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Waves of
A Comprehensive Study of the
Nectar of Devotion

Dhanurdhara Swami

Author's Preface
Waves of Devotion is a commentary on Srila Prabhupada's Nectar of Devotion. It is
probably one of the last things you would expect from someone who was formerly the
coach of a high school soccer team in Johnson City, NY. Suprisingly, however, the
history behind the compilation of Waves of Devotion shows that being a coach was
perhaps my best qualification for the work. I'm good at putting together teams. 1
i. history
Nectar of Devotion is Srila Prabhupada's summary study of Srila Rupa Gosvami's
Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu. Since its first release in 1970, devotees eagerly studied Nectar
of Devotion and were thus introduced to the basic principles and practices of
devotional service, as well as to the loving sentiments of the Lord's eternal associates
in Vrindaban.
Most ISKCON devotees regularly study The Nectar of Devotion I know
many who proclaim it their favorite book. Still, a number of its sections remained
difficult to grasp. Thus all of us were enlivened when, in January of 1988, His
Holiness Tamala Krsna Maharaja joined the Vrindaban Institute for Higher Education
(VIHE) and taught a course on Nectar of Devotion.
Tamala Krsna Maharaja was certainly an appropriate person to teach the
course. In 1985, he wrote Jagannatha-priya-natakam (the first English drama based on
Sanskrit dramaturgy), which required that he deeply study Nataka-candrika, by Srila
Rupa Gosvami. Nataka-candrika elaborately describes rasa-tattva the basis of
Sanskrit drama, and of the later, more difficult sections in The Nectar of Devotion.
To further his realization of these difficult subjects, Tamala Krsna Maharaja
also consulted with Sripad B.V. Narayana Maharaja, a devoted follower of Srila Rupa
Gosvami, and an authority on his teachings.
Tamala Krsna Maharaja's impressive presentation substantially deepened my
knowledge and appreciation of The Nectar of Devotion. However, twenty-four lectures
of only fifty minutes each was far too little time to comprehensively cover the book's
fifty-one chapters. I was inspired to study in more depth.
For me to learn a subject deeply, I must teach it. Thus in 1987 I began preparing a
course on The Nectar of Devotion for the VIHE's Karttika semester; limiting myself to
the first 19 chapters.
As I expected, having to express the philosophical intricacies of The Nectar of
Devotion forced me to confront my shortcomings in scholarship, and inspired me to

What is a "com mentary"? Nyyakoa defi nes: Tkyate praviyate jyate vnay iti tk A
commentary is that by which we understand a subject clearly.

delve deeper into the subject. When I could not manage to clearly explain a section to
my class, I would consult Srila Jiva Gosvami and Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti
Thakura's commentaries on Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu. My access to these limitlessly
valuable works was made possible by the scholarship of Sriman Navadvipa Prabhu,
who teaches Hindi and writing at the Bhaktivedanta Swami International Gurukula
where, for the past nineteen years, I have been the Principal.
If still more clarification was required, I would go to the head of our Sanskrit
Department, Sriman Satyanarayana Prabhu, who has thoroughly studied the main
works of the Six Gosvamis with renowned Vrindaban scholars.
I continued the process of learning-by-lecturing whenever I got the chance;
teaching several VIHE semesters, two one-week seminars at the Gita-Nagari Institute,
and a one-week seminar at the VIHE in Belgium. During my summer travels, I would
even give Sunday Feast lectures and "home programs" based on relevant sections of
The Nectar of Devotion. 2
At the same time, His Holiness Giriraja Swami and His Grace Bhurijana Prabhu
each embarked on very comprehensive studies of the book, supplemented with the
many verses of Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu that Srila Prabhupada translated and
commented upon in his Caitanya-caritamrta. When I got the opportunity, I would
attend their classes. These brilliant Vaisnavas understood many important concepts in
The Nectar of Devotion far more deeply than myself, although I had been studying the
book almost exclusively for several years. By hearing from them, and by discussing
The Nectar of Devotion with them, I gained important insights into the text.
My desire to help people clearly understand the book increased, and I felt the
need for something to be written on the subject. Eventually, I decided to try writing
something on The Nectar of Devotion.
As I had lacked the scholarship to effectively teach The Nectar of Devotion, I
lacked even more the skills to write a commentary on it. But since I was a coach, I was
good at forming teams. I had formed a team of devotees to help me teach. Now I
would form a team to help me write.
Initially, Waves of Devotion was in the form of chapter summaries, prepared for my
"Nectar of Devotion Overview" in the VIHE's Gaura Purnima semester of January
1992. Each chapter summary connected various paragraphs in The Nectar of Devotion
by clarifying essential themes and adding some pertinent comments from my research.
The students found the materials extremely useful. Having tasted Waves of Devotion,
there was not a single student in my class who didn't implore me to finish the work.
Nonetheless, considerably more work was needed before the chapter
summaries could be printed as a book. If the philosophical subtleties of The Nectar of

Such as "Relief from M aterial Di stress" (C hapter One); "Devot ional Service in Practice" (Chapter
Two); and Kna's 64 Transcendental Qualities (Chapters 21 - 22).

Devotion were to be properly expressed, Waves of Devotion would have to be

substantially edited, for clarity and force. Many topics from the later sections still
needed research. I needed help.
To spread Krsna consciousness in Kali-Yuga, Lord Caitanya has hidden many qualified
devotees, with the talents to spread Krsna consciousness, in strange forms. To assist
me in writing Waves of Devotion I needed a devotee with fixed devotional practices,
talent in writing, and ability to understand the subtleties of philosophy. I found such a
devotee in the guise of a raging Hardcore guitarist and revolutionary Hare Krsna
straight-edge leader, Vic 108! 3
Vic 108 (who took initiation from me in February of 1992, and received the
name Vraja Kishor das) visits me yearly in Vrindaban. On my request, he eagerly took
up the task of editing. Actually, he would do more than editing:
I had significantly redrafted my chapter summaries to the point of a more
complete book. Vraja Kishor would help bring it the rest of the way. This included rewriting key sections of the book after suggesting points that could be developed,
creating the helpful diagrams, doing substantial editing, organizing and laying-out the
text, and adding the Appendices and Sanskrit Glossary.
Over the next two years I sent Vraja Kishor the drafts of further chapters.
Considering I was his Guru, I was initially quite surprised how unabashedly he took
to editing my words! But my tendency is to give maximum initiative and
encouragement to the members of my team. When I found points that Vraja Kishor
did not properly understand and express, I corrected him. But for the most part, Vraja
Kishor's suggestions for improving the text were brilliant.
Still, something more was required. Again I turned to Navadvipa Prabhu, who
is also an excellent scholar with exceptional ability to analyse and grasp philosophy.
Although by nature he keeps himself in the background, many senior ISKCON
Vaisnavas consult him on various philosophical points, and request his assistance in
Navadvipa Prabhu checked my analysis against the original commentaries,
point by point. By incorporating his suggestions, I felt my presentation had become
To understand many of the difficult passages in the later sections, I required
translations of the original verses. Navadvipa Prabhu not only translated them, he
lent me his personal copy of The Nectar of Devotion in which he had written the
original verse numbers alongside the corresponding text, allowing easy cross-reference
between the two. Again, when it was necessary, he would research Srila Jiva
Goswami's commentary and add pertinent comments.

108 is the name of his band.


Finally, my friend Satyaraja Prabhu (Steven Rosen), author of many books on

Gauiya Vaisnavism, offered his assistance as a copy editor, and to look over the book
from the viewpoint of academia.
My team, and my book, was complete.
I hope this history serves to explain how one not conversant with the original
language of the text, not talented in writing, nor a particularly gifted academic, could
produce a commentary on The Nectar of Devotion.

Since The Nectar of Devotion is already the commentary of a self realized soul, what is the
need to comment on it at all? Srila Prabhupada himself said that his books were written
not by him, but by Krsna. Thus aren't they already perfect?
The Vedas emanate directly from the Supreme Lord's breathing. Still, they are
understood with the help of a teacher acaryavan puruso veda. Like the Vedas, Srila
Prabhupada's books are transcendental sound vibration (sabda brahman). Thus the
same principle holds for them: they become more accessible through the aid of a
Commenting on Srila Prabhupada's books is not unprecedented in ISKCON. A
simple example is our daily Srimad-Bhagavatam class, which Srila Prabhupada himself
instituted. Again, the principle of acaryavan puruso veda is at work: learning erudite
Vaisnavas deepens our comprehension and appreciation of Srila Prabhupada's books.
I'd like to briefly share my personal experience of how essential it is to learn
Srila Prabhupada's books from a teacher.
Every year, I teach a five-month course on Bhagavada-Gita. This rigorous
course requires that I be capable of analyzing each verse in context of the various
themes and sub-themes within and between each chapter. Obviously, this requires
very thorough knowledge of the book.
Even after studying on my own for many years, I would have never been able
to teach this course without attending the classes given in 1985 by His Holiness
Jagadisa Goswami, or without hearing Satyanarayana Prabhu translate the
commentaries of Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura and Srila Baladeva
Vidyabhusana, or without taking His Grace Bhurijana Prabhu's "Bhagavada-Gita
Overview" three times.
I thus remain indebted to my teachers for helping me come closer to my
spiritual master, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada by
making his vani, the instructions in his books, clearer to me.
Everything is in Srila Prabhupada's books, which are complete in and of
themselves. A sincere and qualified follower can realize the full import of Vedic
knowledge by serving Srila Prabhupada and reading his books. However, due to our
own deficiencies in devotion and scholarship, we sometimes have difficulty
understanding them deeply. Sometimes we even lose enthusiasm to read them.
A teacher who has realized the subject can help us. What does it mean to
"realize the subject"?
Personal realization does not mean that one should, out of vanity, attempt to show
one's own learning by trying to surpass the previous acarya. He must have full
confidence in the previous acarya, and at the same time he must realize the subject
matter so nicely that he can present the matter for the particular circumstances in a
suitable manner. The original purpose of the text must be maintained. No obscure

meaning should be screwed out of it, yet it should be presented in an interesting

manner for the understanding of the audience. This is called realization. [SB 1.4.1,p]

Vaisnavas who have deeply studied Srila Prabhupada's books can help us increase our
understanding and appreciation of them. In fact, it is the duty of the disciple to
become thoroughly conversant in the teachings of his spiritual master and present
them to others in a way which increases their interest in following them.
Waves of Devotion is one such attempt.
ii. "errors" and "corrections"
To properly convey the import of Srila Prabhupada's words, transcribers and editors
must themselves be quite learned in the intricacies of Vaisnava philosophy. When
Srila Prabhupada began writing The Nectar of Devotion over twenty-five years ago, in
many cases they were not. Consequently, mistakes were sometimes made.
Teaching The Nectar of Devotion and writing Waves of Devotion sometimes
required that I research the Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu to clarify the original statements of
Srila Prabhupada.
Again, this is not unprecedented. The first edition of Bhagavada-Gita As It Is
was comprehensively re-edited. Transcriptional and editorial errors were corrected,
and the text was thus brought closer to the original statements of Srila Prabhupada.
For example, in the first edition of Bhagavada-Gita As It Is (10.29), the word
pitrloka (pronounced: "pit-tree-low-kuh") was translated as "the planet of the trees."
Even an elementary student of Krsna consciousness can understand that pitrloka is a
Sanskrit word, not an English one, and refers to the planet (loka) of the ancestors
("pit-trees") not to "the planet of the trees."
Of course, this is a fairly crude mistake, but if we compare the final edition of
Bhagavada-Gita to the one originally produced, we will find many intricacies of Srila
Prabhupada's writing missed by inexperienced transcribers or editors.
There are similar problems in the transcription and editing of The Nectar of
Devotion, especially since it was an earlier work and more complex by nature.
In clarifying Bhagavada-Gita, devotees had access to the tapes of Srila
Prabhupada's original dictation. In clarifying The Nectar of Devotion, I did not. To the
best of my knowledge, they no longer exist. However, I feel that my access to the
original texts and commentaries of Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu allowed me to, in some
instances, bring the text of The Nectar of Devotion closer to Srila Prabhupada's
original statements.
For example:
In Srimad-Bhagavatam (11.6.46), Uddhava says, My dear Krsna, I have taken things
which You have used and enjoyed, such as garlands of flowers, saintly articles,
garments and ornaments... (NOD Page 74) The phrase saintly articles should be
scented oils. The Sanskrit word used here is gandha "scents." The phonetic
similarity between saintly articles and scented oils makes it obvious that the original

transcriber did not hear Srila Prabhupada properly. [Waves of Devotion, page

Another example, from the Thirty-Eighth Chapter of The Nectar of Devotion:

As far as the feverish condition of the body is concerned, Uddhava once told Narada,
"My dear great sage, the lotus flower that is a friend of the sun may be a cause of
distress for us, the fire in the ocean may cause us some burning sensation, and
Indivara, the friend of a demon, may distress us in various ways we do not mind.
But the most regrettable factor is that all of them remind us of Krsna, and this is giving
us too much distress!"

The statement, "Indivara, the friend of a demon" should read, "Indivara, the friend of
the moon." I surmise that Srila Prabhupada's strong accent may have led the
transcribers to hear Srila Prabhupada's friend of de-moon as "friend of demon"! 4
The above two examples are clearly transcriptional errors. Still, even if all of Srila
Prabhupada's words were heard and transcribed perfectly, he was expressing complex
philosophical concepts in a foreign language (English) and therefore required
experienced editors conversant with the subject mater. To the extent this was lacking,
clarity was lost.
Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu uses meticulous Sanskrit terminology, essential for
understanding it's intricacies. Being conversant with neither the Sanskrit terms nor the
concepts they represented, Srila Prabhupada's editors were unable to effectively emend
The Nectar of Devotion for consistency in terminology. As a result, one may find it
difficult to grasp some of the complex points Srila Prabhupada presented.
There are many cases of this. One example concerns an ecstatic symptom
(vyabhicari-bhava) called nirveda. In The Nectar of Devotion, nirveda is sometimes
translated as "self-disparagement," sometimes as "disappointment," sometimes
"depression," "hopelessness," "despair," "lamentation," etc. All these synonyms
correctly convey the meaning of nirveda, but they also correctly convey the meaning of
other vyabhicari-bhavas (visada "depression," soka "lamentation"). Thus, when
we read, "This is an instance of lamentation in ecstatic love," exactly what does that
mean? Is it an instance of nirveda, or visada, or soka?
Waves of Devotion is therefore intended to give relevant comments, when
necessary, to help the readers understand many of the more difficult passages of The
Nectar of Devotion.

Indvara is not the name of a person, it is a type of blue lotus flower. The original Sanskrit for this text
of Bhakti-rasmta-sindhu (3.2.118) i s indvara vidhu-suht. The Indvara l otus i s a fri end of t he
moon because it is night-blooming.

iii. "summary study"

The Nectar of Devotion is not a translation of Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu. It is a summary
study. Srila Prabhupada's main intention in writing The Nectar of Devotion was not to
produce an edition that would win respect among circles of academicians and Sanskrit
scholars. His intention was practical: to quickly provide his very young American
disciples with an essential understanding of the basic practices and ideals of Krsna
consciousness, and introduce the Western world to the beauty of our devotional
He himself tells us this: The Nectar of Devotion is specifically presented for
persons who are now engaged in the Krsna consciousness movement (page xvii).
If we consider that the Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu has 2,129 verses, almost three
times as many as Bhagavada-Gita; and if we consider that the verses of Bhaktirasamrta-sindhu often describe complex philosophical points and subtle nuances in
rasa and are thus far more complex than Bhagavada-Gita it becomes clear that a
comprehensive commentary would have taken Srila Prabhupada several years to
complete, if not more. Would that be the best use of his time, when in 1970 most of
his disciples were relatively inexperienced, and thus substantial portions of Bhaktirasamrta-sindhu had little relevance to them? Was it the best use of Srila Prabhupada's
time, considering that he had not yet even presented them with Bhagavada-Gita,
Srimad-Bhagavatam, or Caitanya-caritamrta?
Comparing The Nectar of Devotion to the verses of Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu
makes it evident that Srila Prabhupada gave his dictations while systematically
consulting the original text and commentaries, as was his standard in translating other
prominent Vaisnava scriptures. However, In The Nectar of Devotion he did not use his
standard format: Sanskrit script, Roman transliteration, Sanskrit/English word-forword, English translation, and commentary for each text.
Thus he could sometimes take the liberty to greatly expand the original text
when he felt that his audience needed a more relevant explanation. 5 He could also
drastically summarize sections he felt were not so relevant to his audience at that
time. 6 In translated sections in the last division of Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu he would
sometimes even omit tens of verses at a stretch.
To fully appreciate Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu, one requires a complete translation
of the texts and commentaries. Srila Prabhupada's widely acclaimed Bhagavada-Gita,
Srimad-Bhagavatam, and Caitanya-caritamrta attest to his qualification for this task. If
Srila Prabhupada had stayed with us longer, surely he would have given us a complete
translation of Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu as he gave us Caitanya-caritamrta even after

His elaborate description of the yogic-siddhis and their comparison to modern science are an example of
this. (See NOD, pages 11 - 12.)

An exam ple i s hi s bri ef summary of rla Rpa Gosvm's three verses describing the practices of
rgnug-sdhana-bhakti, which are elaborately com mented on, and which rla Vivantha
Cakravart hkura has even developed into a small book. (See NOD, page 126.)

previously publishing it's summary study, Teachings of Lord Caitanya; and as he gave
us the Tenth Canto even after previously publishing it's summary study, Krsna, The
Supreme Personality of Godhead.
Srila Prabhupada said that Lord Caitanya could have spread Krsna
consciousness all over the world, but He left something for us to do. Srila Prabhupada
also told us that he had build the framework for spreading Krsna consciousness, but
we, his followers, should fill in the details. He did not give us a complete translation
and commentary on the Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu. So Waves of Devotion attempts to
take up the service left for us by Srila Prabhupada to fill in the details.
iv. too advanced?
It is sometimes misunderstood that Srila Prabhupada purposely did not elaborate all
the sections of Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu because some of the topics were too advanced
to be made publicly accessible. However, we find that Srila Prabhupada translated and
widely distributed the Caitanya-caritamrta a book that quotes major portions of the
advanced topics in Srila Rupa Gosvami's Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu and Ujjvalanilamani. 7 Since Srila Prabhupada translated and commented upon these verses, it is
clear that he desired to make these topics accessible.
v. "waves of devotion"
For the most part, Srila Prabhupada at least briefly summarized every verse in Bhaktirasamrta-sindhu. Consequently, I was able to solidly base the present book on His
authoritative statements. Therefore we have entitled the book Waves of Devotion
Waves are born from the ocean, heighten the ocean, and then merge within it.
Similarly, the explanations in Waves of Devotion are born the statements in Nectar of
Devotion. They further explain Srila Prabhupada's statements, and thus heighten or
expand them. Finally, after hearing these explanations one will find the very same
points in Srila Prabhupada's own statements. Waves of Devotion will thus merge in
the ocean of The Nectar of Devotion.
Waves are not just born from the ocean, their very existence depends upon its
support. Similarly, every comment in Waves of Devotion is authorized by a
corresponding statement from Srila Prabhupada's Nectar of Devotion.

rla Rpa Gosvm describes Ujjvala-nlamani as an even m ore advanced suppl ement t o Bhaktirasmta-sindhu. The Bhakti-rasmta-sindhu gi ves onl y a bri ef descri ption of mdhurya-rasa.
Ujjvala-nlamani, however, exclusively and extensively describes mdhurya-rasa. Knadsa Kavirja
quoted extensively from this book, and rla Prabhupda present ed these quotations in his Caitanyacaritmta.

vi. faults or glories?

