by Puru Das Adhikari

bonmj2.jpg - 44945 Bytes Dear Prabhus, please accept my dandavat pranams. All glories to Sri Guru and Gouranga.

Often the Internet is used for political agendas and discussion of "hot topics of the day." While such discussions may grab our attention we should still try not to be diverted from the eternal truths, propounded by the Six Goswamis of Vrndavana. Their books will help us to better understand and execute our devotional service. In that spirit I am offering the preface and introduction to a translation of a valuable, but out of print, English version of the Bhakti-rasamrta-sindu done by my gurudeva’s god brother, Srila Hrydaya Bon Maharaja.

Although there may have been some dispute between Srila Swami Maharaja and Srila Bon Maharaja at one time, such events took place long in the past. In the latter days of Srila Bon Maharaja, he praised the work that Srila Swami Maharaja had done. Srila Prabhupada also expressed concern over strong remarks he had made about his god brothers during his last days. Such transcendental dealings between God brothers by their disciples are not fully understandable, but all disciples should be ready to accept a graceful change of heart by anyone. They should not be too eager to enter into such higher disputes with overzealous pride or fanatical misunderstanding.. Srila Sridhara Maharaja used to say, "To err is human, to forgive is divine." The latter part of this proverb has been sorely neglected. In this age of quarrel and hypocrisy, one is quick to condemn but slow to forgive.

The acompanying photo was taken at the Howra Station in Calcutta. The scene was an arrival reception for Srila Hrydaya Bon Maharaj (seated with danda) accompanied by two German devotees, one who later became Srila Bhaktisiddhanta's disciple.

He was the first Gaudiya Matha devotee to travel West on Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura’s order, in the early l930’s. His preaching reached the upper echelons of European society, including the King of England.

You can see Abhay Charan De (Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami as a householder) seated to the right (with mustache). Srila Sridhar Deva Goswami is cut out of the photo, but his foot and cane can be seen as he was seated next to him to his left.

Srila Narahari Sakara Thakura has declared in his Sri Krsna Bhajanamrta:

Verse 16

At the outset of this work my humble prayer is that all pure, non-envious devotees of Lord Sri Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead may listen to these authorized words as I have heard them from the great Vaisnava authorities of the disciplic succession.

Verse 18

Amongst all of the assembled Vaisnavas there is the initiating guru and the instructing guru. In regard to them what type of behavior is authorized.?

Verse 28

Now listen to the authorized conclusions of the previous authorities.

Verse 38

One should never engage in criticizing a Vaisnava or neglecting a Vaisnava even in joking. For Vaisnavas are so glorious that there is nothing to regret even if one sacrifices ones life for their benefit.

Verse 39

No one should find fault with a Vaisnava for his activities or behavior. What person is free from the influence of Kali Yuga or has perfect pure behavior and action?

Verse 42

All Vaisnavas are considered as guru or spiritual master.

Verse 43

Amongst all of the Vaisnavas the initiating guru (diksa-guru) and instructing guru (siksa-guru) are special.

Verse 44

It is proper to offer these two special respect.

Verse 45

Amongst all of the other spiritual masters these two (diksa-guru and siksa-guru) spiritual masters' orders are to be followed.

Verse 52

Kindly understand this example:

Just as one respects one's father as a guru, his (the father's) older and younger brothers are also similarly respected, but nonetheless, the father is worthy of the most respect. Not withstanding the above, if the father's guru, even if he is family related, comes, one should double the respect, as he is the spiritual father of the father, or the guru of the guru. He is offered twice the puja or respect.

This behavior is recognized as appropriate by all authorities.

For those who are concerned, Srila Prabhupada at one time authorized his disciples to read this translation in a letter to Yamuna dasi in l968. The Bhaktivedanta Memorial Library is happy to present, in two parts, the preface and introduction of this wonderful book, originally written by our rasacarya Srila Rupa Goswami, no nicely translated by Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura’s disciple Tridani Swami Bhakti Hridaya Bon Maharaj. We should always be careful not to imitate the spiritual master and appreciate the god brothers of the guru with equal respect.

Your servant,

Puru Das Adhikari

The Preface and Introduction to
Sri Rupa Goswami’s Bhakti-Rasamrta-Sindhuh
Sanskrta Text with Devanagari Script
With transliteration in English
English Translation with Comments
Volume I

Translated by
Rector, Institute of Oriental Philosophy
Vrndavan, U.P., India


In 1924 I renounced all worldly association with my revered parents and affectionate blood-relations, and surrendered myself unconditionally and completely at the feet of my Spiritual Master Om Visnupad Bhakti Siddhanta Sarsvati Gosvami Prahupada and accepted the life of a Vaisnava Tridandi monk at the age of 23. In l927 by gurudeva, out of his infinite affection, asked me to unfold the esoteric supra-mundane Love-sports of the Transcendental Damsels of the all-conscious Spiritual Realm of Braja in Their eternal relation with the Supreme Lord. Sri Krsna, at a theistic exhibition that we organized at his ins(is)tance at Sri Mayapore, the birth place of Sri Krsna-caitanyadeva. By the blessings of my Spiritual Master I was able to please him by demonstrating Vrndavana-Radhakunda on the basis of Sri Govinda-lilamrtam. Thus pleased, my Gurudeva asked me to serve the spiritual cause of Brajadhama, and was also ver kind to place me in charge of conducting the ever well-organized circumabulation of Brajamandala that was also organized at his directions. This offered me ample opportunities to go deep in the correct conceptions of the Transcendental Pastimes of the Supreme Lord Krsna and His Associates in Braja. I, therefore, assured my Master that I would endeavor in my humble way to serve the cause of Brajadhama to please him and the Lord of Braja and also for my own spiritual unfoldment. But before I could engage myself in this much desired task, my Spiritual Master sent me to Europe early in l933 with the object of informing the intelligentsia of England, Germany, Austria, Czechoslovakia and France about he supra-excellence of the message of Prema as was preached by Sri Caitanya. I returned to India early in l936, and my spiritual Master passed away at five in the morning of 1st January, 1937. Soon after his demise, the Gaudiya Mission was split into factions due to internal dissensions. Gravely shocked at this most unfortunate turn of events of the institution to which I had dedicated my life from my very early youth. I went away to Burma, Japan and the USA on a lecture tour in order to keep myself aloof from the unpleasant and unhappy affairs of the Gaudiya Math, and returned to India in 1941. I dissociated myself from all the factious parties of the Mission. Under all these unforeseen and adverse circumstances I could not take up the service that I promised my Master.

In 1942 I finally decided to settle down in Vrndaban. But before I could do this, I went out on foot on a pilgrimage of 650 miles to Yamunotri, Gangotri, Kedarnath and Badrinath, and at last took my residence at Vrndaban and remained in exclusive seclusion observing silence for four years. In the meantime I had written a few books on the Vedas, the Gita and the Life and teachings of Sri Caitanya. But the main task, which my Spiritual Master had entrusted to me, remained unfulfilled all these years. In 1946 I broke my self-imposed silence and began to study the present conditions of Vrindaban, which is one of the most important places of pilgrimage of the Hindus. My impression was that present-day Vrindaban was very backward socially, economically, educationally, cultural, and above all spiritually. I thus put my mind and energies to the establishment of an academic institution for advanced scholars for objective studies of the spiritual heritage of India in general and Vaisnavism in particular. I thought that advanced researches in Comparative Philosophy and Comparative Religion at a Research Centre here would enhance the glories of Vrndaban and of India in a lasting manner. The Spiritual Values of Krsna-Prema must stand on their own merit. This academic institution was started in 1960 against terrible oppositions from various quarters for different reasons. It is now an affiliated Post-graduate Institute under Agra University.

But the uplift of the true cause of Braja, which is associated with the Supreme Lord Sri Krsna and Krsna-Prema, could be far better enhanced by translating into English the vasti Sanskrit Literature of the Six Goswamis of the Caitanya School, headed by Sri Rupa and Sri Sanatana, who expounded the supra-mundane, transcendental and esoteric significance of the Realm-Associates-Pastimes of Lord Krsna. This could not so long be possible for want of a group of scholars with a proper frame of mind and heart, freed, as far as humanly possible from mundane sex thinking. The subject matter of Lord Krsna and Krsna Prema is most difficult and most misconceived because of the apparently earthly and essentially transcendental nature. To put the subject into English language is indeed no easy matter.

Any way, I was happy to secure the active co-operation of Dr. Susil Kumar Maitra, PhD., P.R.S., unfortunately he is not more in this world), and Pandit Krsnadaas Vyakaran-Gaudiyadarsana Tirtha, and thus I undertook to translate into English Sri Rupa Goswami’s classical work BHAKTI-RSAMRTA-SINDHUH with all the humbleness of my heart. Should I be able to complete it and see it through printing I shall have the satisfaction that hereby I am able, with all my limitations to serve the wishes of my Spiritual Master and also the cause of Spiritual Vrndavan as well as of Sri Rupa Goswami.

I apologize for mentioning all these my personal affairs in this PREFACE. I have purposely mentioned those personal factors because of the special background of my mind with which I undertook this translation of BHAKTI-RASAMRTA-SINDHU.

