable, surrounded by obstacles, and forbidden, would not be possible. It is because she refuses to accept parakiya rasa that Goddess Laksmi in Vaikuntha cannot become on of Krishna's beloved in the rasas of Vraja.
Vijaya-kumara: How does a gopi think herself married to someone other than Krishna?
Gosvami: A gopi thinks, "I was born in a gopa's house. At the appropriate time I was given in marriage to a certain gopa." Thinking in this way, a gopi develops a strong yearning to enjoy pastimes with Krishna. In this way the gopis think they are married to a certain gopa, and that they have no children. This is called 'gopi-bhava' (the assumptions of the gopis).
Vijaya-kumara: How does a male attain this conception?
Gosvami: It is only because of the power of Maya that a soul residing in the material world imagines that it is male. In the understanding of pure spirit, Krishna is the only male and all others are female. In spirit there is no sign of material male or female. Still, if one intently meditates on this rasa, one can become qualified to become a gopi in Vraja. A person who yearns to attain the madhura rasa will become qualified to become a gopi in Vraja. By again and again desiring in this way, one attains that perfection.
Vijaya-kumara: What is the glory of being a gopi married to a gopa other than Krishna?
Gosvami: When the vraja-gopis married to other gopas yearn to enjoy pastimes with Krishna, then the greatest splendour and the greatest virtues decorate them with the beauty of pure love. Their rasa is sweeter than the rasas of Laksmi and all the goddesses of fortune.
Vijaya-kumara: How many different kinds of beautiful girls are there in Vraja?
Gosvami: There are three kinds: sadhana-para (persons who became gopis by performing sadhana-bhakti), devi (demigoddesses who became gopis) and nitya-priya (eternally dear gopis).
Vijaya-kumara: Are the sadhana-para gopis divided into different groups?
Gosvami: The sadhana-para gopis are divided into yauthiki and ayauthiki.
Vijaya-kumara: Who are the yauthiki gopis?
Gosvami: Persons who performed sadhana-bhakti in order to enter this rasa in Vraja, and become yauthiki gopis, that is gopis who belong to certain groups.
Vijaya-kumara: Which sages in this way took birth in Vraja?
Gosvami: Some sages found that even after dutifully worshipping Lord Gopala, they still could not attain their desired perfection. However, when they were able to personally see the glorious handsomeness of Lord Ramacandra, the diligently performed sadhana-bhakti in order to attain their desire. As a result they attained ecstatic love (bhava) and they took birth in Vraja as gopis. This is described in the Padma Purana. In the Brhad-Vamana Purana it is said that some of these gopis attained their desires perfection at the beginning of the rasa dance.
Vijaya-kumara: How did the personified Upanisads take birth as gopis?
Gosvami: When they saw the gopis' good fortune, the intelligent Upanisads became filled with wonder. They faithfully performed austerities, and as a result were born in Vraja as gopis filled with spiritual love (premavati).
Vijaya-kumara: Who are the ayauthiki gopis?
Gosvami: Persons who, seeing the gopis' passionate love for Krishna, yearn to become like them, and to attain this end engage in sadhana bhakti, become the ayauthiki gopis (which are divided into two groups: pracina (elderly) and navina (young). In this way one, two or three of these gopis are born in Vraja. The pracina ayauthiki gopis eventually attain salokya-mukti, and in the spiritual world they associate with the eternally dear (nitya priya) gopis. After a lifetime as demigoddesses, human beings or other kinds of beings, the pracina ayauthiki gopis take birth in Vraja. Eventually they become pracina gopis and at the end attain the salokya-mukti I have just described.
Vijaya-kumara: I can understand this description of the sadhana-para gopis. Now please described the devis.
Gosvami: When Lord Krishna took birth as an amsa incarnation among the demigods in Svargaloka, some eternally dear (nitya priya) gopis took birth as amsa incarnations among the demigoddesses to please Him. When Krishna took birth in His original form in Gokula, they took birth as daughters of the gopas. They became the dear friends (prana-sakhi) of the eternally dear (nitya-priya) gopis.
Vijaya-kumara: O master, when did Lord Krishna take birth as an amsa incarnation among the demigods?
Gosvami: Taking birth from Aditi's womb, Lord Krishna appeared as the amsa incarnation Vamana. The demigods are also vibhinnamsa manifestations of Lord Krishna. Shiva and Brahma were not born from a mother's womb. Brahma and Shiva posses fifty of Lord Krishna's qualities, as do the ordinary souls. However, Brahma and Shiva are not counted among the ordinary souls, for they are vibhinnamsas. In addition to the fifty qualities all individual souls possess, Brahma and Shiva also possess five other qualities. Therefore they are called the best of the demigods. Ganesa and Surya are also considered on the same level as the millions of Brahmas. All other demigods are considered ordinary individual souls. All the demigods are vibhinnamsas manifested from Lord Krishna. The wives of the demigods are also vibhinnamsas of the Lord's cit potency (spiritual potency). Before Krishna's appearance on the earth, Brahma ordered the demigoddesses to take birth on the earth in order to please Krishna. Following Brahma's order, they took birth in different places in Vraja according to their own inclination and their activities in sadhana-bhakti. These demigoddesses born in Vraja became dear friends (prana-sakhi) of the Lord's eternally dear (nitya-priya) gopis. They yearned to attain the association of Lord Krishna.
Vijaya-kumara: O master, the personified Upanisads took birth as gopis. Did the goddesses who rule over any other scriptures also take birth in Vraja?
Gosvami: In the Padma Purana, Srsti-khanda it is said that Gayatri-devi, the mother of the Vedas, took birth as a gopi and attained Lord Krishna's association. It was at that time that she manifested the form of Kama-Gayatri.
Vijaya-kumara: Is the Kama-Gayatri not beginningless?
Gosvami: The Kama-Gayatri is certainly beginningless? However, there is a time when this beginningless Gayatri first appeared in the form of the Goddess Gayatri who is the mother of the Vedas. Because of her engagement in sadhana-bhakti, the Goddess Gayatri could understand how fortunate the Upanisads were to have become gopis. Then, accompanied by the Gopala-tapani Upanisad she took birth in Vraja. In this way it is understood that the Kama-Gayatri is eternal, and the Goddess Gayatri who is the mother of the Vedas is eternally distinct from the Kama-Gayatri.
Vijaya-kumara: All the Upanisads took birth as gopis in Vraja. They all accepted the gopa-hero Krishna as their husband (pati). Following the marriage ritual of the gandharvas, these gopis then accepted Krishna as their husband. This much I understand. However, the nitya-priya (eternally dear) gopis associate with Krishna from time without beginning and in that relationship is their paramour. Is this relationship created by Maya?
Gosvami: It may be created by Maya, but it is not created by the Maya of the material world. The Maya of the material world has no power to touch Lord Krishna's pastimes. Even though it may be manifested within the material world, Lord Krishna's Vraja pastimes are beyond the touch of the material Maya. Another name of the Lord's cit shakti (spiritual potency) is Yogamaya. She arranges Lord Krishna's pastimes so that ordinary people influence by Maya see them as material. She makes the nitya-priya gopis of Goloka think they are married to persons other than Krishna, and she also brings those gopis to Vraja in the material world. She arranges the nitya-priya gopis' wedding ceremonies, and she arranges that Krishna becomes their paramour. The all-knowing supreme male, Krishna and His all knowing spiritual potencies voluntarily accept the rasa roles Yogamaya gives The. Thus it is seen that this is the best of all rasas, Lord Krishna is supremely independent, all His desires are at once fulfilled, and His iccha-shakti (the potency that fulfils His desires) is supremely glorious. The great glory of this rasa is not seen in Vaikuntha, Dvaraka, and other places. When they attain salokya liberation, the prana sakhi gopis and the nitya priya gopis leave behind any idea that He is their paramour. That is their final attainment.
Vijaya-kumara: The conclusion is very wonderful. Now I am fully satisfied. O master, please teach me about the nitya-priya gopis.
Gosvami: If you were not qualified to hear these explanations would Lord Gauracandra make these confidential truths appear in my mouth? Look, all knowing Srila Jiva Gosvami kept these truths hidden in his heart, although in some places in his commentaries, in his Krishna-sandarbha, and in other books he did reveal them. Srila Jiva Gosvami was always anxious that if unqualified persons heard these confidential truths, they would take shelter of irreligion. Seeing how the Vaishnavas mostly understood the rasas and accepted rasabhasa, Srila Jiva Gosvami became anxious. For this reason he took great care not to write anything that would support any false conclusion. You are qualified to hear these things. I do not reveal these truths to unqualified persons. Now I will describe the nitya-priya gopis.
Vijaya-kumara: Who are the nitya-priya gopis? Although I have studied many scriptures, I still yearn to drink the nectar words that come from my spiritual master's saintly mouth.
Gosvami: The nitya-priya gopis in Vraja, among whom Radha and Candravali are the most important, possess transcendental beauty, intelligence and a host of virtues. In this way they are like Lord Krishna Himself. They are described in these words Brahma-samhita (5.37):
"I worship Govinda, the primeval Lord, who resides in His own realm, Goloka, with Radha, who resembles His own spiritual figure and who embodies the ecstatic potency (hladini). The companions are Her confidants, who embody the extensions of Her bodily form, and who are imbued and permeated with ever-blissful spiritual rasa."*
In these words of Brahma, which are the essence of all the Vedas, the nitya-priya gopis are described. The nitya priya gopis are said to be 'nitya' (eternal) because they are the Lord's spiritual potency, and therefore they are beyond the limitations of time and space imposed by the material energy. They are an eternal spiritual reality. The word 'kalabhih' here may refer to the sixty four arts practiced by the nitya-priya gopis in their eternal pastimes. Or, this word may have another meaning. The commentary of this verse explains:
"Here the word 'kalabhih' means 'with the potencies who are expansions of Her form."
What I have explained to you are the opinions of Srila Svarupa Damodara Gosvami. Please know that these confidential explanations are the great treasure that Srila Rupa Gosvami, Srila Sanatana Gosvami and Srila Jiva Gosvami keep hidden in the vaults of their hearts.
Vijaya-kumara: My ears yearn to hear the names of the nitya-priya gopis?
Gosvami: Radha, Candravali, Visakha, Lalita, Syama, Padma, Saibya, Bhadrika, Tara, Vicitra, Gopali, Dhanistha and Pali are among the names of the nitya-priya gopis written in the Skanda Purana, Prahlada-samhita and other scriptures. Candravali is also known by the name Somabha. Radha is also known by the name Gandharva. Khanjanaksi, Manorama, Mangala, Vimala, Lila, Krishna, Sari, Visarada, Taravali, Cakoraksi, Sankari, Kunkuma and many other gopis are also famous in this world.
Vijaya-kumara: How do these gopis relation to each other?
Gosvami: All these gopis are yuthesvaris (leaders of groups of gopis). There are hundreds and hundreds of groups, and in each group there are hundreds of thousands of gopis. From Radha to Kunkuma, all these groups are yuthesvaris. Visakha, Lalita, Padma and Saibya are also mentioned here. Among the yuthesvaris, eight gopis, headed by Radha, are considered the most fortunate. They are called the 'pradhana' (most important) gopis.
Vijaya-kumara: Visakha, Lalita, Padma and Saibya are all pradhana gopis. They are all very expert in making Lord Krishna's pastimes especially glorious. Why were they not clearly mentioned as yuthesvaris?
Gosvami: They have all transcendental virtues, and they are certainly very qualified to become yuthesvaris. However, Lalita and Visakha are so overcome with bliss simply by associating with Sri Radha that they have no desire to become independent yuthesvaris themselves. Some gopis are followers of Srimati Radharani and other gopis are followers of Candravali. This is described in the scriptures.
Vijaya-kumara: Still, I have heard that Lalita does indeed have a group. What is it like?
Gosvami: Srimati Radharani is the foremost of all group leaders. Out of special affection and respect some gopis are said to belong to Lalita's group or Visakha's group. However Lalita, Visakha, and the other eight principal friends (asta-sakhi) of Radha are considered the leaders of different factions in Sri Radha's group. By great good fortune one may be able to enter Srimati Lalita's group.
Vijaya-kumara: O master, in which scriptures are the names of the gopis found?
Gosvami: All these names are found in the Padma Purana, Skanda Purana, and Bhavisya Purana Uttara-khanda. In the Satvata Tantra many other names are also found.
Vijaya-kumara: Srimad Bhagavatam is the crest jewel of all scriptures in the world. If all these names were found in Srimad Bhagavatam, that would be a source of great bliss.
Gosvami: Srimad Bhagavatam is a scripture that teaches the highest truth. It is an ocean filled with the nectar of the spiritual rasas. Persons expert at relishing the spiritual rasas (rasika) can see that all the truths of the rasas are described in Srimad Bhagavatam. The name of Sri Radha and the names of all the gopis are secretly written in Srimad Bhagavatam. If you carefully read the verses of the Tenth Canto, you will see them all. To keep unqualified persons far away, Srila Sukadeva Gosvami described all these things very secretly. O baba Vijaya-kumara, what will happen if you give japa beads to a person who will wear them only as an ornament around his neck. The more the reader is exalted in devotional service, the more he will understand the secrets hidden in Srimad Bhagavatam. Here the skill of Srila Sukadeva Gosvami was shown in his power to explain very confidential truths in a way the people in general could not understand. Only a reader qualified to understand these secrets properly has the power to understand them all. The truth is that without taking shelter of the disciplic succession (guru-parampara), no one can understand these truths. A person studying on his own cannot understand them. Carefully study Ujjvala-nilamani and you will become able to see how all the rasas are described in Srimad Bhagavatam.
After talking for a long time, they ended the day's conversation about the Lord (ista-gosthi). Again and again thinking about the transcendental hero and heroines in the spiritual world, Vijaya-kumara walked to Haracandi-sahi's place. As he thought about the vidusakas, pitha-mardakas, and other associates or the Lord, he tasted many different kinds of happiness. As he thought about Krishna's flute and the other svayam-duti messengers, tears came from his eyes. The spiritual love (bhava) of Vraja rising in his heart, Vijaya-kumara blissfully danced. The pastimes and gardens he saw last night splendidly rose again in his heart.
Today Vijaya-kumara and Vrajanatha bathed in Indrayumna-sarovara, honored prasadam, and returned home. After eating, Vrajanatha went to see the samadhi of Haridasa Thakura. Vijaya-kumara went to the temple of Sri Radha-kanta and offered obeisances to his spiritual master. At an appropriate time Vijaya-kumara asked about Sri Radhika. Vijaya-kumara said, "O master, Sri Radha is the be-all-and-end--all of my life. How can I describe it? When I hear the name 'Radhika', my heart melts. Even though Sri Krishna is the only goal of my life, still I like to taste only the descriptions of His pastimes with Sri Radha. I do not like to hear descriptions of Sri Krishna if Sri Radha is not included ion them. O master, I would like to say that I no longer wish to call myself Vijaya-kumara Bhattacarya. I wish to be known as a maidservant protected by Sri Radha. I do not wish to speak to speak the wonderful descriptions of Vraja to materialists. When persons unqualified to understand the transcendental rasas (arasika) discuss the glories of Sri Radha, I yearn to flee from that place.
Gosvami: You are fortunate. As long as you did not have full faith in the gopis you were not qualified to understand the pastimes of Radha and Krishna. Descriptions of those pastimes are far beyond what ordinary human beings can understand. Even the demigoddesses in Devaloka are not qualified to understand them. O Vijaya-kumara, I have already described the gopis who are dear to Lord Krishna. Among them Radha and Candravali are the most important. Each of them presides over millions and millions of groups of beautiful gopis. At the time of the great rasa-dance, the rasa-dance circle is beautiful with many hundreds of millions of beautiful gopis.
Vijaya-kumara: O master, Candravali may preside over millions and millions of groups of gopis. Still, I wish that the glories of Sri Radha will be the only sweet nectar to flood and purify my contaminated ears. I am your surrendered disciple.
Gosvami: Between the two of them - Radha and Candravali - it is Radha who is the personification of the highest ecstatic love (maha-bhava-svarupa). It is She who has the greatest qualities. She is superior to Candravali in every way. Look. The Gopala-tapani Upanisad calls Her by the name Gandharva and glorifies Her. In the Rk-parisista it is said that Lord Madhava is glorious because Radha stands by His side. In the Padma Purana, Narada declares, "As Radha is dear to Krishna, so Her pond, Radha-kunda is also dear to Him. Of all the gopis, Radha is the most dear to Lord Krishna." And why not? What is Radha's nature? She is the great hladini-shakti, the best of Lord Krishna's potencies. Radha is the essence of the hladini-shakti (hladini-sara-bhava).
Vijaya-kumara: These descriptions are very wonderful! What is Sri Radha's nature?
Gosvami: My Radhika is the most beautiful (susthu-kanta-svarupa). She is the daughter of King Vrsabhanu. She is glorious with the sixteen ornaments. She is also decorated with twelve other kinds of ornaments.
Vijaya-kumara: What do you mean by the word "susthu-kanta-svarupa"?
Gosvami: It means that Her form is so beautiful that even the most exquisite garments and ornaments are insignificant in comparison to Her and therefore powerless to make Her any more beautiful. Her hair is gracefully curly, Her face is a blossoming lotus flower, Her large eyes are beautiful and Her large breasts are wonderfully beautiful. Her waist is slender, Her shoulders are graceful and Her fingernails shine like a row of jewels. In the three worlds there is no festival of beauty that compares with Her.
Vijaya-kumara: What are the "sixteen ornaments"?
Gosvami: The sixteen ornaments are: 1. Her pleasant bath, 2. The glistening jewel decorating the tip of Her nose, 3. Her blue garments, 4. Her belt, 5. Her braids, 6. Her earrings, 7. The sandal paste anointing Her limbs, 8. The flowers placed in Her hair, 9. Her necklace, 10. The lotus flower in Her hand, 11. The betelnuts in Her mouth, 12. the musk dot on Her chin, 13. The mascara around Her eyes, 14. the colourful designs and pictures drawn on Her cheeks, 15. The red lac on Her feet, and 16. The tilaka markings on Her forehead.
Vijaya-kumara: What are the "twelve ornaments".
Gosvami: 1. The wonderful jewel that crowns Her head, 2. Her golden earrings, 3. The belt around Her hips, 4. The golden locket around Her neck, 5. Her golden salaka earrings, 6. The bracelets on Her wrists, 7. The ornament on Her neck, 8. The rings on Her fingers, Her pearl necklace, 10. Her armlets, 11. Her ankle bells, and 12. The rings on Her toes are the twelve ornaments decorating Sri Radha's limbs.
Vijaya-kumara: Please describe the most prominent transcendental qualities of Sri Radha?
Gosvami: Like the qualities of Sri Krishna, the qualities of Vrindavan's queen Radha are limitless and cannot truly be counted or listed in full. Among them these twenty five may be considered prominent.
1. She is very sweet.
2. She is always freshly youthful.
3. Her eyes are restless.
4. She smiles brightly.
5. She has beautiful, auspicious lines.
6. She makes Krishna happy with Her bodily aroma.
7. She is very expert in singing.
8. He speech is charming.
9. She is very expert in joking and speaking pleasantly.
10. She is very humble and meek.
11. She is always full of mercy.
12. She is cunning.
13. She is expert in executing Her duties.
14. She is shy.
15. She is always respectful.
16. She is always calm.
17. She is always grave.
18. She is expert in enjoying life.
19. She is situated at the topmost level of ecstatic love.
20. She is the reservoir of loving affairs in Gokula.
21. She is the most famous of submissive devotees.
22. She is very affectionate to elderly people.
23. She is very submissive to the love of Her friends.
24. She is the chief gopi.
25. She always keeps Krishna under Her control.
Vijaya-kumara: I would like to hear an explanation of "5. She has beautiful and auspicious lines."
Gosvami: The Varaha Purana, Jyotih-sastra, Kasi-khanda, Matsya Purana, and Garuda Purana describe the auspicious lines. These lines are: I. On the left foot:
1. A barleycorn mark at the root of Her left tope.
2. below that toe a cakra.
3. below the middle toe a lotus flower
4. below the lotus flower a banner.
5. below the banner a flag.
6. a urdhva-rekha line extending from the middle-toe to the middle of the sole.
7. below the small toe an elephant goad.
II. On the right foot:
1. at the root of the right big toe a conchshell.
2. on the heel a fish.
3. below the small toe an altar.
4. above the fish a chariot.
5. a mountain.
6. an earring
7. a club
8. the mark of a shakti weapon.
III. On the left hand:
1. a long life-line beginning at the meeting of the forefinger and middle finger, and extending to below the little finger.
2. below that another line going from below the lifeline to the middle of the space between the forefinger and thumb.
3. from below the thumb a curving line rises from the wrist and goes to the space between the thumb and forefinger.
4-8. on the tips of each of the five fingers is a cakra.
9. below the ring finger is an elephant.
10. below the life-line is a horse.
11. below the middle line is a bull.
12. below the small finger is an elephant goad.
13 a fan.
14. a Sri tree.
15. A yupa.
16. An arrow.
17 a tomara weapon.
18 a flower garland.
IV. On the right hand:
1-8 In the right hand, like the left, there are three prominent lines including the lifeline, and on the tips of each finger a cakra.
9. below the forefinger a camara
10. below the small finger an elephant goad.
11. a palace.
12. a dundubhi drum.
13. a lightning bolt.
14. two carts.
15. an archer's bow.
16. a sword.
17. a waterpot.
Thus on the left foot are 7 signs, on the right foot 8 signs, on the left hand 18 signs and on the right hand 17 signs. Altogether there are 50 auspicious lines.
Vijaya-kumara: An individual soul may have a drop of some of these qualities, but Sri Radha has them all in perfect fullness.
The demigoddesses may have them slightly more than others. Still, Sri Radha, has them all, and in Her they are all perfectly spiritual, untouched by matter. Any why not? In the material world these qualities are never manifested in purity, perfection, and completeness. Gauri and other demigoddesses may have these qualities, but in these demigoddesses the qualities are not pure, perfect, or complete.
Vijaya-kumara: Ah! Srimati Radhika's beauty and qualities are inconceivable. Only by Her mercy can one see or understand them.
Gosvami: Gazing at Sri Radha's beauty and qualities, even Lord Krishna Himself is bewildered and enchanted. How can I properly describe them with my words?
Vijaya-kumara: O master, please be merciful and describe Sri Radha's friends (sakhis).
Gosvami: Sri Radha's group is the best of all. The girls in Her group are all decorated with all transcendental qualities. Their charming playfulness always attracts Lord Krishna.
Vijaya-kumara: How many different kinds of friends (sakhis) does Sri Radha have?
Gosvami: They are of five kinds: 1. sakhi (friends), 2. nitya-sakhi (eternal friends), 3. prana-sakhi (life friends), 4. priya-sakhi (dear friends) and 5. parama-prestha-sakhi (most dear friends).
Vijaya-kumara: Who are the sakhis?
Gosvami: The sakhis include Kusumika, Vrnda and Dhanistha. These gopis are famous among the sakhis.
Vijaya-kumara: Who are the nitya-sakhis?
Gosvami: The nitya-sakhis include Kasturi, Mani-manjari and many others.
Vijaya-kumara: Who are the prana-sakhis?
Gosvami: The prana-sakhis include Sasimukhi, Vasanti, Lasika, and many others. In many ways they are like the queen of Vrindavan Herself.
\Vijaya-kumara: Who are the priya-sakhis?
Gosvami: The priya-sakhis include Kurangaksi, Sumadhya, Madanalasa, Kamala, Madhuri, Manjukesi, Kandarpa-sundari, Madhavi, Malati, Kamalata, Sasikala, and many others.
Vijaya-kumara: Who are the parama-prestha-sakhis?
Gosvami: The parama-prestha-sakhis include Lalita, Visakha, Citra, Campakalata, Tungavidya, Indulekha, Rangadevi, and Sudevi. These eight are the most important of all the gopis. Therefore they are called parama-prestha-sakhis. They are situated in the topmost love for Sri Sri Radha and Krishna. Sometimes they show more love to Sri Krishna and other times they show more love for Sri Radha.
Vijaya-kumara: I understand what the word 'yutha' (group) means. What does the word 'gana' (sub group( mean?
Gosvami: Every yutha is divided into sub-groups, which are called ganas. For example, Lalita is a member of Sri Radha's group. However, Lalita herself has followers, and they are called the members of Lalita's gana (sub-group).
Vijaya-kumara: That the gopis are married to gopas other than Krishna is one of the most important characteristics. Still, it does not look good.
