This discussion appeared in the comments-pages of a blog originally posted on May 11, 2010. The blog is deleted as obsolete, but this – unrelated - discussion is still very valuable, so it is now a blog on its own. May 12-15, 2010
If you permit, I would like to ask a question. We worship/call with different names based on rasas exhibited by the Lord. For example we worship Kṛṣṇa as Rādhā-Śyāmasundara in Mādhurya-rasa. Could you please tell the names for Kṛṣṇa in Sakhya, śānta, vātsalya and dāsya-rasa. Thank you.
Anon, nice question -
Actually most of Kṛṣṇa's names are interchangeable, viz. they can be used in all sambandhas. Hari, Govinda and Kṛṣṇa are names of Nārāyan in Vaikuṇṭha, but they are also highly inciting for those in the extreme mādhurya of gopī bhāva. It all depends on the interpretation [dṛṣṭi-koṇa]. Of course names like Gopāl, Yaśoda Dulāl and Nanda Dulāl are predominantly vātsalya, but can be relished by the gopīs just as well. Balānuja, Aghadaman and Keśī-Nāśan are some names that feature in sakhya bhāva, but these too can be relished in vātsalya and mādhurya bhāva. Etc etc. Śānta rati does not feature in Vraja-bhūmi.
Thank you for answering my question.
You mentioned that "Śānta rati does not feature in Vraja-bhumi". May be I am wrong, but I was informed that trees in Vṛndāvana have a Śānta relationship with the Lord. Please let me know whether this information is true or not.
That is not correct. Caitanya Caritāmṛta says - cāri bhāva diyā nācāimu tribhuvana "I will make the three worlds dance in 4 bhāvas" That is of course mādhurya, vātsalya, sakhya and dāsya. This is confirmed in Caitanya Caritāmṛta Madhya 22, 161:
rāga-mārge nija-nija-bhāvera gaṇana
dāsya, sakhya, vātsalya ār ye śṛṅgāra; cāri prema, caturvidha bhaktai ādhāra
(Caitanya-caritāmṛta Ādi 4.42)
The mountains like Girirāja are in dāsya rasa [hantāyam adrir abalā haridāsa varyo], and the cows are in vātsalya bhāva. Śrī Viśvanātha Cakravartī says in his commentary on Śrīmad Bhāgavata (11.12.8) gavo vātsalya rasena. naga govardhanādi parvataḥ sakhya-rasena - that mountains like Girirāja are in sakhya rasa and Vraja's cows are in vātsalya rasa. He repeats that the cows are in vātsalya rasa in his comments on Śrīmad Bhāgavata 10.14.30-31 (aho'ti-dhanya ityādibhirāmātmaka vātsalyādi ratimanta eva stoṣyanti (30) ye tu tvad bhakteṣv ati-prakṛṣṭas teṣāṁ tvayi śuddha vātsalyādi rati-bhājam padavīṁ prārthayitum ayogya... (31) “I am not qualified to pray for their vātsalya rasa”), Śrīmad Bhāgavata 10.20.26 (prītyā is the cows’ motherly affection) Śrīmad Bhāgavata 10.21.13 - “The cows (not the calves) are in vātsalya rasa- na ca tatrāpi vātsalya-bhāva eva mohane hetur astīti vācyam, and “The cows stand still as they take Govinda within their hearts through their tear-filled eyes and embrace Him out of vātsalya bhāva – sva manasaḥ kroḍe eva vātsalyāt sthāpayantyas tasthuḥ (Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī ’s commentary) and Śrīmad Bhāgavata 10.21.16: The clouds are in sakhya rasa (sakhyur vyadhāt) – hanta hanta sakhya-bhāva-vanto’pyātmānāṁ kṛtarthayantītyāhuḥ – The gopīs lament about the clouds: “Alas! Alas! Even those who are in the mood of friendship with Kṛṣṇa (sakhya bhāva) have become blessed by serving Him.” svīya vidyud garjanābhyāṁ pīta-vastra veṇu-nādayoḥ sāmyaṁ dṛṣṭvā ca sakhībhāvam abhimānyamānaḥ “Seeing he is equal to Kṛṣṇa with the rumbling sounds he makes, with his lightning (in the form of Kṛṣṇa’s yellow cloth) the cloud identifies himself in sakhya-rasa.” (Śrī Viśvanātha Cakravartī’s commentary) The statement vaṁśī priya sakhī from Brahma Samhita (5.56) shows that Kṛṣṇa’s flute is even in madhura rasa.