I am deeply grateful to Dr. Susil Kumat Maitra, M.A., PhD., P.R.S. who took great trouble in looking through my English rendering, polishing it here and there, and thereby encouraging me immensely.

I express my sincere gratefulness to Pandit Krsnadas Vyakarana Gaudiyadarsana-Tirtha but for whose help I would not have been able to translate the three commentaries. Panditji helped me in following the Sanskrit Tikas and explained to me wherever I found the grammar complex and difficult. In fact I have been able to complete this translation of the Text and the Commentaries in collaboration with Sri Krsna dasaji.

Professor Tapodhira Krisnadas Dastidar, M.A., B.I. has corrected all the proofs of the First Volume with great devotion. May the Supreme Lord Sri Krsna bless him profusely.

I acknowledge with thanks the promptness with which the Navana Printing Works (Pvt.) Ltd,. Calcutta, has completed printing of the First Volume. I feel confident that they will pay equal attention to the printing of the next two Volumes. The Book will be completed in Three Volumes.

As the Founder-Rector of the Institute of Oriental Philosophy, I beg to express our sense of deep gratitude to the Government of India, Ministry of Education, for granting 50% of the total expenditure of this FIRST VOLUME of Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhuh.

And the most pleasant thing that I have to mention here is that my dear friend Dr. SYDNEY ASHTON HILL, of England voluntarily came forward to contribute the balance of the total expenditure for publication of this First Volume of the book when he came to know that the Government of India had sanctioned only half the amount of the cost of publishing this volume. I felt extremely shy when my friend sent me a Cheque without informing me beforehand, and I wrote him back that in this world money often disturbs the relations between father and sons, husband and wife, brother and brother, and friend and friend! I would value his selfless friendship and affection more than any financial gift. He felt pained, and wrote back that this gift was a token of his genuine friendship for me! I could not any longer refuse his affectionate gift for the publication of this important and authentic Book of Philosophy of Bhakti. If my friend Mr. Sydney Ashton Hill benefits by reading this Book of unalloyed devotion to the Supreme Lord of all, I shall be happy. His noble name shall ever remain associated with this publication.

Vrindaban B/H. BON

The 30th October, l964


I humbly bow at the feet of my Spiritual Master Bhakti Siddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Maharaj whose inordinate affection for me is the most Precious gem of my heart. I know how dearest he is, --the apple of the eye, to Sri Sri Radha and Srila Govindadeva, and so I seek his limitless blessings.

Sri Rupa Goswami, who is Sri Rupa-Manjari in Braja-lila, is the personification of the supra-mundane Beauty of Sri Radha, and is the best blooming Blossom in the Garden of Prema, who a very strongly attracts the Supreme Lord Sri Krishna, the Bee, by his incomparable fragrance. May he inspire me to undertake the serious task of serving all genuine devotees, known and unknown, by translating his Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhuh into English so that they may dive into the Ocean of Bhakti-rasa and forever drink the nectar thereof!

May Sri Krsna-caitanyadeva, Who is Lord Sri Krsna with the feelings of Mahabhava of Sri Radha, ever shine in my heart like the Vernal Moon and madden me with the elixir of Krnsa-rema, so that my soul may dance in ecstasy before the smiling eyes of my most Beloved Lord!

Vrindaban Bhakti Hrdaya Bon

The 30th October, l964


Srila Rupa Gosvami was the younger brother of Sri Sanatana Gosvami and was elder to Sri Vallabha, who was father of Sri Jiva Goswami. Sri Vallabh was subsequently known as Anupama. They were Karnata-Brahmanas by birth. Sri Jiva Gosvami, nephew of Sri Rupa and Sri Sanatana, gives a genealogical tree of their family at the end of his book Laghutosani.

It will, therefore, be worth while to explain here in a nutshell the transcendental significance of Mahabhava, which is identified with Sri Radha alone. The conception of Sri Radha is completely misconceived by most people. From the present state of utter self-forgetfulness of an individual soul, engrossed in the physical and mental tabernacles till its final freedom and attainment of Prema-Bhakti, there are different stages of gradual unfolding of the innate dormant nature of the soul, which it must undergo by way of spiritual practices before it can aspire to understand and relish the super -excellence of Sri Radha-Krsna-Prema.


Sri Rupa Goswami deals in this book, Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu with the subject matter of PREMA starting form its lowest step of SRADDHA. From (I) Sraddha to (IV) Anartha nivrrti are steps of spiritual sadhana (practices) from utter bondage to the souls freedom from the clutches of the threefold deviating influences of Maya, the Deluding Energy of God. After self-realization, the soul develops in his or her spiritual practices from (V) Nistha to (IX) Prema, which is attainable even while the soul in not separated from his or her physical and mental, subtle, coverings.

PREMA can develop in the siddha-deha, alone, i.e. the supra mundane and eternally spiritual body of the pure soul or the finite self otherwise called Jiva-atma, as categorically different from the physical and mental associations into: (X) SNEHA, (XI) MANA, (XII) PRANAYA, (XIII) RAGA, (XIV) ANU-RAGA, (XV) BHAVA, and (XVI) MAHABHAVA (XV) Bhava is distinct from (VIII) Bhava-rati in the earlier stages of

Bhakti and spiritual practices till Prema is attained. The individual finite self or the Jiva-atma cannot, as stated above, attain Mahabhava. The conceptions about (I) Sraddha to (IX) Prema have been dealt with the Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu by Srila Rupa Goswami, while Sri Rupa has elaborately explained the stages from (X) Sneha to (XVI) Mahabhava in his famous Ujjvala-Nilamani.

As there has been a lot of confused thinking amongst scholars both eastern and western, about the true nature of Bhakti in general, Prema in particular, and much more about Mahabhava, i.e. the supra-mundane Love-Sports of the Counter-Whole (Sri Radha) with the Predominating Original Whole (Sri Krsna)--the Absolute-Whole having projected Itself out into the second or Counter-Whole without losing the Original Whole

(Cf. Upanisad), and as these technical transcendental aspects of the unalloyed soul's eternal and ever progressive relations with the Supreme Being Sri Krsna have been wrongly identified in certain quarters with mundane and sensual love-dalliance, we propose to give here a sort explanatory note on each of the above mentioned sixteen stages of the souls progress to self-realization and God realization and the reciprocal

relationships that exist between God (Param-Atma) and the individual soul or finite self (Jiv-atma). In the glossary at the end of the book, these technical terms in Rasa-Sastra Literature will be explained and in the Text we shall retain the original Sanskrta expressions which cannot conveniently be rendered into English equivalents. For example, it is absolutely wrong to translate Prema as "love" or Mahabhava as "great sentiment". By such 'easy' translation, the whole purpose of the Works of Sri Rupa Goswami will be lost. (Tridandi Swami Bhakti Hridaya Bon Maharaj introduction to Bhakti-Rasamrta-Sindhu)

(I) SRADDHA: Faith in the Supreme Being Sri Krsna, i.e. the faith that by serving Him alone everything else is served wholly and completely, as by pouring water at the root of a plant all its branches twigs and leaves are fed. Sraddha is aroused in the heart of an individual in bondage, but his association with saints and by listening to the injunctions of the Scriptures. Sraddha is of two kinds viz. (a) mundane, and (b) spiritual.

The spiritual Sraddha or firm faith is the seed of Bhakti (Cf. Bhakti Sandarbha)

(II) SADHU SANGA: Company of Sadhus or Saints. This means an individuals eager desire to be in the company of a Sadhu in order to learn the methods of spiritual practices for God realization alone and for no other purpose. But who is a Sadhu?

According to Bhagavatam, Canto XI, Chap. 11, Slokas 29 to 31, the following are the qualities of a genuine Sadhu or Saint: A Sadhu is kind; he cherishes animosity toward none; he smilingly endures even the bitterest miseries; he loves Truth as the vein-blood of his life; he never allows any evil thought to pollute his mind; he looks upon all with equal love and compassion; he does not entertain any kind of mundane desires to darken his mental quantum; he is self-controlled, amiable and pure in character; he remains farthest from any attempt to accumulate for his future subsistence and does not beg anything form anybody; he is abstentious and peaceful; he is steady in his mind; he depends absolutely on the Supreme Lord Sri Krsna, and remains in constant remembrance of the Lord; he is patient, solemn, magnanimous and undisturbed even by utmost provocations and turmoils; he has control over hunger, thirst, lamentations ,infatuation, birth and death; he does never aspire after respect for himself, but is always respectful to others; he is friendly to all; his heart is full of compassion for others; he is fully conversant with the real nature of God; and he is erudite. To keep company with such a one in person, thought and through discussions is Sadhu-sanga.

(III) BHAJANA-KRIYA: Spiritual practices (in the stage of bondage). This Bhajana-Kriya is twofold viz.

(a)Nistha i.e. rigid following of listening to and singing the glories of the Supreme Lord and (b) Anistha, i.e. slackness in spiritual practices. This slackness in spiritual practices may be due to six different circumstances, viz.