Gosvami: In this material world 'woman' and 'man' are only external designations. Because of past material activities one soul becomes a 'woman' and another soul becomes a 'man'. In the material world of Maya, many people are filled with petty or sinful desires. For this reason the great sages have forbidden, except within the institution of marriage, contact with women. Writing about the rasas, poets have generally avoided describing the love of a woman for a paramour. However, in the Lord's spiritual pastimes this kind of love is one of the rasas. The sexual affairs of men and women in the material world is a perverted reflection of that original rasas in the spiritual world. Therefore material sexual activities are very dull, pathetic, and a breeding ground for a host of anxieties (kuntha). Also, the rules of religion place many restrictions on these activities. For these reasons men in the material world are enjoined to avoid approaching the wives of others. However, if Lord Krishna, whose form is eternal and full of knowledge and bliss, is the only male and the only hero, and he accepts this activity to increase the sweetness of His spiritual rasas, He is never contaminated and He is not to be criticised. He is independent of the material institution of marriage. When Sri Krishna, who enjoys pastimes in Goloka, came to the material world from Goloka, He took the transcendental parakiya-rasa with Him. Therefore no one should criticise Him for enjoying the parakiya rasa with the gopis who have come from Goloka.
Vijaya-kumara: What exalted symptoms of love did the gopis from Goloka display?
Gosvami: Before the gopis Lord Krishna appears only in His form as the son of Nanda. The non devotee philosophers are far from understanding the gopis' exalted love for Krishna. Even the devotees find it difficult to understand that love. When Krishna manifests His form as Nandanandana, His opulence never eclipses His sweetness. One time, as a joke, Krishna manifested His four-armed form before the gopis, who were not at all impressed. However, when Sri Radha approached, the four-armed form at once disappeared. Because of the greatness of Radha's confidential parakiya love, Krishna again became two-handed.
Vijaya-kumara: Now my desires are all fulfilled. O master, please describe the different kinds of heroines (nayikas).
Gosvami: There are three kinds of heroines (nayikas): 1. svakiya, 2. parakiya, 3. samanya. I have already described the spiritual svakiya and parakiya heroines. Now I will describe the samanya heroines. Students of material rhetoric (alankara) explain that the samanya heroines are prostitutes, interested only in money. If their lover has no good qualities, then they hate him, and if he is virtuous, still they do not really love him. Therefore their so-called love is only a perverted reflection of love. It is not true love. Sometimes it is said that Kubja in Mathura was such a samanya heroine who does not really love her hero. I do not agree. I place her among the parakiya heroines.
Vijaya-kumara: How did she become qualified to become a parakiya-heroine?
Gosvami: When Kubja was an ugly, disfigured woman, she never loved any man. However, when she saw Krishna and desired to place sandal paste on His limbs, then she thought of Him as her beloved. For this reason I say her love is in the parakiya-rasa. However, the desire to please only Krishna, a desire possessed even by the queens at Dvaraka, was absent in Kubja. Therefore her love was inferior to the love of the queens. When she tugged at Krishna's upper garment and begged that He enjoy amorous pastimes with her, her love for Him was mixed with her own selfish desires. There her love is considered sadharani (ordinary).
Vijaya-kumara: Because Kubja is considered in the parakiya rasa, I can see that the svakiya and parakiya heroines are both divided into two sub-groups. How many different sub-groups are there? Please describe them.
Gosvami: In the spiritual rasas the svakiya and parakiya heroines are of three kinds: 1. mugdha, 2. madhya, and 3. pragalbha.
Vijaya-kumara: O master, when by your mercy I think of the spiritual rasas, I naturally think of myself as a gopi in Vraja. At that time I do not think of myself as a male in the material world. When I hear of the different kinds of heroines, my heart become agitated. And why not? I do not know what I should do so that some day I may love the Lord as the gopis do. So that some day I may attain this kind of service to Lord Krishna, I now place this question before your holy feet: What is the nature of the mugdha heroines? Please describe them.
Gosvami: These are the qualities of the mugdha heroine: She is in the bloom of youth (nava-yauvana), amorous (kamini), contrary in love (rati-dane vama), and submissive to her girl friends (sakhi-vasi-bhuta). Although externally she is shy to enjoy amorous pastimes,. within her heart she secretly and diligently labours to make various arrangements to enjoy with her lover. When her lover offends her, tears flow from her eyes. At that time she neither speaks sweetly, speaks harshly nor becomes angry.
Vijaya-kumara: What are the qualities of the madhya heroine?
Gosvami: These are the qualities of the madhya heroine: She is equally amorous and shy, she is in the full bloom of youth, and all her words are touched with a small amount of arrogance. She enjoys amorous pastimes until she faints unconscious. Sometimes her heart is gentle. Sometimes it is hard. Sometimes she is jealous, sometimes peaceful, and sometimes agitated. Sometimes she is both peaceful and agitated (dhiradhira). A heroine who, when her lover offends her, mocks him with crooked words, is called 'dhira madhya'. A heroine who in that situation attacks her lover with merciless angry words is called an 'adhira madhya' heroine. A heroine who in that situation sheds tears, speaks sweetly, and then also speaks crooked words to mock her lover is called a 'dhiradhira madhya' gopi. In a madhya heroine the natures of the mugdha and pragalbha heroines are mixed together. The madhya heroine is the best of the three kinds of heroines.
Vijaya-kumara: What are the qualities of the pragalbha heroine?
Gosvami: These are the qualities of the pragalbha heroine: She is in the full bloom of youth, blinded with pride, and very eager to enjoy amorous pastimes. She is very passionate. Pushed by the rasas, she attacks her lover. Her words and deeds are very passionate. When her jealousy is aroused, she becomes very harsh. The pragalbha heroines are of three kinds: 1. dhira, adhira, and dhiradhira. The dhira pragalbha heroine pretends to be disinterested in enjoying with her lover. Externally she is polite and respectful. She carefully conceals the passion in her heart. The adhira pragalbha heroine beats her lover with cruel words. The dhiradhira pragalbha heroine is like the dhiradhira madhya heroine. The madhya and pragalbha heroines are also divided into jyestha (older) and kanistha (younger). In this way there are jyestha-madhya and kanistha-madhya heroines and also jyestha-pragalbha and kanistha pragalbha heroines. The difference of jyestha kanistha are considered according to the nature of the heroine's love for the hero.
Vijaya-kumara: O master, how many kinds of heroines are there all together?
Gosvami: There are fifteen kinds of heroines. Very young heroines are always mugdha. The three basic kinds of heroines are mugdha, madhya and pragalbha. The madhya and pragalbha heroines are further divided into dhira, adhira, dhiradhira. Thus there are seven kinds of svakiya heroines, seven kinds of parakiya heroines, and fifteen kinds of heroines in all.
Vijaya-kumara: What different conditions of life do the heroines experience?
Gosvami: The eight different conditions of life are: 1. abhisarika (going to meet her lover), 2. vasaka-sajja (dressed and decorated to meet her lover), 3. utkanthita (yearning to meet her lover), 4. khandita (whose meeting with her lover is broken), 5. vipralabdha (separated from her lover), 6. kalahantarita (quarreling with her lover), 7. prosita-bhartrika (her lover has gone far away), and 8. svadhina-bhartrika (she dominates her lover). The previously described fifteen kinds of heroines all experience these eight conditions of life.
Vijaya-kumara: What is the nature of the abhisarika heroine?
Gosvami: A heroine who arranges that her lover meet her, or who goes to meet her lover is called 'abhisarika'. If, going to meet her lover, she wears white clothing when the moon is bright, she is called 'jynotsnabhisarika'. If, going to meet her lover, she wears dark clothing when the moon is dark, she is called 'tamo-bhisarika'. She is so shy she seems to hide behind her own body. Silent, nicely decorated, and her head carefully covered, she goes, accompanied by a dear friend, to meet her lover.
Vijaya-kumara: What is the nature of the vasaka-sajja heroine?
Gosvami: A heroine who, anxious to meet her lover, carefully decorates both her body and the meeting place is called 'vasaka-sajja'. She yearns to enjoy amorous pastimes, keeps her eyes fixed on the path her lover will walk, discusses with her friends the pastimes of love, and again and again waits for her messenger's return. These are her activities.
Vijaya-kumara: What is the nature of the utkanthita heroine?
Gosvami: A heroine who is filled with longing and anxiety when her lover is, though no fault of his own, late in coming to the rendezvous, is called 'utkanthita' by persons learned in the different bhavas. Her heart is feverish, she trembles, she speculates about why her lover has not yet come, she becomes irritated, and she sheds tears. These are her activities. She is not like the vasaka-sajja heroine. She worries that her lover, now under the control of some other girl, will not come to meet her.
Vijaya-kumara: What is the nature of the khandita heroine?
Gosvami: When, the time of rendezvous long passed and the night almost over, the lover finally comes, his body bearing the clear marks of his having enjoyed pastimes with some other girl, the heroine is called 'khandita'. This heroine's activities are anger, long sighs, and silence.
Vijaya-kumara: What is the nature of the vipralabdha heroine?
Gosvami: A heroine who becomes anxious when, somehow or other, her lover does not come to their rendezvous, is called 'vipralabdha'. Unhappy at heart, she laments, weeps, faints, sighs, and performs other like activities.
Vijaya-kumara: What is the nature of the kalahantarita heroine?
Gosvami: A heroine who will not forgive her lover, even when, surrounded by all her friends, he humbly falls before her feet, and who manifests lamentation, grief, withering, and sighing, is called 'kalahantarita'.
Vijaya-kumara: What is the nature of the prosita-bhartrka heroine?
Gosvami: A heroine whose lover has gone to a faraway place is called 'prosita-bhartrka". She praises the virtues of her lover, is humbler, becomes thin and emaciated, suffers insomnia, and becomes melancholy, restless, stunned and anxious. Her activities are like that.
Vijaya-kumara: What is the nature of the svadhina-bhartrika heroine?
Gosvami: A heroine whose lover always stays with her and is submissive to her is called 'svadhina-bhartrika'. Her activities are to enjoy pastimes with him in the forest, in the water, while picking flowers, and in other like situations.
Vijaya-kumara: The svadhina-bhartrika heroine must be very happy.
Gosvami: If her lover is completely controlled by his love for her and if he cannot leave her even for a moment, the svadhina-bhartrika heroine is called 'madhavi'. Among the eight kinds of heroines, three kinds - svadhina-bhartrika, vasaka-sajja, and abhisarika - are happy at heart. They are nicely decorated with garments and ornaments. However, the other five kinds of heroines - khandita, vipralabdha, utkanthita, prosita-bhartrka, and kalahantarita - do not wear ornaments. A hand resting on their left cheek, the lament.
Vijaya-kumara: Their love for Krishna brings them unhappiness! What does that mean?>
Gosvami: Love for Krishna is spiritual and always blissful. These seeming sufferings are actually included among the wonderful variety of blissful spiritual emotions. In the material world these emotions are suffering, but in the spiritual world they are different kinds of bliss. A person who has the power to taste spiritual bliss can understand. Other cannot.
Vijaya-kumara: Among the different kinds of heroines, what are the different degrees of love?
Gosvami: According to the intensity of their love for Krishna, the heroines are of three kinds: 1. uttama (high), 2. madhyama (intermediate) and 3. kanistha (low). As the heroines love Him, so Krishna loves them in the same degree. This is well known.
Vijaya-kumara: What is the nature of the uttama heroine?
Gosvami: The uttama heroine is willing to renounce any activity in order to please her lover, even for only a moment. Even if he makes her unhappy, she is never displeased with him. If someone lies that her lover is unhappy, her heart becomes ripped to shreds.
Vijaya-kumara: What is the nature of a madhyama heroine?
Gosvami: When she hears that her lover is unhappy, she becomes sad at heart.
Vijaya-kumara: What is the nature of a kanistha heroine?
Gosvami: The kanistha heroine is anxious that obstacles will prevent her from meeting her lover.
Vijaya-kumara: How many kinds of heroines are there?
Gosvami: There are 360 kinds of heroines. The first mentioned fifteen kinds of heroines are each divided according to the next mentioned eight kinds of heroines. In this way (15 x 8) there are 120 heroines. These 120 kinds of heroines are each divided according to the last mentioned three kinds of heroines. In this way there are 360 kinds of heroines.
Vijaya-kumara: Now I have heard about the heroines. Now I wish to hear about the different kinds of yuthesvaris (group leaders).
Gosvami: According to friends and enemies, the yuthesvaris are of three kinds: 1. svapaksa (allies), 2. vipaksa (enemies), and 3. tatastha (neutrals). According to their good fortune they are of these kinds: 1. adhika (great), 2. sama (moderate, and 3. laghvi (light). They are also of these three kinds: 1. prakhara (harsh), 2. madhya (moderate) and 3. mrdvi (sweet). Here 'prakhara' is a synonym for 'pragalbha'. When the quality of harshness is manifested only very slightly, the yuthesvari is considered mrdvi. When sweetness and harshness are equally present, she is considered madhya. The yuthesvaris are also divided into 1. atyantiki (great), and 2. apeksiki (less). When a yuthesvari has no equal in any sphere, she is considered atyantikadhika (the best of atyantikis). This refers to Sri Radha alone. She is a madhya and in Vraja She has no equal.
Vijaya-kumara: Who are the apeksikadhikas (the second level of the great)?
Gosvami: A yuthesvari who accepts another yuthesvari as her superior is called "apeksikadhika'.
Vijaya-kumara: Who are the atyantika laghu (or atyantiki apeksiki)?
Gosvami: A yuthesvari who is not inferior to the other heroines is called 'atyantika laghu'. In relation to the atyantika adhika yuthesvari (the greatest yuthesvari, Sri Radha), all the heroines are laghu (inferior). Aside from the atyantiki laghus, all the yuthesvaris are adhikas. Still, the atyantiki adhika yuthesvari (the greatest yuthesvari, Sri Radha) should never be considered their equal or inferior. Also, the atyantiki laghu yuthesvaris should not be considered equal to the adhika yuthesvaris. There is but one kind of sama laghu yuthesvari. Divided according to the qualities of madhya, adhika, prakhara, and the like, there are twelve kinds of yuthesvaris. They are: 1. atyantika adhika, 2. sama-laghu, 3. adhika-madhya, 4. sama-madhya, 5. laghu-madhya, 6. adhika-prakhara, 7. sama-prakhara, 8. laghu prakhara, 9. adhika-mrdvi, 10. sama-mrdvi, 11. laghu-mrdvi, and 12. atyantika-laghu.
Vijaya-kumara: I wish to hear about the different kinds of duties (messengers)?
Gosvami: The heroines thirsting for association with Krishna need the help of the dutis. The duties are of two kinds: 1. svayam-duti (messengers who act on their own initiative), and 2. apta-duti (messengers given a specific order).
Vijaya-kumara: What is the nature of the apta-duti messengers?
Gosvami: When great enthusiasm breaks apart any shyness she may have possessed. and, bewildered with love, she openly declares her love for the hero, that is a svayam-duti messenger. These messengers are three kinds: 1. kayika (bodily gestures), 2. vacika (words), and 3. caksusa (glances).
Vijaya-kumara: What is the nature of the vacika (words) messenger?
Gosvami: Hints (vyanga) expressed in words are of two kinds: 1. sabda-vyanga (the hint is present in the sound of the words), and 2. artha-vyanga (the hint is present in the meaning of the words). Sometimes the hints are directly related to Krishna and other times the hints pretend to be about some other topic.
Vijaya-kumara: What are the hints directly related to Krishna?
Gosvami: They are of two kinds: 1. hints to Krishna Himself and 2. hints spoken on some pretext.
Vijaya-kumara: What are hints to Krishna Himself?
Gosvami: Speaking proudly, lamenting, and begging are some of the many ways hints may be expressed before Krishna Himself.
Vijaya-kumara: What is the hint in the form of a lament?
Gosvami: A lament expressed by the sound of the words (sabda-vyanga) is one kind of lament hint, and a lament expressed by the meaning of the words (artha-vyanga) is another kind of lament hint. You studied rhetoric (alankara). I need not give many examples.
Vijaya-kumara: Yes. That is good. What is the nature of a hint in the form of begging.
Gosvami: Begging is of two kinds: 1. begging for oneself, and 2. begging on behalf of another person. Then begging may again be divided into these two kinds: Begging expressed by the sound of the words (sabda-vyanga), and 2. begging expressed by the meaning of the words (artha-vyanga). The begging described here is all hints. When the begging is for oneself, the heroine tells her own story. When the begging is on behalf of another person, the speaker tells another's story.
Vijaya-kumara: I understand these direct hints. In them the heroine may directly accuse Krishna of something. These hints are also sabda-vyanga (according to the sound) and artha-vyanga (according to the meaning). Many poets have expertly placed such clever hints in the mouths of actors and actresses. Now please explain vyapadesa (a pretext).
Gosvami: In the alankara-sastra it is said the apadesa and vyapadesa are synonyms. Apadesa means to indicate one thing while speaking of another. In this way one speaks words that clearly m mean one thing while hinting a request to serve Krishna in a certain way. This is called 'vyapadesa'. 'Vyapadesa' should be spoken by a messenger (duti).
Vijaya-kumara: Vyapadesa is then a kind of trick where a request has a hidden meaning. Now please describe purastha-visaya-gata-vyanga (the hint of talking about something before one's eyes).
Gosvami: When one thinks, "Krishna has heard, but He did not hear", and when Krishna changes the subject, talking instead about some nearby animal of something else, that is the hint called 'purastha-visaya-gata-vyanga'. This hint is of two kinds: 1. Sabda (sounds) and 2. Artha (meaning).
Vijaya-kumara: By your mercy, I understand everything. Now please describe the hints given by bodily gestures.
Gosvami: Gesturing with the fingers, moving quickly on some pretext, covering the body out of fear and shyness, scratching the ground with one's foot, scratching the ear, making a gesture of applying tilaka, dressing in a certain way, moving the eyebrows, embracing a gopi friend, hitting a gopi friend, biting one's lips, playing with one's necklace, making one's ornaments tinkle, moving one's shoulders, writing the name 'Krishna', and twining a vine around a tree are all included among the hints given by bodily gestures.
Vijaya-kumara: Now please describe the hints given by the eyes.
Gosvami: Laughing and smiling with the eyes, half-closing the eyes, moving the eyes, looking in the distance, crooked glances, glancing with the left eye, and sidelong glances are some of the hints given by the eyes.
Vijaya-kumara: Now I understand the svayam-dutis. You have only given some hints. But that is good enough.. There are limitless kinds of such messengers. Now please describe the apta-dutis.
Gosvami: The messenger who is a beautiful Vraja-gopi, who is affectionate and eloquent, and whom one can trust to faithfully keep a secret, even to end of life, is this kind of messenger (apta-duti).
Vijaya-kumara: How many kinds of apta-dutis are there?
Gosvami: The apta-dutis are of three kinds: 1. Amitartha, 2. Nisrstartha and 3. Patra-hari. A messenger, understanding the meaning of various hints and signs, brings the lovers together, is called an 'amitarth duti'. A messenger who uses the persuasive power of her eloquent words to bring to the lovers together is called a 'nisrstartha duti'. A messenger who carries letters is called a 'patra-hari'.
Vijaya-kumara: Are there any other apta-dutis?
Gosvami: The silpa-karini (artists), daivajna (astrologers), lingini (brahmana girls), paricarika (maidservants), dhatreyi (nursemaids), vanadevi (goddesses of the forest), sakhis (gopi friends), and many others are also counted among the apta-dutis. The silpa-karinis included girls who use their skill at drawing pictures to arrange for the meeting of the lovers. The daivajnas use their knowledge of astrology to arrange the lovers' meeting. The linginis dress in the garments of brahmana ascetics, like Paurnamasi. There are many paricarika messengers, such as Lavanga-manjari and Bhaumati. The dhatreyis are the women who had been nursemaids to Radha and the other gopis. The vanadevi is the goddesses of Vrindavan (forest). The sakhis have already been described. They also become messengers. These girls carry messages, either direct and clear messages, or messages filled with hints and suggestions, hints that may be either sabda-vyanga or artha-vyanga, both of which I have already described. In this situation there may be vyapadesa (statements with a hidden meaning), arthta-mula, prasamsa (words of praise), aksepa (words of lamentation), and many other kinds of words also.
After hearing all these explanations, Vijaya-kumara offered respectful obeisances to his spiritual master's feet and then took his leave. Thinking and thinking of all these descriptions, he walked home.
Quickly honouring prasadam, and then walking by seacoast, Vijaya-kumara went to Kasi-misra's home. As he looked at the waves in the ocean, he thought of the ocean of rasas entered his heart. He thought, "Ah! This ocean reminds me of ecstatic love (bhava) for Lord Krishna. Even a material thing can remind one of spiritual love. This ocean is like the ocean of rasas my spiritual master described. Some day I will throw this gross and subtle, material body far away, I will attain the form of a manjari, I will go the shore of the ocean of rasas, and I will taste the sweetness of the rasas. Lord Krishna, who is dark like a monsoon cloud, is the only master of my life. Sri Vrsabhanunandini (Sri Radha), who stays by His side, is the queen of my life. This ocean is like the ecstatic love Sri Radha and Krishna feel for each other. Their rasas and bhavas are an ocean garlanded with waves. When bhava arises, then there are wonderful waves in this ocean. Then I am a sakhi (gopi) standing on the shore. Then I float in the ocean of prema-rasa (the rasas of spiritual love). Lord Krishna is the ocean of rasas. Krishna is dark like the ocean. Sri Radha is the waves of love (prema) in that ocean of Krishna. She is beautiful with a fair complexion. The many great waves in that ocean are Her friends (sakhis). The smaller waves are Her maidservants (paricarikas). I am very far from them all. I am a maidservant of Radha's maidservant's." Thinking and thinking in this way, Vijaya-kumara fell unconscious. Soon he regained consciousness. Slowly he approached his spiritual master and offered dandavat obeisances to his feet. Humbly he sat down. Gopala-guru Gosvami embraced him and said, "O Vijaya-kumara, is everything well with you?" Vijaya-kumara replied, "O master, your mercy is the root of all auspiciousness. I am a follower of the sakhis (gopi friends of Sri Radha). Therefore I want to clearly understand about the different kinds of sakhis.
Gosvami: O Vijaya-kumara, to properly glorify the sakhis is beyond the power of the individual souls. You are a follower of Srila Rupa Gosvami, so you can understand all this. The beautiful girls of Vraja who are sakhis are expert in manifesting many (vistarini) pastimes of love (prema-lila). They are great reservoirs filled with faith in Vraja's divine youthful couple. A person who wishes to clearly understand them is certainly very fortunate. When describing the different groups of gopis, I have already described the different kinds of sakhis, namely the sakhis who are adhika, sama, and laghvi, and the sakhis who are prakhara, madhya, mrdvi. I explained all these divisions yesterday. Here is the evidence for them, from Srila Rupa Gosvami (Ujjvala-nilamani, Sakhi-prakarana, 3-5):
"In the matters of spiritual love, good fortune and spiritual virtues, and in other matters also, the sakhis are divided into three groups: 1. Adhika, 2. Sama, and 3. Laghu.
"A prakhara sakhi speaks heavy words that are difficult to counter. A mrdvi sakhi does not speak harshly at all. A sama sakhi stands midway between the prakhara and mrdvi sakhi.
"The sakhis may be divided into different types, beginning with the atyantadhika. In each group of sakhis the leader is atyantadhika.
"Some of the atyantadhika sakhis are prakhara, some are madhya, and some are mrdvi."
Vijaya-kumara: The yuthesvari is the leader of a particular group. You have already described how the yuthesvaris are atyantika and how they are divided into three kinds: prakhara, madhya, and mrdvi. In this way they are either atyantadhika prakhara, atyantadhika madhya, or atyantadhika mrdvi. This you have already explained. Now please describe the different kinds of sakhis.
Gosvami: In each group the yuthesvari is the only atyantadhika sakhi. The other sakhis are all apeksikadhika, apeksika sama, or apeksika laghvi. Then again, these are also divided into prakhara, madhya, and mrdvi. In this way the three groups are multiplied by three to bring nine groups altogether. They are:
1. Apeksikadhika prakhara, 2. Apeksikadhika madhya, 3. Apeksikadhika mrdvi, 4. Apeksika-sama prakhara, 5. Apeksika-sama madhya, 6. Apeksika-sama mrdvi and 9. Apeksika-lagvi mrdvi.