Sometimes scholars criticise The Nectar of Devotion. They find omissions and
apparent errors similar to the ones that I have pointed out. In one sense, their analysis
is not unjustified Since translations of philosophical treatises are expected to meet
strict academic standards.
However, Srila Prabhupada was a unique translator and commentator. Never
before was spiritual teacher requested to not only enlighten the masses, but to literally
transplant an entire culture and to begin this work at the end of his life. Thus his
primary concern was to quickly and effectively communicate Krsna consciousness.
Academic standards were secondary.
Devotees and scholars should see The Nectar of Devotion as it was intended to
be seen as a summary study of Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu; which Srila Prabhupada
urgently gave his young disciples, to root them in the science of bhakti-yoga, spark
some devotion in their hearts, and give them a basic grasp of the spiritual practices
and ideals of Krsna consciousness.
Srila Prabhupada was successful. By the mass distribution of The Nectar of
Devotion, thousands upon thousands of sincere spiritual seekers were, and still are,
introduced to and inspired by "The Complete Science of Bhakti-Yoga." Indeed,
probably more people have studied Srila Rupa Gosvami's teachings through The
Nectar of Devotion than through the original text.
If we judge The Nectar of Devotion in this light, its apparent shortcomings are
seen as it's glory; for they reflect the urgency and boldness of an intensely
compassionate Vaisnava in giving Krsna consciousness to the world.
In Srimad-Bhagavatam (1.5.11) Narada Muni describes how an "imperfectly
composed" scripture can be glorious:
tad-vag-visargo janatagha-viplavo
yasmin prati-slokam abaddhavaty api
namany anantasya yaso kitani yat
srnvanti gayanti grnanti sadhavah
On the other hand, that literature which is full of descriptions of the transcendental
glories of the name, fame, forms, pastimes, etc., of the unlimited Supreme Lord is a
different creation, full of transcendental words directed toward bringing about a
revolution in the impious lives of this world's misdirected civilization. Such
transcendental literatures, even though imperfectly composed, are heard, sung and
accepted by purified men who are thoroughly honest.

Srila Prabhupada appeared to fulfil the prediction of Vyasadeva and Sri Caitanya
Mahaprabhu, that a revolution of Krsna consciousness would be spread all over the
world. To assist his mission, he distributed an ocean of Krsna consciousness (Bhaktirasamrta-sindhu). Waves of Devotion is simply an attempt to assist Srila Prabhupada
by helping his followers (especially) to dive deeper into that ocean.

Author's Preface


Nectar of Devotion's Preface


Eastern Ocean: Varieties of Devotional Service

First Wave: Samanya-Bhakti Overview of Devotional Service
Chapter 1 - Characteristics of Pure Devotional Service

Second Wave: Sadhana-Bhakti Devotional Service in Practice

Part 1: Vaidhi-Sadhana Regulative Practice
Chapter 2 - The First Stages of Devotion
Chapter 3 - Eligibility of the Candidate
Chapter 4 - Devotional Service Surpasses All Liberation
Chapter 5 - The Purity of Devotional Service
Chapter 6 - How to Discharge Devotional Service
Chapter 7 - Evidence Regarding Devotional Principles
Chapter 8 - Offences to Be Avoided
Chapter 9 - Further Consideration of Devotional Principles
Chapter 10 - Techniques of Hearing and Remembering
Chapter 11 - Aspects of Transcendental Service
Chapter 12 - Further Aspects of Transcendental Service


Chapter 13 - Five Potent Forms of Devotional Service

Chapter 14 - Devotional Qualifications
Part 2: Raganuga-Sadhana Spontaneous Practice
Chapter 15 - Spontaneous Devotional Service
Chapter 16 - Spontaneous Devotion Further Described

Third Wave: Bhava-Bhakti Devotional Service in Ecstasy

Chapter 17 - Ecstatic Love
Chapter 18 - Character of One in Ecstatic Love

Fourth Wave: Prema-Bhakti Devotional Service in Pure Love of

Chapter 19 - Devotional Service in Pure Love of God


Southern Ocean: Overview of Bhakti-Rasa

First Wave: Vibhava Ecstatic Stimulants
Chapter 20 - Transcendental Mellow
Chapter 21 - Qualities of Sri Krsna
Chapter 22 - Qualities of Krsna Further Explained
Chapter 23 - Krsna's Personality
Chapter 24 - Further Traits of Sri Krsna
Chapter 25 - Devotees of Krsna
Chapter 26 - Stimulation for Ecstatic Love

Second Wave: Anubhava Subsequent Ecstasy

Chapter 27 - Symptoms of Ecstatic Love

Third Wave: Sattvika-Bhava Existential Ecstasy

Chapter 28 - Existential Ecstatic Love

Fourth Wave: Vyabhicari-Bhava Transitory Ecstasies

Chapter 29 - Expressions of Love for Krsna
Chapter 30 - Further Features of Ecstatic Love for Krsna
Chapter 31 - Additional Symptoms

Fifth Wave: Sthayi-Bhava Constitutional Ecstasy

Chapter 32 - Symptoms of Continuous Ecstasy
Chapter 33 - Indirect Expressions of Ecstatic Love
Chapter 34 - The Nectar of Devotion

Western Ocean: Direct Bhakti-Rasa


First Wave: Santa-Rasa Neutral Affection

Chapter 35 - Neutral Love of God

Second Wave: Priti-Rasa Servitude

Chapter 36 - Transcendental Affection (Servitude)
Chapter 37 - Impetuses for Krsna's Service
Chapter 38 - Indifference and Separation
Chapter 39 - Ways of Meeting Krsna
Chapter 40 - Reverential Devotion of Sons & Subordinates

Third Wave: Preyo-Rasa Friendship

Chapter 41 - Fraternal Devotion
Chapter 42 - Fraternal Loving Affairs

Fourth Wave: Vatsala-Rasa Parenthood

Chapter 43 - Parenthood

Fifth Wave: Madhura-Rasa Consorthood

Chapter 44 - Devotional Service in Conjugal Love

Northern Ocean: Indirect Bhakti-Rasa

First Wave: Hasya-Rasa Laughter
Chapter 45 - Laughing Ecstasy

Second & Third Waves: Adbhuta-Rasa & Vira-Rasa Astonishment

& Chivalry
Chapter 46 - Astonishment & Chivalry


Fourth & Fifth Waves: Karuna-Rasa & Raudra-Rasa Compassion

& Anger
Chapter 47 - Compassion & Anger

Sixth & Seventh Waves: Bhayananka & Vibhatsa-Rasa Dread &

Chapter 48 - Dread & Ghastliness

Eighth Wave: Maitri-Vaira-Sthiti Compatible & Incompatible

Mixture of Mellows
Chapter 49 - Mixing of Rasas
Chapter 50 - Further Analysis of Mixed Rasas

Ninth Wave: Rasabhasa Imperfect Expression of Mellows

Chapter 51 - Perverted Expression of Mellows




The preface deals mainly with two subjects: (1) a brief history of Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu
including a biography of its author, and (2) bhakti-rasa, a primary subject of Bhakti-rasamrtasindhu.

Sri Krsna Caitanya Mahaprabhu is the original speaker of Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu. Srila Rupa
Gosvami heard Him for ten days on the bank of the Gaga at Dasasvamedha-ghata in Prayaga.
The Gosvami assimilated the Lord's instructions and systematically presented them in writing.
In 1970, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada summarized Bhakti-rasamrtasindhu and gave it to the world as The Nectar of Devotion. 8

Bhakti-rasa is the primary subject of Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu. Srila Prabhupada introduces this
subject by briefly commenting on the book's title.

Srila Prabhupada says, Bhakti means devotional service (pg xii).
Bhakti connotes devotion or love, and love implies service activity to please the
beloved. Thus "devotional service" is an eloquent definition of bhakti. 9
Devotion is the most fundamental drive of every living entity. The basic principle of the
living condition is that we have a general propensity to love someone. No one can live without
loving someone else (pg xv).
We cannot be happy without satisfying this desire to love. We will not be able to
perfectly fulfil this desire without permitting its expansion to the most inclusive extent.
In the primary stage a child loves his parents, then his brothers and sisters, and as he
daily grows up he begins to love his family, society, community, country, nation, or even the
whole human society. But the loving propensity is not satisfied even by loving all human
society; that loving propensity remains imperfectly fulfilled until we know who is the supreme
beloved (pg xv).
Srila Prabhupada says that love can become all-embracing only when we understand that
Krsna is the supreme beloved. He is the root of all creation. By embracing Him one successfully
embraces everyone, as pouring water on the root of a tree successfully nourishes every leaf and
The Nectar of Devotion teaches us the science of loving every one of the living entities
perfectly by the easy method of loving Krsna (pg xv).
The loving propensity expands like a beam of light. By instructing us to love Krsna, The
Nectar of Devotion will teach us how to turn the one switch that will immediately brighten

Jva Gosvm and Vivantha Cakravart hkura are the two most significant commentators on Bhakti-rasmtasindhu.

"Mita ca sra ca vaco hi vgmit" iti Essential truth spoken concisely is true eloquence. (Cc. Adi 1.106)

everything, everywhere. One who does not know this method is missing the point of life (pg

Rasa is difficult to translate. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Maharaja translated it as "mellow." Srila
Prabhupada followed in his footsteps.
The word rasa, used in the Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu, is understood by different persons
differently because the exact English equivalent is very difficult to find. But as we have seen our
spiritual master translate this word rasa into "mellow," we shall follow in his footsteps and also
translate the word in that way (pg 151).
Literally, rasa means "juice." Contextually, it means "mellow."
Mellow means, "Sweet and full-flavored from ripeness, as fruit." 10 Thus "mellow" refers
to the relishably sweet taste of a fruit a taste contained in it's juice.
Relationships are comparable to fruits. The pleasure we taste in these relationships is the
juice, the mellow the rasa.
The taste of a fruit is what attracts us to eat it. Similarly, the force that attracts us to a
certain activity or relationship is the taste we enjoy in it. Srila Prabhupada explains, Driven by
affection for his wife and children, a family man works day and night. A philanthropist works in
the same way for love of the greater family, and a nationalist for the cause of his country and
countrymen. That force which drives the philanthropist, the householder and the nationalist is
called rasa, or a kind of mellow (relationship) whose taste is very sweet (pg xiii).
There are two kinds of tastes: (1) bhakti-rasa the taste relished in devotional service to
Krsna, and (2) mundane-"rasa" the taste enjoyed by sense gratification.
Bhakti-rasa is the incalculably superior taste. Not only is it superior to sense
gratification, it is limitlessly superior even to the bliss of spiritual emancipation. Srila Rupa
Gosvami describes, If brahmananda, or the happiness of becoming one with the Supreme, is
multiplied by one trillion-fold, it still cannot be compared to an atomic fraction of the happiness
derived from the ocean of devotional service (pg 15).
It is impossible for us to fully understand the infinite happiness relished in bhakti
because it is beyond the realm of anything we can experience in our finite existence. Srila
Prabhupada, however, gives us a glimpse of bhakti-rasa by comparing it to something we are
quite familiar with: mundane-rasa.

Srila Prabhupada describes mundane-rasa by noting it's two qualities: (1) bhoga-tyaga
oscillation between enjoyment and renunciation, and (2) capala-sukha flickering duration of
Neither enjoyment (bhoga) nor renunciation (tyaga) is the natural position of the soul.
Therefore one cannot remain permanently situated in either; one will oscillate between the two,
finding satisfaction in neither.

Random House Webster's.


The happiness (sukha) of mundane-rasa is always temporary and flickering (capala). Even the
greatest material pleasure must end at death.

Srila Prabhupada illustrates the superiority of bhakti-rasa over mundane-rasa by contrasting the
two. (See pg xiii.)
Mundane-rasa is bhoga-tyaga. In contrast, bhakti-rasa is the natural position of the soul,
and thus one can remain satisfied there perpetually, without oscillation.
Mundane-rasa is capala-sukha. In contrast, the pleasure of bhakti-rasa does not flicker.

Since the pleasure of bhakti-rasa does not fade, it is amrta deathless. Bhakti-rasa, however,
the mellow relished in the transcendental loving service of the Lord, does not finish with the
end of life. It continues perpetually and is therefore called amrta, that which does not die but
exists eternally (pg xiv).
Srila Prabhupada explains that the activities of devotional service are never vanquished,
even by death.
Amrta also means "nectar," a tasty beverage which makes one deathless. Devotional
service not only bestows eternal pleasure, it is also the process of achieving eternality.

The nectarean pleasure derived from devotional service to Krsna is clearly superior to material
sense gratification. One may sometimes manage to procure a few drops of sense pleasure, but
there is an entire ocean (sindhu) of the nectar of devotion easily available to everyone, always.
By understanding The Nectar of Devotion, one can dive deeply into that ocean. (See page xvi.)


Part One:
Eastern Ocean

I: Bhagavad-Bhakti-Bheda Varieties of Devotional Service

1: Samanya-Bhakti Overview of Devotional Service

Introduction - Chapter One

2: Sadhana-Bhakti Devotional Service in Practice

Chapters Two - Sixteen

3: Bhava-Bhakti Devotional Service in Ecstasy

Chapters Seventeen & Eighteen

4: Prema-Bhakti Devotional Service in Love of God

Chapter Nineteen


Eastern Ocean
First Wave

Introduction - Chapter One


BRS 1.1.1 - 16

The Introduction to The Nectar of Devotion includes three topics: (1) The magalacaranam of
Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu, (2) a brief description of the book's contents, and (3) an authoritative
definition of pure devotional service.

A magalacaranam is an auspicious invocation; thus Srila Prabhupada's first words in the
Introduction are, Invoking auspiciousness (pg xix).
Krsna dasa Kaviraja Gosvami explains that a magalacaranam accomplishes three ends:
(1) define the book's objective, (2) offer obeisances, and (3) offer benedictions. 1
The first six verses of Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu comprise Srila Rupa Gosvami's

The First Verse

(First Paragraph of Introduction)
The first verse of Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu defines the book's objective: Lord Sri Krsna. He is the
Supreme Personality of Godhead because He is the reservoir of all rasas (akhila-rasamrtamurtih).
Srila Prabhupada translates this verse in Caitanya-caritamrta (Madhya 8.142):
radha-preyan vidhur jayati
Let Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, be glorified! By virtue of His expanding
attractive features, He subjugated the gopis named Taraka and Pali and absorbed Syama and
Lalita. He is the most attractive lover of Srimati Radharani, and is the reservoir of pleasure
for all devotional mellows.

Krsna Reservoir of all Rasa

Krsna's supremacy is His all-lovable personality, not His position of majesty and authority.
In the Caitanya-caritamrta (Adi 2.29), Srila Prabhupada explains this by comparing Lord
Narayana to a high-court judge. The judge is a majestic and powerful figure in the courtroom,
but only in the privacy of his own home is he fully manifest. At home, the judge abundantly
reveals his intimate and sweet personality: To his old parents he is an obedient and faithful son,
to his friends a bosom chum, and to his mate a passionate lover.
Similarly, when Lord Narayana performs the creationary role of God, He reveals only His
majesty and power. At home in Vrndavana, however, the fullness of His wonderfully sweet

Cc. Adi 1.22: "The i nvocation involves three processes: defining the objective, offering benedictions, and offeri ng
obeisances." Cc. Adi 1.20: "In t he begi nning of t his narration [magalcaranam], s imply b y r emembering t he
spiritual master, the devotees of the Lord, and the Personality of Godhead, I have invoked their blessings."

personality blossoms. Therefore Srila Rupa Gosvami addresses Vrndavana-Krsna as akhilarasamrta-murti, and singles Him out as the objective of Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu. 2

Krsna Attractor of the Gopis

...by His universal and transcendental attractive features He has captivated all the gopis, headed
by Tarika, Palika, Syama, Lalita, and ultimately Srimati Radharani (page xix).
Srila Rupa Gosvami groups five different gopis according to the intensity of their
affection for Krsna: Taraka and Palika, Syama and Lalita, and Srimati Radharani. By His
radiantly attractive features Krsna "subjugates" Taraka and Palika; He controls them. Krsna
"absorbs" Syama and Lalita; He takes them into His own intimate circle. Srimati Radharani is the
dearest to Krsna. He becomes Her submissive lover (radha-preyan). Such is the unrivalled power
of Her devotion. 3
Krsna, the lover of Srimati Radharani and reservoir of all rasa, is the object and goal of Bhaktirasamrta-sindhu.

The Second Verse

(Second Paragraph)
hrdi yasya preranaya
pravartito'ham varaka-rupo'pi
tasya hareh pada-kamalamvande caitanya-devasya
Although I am the lowest of men and have no knowledge, the inspiration to write
transcendental literatures about devotional service has been mercifully bestowed upon me.
Therefore I am offering my obeisances at the lotus feet of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, the
Supreme Personality of Godhead, who has given me the chance to write these books. (Cc.
Madhya 19.134)
Srila Rupa Gosvami offers obeisances to Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, who personally taught him
the science of bhakti-rasa and inspired him to write Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu. Srila Prabhupada
was instructed in Krsna consciousness by his own spiritual master. Thus The Nectar of Devotion
was more directly inspired by Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Maharaja and Srila Rupa Gosvami, the
original author. Therefore he adjusts his summary so that this verse offers obeisances to them.
Let me offer my respectful obeisances unto the lotus feet of Srila Rupa Gosvami
Prabhupada and of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Prabhupada, by whose inspiration I
have been engaged in the matter of compiling this summary study of Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu (pg

Akhila-rasmta-mrti m eans t hat Kna i s t he ful l em bodiment of al l rasa. In The Nectar of Devotion , rla
Prabhupda translates akhila-rasmta-mrti as "the reservoir of all rasa (pg xix)."
(akhila full, every, all; rasa-amta nectarean mellows; mrti embodiment, form.)

Bhaviya Purna mentions Trik and Plik along with ym , Lalit, and rmat Rdhrn as being
among ten most important gops who attended the rasa dance.
See BRS 1.1.1, Jva Gosvm's commentary.

4 22

Keeping close to the original text, Srila Prabhupada says, This is the sublime science of
devotional service as propounded by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, who appeared five hundred
years ago in West Bengal, India, to propagate the movement of Krsna consciousness (pg xix).

The Third Verse

(Third Paragraph)
Here Srila Rupa Gosvami offers obeisances to his guru, declaring that the sole purpose of Bhaktirasamrta-sindhu is to please him.
Srila Prabhupada offered obeisances to his spiritual master in the previous paragraph, so
he translates this verse in the third-person: Srila Rupa Gosvami begins his great book by
offering his respectful obeisances unto Sri Sanatana Gosvami, who is his elder brother and
spiritual master, and he prays that Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu may be very pleasing to him (pg
xix). 4

The Fourth Verse

(Fourth Paragraph)
Let us offer our respectful obeisances to all the great devotees and acaryas (holy teachers), who
are compared to sharks in the great ocean of nectar and who do not care for the various rivers of
liberation (pg xix).
Srila Rupa Gosvami uses the shark analogy to glorify devotees in three ways: (1) Sharks
live only in the ocean, (2) Sharks reject the rivers, (3) Sharks are never caught in the fisherman's

Sharks Live Only in the Ocean

Sharks refuse to reside in any lesser body of water. Similarly, devotees always relish the
nectarean ocean of devotion, and are never attracted to any lesser pleasure.