1. Utsahamayi-early zeal in Bhakti like a child's first attempt at reading the First Primer, thinking that it has become a great scholar, which slowly declines;
2. Ghana-tarala- or thickened liquidity, i.e. sometimes progressive and sometimes retrogressive processes of spiritual practices of Bhakti like the intensity and slackness of a student in his studies.
3. Vyudha-Vikalpa-this is like a married man, vacillating between resolutions and doubts. At times such a sadhaka resolved to remain in his householder’s life in the company of his wife and children, relatives and friends, and devote himself to spiritual practices of service to God, i.e. Bhakti, and again the next moment he resolves to cut off all ties with his blood relations in order to devote himself completely to a spiritual life. Such a vacillating state of mind of a devotee is called Vyuha-Vikalpa Anisthita Bhajana-kriya, which means a vacillating state resulting in slackness in Spiritual practices.
4. Visaya-Sangara-i.e.fight against the temptations of wroldly enjoyments. In this state of slackness, the devotee sometimes overcomes allurements of worldly pleasures and sometimes he is duped by them. Of worldly pleasures and sometimes he is duped by them;
5. Niyama-Aksama-unstability in determination. In this state of slackened Bhakti the Sadhaka fails to stick even to his strong determinations;
6. Tranga-Rangini- Even when a Sakhaka (one in his bondage engaged in spiritual practices) is over whelmed by a desire for spiritual advancement and is engaged in spiritual practices, he is drifted away by the powerful forces of the tide or worldly gains, name and fame, etc. Such a state is called Taranga-Rangini.

IV) ANARTHA-NIVRTTI: Cessation of the obstacles and the defects that cloud Bhakti. These obstacles are four:---

(1) Obstacles arising out of impious thinking and wrong doings, as wel as fivefold miseries, which are---

1. Avidya-to mistake a changeable and transitory object for an eternal entity.
2. Asmita--to misidrntify one's own self with one's gross physical body and one's subtle body (mind, intelligences and ego);
3. Raga--attachment to objects of sense-experiences viz. form,(rupa),taste (rasa), smell (gandha),touch (sparsa) and sound (sabda) corresponding to fire, water earth, air and ether;
4. Dvesa-anger against opposition to the enjoyment of the senses;
5. Abhinivesa-to misconceive one as dead when the physical body and the phenomenal objects of physical enjoyments are destroyed.

(2) Obstacles arising out of pious actions done either in this life or in previous births, which offers enjoyment here inthis world or hereafter in heaven (svarga). Enjoyment in this world or in heaven as a result of pious deeds are obstacles to the attainment of Bhakti--they are like deep clouds that cover the Moon of Bhakti.

(3) Obstacles arising out of ten offences done to the Name of Krsna and thirty-two offences comitted in the services of Arcana i.e. worship of the Deities in the temple. One should know them in detail so that spiritual practices of Bhakti might no be overclouded.

(4) Obstacles arising out of Bhakti itself, that is, from a non-rigid state of sadhana Bahkti. It is possible that one is carried away by the desires for Bukti, i.e. for enjoyment of pleasures of heaven as a minor god, or desire for Mukti (Sayujya-Mukti), i.e. self-annihilation by way of a desire to merge into the Absolute Brahman, or be desires for worldly gains, name and fame, etc. One has got to be very careful about these subtle temptations that may lead one astray from unalloyed Bhakti. After there is a complete cessation of the above-mentioned fourfold possible obstacles, there are five impediments to the practices of elementary Bhakti for a Sadhaka-a devotee in bondage, viz.

1. Laya-to feel ever increasing drowsiness while singing listening to and remembering the glories of the Godhead;
2. Viksepa-to maintain mundane associations while practising even the external forms of Bhakti;
3. Apratipatti-disinclination fo rBhajana or spiritual endeavors even when realising one's Laya and Viksepa
4. Kasaya-instinctively prone to anger, avarice, vanity, etc;
5. Rasasvada- to think of sensual enjoyments and worldly pleasure while negaged in Bhajana practices of Bhakti.

To be compeltely freed from all the above-stated obstacles, which overcloud unalloyed Bhakti is Anartha-Nivrtti.

(V) NISTHA: Firmness in the striving for the unfolding of Bhakti. When the obstacles of Laya, Viksepa, Kasaya, etc. are almost removed form the path of Bhakti of such a Sadhaka, the stediness that he then arrains is called Nistha. This Nistha or firmness in Bhakti can be of two different forms:---

(1) Steadfastness that directly concerns Bhakti which is again of three forms, viz.

1. Physical, such as worship in the temple, listening to the Scriptures, prostrated obeisances befvore the Deities in the temple and before the Guru or Spiritual Master, circumabulation of the Temple of God and the sacred places of pilgrimage associated with His Divine Descents in his world;
2. Verbal,such as chanting the Name of God, telling beads and reading aloud His glories;
3. Mental, such as remembrance of and meditationon the Divine Name, Transcendental Form and Beauty, supra mundane limitless Qualities, spiritual Realm, Associates and Entourage, and Eternal Pastimes of the Lord.

(2) Steadiness in relation to things which are favorable to Bhakti. No dsire for one's own respect, being respectful to tohers, freindliness, compassion, gratitude, self-control, mental tranquility, tolerance, and such other qualities as are helpful to the development of constancy in Bhakti.

(VI) RUCI: Liking or Taste. When a strong taste for listening to the glories of the Lord becomes much more agreeable than talks on mundane things, then such a mental taste of the devotee is called Ruci. This Ruci or taste for the singing of the glories of God is of two forms, viz.

a)to pay equal attention to all aspects of Bhakti without paying any particular attention to the less important aspects of Bhakti and

b)to feel agreeably affected for the various traits of Bhakti, keeping in view the more important and the less important aspects thereof.

(VII) ASAKTI: Attachment. When taste for services of the Supreme Lord develops into full-grown maturity and the Lord alone becomes the sole object of life, then such an intensity fo spiritual practices by a devotee creates a clue-like attachment for the Lord in his heart. This attachment for the Lord is like the foliage of the all-wish-yielding Creeper of Bhakti in the form of loving service of the Supreme Lord, the Godhead, which very soon brings forth the Flower of Bhava and the Fruit of Prema.

This Asakti cleanses the heart of the devotee and makes is so transparent that the Lord's Reflection appears therein in such a way as if the Lord has appeared before the devotee in person. In the beginning the Sadhaka, i.e. a devotee in the early stages of spiritual practices purposely turns his mind towards the Supreme Person and soon his mind is spontaneously and constantly fixed on Him. In this stage of Asakti, if the devotee be in the midst of even worldly gossip, his mind will turn unawares to the Lord and be attached to thinking about Him. His soul now begins to relish the supreme sweetness of the incomparable Beauties of Sri Krsna, the Lord. All worldly talks and worldly affairs become boring and unbearable to him.

(VIII) BHAVA: When the above-explained Asakti or attachment along with Ruci or spontaneous taste softens the heart, mind and ego, and all reasoning faculties reach a point of melting, it is called BHAVA. This BHAVA is the innate nature of the self-same Potency (Svarupa-Sakti) or Internal Potency (Antaranga-Sakti) of the All-powerful Supreme Lord and is like the Aurora immediately preceding the rise of the sun of Prema.

(1) Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu, East Wave 3, Sloka 1.

When a devotee attains to the stage of Bhava-Rati, the following nine traits are fully developed in him.2

(2) ibid sloka, East, Wave 3 12-13

1. He wastes not his time even for the twinkling of an eye without being constantly engaged in his bhajana, i.e. intense spiritual practices.

2. The mental equilibrium of such a devotee remains perfectly calm and composed even if there be causes of extreme excitement.

3. He develops a natural apathy for worldly objects;

4. He is unassuming even though possessing all noble qualities.

5. He has a firm faith in the realization of God in this very life and meeting with His Beloved Lord.

6. He develops an intense longing for his Beloved Lord;

7. He constantly sings the Name of his Beloved Lord;

8. His attachment for singing the glories of the Lord remains steady;

9. He passionately loves Vrndavan-the Eternal Realm of the Transcendental Pastimes of the Supreme Lord Sri Krsna.

The Madhurya-kadambini describes the following further characteristics of Bhava-Bhakti.

1. This Bhava is also called Rati;

2. The fragrance of the Flower of Bhava-Bhakti of a devotee forcibly attracts Sri Krsna the Lord, like a bee;

3. When the devotee reaches the stage of Bhava,he anoints the Lord with Bhava-scented Oil of Affection, squeezed out of the Sesame of his mental Quantum. The Lord is also overwhelmed by enjoying the Bhava-Bhakti of his devotee.

4. Such a devotee in Bhava-Bhakti is adored even by the gods however lowly in a society in which he might have been born;

5. When Bhava is awakened in the heart of a devotee, his soul is drenched by showers of tears of Prema, being overfilled with emotions of inexplicable joy due to his experiencing and realising the supplenes of the dark-blue Body of Sri Krsna, the ruddines of the Corners of His Eyes and the Ends of His Lips, the silveriness of His gentle Smile and the yellowness of His Robes;

6. He feels at intervals to have listened to the soothing music of His Flute, the sweet jingling of the tinkling Anklets of His Feet; and the Lord's Own charming and fascinating Voice; and he remains ever eager to taste Them again and again.