The antyantika laghvi is of two kinds: 1. Atyantika laghvi, and 2. Sama-lagvi. This two is added to the preceding nine, and to them added the yuthesvari. In this way there are twelve types of heroines in each group.
Vijaya-kumara: O master, which famous gopis are examples of each of these different kinds of sakhis?
Gosvami: Lalita and many other sakhis in Sri Radha's group are apeksikadhika prakhara sakhis. Visakha and many other sakhis in the same group are apeksikadhika madhya sakhis. Citra, Madhurika and many other sakhis in that group are apeksikadhika mrdvi sakhis. However, Lalita and the other asta-sakhis (eight closest friends of Sri Radha) are all apeksika laghvi when compared to Sri Radha Herself.
Vijaya-kumara: Are the apeksika-laghvi prakhara sakhis and the other groups of sakhis like them further divided into other kinds of sakhis?
Gosvami: The Laghvi prakhara sakhis are of two kinds: 1. Vama (left wing), and 2. Daksina (right wing).
Vijaya-kumara: What are the qualities of vama sakhis?
Gosvami: They are always very proud. If there is some slackening in the respect shown to them, they become angry. They are not submissive to their lover. Such a sakhi is called 'vama'. In Radha's group, Lalita and many others are considered vama prakhara sakhis.
Vijaya-kumara: What are the qualities of the daksina sakhis?
Gosvami: These heroines cannot tolerate pride. These heroines speak sweetly to their lover and they are conquered by His sweet words to them. Such a sakhi is called 'daksina'. In Sri Radha's group. Tungavidya and many others are daksina prakhara sakhis.
Vijaya-kumara: Who are the atyantika sakhis?
Gosvami: These sakhis are always sweet. They are less important than the other sakhis. Kusumika and many others are said to be atyantika laghvi sakhis.
Vijaya-kumara: How do the sakhis carry messages?
Gosvami: The sakhis bring the hero, who has come a great distance, to meet the heroine. That is the message they carry.
Vijaya-kumara: Are the sakhis ever heroines?
Gosvami: The yuthesvaris are heroines eternally. The apeksikadhika prakharas, apeksikadhika madhyas, and apeksikadhika mrdvis may be either heroines or sakhis. They have both natures. When gopis of an inferior status are present, they may assume the role of heroine. When a gopi of superior status is present, they assume the role of sakhi. The gopis of inferior status consider them heroines, and the gopis of superior status consider them sakhis. Therefore they are called 'nayika-praya' (almost heroines). The apeksika prakhara, apeksika madhya, and apeksika mrdvis also play double roles. They become sakhis when superior gopis are present and heroines when inferior gopis are present. The apeksika prakhara, apeksika madhya, and apeksika mrdvis are most often sakhis. Because the yuthesvari and the previous described three classes of gopis are superior to them, the atyantika laghvi gopis are considered here as a fifth category. They are always sakhis. In the presence of the yuthesvari, the apeksika gopis are all sakhis and dutis (messengers). Then they are not heroines. The atyantika laghvi gopis are always sakhis. They are never heroines, and they are never dutis.
Vijaya-kumara: Who are the sakhis that act as dutis?
Gosvami: The yuthesvari are always heroines. Everyone always honours them. They do not carry messages. However, the yuthesvari entrusts to her favourite sakhi the task of carrying messages. However, when one of her sakhis becomes the objects of the hero's love, the yuthesvari will become a gauna (secondary) kind of messenger on her behalf. Here 'gauna' means that the yuthesvari does not come and go for long distances carrying. This kind of carrying messages is of two kinds: 1. When Krishna is present, and 2. When Krishna is not present.
Vijaya-kumara: In what different ways are messages carried when Krishna is present?
Gosvami: These messages are of two kinds: 1. Hints, and 2. Direct statements.
Vijaya-kumara: What are the hints?
Gosvami: When, by a sidelong glance, an eyebrow movement, a movement of the forefinger or another part of the body, or another kind of hint, a sakhi sends Krishna to the heroine, that is called the message in the form of a hint.
Vijaya-kumara: What are the direct statements?
Gosvami: When, either directly to Lord Krishna or secretly behind his back, the messenger speaks appropriate words, that is called a message in the form of a direct statement.
Vijaya-kumara: What are the messages when Krishna is absent?
Gosvami: Here one sakhi brings another sakhi to Krishna. There are man ways a message can be carried in this way. These are all considered carrying a message when Krishna is not present.
Vijaya-kumara: What are messages carried for the nayika-praya (almost heroine)?
Gosvami: When an apeksikadhika prakhara, apeksikadhika madhya or apeksikadhika mrdvi carry a message for a gopi of inferior status, this is called 'carrying a message for a nayika-praya'. The sama sakhis and madhya sakhis are naturally friends. Their friendship is mostly sweet and for the most part they have no difference between them. Panditas learned in the science of spiritual love (prema) can understand all this.
Vijaya-kumara: What is 'a message carried by a sakhi-praya' (one who is almost a sakhi)?
Gosvami: These are messages carried by a laghu-prakara, laghu-madhya, or laghu-mrdvi gopi. When they are engaged in carrying messages they are called 'sakhi-praya' (almost sakhi)>
Vijaya-kumara: What is a nitya-sakhi (always a sakhi)?
Gosvami: Gopis who only wish to be a sakhi and never desire to become a heroine are called 'nitya-sakhi'. The nitya-sakhis are of two kinds: 1. Atyantika laghvi and 2. Apeksika laghvi.
Vijaya-kumara: Do the sakhis eternally possess certain specific qualities, like the quality of being prakhara (harsh), qualities that they always manifest and never abandon?
Gosvami: Although certain qualities are part of the eternal nature of each gopi, sometimes, according to time, place and circumstances, the gopis manifest other qualities, even qualities that are the opposite of their ordinary nature. An example of this is Lalita's attempt to calm Radha's jealous anger.
Vijaya-kumara: It seems to me that Radha takes great care to arrange the meeting of Lord Krishna with her friends.
Gosvami: O Vijaya-kumara, I can say something about that. When a sakhi sent with a message meets Krishna in a secluded place, and He requests that she enjoy with Him, she will not agree. She will not break the trust of the gopi friend who sent her with the message.
Vijaya-kumara: What are the sakhis' activities?
Gosvami: The sakhis have sixteen kinds of activities: 1. To praise the virtues of the hero before the heroine and to praise the virtues of the heroine before the hero. 2. To make the hero and heroine attached to each other. 3. To arrange for the rendezvous of the hero and heroine. 4. To give the heroine to Krishna. 5. To speak eloquent jokes. 6. To give consolation. 7. To decorate the heroine in her room. 8. To reveal to the hero the love in the heroine's heart and to reveal to the heroine the love in the hero's heart. 9. To hide faults. 10. To teach the heroine how to deceive her husband and other superiors. 11. To bring the hero and heroine together at the appropriate time. 12. To fan with a camara and perform other like services. 13. To approach the hero or heroine when it is appropriate. 14. To carry a message. 15. To save the heroine's life, and 16. To be careful and diligent in everything. Many examples could be given to illustrate each of these. What more shall I say:
Vijaya-kumara: O master, I understand these brief explanations. Later I will see the examples given in the book Ujjvala-nilamani. Now I have learned a great deal. O master, now I would like to learn about the sakhis's affection for each other and love for Lord Krishna.
Gosvami: The sakhis are of two kinds: 1. The sakhis whose love for Krishna and their own yuthesvari is not equal, and 2. The sakhis who love Krishna and their own yuthesvari equally.
Vijaya-kumara: What sakhis have love for Krishna and their own yuthesvari that is not equal.
Gosvami: These gopis, who are called 'asama-sneha sakhis' are of two kinds. Some love their yuthesvari more than they love Krishna. Others think, "I am a maidservant of Krishna." These gopis will not leave their group to join another. Still, they love Krishna more than they love their yuthesvari. A gopi who is proud to serve her yuthesvari, and who loves her yuthesvari more than Krishna, is called 'sakhi-snehadhika'.
Vijaya-kumara: Why are they?
Gosvami: Among the five kinds of sakhis I have already described, those who are simply called sakhis love Krishna more (Krishna-snehadhika). The previously described nitya-sakhis and prana sakhis love their yuthesvari more (sakhi-snehadhika).
Vijaya-kumara: Who are the gopis that love Krishna and their yuthesvari equally?
Gosvami: The gopis that love Krishna and their yuthesvari equally are called 'sama-sneha'.
Vijaya-kumara: Of these sakhis who are the best?
Gosvami: The sakhis who love Radha and Krishna equally, and who think, 'I am a follower of Radha' are the best of all. They are called 'priya-sakhis' and 'parama-prestha-sakhis'.
Vijaya-kumara: O master, please describe the rivalries of the different groups of sakhis.
Gosvami: All the groups of Vraja-gopis are divided in four ways: 1, sva-paksa (one's own group), 2, suhrt-paksa (friends), 3, tatastha-paksa (neutral parties), and 4, paritpaksa (enemies). The gopi groups associate with the suhrt-paksas and tatastha-paksas, and they avoid the pratipaksas. In this way there is exchange of rasas.
Vijaya-kumara: Please describe the sva-paksa, pratipaksa and the others.
Gosvami: The sva-paksa I have already explained. Now I will explain how the suhrt-paksas and the other groups differ. The suhrt-paksas are of two kinds: 1, ista-sadhaka (friends pushed together to do something favourable) and anista-sadhaka (friends pushed together to do something unfavourable). The tatastha-paksa is friendly to both the sva-paksa and the pratipaksa.
Vijaya-kumara: Please describe the pratipaksas.
Gosvami: The vipaksas are enemies. They destroy what is good and bring what is evil. The vipaksas manifest trickery, malice, restlessness, envy, spite, mercilessness, pride and a host of other like qualities.
Vijaya-kumara: How is pride manifested?
Gosvami: False-ego, self-importance, arrogance, mocking, conceit, and haughtiness, are the six manifestations of pride.
Vijaya-kumara: What is the nature of false-ego?
Gosvami: When one praises the sva-paksa and reviles the pratipaksa, that is false ego.
Vijaya-kumara: What is self-importance?
Gosvami: When one explains how one's own group has the most exalted spiritual love, that is self importance.
Vijaya-kumara: What is arrogance?
Gosvami: When one is convinced that one's own group enjoys the most exalted spiritual pastimes, that is arrogance.
Vijaya-kumara: What is mocking?
Gosvami: When one laughs at the other group, that is mocking.
Vijaya-kumara: What is conceit?
Gosvami: When pride improves one's devotional service, that is conceit in this context.
Vijaya-kumara: What is haughtiness?
Gosvami: To openly declare one's own superiority is called haughtiness. To criticise other sakhis and speak sarcastically about them is also haughtiness.
Vijaya-kumara: Do the yuthesvaris show malice directly?
Gosvami: No. The yuthesvaris always keep their gravity and decorum. They do not openly express malice. Even if a prakhara sakhi speaks maliciously in her presence, the yuthesvari continues to speak pleasantly.
Vijaya-kumara: O master, the yuthesvaris in the Lord's Vraja pastimes are all eternally perfect. They are one of the Lord's potencies. What does it mean that malice and other inauspicious qualities are present among them? Seeing these qualities, non devotee philosophers will criticise the Lord's Vraja pastimes. They will say, "If malice and other inauspicious qualities are present in the spiritual world, then why do the devotees criticise or renounce the material world?"
O master I am a resident of holy Nabadwip, where, by the will of Lord Krishna Chaitanya, many materialists may be seen. Some are followers of karma-kanda. Some are barren logicians. Some are impersonalists. In this way there are many offenders. They condemn the Lord's pastimes. They claim that the Lord's pastimes are material and are filled with imperfections.
Gosvami: Persons (arasika) who cannot understand the Lord's spiritual rasas claim that it is not right for the Lord's personal associates manifest malice or other seemingly inauspicious qualities. When one is at last able to understand the spiritual truth, then one can see Vraja's madhura-rasa, which is the dear friend of Lord Krishna, the Lord who destroys all sins and whose transcendental form enchants a multitude of Kamadevas. Malice and other seemingly inauspicious emotions felt by Lord Krishna's personal associates are meant to enhance Lord Krishna's transcendental pleasure when the associates are in His company. Apart from these pastimes with Krishna, these seemingly inauspicious qualities are not manifested. At that time there is only love.
Vijaya-kumara: O master, I am a tiny creature. These confidential truths do not easily enter my heart. Please be merciful and explain it very simply and clearly. That will be auspicious for me.
Gosvami: The rasas of spiritual love (prema-rasa) are like a great ocean of milk. However, material logic is bitter like cow's urine. One who can understand the spiritual rasas obtains an auspicious life. And why not? It is after a person performs many pious deeds that Bhakti-devi (the goddess of devotional service) places the fruit of the hladini-shakti in his heart. Thus a person who shuns the study of material logic obtains the final truth. On the other hand, persons who use material logic to understand the truth cannot understand the spiritual truth, which is inconceivable, beyond the understanding of the material mind. The so-called truth they accept is filled with misconceptions. However, you are a fortunate soul. Therefore by the grace of Bhakti-devi you understand everything. However, to make the truth very clear, I must answer your question. You are not a material logician, nor a follower of karma-kanda, nor a follower of jnana-kanda, nor a doubter. You are a sincere devotee engaged in vaidhi-bhakti devotional service. I will explain the truth to you. I have no objection. You asked two kinds of questions. One kind of question takes shelter of dry material logic. The other kind of question may be satisfied by faith in logic. The other kind of question may be satisfied by faith in devotional service. You should not answer the question posed by the impersonalist. Why not? Because they have no faith in the actual truth and thus they will not believe what is the true answer. Without taking shelter of the Lord's cit-shakti (spiritual potency) a soul imprisoned by Maya cannot understand the inconceivable spiritual truth merely by using the instrument of material logic in a great series of debates. That is the fate of persons who have no faith in the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Many different kinds of persons engage in devotional service. Persons who are qualified to understand the madhura rasa can understand all these truths from their spiritual master. O Vijaya-kumara, the Lord's pastimes and rasas in Vrindavan are very wonderful. The Lord's madhura-rasa is very different from the amorous pastimes of the material world. By studying Srimad-Bhagavatam's five chapter description of the Lord's rasa dance, a devotee will uproot the desire that grows in his heart. What disease grows in the heart of the souls imprisoned by Maya? The disease is material lust. A soul who has taken shelter of the subtle material body consisting of mind, intelligence and false ego, who is filled with material desires, who identifies with the gross material body made of seven elements beginning with flesh, and who thinks it is a man or a woman, does not have the power to throw material lust far away very easily. Only by hearing about the Lord's Vraja pastimes will that soul be able to throw material lust far away. In the end, such a person is able to see the great wonder that is the Lord's madhura-rasa pastimes in Vrindavan. When He throws the impersonalists philosophy far away, then the spiritual madhura-rasa is eternally manifest before him. When he understands the lesser importance of the Lord's majestic feature in Vaikuntha, the soul can understand the supreme glory of the Lord's eternal and splendid rasas. Then the soul is filled with intense transcendental bliss. Then the dry happiness of impersonalism and the dull pleasures of the material world become very unimportant for him. Then he is filled with a bliss that is perfect and complete. This perfect and complete bliss is manifest in many places and in many ways. In some bhavas it is manifested as affection and other like emotions, and in other places it is manifested as malice and other so-called inauspicious emotions. Material malice and material inauspicious emotions are all abominable. These spiritual emotions are not like them. They are all various transformations of spiritual bliss. They are like waves in the great ocean of the spiritual rasas. They make that ocean glorious. The conclusion of Srila Rupa Gosvami is that these different rasas show the wonderful variety of ecstatic love (bhava). In the sva-paksa, these bhavas are all the same. In the suhrt-paksa the bhavas are slightly different. In the tatastha-paksa, the bhavas are slightly similar. In the vipaksa, the bhavas are completely different. Look. When the bhavas are not compatible the situation is not pleasant. In that situation the supremely blissful rasas produce malice and other seemingly inauspicious emotions.
Vijaya-kumara: Why do sva-paksas and vipaksas exist?
Gosvami: When two heroines have the same nature, sva-paksa and vipaksa are manifested. In this way friends and enemies are manifested from the spiritual rasas. The purpose of these emotions is to increase the sweetness of the Lord's spiritual madhura-rasa.
Vijaya-kumara: Are Radha and Candravali equally powerful?
Gosvami: No. No. Sri Radha is full of the highest ecstatic love. She is the essence of the hladini-shakti. Candravali is manifested from a tiny particle of Sri Radha's transcendental form. Still, in order to increase the prema-rasa (loving pastimes) of Sri Radha, Candravali is manifested as if she were Radha's equal and rival (vipaksa). Look, it is not possible for these two yuthesvaris to be completely alike. If these two seem sometimes to be equals, it is only an accident, like the path of a bookworm accidentally forming the shape of a certain letter of the alphabet. In truth, the sva-paksas and vipaksas are needed to make the rasas glorious.
Vijaya-kumara: O master, no I have no doubts. The nectar of your words flows into my ears and enters my heart, where it destroys all the bitterness that was there. In my heart I can now understand the transformations of madhura-rasa. Lord Krishna is eternal and full of knowledge and bliss. He is the only hero (nayaka). I meditate on His form, qualities, and activities. He is dhirodhatta, dhira-lalita, dhira-prasanta, and dhirodhatta. His qualities are anukula, daksina, satha, and dhrstha. He is always served by His are ceta, vita, vidusaka, pitha-mardaka, and priya-narma-sakha companions. He likes to play the flute. Lord Krishna, who enjoys the madhura-rasa, is manifest in my heart. I have also understood the descriptions of the beautiful girls of Vraja who have taken shelter of the madhura-rasa. They are heroines (nayika). The heroines are of two kinds: 1. Svakiya, and 2. Parakiya. The best rasa is that of the parakiya heroines in Vraja. These heroines are of three kinds: 1, sadhana-para, 2, devi, and 3, nitya-priya. Divided into many, many different groups, the girls of Vraja serve Lord Krishna. There are many millions and millions of such girls of Vraja, each of them subordinate to one of the many, many yuthesvaris. Radha and Candravali are the most important of the yuthesvaris. There are five kinds of sakhis: 1 sakhi, 2 nitya-sakhi, 3 prana-sakhi, 4 priya-sakhi, and 5 parama-prestha-sakhi. In Radha's group the eight sakhis headed by Lalita are para-prestha-sakhis. These eight sakhis headed by Lalita are qualified to become yuthesvaris themselves, but they do not form separate groups, for they prefer to remain followers of Sri Radha. Still, many other girls of Vraja consider themselves followers of these eight sakhis. The heroines are divided in different ways: as mugdha, madhya, and pragalbha, as dhira, adhira, and dhiradhira, and as kanya, svakiya and parakiya. In this way there are fifteen different kinds of heroines. The heroines have eight different conditions of life, which begin with abhisarika. The heroines are also divided into uttama, madhyama and kanistha. In this way there are 360 (15 x 8 x 3) different kinds of heroines. Knowledge of the friendship and other emotions felt by the yuthesvaris is now also present in my heart. Knowledge of the messengers and sakhis is now also manifested in my heart. Now I am able to understand the shelter in whom the rasas rest. Now I understand the visaya and asraya, and, included within them, the vibhava and alambana. Tomorrow I will take shelter of your feet and learn from you about the uddipanas. Lord Krishna has been very kind to me, to give me such a kind spiritual master. Tomorrow I will be very well nourished by drinking the nectar words that flow from your mouth.
Sri Gopala-guru Gosvami embraced Vijaya-kumara and said, Baba. I am very fortunate to have you as a disciple. You like to ask many questions, and Lord Chaitanya Himself has placed all the answers in my mouth. The two of them wept tears of love. After that they were both stunned and motionless.
Seeing how fortunate Vijaya-kumara had become, Dhyanacandra and the other great souls there became plunged into great transcendental bliss. At that moment some pure Vaishnavas came to visit the Sri Radha-kanta temple. They began to sing this song of Candi-dasa:
"O friend, whom did I hear pronounce the name 'Syama'? That name entered my ears. Then it traveled to my heart. Now my life breath trembles.
"I do not know why the name 'Syama' is so sweet. My mouth cannot renounce saying it. I say it again and again. My senses are all overwhelmed. What will become of me?
"If this name makes my senses burn with fever, what would happen if the bearer of this name were to touch my limbs? If I were to see this person with my eyes, how could I continue on the religious path?
"In my heart I decide to forget Him, but He will not be forgotten. What will I do? Considering the fate of a saintly young girl in danger of destroying her family, the brahmana Candi-dasa speaks these words."
Accompanied by karatalas and mrdanga, everyone sang this song. An hour and half passed in this way. Everyone was plunged in spiritual love (prema). When the spiritual bliss was a little broken, Vijaya-kumara offered dandavat obeisances to Sri Gopala-guru Gosvami and the other Vaishnavas, respectfully bade them farewell, and began walking to Haracandi-sahi's house.
Again and again Krishna appeared in his thoughts. Vijaya-kumara's heart was attracted to Krishna. His ordinary dealings were now chaotic. He ate a little of what food was around and then ran like a madman to his spiritual master, and then fell down before his feet. Gopala-guru Gosvami carefully picked him up and embraced him. Vijaya-kumara said, "O master, I wish to learn about the uddipanas in madhura rasa." Then the saintly Gosvami carefully spoke.
Gosvami: The qualities, names, activities, decorations, and other things directly and indirectly related to Krishna and His beloved gopis are the uddipanas in madhura rasa.
Vijaya-kumara: Please describe these qualities.
Gosvami: The qualities are of three kinds: 1 mental, 2 verbal and 3 physical.
Vijaya-kumara: What are the mental qualities?
Gosvami: Gratefulness, forgiveness, and kindness are included among the many mental qualities.
Vijaya-kumara: What are the verbal qualities?
Gosvami: The verbal qualities are words that delight the ear.
Vijaya-kumara: What are the physical qualities?
Gosvami: Youthfulness, splendour, charm, beauty, delight, sweetness, and gentleness are included among the physical qualities. Four kinds of youthfulness take shelter of madhura rasa. They are: 1 vaya-sandhi, 2 navya-vayasa, 3 vyakta-vayasa and 4 purna-vayasa.
Vijaya-kumara: What is vaya-sandhi?
Gosvami: The pint where balya and yauvana meet is called vya-sandhi. It is also called 'prathama-kaisora'. When kaisora arises, that is vayah-sandhi. Here balya and paugandha are synonyms. The sweetness of the gopis' vaya-sandhi age is an uddipana that inspires Lord Krishna.
Vijaya-kumara: What is navya-vayasa?
Gosvami: It is the beginning of yauvana. In this age the gopis smile gently, their eyes are restless, their hearts are beginning to become agitated, and their breasts are beginning to manifest.
Vijaya-kumara: What is vyakta-vayasa?
As this question was spoken, Sri Vaishnava and pandita sannyasi from the Sankara-matha came to see the Deity. The Sri Vaishnava considered himself a male servant of the Lord, and the Sankara sannyasi was plunged in dry meditation on impersonal Brahma. Neither of them were qualified to hear about the Vraja-gopis. It is forbidden to discuss madhura-rasa with person firmly convinced of their material malehood. Gopala-guru Gosvami and Vijaya-kumara at once stopped their conversation and made small talk about other things. After a short while the two guests left to see the siddha bakula tree. Gently smiling, Vijaya-kumara repeated his question.
Gosvami: When the breasts are clearly manifested, three folds of skin are manifested on the waist, and all the limbs are splendid, then the age is said to be vyakta-vayasa.
Vijaya-kumara: What is purna-vayasa?
Gosvami: When the hips are large, the waist slender, all the limbs splendid with extraordinary beauty, the breasts large, and the thighs like banana trees, the age is called purna-vayasa.
Vijaya-kumara: Now I understand these different ages. Now please describe form.
Gosvami: When the form is so splendid and glorious that it seems to be decorated even when it is not, is called splendor. When all the limbs are beautiful, that is called splendour.
Vijaya-kumara: What is charm?
Gosvami: When all the limbs shine with a splendour like the splendour of pearls, that is called charm.
Vijaya-kumara: What is beauty?
Gosvami: When each limb is shaped in the most appropriate way, and when all the limbs are combined together in the most beautiful way, that is called beauty.
Vijaya-kumara: What is delight?
Gosvami: When one's wonderful qualities make those nearby also wonderful in the same way, that is called delight.
Vijaya-kumara: What is sweetness?
Gosvami: When the body's beauty is so great that it cannot be described, that is sweetness.
Vijaya-kumara: What is gentleness?