Radha Kṛṣṇa dasa -
Dear Advaita dasa Prabhu, dandavat pranams. It seems to me that the topic of whether or not śānta rasa exists in Braja is not so cut and dry as Viśvanātha Cakravartī Thakur's ṭīkā might indicate. There are some differences in opinion amongst ācāryas on this topic. Madhavananda dasa in former "Gaudiya Discussions" blog brought this topic up. In that discussion Madhavananda appeared to disagree with Śrīla Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura's commentary (see Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Madhya, 8.294), as quoted by Śrīla A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada):
"Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura points out that in Vrajabhūmi there is the Yamunā River with its sandy banks. There are kadamba trees, cows, Kṛṣṇa's sticks with which He herds cows, and Kṛṣṇa's flute. All of these belong to śānta-rasa, the mellow of neutrality in devotional service. There are also the direct servants of Kṛṣṇa, such as Citraka, Patraka and Raktaka, and these are the embodiments of service in the mellow of servitude. There are also friends like Śrīdāmā and Sudāmā, who embody service in fraternity. Nanda Mahārāja and mother Yaśodā are the embodiments of parental love. Above all of these are Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī and Her assistants, the gopīs Lalitā, Viśākhā and others, who embody conjugal love. In this way all five mellows — śānta, dāsya, sakhya, vātsalya and mādhurya — exist eternally in Vrajabhūmi. They are also compared, respectively, to copper, bell metal, silver, gold and touchstone, the basis of all metals. Śrīla Kavirāja Gosvāmī therefore refers to a mine eternally existing in Vṛndāvana, Vrajabhūmi."
The above appears to be in some conflict with Bhaktivinoda's statement in Jaiva Dharma (Ch 39) and Viśvanātha Cakravartī's commentary of various verses on Śrīmad Bhāgavatam as well texts in Bhakti Rasāmṛta Sindhu, and Caitanya-caritāmṛta. I have gone through all of the pertinent texts in Caitanya-caritāmṛta and Caitanya Bhāgavat where Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī indicates that cows, sticks, flute etc. are in śānta rasa in Vraja, and Bhaktivinoda's Jaiva Dharma, wherein it is stated that in Vraja, śānta rasa in almost/practically absent in Vraja. In an e-mail exchange 5 years ago, I asked Śrīpada Tripurari Swami to harmonize these apparently contradictory statements. In particular I also asked him: "Is it simply that there are no "humans" in śānta rasa in Vraja, but śānta "rasa" is possible for personalities in "animal", "plant" and "inanimate" spiritual forms?"
Here was Maharaja's response:
"Śrī Kṛṣṇa is known as Rasaraja. This name implies that he tastes all rasas, and it refers to him in his Vraja-lila. From this it should be clear that he tastes śānta rasa in Vraja. This is also confirmed in Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu 4.8.85. There Śrī Rupa writes that Kṛṣṇa tasted śānta rasa along with all other expressions of sacred aesthetic rapture while lifting Govardhana hill. In this example Śrī Kṛṣṇa tastes śānta rasa from the vantage point of the shelter (āśraya ālambana) of śānta rasa. Later in Mathurā he tasted śānta rasa from the vantage point of the object (viṣaya ālambana) of love when he was wrestling in Kamsa's arena, Śrīmad Bhāgavata 10.43.17. Therein it is clearly stated that the sages present experienced śānta rasa in relation to Śrī Kṛṣṇa. Such sages may very well include persons like Durvasa, who also resides in Vraja proper. So śānta rasa is expressed in his Vraja-līlā within Mathurā maṇḍala. At the same time, Kṛṣṇa's Vraja-līlā is primarily characterized by love that is devoid of reverence, and thus it is often said to begin with sakhya rasa. Brahmaji described all of Vṛndāvana as being permeated by sakhya rasa when he told Śrī Kṛṣṇa-
aho bhāgyam, aho bhāgyam
nanda gopa vrajaukasam
yan mitraṁ paramānandam
pūrṇaṁ brahma sanātanam
"O how fortunate, O how fortunate are the Vrajavāsīs of Nanda gopa, for the supreme bliss and complete, eternal Brahman is their friend." Thus everything and everyone in Vraja is touched by friendship. Everything and everyone is also touched by the influence of romantic love that Kṛṣṇa's Vraja-līlā is centered on. Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākur acknowledges that śānta rati is present to some extent in the Vraja-lila when he writes in Jaiva Dharma "At first I thought that there was no śānta rati in the devotees of Vraja, but now I see that it is present in them to a limited extent." Whereas in the same book he also writes that "Śānta-rasa is absent in Vraja." Perhaps Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Thakura sought to clarify Bhaktivinoda Thakura's statements by attributing śānta rati to the non human species and apparently inanimate objects of Vraja, such as Kṛṣṇa's flute, rivers, hills, and Vraja's cows when he wrote about this in his commentary to Upadeśāmṛta and in his commentary on Caitanya Caritāmṛta. However, Śrī Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura has attributed sakhya rasa to the hills of Vraja and vātsalya rati to Śrī Kṛṣṇa's cows. So there are different opinions among ācāryas, and human reasoning renders any of these opinions problematic.