7. He feels an immensely delightful sensations of occasional touch of the tender Hands and the Feet of the Lord, and he is thrilled to smell the gladenning Odour of His Body;

8. He sometimes feels His Presence, and is drowned in the stream of ecstasy; again, he feels that the Lord has forsaken him, and he is thrown into the depth of the pang of separation;

9. The devotee in Bhava-Bhakti experiences the above-mentioned conditions not only when wide awake, but also in deep sleep as also in dreams;

10. IN the stage of Bhava, the devotee strongly identifies himself with his siddha-deha or eternal cit body, i.e. a supramundane all spiritual and eternal body, (which is encaged in the gross and subtle physical bodies in the state of bondage of an individual), and forgets his wrong, "I"-ism or egoism of the physical body; he has now attained the stage of absolute freedom form the bondage of the gross physical body and the subtle mind and perverse egoism;

11. Though such a devotee tries to hide his spiritual experiences from worldly-minded folks, they become manifest in the company of genuine, freed and passionate devotees; to the ordinary people, expressions of such supra-mundane experiences appear like madness. This Bhava, which is otherwise called "Sthayi-Bhava", i.e. permanent trait of relation between the individual atma and the Parama-Atma or Godhead, are FIVE primary, and SEVEN secondary. The Five primary Sthayi-Bhavas are:---

1. Santa-rati: or indifference, i.e. when the individual self in the Eternal Realm, such as, the Cow, or the stick, the Flute, etc. does not take the reciprocal initiative but is accepted by the Lord Himself out of His Own prerogative. In the Realm of the Lord, nothing is inanimate–everything is cit or animate. But the Objects of Santa-rati appear as inanimate as They allow themselves to be utilized or not by the Lord.

2. Dasya-rati: or servanthood. The Servants like Citraka, Patraka and others are the eternal Servants of the Lord, and they serve the Lord as their Beloved Master.

3. Sakhya-rati: or friendship. The friends of Sri Krsna, like Sridam, Sudama, Vasudama, Suvala, Madhumangala, Ujjvala, and others always serve the Lord as their Most Intimate Friend.

4. Vatsalya rati: parenthood. The Parents of Sri Krsna, like Nanda, Upananda, Sunanda, Yasoda, Rohini, Devaki and others eternally serve Lord Sri Krsna as their Most Affectionate Child.

5. Madhura-rati: Consorthood. The Queens of Dwaraka, such as Rukmini, Satyabhama, Jambavati, and others, eternally serve the Lord as their Most Beloved Husband, while the Gopis of Vraja (the Vraja-Gopis) eternally serve the Supreme Lord Sri Krsna as Their Most Intimate Beloved with an unrestricted and supremely intense dedication to the all-out satisfaction and absolute delight of the Lord--there is absolute self-effacement of the Vraja-Gopis in Their Sthayi or permanent Madhura-rati for the Lord, for the Lord’s absolute and unrestricted Enjoyment.

The Sthayi-bhava combined with the four ingredients of Vibhava , Anu-Bhava, Satvika and Sancari, develops into an inconceivable Concrete Form out of the transcendental and absolutely spiritual mellow-sweetness which is called Rasa. The Supreme Lord SRIKRSNA IS RASA (Cf..Sruti: Raso vai sah). All this will be explained in the text of Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu.

(IX) PREMA When Bhava develops to such a ptich that is completely softens the mental quantum of the most advanced devotee and creates a sense ofintense "my-ness" for the Beloved Lord and gladdens the heart beyond all measure, it is called Prema. 3:

(3) Bahkti-rasamrta-sindhu, Easst, Wave 4, Sloka 1.

This Prema may manifest itself in a devotee in two different ways, viz. (a) as a development of Bhava, and (b) as arising from the Grace of the Lord.

(a) PREMA arising from Bhava: In this aspect of Prema, it becomes normal and spontaneous as a vow, as it were, in the life os such a devotee to be completely and constantly engaged in listening to, chanting and singing the endearing Name of the Lord; he is deeply attached to his Most Beloved Lord and a profound fondness for Him overhwelms him; all his reasoning faculties are dissolved and melt into divine emotions; he then forgets all social decorum, and gives away like a mad person sometimes to shreiks of loud laughter, sometimes to bitter weeping, sometimes to shouting; again, he is merged in the melody of music of singing the Lord’s limitless Qualities, and sometimes dancing in ectasy.4

(4) Bhagavatam, Canto XI, Chap 2, Sloka 40.

(b) PREMA arising from GRACE OF THE LORD: The damsels of Vraja read not the Vedas, served not the saints, undertook no religious vows, performed no austere penances, and yet they achieved Prema for the Supreme Lord Sri Krsna, because of His causeless Grace only. 5

(5) IBID, Catjno XI, Chap 12 Sloka 7.

PREMA is again of two different natures according to the two different Aspects of the Supreme Lord Sri Krsna Himself, viz. (I)His All-majestic Aspect,and (ii)His All-beauteous Aspect.

PREMA for the All-majestic Aspect of Lord Sri Krsna (as in Vaikuntha), which is called "Aisvaraya", and for the All-majestic-All beauteous Aspect of the Lord Sri Krsna. (as in Dwaraka and Mathura) which is called "Aisvarya-Madhurya" is restrictd by a conscious knowledge of awe and reverence, and it is called Vaidhi-Bhakti; while a spontaneous attachment and and fond liking for the All-beauteous, All-attractive Aspect of Lord Sri Krsna in Vraja alone, which is called Madhurya, is without any restriction whatsoever on the Supra-mundane Love-dalliance, and is called Ruci-Bhakti.

The Majestic Divnity of Sri Krsna (Aisvarya) always consists of–(1) All-majesty, (2) All-attracting, (3) All-beauty, (4)All-dominance, (5) All skillfulness and craftiness, and (6) All-desirous, Sri Krsna’s Associates in Vraja had this Madhurya-Prema for Him in the form either of the devoted Servant, or of the intimate Friend , or as the affectionate Son, or as the Divine consort with the feelings of intimacy, filial affection and conjugal love or consortship without restrictions,social or any other, resepctively.

PREMA has two more important aspects as mentioned in Madhurya kadmbini, viz.

1. PREMA in its intrinsic nature is itself a dense, consolidated and Ecstatic bliss or Ananda. PREMA once awakened never ceases even if there be strong grounds of a break or cessation:
2. PREMA possesses the supreme power to attract even Sri Krsna, Who is the All-attractor.

When the Sun of Prema dawns in the perfectly cleansed and transparent heart of the Prema-bhakta ( a devotee who has attained Prema), the following characteristics become natural and normal with him:---

1. All forms of "my-ness’ and attachment of a Prema-bhakta for his body-mind-soul and those related to the body-mind are completely directed to Sri Krsna alone. His "my-ness{ is attracted by Sri Krsna like a magnet drawing a clean piece of iron.
2. As a greedy and hungry man’s desire for palatable dishes never ends even if he has eaten much of them, so also a Prema-bhakta’s burning desire and solicitude for Sri Krsna have no end when once he has attained Him, rather the longing increases all the more. To a Prema-bhakta in his pangs of separation from his beloved Lord, his own dear friend appear like a dry well without water; his own home pricks him like a house of thorns; food tastes like severe beating; praise seems like the venom of a snake-bite; the different limbs and organs of his body become a heavy burden to him; the solacing words of friends sound platitudinous and even bitter; sleep is death to him; existence of the body seems to him as God’s punishment; what more, even meditation on the Beloved by such a Prema-bhakta in the agonies of separation, cuts asunder, as it were, his very soul;
3. Like a covetous thief, the Prema-bhakta loses all powers of distinguishing between good and evil;
4. As the soothing rays of the moon cool the scorching heat of a thousand suns, so also the union with Sri Krsna removes all the pangs of separation from the heart of a Prema-bhakta who has acquired this wealth of Prema;
5. Overpowered by these anxieties of Prema of His devotee, Sri Krsna reveals to him His matchless Beauty, extraordinary Loveliness, incomprehensible Adolescence, soul attracting handsomeness, limitless magananimity, and fathomless Compassion and such other Divine Qualities. The devotee who as ascended the ladder of Prema and has thus been blessed by the Lord experiences such a divinely wondrous and luminous pleasure as far outweighs the pleasures that a tired traveller experiences at midday in the scorching rays of the summer-sun in the midst of hot sands of a vast desert when he suddenly finds a densely shaded banyan tree full of thick foliage with all its branches and twigs, or the pleasure that a wild elephant enjoys being drenched in a cool water-fall after it has escaped half burnt form the huge forest fire;
6. After an individual souls has attained Prema by his or her spiritual practices, he or she now beholds the Lord face-to-face with the sarsana-rati or attachment of vision, and realises that this luinous expereience fare excels all the experiences he or she had at a the stage of Bhava-Bhakti;

This experience is of the following order:--

7. First: With the eyes (soul’s organ of visual perception);
Second: With the nose (soul’s perception through the organ of Smelling);
Third: With the ears (soul’s perception through the organ of hearing);
Fourth: With the tactile sense (soul’s perception though the organ of touch);
Fifth: With the tongue (soul’s faculty of tasting).
8. Out of His magnanimity Sri Krsna occasionally makes the devotee experience in his Prema the beatitude of His Beauteous Sweetness all at once with all his supra-mundane and transcendental senses;
9. At the time of revealing His Person before His devotee in the stage of Prema, the Lord responds favorably to the devotee’s nature of sadhana or spiritual practices.