Gosvami: When the body is so soft and delicate it cannot tolerate even the slightest touch, that is called gentleness. Gentleness is of three kinds: 1 great, 2 intermediate and 3 less.
Vijaya-kumara: O master, now I understand all these qualities. Now please describe the names.
Gosvami: Transcendental names, such as the name Radha-Krishna are the birthplace of the rasas and bhavas.
Vijaya-kumara: I understand. Now please describe the activities.
Gosvami: The activities are of two kinds: 1 anubhava and 2 lila. Anubhava was already described after vibhava.
Vijaya-kumara: Please describe lila.
Gosvami: Beautiful pastimes, dancing, playing the flute, milking the cows, herding the cows from the hill, and other like activities are all called lila.
Vijaya-kumara: What are beautiful pastimes?
Gosvami: The rasa dance, and playing games with a ball are included among the numberless beautiful pastimes that charm the heart.
Vijaya-kumara: What are the decorations?
Gosvami: Garments, ornaments, garlands and ointments are the four kinds of decorations.
Vijaya-kumara: What are the things directly related to Krishna and the gopis?
Gosvami: Two kinds of things are directly related to Krishna and the gopis. They are: 1 things touching and 2 things nearby.
Vijaya-kumara: What are the things touching?
Gosvami: The sound of the flute, the sound of the buffalo-horn, bugle, the singing, fragrance, tinkling of the ornaments, footprints, sound of the vina, and artistic skill are included among the things touching.
Vijaya-kumara: What is the sound of the flute?
Gosvami: From Krishna's mouth, nectar flute-music flows. That music is the best of the uddipanas.
Vijaya-kumara: Please be kind and describe the things nearby.
Gosvami: Flower remnants, peacock feathers, mineral dyes from the hills, the cows, the stick, the flute, the buffalo-horn bugle, the sight of Krishna's dear associates, the dust raised by the cows, Vrindavan. The living entities and things that have their shelter in Vrindavan, Govardhana Hill, the Yamuna, and the rasa-dance arena are included among the things nearby.
Vijaya-kumara: Who are the living entities that have taken shelter in Vrindavan?
Gosvami: Many birds, bees, deer, forest groves, vines, tulasi plants, karnika flowers, and kadamba trees have taken shelter of Vrindavan.
Vijaya-kumara: What are the things indirectly related to Krishna and the gopis?
Gosvami: The moonlight, clouds, lightning, springtime, autumn, full moon, breeze and birds are included among what is indirectly related.
After hearing about all these uddipanas, Vijaya-kumara was silent for a moment. Pushed by the uddipanas, ecstatic love arose in his heart. Then the anubhavas became manifested on his body. With a choked voice, Vijaya-kumara said, "O master, please describe the anubhavas. When describing His lilas, you said they were part of Lord Krishna's activities. When I understand the anubhavas I will be able to know the full outline of Krishna's activities."
Gosvami: The anubhavas are of three kinds: 1 alankara, 2 ubhasvara and 3 vacika.
Vijaya-kumara: What are the alankaras?
Gosvami: In their yauvana age the beautiful girls of Vraja manifest twenty kinds of alankara (ornaments). With these ornaments they conquer their beloved. These ornaments are:
Ornaments manifested from the body: 1 bhava, 2 hava 3 hela.
Ornaments manifested spontaneously: 4 sobha, 5 kanti, 6 dipti, 7 madhurya, 8 pragalbha, 9 audarya, 10 dhairya.
Natural ornaments: 11 lila, 12 vilasa, 13 vicchitti, 14 vibhrama, 15 kila-kincita, 16 mottayita, 17 kuttamita, 18 vibboka, 19 lalita and 20 vikrta.
Vijaya-kumara: What is bhava in this context?
Gosvami: When the heart is steady in madhura-rasa, that state is called 'rati'. The first manifestation of rati is called 'bhava'. When the heart is steady in rati, that state is called 'sattva'. When the heart becomes agitated with ecstatic love, that is called 'bhava'.
Vijaya-kumara: O master, what is hava?
Gosvami: To tilt the neck, move the eyes or eyebrows, or give other hints of love called 'hava'.
Vijaya-kumara: What is hela?
Gosvami: When the amorous hints of hava are more openly expressed, that is called 'hela'.
Vijaya-kumara: What is sobha?
Gosvami: The beauty that amorous pastimes use to decorate the limbs is called 'sobha'.
Vijaya-kumara: What is kanti?
Gosvami: When amorous desires are satisfied, the splendour then manifested is called 'kanti'.
Vijaya-kumara: What is dipti?
Gosvami: When youthfulness, enjoyment, place, time, virtues, and other like things bring a great and glorious splendour that splendour is called 'dipti'.
Vijaya-kumara: What is madhurya?
Gosvami: Still in all activities is called 'madhurya'.
Vijaya-kumara: What is pragalbha?
Gosvami: To be self assured and free from doubt is called 'pragalbhata'. This brings great splendour to every limb.
Vijaya-kumara: What is audarya?
Gosvami: To be humble in every situation is called 'audarya'.
Vijaya-kumara: What is dhairya?
Gosvami: When the mind is exalted, that is called 'dhairya'.
Vijaya-kumara: What is lila?
Gosvami: To imitate the beloved's graceful garments and actions is called 'lila'.
Vijaya-kumara: What is vilasa?
Gosvami: When walking, staying still, sitting, the mouth, the eyes, and many other things are all employed to give amorous hints to the beloved, that is called 'vilasa'.
Vijaya-kumara: What is vicchitti?
Gosvami: If there is great beauty, even though the ornaments are few, that is called 'vicchitti'. In the opinion of some scholars of rasa, when the lover commits an offense, the sakhis carefully decorated Him, and in spite of all efforts, the girl remains angry, her condition is called vicchitti.
Vijaya-kumara: What is vibhrama?
Gosvami: When, at the time of going to meet her beloved, a girl is so bewildered with amorous desire that she decorates herself with necklace, garland and other ornaments in the wrong way, that is called 'vibhrama'.
Vijaya-kumara: what is kila-kincita?
Gosvami: Pride, desire, weeping, laughing, envy, fear, and anger, when they are manifested as symptoms of happiness when one meets the beloved, are called 'kila-kincita."
Vijaya-kumara: What is mottayita?
Gosvami: When, by remembering the beloved or receiving news of him, the lover feels love and then desire, that is called 'mottayita'.
Vijaya-kumara: What is kuttamita?
Gosvami: When the lover touches the beloved's breast, and the beloved, although actually pleased, puts on an outward show of anger, that is called 'kuttamita'.
Vijaya-kumara: What is vibboka?
Gosvami: When pride and jealousy make the beloved insult the lover, that is called 'vibboka'.
Vijaya-kumara: What is lalita?
Gosvami: When the movements of the body and the eyebrows show softness, that is called 'lalita'.
Vijaya-kumara: What is vikrta?
Gosvami: When shyness, pride, and anger are expressed not by words but by actions, that is called 'vikrta'. In this way twenty ornaments are manifested from the body and mind. Some scholars of rasa add two more ornaments - maughdya and cakita - to this list.
Vijaya-kumara: What is maughdya?
Gosvami: When, even though she already knows the answer, the beloved, as if she didn't already know, asks the lover anyway, that is called 'maugdhya'.
Vijaya-kumara: What is cakita?
Gosvami: When, even though there is no reason to fear, the beloved tells her lover that she is very afraid, that is called 'cakita'.
Vijaya-kumara: O master, thus I have heard about these alankaras (ornaments). Now please teach me about the udbhasvaras.
Gosvami: When the ecstatic love present in the heart is splendidly manifested in the body, that is called 'udbhasvara'. When in madhura rasa the belt, bodice and braids become loosened, the limbs are agitated, the mouth is opened wide, and, with dilated nostrils there is heavy breathing, that is called "udbhasvara".
Vijaya-kumara: All these udbhasvaras could easily have been included within mottayita and vilasa.
Gosvami: They have a different kind of glory. Therefore they are considered separately.
Vijaya-kumara: O master, now please describe the verbal anubhavas.
Gosvami: Alapa, vilapa, samlapa, pralapa, anulapa, apalapa, sandesa, atidesa, apadesa, upadesa, nirdesa and vyapadesa are the twelve verbal anubhavas.
Vijaya-kumara: What is alapa?
Gosvami: When one speaks pleasing, flattering words, that is called 'alapa'.
Vijaya-kumara: What is vilapa?
Gosvami: When one laments, that is called 'vilapa'.
Vijaya-kumara: When one laments, that is called 'vilapa'.
Gosvami: Pleasing conversations are called 'samlapa'.
Vijaya-kumara: What is pralapa?
Gosvami: Meaningless words are called 'pralapa'.
Vijaya-kumara: What is anulapa?
Gosvami: Repeating the same thing over and over is called 'anulapa'.
Vijaya-kumara: What is apalapa?
Gosvami: To explain something a second time is called 'apalapa'.
Vijaya-kumara: What is sandesa?
Gosvami: To send a letter to a beloved in a faraway place is called 'sandesa'.
Vijaya-kumara: What is atidesa?
Gosvami: To say, 'His words are my words' is called 'atidesa'.
Vijaya-kumara: What is apadesa?
Gosvami: While speaking about one thing to reveal another is called 'apadesa'.
Vijaya-kumara: What is upadesa?
Gosvami: To give instruction is called 'upadesa'.
Vijaya-kumara: What is nirdesa?
Gosvami: To affirm, "I am that person" is called 'nirdesa'.
Vijaya-kumara: What is vyapadesa?
Gosvami: To misrepresent one's true desire is called 'vyapadesa'. All these anubhavas are present in all the rasas. However, they are famous for making the madhura-rasa sweet.
Vijaya-kumara: O master, why are these rasa anubhavas considered separately?
Gosvami: When the alambanas and uddipanas enter the heart, bhava is manifested. Then the symptoms called 'anubhavas' are manifested on the body. If all the anubhavas were not discussed separately, then it would not be possible to see their natures clearly.
Vijaya-kumara: Now please describe the sattvika-bhavas in madhura rasa.
Gosvami: The eight sattvika-bhavas, beginning with being stunned and perspiring, which I had previously described, are also present in madhura-rasa. However, in this rasa they are manifested in a different way.
Vijaya-kumara: How is it different?
Gosvami: Look at the Lord's Vraja pastimes. Being stunned comes from joy, fear, wonder, melancholy and anger. Perspiration comes from joy, fear and anger. Standing up of the body's hairs comes from wonder, joy and fear. Choking up of the voice comes from melancholy, wonder, anger and fear. Trembling of the body comes from fear, joy and anger. Becoming pale comes from fear, joy and anger. Becoming pale comes from melancholy, anger, fear. Shedding tears comes from joy, anger, and melancholy. Devastation comes from either happiness or distress.
Vijaya-kumara: Are these sattvika ecstatic symptoms manifested differently in madhura rasa?
Gosvami: Yes. They are. When before I described the sattvika-bhavas I explained that they were manifested as either dhumayita (smoky), jvalita (blazing), dipta (shining), or uddipta (bright shining). In madhura-rasa these bhavas are manifested only in two ways, as either uddipta (brightly shining) or sudipta (brilliantly shining).
Vijaya-kumara: O master, please be kind to me. Please describe the vyabhicari-bhavas in madhura rasa and make me happy.
Gosvami: The thirty-three vyabhicari-bhavas or sancari-bhavas, which begin with nirveda (disappointment), and which I have previously described to you, are almost all present in madhura-rasa. Only augrya (violence) and alasya (laziness) are not present in this rasa. In madhura-rasa these sancari-bhavas are very wonderful.
Vijaya-kumara: What is the most wonderful thing about them in this situation?
Gosvami: The love for Krishna (Krishna-prema) that Krishna's friends and superiors feel for Him in sakhya-rasa and the other rasas, becomes sancari-bhava in madhura rasa. In other words what was sthayi-bhava in the other rasas becomes sancari-bhava or vyabhicari bhava in madhura rasa.
Vijaya-kumara: What else is wonderful in this situation?
Gosvami: The vyabhicari-bhavas are not considered direct ingredients of madhura-rasa. Even the vyabhicaris that begin with marana (death) are not direct ingredients. Instead of being ingredients, the vyabhicari-bhavas are considered the qualities of madhura-rasa. The vyabhicari bhavas are the qualities, and madhura rasa is the possessor of the qualities. That is the proper conclusion.
Vijaya-kumara: How are the vyabhicari-bhavas manifested in this rasa?
Gosvami: Nirveda (disappointment) is born from suffering, unpleasantness, envy, melancholy, calamity and offense.
Vijaya-kumara: From what is dainya (humility) born?
Gosvami: Dainya is born from unhappiness, fear and offense.
Vijaya-kumara: From what is glani (guilt) born?
Gosvami: Glani is born from fatigue, anxiety and attraction.
Vijaya-kumara: From what is srama (fatigue) born?
Gosvami: Srama is born from losing one's way, dancing, and attraction.
Vijaya-kumara: From what is mada (intoxication) born?
Gosvami: Mada is born from drinking liquor. In this way one becomes jubilant and one also loses one's power of discrimination.
Vijaya-kumara: From what is garva (pride) born?
Gosvami: Garva is born from good fortune, beauty, virtue and obtaining what is the best of all.
Vijaya-kumara: From what is sanka (doubt) born?
Gosvami: Sanka is born from theft, offense, cruelty to others, lightning, fearsome creatures, and fearsome sounds.
Vijaya-kumara: From what is avega (intense emotion) born?
Gosvami: Avega is born from seeing the object of love, hearing about the object of love, seeing what is not loved, and hearing about what is not loved. The heart becomes bewildered by these intense emotions.
Vijaya-kumara: From what is unmada (madness) born?
Gosvami: Unmada is born from intense bliss or separation from the beloved.
Vijaya-kumara: From what is apasmara (forgetfulness) born?
Gosvami: Apasmara is born from unhappiness, which upsets the body and the mind.
Vijaya-kumara: From what is vyadhi (disease) born?
Gosvami: Vyadhi is born from fever and other like causes. It is also born from anxiety, intense emotion, and other feelings.
Vijaya-kumara: From what is moha (confusion) born?
Gosvami: Moha is bewilderment of the mind. Moha is born from joy, separation and sorrow.
Vijaya-kumara: From what is mrti (death) born?
Gosvami: Mrti is not directly manifested in madhura-rasa. Sometimes there is the desire for death.
Vijaya-kumara: From what is alasya (laziness) born?
Gosvami: Alasya is not directly manifested in madhura-rasa. When a strong person pretends that he is not strong, that is called alasya. Alasya does not exist in devotional service to Lord Krishna. However, it is seen indirectly, as the opposite of true devotional service.
Vijaya-kumara: From what is jadya (inertness) born?
Gosvami: Jadya is born from hearing about the beloved, seeing the beloved, seeing what is unpleasant, and separation from the beloved.
Vijaya-kumara: From what is vrida (bashfulness) born?
Gosvami: Vrida is born from first meeting, doing what should not be done, words of praise, and words of insult.
Vijaya-kumara: From what is avahittha (concealment) born?
Gosvami: Avahittha, or concealment, is born from treachery, shyness, cleverness, fear and respect.
Vijaya-kumara: From what is smrti (remembrance) born?
Gosvami: Smrti is firm belief based on previous direct perception.
Vijaya-kumara: From what is vitarka (argumentativeness) born?
Gosvami: Vitarka is born from melancholy or doubt.
Vijaya-kumara: From what is cinta (anxiety) born?
Gosvami: Cinta is born from failing to attain what one desires, or attaining what one does not desire.
Vijaya-kumara: From what is mati (thoughtfulness) born?
Gosvami: Mati is giving thought to understand something.
Vijaya-kumara: From what is dhrti (endurance) born?
Gosvami: Dhrti is steadiness of the mind. It is born from the absence of suffering and the attainment of the best thing.
Vijaya-kumara: From what is harsa (happiness) born?
Gosvami: When, because of seeing or attaining the object of one's desires, one is pleased, that is called 'harsa'.
Vijaya-kumara: From what is autsukya (eagerness) born?
Gosvami: Autsukya is born from the desire to see or attain the beloved.
Vijaya-kumara: From what is augrya (violence) born?
Gosvami: Violence is called 'augrya'. As I have already said, it is not manifested in madhura-rasa.
Vijaya-kumara: From what is amarsa (haughtiness) born?
Gosvami: Inability to tolerate disrespect and insult is called "amarsa".
Vijaya-kumara: From what is asuya (envy) born?
Gosvami: Asuya is hatred of another person's good fortune. It comes from good fortune and virtue.
Vijaya-kumara: From what is capala (impudence) born?
Gosvami: Lightness of the mind is called 'capala'. It is born from attraction and revulsion.
Vijaya-kumara: From what is nidra (dizziness) born?
Gosvami: Nidra is born from exhaustion.
Vijaya-kumara: What is supti (sleepiness)?
Gosvami: Supti is sleepiness.
Vijaya-kumara: What is bodha (alertness)?
Gosvami: Bodha is the opposite of sleepiness.
O Baba Vijaya-kumara, all these vyabhicaris are manifested in four ways: 1 utpatti, 2 sandhi, 3 savalya and 4 santi. When two bhavas join together, that is called 'bhava-sandhi'. When two different manifestations of one kind of bhava join together, that is called 'svarupa-sandhi'. When different kinds of bhavas join together, that is called 'bhinna-sandhi'. When many different bhavas are mixed together, that is called 'bhava-savalya'. When a bhava disappears, that is called 'bhava-santi'.
Thus hearing about the vibhavas, anubhavas, sattvika-bhavas, and vyabhicari-bhavas of madhura-rasa, Vijaya-kumara could understand the samagris (ingredients) of this rasa. His heart became plunged in prema (pure love). Still, he thought he had no prema. Falling at His spiritual master's feet, and weeping and weeping, he said, 'O master, why is my heart not plunged in prema? Please be merciful and tell me.' Gopala-guru Gosvami replied "Come tomorrow, and I will teach you about prema. You have understood the samagris (ingredients) of prema. But prema is still not openly manifested in your heart. The prema that is the same as sthayi-bhava you have heard from me in a general way. When you hear how prema is manifested in madhura-rya, you will attain all perfection." After speaking these words, Gopala-guru Gosvami embraced Vijaya-kumara. Vijaya-kumara offered dandavat obeisances, and then he returned to his own residence.
Today Vijaya-kumara came at the appointed time and offered dandavat obeisances to Sri Gopala-guru Gosvami. Seeing that today Vijaya-kumara was very eager to learn about sthayi-bhava, the spiritual master began to speak.
Gosvami: The sthayi-bhava of madhura-rasa is madhura-rati.
Vijaya-kumara: What causes madhura-rati to become manifested?
Gosvami: Madhura-rati is manifested from abhiyoga, visaya, sambandha, abhimana, tadiya-visesa, upama, and svabhava. Each item in this list is better than the preceding item. In this way the rati that is manifested from svabhava is the best of the ratis.
Vijaya-kumara: What is bhiyoga?
Gosvami: To openly reveal one's love (bhava) is called 'abhiyoga". One may make the revelation personally, or another person may do it.
Vijaya-kumara: What is visaya?
Gosvami: The five visayas are sound, touch, form, taste and fragrance.
Vijaya-kumara: What is sambandha?
Gosvami: The five glorious sambandhas are family, beauty, virtue and pastimes.
Vijaya-kumara: What is abhimana?
Gosvami: When, given the choice of many beautiful and pleasing objects, a person conclusively chooses one, and one alone, demanding, "I want that one", that is called 'abhimana'.
Vijaya-kumara: What is tadiya-visesa?
Gosvami: The tadiya-visesas are footprints, the land of the cows, and dear friends. In this context the land of the cows is the land of Vrindavan, and the dear friends are the devotees who love Krishna deeply.
Vijaya-kumara: What is upama?
Gosvami: When one thing is somewhat like another, that is called 'upama'.
Vijaya-kumara: What is svabhava?
Gosvami: The nature that manifests spontaneously, without any external cause is called 'svabhava'. Svabhava is of two kinds: nisarga and svarupa.
Vijaya-kumara: What is nisarga?
Gosvami: A habit born from repetition is called nisarga'. Qualities, form, and hearing are included among the causes of nisarga. The meaning here is that when the soul again and again acts in a certain way, after many births he develops a habit, which is called 'nisarga'. Therefore, it when hearing about Lord Krishna's qualities and form a person suddenly and passionately (hatha) falls in love (bhava) with Krishna, that love is caused not by the immediate circumstances, but by repeated past devotional activities (nisarga).
Vijaya-kumara: What is svarupa?
Gosvami: What is unborn, beginningless, and self-perfect is called 'svarupa'. Svarupa is of three kinds: 1 Krishna-nistha (faith in Krishna), lalana-nistha (faith in the gopis), and ubhaya-nistha (faith in both Krishna and the gopis). Persons of demonic nature do not attain Krishna-nistha. On the other hand, persons of godly nature easily attain it. Persons who are spiritual enlightened can attain lalana-nistha. Sometimes even without seeing or hearing of Krishna's form and other features a person suddenly develops intense love for Him. When one has both Krishna-nistha and lalana-nistha that is called -'ubhaya-nistha'.
Vijaya-kumara: Is every aspect of madhura rasa manifested from the seven causes abhiyoga, visaya, sambandha, abhimana, tadiya-visesa, upama, and svabhava?
Gosvami: The beautiful girls of Gokula love Krishna with a love that is part of their own nature (svabhava), a love that is naturally perfect (svarupa-siddha), a love that is not caused by the seven causes that begin with abhiyoga. Rather, their love is caused by various different pastimes. However, for the sadhana-siddha (who attained perfection by engaging in sadhana-bhakti) and nisarga-siddha-sadhaka (who are still striving to attain perfection) devotees, the seven causes that begin with abhiyoga do indeed inspire love for Krishna.
Vijaya-kumara: One or two examples here would be very pleasing to the heart.
Gosvami: This kind of love is attained by practicing raganuga-bhakti. It cannot be attained by vaidhi-bhakti. This kind of love stays far away from a person who practices vaidhi-bhakti. When a devotee engaged in sadhana-bhakti sees the loving service the beautiful girls of Vraja offer to Lord Krishna, and when that devotee yearns to serve Krishna in the same way, then the previously mentioned causes, with priyajana (the dear friends of Krishna) especially prominent and now numbering only six because svabhava is not present here, become the causes of his ecstatic love for Krishna, In this way the devotee gradually attains rati (spiritual love). When the devotee attains the stage of sadhana-siddha then he may attain lalana-nistha.
Vijaya-kumara: What are the different kinds of rati?
Gosvami: There are three kinds of rati: 1 sadharani (ordinary), 2 samanjasa (proper) and 3 samartha (perfect). Kubja is an example of sadharani-rati. She yearned for her own person enjoyment in Krishna's company. Therefore her love is of an inferior nature. The Dvaraka queens' love is samanjasa (proper). And why not? They enjoyed Krishna's company within the religious institution of marriage. The love of the Gokula goddesses, the gopis is, samartha. It exists in a plane above the ordinary activities of the world and the ordinary rules of religion. This Samartha love is not improper (asamanjasa). Rather, because is has the power to bring the highest goal of life, it is the most proper (ati-samanjasa). Sadharani love is like a jewel, samanjasa love is like a cintamani jewel, and samartha love, which has no equal, is like a Kaustubha jewel.
Vijaya-kumara: (weeping and weeping) What a wonderful description this is! I wish to learn more about sadharani rati.
Gosvami: When by directly seeing Krishna a person yearns to enjoy in His company, and in this way feels a love that is not yet very intense, that love is called 'sadharani'. Because that love is not yet very intense, the desire for one's own enjoyment is still present within it. When the desire for personal enjoyment becomes dwarfed, then what remains to dwarf the growth of real love?
Vijaya-kumara: What is samanjasa rati?
Gosvami: When by hearing the qualities of Krishna a girl yearns to become His wife, her intense love is called 'samanjasa'. Still, in this lover there is sometimes the desire for personal enjoyment. However, without this desire the wife will not be under Krishna's dominion.
Vijaya-kumara: What is samartha love?
Gosvami: In rati the desire for enjoyment is always present. In sadharani rati and samanjasa rati the devotee desires her personal enjoyment. When the desire for enjoyment is completely free for the desire for one's own personal enjoyment, and one desires only the enjoyment of the beloved, that kind of love is called 'samartha'.
Vijaya-kumara: What is that like? Please explain and make it more clearly understood.
