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Friday, December 01, 2006

bhāva bhakti

Bhakti Rasāmṛta Sindhu review, chapter 3, pūrva bhāga: bhāva bhakti.

In his lengthy tīkā to the first verse, Jīva Gosvāmī repeats his explanation of ceṣṭā rūpa (action) bhakti and bhāva rūpa (feeling). ceṣṭā rūpa bhakti has two types: sādhana rūpa for attaining bhāva bhakti, (actions as practise for attaining bhāva) and kārya rūpa (actions after attaining bhāva-the goal of practise). kārya rūpa bhakti takes the form of anubhāvas when one experiences rasa. sādhana rūpa has just been described. The anubhāvas of kārya rūpa bhakti will be shown in relation to rasa in the second wave of the southern section.
"bhāva rūpa bhakti has two types: sthāyi rūpa (permanent emotion) and sañcārī rūpa (transitory emotion). sthāyi rūpa has two types: 1. prema, which also indicates higher states such as praṇaya, and 2) bhāva, also called rati, which is the preliminary stage of the bud of prema. sañcārī rūpa bhakti will be discussed later in relation to rasa, in the fourth wave of the southern section."

Comments on the different components of verse 1.3.1 run as follows:

asau bhāva ucyate
...."in the present definition it is mentioned that bhāva creates a softening of the heart. The vyābhicārī bhāvas do not soften the heart but rather act upon those devotees whose hearts have already been softened....."

rucibhiś citta māsṛṇya-kṛd
"Furthermore, this bhāva softens the heart (mind) with its desires (rucibhiḥ) for meeting the Lord, serving the Lord favorably,and attaining the friendship of the Lord. This bhāva is also the sprout which will become prema and which will be described later."

prema sūryāṁśu sāmya-bhāk
"Though this bhāva is seen in the eternal associates of the Lord, the mental conditions of the devotees within this world become similar, by the mercy of the Lord and his devotees."

Jīva Gosvāmī's comment on verse 4 (āvirbhūya manovṛttau vrajantī tat svarūpatām) quoted to me by the Vṛndāvana-mahātma in September (see blog September 26): "Since this rati is self-revealing....since it reveals Kṛṣṇa and everything else it manifests within the functioning of the mind of the Lord's dear devotees in this world, and then becomes one with their minds - it becomes their minds and their emotions (tat-svarūpatām vrajanti). It appears (bhāsamānā) in the mind as if by the actions of the mind (prakāśyavat) its own arrangement (svayam) bhāva acts as previous and later states - as both cause and effect. Factually, bhāva is taste or delight itself, by its portion which experiences the sweetness of Kṛṣṇa  Still, rati or bhāva by another portion becomes the cause of tasting Kṛṣṇa s many forms and activities, which are most desired by the experiencer. Its samvit (awareness-) portion accomplishes this effectively. However, by the hlādini portion, rati, simply, remains as a blissful state - it is the experience of bliss (effect)." Bhānu Swāmi adds in a footnote: "By bhāva, one is able to perceive Kṛṣṇa  But in perceiving Kṛṣṇa one experiences bhāva, blissful love of Kṛṣṇa."

In his comment on the famous verse 1.3.6 sādhanābhiniveśena, Jīva Gosvāmī stresses the importance of the devotees' association and mercy in attaining bhāva, and Viśvanātha says that sādhanābhiniveśena means 'by bhakti at the stage of niṣṭhā, after anartha nivṛtti." In his tīkā to the following verse Visvanātha states that bhāva may arise by vaidhi sādhana or rāgānugā sādhana (they are parallel practises). tatra sādhanābhiniveśaja iti vaidhī mārgabhedena rāgānugā-mārga bhedena ca jāto yo dvividhaḥ sādhanābhiniveśastenajāto yo dvividho bhāvaḥ...."Without developing ruci and then āsakti, how will bhāva arise?"

In his comment to 1.3.9, a Bhāgavata 1.5.26 quotation, the verse where Nārada heard Kṛṣṇa kathā from the Vedantists, which swiftly brought him through the stages of ruci (manoharaḥ) and āsakti (anupadam viśṛṇvataḥ) to rati (mamābhavad ratiā), Viśvanātha points out that "though one should mention that faith, as the starting point of all stages, is the cause of rati, the description is given in this way to show the quick appearance of rati from absorption in the stages arising after anartha nivṛtti."