So far the different stages in the gradual development of PREMA starting from SRADDHA to PREMA, have been dealt with by Sri Rupa Gosvami in Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu, and we have given here just a summary of the same. It will however, be necessary to explain here in a nutshell how Prema further unfolds itself into SNEHA, MANA, PANAYA, RAGA, ANU-RAGA, BHAVA and MAHABHAVA in relation to the transcendental Love-Pastimes in Madhura-rati, i.e. supra-mundane wifehood and mistresshood of the freed soul (which is no more misidentified with the physical and mental bodies) in relation to the Supreme Godhead in His Husbandhood and Paramourhood respectively, there being absolutely nothing mundane and physical in it, though it may sound so.

The second installment of:

by Srila Rupa Goswami
Translation and commentary by
Tridandi Hrydaya Bon Maharaj
Rector, Institute of Oriental Philosophy

So far the different stages in the gradual development of PREMA starting from SRADDHA to PREMA, have been dealt with by Sri Rupa Gosvami in Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu, and we have given here just a summary of the same. It will however, be necessary to explain here in a nutshell how Prema further unfolds itself into SNEHA, MANA, PANAYA, RAGA, ANU-RAGA, BHAVA and MAHABHAVA in relation to the transcendental Love-Pastimes in Madhura-rati, i.e. supra-mundane wifehood and mistresshood of the freed soul (which is no more misidentified with the physical and mental bodies) in relation to the Supreme Godhead in His Husbandhood and Paramourhood respectively, there being absolutely nothing mundane and physical in it, though it may sound so.

Part II

(Introduction continues)

Though Prema functions in all the twelve Sthayi-bhavas, i.e., permanent sentiments, viz. Five primary i.e. (1)Santa, (2) Dasya, (3)Sakhya, (4) Vatsalya, and (5) Madhura, and seven secondary, i.e. (6)Hasya, (7) Karuna, (8) Raudra, (9) Vira, (10) Bhayankara, (11)Vibhatsa, and (12) Adbhuta, it is essentially in Madhura-Sthayi-bhava-rati only that it rolls ever more, on and on, in all the manifold fine shades and ripples. Therefore,

Madhura-bhava has been accepted to be the highest expression of Prema in the Realm of the Absolute Divinity. Sri Rupa Goswami has, therefore, dealt with this aspect of Prema, as expressed in the various shades of Madhura-bhava beginning from PREMA and reaching unto MAHABHAVA, separately in his Ujjvala-Nilamani, whereas the Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu deals up to Prema, beginning from the lowest step of Sradhha in the ladder of the spiritual sadhana of Bhakti of the highest order. Here we shall give a very short note on Madhura-rati culminating in Mahabhava as described in the Ujjvala-Nilamani whereas the Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu deals up to Prema, beginning from the lowest step of Sraddha in the ladder of the spiritual sadhana of Bhakti of the highest order. Here we shall give a very short note on maha-rati culminating in Mahabhava as described in the Ujjvala-Nilamani.

The Supreme Transcendental and Sole Enjoyer of the supra-mundane Erotic Sentiments finds His highest expressions in Madhura-bhava, also called Madhura-rati, which is a Sthayi-bhava or permanent feeling. In this Madhura-Sthayi-bhava, Sri Krsna is the only Subject (6) and the transcendental Damsels of Vraja are the Objects. (7)

(6) I use the word "Subject " in the sense that the Supreme Lord Krsna is the only and always the Predominating Enjoyer, and everything else is "object" of His enjoyment.

(7) "Object" is used to signify the "Dominated-Enjoyed".

When the Madhura-Sthayi-bhava combines with the four ingredients of Vibhava, Anu-bhava, Sattvika and Sancari, it is then called MADHURA-PREMA or SRNGARA RASA. As already stated, all these conceptions have nothing mundane about them, and they are technical expressions of the Supra-mundane Realm of the Supreme Godhead and can be experienced only by genuine spiritual practices. By any application of the cognitional and emotional faculties of the mind, however developed and refined, Prema can never be understood, much less realised.. Here the Means and the End must be one and the same–it has to be unfolded and awakened from within the innate nature of the eternal self and cannot be got from without. These technical expressions will, therefore, be explained as far as humanly possible, in a Glossary, and in the body of the book we shall use the original expressions. It will be a mistake to attempt to render these expressions in common English equivalents, which will only relate to human love, which is sensual lust. We must draw a thick line between sensual and transcendental–between sensual loved which is another name for lust, and Divine Prema.

The divine Gopis, the Eternal Damsels of Vraja, are eternally freed souls, and are Associated Parts of Sri Krsna, as distinct from His separated parts, i.e. the individual finite souls. Each One of them has a supra-mundane personality, and they conceive themselves in their unmarried Maidenhood or married Wifehood or unrestricted Mistresshood in relation to the Supreme Lord Sri Krsna Who is their Beloved. When Prema is discussed, it must always be remembered that it has nothing to do with any love-affair between a man and a woman of this world, however noble it might appear to be. The love-relation between a man and a woman in this world is sensual lust, while the PREMA between the Supreme Lord Sri Krsna, the Godhead, and the supra-mundane Damsels of Vraja is absolutely transcendental. Love of this world, in any form, is definitely lust in different forms and degrees and can be compared with the dense darkness of the 15th day of the Dark-fortnight, while Prema of Vraja and of the Damsels of Vraja are bright like the Midday Sun. With this preliminary background we now proceed to discuss Prema in Madhura-rati.

The clever and intriguing nature of the Damsels of Vraja is eternal and innate in their very existence. Through Prema is their normal characteristic, yet the under —mentioned seven causes and conditions made Prema manifest itself in them:---

1. Abhiyoga: Complaint. To make one’s inner sentiments known either by oneself or through someone else as by way of complain–or Abiyoga to Sri Krsna in Madhura-rati;
2. Visaya: Subject.8* Voice, Touch, Form, Taste and Smell of Sri Krsna are the "Subjects" of Madhura-rati and are its roots, i.e. these, viz. Voice, Touch, Form, Taste and Smell of Sri Krsna dominate the reciprocal Senses of the Damsels of Vraja in Madhura rati;

8 * In Prema-Rasa, Sri Krsna is the "Visaya", i.e. the Supreme Enjoyer by all His Spiritual senses, and this absolute Predominating Aspect of Sri Krsna as "Viasaya" I translate as "Subject", while Sri Radha and the Damsels of Vraja are the "Asraya" of Prema-Rasa as the Dominated, and I translate this "Asraya" aspect in Prema as "Object".
3. Sambandha: Relation. Madhura-rati is aroused by ---Family, Supra-mundane Body, Heroism, Civility, etc., which are related to Sri Krsna;
4. Abhimana: Feeling as their own. In spite of the presence of other beautiful objects, the Damsels of Vraja cherish a determined and sensitive decision that Sri Krsna alone is the only Subject of attainment. This feeling that Sri Krsna is their own arouses Madhura-rati in them;
5. Tadiya Visesa; His Specialties, Rati is awakened by the sight of the Foot-prints of Sri Krsna, His Vraja and His dear Associates and Companions, etc’
6. Upama: Comparison, Madhura-rati is enkindled in the heart of the Damsels of Vraja at the sight of any object which has even the slightest likeness with the Form and Beauty of Sri Krsna;
7. Svabhava: Natural. When Rati wakes up spontaneously in the heart of the Vraja-Gopis without any exterior cause, it is called Svabhava or normal nature of Madhura-rati, which Svabhava has again two forms, viz.

(i)Nisarga: Causal. The various impressions that grow from a culture day —and-night listening to and meditation upon the Form Qualities, etc. of Sri Krsna;

(ii)Svarupa: Innate. A normal and spontaneous Madhura-rati is independent of any such listening to or meditating upon Sri Krsna, and is called Svarupa-Svabhava or innate nature of Madhura-rati, which is again of three forms. Viz.

1. Krsna Nista: Krsna as the Subject of Rati. When the Damsels of Vraja do not hide the character and qualities of Sri Krsna from anybody except the devils and the demons, and when they expose their Rati for Sri Krsna amongst themselves, it is called Krsna-Nistha;
2. Lalana-Nistha: Vraja Gopis as the Object of Rati. When the Damsels of Vraja have an independent and normal Rati for Sri Krsna without any previous knowledge of Him or without previously listening to anything about Him, or without previously seeing Him, it is called Lalana-Nistha Svarupa-Svabhava of Madhura-rati; its is a specialty of the Damsels of Vraja;
3. Ubhaya-Nistha: Mutually devoted. When Bhava or Rati is aroused in the hearts of the beautiful Damsels of Vraja (Vraja-Lalana) at the sight of Sri Krsna, and similar reciprocal Bhava is aroused in the heart of Sri Krsna at the sight of the Damsels of vraja, it is called Ubhaya-Nistha Svarupa-Svabhava.