Gosvami: The desire for enjoyment is of two kinds. One kind is the desire that the beloved will please my own senses. The other kind is the desire that I will please the senses of my beloved. The first kind of desire is called 'kama' (lust). And why not? In that situation one is eager only for his own happiness. In the second kind of desire one is eager for the happiness and well-being of the beloved. That desire is the desire of love (prema). In sadharani love the desire for personal enjoyment is strong. In samanjasa love that desire is not strong. In samartha love the desire for enjoyment is of a different nature. It is, as I have already said, the desire that the beloved should enjoy.
Vijaya-kumara: In loving affairs the touch of the beloved inevitably brings pleasure. How is it possible that in samartha love this pleasure is not desired?
Gosvami: That desire is inevitably difficult to stop. Still, in samartha love that desire of the heart is very weak. In this kind of love the desire to please the beloved is very strong. That desire then embraces the desire for personal enjoyment, and in that embrace both desires become one. Because this is the strongest (samartha) of all kinds of love, it is called 'samartha'.
Vijaya-kumara: What are the glories of samartha love?
Gosvami: Among the seven previously described causes beginning with abhiyoga, sambandha may e manifested, or tadiya-visesa may be manifested or svarupa may be manifested and in this way samartha love may come into being. Or, forgetting all these, this very powerful love may come into being by itself.
Vijaya-kumara: How do the desire for personal enjoyment and the desire that the beloved should enjoy join and become a single desire?
Gosvami: The beautiful girls of Vraja love Krishna with samartha love. They desire only for His happiness. When they associate with Krishna, the certainly experience their own happiness. However, they accept only those activities that bring happiness to Krishna. Thus the desire for personal enjoyment and the desire only to please Krishna meet in the waves of sublime and wonderful pastimes. In that condition the desire for personal enjoyment does not exist apart from the desire to please Krishna. In this way the desire for personal enjoyment ceases to exist.
Vijaya-kumara: Aha! How wonderful is this love! I yearn to hear of it's highest glories.
Gosvami: When this love (rati) matures it reaches the stage called 'maha-bhava'. All the liberated souls seek this stage of love. The five kinds of devotees attain it to the degree they are able.
Vijaya-kumara: O master, I request that you explain the different stages of this love.
Gosvami: It is said (Ujjvala-nilamani, Sthayi-bhava-prakarana):
"When rati becomes very intense, it is called 'prema'. As prema gradually manifests its sweetness, it is called sneha, mana, pranaya, raga, anuraga, and bhava."
Vijaya-kumara: O master, please give an example.
Gosvami: As there is a progression in sweetness from sugar-cane plant to sugar-cane juice to molasses to gur, to sugar granules, to rock candy, so there is a progression in love from rati to prema, to sneha, to mana, to pranaya, to raga, to anuraga, and finally to bhava. The word 'bhava' in this progression refers to maha-bhava.
Vijaya-kumara: Why are so many different stages with so many different names grouped under the general heading of 'prema'?
Gosvami: The six kinds of love, which begin with sneha, are all different pastime stages of prema. The panditas who are learned in this matter call them all by the name "prema". In this way prema is manifested.
Vijaya-kumara: What are the different kinds of prema?
Gosvami: There are three kinds of prema: 1, praudha (mature) , 2 madhya (intermediate) and 3, manda (slow).
Vijaya-kumara: What is praudha prema?
Gosvami: When the lover is anguished to think her delay may worry her beloved, that is praudha-prema.
Vijaya-kumara: What is madhya prema?
Gosvami: When the lover is not concerned about the beloved's anguish, that is madhya prema.
Vijaya-kumara: What is manda prema?
Gosvami: When the lover neither cares nor does not care, that is manda prema. This kind of love can inspire one to create obstacles to stop the exalted love of a rival. O Vijaya-kumara, Praudha, madhya and manda are thus the three divisions of prema. They can also be described in these words: When the lover cannot tolerate the beloved's suffering, that is praudha prema. When the lover can tolerate the beloved's suffering, that is madhya prema. When the lover forgets whether the beloved suffers or not, that is manda prema.
Vijaya-kumara: Now I understand prema. What are the characteristics of sneha?
Gosvami: When it reaches its highest state, prema is like a brilliant lamp. This is known as 'citprema' (spiritual love). When it makes the heart melt, this spiritual prema is called 'sneha'. The by product of sneha is that the lover never becomes satiated or disinterested, even if the lover sees the beloved at every moment.
Vijaya-kumara: Are there different kinds of sneha, some better and some lesser?
Gosvami: In the lowest kind of sneha, the lover's heart melts at the touch of the beloved. In the intermediate kind of sneha, the lover's heart melts at the sight of the beloved. In the best kind of sneha, the lover's heart melts simply by hearing of the beloved.
Vijaya-kumara: What are the other different kinds of sneha?
Gosvami: Sneha is also of two kinds: 1. Ghrta sneha (ghee love) and madhu-sneha (honey love).
Vijaya-kumara: What is ghrta-sneha?
Gosvami: When love is very respectful (adaramaya) it is called 'ghrta-sneha'. When ghrta-sneha is mixed with madhu sneha, the result is very palatable. Ghrta-sneha is by nature cool. When the respect (adara) is increased (ghani-bhuta), this love becomes more intense. It is called 'ghrta-sneha' because it has the qualities of ghrta (ghee).
Vijaya-kumara: What is respect (adara).
Gosvami: Respect (adara) comes from honouring others (gaurava). In this way respect and honour are interdependent. When love (rati) is manifested with them it is called, in this context, 'sneha'.
Vijaya-kumara: What is gaurava (honour).
Gosvami: When one thinks of a person as a guru, that is called 'gaurava'. From gaurava is manifested sambhrama (esteem). This is all said to be included within adara (respect). Adara and gaurava are interdependent.
Vijaya-kumara: What is madhu-sneha?
Gosvami: When the lover thinks, "The beloved is my property', then that is called 'madhu-sneha'. Many different rasas meet in this sweet love. This love is passionate and therefore it brings warmth. Because this love is sweet (madhura), there it is called 'madhu-sneha'.
Vijaya-kumara: What does it mean to think "The beloved is my property'?
Gosvami: Love is manifested in two ways. In one way the lover thinks, "I am the property of my beloved". In the other way the lover thinks, "My beloved is the property of me." In ghrta-sneha the idea "I am the property of my beloved" is prominent. In madhu-sneha the idea "My beloved is the property of me" is prominent. Candravali possesses ghrta-sneha. Radha possesses madhu-sneha.
Vijaya-kumara: (after offering dandavat obeisances to his spiritual master). What is mana?
Gosvami: When sneha becomes exalted and manifests a new kind of sweetness, the lover manifests various crooked dealings with the beloved. That is called 'mana'.
Vijaya-kumara: What are the different kinds of mana?
Gosvami: There are two kinds of mana: 1 udatta and 2 lalita.
Vijaya-kumara: What is udatta mana?
Gosvami: It is of two kinds. In one kind the lover is straightforward, open, and free of diplomacy. In the other kind the lover engages in concealment and crooked diplomacy. Udatta-mana is manifested in ghrta-sneha.
Vijaya-kumara: What is lalita-mana? I cannot say why, but somehow I feel attracted to it.
Gosvami: Lalita-mana is of two kinds. In kautilya-lalita-mana there is independence and crookedness. In narma-lalita-mana there are joking words. Both kinds of lalita-mana manifested in madhu sneha.
Vijaya-kumara: What is pranaya?
Gosvami: When the lover trusts the beloved and feels one at heart with the beloved, that is called 'pranaya'.
Vijaya-kumara: What does 'trust' (visrambha) mean in this situation?
Gosvami: The real nature of pranaya is trust, which is called 'visrambha'. Visrambha is of two kinds: 1 maitra and 2 sakhya. Visrambha means 'firm trust'. This trust is not merely the secondary cause of pranaya. It is the original cause of it, the very ingredient of which it is made.
Vijaya-kumara: What is maitra-visrambha?
Gosvami: When visrambha is joined with humility, that is called 'maitra'.
Vijaya-kumara: What is sakhya-visrambha?
Gosvami: When the lover is free from all fear and convinced that the beloved is completely under the lover's control, that is called 'sakhya-visrambha."
Vijaya-kumara: Please clearly explain how pranaya, sneha and mana are related to each other.
Gosvami: In some situations sneha gives birth to pranaya, and from pranaya mana is manifested. In other situations sneha gives birth to mana and from mana pranaya is manifested. Therefore mana and pranaya may assume both roles of either cause or effect. Visrambha requires a separate explanation. Udatta and lalita exist in both maitra and sakhya. However, in sakhya they are also called "su-maitra" and "su-sakhya".
Vijaya-kumara: What is raga?
Gosvami: When pranaya becomes exalted even great suffering is considered happiness. That stage of pranaya is called 'raga'.
Vijaya-kumara: What are the different kinds of raga?
Gosvami: There are two kinds: 1 nilima-rga and 2 raktima-raga.
Vijaya-kumara: How many kinds of nilima-raga are there?
Gosvami: There are two kinds of nilima-raga: 1 nili-raga and syama-raga.
Vijaya-kumara: What is nili-raga?
Gosvami: In this raga there is no possibility of loss of destruction. Externally there is great glory and love is concealed within the heart. That is nili-raga. Candravali manifests this raga before Lord Krishna.
Vijaya-kumara: What is syama-raga?
Gosvami: When the beloved's delay makes the worried lover water the forest plants with a stream of tears, that is called syama-raga.
Vijaya-kumara: How many kinds of raktima raga are there?"
Gosvami: Raktima raga is of two kinds: 1 kusumbha and 2 manjistha-sambhava,
Vijaya-kumara: What is kusumbha-raga?
Gosvami: When the other ragas manifest their beauty and glory, that is called 'kusumbha raga'. Kusumbha-raga rests in a particular object. When it mixes with manjistha-raga, it produces withering and melancholy in a gopi who loves Krishna (Krishna-pranayi).
Vijaya-kumara: What is manjistha-raga?
Gosvami: The eternal, unchanging, unalloyed, eternally very glorious love that Sri Sri Radha and Madhava feel for each other is called manjistha-raga. The final conclusion is that ghrta, sneha, udatta, maitra, su-maitra, nilima, and other like bhavas that have been described here are manifested in Candravali and by the queens headed by Rukmini. On the other hand, madhu, sneha, lalita, sakhya, su-sakhya, raktima, and other like bhavas are manifested in Sri Radha. Sometimes they are also seen in Satyabhama. I have already explained that the beautiful girls of Vraja are divided into many rival (sva-paksa and vipaksa) groups. In this way there is much dissension among them. When they relate to the other bhavas, these create many different features. Only panditas learned in this particular topic can understand all this. In other words, I will not give a more elaborate explanation of it.
Vijaya-kumara: To which bhavas does the phrase 'the other bhavas' refer?
Gosvami: It refers to sthayi-madhura-bhava, the 33 vyabhicari-bhavas, and the seven bhavas that begin with hasya. Thus it refers to 41 bhavas. These are the 'other bhavas' referred to here.
Vijaya-kumara: Now I understand raga. Please explain anuraga.
Gosvami: The raga that is always newer and newer and makes the beloved newer and newer at every moment is called 'anuraga'.
Vijaya-kumara: What is the glorious wonder that this raga manifests?
Gosvami: It brings the lover under the beloved's control and the beloved under the lover's control. It creates prema-vaicittya. It makes one yearn to take birth even as a very lowly being (if that birth is within the holy abode is Sri Vrindavan). It is limitless and most exalted. It makes Krishna present even when the devotee is separated from Him.
Vijaya-kumara: I can easily understand how anuraga brings the lover and beloved under each other's control and how it makes one yearn to take birth as a tree or other lowly being (within the holy abode of Sri Vrindavan). But, O master what is prema-vaicittya?
Gosvami: Prema-vaicittya is the love the devotee feels in separation from Krishna. You will learn about that later.
Vijaya-kumara: Now please describe maha-bhava.
Gosvami: O Vijaya-kumara, I am a very insignificant person. I am not really qualified to describe the wonders of the rasas of Vraja. Whatever Srila Rupa Gosvami and Srila Pandita Gosvami have mercifully taught me, I will now reveal to you. Please consider it their mercy upon you.
Vijaya-kumara: O master, I, the asker of questions and very fallen and unintelligent. Please explain maha-bhava so even my heart can understand it.
Gosvami: Sri Radha is the asraya of anuraga and Lord Krishna is the visaya. Sri Krishna, who is the son of Nanda is the visaya in madhura-rasa. Sri Radha is the asraya. Anuraga is the sthayi bhava. When that anuraga reaches its highest, most glorious stage, it is called maha-bhava.
Vijaya-kumara: Aha! Maha bhava! Maha bhava! Today I can understand something of maha-bhava. The highest point of all the bhavas is maha-bhava. Please place on my ears an example of maha-bhava.
Gosvami: O Vijaya-kumara, you are very fortunate. The following verse is an example of maha-bhava:
"Vrnda-devi said to Lord Krishna: O regal elephant who wanders in the jungles and mountains, Your amorous pastimes have shaken away Radha sadness in separation from You. With the red colour of ever-new love, the artist of Your amorous pastimes paints a glorious picture in the palace of the world."
Vijaya-kumara: Where does maha-bhava reside?
Gosvami: Maha-bhava does not reside in the Dvaraka queens. It resides only in the gopis, the goddesses of Vraja.
Vijaya-kumara: What does all this mean?
Gosvami: When the lover and beloved are bound by ties of marriage, the relationship is svakiya-rasa, and the love is samanjasa. In this situation samartha love, which brings the possibility of maha-bhava is not present. In Vraja, although svakiya-rasa is also present, parakiya rasa predominates. In the highest stage of parakiya-rasa samartha love, maha-bhava is manifested.
Vijaya-kumara: How many are the different kinds of maha bhava?
Gosvami: When it appears, maha-bhava floods the heart with nectar. Maha-bhava is of two kinds: 1 rudha and 2 adhirudha.
Vijaya-kumara: What is rudha maha bhava?
Gosvami: When all the sattvika bhavas shine very brightly, that is rudha maha-bhava.
Vijaya-kumara: Please describe the anubhavas in maha-bhava.
Gosvami: Inability to tolerate the eye's natural activity of blinking, agitating the hearts of those nearby, thinking a kalpa to be as long as a moment, worrying that Krishna may be suffering, even when it is obvious that He is happy, forgetting everything, thinking a moment to be as long as a kalpa, and although they are not bewildered, they forget everything about themselves. These anubhavas are present in both meeting the beloved (sambhoga) and separation from the beloved (vipralambha).
Vijaya-kumara: What is 'inability to tolerate the eye's natural activity of blinking'?
Gosvami: In this bhava the feeling of separation (vipralambha) is present in meeting (sambhoga). Here the lover is unable to tolerate even a brief moment's separation from the beloved. At Kuruksetra the vraja-gopis cursed the creator Brahma for creating eyelashes that impeded their always seeing Krishna. And why not? The blinking of their eyelashes became an obstacle that stopped them from seeing Krishna for a moment.
Vijaya-kumara: What is 'agitating the hearts of those nearby'?
Gosvami: When they saw the gopis' ecstatic love, the kings and queens present at Kuruksetra felt deeply moved at heart.
Vijaya-kumara: What is 'thinking a kalpa to be as long as a moment'?
Gosvami: The rasa dance lasted for an entire night of Brahma. Still, the gopis thought it lasted for only a moment.
Vijaya-kumara: What is 'worrying that Krishna may be suffering, even when it is obvious that He is happy'?
Gosvami: In Srimad Bhagavatam (10.31.19) the gopis worry that Krishna will suffer if He places His lotus feet on their hard breasts.
Vijaya-kumara: What is 'although they are not bewildered they forget everything about themselves'?
Gosvami: Because Krishna is always present before them, they are not bewildered. However, when Krishna is present, they forget everything about their own bodies and about everything else in the material world.
Vijaya-kumara: What is 'thinking a moment to be as long as a kalpa'?
Gosvami: Krishna said to Uddhava, "When I was with the gopis in Vrindavan, all the nights seemed to pass like half a moment. But now that I am separated from them, every night seems like a kalpa." This is an example of 'thinking a moment to be as long as a kalpa'?
Vijaya-kumara: Now I understand the rudha-bhavas. Please describe the adhirudha-bhavas.
Gosvami: When these rudha-bhava anubhavas I have just described become very wonderful, they become the adhirudha-bhavas.
Vijaya-kumara: How many kinds of adhirudha-bhava are there?
Gosvami: There are two kinds: 1 modana and 2 madana.
Vijaya-kumara: What is modana?
Gosvami: When Radha and Krishna both feel adhirudha-bhava, and when They both manifest all the sattvika-bhavas with the most brilliant glory, that is called 'modana'. In modana-bhava Radha and Krishna both become very agitated. This condition is the highest good fortune of spiritual love manifested among the gopi lovers of Lord Krishna.
Vijaya-kumara: Where does modana-bhava reside?
Gosvami: Modana-bhava does not reside outside of Sri Radha's group. Modana-bhava is manifested in the very dear pastimes of the hladini-shakti. When the lovers are separated, modana gives birth to mohana. When there is great distress because of separation, the sattvika-bhavas are very brilliantly manifest.
Vijaya-kumara: Please describe the anubhavas of mohana?
Gosvami: Embraced by His beloved, Krishna falls unconscious. Although she suffers unbearably, a gopi still thinks only of how Krishna will be happy. Thirsting for the touch of Krishna, a gopi becomes mad and decides to commit suicide, thus filling the spiritual and material worlds with anxiety and making the nearby animals weep. Mohana-bhava is possible in Sri Radha, the queen of Vrindavan. These mohana vyabhicari-bhavas are not present in anyone but Radha.
Vijaya-kumara: O master, if you think it is right, then please describe divyonmada (transcendental madness).
Gosvami: When it enters a certain indescribable state, mohana-bhava becomes like a bewildered condition. This very surprising and wonderful state is called 'divyonmada'. This state has many different divisions, such as udghurna (agitation) and citra-jalpa (surprising talk).
Vijaya-kumara: What is udghurna?
Gosvami: Many different kinds of activities can be called 'udghurna'. When Krishna went to Mathura, Sri Radha manifested udghurna.
Vijaya-kumara: What is citra-jalpa?
Gosvami: Seeing one of the beloved's friends, with wonderful anger the lover harshly expresses her anxiety and longing. This is called 'citra-jalpa'.
Vijaya-kumara: What are the different kinds of citra-jalpa?
Gosvami: The ten kinds of citra-jalpa are: 1 prajalpa, 2 parijapita, 3 vijalpa, 4 ujjalpa, 5 sanjalpa, 6 avajalpa, 7 abhijalpa, 8 ajalpa, 9 pratijalpa, and 10 sujalpa. All these different kinds of citra-jalpa are manifested in the Bhramara-gita chapter of Srimad Bhagavatam's Tenth Canto.
Vijaya-kumara: What is prajalpa?
Gosvami: Citra-jalpa has numberless wonderful forms. Therefore it is very difficult to describe it with any kind of completeness. When the lover spitefully, maliciously, and passionately insults the beloved, that is called 'prajalpa'.
Vijaya-kumara: What is parijalpita?
Gosvami: When the lover claims that the beloved, who is the master of her heart, is merciless, crooked, and fickle is called 'parijalpita."
Vijaya-kumara: What is vijalpa?
Gosvami: When in the heart one honours and loves Krishna, although externally one casts spiteful glances and speaks spiteful words, is called 'vijalpa'.
Vijaya-kumara: What is ujjalpa?
Gosvami: When the lover angrily, arrogantly and spitefully insults Krishna, calling Him a rake and a rogue that is called 'ujjalpa'.
Vijaya-kumara: What is sanjalpa?
Gosvami: When the lover mocks Krishna with many sarcastic words and asserts that Krishna is ungrateful, that is called 'sanjalpa'.
Vijaya-kumara: What is avajalpa?
Gosvami: When the lover says that because Krishna is harsh, lusty and crooked, she is afraid of what loving Krishna may bring, that is called 'avajalpa'.
Vijaya-kumara: What is abhijalpa?
Gosvami: When the lover says, "It is foolish and useless to fall in love with Krishna. He is so cruel he tortures even the innocent birds." These crooked words are called 'abhijalpa'.
Vijaya-kumara: What is ajalpa?
Gosvami: When the lover, filled with disgust, declares, "Krishna is crooked and deceptive. He only gives us pain. We should stop talking of Him, and instead talk about something else, something more pleasant." That is called ajalpa.
Vijaya-kumara: What is pratijalpa?
Gosvami: When the lover declares, "Krishna is a highwayman in loving affairs. He is a rake who likes to enjoy pastimes with many girls. Therefore he should not come anywhere near me." That is called 'pratijalpa'.
Vijaya-kumara: What is sujalpa?
Gosvami: When the lover sincerely, deeply, humbly, and restlessly asks many questions about Krishna, that is called 'sujalpa'.
Vijaya-kumara: O master, am I qualified to understand madana?
Gosvami: When the most exalted love of the hladini-shakti, a love that is the best of all the bhavas, is splendidly manifested, that is called 'madana'. Madana-bhava is eternally manifested in Sri Radha.
Vijaya-kumara: Does envy exist in madana-bhava?
Gosvami: Envy is very prominent in madana-bhava. It is seen that even inanimate objects are envied. Again, sometimes it is seen that words of praise are offered to all who have a relationship with Krishna. Words describing envy of Krishna's flute and words praising the pulinda girls may be cited as examples here.
Vijaya-kumara: At what stage is madana seen?
Gosvami: The wonderful madana-bhava is manifested when the lover's meet and enjoy pastimes together. Madana-bhava is manifest in thousands of ways in the eternal pastimes.
Vijaya-kumara: O master, do the great sages give a description of madana-bhava?
Gosvami: Madana-rasa is limitless. Even Lord Krishna Himself could not understand everything about the spiritual madana-rasa. The great sage Sukadeva Gosvami found himself unable to describe it completely. The rasa-acarya Bharata Muni and many others were also unable to properly describe madana-rasa.
Vijaya-kumara: What wonderful things have I heard! Even Lord Krishna Himself, the enjoyer of madana-rasa, cannot understand it completely. Why is that?
Gosvami: Lord Krishna is rasa personified. He is limitless, all knowing, and all powerful. Nothing is unknown by Him, unattainable for Him, or impossible for Him to do. He is inconceivably and simultaneously one and different from the rasas. He is each rasa and He is all rasas. He accepts each rasa. In this way He is 'atmarama' (the enjoyer of the spiritual rasas). Nothing in the rasas is apart from Him. He is present in all the rasas simultaneously. Aside from Krishna's own (atma) rasa, there is also the rasa of others (para). Both these kinds of rasas bring the experience of the happiness of spiritual pastimes. When the rasa of others (para) is manifest in its highest stage, it is called 'parakiya-rasa'. This highest stage is manifested in all its glory in the land of Vrindavan. When the atma-rasa (svakiya-rasa) is completely unknown, and only parakiya-rasa is known, that is the highest stage of madana-rasa. In this way madana-rasa is purely manifested in the Lord's aprakata (invisible to material eyes) pastimes in Goloka. It is also manifested in the land of Vraja situated in the material world.
Vijaya-kumara: O master, you mercy to me has no limit. I request that you please give a summary of the whole madhura-rasa.
Gosvami: The various bhavas manifested by the vraja gopis are all spiritual, beyond the touch of the material world. They are beyond the understanding of material logic. Therefore the human intelligence cannot describe the completely. I have heard in the scriptures that Sri Radha had raga (love) for Krishna was manifested even in Her purva-raga (the beginnings of love). From this raga came the anuraga sneha. From that came mana and pranaya. These topics cannot be understood completely. In sadharani-rati is manifested dhumayita. Sneha, mana, pranaya, raga and anuraga are manifested in samanjasa-rati. From that comes splendid dipta-rati. Then are manifested rudha, uddipta, modana, and sudipta-rati. Please know that this is merely a general summary. And why not? There may be exceptions according to time, place and object. Sadharani-rati culminates in prema. Samanjasa-rati culminates in anuraga. Samartha-rati culminates in maha-bhava.
Vijaya-kumara: What is the extent of rati in sakhya-rasa?
Gosvami: The highest stage of the narma-sakhas is anuraga. However, Subala and some others among them attain maha-bhava.
Vijaya-kumara: I have already described sthayi-bhava. Sthayi bhava culminates in maha-bhava. Why are different rasas seen in sthayi bhava, even though it has only one nature?
Gosvami: Sthayi-bhava is manifested in the different rasas. The secret activities of sthayi bhava are not openly manifested. When there is contact with the samagris, then the different rasas may be seen. The appropriate samagris are manifested in sthayi-bhava.