Sharks Reject the Rivers

Impersonalists argue that the ultimate end of self-realization is to merge with the Supreme, as a
river ultimately merges with the ocean. Impersonalists are very fond of merging into the
Supreme, like rivers that come down and merge into the ocean (pg xix).
The fault in their argument: they fail to accurately distinguish the path of self-realization
from the person who practices it. If the path of self-realization is like a river, then the person on
the path is like a fish in the river; not the river itself. The river may merge with the ocean, but
the fish in that river do not. They enter the ocean and experience it's variegated forms and
Srila Prabhupada explains, The impersonalists are dwelling in the river water, which
eventually comes to mix with the ocean. They have no information, however, that within the
ocean, as within the river, there are innumerable aquatic living entities (pg xix).

rla Rpa Gosvm uses the word santana with a doubl e meaning. Santana (wh ich literally m eans "etern al")
can refer either to Kna the eternal Lo rd, or t o Sant ana Gosvm. Thus the magalcarana's third verse offers
obeisances to Guru and Kna simultaneously.

5 23

The real destination of self-realization is not to merge with the Supreme, but to enter the
realm of the Supreme, which is full of innumerable forms and entities. Devotees have already
achieved this destination. Therefore they never take to any process of self-realization other than
bhakti. The sharks who dwell in the ocean do not care for the rivers which are gliding down
into it... [They] have no business with the other processes, which are compared to the rivers
that only gradually come to the ocean (pgs xix - xx).

Sharks are Never Caught by the Fisherman's Net

Because devotees swim very deep in the ocean of devotional service they are never caught by the
fisherman's net the snares of birth and death.

The Fifth Verse

(Fifth Paragraph)
Srila Rupa Gosvami invokes a benediction for the protection of Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu from
argumentative logicians. He compares their arguments and logic to volcanic eruptions in the
midst of the ocean. In the midst of the ocean, volcanic eruptions can do very little harm, and
similarly, those who are against the devotional service of the Lord and who put forward many
philosophical theses about the ultimate transcendental realization cannot disturb this great
ocean of devotional service (pg xx).
Srila Rupa Gosvami gives his blessings by indicating that those who study this book will
become freed from the misconceptions of the impersonalists.

The Sixth Verse

(Sixth Paragraph)
In verse two, Srila Rupa Gosvami expressed his humble sentiments and attributed all credit for
Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu to Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu's inspiration. In the sixth verse he similarly
describes himself as incompetent.
Srila Prabhupada sums up Srila Rupa Gosvami's humility and notes that it is the proper
mood of a preacher: That should be the attitude of all preachers of the Krsna consciousness
movement, following in the footsteps of Srila Rupa Gosvami. We should never think of
ourselves as great preachers, but should always consider that we are simply instrumental to the
previous acaryas, and simply by following in their footsteps we may be able to do something for
the benefit of suffering humanity (pg xx).
Srila Rupa Gosvami explains that his eagerness to write Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu stems
from the desire to please the devotees. In this way he blesses whoever reads his book to achieve
transcendental happiness.

Seventh Paragraph Verses 7 - 9

Originally, in Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu, the ocean is divided like the watery ocean into east,
south, west and north, while the subsections within these different divisions are called waves...
In the first part there are four waves, the first being a general description of devotional service.
The second concerns the regulative principles for executing devotional service, and the third
wave, devotional service in ecstasy. In the fourth is the ultimate goal, love of God (pg xx).
6 24

The Ocean of the Nectar of Devotion
Eastern Side
Varities of Bhakti

Southern Side
Overview of Rasa

1. Overview of Devotion
2. Dev. Service in Practice
3. Dev. Service in Ecstacy
4. Dev. Service in Love of God

1. Vibhva
2. Anubhva
3. Sttvika-bhva
4. Vyabhicr-bhva
5. Sthy-bhva

Western Side
Primary Rasas
1. Neutrality
2. Servitude
3. Friendship
4. Parental
5. Conjugal

Northern Side
Secondary Rasas
1. Laughter
2. Astonishment
3. Chivalry
4. Compasion
5. Anger
6. Fear
7. Ghastliness
8. Incompatable Mellows
9. Distorted Mellows


From the top of page xxi, Srila Prabhupada begins to translate and explain the definition of
uttama-bhakti pure devotional service, which is the most important verse in Bhakti-rasamrtasindhu: 5
anukulyena krsnanusilanam bhaktir uttama
When first-class devotional service develops, one must be devoid of all material desires,
knowledge obtained by monistic philosophy, and fruitive actions. The devotee must
constantly serve Krsna favorably, as Krsna desires. (Cc. Mad 19.167)
In other words, pure devotional service is activity intended to please Krsna, without
ulterior motive, and not covered by philosophical or fruitive pursuits.

Svarupa-Laksanam Primary Characteristics 6

In The Nectar of Devotion, Srila Prabhupada translates the primary characteristics of pure
devotional service: First-class devotional service is known by one's tendency to be fully
engaged in Krsna consciousness, serving the Lord favorably (pg xxi).
There are three primary characteristics: (1) devotional service is for Krsna, (2)
devotional service is an active engagement, and (3) devotional service is executed with favorable

"Krsna" Devotional Service is for Krsna

Pure devotional service is for Krsna, not for anyone else. Of all the primary characteristics, this
is the most essential.

This verse is the paribh-stra the "thesis statement" upon which the entire book is based.
In Hari-nmmra-vykarana, Jva Gosvm defines paribh-stra as: Aniyame niyama-krin paribh.
"A paribh-stra implies a rule or theme where it is n ot explicitly stated." In other words, it gives the context in
which to understand a series of apparently unrelated statements in a book.
rla Prabhupda' s expl anation of t his verse (B RS 1.1.11) draws mainly from the commentary of Jva

The naykoa defines svarpa-lakanam as: svarpamera lakanam t hat whi ch descri bes t he fundamental
nature of an object or person.

7 25

It may seem a bit too exclusive to say that devotion is only for Krsna and no one else.
What about the people around us, can't we also love them?
We can only love Krsna, but Krsna is not ordinary. When we speak of Krsna we refer
to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, along with His many expansions (pg xxiii). In other
words, Krsna and His expansions are proper recipients of our pure devotion.
Srila Prabhupada explains "many expansions:" He is expanded by His plenary parts and
parcels, His differentiated parts and parcels and His different energies (pg xxiii).
Plenary parts and parcels refers to all the expansions and incarnations of Godhead, such
as ...Baladeva, Sakarsana, Vasudeva, Aniruddha, Pradyumna, Rama, Nrsimha and Varaha, as
well as many other incarnations and innumerable Visnu expansions (pg xxiii). Differentiated
parts and parcels refers to the living entities. Different energies refers to the material and spiritual
These three categories include everything that exists. Krsna, in other words, means
everything and includes everything (pg xxiii).
Obviously, it is overly inclusive to say that anything and everything is a valid recipient of
pure devotional service. Srila Prabhupada therefore explains, Generally, however, we should
understand Krsna to mean Krsna and His personal expansions... So Krsna includes all such
expansions, as well as His pure devotees. (pg xxiii). Two paragraphs later, Srila Prabhupada
also includes Krsna's paraphernalia and His transcendental abode as bona fide objects of the
devotee's pure loving affection.
The conclusion: Krsna is the singular target of pure devotion. As a result of this onepointed love for Krsna, one loves everything directly connected to Him.
This is neither too exclusive nor too inclusive.

Anusilanam Devotional Service is an Active Engagement

Pure devotion is an active engagement of loving service to Krsna. The particular word used by
Srila Rupa Gosvami in this connection is anusilana, or cultivation by following the predecessor
teachers (acaryas). As soon as we say cultivation we refer to activity. Without activity,
consciousness alone cannot help us (pg xxi).

Devotional Activities


Body Mind Words

Body Mind Words

Srila Prabhupada explains that

there are two aspects of anusilanam:
(1) pravrtti pursuance of activities
consciousness, and (2) nivrtti
avoidance of activities unfavorable to
Krsna consciousness. There are three
ways to perform pravrtti and nivrtti:
with body, mind, and words. (See pg


8 26

All these positive and negative devotional activities cannot connect to Krsna without the
assistance of disciplic succession (guru-parampara). 7 Srila Rupa Gosvami indicates this with the
prefix anu-, which means: "that which follows."
Those who follow Krsna are the guru-parampara. One performs devotional activities by
following a spiritual master, who himself is following the guru-parampara, which is ultimately
following the dictations of Sri Krsna. In this way, one's own activities may connect to the
transcendental desires of Krsna.
Srila Prabhupada explains, We can offer many services with our bodily activities. But all
such activities must be in relationship with Krsna. This relationship is established by connecting
oneself with the bona fide spiritual master, who is the direct representative of Krsna in disciplic
succession (pg xxii).
Initiation by the spiritual master insures purity and selflessness in our service. Without
this, one cannot connect with Krsna and know exactly what one should do to please the Lord.
Devotional Activities are Under the Internal Energy
Another point imparted by the prefix anu- is that the activities of Krsna consciousness are all
spiritual. Any activities done in devotional service, or in Krsna consciousness, are directly
under the control of spiritual energy (pg xxii).
The energy and inspiration to perform devotional service follows from Krsna. It originates
from Krsna's spiritual potency, flows down through the disciplic succession, and is instilled in
one's heart by the spiritual master. By following a bona fide spiritual master one links his
energies and activities to Krsna's internal potency. Thus they become spiritualized.
Srila Prabhupada sums it up, In other words, energy is a sort of strength, and this
strength can be spiritualized by the mercy of both the bona fide spiritual master and Krsna (pg

Anukulyena Favorable Intention

Devotional service is intended to please Krsna. An activity that only incidentally pleases Him is
not devotional service.
To explain this, Jiva Gosvami introduces the analogy of "the warrior and his weapons."
Srila Prabhupada mentions it: For instance, if someone says, Give something to eat to the man
with the weapons, the eating process is done by the man and not by the weapons (pg xxiii).
Srila Prabhupada treats this briefly, since it is only alluded to in a commentary and is not
an integral part of Srila Rupa Gosvami's original text. However, in understanding The Nectar of
Devotion it is enlivening to appreciate how both Jiva Gosvami and Srila Prabhupada employ this

rla Rpa Gosvm 's physical placement of the Sanskrit words illustrates this point: lanam (activities) cannot
connect to Kna without anu (disciplic succession): kna-anu-lana.

9 27

The Warrior and His Weapons

In Context of Jiva Gosvami
Srila Rupa Gosvami already defined devotional service as activities that please Krsna' (krsnaanu-silanam). What is the need for him to add that it is 'intended to please Krsna' (anukulyena)?
It seems redundant.
To exemplify this apparent redundancy, Jiva Gosvami introduces an analogy:
"Send the warrior into battle" already implies that the warrior's weapons will accompany
him to the battlefield. Since the warrior and his weapons are implicitly connected, there is no
need to add, "He should take his weapons."
Similarly, the intention to please Krsna is implicitly connected with the act of pleasing
Him. Thus it doesn't seem that Srila Rupa Gosvami needs to add the word anukulyena.
To resolve this, Jiva Gosvami employs the same analogy:
It is true that the warrior and his weapons are implicitly connected, but this does not
mean they should never be dealt with separately. For example, when the king says, "Feed the
warrior," one does not feed his weapons. In exceptional cases, one must separate and
distinguish the two.
Similarly, in exceptional cases it is important to distinguish "pleasing Krsna" from "the
intention to please Krsna."
For example, the demons sometimes please Krsna by giving Him the opportunity to fight
and protect His devotees. Thus, they are engaged in activity that pleases Krsna (krsna-anusilanam). But it would be absurd to say that demons engage in pure devotional service.
That is why Srila Rupa Gosvami explicitly includes the word anukulyena (favorable
intention) in his definition of bhakti. Pure devotional service is not just an activity that
incidentally pleases Krsna. It must be intended to please Krsna. Otherwise it is not bhakti.
Srila Prabhupada says, ...great demons like Ravana, Kamsa and Hiranyakasipu were
always thinking of Krsna, but they were thinking of Him as their enemy. This sort of thinking
cannot be accepted as bhakti, or Krsna consciousness (pg xxiii).
On the other hand, even an action that apparently displeases Krsna can still be pure
devotional service, if the intention is loving. A perfect example is mother Yasoda's chastisement
of Krsna.
This shows that favorable intention (anukulyena) is of prime importance in executing
devotional service.
The Warrior and His Weapons
In Context of Srila Prabhupada
Srila Prabhupada uses the same analogy to explain that Srila Rupa Gosvami's use of the word
"krsna" includes His paraphernalia and abode as well. He reasons that, as the weapons are
implicitly connected with the warrior, all of Krsna's energies are implicitly connected with
Krsna. (See pg xxiii - xxiv.)

10 28

Tatastha-Laksanam Secondary Characteristics 8

The two secondary characteristics of pure devotional service are: (1) anyabhilasita-sunyam
pure devotional service is free from ulterior motive, and (2) jnana-karmady anavrttam pure
devotional service is not covered by philosophical or fruitive pursuits.
Srila Prabhupada summarizes, Pure devotional service should be free from the desire for
any material benefit or for sense gratification, as these desires are cultivated through fruitive
activities and philosophical speculation. In order to keep the purity of such Krsna conscious
activities, one must be freed from all material desires and philosophical speculation (pg xxi).
The secondary characteristics distinguish general devotional service from pure devotional
service. General devotional service is activity intended to please Krsna. Additionally, pure
devotional service is (1) free from ulterior motive, and (2) not covered by philosophical or
fruitive pursuits.

Anyabhilasita-Sunyam Free From Ulterior Motive

Anya other; abhilasita integral desire, "motive"; sunyam void.
Anyabhilasita-sunyam means "void of any other desire." Srila Prabhupada says, Any desire
except for the service of the Lord is called material desire (pg xxiv).
If one says that pure devotional service is utterly void of all material desires, that could
be too exclusive. Therefore Srila Rupa Gosvami modifies anyabhilasa ("material desire") by
adding the suffix "-ta."
Abhilasa means "desire." The suffix -ta means "-ness." Thus abhilasita literally means
"desire-ness." Since "desire-ness" is a cumbersome and uncertain term, we will use another, and
define it clearly.
We translate abhilasa as "desire," and abhilasita as "motive."
We define "motive" as a desire that is an integral part of one's nature.
One can have a personal desire and still not be out of the realm of pure devotional
service, as long as that desire is not an integral part of one's nature. For example, suppose a
devotee who has dedicated his full energy to advancement in devotion is suddenly put in a lifethreatening situation. He may call out: "Krsna, save me!"
This is not a desire for Krsna's pleasure. It is a personal desire, for self-preservation. But
it not an integral part of the devotee's nature. It is a superficial, fleeting desire. It is not a motive.
It is not anyabhilasita.
Such non-integral desires do not exclude one from pure devotional service. 9
This gives scope to the feasibility of executing pure devotional service even in the stage
of practice (sadhana-bhakti). 10

The naykoa defines tatastha-lakanam as: yval-lakyaklam anavasth-yitve sati yad vyvartakam tat that
which further distinguishes an object (or person) by describing qualities outside it's fundamental nature.

See BRS 1.1.11, Jva Gosvm.


See Appendix A.

11 29

Even if there are extraneous desires, one's motive must be kept completely pure. One should
desire only to please the Lord, and thus execute pure devotional service

Jnana-Karmady Anavrttam Not Covered By Jnana or Karma

As mentioned, there are two secondary characteristics (tatastha-laksanam) of pure devotional
service: (1) anyabhilasita-sunyam free from ulterior motive, and (2) jnana-karmady anavrttam
not covered by philosophical or fruitive pursuits. These secondary characteristics modify the
primary characteristics, and thereby distinguish pure devotional service from general devotional
"Freedom from ulterior motive" (anyabhilasita-sunyam) further modifies "favorable
intention" (anukulyena). "Not covered by philosophical or fruitive pursuits" (jnana-karmady
anavrttam) further modifies "activities" (anusilanam).
Jnana Philosophical Speculation
It is not that one must completely rule out all philosophical speculation, but if one's
philosophical interests become more prominent than one's concentration on simple bhakti they
will cover one's devotional attitude and disqualify him from pure devotional service.
The ultimate end of philosophical speculation then must be Krsna, with the
understanding the Krsna is everything, the cause of all causes, and that one should therefore
surrender to Him. If this ultimate goal is reached, then philosophical advancement is favorable,
but if the conclusion of philosophical speculation is voidism or impersonalism, that is not bhakti
(pg xxiv).
Karma Ritualistic Pursuits
Similarly, one can engage in ordinary social and religious activities, but such engagements must
not become more prominent than one's engagement in direct bhakti. If such activities
overshadow one's attention to devotional activities like hearing and chanting, they cover one's
devotional attitude and disqualify him from pure devotional service. There are many persons
who are very much attracted by the ritualistic activities described in the Vedas. But if one
becomes attracted simply to ritualistic activities without understanding Krsna, his activities are
unfavorable to Krsna consciousness (pg xxiv).
An example of ritualistic activities that do not cover devotional service are those
performed simply out of social convention, such as Lord Caitanya's offering pina upon the
death of His father. 11
An example of activity that might cover devotional service is astrology. Although it can
serve some functional purpose, a devotee may gradually put more faith in the power of destiny
than in the power of bhakti, and thus impede or cover his surrender to Krsna.
Devotional service need only involve the nine activities of hearing, chanting,
remembering, etc. Anything else is extraneous, and could become an unfavorable impediment to
pure devotion. Pure devotees must therefore be on guard not to let such extraneous activities
overwhelm and cover one's hearing, chanting, etc. Actually, Krsna consciousness can be based


Pina is a type of funeral ceremony in which a son offers prasdam to his deceased father.

12 30

simply on hearing, chanting, remembering, etc... .besides which everything done is unfavorable
to Krsna consciousness. Thus, one should always be guarding against falldowns (pg xxiv).
Adi Other Pursuits
We can apply the same paradigm to any other pursuit, such as renunciation, yoga, etc. One can
utlilize these processes, but they must not cover bhakti. Srila Prabhupada summarizes, Many
forms of so-called renunciation are also not favorable to Krsna conscious devotional service (pg

Review of Definition
Pure devotional service is: Activity intended to please Krsna; without ulterior motive, and not
covered by philosophical or fruitive pursuits.
Srila Rupa Gosvami's definition of uttama-bhakti (pure devotional service) is perfect.
Each word is so precise that one cannot mistake pure devotional service for anything else. His
definition is not overly exclusive, nor overly inclusive. It perfectly applies to all stages of
devotees in practice, and in perfection.

References Quoted to Support this Definition

Srila Rupa Gosvami quotes verses to support his definition of pure devotional service, beginning
with a prominent verse from Narada Pancaratna describing unalloyed bhakti: sarvopadhivinirmuktam... Srila Prabhupada ends his introduction with a brief explanation of this verse.