The above mentioned seven causes of Madhura-rati have been stated only to show it super-excellence in amatory gestures, though in fact the Madhura-Bhava

Of the Damsels of Vraja is innate and normal, and their attachment does not depend on any cause whatsoever.

There are three forms of Madhura-rati of an individual soul (atma) conceiving itself as inspired by the feeling of womanhood or mistresshood. They are:

1. SADHARANI RATI; The Rati, i.e. the permanent sentiment or Sthayi- bhava that is not very much deep and that is generally aroused by the sight of Sri Krsna alone, and that is pregnant with a thirst for love-sports with the Lord is called Sadharani Rati. Its climax is up to Prema only, as already explained under Heading IX. The Rati that was aroused in Kubja’s heart at the very sight of Sri Krsna when the Lord was going to the amphitheater of King Kamsa to kill him, is an example of this Sadharani Rati, which is indeed very rare and valued like a jewel (mani);
2. SAMANJASA RATI: This Rati is very very rare like the fabulous gem that grants the possessor whatever may be wished for (cinta-mani). Here the Rati is deep in the feeling of married wifehood, as in the case of the Queens of Dvaraka, such as Rukmini, Satyabhama, Jambavati and others in Their relation with the Supreme Lord. This Samanjasa Rati is awakened in the heart on listening to the glories and qualities of Sri Krsna. There is also occasional desire for love-sports with the Lord. The Queens of Dvaraka are the Objects of Samanjasa Rati, and it reaches to the stage of ANU-RAGA in the gradual superior order of Prema, Sneha, Mana, Pranaya, Raga and Anu-Raga, and does not reach Bhava and Mahabhava;
3. SAMARTHA RATI: This Rati is possible in the Damsels of Vraja alone and nowhere else. It is supremely one without a second like the Kaustubha-Mani, the Jewel that adorns the breast of Sri Krsna. As the Kaustubha-jewel cannot be found anywhere but on the breast of Sri Krsna alone, so also this Samarthi-Rati is possible with the Damsels of Vraja only. By its distinctive characteristic of an inconceivable luminous quality, which is lacking in Sadharani and Samanjasa Ratis, Samartha Rati overwhelms and charms Sri Krsna and thereby subdues Him completely. Here there is no possible gap for any thirst for Union with the Lord, because here Samartha Rati and the Supreme Union are merged into one. This Rati is exceedingly profound and deep beyond one’s imagination. From the faintest smell of the Samartha Rati, the Gopis forget all about themselves, their hearth and home, their supposed husbands and relatives. Here everything they have and all their efforts are directed to this one end, namely, to increase the pleasures of Sri Krsna alone–there is not the slightest tinge of self-enjoyment. The maturity of Samartha Rati grows into Prema, Sneha, Mana Pranaya, Raga, Anu-Raga and Mahabhava. Here ‘Prema’ should be understood to be Madhura-Prema only, and not Prema in any other Sathayi-bhava Rati.

MADHURA PREMA: The intense tie of attachment between the SUBJECT OF PREMA, i.e.. Visaya or Predominating Nayaka or Enjoyer Krsna only, and the OBJECT OF PREMA, i.e. Dominated Asraya Nayikas or the Enjoyed Damsels of Vraja alone and none else, is such that it never ceases, even though there be grace causes for such a breach between the Subject and the Object of Sthayi-bhava in Madhura Prema. Madhura-Prema is the relation between the Supreme Godhead as the transcendental and supra-mundane Paramour and the Divine Damsels of Vraja, the Gopis, in their all-cit, i.e. spiritual supra-mundane eternal bodies as Mistresses. This Paramourhood of Sri Krsna and the Mistresshood of the Vraja-Gopis is the climax of Madhura-Prema in the Transcendental Realm of the Highest Divinity Sri Krsna, which far excels the relation of Husbandhood of the Godhead, Sri Krsna and thew Wifehood of the Queens of Dvaraka.

MADHURA-PREMA has three aspects, viz.

1. Praudha Prema, i.e. Prema in its full maturity. In this stage separation between the Object and the Subject of Prema becomes unbearable to the point of death.
2. Madhya Prema, i.e. Prema in its middle aspect, in 3which separation between the Subject and the Object is painfully endured by hard penances.
3. Manda Prema, i.e. Prema of an inferior nature, in which there are occasional lapses of oblivion about things related to the Supreme Lord Krsna.

MADHURA PREMA unfolds itself into its successively ascending aspects (X)SNEHA, (XI) MANA, (XII)PRANAYA (XIII)RAGA, (XIV) ANU-RAGA,

(XV) BHAVA, and (XVI) MAHABHAVA. These we shall explain here in a few short paragraphs from Sri Rupa Gosvami’s Ujjvala-Nilamani. Here we must again repeat by way of caution that the subject matter of Madhura-Prema is completely beyond phenomenal associations, gross physical actions, subtle mental emotions, and far beyond the scope of all human sense-experience. It can be realised on its own level only by those freed souls who are eligible for it.

In the Science of Spiritual life, the stages of sadhana or spiritual practices from (I)SRADDHA to (IV) ANARTHA-NIVRTTI concern gradual progressive stages of a self-forgetful soul from its state of bondage to its stage of self-awakening. From (V) NISTHA to (VII) BHAVA, the individual reaches the plane of transcendence, fully realises its own true finite self as distinct from the mundane body and the changeable mind-intelligence-ego, and transcends the thought-world of sense experiences and is blessed by the First Flash of the Lord’s Personal Appearance before him. In the stage of (IX) Prema Bhakti, and not Madhura-Prema, the soul has attained both self-realisation and God-realisation. When Prema further develops, it leads one to the supra-mundane (aprakrta) Realm of Sri Krsna, Who has no material body but possesses and Eternal and Aprakrta Body of His own, which appears like a human form but is completely different form it–similarity in appearance does not necessarily mean identity.

In the Supra-mundane or Aprakrta Realm of Vraja in relation to Absolute Beatitude or Madhurya-Murti of Sri Krsna, and in Mathura and Dvaraka in relation to His Majesties-cum-Beatitude, the conceptions of eternal relationships of the Counter-Wholes and the Associate Counter-Parts of the Godhead with God Himself have already been described as (1) Santa, (2) Dasya, (3) Sakhya, (4) Vatsalya and (5) Madhura. These conceptions of relation with God must not therefore be dragged down to the level of similar but perverse relationships in this mundane world. Prema has its highest unfolding in two forms, i.e. (a) in the concept of the ‘married wifehood", and (b) in the supra-mundane or aprakrta concepts of ‘unmarried maidenhood" and "married mistresshood".

The subject has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with the perverted love-relations in this world of changeable phenomenon. A true conception and realisation of Prema can be possible only on the plane of Transcendence, and can be aroused in the heart of a freed or mutka Jiva-atma only. People given to sensuality in any form, who try to understand it by sense-applications, must not dabble in Prema. As already said, from similar sounding expressions, one must not hurry to identify them. Prema, and Kama or sensual love in any form, are on two different levels. Prema is possible in the transcendental Realm of God alone, while Kama or sensual love is on the plane of mundane senses. It will be an utter mistake to attempt to understand Prema in terms of the knowledge of mundane love or lust (be it human or animal). It is only by honest and earnest spiritual practices or sadhana that an individual may gradually climb the different steps of the ladder, from the lowest step of Sraddha to the highest step of Prema. A mere jump from the lowest to the highest, from Kama or mundane love (which is only another form of mundane lust) to Prema will simply hurl one into the abyss of mundane lust, and such a person can never realise and relish the mellow-sweetness of supra-mundane Krsna-Prema. With this repeated caution to the readers, we now proceed to discuss the ascending stages in the development of Prema.

(X) SNEHA: When the lamp of Prema illuminates Sri Krsna and it attains a state of excellence, and makes the inner organs of the Asraya or Object of Prema melt, then such Prema is called Sneha. When Sneha is enkindled in the heart, there is no quenching of the ever-new thirst for seeing the Lord. This Sneha is of two varieties, (viz.) (a)Ghrta-Sneha, and (b)Manu-Sneha.

1. Ghrta-Sneha: literally means ‘affection as tender as clarified butter.’ When Sneha becomes exceedingly endearing, and the Object of Prema, i.e. the Asraya expresses her sentiments as "I am Thine", it is called Ghrta-Sneha. Sri Candravali is the Asraya or Object of this Prema.
2. Madhu-Sneha: literally means ‘affection as tender and sweet as honey.’ When Sneha becomes expressive of the sentiment of "Thou art mine", it is called Madhu-Sneha. Here is a sense of the most intense feeling of "My-ness", such as, "Thou are mine", "Thou hast many, but I have none but Thee". Madhu-Sneha itself is a personification of bliss and charm; many aspects of Rasa are simultaneously existent in it. Sri Radha Herself is the only Object or Asraya of this Madhu-Sneha.