Vijaya-kumara: Are svakiya-rasa and parakiya rasa both eternally manifested in madhura-rasa?
Gosvami: Yes. Svakiya and parakiya are both eternal. The difference between them is not merely a material designation. If the difference between them were material, the madhura rasa and the other rasas would all be material in nature. The rasas are eternal, and they are manifested eternally. In the rasas there are ruci (attraction to Krishna), bhajana (service to Krishna), and prapti (attainment of Krishna), bhajana (service to Krishna), and prapti (attainment of Krishna). Svakiya-rasa is also present in Vraja. In that rasa the devotee thinks of Krishna as her husband. In that rasa, ruci, sadhana, (spiritual practice), bhajana, and prapti are all manifested. The svakiya-rasa manifest in Dvaraka is the same as that of Vaikuntha. However, please know that the svakiya-rasa of Vraja is different from the rasas of Goloka. In other words, Lord Krishna, the master of Vraja, resides in the highest portion of the Vaikuntha world.
With great love Vijaya-kumara offered dandavat obeisances and returned to his residence.
Again and again relishing the sweetness of the bhavas, Vijaya-kumara offered dandavat obeisances to his spiritual master's lotus feet. He asked, "O master, I have understood vibhava, anubhava, sattvika-bhava, and vyabhicari-bhava. I have also understood sthayi-bhava. However the rasa that comes from the meeting of the sthayi bhava with the previously described four ingredients has not yet manifested within me. Why is that?"
Gosvami: O Vijaya-kumara, you should understand about the rasa called srngara-rasa. Only then will you be able to understand the sweetness of sthayi bhava.
Vijaya-kumura: What is srngara-rasa?
Gosvami: When madhura-rasa becomes very beautiful, it is called 'srngara-rasa'. This rasa is of two kinds: 1 vipralambha (separation) and 2 sambhoga (enjoyment).
Vijaya-kumara: I wish to learn about vipralambha.
Gosvami: Whether they meet or not, the two youthful lovers, yearn to embrace and enjoy many pastimes. When these desires remain unfulfilled, their love (bhava) becomes very great. This most intense emotional state, which make the happiness of meeting all the greater, is called 'vipralambha'. The word 'vipralambha' means parting (viraha) or separation (viyoga).
Vijaya-kumara: How does vipralambha make the happiness of sambhoga (meeting) greater?
Gosvami: When a red cloth is polaced again into red dye, the cloth is made even more red. In the same way, vipralambha increases the enjoyment of the lovers when they finally meet. Without vipralambha, the enjoyment of sambhoga does not become increased.
Vijaya-kumara: What are the different kinds of vipralambha?
Gosvami: There are four kinds of vipralambha: 1 purva-raga, 2 mana, 3 prema-vaicittya and 4 pravasa.
Vijaya-kumara: What is purva-raga?
Gosvami: Before the young lovers meet they may somehow see each other, hear of each other, or in some other way come to know of each other. When, by these activities they become attracted to each other and begin to fall in love, that is called 'purva-raga'.
Vijaya-kumara: What are the different ways they may see each other?
Gosvami: The lover may see Krishna directly, see a picture of Him, or see Him in a dream. These ways of seeing Him are called 'darsana'.
Vijaya-kumara: What are the different ways they may hear of each other?
Gosvami: They may hear from the mouth of a poet reciting prayers, from the mouth of a gopi-friend, from the mouth of a gopi-messenger, or from a song, or in some other way. That is called 'sravana'.
Vijaya-kumara: What causes them to be attracted and fall in love (rati).
Gosvami: I have already described the many causes of rati, causes that begin with abhiyoga. These are said to be the causes in purva-raga also.
Vijaya-kumara: Who attains purva-raga first: Krishna or the gopis?
Gosvami: This may be considered in different ways. In the material world woman are shy and posses other feminine qualities. For this reason it is the man who pursues the woman. However, it is also said that women are naturally more attracted to the affairs of love, and therefore doe-eyed women feel purva-raga first. In the Bhakti-sastras it is that the devotee feels purva-raga first, and the Supreme Personality of Godhead feels purva-raga afterward. Therefore it is said that the vraja-gopis feel purva-raga most intensely, and they feel it first.
Vijaya-kumara: What are the vyabhicari-bhavas in purva-raga?
Gosvami: Included among the vyabhicari-bhavas in purva-raga are: disease, doubt, envy, fatigue, disappointment, eagerness, humility, anxiety, dizziness, alertness, lamentation, inertness, madness, confusion, and death.
Vijaya-kumara: How many different kinds of purva-raga are there?
Gosvami: There are three kinds of purva-raga: 1 praudha, 2 samanjasa and 3 sadharana.
Vijaya-kumara: What is praudha purva-raga?
Gosvami: When it is manifested in samartha-rati, purva-raga is manifested as praudha-purva-raga. In this kind of purva-raga, yearning, death, and other conditions of life are manifested. The vyabhicari-bhavas are filled with yearnings.
Vijaya-kumara: Please describe these different conditions of life.
Gosvami: It is said in the Ujjvala-nilamani:
"Yearning, anxiety, wakefulness, emaciation, being stunned, bewilderment, disease, madness, illusion and death are the ten conditions present in purva-raga."
Vijaya-kumara: What is yearning?
Gosvami: Yearning is an intense desire to attain the beloved. In it eagerness, restlessness, moving to and fro, sighing and other like symptoms are manifested.
Vijaya-kumara: What is anxiety?
Gosvami: Anxiety is when the mind is restless. In this condition there are deep sighs, restlessness, being stunned, worry, tears, becoming pale, perspiring and other like symptoms.
Vijaya-kumara: What is wakefulness?
Gosvami: Wakefulness is when sleep is destroyed. In this condition there are being stunned, being withered, being angry, and other like symptoms.
Vijaya-kumara: What is emaciation?
Gosvami: Emaciation is when the body becomes very thin. In this condition there are weakness, giddiness, and other like symptoms. In some texts the word 'vilapa' (lamentation) is read here.
Vijaya-kumara: What is being stunned?
Gosvami: Inability to see any difference between what is desirable and what is not desirable, failure to answer questions, and the ability to see or hear are present when one is stunned. Inarticulate sounds made suddenly and for no reason, inertness, long sighs and bewilderment are also included among the symptoms here.
Vijaya-kumara: What is bewilderment?
Gosvami: The state of being deeply upset and thus unable to cope is called bewilderment. In this condition there are disappointment, melancholy, envy, and loss of discrimination.
Vijaya-kumara: What is disease?
Gosvami: Disease is when, because of being unable to attain the beloved, one become pale and feverish. In that condition one yearns for coolness, one is bewildered, one sighs and one falls to the ground.
Vijaya-kumara: What is madness?
Gosvami: When, in every place, every condition and every time one is bewildered and says things are other than they actually are, that is called madness. Hatred of the beloved, sighing, blinking of the eyes, and separation from the beloved are included in madness.
Vijaya-kumara: What is illusion?
Gosvami: When the mind acts in a contrary, improper way, that is called illusion. Being motionless and fainting occur in illusion.
Vijaya-kumara: What is death?
Gosvami: When, in spite of all efforts to make Him return, the beloved does not return, the lover, tormented by love, yearns for her own death. She bequeaths to her friends all her favourite things: the bumblebees, the gentle breeze, the moonlight, and the kadamba flowers. This is the anubhava.
Vijaya-kumara: What is samanjasa purva-raga?
Gosvami: Samanjasa purva-raga is manifested in samanjasa-rati. In it are manifested desire, thoughtfulness, remembrance, glorifying the beloved's virtues, passion, lamentation, madness, disease, being stunned, and death.
Vijaya-kumara: In this context what is desire?
Gosvami: To yearn for the touch of the beloved is called 'desire'. To attain this desire the lover decorates herself with ornaments and reveals her passion.
Vijaya-kumara: In this context what is thoughtfulness?
Gosvami: To think of different ways to attain the beloved is called thoughtfulness. In this situation the lover carefully arranges the bed, sighs, and anxiously looks to see the beloved's arrival.
Vijaya-kumara: In this context what is remembrance?
Gosvami: To think of the beloved and things in relation to Him is called remembrance. In this situation the lover trembles, has a seizure where she loses control of her limbs, weeps, sighs, and performs other like activities.
Vijaya-kumara: What is glorifying the beloved's virtues?
Gosvami: To praise the beloved's handsomeness and other virtues is called glorifying the beloved's virtues. In this situation the anubhavas include trembling, standing up of the body's and choking of the voice. In this situation anxiety, mad lamentation, disease, being stunned, and death are manifested in samanjasa purva-raga as they are also in samanjasa-rati.
Vijaya-kumara: O master, please describe sadharana purva-raga.
Gosvami: Sadharana samanjasa purva raga is like sadharana-rati. In it are manifested the six conditions beginning with lamentation, only their manifestation is softer. The situation is natural, so there is no need to give any examples. In this purva-raga the lovers send love letters, garlands and other things to be placed in each other's hands.
Vijaya-kumara: What are the love-letters?
Gosvami: Love-letters are of two kinds: 1 those that are not written with words, and 2 those that are written with words. Because in them the author reveals His or Her love, they are called 'love-letters'.
Vijaya-kumara: What are the love letters that are not written with words?
Gosvami: Without drawing any words, the author may use her fingernail to draw a half-moon on a red flower petal or leaf. That is called 'a letter written without any words'.
Vijaya-kumara: What is a love-letter that is written with words?
Gosvami: When the lover personally writes with His or Her own hand verses in the Prakrt language, that is called a 'love letter that is written with words'. The ink for the letter may be red hingula, musk or black ashes and water. The pages of the letter are extraordinarily large flower petals. The stamp to seal the letter is made of kunkuma. Lotus fibers are the string to tie the pages together.
Vijaya-kumara: What is the sequence of events in purva-raga?
Gosvami: First there is the sight of something pleasing to the eye. Then there is thinking of what one has seen. Then there is attachment, then yearning, then loss of sleep, then becoming emaciated, then renouncing all else, then destruction of shyness, then madness, then falling unconscious and then death. These are the stages of love. These stages are manifested in both the hero and the heroine. However, they are manifested first in the heroines and only later in Krishna.
Vijaya-kumara: What is jealous anger?
Gosvami: When the lovers meet, but the heroine will not allow her lover to touch her, that is called jealous anger. Disgust, anxiety, restlessness, arrogance, envy, concealment, loss and worry are included among the sancari-bhavas in jealous anger.
Vijaya-kumara: Where does jealous anger rest?
Gosvami: Jealous anger rests in pranaya (love). Before pranaya exists jealous anger cannot be said truly to exist. If it exists at all, it is very stunted. Jealous anger is of two kinds: 1 with a cause, and 2 without a cause.
Vijaya-kumara: What is jealous anger with a cause?
Gosvami: When the beloved gives His affection to a rival, and the lover feels jealous anger mixed with love (pranaya), that is called jealous anger with a cause. The ancient sages affirm that without sneha, fear is not possible, and without pranaya, jealous anger is not possible. Therefore, when jealous anger is manifested, this reveals the love felt by the hero and heroine. A girl who sincerely loves her beloved cannot bear the idea of a rival for her beloved's affections. When the Dvaraka queens heard that Krishna had given a parijata flower to Rukmini, jealous anger arose only in the heart of Satyabhama and not in the heart of any other queen.
Vijaya-kumara: In what different ways is the rival (vipaksa) discovered?
Gosvami: There are three ways: 1 the lover hears about her rival, 2 she suspects the rival's existence, and 3 she sees the rival in a dream.
Vijaya-kumara: What is hearing about the rival?
Gosvami: The lover may hear from the mouth of one of her friends, from the mouth of a parrot, or from the mouth of someone else. In these ways she hears about her rival.
Vijaya-kumara: How does she suspect her rival's existence?
Gosvami: She may see the marks of amorous enjoyment, hear the name of her rival accidentally spoken, or see her rival in a dream. In these ways she may suspect the existence of a rival. On the limbs of her beloved she may see various signs of His having enjoyed with another girl. That is called 'seeing the marks of enjoyment'. Her beloved may accidentally speak the name of a rival. That is called, 'hearing the name of her rival accidentally spoke'. These things make the heroine so sad that she wishes she were dead. In a dream the lover may see Krishna and a rival beloved. This is called 'seeing the rival in a dream".
Vijaya-kumara: What is directly seeing the rival?
Gosvami: The girl may directly see her beloved enjoying pastimes with a rival. That is called 'directly seeing the rival'.
Vijaya-kumara: What is jealous anger without a cause?
Gosvami: When there is no real cause, but there is only a flimsy reflection of a cause, and the heroin takes shelter of pranaya (love), the result is jealous anger without a cause. Jealous anger with a cause is itself a transformation of pranaya. When the pastimes of pranaya are manifested, one by product is the creation of jealous anger without a cause. This kind of jealous anger is called 'pranaya-mana'. The ancient panditas declare that spiritual love moves in a crooked way, like the movements of a snake. That is why the heroine manifests these two kinds of jealous anger, anger with and without a cause. This rasa has many vyabhicari-bhavas. Among them concealment is the most important.
Vijaya-kumara: How does the beloved pacify jealous anger without a cause?
Gosvami: Jealous anger without a cause will be pacified spontaneously. No effort is needed to pacify it. In the course of joking and other like pastimes, it will go away. Jealous anger with a cause will be pacified when there are conciliation, quarrel, giving a gift, and bowing down to offer respects. Jealous anger may also be pacified by shedding tears, by joking pastimes, or in other ways also.
Vijaya-kumara: What is conciliation?
Gosvami: Speaking affectionate words is called 'conciliation'.
Vijaya-kumara: What is quarrel?
Gosvami: Quarrel is of two kinds: 1 crookedly praising one's own glories, and 2 using a friend to criticise the beloved.
Vijaya-kumara: What is giving a gift?
Gosvami: When on some pretext an ornament or other gift is given to the jealous beloved, that is called 'giving a gift'.
Vijaya-kumara: What is bowing down to offer respects?
Gosvami: When the lover humbly falls at the feet of the jealous beloved, that is called 'bowing down to offer respects."
Vijaya-kumara: What is 'upeksa'?
Gosvami: When, seeing that neither conciliation nor any other means will pacify His jealous beloved, the lover simply remains silent, that is called 'upeksa'. Some scholars say that 'upeksa' here means that by speaking joking words the lover pacifies His jealous beloved.
Vijaya-kumara: You used the word 'rasantara'. What does that word mean?
Gosvami: To speak words that bring sudden fear to the jealous beloved is called 'rasantara'. Rasantara is of two kinds: 1 yadrcchika and 2 buddhi-purvaka. When it occurs accidentally it is called 'yadrcchika'. When it happens because of the lover's great intelligence it is called 'buddhi-purvaka'.
Vijaya-kumara: In what other ways can the lover break His beloved's jealous anger?
Gosvami: One way is to play the flute at an appropriate time and place. There are also other ways to remove the jealous anger of the vraja-gopis. A small among of jealous anger may be easily pacified. A moderate amount of jealous anger may require some effort. Intense jealous anger is difficult to pacify, even with great effort. When a gopi expresses her jealous anger at Krishna, she may say, 'O crooked one, O crest-jewel of the malicious, O king of cheaters, O king of the deceivers, O best of the wicked, O great demon, O hard-hearted one, O shameless one, O rake whose playing is a host of sins, O lecher who hunts out the gopis, O thief of beautiful girls' hearts. O destroyer of the gopis' piety, O rake who mocks the saintly gopis, O king of the debauchees, O great darkness of sins, O thief of the gopis' garments, O highwayman who lurks in the valley of Govardhana Hill!"
Vijaya-kumara: What is 'prema-vaicittya'?
Gosvami: When, even though her beloved is present before her, a girl suffers, mistakenly thinking He is far away, that is called 'prema-vaicitya'. When she is so overwhelmed with intense love that her mind mistakenly thinks her beloved is far away, that is called 'vaicittya'.
Vijaya-kumara: What is 'pravasa'?
Gosvami: When, although previously they were together, the hero and heroine now stay in different countries, different towns, different rasas, or different localities, that is called 'pravasa'. The vyabhicaris of the pravasa separation are all the vyabhicaris of srngara-rasa except for joy, pride, passion, and shyness. Pravasa is of two kinds: 1 buddhi-purvaka and 2 abuddhi-purvaka.
Vijaya-kumara: What is buddhi-purvaka pravasa?
Gosvami: When the beloved goes far away to perform a specific duty, that is called 'buddhi-purvaka pravasa'. Krishna's duty in this situation is to give pleasure to His devotees. This kind of pravasa is of two kinds: 1 going a short distance, and 2 going far away. When the journey is far away, it is of three kinds: 1 future, 2 present, and 3 past. When the journey is far away, the lovers exchange letters.
Vijaya-kumara: What is abuddhi-purvaka-pravasa?
Gosvami: When fate forces the beloved to live far away that is called 'abuddhi-purvaka pravasa'. In the grip of the demigods or other forces, the lovers are forced into many different situations. Anxiety, sleeplessness, agitation, being emaciated, bodily limbs becoming discoloured, wild talking, disease, madness, bewilderment, and death are the ten conditions of life in this kind of pravasa. When Krishna goes far away, all these ten conditions of life are manifested. O Vijaya-kumara, these different kinds of spiritual love (prema) and these ten conditions of life can be understood only by mercy. Without mercy they cannot be understood.
Vijaya-kumara: When my heart thinks about this description of separation, it says that separation is not an end in itself. Rather, it is meant to increase the ocean of pleasure the lovers feel when they meet. Although a soul imprisoned by Maya will prefer the ocean of happiness obtained in meeting and think it better than the rasa of separation, still, the rasas of separation is eternally manifested. The Lord's pastimes would not be so wonderful if it were absent.
Folding his palms, Vijaya-kumara asked his spiritual master about sambhoga (enjoyment in meeting).
Gosvami: Sri Krishna's pastimes are of two kinds: 1 prakata (manifested and 2 aprakata (unmanifested). The separation from Krishna I described occurs in the prakata pastimes. In Vrindavan Krishna eternally enjoys the rasa dance and other pastimes with the gopis. Therefore, because these pastimes are eternal, Krishna and the gopis are never separated. In the Mathura mahatmya it is said that Krishna eternally enjoys pastimes with the gopas and gopis. There the verb 'kridati' (enjoys pastimes), which is in the present tense, affirms that Lord Krishna eternally enjoys pastimes in Vrindavan. Therefore in Goloka or in Vrindavan, in Lord Krishna's aprakata (unmanifested) pastimes, Krishna and the gopis always enjoy together. Krishna never goes to a faraway place. There is no separation. Gazing at each other, embracing and enjoying many pastimes, Krishna eternally enjoys (sambhoga) with the gopis. This enjoyment (sambhoga) is of two kinds: 1 mukhya (primary) and 2 gauna (secondary).
Vijaya-kumara: What is mukhya sambhoga?
Gosvami: When Krishna and the gopis enjoy while they are awake, that is called 'mukhya-sambhoga'. Mukhya-sambhoga is of four kinds. The sambhoga that occurs soon after the purva raga is called sanksipta (brief). The sambhoga that occurs after jealous anger is called 'sankirna' (narrow). The sambhoga that occurs after a nearby pravasa (journey) is called 'sampanna' (fortunate). The sambhoga that occurs after a faraway journey is called 'samrddhiman' (opulent).
Vijaya-kumara: What is sanksipta-sambhoga?
Gosvami: When fear, shyness, and other like emotions keep the meeting brief, that is called 'sanksipta-sambhoga'.
Vijaya-kumara: What is sankirna-sambhoga?
Gosvami: When the lovers worry that an unpleasant obstacle may thwart their pastimes, and therefore Their enjoyment becomes like drinking hot sugar cane juice, that is called 'sakirna-sambhoga'.
Vijaya-kumara: What is sampanna-sambhoga?
Gosvami: When, after a long journey the lover meets His beloved, Their enjoyment is called 'sampanna-sambhoga'. This sambhoga is of two kinds: 1 agati and 2 pradhurbhava. An ordinary meeting is called 'agati'. When the two passionate lovers accidentally and suddenly come face-to-face, that is called pradhurbhava. Pradhurbhava brings a great festival of the best transcendental happiness.
Vijaya-kumara: What is samrddhiman sambhoga?
Gosvami: This is when the young lovers have a rare opportunity to see each other. And why not? Because they are under the control of others, this does not always happen. Now that they are free from the control of others, they can enjoy without any obstacles. This is called 'samrddhiman sambhoga'. This sambhoga is of two kinds: 1 concealed and 2 openly manifested. I need not describe them now.
Vijaya-kumara: What is gauna-sambhoga?
Gosvami: When one enjoys pastimes with Krishna in a dream, that is called 'gauna-sambhoga'. These dreams are of two kinds: 1 samanya (general) and 2 visesa (specific). This gauna sambhoga is of two kinds. When the vyabhicari-bhava sleep is prominent, it is samanya gauna sambhoga. Visesa gauna-sambhoga is when one awakens from the dream and sees that the waking reality is exactly the same as the dream. Thus the meeting with Krishna in the waking state is exactly like the meeting with Him in the dream. This rasa is filled with the yearnings of love. The four divisions of sanksipta, sankirna, sampanna, and samrddhiman also exist in gauna sambhoga.
Vijaya-kumara: Dreams aren't real. How can samrddhiman sambhoga occur in a dream?
Gosvami: In the spiritual world waking and dreaming are the same. Usa and Aniruddha met in a dream. In the same way Krishna and His beloved gopis can meet in Their dreams. Perfected devotees (siddha-bhakta) sometimes have very wonderful dreams, and when they awaken they attain an ornament or something else that they first saw in the dream. These dreams are of two kinds: 1 being awake when one is dreaming, and 2 dreaming when one is awake. The gopis' dreams, which are filled with spiritual love are in the fifth condition of life, far beyond the yogis samadhi, which is in the fourth condition of life. Thus the gopis' dreams are not at all like material dreams, which are born from the mode of passion. This means that the gopis' dreams are not material and are not impelled by the material modes of nature. Rather, they are eternal spiritual reality. Therefore Lord Krishna can certainly enjoy wonderful pastimes with the gopis in their dreams.
Vijaya-kumara: Please describe visesa-gauna-sambhoga.
Gosvami: The following are all the visesa gauna sambhoga (special situations of meeting): seeing, talking, touching, blocking the path, putting an obstacle on the path, pastimes in a house, pastimes in Vrindavan forest, pastimes in the Yamuna's waters, pastimes in a boat, pastimes of stealing flowers, pastimes at a ghata (the dana-keli pastime), playing hide-and-seek in the forest, drinking madhu nectar, Krishna disguising Himself as a woman, pretending to be asleep, gambling with dice, tugging at garments, kissing, embracing, scratching with fingernails, drinking the nectar of each other's bimba fruit lips, and enjoying amorous pastimes.
Vijaya-kumara: O master, playful pastimes (lila-vilasa) is one thing, meeting (samprayoga) is another thing. Of the two, which brings the most happiness?
Gosvami: Playful pastimes (lila-vilasa) bring more happiness than meeting (samprayoga).
Vijaya-kumara: With what affectionate names do the gopis address Krishna?
Gosvami: The gopis address Krishna with the following affectionate names: Gokulananda (O bliss of Gokula), Govinda (O pleasure of the cows, land and senses), Gosthendra-kula-candra (O moon born from the king of Vraja), Pranesvara (O master of our lives), Sundarottamsa (O crown of all handsome men), Nagara-siromani (O crest-jewel of amorous heroes), Vrindavan-candra (O moon of Vrindavan), Gokula-raja (O king of Gokula), and Manohara (O enchanter of our hearts). There are many other names also.
Vijaya-kumara: O master, Lord Krishna's pastimes are of two kinds: 1 prakara (manifested) and 2 aprakata (unmanifested). Still, all His pastimes are the same spiritual reality. What are the different kinds of His prakata pastimes in Vraja?
Gosvami: The Lord's prakara pastimes in Vraja are of two kinds: 1 nitya (regular) and 2 naimittika (for some special occasion). The Lord's asta-kaliya-lila (pastimes in the eight periods of the day) in Vraja are His nitya pastimes. Other pastimes, like His killing Putana and other demons, and His going far away on a journey are His naimittika pastimes.
Vijaya-kumara: O master, I wish to learn about the Lord's nitya-pastimes.
Gosvami: O Vijaya-kumara, would you like to hear the description given by the ancient sages, would you like to hear the description given by the Six Gosvamis?