13 31

Chapter One

Characteristics of Pure Devotional Service

BRS 1.1.13 - 43

This chapter begins with Lord Kapiladeva stating that a pure devotee never aspires
selfishly, even for the five kinds of liberation. By pointing out the desirelessness of a
pure devotee, this quotation supports Srila Rupa Gosvami's assertion that pure
devotional service is free from desire for sense gratification or liberation.
Srila Prabhupada explains, In the above statement by Kapiladeva from SrimadBhagavatam, the actual position of a pure devotee is described, and the primary
characteristics of pure devotional service are also defined (pg 3).

Srila Rupa Gosvami describes the six characteristics of pure devotional service:
1. Klesaghni relief from material distress.
2. Subhada attainment of auspiciousness.
3. Moksa-laghutakrt pure devotional service derides
even the happiness of liberation.
4. Sudurlabha rarely achieved.
5. Sandrananda-visesatma automatically puts one in
transcendental pleasure. 1
6. Sri krsnakarsini it is the only means to attract
The Nectar of Devotion lists these characteristics in a different order. The reason for
this will become clear by describing the characteristics.

Sandra highly concentrated and condensed, to the point of im penetrability; ananda bliss; viea
special, distinctive; tm nat ure, sel f. Thus sandrnanda-vietm literally m eans: "th e
distinctive nature [of prema-bhakti] is impenetrably condensed, concentrated bliss."



Klesaghni Relief From All Distress

Klesa refers to distress, and the causes of distress.


Distress has three causes: (1) papam sin, (2) bijam

material desires, and (3) avidya ignorance, the root cause.

Material Desire

Srila Rupa Gosvami will explain that devotional service

is the best means of obtaining relief from distress, because it is
the only process that can counteract all three causes.

Sinful Act

Papam Sinful Activity

Sinful actions (papam) produce two reactions: (1) prarabdha
manifest, and (2) aprarabdha unmanifest. Srila Prabhupada
describes, ...for some of our sinful activities we are awaiting
distress in the future, and for others, which are mature, we are
suffering at the present moment (pg 4).
Manifest Sinful Reactions (Prarabdha-Papam)

A disease caught early is curable, but is far more difficult to counteract if allowed to
become chronic. Similarly, sinful reactions are more difficult to counteract once they
become manifest. Devotional service, however, can remove even manifest sinful
reactions and the suffering they bring.
Devahuti explains that by
practicing devotional service even
someone born in the lowest family of
Aprrabdha Prrabdha
dog-eaters becomes qualified to perform
reaction manifest reaction
the highest brahminical sacrifices. 2 The
behavior of those born into degraded
performing Vedic sacrifices. Devahuti points out that even slight engagement in
devotional service can counteract the disqualifications incurred by a low birth.
One's birth is a tangible result of karma a manifest reaction (prarabdhapapam). Thus Devahuti's statement is sastric evidence that devotional service can
counteract prarabdha-papam.
Unmanifest Sinful Reactions (Aprarabdha-Papam)
Devotional service is like a blazing fire, able to consume limitless amounts of
unmanifest sinful reactions. Srila Prabhupada says, ...as the blazing fire can burn any

B RS 1.1.21



amount of fuel to ashes, so devotional service to the Lord in Krsna consciousness can
burn up all the fuel of sinful activities (pg 5).
How Unmanifest Reactions Cause Suffering.
Previously, we said that sinful activity causes two types of reaction: manifest and
unmanifest. We will further clarify this statement.

Sinful Action
Aprrabdha (1)
unmanifest reaction

Aprrabdha (2)
unmanifest reaction

direct physical or
emotional suffering

indirect suffering - by
increased sinful proclivity

generates two types of
unmanifest reactions. One
type creates direct physical or
emotional suffering. The other
type creates indirect suffering
by increasing one's sinful

For example, if one

engages in illicit sex he
receives two types of reactions.
One type creates some direct physical or emotional suffering. The other type creates
indirect suffering by exacerbating his proclivity for sex; thereby increasing sexual
desires, impelling future illicit sex, and entangling him in a karmic cycle of suffering.
When sinful desires increase, sinful activities increase. When sinful activities
increase, sinful desires increase it is a self-perpetuating cycle. The more one tries to
satisfy his desires, the stronger they become.
To break this cycle of bondage one must tolerate sinful desires and not
endeavor to fulfil them. Not being reinforced by unmanifest reactions, they will
gradually dissipate and leave the heart forever. 3
Evolution of Unmanifest Sin
The cycle of unmanifest reaction goes through four stages, as explained in Padma

Kna expl ains t his pri nciple in the Bhagavad a-Gt (7 .28): ye tv anta-gata ppa, jann
punya-karmanm, te dvandva-moha-nirmukt, bhajante m dha-vrat.
To make significant advancem ent one m ust engage i n Kna consci ousness wi th unwaveri ng
determination. Thi s i s di fficult when one' s st ock of unm anifested react ions cont inuously generat es
sinful desi res t hat di stract one from bhakti. B ut by act ing pi ously (cont rolling the senses) one avoids
sinful activity, and thus does not increase his sinful proclivities. This gradually exhausts one's stock of
sins, and one can engage in devotional service without distraction (ddha-vrata).



sinful action
unmanifest reactions

1. Aprarabdha (unmanifest reaction) In this stage

the reaction is completely unmanifest and has no
perceptible effect.
2. Kutam (sinful proclivity) In this stage the
reaction evolves into a psychological disposition
towards sin.

sinful inclination

3. Bijam (sinful desire) In this stage the sinful

proclivity evolves into a specific desire to commit a
particular sinful action.

sinful desire

4. Prarabdha (manifest sinful reaction) In this

stage the sinful desire causes one to commit a sinful
action and suffer the concomitant reaction. 4

manifest reaction

The following illustration may help clarify the subtle

distinctions between these four stages:
As a result of some sinful act, a man is destined to become a thief and suffer
punishment. However, this reaction is not immediately felt it is stored for a future
birth (this is the stage of aprarabdha). In his next life, the reaction begins to manifest as
an almost unnoticed proclivity towards dishonesty and cheating (this is the stage of
kutam). This proclivity gradually intensifies and eventually manifests an explicit desire
to steal (this is the stage of bijam). Finally, this desire causes the man to commit theft
and undergo the consequential suffering (this is the stage of prarabdha).
Devotional service eradicates all four stages of sinful reaction in chronological
order first aprarabdha, next kutam, then bijam, and finally prarabdha. (See page 6.)

Bijam Desire
Srila Rupa Gosvami described the first cause of suffering (papam) in all it's
subheadings. Now he describes the second cause of suffering: bijam sinful desire.
He quotes the Visnuduttas (SB 6.2.17), who explain that many processes can
neutralize the reactions of sinful activities, but only devotional service can uproot
sinful desire which is the cause of sinful activity.
Srila Prabhupada elaborates by citing Ajamila. In spite of his strict performance
of brahminical duties, sinful desires remained in Ajamila's heart and caused him to
succumb to sinful life. Later, the simple devotional service of chanting "Narayana"
uprooted all his calamities, although he was in the midst of sinful activities. (See page

In The Nectar of Devotion (page 6), rla Prabhupda denot es t he four st ages wi th t he fol lowing
terminology: aprrabdha the effect which is not yet fructified, ka almost ready to produce
seed, or the effect of seed, bja The effect which is alm ost m ature, and prrabdha The
effect which is already mature.



Vedic rituals like charity and austerity can neutralize sinful reactions, but they
cannot neutralize sinful desire. Srila Prabhupada gives two illustrations: (1) a person
may be cured of venereal disease by some painful medical treatment, but because sex
desire remains in his heart he again implicates himself in suffering; (2) an elephant
may carefully bathe in a lake, but upon returning to the land immediately covers
himself again with dirt. (See page 7.)
Devotional service can uproot even sinful desire, and is therefore the best
method for attaining relief from suffering.

Avidya Ignorance
sinful desire

sinful disposition

sinful action

unmanifest reaction

manifest reaction

The root cause of suffering is avidya

ignorance of one's true identity as Krsna's
eternal servant. In ignorance, one acts as
an enjoyer and suffers the concomitant
reactions. Srila Prabhupada says, As
long as one is ignorant about his identity,
he is sure to act wrongly and thereby
contamination (pg 8).
Uprooting ignorance is the best
way to uproot suffering. Only devotional
service can uproot all ignorance. Srila
Rupa Gosvami authenticates this by
quoting Padma Purana and SrimadBhagavatam (Fourth Canto).

Srila Prabhupada's summarizes the

quotation from Padma Purana, Pure
devotional service in Krsna consciousness
is the highest enlightenment, and when
such enlightenment is there, it is just like a blazing forest fire, killing all the
inauspicious snakes of desire (page 8). In this quotation, Srila Prabhupada expresses
the Sanskrit word avidyam as "desire." One usually translates avidyam as ignorance.
Accordingly, Srila Prabhupada clarifies, Similarly, the blazing fire of Krsna
consciousness is so strong that the snakes of ignorance are immediately killed (page


Devotional service eradicates sinful reactions, nullifies sinful desires, counteracts
material proclivities, and most importantly uproots ignorance. Therefore it is
the only efficient and effective way to achieve permanent relief from all suffering.



Subhada All Auspiciousness

The first characteristic is (relief from all suffering) and the second characteristic (allauspiciousness) are related, as suffering decreases, auspiciousness increases.
These two characteristics fully manifest at the stage of nistha, "Steadiness."
One should understand that he has not yet become steady in sadhana-bhakti if he is
not being freed from suffering and manifesting all-auspicious qualities.
Something cannot be "all-auspiciousness" without meeting four criteria: it
must (1) benefit everyone, (2) attract everyone, (3) produce good qualities, and (4)
bestow superior happiness. Devotional service meets all four of these criteria. No
other practice can make this claim.

Benefit Everyone & Attract Everyone

Srila Prabhupada highlights the all-auspiciousness of devotional service by contrasting
it with the United Nations' failure to either (1) benefit or (2) attract anyone. On the
other hand, Krsna consciousness is all-auspicious because, Everyone can be attracted
by the movement, and everyone can feel the result [ie. be benefited] (pg 8). Srila
Rupa Gosvami and all great acaryas thus recommend the spreading of Krsna
consciousness as the highest welfare activity.
Padma Purana confirms the all-attractive and all-beneficial nature of devotional
service: A person who is engaged in devotional service in full Krsna consciousness is
to be understood to be doing the best service to the whole world and to be pleasing
everyone in the world. In addition to human society, he is pleasing even the trees and
animals, because they also become attracted by such a movement (pgs 8 - 9).
Srila Prabhupada elaborates by mentioning how Lord Caitanya attracted all the
animals in Jharikhana Forest to dance and chant Hare Krsna, benedicting them with
sublime bliss.

Development of Saintly Qualities

A steady devotee develops all saintly qualities. Srila Rupa Gosvami authenticates this
with the noted verse from Srimad-Bhagavatam: yasyasti bhaktir bhagavaty akincana...
Persons who have unflinching faith in Krsna and are without any duplicity can
develop all the good qualities of the demigods. (SB 5.18.12, NOD p. 9)
Many people think that modern education is auspicious and endows one with
good qualities. Srila Prabhupada exposes this misconception, A Krsna conscious boy,
even if he is not very well educated, can immediately give up all illicit sex life,
gambling, meat-eating, and intoxication, whereas those who are not in Krsna
consciousness, although very highly educated, are often drunkards, meat-eaters, sex
mongers and gamblers (pg 9).
Many people think that yoga is auspicious. Srila Prabhupada dispels this
misunderstanding, Artificially, they may sit down for so-called meditation, but


immediately after their yogic performance they will engage themselves again in such
activities as illicit sex life, gambling, meat-eating, and many other nonsensical things.
But a Krsna conscious person... automatically gives up all this nonsense and develops
a high character (pg 10).
Neither modern education nor yoga are all-auspicious because they fail the
third criteria: sad-guna development of saintly character.

Superior Happiness
There are three types of happiness: (1) that which comes from sense gratification, (2)
that which comes from liberation & Brahman realization, and (3) that which comes
from devotional service.
Srila Prabhupada explains, Srila Rupa Gosvami has analyzed the different
sources of happiness. He has divided happiness into three categories, which are (1)
happiness derived from material enjoyment, (2) happiness derived by identifying
oneself with the Supreme Brahman and (3) happiness derived from Krsna
consciousness (page 10).
Of these, the happiness of devotional service is superior. There are two
reasons: (1) it is eternal whereas the others are temporary, and (2) it includes and
excels the pleasures found in other types of happiness.
Only the Happiness of Devotional Service is Eternal
Neither liberation, mystic perfection, nor sense gratification can bring eternal
Srila Prabhupada states that even the pleasure of liberation is not eternal, as proven by
the Mayavadis who fall down and return to material activities. (See page 11.)
Mystic Perfection
The pleasure of yogic perfection is also not eternal. Srila Prabhupada elaborately
shows how the yoga-siddhis are essentially subtle versions of modern material science.
Thus the pleasure they afford is also material, temporary. (See page 11 - 12.)
Sense Gratification
Srila Prabhupada says, Foolishly, people who are enamored of the glimmer of
modern materialistic advancement are thinking that the Krsna consciousness
movement is for less intelligent men. I am better off being busy with my material
comforts maintaining a nice apartment, family and sex life. These people do not
know that at any moment they can be kicked out of their material situation. Due to



ignorance, they do not know that real life is eternal. The temporary comforts of the
body are not the goal of life... (pg 12)
The Happiness of Devotional Service Includes all Others
Devotional service affords superior happiness because it includes and excels the
pleasures found in the other types of happiness.
Lord Siva says, My dear wife, a person who has surrendered himself at the
lotus feet of Govinda and who has thus developed pure Krsna consciousness can be
very easily awarded all the perfections desired by the impersonalists; and beyond this,
he can enjoy the happiness achieved by the pure devotees (pg 10). This shows that
devotional service includes the happiness of liberation.
Prahlada Maharaja says, My dear Lord, I repeatedly pray unto Your lotus feet
that I may simply be stronger in devotional service. I simply pray that my Krsna
consciousness may be more strong and steady, because happiness derived out of Krsna
consciousness and devotional service is so powerful that with it one can have all the
other perfections of religiousness, economic development, sense gratification, and
even the attainment of liberation from material existence (pg 13).
Srila Prabhupada elaborates by mentioning the story of Kholaveca Sridhara.
Experiencing the happiness of Krsna consciousness, he became disinterested in all
other pleasures.
Final Two References
The final two references in this section also show that the pleasure of Krsna
consciousness includes and excels all other happiness: (1) ...any person who has
developed even a small amount of devotional service doesn't care a fig for any kind of
happiness derived from religiousness, economic development, sense gratification or
the five kinds of liberation (pg 13). (2) It is stated that as the personal attendants
and maidservants of a queen follow the queen with all respect and obeisances,
similarly the joys of religiousness, economic development, sense gratification and
liberation follow the devotional service of the Lord (pg 14).

Only devotional service is (1) all-attractive and (2) all-beneficial, can (3) develops
saintly character, and (4) bestow superior happiness. Thus only devotional service is
truly all-auspicious.

Moksa-Laghutakrt Derides the Happiness of Liberation

At the stage of bhava, the third characteristic of pure devotional service manifests:
moksa-laghutakrt. The happiness of devotional service makes even the inestimable
bliss of liberation (moksa) seem insignificant (laghuta).


Srila Rupa Gosvami exemplifies moksa-laghutakrt with the previous two quotes
(A devotee doesn't care a fig for other happiness, and all other joys follow devotion
as attendants follow a queen), which Srila Prabhupada used to exemplify the second
characteristic of devotional service (subhada). By studying these quotes, one can easily
see that they are appropriate for both characteristics. We will discuss this further in
the upcoming section entitled Sandrananda-Visesatma.

Sudurlabha Difficult to Achieve

There are two reasons why pure devotional service is extremely rare and difficult to
achieve: (1) it is unattainable by one's own efforts, (2) Krsna is reluctant to give it.

Unattainable by One's Own Efforts

Pure devotional service cannot be attained by any process of self-realization, even if
carefully executed for thousands and thousands of years. Lord Siva confirms this: My
dear Sati, if one is a very fine philosopher, analyzing the different processes of
knowledge, he can achieve liberation from the material entanglement. By performance
of the ritualistic sacrifices recommended in the Vedas one can be elevated to the
platform of pious activities and thereby enjoy the material comforts of life to the
fullest extent. But all such endeavors can hardly offer anyone devotional service to the
Lord, not even if one tries for it by such processes for many, many thousands of births
(pg 14).
One cannot achieve pure devotional service by one's own efforts. One can
obtain it only if Krsna gives it. However, Krsna is very reluctant to give pure
devotional service because it has the power to control Him. Narada's comments to
Yudhisthira illustrate the power of devotional service to control Krsna. Narada
describes how the Panavas' pure devotion obliged Krsna to become their menial
messenger. (pg 15)
This characteristic of pure devotional service manifests at the stage of bhava.
Consequently, one can understand that a person cannot obtain bhava-bhakti by any
path of self-realization. Even sadhana-bhakti does not directly bestow bhava which
can only be achieved by the Lord's grace. 5

The original text of Bhakti-rasmta-sindhu (1.1.35) clearly substantiates that bhva-bhakti cannot be
attained even by the practice of ordinary sdhana:
alabhy sucird-api
harin cvadeyeti
dvidh s syt sudurlabh
Sdhanaughair prolonged practice of sdhana; Ansagair without attachment.
Not even prolonged and strenuous performance of sdana-bhakti can award one with bhva, as long as
that practice is not imbued with 'attachment.'"



Sandrananda-Visesatma Incalculably Condensed Bliss

At the stage of prema, the fifth characteristic of pure devotional service manifests:
sandrananda-visesatma incalculably condensed bliss (listed The Nectar of Devotion
as "The Happiness of Becoming One with the Supreme").
Nothing can penetrate metal because its molecular density is so concentrated.
Similarly, the happiness of prema-bhakti is so densely concentrated that nothing else
can penetrate it. No other perception or thought can even momentarily register in the
devotee's mind.

Srila Rupa Gosvami is the author of the first reference: Srila Rupa Gosvami says that
if brahmananda, or the happiness of becoming one with the Supreme, is multiplied by
one trillionfold, it still cannot compare to an atomic fraction of the happiness derived
from the ocean of devotional service (pg 15).
The Sanskrit for "one trillionfold" is pararddha, which means, "the highest
conceivable number." This reference shows that the bliss of Pure Devotional Service is
The remaining two references, found on page 15, show that the bliss of premabhakti completely eclipses the happiness desired from any other means.

Three Degrees of Happiness

This is the third time Srila Rupa Gosvami discusses happiness as a characteristic of
Krsna consciousness. There are three stages of pure devotional service sadhana,
bhava, and prema each characterized by a particular type of happiness.
Subhada is the happiness found in sadhana-bhakti. It is superior to sense
gratification and liberation.
Moksalaghutakrt is the happiness found in bhava-bhakti. It is so superior that it
makes sense gratification and liberation seem insignificant.
Sandrananda-visesatma is the happiness found in prema-bhakti. It is so
incalculably superior that one cannot even perceive the existence of sense gratification
or liberation.

rla Vivantha Cakravart hkura explains "attachment" (sagair). He say s that after a long
time of st renuous and repeat ed pract ice one evol ves hi s sdhana through the preliminary st ages of
bhajana-kriya, anartha-nivtti, and nitha; and then reaches the stages of ruci and sakti. Only th is
sdhana i mbued wi th sakti (extreme attachm ent) can reward the devotee with bhva since it
possesses a sincerity and emotional intensity that will attract the Lord's favor.