For example, while there is reason to believe that Vraja's cows are in vātsalya rasa, their relationship with Śrī Kṛṣṇa is also one of being protected by Gopala. Anyone who raises cows knows that they are as much children in need of protection and constant care as they are mothers, and at least in Dvārakā, Kṛṣṇa's children are considered to be in dāsya rasa. His cows are also his iṣṭa-devatā and thus worshipable by him. Furthermore, why do we find that Rādhā and Govinda are not inhibited in front of Vraja's bovines as they are before human elders relishing vātsalya rati. After all, vātsayla and mādhurya rasa are not compatible. Neither are śānta and mādhurya rasas compatible for that matter. Mahādeva and Brahmā are said to have taken birth in Varasānā and Nandagrāma as hills, are they in sakhya rasa? Sakhya rasa is exchanged between equals. The gopis attribute a male gender to Kṛṣṇa's flute at one time and a female gender at another time. Is it male, female, neither of these, or both? Sometimes the creepers of Vraja are thought to be tasting mādhurya rati as well as the rivers, but what is the nature of this mādhurya rati and how can it compare to that of the gopis themselves?
Great devotees view the world through the lens of their bhāva, and this may afford them different angles of vision at different times. Furthermore some of Śrī Kṛṣṇa's devotees experience the suddha rati known as svaccha (transparent), in which they taste the rati of those with whom they associate, moving between śānta, dasya, sakhya, and mādhurya. Thus it is best to respect the opinions of great souls on issues that lie beyond our present realization even when we cannot fully understand them.
I hope this is helpful."
Radha Kṛṣṇa das,
You are certainly entitled to your beliefs. However, you fail to come up with evidence to counter the evidence that I produced on the matter from universally accepted ācāryas like Kṛṣṇadās Kavirāja Gosvāmī and Viśvanātha Cakravartī. Your reply consists partially of quotes by recent Vaiṣṇava teachers, which have been shown to deviate from the previous ācāryas on a large number of issues, as well as on mundane logic, which does not apply to śāstra.
Concretely, about the mountains, I did not say they are in sakhya rati but in dāsya rati and have proved that from Śrīmad Bhāgavata 10.21.18. You might also like to peruse my blog of June 19, 2008 and the comments pages of my blog of August 8, 2007, for more evidence of there being no śānta rasa in Vraja.....
Radha Kṛṣṇa dasa -
This verse is in Bhakti Rasāmṛta Sindhu 4.8.85. Translation (by H.H. Bhanu Swami): "Kṛṣṇa as the āśraya of all rasas:
Though lifting up Govardhana, He remained without pride in Himself (śānta). When the small children became eager to hold up the mountain, He smiled (hasya, vatsala. He spat some bad-smelling yogurt (bībhatsa). He showed off his great strength in lifting the mountain for the benefit of His dear friends (sakhya, vīra). He displayed red eyes in looking at Indra (raudra). He shed tears on seeing the suffering of the inhabitants of Vraja from rain and wind (karuna). He trembled in fear before the elders, having destroyed the sacrifice to Indra (dāsya, bhayānaka). His eyes opened wide with astonishment on seeing the great torrents of rain (adbhuta). His hairs stood on end when He saw the young girls (madhura). May this master, the lifter of Govardhana, protect you!”
Jīva Gosvāmī's Commentary: Amāni (prideless) means that Kṛṣṇa exhibited śānta-rasa in being devoid of pride in lifting Govardhana. Trembling in front of His elders on interrupting the sacrifice to Indra (hari-makham prasya) indicates bhayankara-rasa. Other rasas can similarly be understood in this verse".
The above verse is an example of Kṛṣṇa tasting śānta rasa along with all other expressions of sacred aesthetic rapture while lifting Govardhana hill.
That is granted, and thank you for the tip. However, the three verses I quoted from Caitanya Caritāmṛta remain evidence that, even if śānta rati would exist in Vraja/Goloka, this is still not given by Mahaprabhu to us in this age. The explanation of the cows, clouds, mountains etc. not being in śānta rati remain too. In this case the answer to about the names of Kṛṣṇa would be Param Atma and Param Brahma, because that is what Bhakti Rasāmṛta Sindhu says about the conception of the śānta bhakta.