Vijaya-kumara: I would like to hear the descriptions given by the ancient sages.
Gosvami: It is said:
"The eight periods of the day are: 1 the end of night, 2 the early morning, 3 the late morning, 4 midday, 5 the afternoon, 6 sunset, 7 evening, and 8 night. Midday and night last for six muhurtas each. Evening and the other periods last for three muhurtas each."
Two dandas (24 minutes) equal one muhurta (48 minutes). In the Sanat-kumara-samhita, Lord SadaShiva described Lord Krishna's pastimes in these eight periods of the day.
Vijaya-kumara: O master, am I qualified to hear these words of Lord SadaShiva, the spiritual master of the universe?
Gosvami: Please listen. Lord SadaShiva said (Sanat-kumara-samhita 183-188):
"Thinking of Him as their paramour, with hidden love the gopis please their beloved Krishna.
"One should think of oneself as a beautiful young gopi girl expert in various arts, pleasing to Lord Krishna, reluctant to directly enjoy with Lord Krishna even if He were personally to invite you...
...a follower of Sri Radha, always devoted to Her service, more affectionate to Sri Radha than to Lord Krishna Himself...
...every day carefully and affectionately arranging the meeting of Sri Sri Radha-Krishna, and becoming happy to see Them pleased by your service.
"Thinking of oneself in this way, one should serve Sri Sri Radha-Krishna from the early morning of Brahma-muhurta to the end of night.'
Vijaya-kumara: what are the pastimes at the end of night?
Gosvami: Sri Vrnda-devi said (Sri Sanat-kumara-samhita 196-201):
"In the middle of beautiful Vrindavan fore, which is decorated with fifty groves, in a grove of kalpa-vrksa trees, in a glittering jewel palace...
...on a graceful be, the sleeping, tightly embracing divine couple were awakened by birds following my command.
"Their firm embrace broken, the divine couple became unhappy at the thought of Their impending separation. They had no wish to rise even slightly from Their bed.
"Awakened by the cheerful words of many parrots and other birds, Sri Sri Radha-Krishna rose from Their bed.
"Seeing that the divine couple had happily risen from bed, the gopis entered and served Them in ways appropriate to that time.
"When the female parrots spoke, the divine couple rose from Their bed. Very anxious, They returned to Their homes."
Vijaya-kumara: What are the pastimes in the early morning?
Gosvami: There it is said (Sri Sanat-kumara-samhita 202-218):
"Wakened by His mother in the early morning, Lord Krishna rose from bed. Then He and Balarama brushed Their teeth.
"With His mother's permission, Lord Krishna eagerly went to the barn to milk the cows. Then Sri Radha, wakened by the elder gopis, also rose from Her bed.
"Sri Radha rose, brushed Her teeth, anointed Herself with fragrant oils, and then went to the bathing room, where Lalita and the other gopis bathed Her.
"Then She went to the decorating room, where Her friends decorated Her with garlands, scents, oils, and many glittering ornaments.
"Then, after first speaking to Radha's mother-in-law, Yasoda called Radha and Her friends to cook breakfast for Lord Krishna.
"Sri Narada said: O goddess, why did Yasoda call Sri Radha to cook when Rohini and so many other expert cooks were present in her home?
"Sri Vrnda said: The great sage Durvasa gave Radha a boon that She would be the best of cooks. This I heard from the mouth of Katyayani.
"Durvasa said to Radha: O goddess, by my mercy whatever You cook will be more delicious than nectar. It will increase the life of whoever eats it.
"That is why every day Yasoda calls Radha to cook. Yasoda thinks, "Eager to eat this delicious food my son will live a very long life."
"Receiving permission from Her mother-in-law, Radha becomes very happy. Accompanied by a host of friends, She goes to Krishna's home to cook.
"Meanwhile, Lord Krishna milked some cows and had the other boys milk the others. Then, called by His father, He and His friends returned home.
"Then the servants happily massaged Lord Krishna, bathed Him, dressed Him in clean garments, garlanded Him and anointed His body with sandal paste.
"Then the servants gathered Lord Krishna's hair from His forehead to His neck and tied it in a topknot. They made the moon of His forehead splendid with tilaka and curling locks of hair.
"They decorated Lord Krishna with armlets and bracelets. They made His hands splendid with jewel rings. They placed a necklace of pearls across His chest and decorated His ears with shark shaped earrings.
"Again and again called by His mother, Lord Krishna holding His mother's hand, finally followed Balarama into the breakfast room.
"Accompanied by His mother and His friends, Lord Krishna ate a breakfast feast of many different kinds of foods. He told many jokes, laughing and making His friends laugh.
"Then the servants brought betel nuts. After sharing them with His friends and chewing some Himself, Lord Krishna rested for a moment on a splendid bed."
Vijaya-kumara: Please describe the pastimes of the late morning.
Gosvami: It is said (Sri Sanat-kumara-samhita 220-223:)
"When dressed as a cowherd boy, Lord Krishna followed the cows to the pasture, all the people of Vraja affectionately followed Him on the path.
"Bowing down before His father and mother, casting sidelong glances at His gopi-beloveds, and dealing appropriately with all the others, Lord Krishna sent them all back. Then He again proceeded to the forest.
"Lord Krishna entered the forest, played for a while with His friends, and then slipped away with two or three especially close friends.
"Eager to see His beloved, Lord Krishna happily went to meet Her."
Vijaya-kumara: Please describe the pastimes of midday:
Gosvami: It is said (Sri Sanat-kumara-samhita 223-262):
"When She saw that Lord Krishna had gone to the forest, Sri Radha returned to Her home.
"Then on the pretext of gathering flowers and other things for the worship of the sun-god and other purposes, Sri Radha tricks Her superiors and, yearning to meet Her beloved, goes to the forest.
"Finally meeting after a great effort, the divine couple enjoy many happy pastimes in the forest with Their associates.
"Sometimes Radha and Krishna enjoy pastimes on a swing hanging from a tree branch and pushed by the gopis. Sometimes Radha steals the flute from Lord Krishna's hand.
"Sometimes the gopis hide and make Him search after them. Sometimes they teased and scolded Him. Sometimes they joked with Him and made Him laugh. In these ways they charmed Lord Krishna and stole His heart.
"Sometimes Lord Krishna happily enters the forest in the beautiful springtime and with a sprinkler sprinkles the gopis with water mixed with sandal, kunkuma and other colourful scents. The gopis respond by sprinkling Him. Then Radha and Krishna sprinkle each other again and again.
"O brahmana, in the forest groves the divine couple enjoy many different pastimes with Their associates, pastimes appropriate to the different times and seasons.
"O best of sages, sometimes They become tired. Then, sitting on a splendid throne under a tree, They drink nectar.
"Intoxicated by drinking nectar, their eyes become closed with sleepiness. Holding hands, They are attacked by Kamadeva's arrows.
"Desiring to enjoy, They place Their lotus feet in a forest grove. There They enjoy pastimes like two regal elephants.
"Intoxicated by drinking nectar, and their eyes closed with sleepiness, the gopis entered the nearby forest groves.
"Expanding into many different forms, all-powerful Lord Krishna approached each gopi individually.
"As an elephant king enjoys with His many wives, so Lord Krishna enjoyed with the gopis. Then Lord Krishna, His beloved Radha and all the gopis entered a lake.
"Sri Narada said: O Vrnda-devi, if His pastimes of sweetness are like this, then when does Lord Krishna manifest His pastimes of opulence? Please cut apart my doubt?
"Sri Vrnda said: O sage, the powerful potency of the pastimes of sweetness is one of Lord Hari's potencies. With that potency Lord Hari enjoys pastimes with the gopis.
"When in His original form Lord Krishna enjoys pastimes with Sri Radha, He manifests the potency of His pastimes of sweetness. At that time He does not manifest the potency of His pastimes of opulence.
"Accompanied by Their gopi friends, the divine couple enjoy pastimes of splashing each other in the water. Then They are decoarated with splendid garments, ornaments, garlands and sandal paste.
"Then in a jewel cottage by the lakeshore, the divine couple eat a snack of delicious fruits and roots carefully prepared by me.
"After Their snack, Lord Hari and His beloved recline on a couch of flowers. There two or three gopis serve Them.
"Served by the gopis who offer Him betelnuts, fan Him and massage His feet, Lord Krishna, His thought fixed on His beloved, becomes filled with happiness.
"As Lord Krishna slept, Sri Radha and Her associates happily ate the remnants of His meal.
"After eating, Sri Radha went to the bed to gaze on Her beloved's lotus face as a cakori bird gazes at the moon.
"The gopis there gave Her the remnants of betelnuts chewed by Lord Krishna. Some She chewed and some She gave to Her friends.
"Eager to hear what the gopis said, Lord Krishna only pretended to be asleep as He lay under the covers.
"As they playfully joked about their beloved Hari they could gradually understand that He was only pretending to sleep.
"Seeing the signs of wakefulness on Lord Krishna's face, they looked at each other and suddenly became silent out of embarrassment.
"Suddenly pulling the blanket from His limbs and exclaiming, 'My, You must have had a pleasant sleep!' they laughed and make Lord Krishna laugh also.
"O best of sages, in this way the divine couple enjoyed a pleasant nap and a host of happy joking words.
"Sitting on a splendid throne and surrounded by Their associates, the divine couple gamble at dice, with garlands, kisses, and embraces as the winner's prize.
"Joking with words of love, Radha and Krishna gamble with dice. Defeated by His beloved, Lord Krishna slowly pronounces, 'I have lost'.
"Taking the necklace and other prizes, Sri Radha struck Lord Krishna with a lotus flower.
'O Narada, His unhappiness showing on His face, Lord Krishna felt as if He had lost a great treasure. "O goddess, You have defeated Me", He said. "Please take the winner's prize."
"To see Radha's crooked raised eyebrows and hear Her words of rebuke, Lord Krishna declared, 'Now I will give You the kiss and the other prizes.' Then He gave Her all the prizes.
"Then, hearing the parrots calling, Radha and Krishna bathed and decided to return to Their homes.
"Taking leave of His beloved, Lord Krishna returns to the cows. Accompanied by Her friends, Sri Radha goes to the temple of the sun-god.
"Lord Krishna goes a short distance, disguises Himself as a brahmana and then goes to the temple of the sun-god.
"Requested by the gopis, the disguised Krishna worships the sun god. Lord Krishna then recites a host of imaginary Vedic prayers, prayers made up on the spot and filled with a host of errors.
"Finally understanding that this person was their beloved Krishna, the intelligent gopis became plunged in an ocean of bliss. Intoxicated with bliss they did not know who they were or who anyone else was.
"O sage, in this way the divine couple and Their associates passed six hours enjoying many pastimes. Finally the gopis returned to their homes and Lord Krishna returned to the cows."
Vijaya-kumara: What are the afternoon pastimes?
Gosvami: It is said (Sri Sanat-kumara-samhita 263-270):
"Meeting with His gopa friends, taking the cows with Him, and attracting everyone with the music of His flute, Lord Krishna returned to Vraja village.
"Hearing the sound of Krishna's flute and seeing the sky filled with the dust raised by the cows, King Nanda and all the men and women and children of Vraja stopped all they were doing and ran to see Krishna.
"Sri Radha, bathed and decorated, came, bringing many delicious foods for Her beloved. She and Her friends were all eager to see Krishna.
"On the royal road at the entrace to Vraja village Lord Krishna met all the people of Vraja one after another.
"He met them with embraced, glances, and smiling glances. He bowed before the elder gopas and His honoured them with His words.
"O Sri Narada, Lord Krishna prostrated His entire body to show respect to His parents and to Rohini-devi. From the corner of His eye He shyly glanced at His gopis beloveds.
"Then in the ways proper for each, all the people of Vraja worshipped Lord Krishna. Then Lord Krishna took the cows into the barn.
"Requested by His parents, Lord Krishna went home with mother Yasoda. Requested by her, He bathed and then He ate and drank, and then He went to milk the cows."
Vijaya-kumara: What are the sunset pastimes?
Gosvami: It is said (Sri Sanat-kumara-samhita 271-272):
"After milking some the cows, having the other gopas milk the other cows, and allowing the calves to also drink some of the milk, Lord Krishna, accompanied by His father and by servants carrying the milk, returned home.
"Then accompanied by Lord Balarama, the gopa boys, and the boys; mothers, Lord Krishna ate a feast of many different kinds of foods, foods to be chewed, licked or consumed in other ways."
Vijaya-kumara: What are the evening pastimes?
Gosvami: It is said (Sri Sanat-kumara-samhita 273-277):
"On Mother Yasoda's request, Sri Radha and Her friends had cooked this feast.
"After enjoying the feast in the company of His father and the others, Lord Krishna praises with many words. Then, accompanied by the poets and reciters, Lord Krishna goes to the assembly house.
"Then Mother Yasoda gave abundant remnants from the feast to the gopis who had brought it in the first place.
"Mother Yasoda gives them the remnants from Lord Krishna's plate. The gopis take it and in a secluded place present it before Sri Radha.
"Then Sri Radha and Her friends honour Lord Krishna's remnants. Then, to prepare for Her meeting with Lord Krishna, the gopis decorate joyful Radha."
Vijaya-kumara: O master, I yearn to hear the pastimes of night.
Gosvami: Sri Vrnda-devi described them in these words (Sri Sanat-kumara-samhita 278-285):
"One of the gopis has already made arrangements for Sri Radha's secret meeting with Lord Krishna by the Yamuna's shore.
"Accompanied by Her friends and dressed in garments suitable for a bright or dark night, Sri Radha goes to a jewel palace in a kalpa-vrksa grove.
"Meanwhile Lord Krishna saw many festive ceremonies and heard many beautiful poems and songs.
"Then Lord Krishna pleases the artists and performers with many valuable gifts and then, called by His mother, He goes to bed.
'When, after giving Him a nighttime snack, mother Yasoda left the bedroom, unseen by anyone, Lord Krishna left His home and went to meet His beloved.
"Meeting in the forest groves, Sri Sri Radha and Krishna enjoy singing, dancing and many other pastimes.
"After enjoying pastimes for seven and a half hours of the night, Lord Krishna becomes sleepy. Accompanied by five or six gopis and unseen by the others, He enters another forest.
"Served by Their dear gopi friends, the divine couple sleeps there on a beautiful pastime bed made of unstemmed flowers.
O Vijaya-kumara, These are the asta-kaliya pastimes. They have all the samagris (ingredients) of the rasas. All these pastimes have been described in the books of the ancient sages. In every time, place, and situation, you should mediate on these pastimes and engage in devotional service.
Hearing these pastimes, the learned pandita Vijaya-kumara became plunged into the nectar of ecstatic love. Streams of tears flowed from his eyes. The hairs of his body stood up. He spoke one or two broken words in a choked voice. He fell before Sri Gopala-guru Gosvami's feet, offering obeisances for a long time. Then he rose up and slowly walked home. Day and night these words about the rasas stayed in his heart.
Chapter Thirty-nine Lila-pravesa-vicara
Entering the Lord's Pastimes
Now Vijaya-kumara was always eager to hear about these pastimes. He did not like to hear about anything else. When he went to see Lord Jagannatha, Vijaya-kumara could not remain peaceful and composed. For many days now he had studied the rasas. He had learned about madhura-rasa, sthayi-bhava, vibhava, anubhava, sattvika bhava, and vyabhicari bhava. One by one, the different kinds of ecstatic love entered his heart. They would bring him great delight, and then they would go away. Some days passed in this way. He did not understand how the presence of ecstatic love had changed him. One day, with tears in his eyes, he fell down before His spiritual master's feet and said, "O master, by your mercy I have learned everything. However, I am not able to make spiritual advancement. I have not attained sthayi bhava and I have not entered Lord Krishna's pastimes. Please teach me what I should do." Seeing how his disciple was rapt in ecstatic love, Gopala-guru Gosvami was very pleased. In his heart he thought, "Love for Krishna (Krishna-prema) is such that its happiness brings distress, and its distress brings happiness." Then he openly said, "I will tell you how to enter Lord Krishna's pastimes".
Vijaya-kumara: How can I enter them?
Gosvami: Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami has revealed the way in these words (Manah-siksah 2):
"Mind don't do the pious and impious deeds described in the Vedas. Intently serve Sri Sri Radha-Krishna in Vraja. Always remember that Lord Chaitanya is Lord Krishna, the son of Maharaja Nanda and my spiritual master is most dear to Lord Mukunda."
Don't perform the pious and impious deeds described in the Vedas. Reject this past of the Vedas and instead earnestly engage in raganuga-bhakti. Again and again serve Sri Sri Radha-Krishna in Vraja. Serve the Lord according to the rasas of Vraja. If you ask, "Who will teach me how to serve the Lord according to the rasas of Vraja?", then I will tell you. Please listen. Sridham Nabadwip, where Lord Chaitanya appeared in Saci-devi's womb is a manifestation of Vrindavan. Lord Chaitanya is Krishna Himself, Krishna the son of Nandisvara's king. Lord Chaitanya is not different from Krishna. Thinking that Lord Krishna has descended to Nabadwip to enjoy pastimes as Lord Chaitanya, one should not reject the worship of Lord Krishna as the amorous hero of Vraja and instead worship Lord Chaitanya as the amorous hero of the young girls in Nabadwip. Lord Chaitanya is Lord Krishna Himself. Still, one should not criticise the devotees who worship Him with different mantras and meditate on Him separately. In the path of the rasas one should worship only Krishna, the beloved of Radha, and Lord Chaitanya one should worship as the spiritual master of the rasas of Vraja. One should meditate on Lord Chaitanya's pastimes and on Lord Krishna's asta-kaliya pastimes. One should not think that one's spiritual master is not a sakhi or a yuthesvari in Vraja. By worshipping in this way one will be able to enter Lord Krishna's pastimes in Vraja.
Vijaya-kumara: O master, I understand that one should reject other scriptures and other paths, worship Lord Chaitanya and serve one's spiritual master, aware that the spiritual master is a sakhi in Lord Krishna's pastimes. How can one make his heart steady and determined to follow this path?
Gosvami: Two things should be understood: 1 upasaka-pariskrti (the worshipper) and 2 upasya-pariskrti (the object of worship). You have learned about the rasas. Therefore you have learned about upasya-pariskrti. The upasaka-pariskrti has eleven bhavas. Almost all of them you have already learned. Only one remains for you to learn.
Vijaya-kumara: Please describe these eleven bhavas.
Gosvami: These eleven bhavas are: 1 sambandha (relationship), 2 vayasa (age), 3 nama (name), 4 rupa (form), 5 yutha (group), 6 vesa (garments), 7 ajna (command), 8 vasa (residence), 9 seva (service), 10 parakasthasvasa (highest aspiration) and 11 palya-dasi-bhava (the nature of a maidservant).
Vijaya-kumara: What is sambandha?
Gosvami: Sambandha is the foundation of spiritual attainments. When one has a relationship with Krishna, then the bhavas are manifested. The final goal one attains is based on the relationship. Souls who address Krishna as 'master' become servants of Krishna. Souls who address Krishna as 'friend' become friends of Krishna. Souls who address Krishna as 'son' become the mother or father of Krishna. Souls who address Krishna as 'husband' become queens at Dvaraka. In Vraja there is no santa-rasa and dasya rasa is curtailed. Each devotee attains a relationship according to his own natural inclination. You are naturally attracted to parakiya-rasa. Therefore you are a follower of Vraja's queen. In your relationship you say, "I am a maidservant of Sri Radha's maidservant. She is the controller of my life. Krishna is the controller of Radha's life, and therefore Krishna, the beloved of Radha, is the controller of my life also.
Vijaya-kumara: I have heard that the great acarya Srila Jiva Gosvami preferred svakiya rasa. Is that true?
Gosvami: Not one of the true followers of Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu rejected the pure parakiya-rasa. Who can be a better teacher of this rasa than Srila Svarupa Damodara Gosvami? He taught the truth of the pure parakiya rasa. Srila Jiva Gosvami and Srila Rupa Gosvami and Srila Sanatana Gosvami all accepted his teachings in this matter. In his own personal devotional service Srila Jiva Gosvami did not accept svakiya rasa. However, he did explain that even in Vraja some devotees manifest a scent of svakiya rasa. When samartha rati carries a scent of samanjasa rati, then svakiya-rasa is present in Vraja. Therefore when a slight sense of svakiya-rasa is present, the devotee may be called a worshipper in svakiya rasa. Srila Jiva Gosvami has two kinds of disciples. One group of his disciples was situated in pure parakiya-rasa. Another group of his disciples were situated in parakiya rasa mixed with svakiya rasa. According to the different inclinations of his different disciples, he gave different appropriate instructions. This he clearly explained when he wrote the words:
"What I have written is appropriate for devotees who are inclined in a certain way."
Vijaya-kumara: Now I clearly understand that the pure Gaudiya Vaishnava philosophy teaches the pure parakiya rasa. Now that I understand sambandha, please describe vayasa.
Gosvami: When you attain your relationship with Krishna, you will have a wonderful form. In your case it will be the form of a beautiful girl in Vraja. That form will be manifested in a specific age appropriate to your service. The age from ten to sixteen years is called 'kaisora'. That is generally the appropriate age in this situation. Therefore in your spiritual form your age begins at ten and, as you make advancement in service, increases up to the age of sixteen That is called 'vayah-sandhi'. Balya (childhood), pauganda (pre-adolescence) and vrddha (old age) do not exist among the beautiful girls of Vraja. Therefore you should know that your spiritual form is situated in the kaisora age.
Vijaya-kumara: O master, what is name? I have already received a name. Please clearly explain 'name' to me.
Gosvami: You naturally become the follower of a maidservant-friend of Sri Radha. That friend's name is your name. Examining your nature, your spiritual master gives you a name. Please know that is your name eternally. The beautiful girls of Vraja will delight in addressing you by that name.
Vijaya-kumara: O master, please explain rupa.
Gosvami: Your spiritual master reveals to you the nature of the beautiful and youthful kaisora age form that, according to your own inclination, is your own form. You have an inconceivable beautiful spiritual form. If that were not so, then how could you be a maidservant of Sri Radha?
Vijaya-kumara: Please clearly describe 'yutha'.
Gosvami: Sri Radha is your yuthesvari. You belong to a gana (sub-group) presided over by one of Sri Radha's eight closest friends (asta-sakhi). Your spiritual master has placed you in Lalita's gana. Therefore, following Lalita's orders you will serve your yuthesvari (Sri Radha) and playful Lord Krishna, who enjoys pastimes with Her.
Vijaya-kumara: O master, who are the devotees that follow Candravali as their yuthesvari?
Gosvami: After many births a soul will become a fortunate and desire to be a follower of a yuthesvari. A soul who has all good fortune enters the group led by Sri Radha. The gopis led by Candravali strive to increase the bliss that Sri Radha and Lord Krishna enjoy in Their pastimes. Therefore the rival groups, called paksa, and vipaksa, make the taste of rasa sweeter. In truth Sri Radha is the only real yuthesvari. Because She enjoys wonderful pastimes with Krishna, She is glorious, and a soul who serves Her becomes glorious also.
Vijaya-kumara: Please explain visesa.
Gosvami: Your spiritual master describes to you your garments, personal qualities, and the skills you have to perform various kinds of service.
Vijaya-kumara: Please describe 'ajna'.
Gosvami: Ajnas are of two kinds: 1 nitya (regular) and 2 naimittika (occasional). A merciful sakhi orders you to engage in a certain regular (nitya) service. This service you should diligently execute during the eight periods of the day. Any other service she may give you is naimittika service. That also you should execute diligently.
Vijaya-kumara: What is vasa?
Gosvami: Your eternal residence in Vraja is called 'vasa'.
Vijaya-kumara: You will take birth as a certain gopi in a certain village within the land of Vraja. Within that village you will be married to a certain gopa. However, you will be attracted by the sound of Krishna's flute. You will be the follower of a certain sakhi. Her cottage at Radha-kunda will be your residence also. In this way your eternal nature is situated in parakiya rasa.
Vijaya-kumara: Please describe 'seva'.
Gosvami: You are a follower of Sri Radha. Your service is to serve Her. If, when she sends you with a message, and you meet Krishna in a secluded place, Krishna expresses His love for you and proposes that you enjoy with Him, you should not accept His proposal. You are Radha's maidservant, and without Her permission you cannot serve Krishna. You are not independent. Although you love Radha and Krishna both, your love and service to Radha is more important to you than your love and service to Krishna. That is the explanation of the word 'seva'. Your service is to serve Sri Radha throughout the eight periods of the day. Following the descriptions in Srila Svarupa Damodara's Kadaca (notebook), Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami describes these services in his poem Vilapa-kusumanjali.