Sri Krsnakarsini Attracts Sri Krsna

Prema-bhakti is so powerful that it attracts and controls even the all-attractive
Supreme Controller, Sri Krsna.
One is controlled by attachments. One becomes attached to that which gives
him pleasure. Only self-satisfied people can remain detached and thus independent.
The Lord is self-satisfied (atmarama), but He is attracted to His own pleasure potency
(hladini-sakti) and thus becomes attached to and controlled by hladini-sakti.
The essence of hladini-sakti is love of Godhead (prema). Therefore one who has
prema can attract and control Krsna.
No other process of self-realization has this potency, as confirmed by Lord
Krsna's statement to Uddhava (see page 16).
Narada Muni's statement to Yuddhisthira, describing Lord Krsna as the friend
and messenger of the Panavas, illustrates how the Lord becomes subservient to the
love of His pure devotee. (See pages 16 - 17) 6
Srila Prabhupada adds, So that was the position of the Panavas; although
Krsna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the greatest among all greats, He
remained with those royal brothers, being attracted by their devotion, by their
friendship and by their love. This is the proof of how great this process of devotional
service is. It can attract even the Supreme Personality of Godhead (pg 17).

Two Degrees of Control

When Srila Rupa Gosvami described the third characteristic of devotional service
(sudurlabha) he briefly mentioned that the Lord is controlled by the love of His
devotee. 7 The sixth characteristic (sri krsnakarsini) also notes that the Lord is
controlled by love.
Since sudurlabha manifests at the stage of bhava, and sri-krsnakarsini at the
stage of prema, we can understand that the devotee's love controls the Lord in both
stages. At bhava the Lord bestows love of Godhead upon the devotee. Thus the
devotee begins to attract the Lord. At prema the devotee verily enters the Lord's
pastimes and thus attracts and controls the Lord in a personal and active relationship,
as in the example of the Panavas.


See also, rmad-Bhgavatam 7.10.48, 49.

He did this by quoting rmad-Bhgavatam 5.6.18, describing how Kna becam e the servant of the



Eastern Ocean
Second Wave
Chapters 2 -14 Vaidhi
Chapters 15 & 16 Raganuga


Chapter Two

The First Stages of Devotion

BRS 1.1.44 - 1.2.15

Srila Rupa Gosvami says there are three categories of devotional service: sadhanabhakti, bhava-bhakti, and prema-bhakti. He then reveals their relationship to the six
characteristics of pure devotional service discussed in Chapter One:



Each category of devotional

service displays two distinguishing
characterized by klesaghni and subhada.
Besides these, bhava-bhakti displays
moksa-laghutakrt and sudurlabha. Besides

Srila Prabhupada explains, Generally it is understood that in the category of

devotional service in practice, there are two different qualities, devotional service in
ecstasy has four qualities, and devotional service in pure love of Godhead has six
qualities (pg 19).

Qualification for Practicing Devotional Service

Having described the characteristics of pure devotional service, Srila Rupa Gosvami
now explains the qualification for practicing it. If one simply has an attraction to
executing devotional service, he is qualified to begin practicing it. Generally, this
attraction comes from devotional service
executed in previous lives.
This reasoning, though, seems to be Attraction for
circular: One requires attraction to begin devotional service
devotional service. But one requires devotional
Execution of
service to achieve an attraction.
devotional service
How, then, does devotional service
Devotional service begins with the causeless mercy of a devotee. By this mercy one
may unknowingly execute devotional service (ajnata-sukrti), and thus develop a slight
taste or attraction to bhakti. This attraction grows as one engages in more devotional
service. Eventually it qualifies one for serious commitment to sadhana-bhakti.
Generally, this occurs over the span of many lifetimes.


Attraction or "taste" is the qualification for

making a commitment to the systematic cultivation
of sadhana-bhakti. However, there is no
qualification required for receiving causeless mercy
and beginning ajnata-sukrti.

Causeless Mercy

Attraction for
devotional service

Spiritual advancement is eternal. The

attraction to Krsna gained from previous
advancement in devotional service remains in one's
heart. In a future life, it impels one to seek the
association of devotees and take up the practice
from where one left off. Thus we can see devotees
coming to the Krsna consciousness movement who begin at different levels of
Execution of
devotional service

One's qualification for sadhana-bhakti depends on the strength of his taste or

attraction to Krsna. The more pronounced the taste, the greater the qualification. This
is why Srila Rupa Gosvami states, The person eligible for Krsna consciousness, or
devotional service, can be classified by his particular taste (pg 19).
Consequently, advancement in Krsna consciousness is not based on our
intellectual abilities, but on our taste for hearing krsna-katha. Srila Prabhupada
explains, For persons who have a natural taste for understanding books like
Bhagavada-Gita and Srimad-Bhagavatam, devotional service is easier than for those
who are simply accustomed to mental speculation and argumentative processes (pg

Definition of Sadhana-Bhakti
Srila Prabhupada begins the Second Wave of Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu by summarizing
Srila Rupa Gosvami's definition of sadhana-bhakti (see page 20). The original text is in
Srila Prabhupada's Caitanya-caritamrta (Madhya 22.105):
krti-sadhya bhavet sadhyabhava sa sadhanabhidha
nitya-siddhasya bhavasya
prakatyam hrdi sadhyata
krti-sadhya which is to be executed by the senses; bhavet should be; sadhyabhava by which love of Godhead is acquired; sa that; sadhana-abhidha called
sadhana-bhakti, or devotional service in practice; nitya-siddhasya which is eternally
perfect; bhavasya of love of Godhead; prakatyam the awakening; hrdi in the
heart; sadhyata potentiality.


When transcendental devotional service, by which love for Krsna is attained, is

executed by the senses, it is called sadhana-bhakti, or the regulative discharge of
devotional service. Such devotional service eternally exists within the heart of every
living entity. The awakening of this eternal devotion is the potentiality of
devotional service in practice.
In other words, sadhana-bhakti is a practice executed with the senses, which
brings on the manifestation of bhava-bhakti.
Srila Prabhupada's comments on this definition begin at the second paragraph
of page 20 and continue to the first paragraph of page 21.

Relation of Sadhana to Bhava

Srila Prabhupada explains that "practice" (sadhana) means to engage the mind and
senses in a particular type of work. Sadhana-bhakti means to engage our mind and
senses in some work for Krsna. This work brings on the manifestation of bhava-bhakti.
It is not that sadhana-bhakti mechanically generates bhava-bhakti. Bhakti is not
mechanical, nor is it achieved by any mechanical process. Only bhakti causes bhakti.
How does sadhana bring on the manifestation of bhava-bhakti? Adhering to the
practices of sadhana purifies the heart. Gradually, a genuine longing for the Lord's
service appears. When executed with genuine longing, sadhana has the potential to
awaken bhava-bhakti. 1
Devotees who want to make tangible advancement must not allow their
sadhana to be desireless and mechanical. They must execute their daily practices with
a yearning for Krsna's service.

Srila Prabhupada explains that the term "practice" is insufficient to fully describe the
process of sadhana-bhakti. Generally, practice connotes an endeavor to acquire some
skill that one does not possess. Practice of bhakti, however, uncovers something that is
already in the heart. This practice is not for developing something artificial (pg 20).
Srila Prabhupada employs his own analogy, There are certain prescribed
methods for employing our senses and mind in such a way that our dormant
consciousness for loving Krsna will be invoked, as much as a child, with a little
practice, can begin to walk (pg 20). 2

Please see Footnot e on page fo r

Vivantha Cakravart hkura's confirmation.

This analogy also illustrates the relationship between sdhana-bhakti and the manifestation of bhva.


Srila Prabhupada further clarifies by explaining that the living entity in this
world is insane, since he performs activities that cause his own suffering. 3 He then
compares the spiritual master to a psychiatrist, who brings his patient to sanity by
prescribing therapeutic behavior. The spiritual master brings out the disciple's
original, sane consciousness by prescribing the practices of sadhana-bhakti.

The Essence of Sadhana-Bhakti

The essence of sadhana-bhakti is to fix the mind on Krsna. In Srimad-Bhagavatam
Narada Muni says, My dear king, one has to fix his mind on Krsna by any means (pg
21). 4
In this Bhagavatam verse, Narada further explains that Sisupala and Kamsa
became liberated by fixing their mind on Krsna, even though they did so out of hatred
and fear. Such is the power of remembering Krsna If one fixes the mind on Krsna
for any reason, he will be purified.
Since thinking of Krsna is the essence of sadhana-bhakti, helping a disciple do
so is the essential duty of a guru. It is the duty of the acarya, the spiritual master, to
find the ways and means for his disciple to fix his mind on Krsna. (pg 21)
Srila Prabhupada points out that Caitanya Mahaprabhu stressed Hare Krsna
kirtana as the best type of sadhana, because it the most effective means to fix the mind
on Krsna.

Two Types of Sadhana-Bhakti

Srila Rupa Gosvami introduces the two types of sadhana-bhakti: (1) vaidhi regulated
devotional practice, and (2) raganuga spontaneous devotional practice.
The main distinction between them is their source of inspiration. In ragabhakti the inspiration comes from natural attraction to devotional service. In vaidhibhakti there is no such attraction and one must rely upon another source of
inspiration: the orders of the spiritual master and the scriptures.
Srila Prabhupada illustrates this, In the beginning, by the order of his spiritual
master, one rises early in the morning and offers arati, but then he develops real
attachment. When he gets this attachment, he automatically tries to decorate the Deity
and prepare different kinds of dresses and thinks of different plans to execute his
devotional service nicely (pg 22).

He cites rmad-Bhgavatam 5.5.4: nna pramatta kurute vikarma... The living entity is co nsidered
insane because he tries for happiness by doing things that cause bondage and suffering.

Tasmt kenpyupyena, mana kne niveayet. . . SB 7.1.32. S ee al so: Wav es o f D evotion, pa ge



This clearly expresses the basic concept of raganuga and differentiates it from
vaidhi. Following Srila Rupa Gosvami's own text, Srila Prabhupada treats the subject
briefly. The Fifteenth and Sixteenth Chapters (BRS 1.2.270 - 309) will systematically
define raganuga-bhakti and reveal many deeper details. 5

BRS 1.2.2 - 269

Definition of Vaidhi-Bhakti
Srila Prabhupada translates Srila Rupa Gosvami's definition of vaidhi-sadhana: When
there is no attachment or no spontaneous loving service to the Lord, or one is engaged
in the service of the Lord simply out of obedience to the order of the spiritual master,
or in pursuance of the scriptures, such obligatory service is called vaidhi-bhakti (pg
We should not think of vaidhi-bhakti in a belittling way. Vaidhi-bhakti is an
exchange of love between the devotee and the Lord; which impels a person to place
himself under the order of guru and sastra. Thus vaidhi-bhakti is a division of pure
devotional service.

Inspiration to Vaidhi-Bhakti
When the inspiration for sadhana comes from anything other than a natural attraction
to service, it is vaidhi-bhakti.
Srila Rupa Gosvami illustrates this with a quote from Srimad-Bhagavatam
(2.1.5): Sukadeva Gosvami advised Maharaja Pariksit: My dear King, if you want to
be fearless in meeting your death next week (for actually everyone is afraid at the
point of death), then you must immediately begin the process of hearing and chanting
and remembering God (pg 22).
This is clearly an example of vaidhi-bhakti because the impetus to perform
devotional service is not a natural attraction to Krsna, but the desire to be fearless of
death. 6

Rgnug is m ore than just spontaneity. It is serv ice motivated exclusively by love, untouched by any
other considerations such as a sense of etiquette arising from awareness of God's greatness. One may
spontaneously lik e to serv e K na, but if he remains preoccupied w ith awar eness o f H is majestic
Lordliness his ser vice is sti ll vaidhi-bhakti as it is r estrained b y th e f ormal etiq uette n ecessary in
dealing with the Almighty. Rgnug-bhakti must be completely free from such restraints. Therefore it
can truly be found only in Vndvana. (See Waves of Devotion, page .)

rla Prabhupda's commentary on f earlessness comprises the next three paragraphs of The Nectar of
Devotion, ending just before the quote from Padma Purna.


Essence of Vaidhi-Bhakti
The rules and regulations of Vedic scripture impel the vaidhi-bhakta but the Vedas
propound countless rules and regulations, many of which appear contradictory. What
is the essential injunction that the vaidhi-bhakta should follow?
Srila Rupa Gosvami quotes the Padma Purana:
smartavyah satatam visnur
vismartavyo na jatucit
sarve vidhi-nisedhah syur
itayor eva kinkarah
Always remember Krsna and never forget Him. All the rules and prohibitions
mentioned in the sastras are servants of these two principles.
In this quotation there are two considerations: (1) vidhi 'rules' or 'orders';
and (2) nisedha 'prohibitions,' or 'regulations'. One must follow rules (vidhi) and
avoid prohibited things (nisedha). By following rules one receives benefit. By avoiding
prohibited things one avoids sinful reactions.
The essence of all Vedic rules (vidhi) is to always remember Krsna. The essence
of all Vedic regulations (nisedha) is to never forget Krsna. When the order is that one
should always remember Krsna, the prohibition is that one should never forget Him.
Within this simple order and prohibition, all regulative principles are found complete
(pg 24).
Following this single vidhi grants one the benefits of following all the vidhis.
Following this single nisedha saves one from the bad reactions of all the nisedhas.
This injunction applies universally. Srila Prabhupada translates, This
regulative principle is applicable to all varnas and asramas, the castes and occupations
of life... The principle of remembering the Supreme Personality of Godhead constantly
and not forgetting Him at any moment is meant to be followed by everyone without
fail (pg 24).
If one strictly follows every rule and regulation of varna and asrama, yet fails to
"always remember Krsna, never forget Him," his effort is wasted. He will receive
neither benefit nor protection, and will fall from his position.
In confirmation, Srila Rupa Gosvami quotes Srimad-Bhagavatam (11.5.2 - 3):
The four social orders, namely the brahmanas, the ksatriyas, the vaisyas and the
sudras, have come out of the different parts of the universal form of the Supreme
Lord... Similarly, the sannyasis have come out from the head, the vanaprasthas from
the arms, the grhasthas from the waist and the brahmacaris from the legs... The
injunction herein is that one has to act according to his position, and by such


activities one must either satisfy the Supreme Personality of Godhead or else fall down
from one's position (pg 24 - 25). 7
One can obtain worldly success and heavenly enjoyment by adhering to the
minute details of varnasrama-dharma. Yet even if a person completely neglects every
one of these rules and regulations, he can achieve all their benedictions simply by,
"always remembering Krsna and never forgetting Him."
Authenticating this, Srila Rupa Gosvami quotes Srimad-Bhagavatam
(11.27.49): If people simply manage to worship or remember the Lord, Then
automatically they become very happy within this world, as well as in the next (pg

Utility of Other Vedic Injunctions

"Always remember Krsna..." is the most important Vedic injunction. However, one
should not hastily disregard the other injunctions. They may act as assistant parts of
vaidhi-sadhana, if they are aimed at remembering Krsna. In such cases, these rules and
regulations purify the practitioner, making it easier for him to remember Krsna and
thus eventually achieve prema-bhakti.
Srila Rupa Gosvami confirms this with a quote from Narada-Pancaratra: Any
activities sanctioned in the revealed scriptures and aiming at the satisfaction of the
Supreme Personality of Godhead are accepted by saintly teachers as the regulative
principles of devotional service. If one regularly executes such service unto the
Supreme Personality of Godhead under the direction of a bona fide spiritual master,
then gradually he rises to the platform of serving in pure love of God (pg 27).

The next four paragraphs in The Nectar of Devotion, ending just before the quote from SB 11.22.49,
are rla Prabhupda's comments on rmad-Bhgavatam (11.5.2 - 3).


Chapter Three

Eligibility of the Candidate

for Accepting Devotional Service
BRS 1.2.14 - 29

The Introduction defines pure devotional service, Chapter One describes its six
characteristics, and Chapter Two describes its practice. This chapter will describe the basic
qualifications for practicing devotional service.
Devotional service is causeless. Consequently there are no prerequisites for taking up
the practice of sadhana-bhakti. In the beginning, one does not even need knowledge
and detachment. Attraction to serving Krsna is the only requirement.
Srila Prabhupada writes, One may attain a little bit of attraction to Sri Krsna,
but at the same time may remain very much attached to fruitive activities and material
sense enjoyment. Such a person, if he has unflinching attraction to Krsna, becomes an
eligible candidate for discharging devotional service (pg 29).
Srila Rupa Gosvami substantiates this by quoting Lord Krsna's statement to
Uddhava (SB 11.20.8), My Dear Uddhava, only by exceptional fortune does someone
become attracted to Me. And even if one is not completely detached from fruitive
activities, or is not completely attached to devotional service, such service is quickly
effective (pg 29).
In other words, even if one is still attached to material life, he can begin
practicing devotional service if he simply some attraction to it.

Achieving Eligibility
Attraction to Krsna is the only qualification for devotional service, but how does one
get this attraction? Only by the mercy of a pure devotee.
Therefore Srila Prabhupada first of all says, On account of his association with
mahatmas, or great souls one-hundred percent engaged in the devotional service of the
Lord, one may attain a little bit of attraction for Sri Krsna (pg 29). 8

See Waves of Devotion, page 2.


Renunciation, a Prerequisite?
People generally think of renunciation (vairagya) as a prerequisite for beginning
spiritual life, but for devotional service, it is not. In fact, it can even be an impediment
to bhakti. If one is too detached from emotional and sensual activities he will not be
inclined to devotional service, because devotional service entails active use of the
senses and emotions.

Three Grades of Eligible Candidates

As previously described, the impetus for vaidhi-bhakti is scriptural injunction.
Therefore one's knowledge of and faith in the scriptures is a major consideration in
determining one's eligibility to advance.
A person's depth of faith and knowledge places him in one of three classes of
candidates: uttama, madhyama, or kanistha.

The candidate with the best qualification to practice pure devotional service has very
strong faith and very strong scriptural knowledge.
Srila Prabhupada describes his strong knowledge: He is very expert in the
study of relevant scriptures, and he is also expert in putting forward arguments in
terms of those scriptures (page 29).
Srila Prabhupada describes his faith: He understands perfectly that the
ultimate goal of life is to attain to the transcendental loving service of Krsna, and he
knows that Krsna is the only object of worship and love (page 29). 9
Succinctly put: ...he attains firm faith in the scriptures by understanding with
all reason and arguments (pages 29 -30).

The candidate with medium qualification to practice pure devotional service has very
strong faith but is somewhat lacking in scriptural knowledge.
Srila Prabhupada describes, he is not very expert in arguing on the strength of
revealed scripture, but he has firm faith in the objective (page 30).

The candidate with the least qualification to perform regulated devotional service has
weak faith and weak scriptural knowledge, and can therefore easily be swayed by
superior arguments.

"Faith" means conviction that the goal of life is to please Kna, and to abandon all other desires.