(XI)MANA: When Sneha overflows in super-excellent manner and a new beatitude and sweetness in the loveliness of Sri Krsna are relished which had not hitherto been felt, perceived or experienced, and when the Transcendental Mistress, the Object of Prema, assumes an outward demeanor of apparent indignation arising out of love-jealousy, it is called Mana. Mana is of two kinds, viz. (I)Udatta-Mana, ad (ii)Lalita-Mana.

(i) Udatta-Mana: When an inordinate endearment in Ghrta-Sneha emits, as it were, the odour of perverse reasoning and a sentiment of short-lived Vamya or assumed anger or displeasure, it is called Udatta-Mana, Sri Candravali is its Object of Asraya.

(ii) Lalita-Mana: When Madhu-Sneha overflows and assumes an attitude of pique and turns into a tortuous sincerity in the form of wrath and indignation excited by jealousy, it is called Lalita-Mana. Sri Radha is its Object or Asraya.

(XII) PRANAYA: When Mana reaches the stage of free-sporting and all manner of shyness and hesitation is completely removed, it is called Pranaya. In this stage of Prema, the Asraya or the Object of Madhura-rati, the Mistress, perceives no distinction between Her Body, Mind, Intelligence, Heart and Life and Those of Her Beloved Sri Krsna. Here it is to be noted that in Mana, Sri Radhika (same as Radha) does not speak and assumes an attitude of tortuous indignation, and it is only after this Mana of Sri Radhika has been appeased by Sri Krsna that Sri Radhika, Who is the Counter-Whole Divinity and Hladini Potency of Sri Krsna Himself, gives Herself unreservedly to the Predominating Absolute Moiety Sri Krsna with all Her Body, Mind, Heart and Everything and becomes One with Him.

PRANAYA can be both (a) Maitra-Pranaya, and (b) Sakhya-Pranaya.

In (a) Maitra-Pranaya there is a slight touch of respect and importance given to the Beloved Sri Krsna. Sri Candravali is the Object of this Pranaya, While Sri Radhika as the Asraya of (b) Sakhya-Pranaya does not have the least feeling of any superiority in Sri Krsna, Her Best-Beloved.

(XIII) RAGA: When Pranaya attains its highest stage, and when even the heaviest inflictions of pinches caused by Sri Krsna gives immense pleasure to the whole "mental quantum" of the transcendental Mistress, it is called Raga. Raga is either (a) Nilima (bluish) or (b) Raktima (reddish).

(a) Nilima-Raga is again of two forms Viz. Nili and Syama.

(i) Nili-Raga: There is not possibility of loss of Prema in Nili Raga. There is no outward expression in it; rather there is always an attempt to hide one’s inner feelings. Sri Candravali is the Asraya of Nila-Raga.

(ii)Syama-Raga: There is more of expression, and it is moistened with a certain amount of shyness and timidity, it is delayed in its attainment. Sri Bhadra, an intimate lady-friend of Sri Candravali is the Asraya of Syama-Raga.

(b) Raktima-Raga: It is divided in (I) Kusumbha-Raga, and (ii) Manjistha-Raga

(i) Kusumbha-Raktima-Raga has in it a combination of several other Ragas, and it very quickly charms the inner organs (in the plane of Prema, of course). The Asraya of this Kusumbha-Raktima-Raga is Syama, the dear lady-friend of Sri Radha.

ii) Manjistha-Raktima-Raga can never be lost; it is never dependent on any other aspect of Raga, and it is ever progressive in its own radiance. Sri Radhika is the Asraya or Object of this Raga.

(XIV) ANU RAGA: When the Most Beloved Lord Sri Krsna is constantly present before the yes of the Asraya, and when Raga has ripples, ever fresh and ever new in manifold forms with every twinkling of the eye, it is called Anu-Raga. There are numerous Anu-bhavas of Anu-Raga, i.e. the bhavas that follow in the wake of Anu-Raga, such as, (i) desire to be born as an inanimate object (ii) mutual victory or subjugation by mutual charm, (iii) Prema-vaicittya, i.e. a feeling of separation even in the midst of intense union, (iv) a feeling of particular alacrity and exhilaration and erotic union in the depth of the pangs of separation from the Beloved Lord.

(XV) BHAVA and (XVI) MAHBHAVA: When in the Realm of Transcendental Prema, Anu-Raga attains a stage of exhilaration and relish, which can be experienced and relished by Anu-Raga itself only and by no other Bhava, and when Anu-Raga in this stage is adorned with the inflamed and exciting sattvika or transparent ( not sattvika quality of Maya, the Deluding Energy of God, but here sattvika refers to the absolutely pure and transparent quality of the cit-entity, otherwise called Visuddha-sattva) passions like molten gold, and when this Anu-Raga reaches its climax in the Supreme Asraya Sri Radhika and becomes identical with Her very temperament and dispositions, it is called BHAVA which is otherwise called MAHABHAVA.

Sri Radhika’s very Essence is identical with Mahabhava, and Mahabhava is Sri Radhika. Sri Radhika, the Supreme Hladini Potency of Sri Krsna manifests Herself in Eight Sakhis as Her Projected Self, i.e. the Counter-Whole projecting out into Eight Associate Counter-Parts called Ata-Sakhis of Eight Inseparable lady-friends of Sri Radhika. Hence Mahabhava can partially be manifest in the Eight Sakhis, known as Lalita, Visakha, Citra, Indulekha, Campakalata Rangadevi, Tungavidya and Sudevi. And individual finite self, Jiva-atma, cannot attain Maha-bhava, Anu-Raga or Raga. The individual soul being a "separated part of Lord Sri Krsna and a marginal potency", according to the philosophy of Sri Caitanya, such an individual self in its stage of freedom from bondage and in the stage of self-realisation and God-realisation, is limited by its very essential nature to be in subordination to the Eternal-Counter Whole and Associated Counter-Parts of the Supreme Lord, called Ragatmikas. So the stage of Prema, even Madhura-Prema that is attainable by a Jiva-atma is called Raganuga-Bhakti, i.e. their Prema Sneha, Mana, Pranaya, Raga Anu-Raga are subservient to the Asraya Vigrahas, i.e. the Raganuga Bhakti of an individual soul can only be in subordination to and submissive to the Ragatmikas, the Eternal Counter-Whole Manifestations of the Lord. In this Raganuga Prema the individual soul finds her highest fulfillment in the Realm of Prema.

Sri Radhika possesses in Herself in fullness all the qualities of the Eight Nayikas (The Transcendental; Mistress in Her Eight different Moods towards Her Beloved), and at the same time She distributes Her Eight Aspects of Nayika in eight different Moods in Her Own Projected Bodies, called the Eight Sakhis. Sri Radhika is the Supreme Asraya or Object of Mahabhava. Mahabhava is, therefore, not possible in others, not even the Queens of Dvaraka or in Laksmi in Vaikuntha. Mahabhava is the essential nature of the Hladini Aspect of the Intrinsic Potency of Sri Krsna Himself. The effect of even a drop of the Bliss of Mahabhava of Sri Radhika flows not merely into every sadhaka and siddha but also inundates the entire universe. There could be no ananda or bliss even in its mundane form and no human and animal pleasure without it.

MAHABHAVA is of two kinds, viz. (i) Rudha, and (ii) Adhi-Rudha.

1. Rudha-Mahabhava: When Mahabhava glows and is brightened with the external manifestations of the eight sattvika-bhavas of the internal sentiments, viz. Tears, horripilation or thrill, stupor or motionless, perspiration, hoarseness of voice or indistinctiveness of utterances, tremor or heaving of breasts, change of complexion or paleness, and swoon or loss of consciousness or syncope or a fainting-fit, and when five or six of these eight sattvika-bhavas are simultaneously and fully manifest and the rest partially, then it s called Rudha-Mahabhava.

The following are the Anu-bhavas, i.e., bhavas, or feelings that follow in the wake of the Rudha-Mahabhava, which are the external expressions of the internal sentiments in appropriate symptoms, such as look, gestures, etc.:---

1. separation even for the twinkling of the eye becomes unbearable;
2. even a period of a Kalpa of union-pleasure appears to pass swiftly like the twinkling of an eye:
3. even a moment of separation appears like a very very long period of many Kalpas;
4. stirs the hearts of persons nearby:
5. to have a feeling of unhappiness even when Sri Krsna is absolutely satiated, lest Sri Krsna’s desires should still remain burning;
6. forgetfulness of oneself and one’s belongings even in a state of consciousness

(ii) Adhi-Rudha Mahabhava: When in Mahabhava all the eight sattvika-bhavas, mentioned above, are completely and to the utmost extent manifest and culminate in a unique experience, it is called Adhi-Rudha mahabhava, which has two forms, viz. (a) Modana, and (b) Madana.