Vijaya-kumara: What is "parakasthavasa"?
Gosvami: In the following two verses (Vilapa-kusumanjali 102 and 100) Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami describes parakasthasvasa:
"O Radha, for me somehow the present moment is flooded by a nectar ocean of many hopes. If You do not give Your mercy, then of what use to me are this life, the land of Vraja, and Sri Krishna, the enemy of Baka?"
"O Lord Krishna, O nectar moon of Gokula, O Lord whose cheerful face is a lotus flower, O sweetly smiling one, O Lord melting with compassion, so I may serve You both with love and please lead me to the place where Your beloved enjoys pastimes with You."
Vijaya-kumara: Please describe 'palya-dasi-bhava'
Gosvami: In the following words of Vraja-vilasa-stava (text 29) Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami describes palya-dasi-bhava:
"Flooded with the nectar of intense love for her two friends (Sri Sri Radha-Krishna), who are more dear to her than her own life, affectionately arrogant in Their presence, and daily arranging for Their rendezvous, Lalita-devi expertly teaches her friend Radha the art of jealous anger. I pray Lalita-devi will one day accept me as one of her associates."
Vijaya-kumara: How should such a palya-dasi (maidservant) act in relation to the other gopis who are companions of Sri Lalita?
Gosvami: Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami studied all the rasa-sastras under Srila Svarupa Damodara Gosvami. Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami has written (Vraja-vilasa-stava, text 38)
"By offering Her betel nuts, by massaging Her feet, by bringing Her water, by arranging for Her secret meeting with Lord Krishna, and by performing many other services, many gopi maidservants affectionately please Sri Radha, the great queen of Vrindavan forest. When the divine couple enjoy the presence of the great gopis for whom Sri Radha is more dear than life. I take shelter of these gopi maidservants, who have Srimati Rupa-manjari as their leader."
Vijaya-kumara: What is the nature of the other prominent sakhis?
Gosvami: Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami gives this hint about their nature (Vraja-vilasa-stava text 30):
"Visakha-devi is the place where the youthful divine couple enjoys affectionate and playful joking pastimes. Her sweet transcendental singing eclipses the voices of the cuckoos. I pray that Visakha-devi may become pleased with me and accept me as her student."
Vijaya-kumara: What is the nature of the vipaksa (rival) gopis?
Gosvami: Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami describes them. Please hear this description (Vraja-vilasa-stava, text 41):
"In order to increase the splendid and nectarean jealous love of Srimati Radharani, who sometimes becomes proud of Her own good fortune, Lord Krishna briefly enjoys pastimes with other gopis, who blossom with many amorous desires. Let us offer our respectful obeisances to these gopis, who must have performed many great pious activities in their previous births in order to play this role in the Lord's pastimes."
That is how you should think about the rival groups of gopis (paksa and vipaksa). However, when they are serving the Lord directly in the spiritual world, there may be a situation where mocking gopi rivals is appropriate. This direct service in the spiritual world is described in Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami's Sri Vilapa-kusumanjali. The proper way to relate to the other liberated associates of the Lord is described in Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami's Sri Vraja-vilasa-stava. The divine couple's pastimes are seen in Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami's Sri Visakhanandabhidha-stotra and other prayers. You should see the asta-kaliya pastimes in those poems. The proper method of worship (paddhati) is seen in Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami's Sri Manah-siksah. By following that method of worship you will become rapt in meditation on the divine couple's pastimes. Ecstatic love (bhava) is seen in Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami's Sva-niyama-dasaka. You should carefully observe the vows describe in that poem. Srila Rupa Gosvami described the rasas in his books. Lord Chaitanya gave that task to him. However, Srila Rupa Gosvami did not describe how an aspiring devotee can enter into these rasas. That Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami, following the teachings in Srila Svarupa Damodara's Kadaca, described. Lord Chaitanya gave these specific tasks to these devotees, and they all followed His order.
Vijaya-kumara: Please describe the tasks Lord Mahaprabhu ordered these devotees to perform.
Gosvami: The Lord ordered Srila Svarupa Damodara Gosvami to describe the method of worship according to the rasas. Following that order, Srila Svarupa Damodara Gosvami wrote his Kadaca, which is divided into two parts, one part describing the internal path (antah-pantha) or worship according to the rasas, and the other part describing the external path (bahihi pantha) of worship according to the rasa. The internal path he placed around the neck of Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami, who described that path in his writings. The external path Srila Svarupa Damodara Gosvami gave to Srila Vakresvara Pandita. That teaching is the great treasure of this temple. That treasure I have given to Srila Dhyanacandra Gosvami, and he has written that treasure in a book. You already have a copy of that book. Lord Mahaprabhu ordered Lord Nityananda and Lord Advaita to preach the glories of the holy name, and He also gave Them the power to do it. Lord Mahaprabhu gave Srila Rupa Gosvami the order to write books about the rasas, and He also gave him the power to do it. Lord Mahaprabhu gave Srila Sanatana Gosvami the order to write about vaidhi bhakti and the relationship between vaidhi bhakti and raga bhakti. The Lord also gave Srila Sanatana Gosvami the order to write about the Lord's prakata and aprakata pastimes in Gokula. Lord Nityananda Prabhu and Srila Sanatana Gosvami gave Srila Jiva Gosvami the order to write books about sambandha, abhidheya and prayojana, and they also gave him the power to do it. All of these great devotees fulfilled the orders they were given.
Vijaya-kumara: O master, what task was given to Srila Ramananda Raya?
Gosvami: Lord Mahaprabhu gave Srila Ramananda Raya the task of expanding the rasas. Srila Ramananda Raya used Srila Rupa Gosvami as his instrument in fulfilling this task.
Vijaya-kumara: O master, what task was given to Srila Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya?
Gosvami: To Srila Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya He gave the task of explaining philosophy. Srila Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya executed that task by having one of his disciples teach Srila Jiva Gosvami.
Vijaya-kumara: What task did the Lord give to the great devotees in Bengal;?
Gosvami: To the great devotees in Bengal the Lord gave the task to teaching the truth about Lord Chaitanya and showing the people how to have faith in Lord Chaitanya's descriptions of Krishna-rasa. These devotees fulfilled that order by writing many books glorifying the rasas.
Vijaya-kumara: What task was given to Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami?
Gosvami: To him was given the task of preaching the glories of Srimad Bhagavatam.
Vijaya-kumara: What task was given to Srila Gopala Bhatta Gosvami?
Gosvami: To Srila Gopala Bhatta Gosvami was given the task of stopping perverted misinterpretations of pure srngara-rasa and also stopping the tendency not to have faith in vaidhi-bhakti.
Vijaya-kumara: Srila Prabodhananda Sarasvati was the uncle and spiritual master of Srila Gopala Bhatta Gosvami. What task was given to him?
Gosvami: To Srila Prabodhananda Sarasvati was given the task of showing the world that the path of the rasas and anubhavas in Vraja is the highest of all paths.
Hearing all this, Vijaya-kumara thought himself very fortunate.
Chapter Forty Sampatti-vicara
The Greatest Good Fortune
Vijaya-kumara decided that by hearing about the Lord's pastimes in Vraja, one gradually attains the greatest good fortune. Thinking in this way, he posed a question.
Vijaya-kumara: O master, I would like to know how many stages there are between first hearing about the Lord and finally attaining the greatest good fortune.
Gosvami: There are five stages: 1 sravana-dasa (hearing), 2 varana-dasa (desiring), 3 smarana-dasa (remembering), 4 bhavapana-dasa (attaining ecstasy) and 5 prema-sampatti-dasa (the greatest good fortune of spiritual love).
Vijaya-kumara: Please describe sravana-dasa.
Gosvami: When he attains faith in hearing about Krishna (Krishna-katha), a soul throws materialism (bahirmukha-dasa) far away. In that stage the soul yearns to hear about Krishna. Such a soul intently hears about Krishna from an exalted devotee. This is described in Srimad-Bhagavatam (4.29.40):
"My dear king, in the place where pure devotees live, following the rules and regulations and thus purely conscious and engaged with great eagerness in hearing and chanting the glories of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, in that place if one gets a chance to hear their constant flow or nectar, which is exactly like the waves of a river, one will forget the necessities of life - namely hunger, and thirst - and become immune to all kinds of fear, lamentation and illusion."*
Vijaya-kumara: Sometimes the people hear about Krishna from materialists. What is the result of that hearing.
Gosvami: One may hear about Krishna from a materialist, or one may hear about Krishna from a devotee. These two kinds of hearing are different in many ways. By hearing about Krishna from a materialist, the hearer does not gradually attain faith. On the other hand, by hearing about Krishna from a devotee eager to engage in devotional service, the hearer attains spiritual piety. In some future birth spiritual faith will rise within him. When he attains this faith, a soul is eager to hear the glories of Krishna only from the mouths of great devotees. This stage is called 'sravana-dasa'. Sravana dasa is of two kinds: 1 krama-suddha-sravana dasa and 2 krama-hina-sravana dasa.
Vijaya-kumara: What is krama-hinasravana dasa?
Gosvami: When the hearing is done without determination and when it does not touch Lord Krishna's pastimes, it is called 'krama-hine'. If there is no touch of Lord Krishna's pastimes, the rasas will not become manifested.
Vijaya-kumara: What is krama-suddha sravana-dasa?
Gosvami: When hearing is done with great determination, and when it touches on Lord Krishna's pastimes, then the rasas will become manifested. Hearing about Lord Krishna's asta-kaliya nitya lila (regular pastimes in the eight periods of the day) and His birth pastime and other naimittika-lila (occasional pastimes) is called "krama-suddha-sravana-dasa'. To properly engage in devotional service one must perform krama-suddha-sravana. By again and again engaging in krama-suddha-sravana dasa and hearing the Lord's pastimes, one perceives how sweet the Lord's pastimes are. At that time the activities of raganuga bhakti rise in the heart of the hearer. Then the hearer thinks in his heart, "Aha! Subala has such wonderful ecstatic love! I should serve Krishna in sakhya-rasa, as Subala does.' This kind of activity is called 'lobha' (greedy desire). To thus worship Krishna by greedily following the liberated residents of Vraja is called 'raganuga-bhakti'. I have given an example in sakhya rasa. Raganuga bhakti exists in the four rasas that begin with dasya-rasa. By the mercy of Lord Chaitanya, who is the master of our lives, you have become qualified for srngara-rasa. Seeing the beautiful gopis of Vraja, you have yearned to become like them. That yearning will lead you to the path of fulfilling that yearning. In truth, this is revealed in the conversation of the spiritual master and the disciple. That is sravana-dasa.
Vijaya-kumara: How does one attain the perfection of sravana-dasa?
Gosvami: When one understands that Lord Krishna's pastimes are eternal, and when one declares that they are pure and spiritual, one's heart will become enchanted by them. Then one will become agitated with an intense desire to enter those pastimes. When he sees that the disciple is qualified, the spiritual master will show him the eleven bhavas described in the scriptures. When the disciple's heart is passionately devoted to the Lord's pastimes, that is the perfection of sravana-dasa. When he is greatly agitated in this way, the disciple attains varana-dasa.
Vijaya-kumara: O master, what is varana-dasa?
Gosvami: Bound with the shackles of the eleven bhavas, the heart becomes passionately attached to the Lord's pastimes. Weeping, the disciple falls before his spiritual master's feet. Then the spiritual master's original form as a sakhi is manifested and the disciple manifests his original form as a gopi maidservant. This disciple is agitated to engage in devotional service as a gopi. By serving the spiritual master ,the disciple attains the supreme goal of his life and becomes a beautiful girl in Vraja. The disciple speaks these words (Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami's Sri Premambhoja-marandakhya-stava-raga 11-12):
"Taking a straw in his mouth, this person offers respectful obeisances unto you. This person is very unhappy. Please bring him to life by sprinkling him with the nectar of service to you.
"O gopi friend of Sri Radha, as merciful Lord Krishna never rejects a surrendered soul, even a soul who has performed many misdeeds, in the same way I request that you please do not reject a person like me."
This state is called 'varana-dasa'. Then, in his form as a sakhi, the spiritual master gives to his disciple residence in Vraja and orders him to take shelter of Lord Krishna's holy name and meditate on Lord Krishna's pastimes. Then the spiritual master gives encouragement, saying, "Soon you will attain what your heart desires."
Vijaya-kumara: What is smarana dasa?
Gosvami: Srila Rupa Gosvami gives this description (Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu 1.2.150-152):
"Always meditating on Krishna as the object of one's love, and always engaged in hearing and chanting His glories, a devotees should always live in the land of Vraja.
"Desiring to become like them, the sadhaka and siddha devotees should follow in the footsteps of the liberated residents of Vraja.
"In this way the wise understand the activities of vaidhi-bhakti, which begin with hearing and chanting."
After hearing these two verses, Vijaya-kumara asked, "What do the words 'kuryad vasam vraje sada (a devotee should always live in the land of Vraja) mean?
Gosvami: Srila Jiva Gosvami explains "To place one's body in the circle of Vraja means to place it in the circle of the Lord's pastimes. If one is not able to place his physical body in Vraja, one can meditate on living in Vraja. By this meditation one attains the final goal. Then one becomes the follower of a particular sakhi, one serves that sakhi in the forest, and one always meditates on that sakhi and her particular kind of love for Lord Krishna. Thus you should engage your gross material body in the activities of vaidhi-bhakti, which begin with hearing and chanting and also, with the eleven bhavas, you should meditate on the pastimes of a liberated sakhi in Vraja. In this way you should engage in devotional service. Thus you should engage your material body in the activities of vaidhi-bhakti. When your spiritual body becomes manifest, you will become averse to all that is not related to Vraja.
Vijaya-kumara: Please clearly describe this path.
Gosvami: The word "vraja-vasa" means to avoid the company of materialists". One should chant a certain prescribed number of holy names of Lord Hari and also meditate on the Lord's asta-kaliya pastimes. Do not think of your material body as an enemy. Rather, use it and all in relationship with it in favourable service to the Lord.
Vijaya-kumara: (after deep thought) O master, these descriptions are very pleasing to my heart. How can I make my heart determined to follow this path?
Gosvami: When it attains raganuga-bhakti, the heart will be determined. And why not? If there is even a slight scent of raganuga bhakti, then one will be inclined to Vraja. Then one will no longer be attracted to material things. If you are worried that you will stray from the path, then at first proceed gradually. When you become steady you will not be able to stray from the path.
Vijaya-kumara: Please describe this gradual path.
Gosvami: Every day for a certain amount of time, one should, avoiding all material interruptions, chant the holy name with sincere love. The time spent in this way should be gradually increased. When one finally spends all his time in this way, he will attain very wonderful love for the Lord. At that time one will dread any external thing that may come to interrupt these activities.
Vijaya-kumara: For how many days should one practice in this way?
Gosvami: Until, one is free from all material obstacles, or until material obstacles no longer arise in one's meditation.
Vijaya-kumara: What does it mean 'to remember the holy name with love'? Please clearly explain.
Gosvami: In the beginning on joyfully chants the holy name. That joy leads one to think, 'the holy name is mine'. From that feeling of possessiveness one attains love for the holy name. Gradually pure ecstatic love (bhava) becomes manifested. This is called 'bhavapana-dasa". At the stage of smarana-dasa, love is merely an external imposition. However, in the stage of bhavapana-dasa genuine, pure love is manifested. In this way the devotee finally attains prema, the highest love. This is called 'upasaka-nistha'. There is also another path, which is called 'upasya-nistha'.
Vijaya-kumara: What is upasya-nistha?
Gosvami: If one wholeheartedly yearns to attain prema, he should honour this advice given by Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami (Manah-siksa text 3):
"Mind, listen to me! If you desire to reside in Vraja birth after birth, and if you desire to directly serve the youthful divine couple, then with great love always remember and bow down before Srila Svarupa Damodara Gosvami, Srila Rupa Gosvami, his elder brother, Srila Sanatana Gosvami and all their associates and followers."
Vijaya-kumara: How does one gradually become purified by meditating on the Lord's asta-kaliya pastimes?
Gosvami: Please consider what Srila Rupa Gosvami has said (Ujjvala-nilamani, Gauna-sambhoga-prakarana) about the great wonder of the rasas manifested in the Lord's asta-kaliya pastimes:
"Because it is shoreless, peerless and unfathomable, I merely stand on the shore of the ocean of rasa and touch only one drop of its sweetness."
Why should this not be so? The ocean of rasa is spiritual, wonderful, all-pervading and shoreless. If one tries to describe that spiritual ocean of rasa with words, his words will inevitably be both impure and incomplete. Even if the Supreme Lord Himself describes it, the hearers and readers, still bearing the faults that the material world impresses on them, will not be able to understand it perfectly. Therefore because the ocean of rasa cannot e fathomed, one can merely stand at its shore and understand only a single drop of it.
Vijaya-kumara: O master, if this is so, then how can I have any conception at all of the spiritual rasas?
Gosvami: The madhura rasa is shoreless, peerless, and unfathomable. Lord Krishna's pastimes are like that. However, Lord Krishna has two transcendental qualities that give us hope: He is all powerful and He can do whatever He likes. Therefore, even though the ocean of rasa is peerless, shoreless and unfathomable, Lord Krishna can shrink it so that it fits within the material world. The material world is indeed a very small place. Still, if Krishna wishes He can bring His supremely glorious rasas to the small and insignificant material world. In this way He mercifully descends to the material world and He takes His spiritual and eternal rasas and pastimes with Him. When He descends to the material world, he brings with Him His own spiritual world of Mathura-mandala, which is beyond the touch of matter. One cannot ask how the Lord does all this. Why not? All this is down by His inconceivable potency. Even the demigods and other exalted beings are not intelligent enough to understand how it is done. In this way the Lord manifested His Vraja pastimes, which are the best of all pastimes, and which are beyond the touch of matter. I do not lament merely because I cannot understand them perfectly or completely.
Vijaya-kumara: If the Lord's prakata (manifested) and aprakata (unmanifested) pastimes are the same pastimes, then why are the aprakata pastimes considered superior?
Gosvami: These two kinds of pastimes are identical. Of this there is no doubt. They are both perfect, complete, glorious and beyond the touch of matter. However, the prakata pastimes can be seen and remembered by conditioned souls imprisoned in the material world, but the aprakata pastimes can be seen only by purified souls who are in mature devotional service and who have attained the stage of bhavapana-dasa.
O Vijaya-kumara, to you I can disclose this secret. And why not? You are qualified to hear it. By practicing smarana-dasa for a long time, one eventually becomes qualified for bhavapana-dasa. During smarana-dasa one begins to become cleansed of material contamination, but that cleansing is not complete until one attains bhavapana-dasa. By following smarana-dasa one attains pure sadhana-bhakti. In this way by the Lord's mercy, pure devotional service is manifested in the devotee's heart. That pure devotion attracts Krishna. In this way, by Lord Krishna's mercy, the devotee advances beyond smarana-dasa. This is described by the Supreme Lord Himself in these words (Srimad Bhagavatam 11.14.26):
"When a diseased eye is treated with medicinal ointment it gradually recovers its power to see. Similarly, as a conscious living entity cleanses himself of material contamination by hearing and chanting the pious narrations of My glories, he regains his ability to see Me, the Absolute Truth, in My subtle spiritual form."***
This is also described in the following words of Brahman-samhita (5.38):
"I worship the primeval Lord, Govinda who is always seen by the devotee whose eyes are anointed with the pulp of love. He is seen in His eternal form of Syamasundara, situated within the heart of the devotee."*
A person who has attained the stage of bhavapana-dasa attains spiritual vision and thus can see his spiritual master as a sakhi and yuthesvari. He can also see Lord Krishna, the master of Goloka. Still, until his linga-sarira (subtle material body) is at last dissolved, he does not attain sampatti-dasa (the greatest good fortune) and he does not see Krishna at every moment. When he attains bhavapana-dasa, the pure soul has complete control over his gross and subtle material bodies. However, only when he attains Lord Krishna's complete and full mercy will the soul attain the final spiritual goal, where the soul completely breaks of all relationship with the material world of five elements. Bhavapana-dasa is also called 'svarupa-siddhi', and sampatti-dasa is also called 'vastu-siddhi'.
Vijaya-kumara: When one attains vastu-siddhi, in what way will he see Lord Krishna's name, form, qualities, pastimes and abode?
Gosvami: I cannot answer. When I myself attain vastu-siddhi, I will be able to see and tell. When you attain sampatti-siddhi you will certainly be able to understand. You will understand without any struggle. And why not? You will see it all before your eyes. You will not need to ask questions. Even what the soul sees at the stage of svarupa-siddhi or bhavapana-dasa an ordinary person cannot understand. And why not? Even if he hears a person in bhavapana-dasa describe what he sees, an ordinary person will not understand the description. The nature of a soul situated in svarupa-siddhi is described by Srila Rupa Gosvami in these words (Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu 1.3.29 and 1.4.12):
"If a person is completely detached from material enjoyment and has developed pure ecstatic devotion, even if he is sometimes accidentally found not living up to the standard of devotional service, one should not be envious of him."*
"Only the most fortunate persons can achieve such success in life. Those who are simply academic students of the Vedic scriptures cannot appreciate how such a development takes place."*
Vijaya-kumara: If this is so, then why do the Brahma-samhita and other scriptures try to describe the world of Goloka?
Gosvami: When by the Lord's mercy they attain the stage of svarupa-siddhi, Brahma and the demigods speak many prayers to describe what they have seen. However, ordinary persons who are less spiritually advanced cannot understand these prayers very well. Still, there is no need for the devotees to understand all these points. By Lord Krishna's mercy His prakata pastimes are manifested, and you can worship Him. By doing that you will attain all perfection. Within a short time you will attain great spiritual faith, and then the spiritual world of Goloka will be manifested before you. Gokula is the same as Goloka. And why not? Gokula and Goloka are not different places. That spiritual realm is not seen by the eyes of materialists. Materialists do not attain the stage of svarupa-siddhi. Only persons who are qualified can see these spiritual truths. Please Krishna by engaging in His devotional service. Follow Krishna's commands. By following Krishna's commands, you will gradually attain His mercy. Then your vision will be pure and perfect.
Vijaya-kumara had no longer any doubts. He followed the eleven bhavas. He meditated on Lord Krishna's handsome form and pastimes. Staying in a cottage by the seashore, he always tasted the sweetness of pure spiritual love (prema). Meanwhile, Vrajanatha's mother fell sick with cholera and died. Vrajanatha and his grandmother returned home. In Vrajanatha's pure heart was manifested pure love (prema) in sakhya-rasa. He passed his days staying among the Vaishnavas by the Ganges shore at Sridham Nabadwip. Vijaya-kumara renounced household life and accepted the kaupina of a sannyasi. He lived by taking a little maha-prasadam he obtained by madhukari begging. During the eight periods of the day he meditated on Sri Sri Radha-Krishna. At night he briefly slept. He honoured a little prasadam. While he was awake he served the divine couple in ways appropriate to the particular time of day. On japa beads he always chanted the holy names of Lord Hari. Sometimes he danced, sometimes he wept, and sometimes he smiled to see the waves in the ocean. Who can understand the symptoms of his devotional life? He accepted the name Nimai dasa Babaji. He would neither hear nor speak gossip. He was very humble. His actions were pure. He was fixed in devotional service. When someone offered him maha-prasadam or cloth for his kaupina, he accepted only what he actually needed. He never accepted more than that. When he chanted the holy names of Lord Hari tears would stream from his eyes, his voice would become choked, and the hairs of his body would stand erect. After only a few days he became perfect in devotional service. He obtained Lord Krishna's mercy, and thus he became qualified to enter the Lord's aprakata pastimes. Like Haridasa Thakura, when he died his material body was placed in a tomb by the seashore. Haribol.
"Bearing with him the mercy of his spiritual master, Lord Krishna, and the Vaishnavas, a poor person named Bhaktivinoda laboured greatly to write this book.
"This book, the Jaiva-dharma, written in the Bengali language, was completed by the Ganges' shore at Surabhi-kunja in Godruma, at Nabadwip, on the full moon day of the month of Magha in the 410th year after Lord Chaitanya's appearance in this world.
"Persons who yearn to attain the feet of Lord Gaura, the delivered of the Kali-yuga, will have faith in this book.
"I place a curse on any person who does not have even the smallest particle of faith, but still reads this book.
"Persons who speak the theory of dry impersonal liberation cannot understand Krishna. Only faithful persons can purely understand Lord Krishna's pastimes in Vraja.