Convinced, and can
convince others.

Can defeat opposing
Good, but can't
always defeat
opposing opinion.
Weak, cannot offer
arguments to
opposing opinion

Easily swayed.

Srila Prabhupada
who also cannot put
forward arguments and
scripture, but still has
all faith in the objective,
the neophyte has no
firm faith in the
objective. Thus he is

called the neophyte devotee (pg 30).

"Faith in the objective" means conviction that the goal of life is to please
Krsna, and to abandon all other desires. If one accepts this, even without strong
conviction and knowledge, he is a candidate for uttama-bhakti (pure devotional
Stating that the kanistha-adhikari "has no firm faith in the objective" indicates
that he does have some faith, but it is weak. Since he does have some faith that he
should please Krsna and abandon other desires he is eligible to practice uttama-bhakti.

Those Without Faith in the Objective

Bhagavada-Gita describes four types pious people who approach Krsna (exemplified
by Dhruva Maharaja, the Four Kumaras, Gajendra, and the Sages of Naimisaranya).
These are undoubtedly exalted souls yet they did not posses the minimum
eligibility (kanistha-adhikari) for pure devotional service because they did not
understand or accept that the real objective of life is only to please of Krsna. Instead
they approached the Lord for their own pleasure, and thus disqualified themselves
from the practice of uttama-bhakti, which is free from all selfish motivations.
Piety as Precursor to Faith in Bhakti
Srila Prabhupada gives an extensive commentary on the above reference from
Bhagavada-Gita, beginning at the second paragraph of page 31 and continuing to the
top of page 33. He makes the following points.
Although the four types of pious men are not qualified to practice uttamabhakti, they are meritorious; for they have approached Krsna. Srila Prabhupada says,
These four types of devotees have been described in the Seventh Chapter of
Bhagavada-Gita and they have all been accepted as pious. Without becoming pious, no
one can come to devotional service (pg 31).
Srila Prabhupada further confirms the importance of piety, Without pious
activities, if a man is in a distressed condition he becomes an agnostic, a communist,


or something like that. Because he does not firmly believe in God, he thinks he can
adjust his distressed condition by totally disbelieving in Him (pg 31).
Bhakti is causeless and independent. It cannot be a result of ritualistic pious
deeds. Therefore, the "piety" mentioned above refers to previous devotional activity
(sukrti) which, done knowingly or unknowingly, awakens attraction to God. That is
why Srila Prabhupada specifically equates lack of piety with lack of firm belief in God.

Wisdom, Renunciation, and Pure Devotional Service

To begin practicing devotional service, the only qualification is an attraction for it. But
to practice pure devotional service one must become renounced freed from all
desires except the desire to please Krsna. Srila Prabhupada comments, It can be
concluded that a person who is free from the bodily concept of life is an eligible
candidate for pure devotional service (pg 32).
Thus out of the four persons mentioned in Bhagavada-Gita the wise man is
best, because his inclination to approach the Lord for material, bodily benefit is nonexistent. A wise man who becomes attached to Krsna does not want any return from
Him, either in the form of relieving distress, or in gaining money. That means from
the very beginning his basic principle of attachment to Krsna, more or less, is love (pg
Quoting Bhagavada-Gita, Srila Prabhupada confirms that liberation from the
bodily concept is essential for advancing in pure devotional service, It is confirmed in
Bhagavada-Gita (18.54) that after Brahman realization, when one is freed from
material anxieties and can see every living entity on an equal level, he is eligible to
enter into devotional service (pg 32).

Liberation Comes Automatically

Liberation from the bodily concept substantially deepens one's realization that the
objective of life is to satisfy Krsna, not one's bodily urges. Consequently, it promotes
one's adhikari one's qualification for advancement. Liberation may therefore seem a
desirable asset.
However, liberation comes automatically to a devotee, as a by-product of
devotional service. One should not separately endeavor for it.
In fact, Srila Rupa Gosvami makes it very clear that a pure devotee must be free
from desire for liberation (mukti) and sense gratification (bhukti). He compares these
desires to ghosts and witches, The material desire to enjoy the material world, and
the desire to become liberated from material bondage are considered to be two
witches, and they haunt one like ghosts. As long as these witches remain within the
heart, how can one feel transcendental bliss? As long as these two witches remain in


the heart, there is no possibility of enjoying the transcendental bliss of devotional

service. 10
A haunted person is not free to act as he likes. He is forced to fulfil the desires
of the ghost or witch who possesses him. Similarly, one who is haunted by desires for
bhukti or mukti cannot act on the platform of bhakti. Instead, the ghost of bhukti and
the witch of mukti force him to spend all his energy in pursuit of sense gratification
and liberation.
The desire for mukti (liberation) is verily a more severe impediment to pure
devotional service than the desire for bhukti (sense gratification). In the process of
becoming detached from the names, forms, qualities, and activities of the material
world, one may inadvertently develop aversion to all such variegatedness, including
the transcendental name, form, qualities, and activities of Krsna. Thus the desire for
mukti is most diametrically opposed to pure devotional service.
Srila Rupa Gosvami quoted the Bhagavada-Gita to establish that those who
approach the Lord with ulterior motive lack the minimum qualification (kanistha) for
vaidhi-sadhana-bhakti. The above verse from Caitanya-caritamrta confirms this,
showing that any ulterior motive, whether for bhukti or for mukti, makes one
ineligible to practice pure devotional service.

1.) The only qualification to begin devotional service is the mercy of a devotee, who
enthuses one with attraction to the Supreme Lord.
2.) The qualification to advance in vaidhi-sadhana-bhakti depends upon the maturity of
one's knowledge of and faith in the scriptures.
3.) The qualification for practicing pure devotional service is liberation from the
bodily concept of life; characterized by the realization that one should abandon all
desires (especially the desire for liberation) and endeavor only to please Krsna.

The Devotee's Staunch Rejection of Bhukti and Mukti

In the verses that follow, Srila Rupa Gosvami highlights the devotee's staunch
rejection of desires for bhukti and mukti. By doing this, he hopes to protect the devotee
from the subtle-yet-lethal desire for mukti.
My dear son of Nanda, I do not want any material happiness in the shape of
many followers, nor immense opulence in wealth, nor do I want cessation from
material existence. I may take birth many times, one after another, but what I pray
from You is that my devotion unto You may always remain unflinching (pg 33). This
verse of Siksastaka is the first of many excellent examples of a pure devotee's total
disinterest in liberation

Cc. Madhya 19.176. See page 33 in The Nectar of Devotion.


A compilation of verses condemning the desire for liberation continue through

Chapter Four. Thus Srila Prabhupada titles the next chapter, "Devotional Service
Surpasses All Liberation."


Chapter Four

Devotional Service Surpasses All Liberation

BRS 1.2.30 - 59

At the beginning of the next chapter, Srila Prabhupada will clearly describe the theme
of this chapter: All previous instructions imparted by Srila Rupa Gosvami in his
broad statements can be summarized thus: as long as one is materially inclined or
desirous of merging into the spiritual effulgence, one cannot enter into the realm of
pure devotional service (pg 47).
Careful analysis of the verses presented here will reveal a variety of reasons
why pure devotional service surpasses liberation, and will thus inspire the devotee to
reject all desires for bhukti and mukti.
Prthu Maharaja's prayer (top, page 37), shows that a devotee does not seek
impersonal liberation because it offers no opportunity to hear the Lord's pastimes
chanted by pure devotees, or to relish the delightful honey of the Lord's lotus feet.
Instead of mukti, Prthu Maharaja prays for "Millions of tongues and ears" so he can
constantly chant and hear the Lord's glories.
In the prayer of Bharata Maharaja (bottom of page 37) we see how an uttamabhakta is ready to easily give up all material comforts.
Lord Siva's statement (second paragraph, page 38) reveals the devotee's total
disinterest in heaven or hell. He simply desires the Lord's service.
By analyzing each verse we see countless ways that devotional service far
surpasses liberation, what to speak of ordinary material opulence. One who has bhakti
has no room for any other desires. This further clarifies the super-excellence of
uttama-bhakti, and inspires us to eliminate anarthas that impede the awakening of our
pure devotion.
The "atmarama" verse (bottom page 44), which is the final reference in this
series, clearly establishes the devotee's superiority over the jnani or karmi.
Just as the previous verses establish the devotee's superiority over the jnani or
karmi, the remaining verses establish the superiority of the Vrndavana devotees over
all other devotees of the Lord. Srila Prabhupada says, Out of the many kinds of
devotees of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the one who is attracted to the
original form of the Lord, Krsna in Vrndavana, is considered to be the foremost, firstclass devotee. Such a devotee is never attracted by the opulences of Vaikuntha, or
even of Dvaraka... (pgs 45 - 46)


Chapter Five

The Purity of Devotional Service

BRS 1.2.60 - 71

The execution and perfection of devotional service is not dependent on any material
Every other process of self-realization, however, is dependent on external
circumstances. Jnana-yoga requires a peaceful, renounced disposition, and highly
developed intellect. Astanga-yoga demands many rigid prerequisites that only a
sannyasi can even begin to adopt. Karma-kana is also dependent on external
circumstances a yajna cannot be successful unless the time, place, and ingredients
are flawless. Only bhakti-yoga is completely pure, free from any dependence on
external prerequisites. That is why Srila Prabhupada titles the Fifth Chapter, "The
Purity of Devotional Service."
Srila Rupa Gosvami mentions several common prerequisites for selfrealization; such as good birth, purity, and proper execution of varnasrama-dharma.
He explains how bhakti is not dependent on them.

Although generally considered a disqualification from the path of self-realization, low
birth does not impede the execution of devotional service.
Srila Prabhupada quotes Srimad-Bhagavatam (1.2.6) devotional service has
no material cause, and therefore it cannot be checked by any material circumstances.
It is open for all, without any distinction, and it is the constitutional occupation of the
living entities (pg 47).
Srila Prabhupada then relates the interesting history of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta
Sarasvati Thakura's opposition to the caste-gosvamis who claimed a birthright
monopoly on pure devotional service. There was a great hard struggle for some time,
but it has turned out successfully, and it is now correctly and practically established
that devotional service is not restricted to a particular class of men (pg 47).
This point is particularly relevant to the International Society for Krsna
Consciousness. Srila Prabhupada writes, Our Krsna consciousness movement in the
Western world is based on the above-mentioned proposition of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta
Sarasvati Gosvami Prabhupada, our spiritual master. On his authority, we are claiming
members from all sections of the Western countries. The so-called brahmanas claim
that one who is not born into a brahmana family cannot receive the sacred thread and
cannot become a high-grade Vaisnava. But we do not accept such a theory, because it
is not supported by Rupa Gosvami nor by the strength of the various scriptures (pg


By quoting Padma Purana, Skanda Purana, and Hari-bhakti-vilasa, Srila Rupa

Gosvami confirms that advancement and perfection in devotional service is equally
open to all people, regardless of birth. (See pages 48 - 49)

Although a major pre-requisite for other processes of self-realization, purity is not a
factor in determining one's eligibility to perform devotional service. Even if a devotee
falls down from the standard of purity, he need not undergo any separate process of
purification (prayascitta) such as karma or jnana. He can again take up devotional
service immediately and be reinstated. One need not become purified before taking up
devotional service. On the contrary, one becomes purified by taking up devotional
service. (See page 49, first paragraph)
To validate this claim Srila Rupa Gosvami quotes Srimad-Bhagavatam
(11.21.2), which says that the only qualification for beginning devotional service is to
follow the principles given by the acarya, there is no need for any other method of

Continuing the theme of bhakti's non-reliance upon purity, Srila Rupa Gosvami says
that devotional service is not dependent on the proper execution of prescribed duties.
It is not entirely accurate to say that one must first become purified in varnasrama,
and then concentrate on bhakti. Srila Rupa Gosvami cites many sastric evidences to
confirm this.
Srimad-Bhagavatam (1.5.17): Narada Muni says, Even if one does not execute
his specific occupational duty, but immediately takes direct shelter of the lotus feet of
Hari [Krsna], there will be no fault on his part, and in all circumstances his position is
secure (pg 49). 11
Srimad-Bhagavatam (11.11.32): My dear Uddhava, any person who takes
shelter of Me in complete surrender and follows My instructions, giving up all
occupational duties, is to be considered the first-class man (pg 50).
Srimad-Bhagavatam (11.5.41): My dear King, if someone gives up his
occupational duties as they are prescribed for the different varnas and asramas, but
takes complete shelter, surrendering himself unto the lotus feet of the Lord, such a
person is no more a debtor... Nor has he any need to bother executing the five kinds
of yajnas [sacrifices] for becoming free from sinful contamination. Simply by


rla Prabhupda cites the Fifth Canto of rmad-Bhgavatam in his commentary on this text.


discharging devotional service, he is freed from all kinds of obligations (pgs 50 51)." 12
Clearly, devotional service is not dependant on varnasrama-dharma. Simply by
engaging in devotional service one will achieve all necessary purification. Thus, Srila
Rupa Gosvami quotes Bhagavada-Gita (18.66): Give up all your occupations and just
become surrendered unto me. I give you assurance that I shall give you protection
from all sinful reaction (pg 51).
Srila Prabhupada emphasises the point, Don't hesitate. Don't consider that
because you are giving up all other engagements there will be some flaw in your life.
Don't think like that. I will give you all protection (pgs 51 - 52).
If any doubt remains, Srila Rupa Gosvami quotes Agastya-samhita, and SrimadBhagavatam (11.5.42).

The conclusion is inspirational: bhakti-yoga is totally independent and self-sufficient;
no material impediment should discourage one from the path of surrender.


rla Prabhupda's commentary comprises the rest of the paragraph and the next two paragraphs in The
Nectar of Devotion.


Chapter Six

How to Discharge Devotional Service

BRS 1.2.72 - 96

Chapter Six is simply Srila Rupa Gosvami's list of 64 prominent devotional practices,
compiled from Hari-bhakti-vilasa.

64 Items of Sdhana-Bhakti
20 Items of
Primary Importance
1 - 10

11 - 20

Activities to Accept

Activities to Avoid

44 Additional
Items of Service
21 - 59
Items of Sdhana

60 - 64
Five Most
Effective Items

Chapter Two defined sadhana-bhakti as, "Engaging our senses in some service
to Krsna." Now Srila Rupa Gosvami describes exactly how to engage our senses in
Krsna's service.

Chapter Seven

Evidence Regarding Devotional Principles

BRS 1.2.97 - 117

After listing the 64 main items of sadhana-bhakti, Srila Rupa Gosvami illustrates and
substantiates each with systematic scriptural evidence. This chapter describes the first 18
items. We will comment on a few.
1. Accepting the Shelter of a Bona Fide Spiritual Master (guru-padasraya)
Srila Rupa Gosvami lists the most crucial item first. Following this one principle
opens the doors to all 63 other items of sadhana, because the spiritual master will
instruct one about the execution and significance of them all.
The importance of this item becomes clearer by considering the evidence Srila
Rupa Gosvami quotes to substantiate it:
tasmad gurum prapadyeta
jijnasuh sreya uttamam
savde pare ca nisnatam


brahmany upasamasrayam
Prabuddha speaks this verse (SB 11.3.21) to king Nimi immediately after he described
the futility of earthly and heavenly sense gratification. According to Srila
Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura's commentary on this verse, only a person who has
understood the futility of material sense gratification can approach a bona fide
spiritual master.
Thus the first principle of devotional service is to clearly understand that the
material world is a false shelter, to feel the urgent necessity of spiritual life, and to
therefore seek the genuine shelter of a bona fide spiritual master.
2. Accepting Initiation from the Spiritual Master and Receiving Instructions from
Him (Sri-krsna-diksadi-siksanam)
Srila Rupa Gosvami again quotes Prabuddha, My dear King, a disciple has to accept
the spiritual master not only as spiritual master, but also as the representative of the
Supreme Personality of Godhead and the Supersoul (pg 60). 13
In other words, after rejecting material life and taking shelter of a spiritual
master, one must accept him with full faith. Diksa is the spiritual master's formal
acceptance of the disciple's commitment and faith. Without this commitment a
disciple cannot possess the unyielding faith required to properly assimilate the
spiritual instructions of his guru. Srila Prabhupada explains, One should learn
Srimad-Bhagavatam seriously and with all respect and veneration from the spiritual
master (pg 60).
3. Serving the Spiritual Master with Faith and Confidence (visrambhena guroh seva)
Concerning item #2, Prabuddha instructed, Hearing and speaking SrimadBhagavatam is the religious process which elevates one to the platform of serving and
loving the Supreme Personality of Godhead (pg 60).
Execution of item two elevates one to item three. Faithfully hearing from the
spiritual master elevates one to the platform of faithful loving service to him.
Srila Rupa Gosvami supports this with a famous verse in which Krsna states
that the acarya should be accepted as the Lord's very self. Understanding the
importance of service to the Supreme Lord, and knowing the spiritual master to be
non-different from Him, the disciple must serve the guru with strong faith. 14


Tatra bhgavatn dharmn, siked gurv-tma-daivata, amyaynuvtty yais, tuyed tmtma-do

hari SB 11.3.22.
crya m vijnyn, nvamanyeta karhicit, na martya-buddhysyeta, sarva-deva-mayo guru
SB 11.17.27.