1. Modana–in separation. When the conditions of Modana become uncontrolled and paralysed in separation, and when all the eight sattvika-bhavas, i.e. (1) stupor or motionless, (2) perspiration, (3) horripilation or thrill, (4) cracking of voice or indistinctness of utterances, (5) tremor or heaving of breasts, (6) change of complexion or paleness, (7) tears, and (8) swoon or loss of consciousness or syncope or a fainting-fit, are fully and all at-once manifest in all their fascinating bewilderment, it is called Mohana. The following are the Anu-bhavas, i.e. the eternal manifestations of internal sentiments by appropriate symptoms such as look, gesture, etc. in the Mohana aspect of the Modana Adhi-Rudha Mahabhava:--

1. When the state of Mohan is aroused in Sri Radhika in Her state of separation, then Sri Krsna Himself faints even while He is the supra-mundane embrace of Other Spiritual Damsels in far off places. The Supreme Lord, Who is the Creator and Preserver of all the three worlds and with the twinkling of Whose eyes the entire universe has its dissolution–even He swoons at this extraordinary Mohana state of Sri Radhika! It is simply inconceivable to any human thought or imagination.
2. In this state of Mohan, in spite of the agonising pangs of separation, Sri Radhika thinks only of the happiness of Sri Krsna;
3. When these conditions are created in Sri Radhika, the entire universe is enveloped by a thick cloud of agonising sorrow;
4. In this separation, even the lower animals like fishes, etc. begin to weep!
5. In this state of intense pang of love-sickness in separation, and when She is, as it were, no longer alive, Sri Radhika Herself invokes the tenth or last condition, viz., Her Own Death, and She desires that the five elements of Her Body might, on Her Death, prove to be useful for the service of Her Beloved Lord!
6. This Mohana is unique in Sri Radhika only, Who is the Counter-Whole Divinity, an this can be possible in none else,--not even Candravali or other Eight Sakhis of Sri Radhika, much less in any finite self;
7. When Mohana reaches its climax in an inexpressible condition attaining to a surpassing mood of mistaken delusion, then it is called "Divya Unmad" or divine madness;
8. This Divya-Unmad or divine intoxication is expressive in manifold forms, out of which (I) Udghurna and, (ii) Citrajalpa are outstanding.

1. An inexplicable effort in an impossible state of uncontrol over a wonder-struck condition of Mohana is Called Udghurna, i.e. an unthinkable whirling motion as in giddiness.
2. When many a conflicting emotional raving of unfair arguments is resorted to by Sri Radhika out of a concealed and incomprehensible resentment at the union of Her Beloved Lord Sri Krsna with His other Transcendental Darlings, and at the end of which when an inrush of extreme anxiety is aroused in Her, such a state of Sri Radhika is called Citrajalpa.

There are ten such different ravings of Sri Radhika in Her supreme state of Mohana-Prema:---

1. PRAJALPA: This is manifest in wondrous Prema-dalliance. In Prajalpa, the Supreme Object of Prema (Asraya) Sri Radhika, belches out, as it were, at the worthlessness of Her Beloved Lord by way of various modes of intertwining of Her fingers and sweet gesticulations out of contempt combined with calumny, envy and pride!
2. PARIJALPA: In this condition, Sri Radhika points out and tries to establish the various short-comings in Her Beloved Krsna, such as heartlessness, fraudulence, insincerity, fickleness, etc., and declares Her Own discreet Wisdom! This is called Parijalpa.
3. VIJALPA: In this condition, Sri Radhika hides in Her heart Her deep love-anger, and openly makes all sorts of adverse criticism of Her Beloved Lord out of sheet malevolence! It is called Vijalpa.
4. UJJALPA: When out of Her jealousy grown out of pride, Sri Radhika describes the various instances of insincerity of Her Beloved Lord and cast aspersions against Him, it is called Ujjalpa!
5. SANJALPA: In this condition, Sri Radhika uses imperious, harsh and slashing words, and calls her Beloved Lord "ungrateful"! This is Sanjalpa.
6. AVAJALPA: In this condition of Citrajalpa, Sri Radhika, out of Her menacing envy, describes Her vain attempts to withdraw Her attachment (Asakti) from Her Most Beloved Lord even after realising His stony heart, blind passions and trickery! This is Avajalpa.
7. ABHIJALPA: In this condition, Sri Radhika bemoans the behavior of Her Beloved Lord, which pains even the birds! This is Abhijalpa.
8. AJALPA: In this condition, owing to absolute indifference to everything, and in self-repentance, Sri Radhika describes the insincerity and pain-giving nature of Her Beloved Lord, and She refuses by gestures of Her Limbs even to listen to the tidings of Her Most Beloved Sri Krsna! This is called Ajalpa.
9. PRATIJALPA: In this condition, Sri Radhika bemoans that when Her Beloved Lord cannot live even for a moment without the company of other Nayikas, then it will be unwise for a Mistress to seek union with Him, and in the same breath She cordially welcomes the Messenger from Her Beloved! It is called Pratijalpa.

10) SUJAPLA: In this condition, Sri Radhika, because of Her inherent simplicity of the heart, enquires again from the imaginary Messenger of Sri Krsna with mental composure, modesty of character and tremulousness of the whole mental quantum, about the welfare of Her Most Beloved Lord Sri Krsna! This is Sujalpa.

All these ten conditions of Citrajalpa in the Mohana state of Adhi-rudha-Mahabhava of Sri Radhika have been described in the famous "Bhramara-Giti" in the Bhagavatam, Canto X, Chapter 47, Slokas 12-21, when Sri Radhika in her state of citrajalpa addressed a large black bee, mistaking it to be a Messenger from her Cruel Beloved!

1. Madana Mahabhava: When al the sentiments starting from Rati (Sthayi-bhava Madhura-rati), which is the essence of Hladini Potency of Sri Krsna–the gladdening Potency, and going up to Mahabhava are pleasantly and fully bloomed, and when such a state excels all the aspects of Modana and Mohana in Adhi-rudha Mahabhava, then it is know as Madana. This is possible only in Sri Radhika.

The various movement of Madana are as complex and difficult as Sri Krsna Himself. Even Sri Bharata Muni and Sri Sukadeva Goswami, who wrote on the Rasa, failed to explain it fully and clearly. Madana-Mahabhava appears in the Union between the transcendental and supra-mundane (aprakrta) Subject (Visaya) and Object (Asraya)–Sri Krsna and Sri Radhika only. There are thousands of shades of this eternal pastime of Prema and its active functioning’s. The wondrous and extraordinary manifestations of Madana are impossible elsewhere. In other aspects of Madhura-rati, the conditions of separation" and "union" exist differently, and they are also differently and distinctly felt. For example, in "union" Sri Radhika realises and feels that She is being enjoyed by the Supreme Lord and that She is the "Object" of this Divine Union, while in the pang of "separation", She realises that She is a Mistress separated from Her Beloved. But in Madana-Mahabhava, there is the simultaneous feeling of manifold shades of pleasures in "Union" and limitless ripples of pangs in "separation". Even when She realises the various expressions of Prema-dalliance, such as embrace etc., She experiences at the same time various degrees of pang of separation. There is simultaneous separation in union and union in separation. This has absolutely nothing to do with mundane love or physical existence. It is incomprehensible to human imagination. It is the highest super-excellence of the Divine Love in the Realm of Sri Sri Radha-Krsna.

The Anu-Bhavas, i.e. the bhavas or feelings that follow in the wake of Madana-Mahabhava of Sri Radhika are:---

1. to be envious of the unenviable Flute and Forest-Flower-garland when they are found in the Body of Sri Krsna!
2. to sing the fortune of any blade of grass or any little creeper of Vraja when it may have accidentally been touched by the Feet of Sri Krsna even though She Herself may at that moment be uninterruptedly in the close embrace of the Lord!
3. to feel a simultaneous pleasure at the reciprocal functioning of all the Senses of the Lord in relation to Her, i.e. all the cit Senses of the Object-Divinity relishing all the reciprocal supra-mundane Senses of the Subject-Divinity as well as every Sense possessing the capacity of every other Sense. This most supreme conception of PREMA as MADANA-MAHABHAVA is possible in SRI RADHIKA alone. This is the supreme climax of Divine PREMA, which was never before known in this world, and it was the unique contribution that Sri Krsna-caitanya-deva made known to the people of the Kali age. It was possible for Sri Krsna-Caitanya, because He was Sri Krsna Himself appearing with the MAHABHAVA of Sri Radhika so that the Lord Himself could relish it.

As a finite self is not eligible for Mahabhava, Sri Rupa Gosvami has dealt with the conception of Uttama-Bhakti or Bhakti which is of the purest and highest type in Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu for the spiritual benefit of all; and Mahabhava and Ujjvala-Rasa have been discussed separately in his Ujjvala-Nilamani so that Mukta Jivas or freed souls could aspire after Prema-rasa in subservience to the Ragatmikas or the Eternally Associated Parts and Counter-Wholes of the Supreme Lord Sri Krsna.

If our English rendering of the Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu will help our readers in understanding the true character of unalloyed Bhakti, the Lord will bless us. With this humble prayer, we place this book before unbiased readers of the English-knowing world.

To be continued: Next Segment:


A Generic Character of Bhakti

[Originally published 10/05/99 on VNN]

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