In verse 1.3.10, preceding a quotation of S.B 1.5.28, just following the aforementioned 1.5.26, Jīva comments that the word 'bhakti' in the last line refers to prema. Thus, in the context, rati, in this verse, means bhāva, since it is the preliminary state, and bhakti means prema because it is the superior state........bhāva is like the ray of the sun of prema (see 1.3.1)."

1.3.11 - As, according to Jīva Goswāmī in the previous verse, bhakti means prema, also in this verse, it means that prema is following directly after the dissipation of rajas and tamas - rajas tamopahā.

In his comment on verse 1.3.14 Jīva quotes evidence from Padma Purāna that Rādhikā is Kṛṣṇa's dearmost, dearer than the girl mentioned in this verse. He explains that the girl must be an expansion of Rādhikā.

In verse 1.3.49 one of the semblances of rati is being discussed, chāyā ratyābhāsa. Normally chāyā means 'shadow', but here Jīva calls it 'resemblance to beauty'. 'Little interest (kṣudra kautuhala) means that though the Lord and bhakti are spiritual, the person has interest in them only as material objects. Because there is curiosity relating to the Lord, even though material, there is an appearance of a little splendor (kānti). That is the meaning of chāyā here. Because of the slight attraction to the Lord there will be slight symptoms similar to those of real rati. However, because of its nature as chāyā, it is also unsteady (cañcala) unlike the pratibimba-ratyābhāsa. In pratibimba ratyābhāsa the attraction to material enjoyment and liberation is very strong, but in chāyā ratyābhāsa the material curiosity about the Lord is transient. Still, because of the influence of the Lord in chāyā ratyābhāsa there is gradually a destruction of the suffering of material existence." I suppose this is closest to what is called 'sahajiya' by some groups nowadays, though Rūpa and Jīva clearly distinguish different gradations of the symptom.

Verse 51 says: "Even this chāyā-ratyābhāsa which eventually bestows auspiciousness to those people, appears only with great good fortune."

The ṭīkās to the famous verses (1.3.52-4) which say that offences cause the moon of rati to wane are interesting: Jīva says: "By two types of grave offences - to the Vaiṣṇava and to Kṛṣṇa - even real bhāva is destroyed. By medium offence bhāva becomes bhāvābhāsa. By slight offence the bhāva degrades in category. Becoming an inferior type means that there will be degradation in terms of the five rasas and the eight stages from mahābhāva to rati."

Viśvanātha adds: "If the aparādha is slight, the bhāva changes type. madhura rati becomes dāsya rati. dāsya rati becomes śānta rati." Bhānu Swāmi adds an interesting footnote here: "sādhya rūpa or hārda rūpa bhakti has five types: bhāva, prema, praṇaya, sneha and rāga. In Ujjvala Nīlamani three more types are mentioned: māna, anurāga and mahābhāva. Thus there are eight types of sādhya bhakti. This is explained in Jīva Gosvāmī's commentary on BRS 1.2.1. However, since the topic is bhāva-bhakti, the lowest of the eight types, that bhāva could simply decrease in intensity. Furthermore, those at the level of bhāva still have impurities, and could make mistakes because of anarthas, whereas those at the level of prema are pure and could never commit real offence."

Verse 1.3.59 states that if some apparent fault is seen in a person who has developed real bhāva one should not be hostile to him, because he has accomplished the goal in all respects. Bhānu Swāmi writes in a footnote that the bhāva bhakta still has anarthas and could commit sin or aparādha. This distinguishes him from the prema bhakta. However, even if he makes mistakes, because of his level of advancement, Kṛṣṇa takes care of him. Jīva quotes the famous verse 'apavitra pavitro vā' in his comment.

Verse 1.3.60 continues on this theme and Jīva Gosvāmī comments here: "A person may show serious contamination. This means that it is seen externally that he performs forbidden activities. However, he shines with internal bhakti, which cannot be defeated by the Harivaṁśa it is said: loke cchāyāmayam lakṣma tavāṅke śaśa saṁjñitam "The dark spot on the moon is called a rabbit. Though there is a fault in the beauty of the moon, that fault is only superficial."

Thus ends the review of chapter 3 of the purva vibhāga, named bhāva bhakti.

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