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Saturday, December 16, 2006

Primary Bhakti Rasas

Turning to the second volume of Bhānu Swāmī's Bhakti Rasāmṛta Sindhu translation we come to the western section, that describes the 5 main sthāyi bhāvas, starting with śānta rati.

In the śānta rati chapter is an interesting ṭīkā of Jīva Gosvāmī's to verse 3.1.44, where he mentions mauṇḍya (shaving the head) as a rejectable item of advaita-vādī-practise. Funny that now nearly all Vaiṣṇava ascetics and even gṛhasthas have adopted this shaven head practise...

Chapter 2: Prīti bhakti rasa (dāsya rasa)

Analysing the word 'dāsa' in his ṭīkā to verse 3.2.16, Jīva Gosvāmī reminds us that there is a verb called dās (also mentioned in Vilāpa Kusumānjali) which means 'to give'. The dāsas are those to whom desired results are given by the mercy of the Lord....

Verse 3.2.62 is the famous verse that describes how Dāruka condemned the bliss he felt when he fanned Kṛṣṇa. Jīva Gosvāmī comments "He did not welcome the increase of paralysis in his limbs due to prema." Prema has two qualities: stambha and other symptoms, and the desire to please the Lord. The servants cherish the desire to please the Lord, because this fulfills their goal of serving the Lord. They are not attached to the symptoms of paralysis because this can become an obstacle to service. Thus Dāruka did not welcome prema in its portion which causes paralysis, but he did welcome that part of prema which causes pleasure to the Lord.....

In BRS 3.2.160-161 Jīva Gosvāmī says about the servants: "It is not absolutely forbidden that they do not hear Kṛṣṇa's private talks, but they are checked from understanding the sentiments present in those conversations."

Chapter 3, Preyo bhakti rasa (sakhya rasa):

Both Jīva and Viśvanātha have written long ṭīkās to verse 3.3.128, which deals with prakaṭa and aprakaṭa līlā. Jīva Gosvāmī writes: "In the earthly pastimes however occasionally the Lord leaves Vraja and goes to other places. Thus the various bhāvas of the Lord along with His associates exhibited during His earthly pastimes, associated with the particular earthly pastimes, will also be occasional (and different from those in the eternal pastimes). Because of the differences in manifestation of these earthly pastimes from the eternal pastimes, Kṛṣṇa and His devotees during the earthly pastimes will take up identities different from their identities in the eternal pastimes, by the arrangement of the līlā-śakti. It is similar to Kṛṣṇa manifesting different identities for each Queen when He married sixteen thousand maidens."

In the important verse 3.5.2 -
nivṛttānupayogitvād durūhatvād ayaṁ rasaḥ
rahasyatvāc ca saṅkṣipya vitatāṅgo vilikhyate 

Jiva Gosvami comments nivṛtteṣu prākṛta śṛṅgāra rasa sāmya dṛṣṭvyā bhāgavatād apy asmād rasād virakteṣv anupayogitvad ayogyatvāt - "nivṛttas (those who are unattached to mādhurya rasa) are unqualified because they cannot understand that the Lord has such amorous feelings as well. They see it as being the same." The three other, Bengali, translations, from Caitanya Maṭh and Kuñja-bihāri dās Bābājī, say that 'non-devotee ascetics cannot appreciate mādhurya rasa, thinking it is mundane' . Frankly speaking, the word ' ascetics' is not mentioned in either Jīva's or Viśvanātha's ṭīkā, and Bhānu Swāmī may well be correct in his translation of just 'unattached'. If anyone knows where the other three translators got the 'ascetics' -idea from, please react.

Here ends the review of the western section.


  1. Radhe Radhe

    Here is a question that I have from the second volume of Bhanu
    Swami's BRS translation:

    Sri Rupa Gosvamipada states that the visaya for those in santa-rasa
    is caturbhuja (BRS 3.1.8). The following verse describes caturbhuja
    as paramatma and param brahman, so I presumed that this was
    caturbhuja Visnu. However, the the next verse then describes santa-
    bhaktas who have attained rati for Krsna. Perhaps you can see how I
    am confused about this.

    Furthermore, if santa-bhaktas can attain rati for Krsna, why does
    Krsna dasa kaviraja state that there are four kinds of devotees as
    recipients for the four varieties of prema (Cc Adi 4.42)?

  2. Very good question. The fault lies with Bhanu Swami. The verse (3.1.11) says santa syuh krsna tat prestha karunyena ratim gatah : "The shantas attained rati by the grace of Krishna and his devotees" . The word Krishna only applies to Krishna who bestows shanta rati, not that the rati is towards Krishna himself, because that would contradict verses 8-10. I will add this point to the blog of that part of the book.

  3. I was hoping you could clarify something for me in BRS. It appears as though those in gaurava-priti-rasa (BRS 3.2) may not literally be the children of Krsna, but that only such a conception is adopted. However, other verses do seem to suggest that one may actually be "born" the child of Krsna. The translation of the final paragraph of the commentary to BRS 3.2.166 is particularly confusing for me. Are those in gaurava-priti-rasa born the children of Krsna or not? Perhaps it's me, but the end part of the commentary's translation seems somewhat vague in this regard.

    On a related note, the verses leading up to the dicussion of gaurava- priti sthayi bhava continually use lalya to denote the devotee's self- identification as a son of Krsna. And, all the examples of this category are male. Is it possible to be a daughter of Krsna in this rasa? It seems the only females mentioned in connection to this rasa identify themselves as sisters of Krsna.

    Thanks for the clarification.

  4. I consulted my friend Krishnadas on your question on BRS 3.2.166 and this is what he replied:

    You are right Bhanu Swami's translation is not correct (or at least I think that what I have produced is better :-)).

    deha-sambandhitayA svAbhAvikyA yo mAnaH svabhAvata evAtibAlye’pi tadIyatAbhimAnaH tasmAd yA gurudhIr mamAyaM gurur lAlaka iti buddhiH sA gauravam ucyate / tanmayI yA tasmin lAlake prItiH sA gaurava-prItir ucyate iti / tatra yadyapi lAlaka-dhIr atibAlya eva kevalA guru-dhI-mizrA tu prauDha-dazAyAM dRzyate tathApi kAraNa-kAryAtmakayos tayor abheda eveSTaH / evam eva tatra tatra kvacid ityuktaM kintu yathAyogyaM bheda evAvagantavya iti.

    "On account of natural bodily connection one naturally identifies as His even at a very tender age (atibAlya, it must mean something like infancy). Therefore, considering Him one's parent, i.e. the consciousness that "This is my parent who caresses me", is called gaurava. When such a consciousness awakens in the child the priti is called gaurava prIti. Even though the child of a tender age perceives Krishna only as the one who caresses, this consciousness is mixed by the thought that Krishna is the parent at a more mature age. Yet, because of the relation between cause and effect the two (varieties of gaurava priti on acccount of the difference in age) should be seen as non-different. Thus it is mentioned at some places but difference should be understood to exist if it is proper."

    Actually, I am not sure about the phrase tatra tatra kvacid ityuktam. I don't know what is really refered to and whether I translated it properly.

    I hope this will help.

  5. I must add myself that in the Bhagavata it is mentioned that with each of His 16,108 queens Krishna had 10 sons and 1 daughter. So it is possible to become Krishna's daughter too.