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.
(To be continued)
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 sameit 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 transcendentalbetween 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:---
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".
(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.
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:
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.
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 Gosvamis 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 Lords 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 itsimilarity 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.
(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 ones 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
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 Radhikas 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.
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.:---
(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.
There are ten such different ravings of Sri Radhika in Her supreme state of Mohana-Prema:---
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!
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 functionings. 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:---
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.