4. Following in the Footsteps of Saintly Persons (sadhu-vartmanu vartanam)

We must follow not only our own spiritual master, but all bona fide sadhus and
acaryas in the line of disciplic succession. There should be no dissension between the
guru's teachings and the teachings of guru-parampara, since the qualification of the
bona-fide guru is that he presents the scriptures strictly according to guru-parampara.
If he doesn't, adherence to him is not devotional service.
Lord Buddha is an example. Even though he is the Personality of Godhead
himself, his followers are not practicing pure devotional service because, for
circumstantial reasons, Buddha did not strictly present the scriptures according to
In this regard, Srila Rupa Gosvami quotes a famous text from Brahma-yamala:
pancaratra-vidhim vina
aikantiki harer-bhaktir
utpatayaiva kalpate
Without faithful adherence to the rules of scripture (found in sruti, smrti, puranadi,
and pancaratra), one's so-called devotional service is simply a disturbance to society.
One must follow the footsteps of devotees who are strictly faithful to parampara.
5. Inquiring About Eternal Religious Principles (sad-dharma-prccha)
The 64 items of sadhana-bhakti offer many practical ways to increase our devotional
service. One way is to simply make note of the questions that arise during our study
and contemplation of sastra, and put these questions before a senior Vaisnava. This in
itself is devotional service. 15
8. Accepting Only What Is Necessary (yavad-arthanu-vartita)
The reference from Naradiya Purana indicates that a devotee should accept only what
is necessary for physical maintenance. Srila Prabhupada has expanded the meaning in
terms of spiritual practices: It is better if one fixes up a regulative principle according
to his own ability and then follows that vow without fail. That will make him
advanced in spiritual life (pg 63).
10. Offering Respect to the Banyan Trees (dhatry asvatthadi-gauravam)
The reference quoted from Skanda Purana (pg 63) reveals the scope of this devotional
practice. One must respect not only the Banyan tree (asvattha), but all living entities

In Bhakti-sandarbha Jva Gosvm say s, " There are two ways to se rve the pure devotee: (1 ) by
associating with, hearing from, and inquiring from, and (2) by rendering physical acts of service. (tatra
mahbhgavata-sev dvidh prasanga-rpa, paricary-rpa ca. From Bhakti-sandarbha, text 238.)


who serve the Lord and His devotees. Such living entities include Tulasi, brahmanas,
and cows.
In his commentary on this text of Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu, Jiva Gosvami notes
that Lord Gopala is pleased when the cows are nicely taken care of. He cites the
Gautamiya Tantra, describing how one should gently scratch the body of the cow,
offer her a handful of green grass, and reverentially circumambulate with one's right
side kept towards her.
11. Giving Up the Company of Nondevotees (sri-krsna-vimukhajana-sanga-tyago)
Srila Rupa Gosvami quotes two references: ...even if one is forced to live within a
cage of iron or in the midst of a blazing fire, he should accept this position rather than
live with nondevotees who are through and through against the supremacy of the
Lord (pg 64). And, ...one should prefer to embrace a snake, a tiger or an alligator
rather than associate with persons who are worshipers of various demigods and who
are impelled by material desire (pg 64).
Underscoring the importance of this item, Srila Prabhupada adds a third
reference by paraphrasing a prominent Caitanya-caritamrta verse that defines a
Vaisnava as one who gives up the company of non devotees. 16
12-14. Not Accepting Unfit Disciples, Constructing Many Temples, or Reading
Many Books (sisyady ananuvanddhitvadi-trayam)
If a person is seriously inclined to become a disciple, the sannyasi should accept him. If
money comes of its own accord, a spiritual master can construct costly temples.
However, one must do these things only for the sake of spreading Krsna
consciousness, not for increasing one's fame and reputation.
Similarly, a qualified person can study the literature of our great acaryas, but
his motive must be to purify his heart, not to deliver lectures intended to impress
others. False prestige is harshly opposed to bhakti. Avoiding it is an integral item of
15, 16. Straightforwardness in Ordinary Dealings and Equilibrium in Loss and Gain
(vyavahare 'py akarpanyam, and sokady avasavartita)
Straightforwardness in Ordinary Dealings
The first reference from Padma Purana (pg 66 - 67) is evidence for this item.


(Cc. Madhya 22.87): asat sanga tyg, ei vainava cra.


Sometimes a devotee must deal with practical matters of dollars and cents
"ordinary dealings" that tend to bring out one's cheating propensities. Therefore, one
must practice honesty in all one's dealings, always remaining Krsna conscious,
pleasant, straight-forward.
Equilibrium in Loss and Gain
The second reference from Padma Purana (pg 67) is evidence for this item. It enjoins
that anyone who wants to think of Krsna must not allow strong material emotions to
overwhelm his heart.


Chapter Eight

Offences to be Avoided
BRS 1.2.118 - 120

The nineteenth item of sadhana-bhakti is the sole subject of Chapter Eight. Sevanamaparadhanam varjanam "One must carefully avoid the various offenses in chanting
the holy name and in worshipping the Deity"
Srila Rupa Gosvami makes an important point about seva-aparadha (offences to the
Deity) by quoting the Padma Purana: One should not allow himself to become
neglectful in Deity worship, thinking that the holy name will deliver him from his
offences. Chanting the holy name will deliver one from all offences, but if one wilfully
employs the name in this way he offends the name and thus neutralizes its effect. An
offender to the holy name has no chance of deliverance (see pages 71 - 72).
As Srila Prabhupada mentioned in the Introduction, there are two categories of
devotional activities: pravrtti and nivrtti (positive and negative actions). Avoiding
offences is an example of nivrtti negation of activities that hinder our proper
meditation on Krsna.

Understanding the Offences

As explained in Chapter Two, the essential function of all devotional items is
remembrance of Krsna. Keeping this in mind will help resolve any apparent
For example, Regulation 21 (not to eulogize or praise anyone before the Deity)
and Regulation 30 (not to fail to offer praise in the presence of the spiritual master)
appear to be contradictory. If the spiritual master is present before the Deity, it seems
unavoidable to commit one offence or the other.
However, we can easily resolve such contradictions by keeping the proper
perspective, and seeing these regulations as aids for our respectful remembrance of
Krsna. Out of regard for the Deity we may choose to praise the spiritual master in our
minds, perhaps with discreet gestures of respect; or, we may choose to openly praise
him as the Lord's servant, for the pleasure of the Deities. Neither is an offence, as they
both ensure respectful remembrance of Krsna.


Chapter Nine

Further Consideration of Devotional Principles

BRS 1.2.121 - 169

This chapter continues describing the 64 items of devotional service.

23. Accepting Flower Garlands (nirmalya-dhrtih)
In Srimad-Bhagavatam (11.6.46), Uddhava says, My dear Krsna, I have taken things
which You have used and enjoyed, such as garlands of flowers, saintly articles,
garments and ornaments... (pg 74) The phrase saintly articles should be scented oils.
The Sanskrit word used here is gandha "scents." The phonetic similarity between
saintly articles and scented oils makes it obvious that the original transcriber did not
hear Srila Prabhupada properly.
30. Arcana (arcanam)
The essential function of sadhana-bhakti is remembrance of Krsna by engaging the
mind and senses in His service. Worship of the Deity is an excellent way to achieve
this. This chapter lists some of the many ways that Deity worship can engage the
senses in the Lord's service:
23. Accepting Flower Garlands
24. Dancing Before the Deity
25. Bowing Down in Honor of the Deity
26. Standing Up to Receive the Lord
27. Following the Deity
28. Going to the Temple...
29. Circumambulating the Temple...
31. Rendering Service to the Lord
37. Partaking of Prasadam
38. Drinking Caranamrta
39. Smelling the Incense and Flowers Offered to the Deity
40. Touching the Deity
41. Seeing the Deity
42. Observing Arati...
31. Rendering Service to the Lord (paricarya)
Arcana (item 30) and Rendering Service to the Lord (item 31) are very similar. Srila
Prabhupada points out the difference: Arcana means worship of the Deities in the
temple. Rendering Service to the Lord means worshipping Krsna in just the way that a
king is worshipped in his palace (pg 78).


Srila Prabhupada mentions that rich men can easily perform this item of
devotional service by constructing costly temples or arranging for opulent Deity
In his commentary on Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu, Sri Jiva Gosvami says that
paricarya means using the same accessories one uses to serve a king. For example,
when the Deity goes on procession one may hold an umbrella, carry His palanquin,
fan Him with a camara whisk, etc.
33. Sankirtana (sankirtanam)
According to Srila Rupa Gosvami, sankirtana refers not only to congregational
chanting of the holy name, but also to loudly chanting the glories of the Lord's
pastimes, qualities, etc.
The first evidence (Visnu Dharma) refers to nama-sankirtana. The next
evidence (Srimad-Bhagavatam 7.9.18) refers to lila-sankirtana. The last evidence
(Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.5.22) refers to guna-sankirtana.
35. Submission (vijnapti) 17
"Submission" is a personal prayer that expresses one's own sentiments to Krsna. This
is different from the next item (36), in which one recites notable prayers from sastra.
One can express himself to the Lord in three ways:

Samprarthanatmika expressing ones heart-felt desire for spontaneous

devotional service. (The first reference from Padma Purana describes this).


Dainyavodhika expressing ones insignificance before the Deity. (The second

reference from Padma Purana describes this).


Lalasamayi expressing ones desire for a specific spiritual perfection. This is

an advanced practice that involves some realization of one's eternal
relationship with the Lord.

Samprarthanatmika is a prayer for the awakening of bhava. Lalasamayi, however,

occurs at a more advanced stage, When one realizes something of his constitutional
relationship with the Supreme Personality of Godhead (pg 81). It is a prayer to be
reinstated in one's specific eternal service to Krsna (svarupa-siddhi).
Narada Muni's prayer is the first example of lalasamayi. Overwhelmed with the
mood of dasya, Narada desires to render the specific service of fanning the Lord while
He rests with Laksmi. Unlike samprarthanatmika, the expression of this desire results
from direct realization of his eternal mood of devotion.


Vijapti literally, the word means "an entreaty," or as rla Prabhupda puts it, a "submission."


Developing an intense hankering for Krsna consciousness is the essence of

Lord Caitanya's teachings. Ramananda Roy instructed Lord Caitanya: tatra laulyam api
mulyam ekalam, Krsna consciousness can be obtained only by paying one price
that is, intense greed to obtain it. 18 Srila Prabhupada comments extensively on the
importance of developing laulyam, or excessive eagerness for meeting and serving the
Lord in a particular way (pg 83).
In other words, one should learn how to cry for the Lord. One should learn
this small technique, and he should be very eager and actually cry to become engaged
in some particular type of service. This is called laulyam, and such tears are the price
for the highest perfection (pg 83).


(Cc. Madhya 8.70)This is the same verse fro m which rla Pr abhupda extracted t he phrase "Kna
consciousness." kna-bhakti-rasa-bhvit b eing abso rbed in the mellows of ex ecuting d evotional
service to Kna.


Chapter Ten

Techniques of Hearing and Remembering

BRS 1.2.170 - 182

This chapter describes four devotional principles: hearing, expecting the Lord's mercy,
remembering, and meditation. Srila Rupa Gosvami extensively discusses hearing and
43. Hearing (sravanam)
There are basically three ways to perform hearing: (1) nama-sravana hearing the
name, (2) carita-sravana hearing about the pastimes, and (3) gunadi-sravana
hearing about the qualities, etc. of Krsna.
The first reference (Garuda Purana) deals with hearing the Lord's name. The
second reference (Fourth Canto) deals with hearing the Lord's pastimes. The last
reference (Twelfth Canto) deals with hearing His glorification and transcendental
qualities. (See pages 89 - 90)
44. Expecting the Lord's Mercy (tat-krpeksanam)
Much of our life in this world is spent suffering the results of sinful reaction.
Devotional service is so practical that it can transform this into an opportunity for
sadhana-bhakti. It requires only the right attitude.
Srila Rupa Gosvami quotes Srimad-Bhagavatam (10.14.8) to show that there
are two ways to practice Krsna consciousness in adverse situations: (1) accepting the
reactions as the Lord's mercy, and (2) repeatedly offering obeisances within ones
mind. My dear Lord, any person who is constantly awaiting Your causeless mercy to
be bestowed upon him, and who goes on suffering the resultant actions of his past
misdeeds, offering You respectful obeisances from the core of his heart, is certainly
eligible to become liberated, for it has become his rightful claim (pg 91).
45 & 46. Remembrance and Meditation (smrtih and dhyanam)
These two items are similar. Remembrance means to think of Krsna in a general way.
Meditation involves deeper contemplation, which Srila Rupa Gosvami has divided
into four types: (1) rupa-dhyanam meditation on Krsna's form, (2) guna-dhyanam
meditation on Krsna's qualities, (3) krida-dhyanam meditation on Krsna's
activities, and (4) seva-dhyanam meditation on devotional service to Krsna.


Chapter Eleven

Aspects of Transcendental Service

BRS 1.2.183 - 203

This chapter describes the last and most advanced of the nine main processes of devotional
service: dasyam, sakhyam, and atma-nivedanam.
47. Servitorship (dasyam)
There are two aspects of servitorship: (1) karmarpanam offering ones' activities to
the Lord, and (2) kainkaryam serving in the mood of a personal attendant.
The Skanda Purana elaborately describes the first aspect (pg 95). The Naradiya
Purana briefly alludes to the second aspect (pg 96).

offering fruits
of varrama


offering 9 main
devotional activities

Offering one's activities to the Lord
(karmarpanam) has two subdivisions: (1)
offering the fruits of ones prescribed duties in
varnasrama, and (2) offering direct service
within the nine main processes of devotional

Some teachers accept both subdivisions as bona fide forms of servitorship in

sadhana-bhakti; our acaryas, however, do not. Pure devotional service must be free
from work born of fruitive desire. Therefore, our acaryas do not accept offering the
fruits of one's prescribed duties as a bona fide item of sadhana-bhakti.
Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura's commentary to Brahma-samhita text
61 supports this. He says that offering one's activities in varnasrama is known as
gauna-dharma subsidiary devotional activity. Such activities are not directly bhakti,
although they may be indirectly conducive to devotional service.
Lord Krsna confirms the same point in Srimad-Bhagavatam (11.25.23). As
explained in the BBT commentary on this verse, Ordinary work performed as an
offering to God, without desire for the result, is understood to be in the mode of
Goodness, whereas activities of devotional service such as chanting and hearing the
glories of the Lord are transcendental forms of work beyond the modes of nature.
Srila Prabhupada says, In the opinion of the karmis (fruitive workers),
offering the results of karma is called servitorship. But according to Vaisnava acaryas
like Srila Rupa Gosvami, servitorship means constant engagement in some kind of
service to the Lord (pg 95).
Srila Prabhupada reconciles the two opinions, Those who are engaged in
fruitive activities, or prescribed duties according to the four orders of social and


spiritual life, are not actually pure devotees. But still, because they are offering the
result to the Lord, they are accepted as devotees. When one has no such desire, but
acts spontaneously out of love of God, such a person must be accepted as a pure
devotee (pg 94).
In the first type of servitorship, karmarpanam, one performs direct devotional service.
In the second type of servitorship, kainkaryam, one performs direct devotional service
in the mood of the Lord's personal attendant. The distinction lies in the attitude of the
performer, not in the activities themselves.
Even if one engages in the nine processes of direct devotional service, his
activity is karmarpanam unless he serves with very deep concentration, in the mood of
a personal attendant of the Lord.
Quoting the famous verse from Naradiya Purana, Srila Rupa Gosvami describes
this mood of tireless endeavor to serve Krsna with body, mind and words (see page
iha yasya harer dasye
karmana manasa gira
nikhilasvapy avasthasu
jivan-mukta sa ucyate
A person acting in the service of Krsna with body, mind, intelligence and words is a
liberated person even within the material world, although he may be engaged in many
so-called material activities. (Cc. Madhya 11.89) This illustrates how a devotee in
kainkaryam constantly engages everything mind, body and words in the Lord's
personal service.
48. Devotional Service in Friendship (sakhyam)
There are two types of friendship: (1) visvasa a superior well-wisher, (2) mitra a
friendly relationship with a peer.
Visvasa means to have strong faith or confidence in the Lord as one's benefactor. Srila
Prabhupada summarizes, The devotee who has confidence in devotional service to
the Lord systematically follows all the rules and regulations, with the faith that he will
achieve the platform of transcendental life (pg 96).
Draupadi is a devotee who sees the Lord as a friend in the sense of visvasa
her well-wisher and protector.


In Nectar of Devotion, Srila Prabhupada adds a twist to this aspect of

transcendental service. Ordinarily, the devotee sees the Lord as the well-wisher, but
by preaching Krsna consciousness the devotee becomes the well-wisher of the Lord.
Since visvasa refers to faith in the Lord, Srila Rupa Gosvami will discuss the
topic of faith. He explains that it has two stages: (1) sraddha preliminary faith, and
(2) visvasa mature faith. First there is sraddha, the simple faith necessary for
beginning to engage in devotional service, which in time matures into visvasa, very
strong faith.
Srila Prabhupada describes this, a neophyte devotee who has simply
developed a slight love of Godhead is certainly a prospective candidate for devotional
service. When he becomes firmly fixed in such devotional service, that assured status
becomes a confidential part of his devotional service (pg 97).
The second type of friendship (mitra) occurs at an advanced stage, when a devotee
begins to serve the Deity in a mood of fraternity or equality.
Srila Prabhupada mentions, Sometimes it is found that a pure devotee lies
down in the temple of the Lord in order to serve Him as a confidential friend. Such
friendly behavior of a devotee may be accepted as raganuga, or spontaneous.
Although, according to regulative principles, no one can lie down in the temple of the
Supreme Personality of Godhead, this spontaneous love of Godhead may be grouped
under devotional service in friendship (page 97). This is an example of mitra
49. Surrendering Everything to the Lord (atma-nivedanam)
Srila Prabhupada comments, According to different authorities, self is differently
defined. Self is sometimes considered to refer to the spirit self, or soul, and self is
sometimes considered to refer to the mind or to the body (pages 97 - 98). Depending
on the definition, the term atma-nivedanam takes on three meanings: (1) If atma refers
to the body, then atma-nivedanam means full bodily surrender. (2) If atma -[refers to
the mind, then atma-nivedanam means full mental surrender. (3) If atma refers to the
spirit-self, then atma-nivedanam means full surrender of self-identity.
The prayer of Yamunacarya is an example of atma being defined as the soul, or
possessor of the body. In this case, atma-nivedanam means surrender of the egoistic
attachment to the body. Such a surrendered devotee becomes unconcerned even about
the bodily form of life he may be in. My dear Lord, I may be living within some body
as a human being or a demigod, but whatever mode of life, I do not mind, because
these bodies are simply by-products of the three modes of material nature, and I, who
am in possession of these bodies, am surrendering myself unto You (pg 98).
The reference from Hari-bhakti-viveka illustrates the principle of surrendering
one's body to the Lord.


50. Offering a Favorite Article (nija-priyopaharanam)

This simple means of performing devotional service has two aspects: (1) to offer the
Lord ones own favorite articles, (2) to offer the Lord His own favorite articles, like
peacock feathers, etc.
51. Performing all Endeavors for Krsna (tad-arthe 'khila-cestitam)
Everyone can easily perform this aspect of sadhana-bhakti, even those who are
entangled in worldly responsibilities. Srila Prabhupada explains the modern
application of this item: A devotee who has a great establishment or factory may offer
the fruits of such a material possession for the service of the Lord (pg 99).
52. Being a Surrendered Soul (saranapattih)
There is a subtle distinction between atma-nivedanam ("surrendering everything to the
Lord") and saranapattih ("being a surrendered soul"). Saranapattih means to consider
oneself completely subservient to and protected by the Lord. Atma-nivedanam also
means self-dedication, but such dedication may by with or without such feelings of
subservience and dependence. Bali Maharaja is an example of atma-nivedanam without
a feeling of subservient dependence on the Lord.
53. Serving Trees Such as the Tulasi (tadiyanam sevanam tulasyah)
The reference quoted to substantiate this item broadens the opportunities for serving
Tulasi. Simply by seeing, simply by praying to, simply by bowing before, simply by
hearing about, or simply by serving the tree, there is always auspiciousness.


Chapter Twelve

Further Aspects of Transcendental Service

BRS 1.2.207 - 237

This chapter describes the final eleven items of sadhana-bhakti.

57. Serving the Lord According to One's Position (yatha-vaisnava-mahotsavo)
One should perform Vaisnava festivals as lavishly as one's financial position will
58. Performing Devotional Service in Karttika (urja-vrata)
As indicated in the Padma Purana, This practice is extremely powerful, especially
when done in Vrndavana. In his commentary, Jiva Gosvami says if one performs
karttika-vrata in Vrndavana, even without devotion, the Lord will very easily offer His
personal service.
59. Observing Festivals Celebrating the Lord's Activities (sri janma-dina-yatra)
On the surface this may seem almost identical to item 57 (lavishly observing Vaisnava
festivals). This item, however, specifically refers to Janmastami, as can be understood
from three sources: (1) its Sanskrit heading: sri janma-dina-yatra; (2) the title Srila
Prabhupada gave it in the Sixth Chapter: "During Janmastami one should observe a
special festival;" and (3) the evidence given from Bhavisya Purana, My Lord
Janardana [Krsna], please let us know the date when Your mother Devaki gave birth
to You. If You kindly inform us about this, then we shall observe a great celebration of
this date. O killer of Kesi, we are souls one hundred percent surrendered unto Your
lotus feet, and we wish only to please You with our ceremonies (pg 104).

Final Five Items

The next chapter will separately describe the final five items. Srila Rupa Gosvami has
already listed them as items of sadhana-bhakti, but here mentions them a second time
to emphasize their superlative effectiveness in evoking devotion.
Previous listings for these items are:

Item 60: Serving the Deity with great devotion, and item 30: Arcana.


Item 61: Recitation of Srimad-Bhagavatam among devotees, and item 54: Hearing
the revealed scriptures.


Item 62: Associating with advanced devotees, and item 56: Rendering service to


Item 63: Chanting the holy name of the Lord, and item 33: Sankirtana.



Item 64: Living in Mathura, and item 55: Residing in Mathura.

Some Other Apparent Repetitions

The following items appear to be duplications: Item 7 ("residing in a sacred place of
pilgrimage like Dvaraka or Vrndavana"), Item 48 ("going to the temple of Visnu or to
places of pilgrimage"), item 55 ("one should live in a sacred place like Mathura,
Vrndavana or Dvaraka"), and item 64 ("one should live in the jurisdiction of
The repeated mention of Mathura-Vrndavana emphasizes its primary
importance in sadhana-bhakti. The four items are distinguishable:
Item 7 refers to visiting specific holy places, which include Dvaraka,
Jagannatha Puri, the Ganga, etc.
Item 48 refers to briefly visiting any holy place or temple of Visnu.
Item 55 refers exclusively to Mathura-Vrndavana, and specifically mentions the
effects of living there and serving the place in various ways.
Item 64 is indistinguishable from item 55. The Sanskrit titles for both are in
the seventh case singular, which indicates that their meaning is identical.

Worshipping Sacred Trees, etc.

Item 10 ("worshiping sacred trees like the banyan tree"), and item 53 ("one should
pour water on the tulasi tree") can be distinguished from each other as follows:
Item 10 refers to the respectful disposition one should have towards these
entities. Item 53 refers to physical acts of service one should do for them.

Singing and Chanting

Item 32 ("one must sing"), item 33 ("one must perform sankirtana"), item 34 ("one
must chant"), and item 63 ("chanting the Hare Krsna mantra") can be distinguished
from each other as follows:
Item 32 (gitam) refers to singing songs written in glorification of the Lord.
Item 33 (sankirtanam) refers to congregational chanting of the Lord's names, pastimes,
and qualities. Item 34 (japa) refers to quiet recitation of mantra. Item 63 refers
exclusively to the paramount importance of congregationally chanting the Lord's holy
name. 19


Item 63 (r-nma-sankrtanam) is identical to the first subdivision of item 33 (nma-sankrtanam).


Item 30 (arcana, serving the Deity) and item 31 (rendering service to the Deity) have
been distinguished in Chapter Nine (See page 25 of this book).
Item 35 (offering prayers) and item 36 (reciting notable prayers) have been
distinguished in Chapter Nine (See page 26 of this book).
Item 45 (remembrance) and item 46 (meditation) have been distinguished in
Chapter Ten (See page 28 of this book)
Item 49 (surrendering everything) and item 52 (becoming a surrendered soul)
have been distinguished in Chapter Eleven (See page 32 of this book).
Item 57 (lavishly observing Vaisnava festivals) and item 59 (observing festivals
celebrating the Lord's activities) have been distinguished in Chapter Twelve (See page
33 of this book).


Chapter Thirteen

Five Potent Forms of Devotional Service

BRS 1.2.238 - 247

1. Residing in Mathura (mathura-manale sthitih)

2. Worshipping the Deity (sri-murter-anghri-sevane pritah)
3. Hearing Srimad-Bhagavatam (sri bhagavatarthasvado)
4. Chanting the Hare Krsna Mantra (sri-nama-sankirtanam)
5. Serving a Devotee (sajatiyasaya-snigdha sri-bhagavad-bhakta-sango)
Srila Prabhupada says these practices are so potent that a small attachment for any of
these five items can arouse devotional ecstasy even in a neophyte (pg 109).
"Devotional ecstasy" refers to bhava-bhakti. "Neophyte," in this context, refers
to one with weak attachment. Thus even a neophyte devotee with weak attachment to
Krsna can quickly achieve bhava-bhakti by practicing any one of these five most
potent items.

Spiritual Program for Rapid Advancement

Srila Prabhupada used these five most potent items as pillars on which he built the
basic spiritual program of ISKCON: chanting Hare Krsna, daily Srimad-Bhagavatam
class, lavish deity worship, guru-puja (serving a devotee), and the establishment of
extensive facilities in Mayapura and Vrndavana.
Any one of these items can quickly arouse bhava-bhakti even in a neophyte.
However, these powerful items will not bestow their effects as long as one commits
Thus a devotee who wants to make rapid advancement should focus on these
five potent items, and very diligently avoid offences, especially offences to Vaisnavas.


Worshipping the Deity
Srila Rupa Gosvami composes a beautiful metaphor to illustrate the special efficacy of
Deity worship, My dear friend, if you still have any desire to enjoy the company of
your friends within the material world, then don't look upon the form of Krsna, who
is standing on the bank of Kesi-Ghata. He is known as Govinda, and His eyes are very
enchanting. He is playing upon His flute, and on His head there is a peacock feather.
And His whole body is illuminated by the moonlight in the sky (pg 109).


This type of poetic metaphor condemns what it seems to praise, and praises
what it seems to condemn. Thus it instructs one to see the beautiful Deity of Govinda
in Vrndavana and thereby become completely indifferent to the attractions of the
material world.
Complete indifference is one of the nine symptoms of bhava-bhakti (namely,
virakti). 20 Srila Rupa Gosvami thus shows that seeing the Deity, especially the
Govinda form, can quickly evoke devotional ecstasy (bhava) even in a neophyte.

Hearing Srimad-Bhagavatam
Srila Rupa Gosvami composes a similar metaphor (pg 109) calling a friend "foolish"
for having heard the Tenth Canto of Srimad-Bhagavatam and thereby becoming
completely indifferent to the "wonderful" activities of dharma, artha, kama, and
moksa. 21 He thus poetically instructs us to hear Srimad-Bhagavatam, which is so
glorious that even the four goals of human life are insignificant in comparison.
Denunciation of even liberation is a characteristic of bhava-bhakti (namely,
moksa-laghutakrt). 22 Srila Rupa Gosvami thus shows that hearing Srimad-Bhagavatam,
especially the Tenth Canto, can quickly evoke devotional ecstasy (bhava) even in a

Comment [VKD1]: Page: 36

This is from Mukunda dsa's

Serving a Devotee
Srila Rupa Gosvami describes the rich devotional sentiments of a devotee in whose
heart the Lord has appeared, It is very astonishing that since I have seen this
Personality of Godhead, who is washed by the tears of my eyes, there is shivering of
my body, and he has made me a failure in executing my duties. Since seeing Him, I
cannot remain silently at home. I wish to go out to Him always (pg 110).
This text seems to exemplify how one can achieve bhava by seeing the form of the
Lord. However, the actual purport is that association with devotees (who are enriched
with the devotional symptoms mentioned above) has tremendous potency to inspire
one's Krsna consciousness. Thus the verse illustrates the efficacy of serving a
devotee. 23
Srila Prabhupada comments, The purport of this statement is that as soon as
one is fortunate to contact a pure devotee, one must be anxious immediately to hear


Chapter Eighteen will describe the nine symptoms of bhva (See page
of this book).


In this vers e, rla Rpa Gosvm refers to dharma, artha, and kma as "glorious" (subhadn); and
moka as "d elightful" ( sukhamaya). Thi s shows how rmad-Bhgavatam i s so po werful t hat it can
make one indifferent to even the most wonderful and delightful activities in the world.


Se e page of this book.


B RS 1.2.241


about Krsna, to learn about Krsna, or, in other words, to become fully Krsna
conscious (pg 110).
One who associates with advanced devotees will quickly become enriched with
symptoms of devotional ecstasy (bhava) such as samutkantha intense eagerness,
and avyartha-kalatvam executing service without a moment wasted (Since seeing
Him, I cannot remain silently at home. I wish to go out to Him always).
If simply seeing a devotee can bestow such realizations, certainly one will
rapidly achieve genuine ecstatic devotion by actually serving a devotee.

Chanting the Hare Krsna Mantra

It is said that the saints have been able to hear the vibrating strings of the vina in the
hands of Narada, who is always singing the glories of Lord Krsna. Now this same
sound vibration has entered my ears, and I am always feeling the presence of the
Supreme Personality. Gradually I am becoming bereft of all attachment for material
enjoyment (pgs 110 - 111).
The sound being heard in this verse is Narada's "singing the glories of Lord
Krsna" accompanied by "the vibrating strings of the vina." Hearing Narada's kirtana
causes one to become "bereft of all attachment for material enjoyment."
This complete detachment is a symptom of bhava (namely, virakti). Srila Rupa
Gosvami thus shows that kirtana can immediately evoke devotional ecstasy (bhava),
even in a neophyte.

Residing in Mathura
Srila Rupa Gosvami describes the beauty of Sri Vrndavana Dhama, decorated with the
Yamuna, kadamba trees, chirping birds, and the beautiful form of Syamasundara.
Simply remembering this beauty evokes bhava. I remember the Lord standing on the
banks of the Yamuna River, so beautiful amid the kadamba trees, where many birds
are chirping in the gardens. And these impressions are always giving me
transcendental realizations of beauty and bliss (pg 111).
According to Jiva Gosvami, "transcendental realizations of beauty and bliss"
(manasi kamapi bhavam kanana-sristanoti) indicates mental realization of one's eternal
serving mood, svarupa-siddhi which occurs during the stage of bhava-bhakti. Srila
Rupa Gosvami thus shows that simply remembering Vrndavana can quickly evoke
devotional ecstasy (bhava), even in a neophyte.
If simply remembering Vrndavana can cause such powerful realizations,
certainly one's transcendental feelings will immediately be aroused by actually being
there. Srila Prabhupada says, Such transcendental feelings are aroused immediately
and without fail after one arrives in Mathura or Vrndavana (pg 111).


The Results
Srila Rupa Gosvami explains that the results of these items are not over-estimations.
They are true in certain cases, and are intended to describe the item's potential for
evoking bhava-bhakti when executed offencelessly.
Sometimes these 64 activities are said to reward one with various worldly
benedictions, but Srila Rupa Gosvami explains that this is simply a way of attracting
mundane people to devotional service. The actual result of these 64 activities is bhavabhakti.


Some practices (varnasrama-dharma, cultivation of jnana and renunciation, etc.) were
not mentioned in the list of 64 items; are they not items of devotional service? If not,
what is their relationship to sadhana-bhakti?

Varnasrama & Sadhana-Bhakti

Srila Rupa Gosvami first analyzes varnasrama-dharma and concludes that it is not an
item of bhakti. However, a devotee who is not yet fully attracted to unalloyed
glorification of Krsna may utilize varnasrama-dharma to regulate and purify his
distracting material desires.
For example, marriage is certainly not one of the 64 items of devotional
service. A devotee, however, may enter grhasta-asrama if necessary to avoid sinful life
and stay on the progressive path. If such varnasrama activities are aimed at
purification for the Lord's pleasure they can be considered a subsidiary item of
devotional service. Without being aimed at eventual purification and unalloyed
surrender, no aspect of varnasrama can be considered an item of devotional service. 24


See page 29 of this book.


Chapter Fourteen

Devotional Qualifications
BRS 1.2.248 - 269

At the end of Chapter Thirteen, Srila Rupa Gosvami began to analyze the relation between various
spiritual practices and pure devotional service. This continues in Chapter Fourteen, beginning with
an analysis of jnana and vairagya.

Jnana & Vairagya

Jnana (cultivation of knowledge) and vairagya (cultivation of detachment) may preliminarily
help a new devotee to focus on Krsna by freeing him from distracting attraction to sense objects.
However, in practicing jnana and vairagya one's mind is not directly fixed on Krsna it is
absorbed in philosophical discrimination between matter and spirit. Fixing the mind on Krsna is
the most essential part of sadhana. Since jnana and vairagya fail to do so, they are not items of
Further, they may be detrimental to the cultivation of devotion. Srila Rupa Gosvami
warns that jnana and vairagya can make the heart harder and harder. A materially attached
person has many emotions that impel him towards sense gratification. Vairagya involves making
the heart callous and indifferent to these emotions so that one will not be moved by them.
Bhakti, though, means to please the Lord by one's love for Him. To express such love
requires a soft heart, easily moved by the Lord's name, form, qualities, and activities. Jnana and
vairagya are not favorable to devotional service because they result in a hard, Stoic heart.
Srila Rupa Gosvami quotes Srimad-Bhagavatam (11.20.31) in support of this. (See page
Although the processes of jnana and vairagya are unfavorable to devotional service, the
qualities of knowledge (jnana) and detachment (vairagya) are necessary for devotional
advancement. Without knowledge and detachment, one will be attached to the material body
and tend to act for the body, not for Krsna's pleasure.
Detachment can harden the heart and make it useless for devotional service, yet
detachment is necessary for achieving the desirelessness required for pure devotional service. Is
it possible to acquire detachment without hardening the heart?

In answer, Srila Rupa Gosvami quotes the Eleventh Canto (11.20.32 - 33) to show that
detachment and knowledge automatically come from bhakti. He then imparts his famous yuktavairagya verse:
anasaktasya visayan
yatharham upayunjatah
nirbandhah krsna-sambandhe
yuktam-vairagyam ucyate


When one is not attached to anything but at the same time accepts everything in relation to
Krsna, one is rightly situated above possessiveness. (Cc. Madhya 16.238p.) 25
Yukta-vairagya means to accept only those things that can be used in Krsna's service, and
to reject everything else. It is a balanced process of detachment, by which a devotee acquires the
qualities of knowledge and detachment without undergoing the heart-hardening processes jnana
and vairagya.
On this path, the emotions are still engaged; thus they do not atrophy. But the emotions
and activities of yukta-vairagya exclusively center on Krsna, and therefore effectively extricate
one from the mundane sphere and attach one to the Lord.

Srila Rupa Gosvami then explains that rejecting something which could be used in Krsna's
service is phalgu-vairagya false renunciation. This is the type of renunciation that hinders the
development of bhakti.

Wealth and Followers

Performing devotional service through one's wealth or followers is not an item of sadhanabhakti.
A wealthy person may give a large donation to build a huge temple this is certainly
devotional service. However, he should not think that the subsequent activities performed
therein (worshipping the Deity, offering prasadam, etc.) are his devotional service. If he becomes
carried away by this misconception, his impetus for devotional service will slacken.
Similarly, a spiritual master may train disciples to worship the Deity this is certainly
devotional service. However, the worship they subsequently perform is their own devotional
service, not his. If he does not understand this, his impetus for devotional service may slacken.
Srila Prabhupada says, If a spiritual master is not properly authorized and only on his
own initiative becomes a spiritual master, he may be carried away by an accumulation of wealth
and large number of disciples. His is not a very high grade of devotional service. If a person is
carried away by such achievements, then his devotional service may become slackened (pg

Yama (restraint from passions) includes activities like ahimsa (non-violence), brahmacarya
(celibacy), satyam (truthfulness), etc. These restraints are not items of sadhana-bhakti because
they do not impel devotion to manifest in the heart. On the contrary, practice of devotional
service impels them to manifest.
Srila Prabhupada writes, A vegetarian is not necessarily a devotee, nor is a non-violent
person. But a devotee is automatically both vegetarian and non-violent. We must conclude
therefore, that vegetarianism or non-violence is not the cause of devotion (pg 116).
To affirm this, Srila Rupa Gosvami cites the story of the hunter who became a great


B RS 1.2.255


Ekanga & Anekanga

Before concluding his description of vaidhi-sadhana-bhakti, Srila Rupa Gosvami explains that
Devotional service can be practiced by concentrating primarily on one of the items (ekanga) or
by concentrating equally on all the items (anekanga).

Alternate Terminology
Some authorities use the phrase maryada-marga as an alternate term for vaidhi-sadhana-bhakti.
Srila Rupa Gosvami says that the regulative principles of devotional service are sometimes
described by authorities as the path of serving the Lord in opulence (pg 118).


Chapter Fifteen

Spontaneous Devotional Service

BRS 1.2.270 - 287

The Second Wave of the Eastern Ocean deals with sadhana-bhakti, which has two divisions: vaidhi
and raganuga. Chapters Two through Fourteen have described vaidhi-sadhana. Chapters Fifteen and
Sixteen describe raganuga-sadhana.

Raganuga-sadhana is a devotional practice that strives to cultivate the moods of Krsna's
associates in Vrndavana. Thus, before describing raganuga-sadhana we must first describe the
moods of devotional attachment found in Vrndavana's eternal residents.
Nectar of Devotion uses the term raganuga to denote the devotional attachment of
Vrndavana's residents (see page 119). In Caitanya-caritamrta, however, Srila Prabhupada
directly translated the corresponding text from Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu, and therein reveals the
correct term to be ragatmika. 1
A ragatmika-bhakta embodies the perfection of spontaneous love for Krsna, and a
raganuga-bhakta "follows in the wake" of the perfect devotees, earnestly endeavoring to achieve
their perfect mood of spontaneous love.
The following texts authenticate that this is the proper use of terminology.

Caitanya-Caritamrta, Madhya-Lila 22.154

virajantim abhivyaktam
ragatmikam anusrta
ya sa raganugocyate
virajantim shining intensely; abhivyaktam fully expressed; vraja-vasi-jana-adisu among
the eternal inhabitants of Vrndavana; ragatmikam devotional service consisting of
spontaneous love; anusrta following; ya that; sa which; raganuga devotional service
following in the wake of spontaneous love; ucyate is said.
Devotional service in spontaneous love is vividly expressed and manifested by the
inhabitants of Vrndavana. Devotional service that accords with their devotional service is
called raganuga-bhakti, or devotional service following in the wake of spontaneous loving
service. 2

Caitanya-Caritamrta, Madhya-Lila 22.150

iste svarasiki ragah
paramavistata bhavet
tanmayi ya bhaved bhaktih

The phonetic similarity between "rgnug" and "rgtmik" makes it clear that the appa rent error originates with
the transcriber of rla Prabhupda's dictations.
BRS 1.2.270


satra ragatmikodita
iste in the desired object of life; svarasiki appropriate for one's own original aptitude of
love; ragah attachment; parama-avistata absorption in the service of the Lord; bhavet is;
tat-mayi consisting of that transcendental attachment; ya which; bhavet is; bhaktih
devotional service; sa that; atra here; ragatmika-udita called ragatmika, or spontaneous
devotional service.
When one becomes attached to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, his natural inclination
to love is fully absorbed in thoughts of the Lord. That is called transcendental attachment,
and devotional service according to that attachment is called ragatmika, or spontaneous
devotional service. 3

Caitanya-Caritamrta, Madhya-Lila 22.152

ragamayi-bhaktira haya 'ragatmika' nama
taha suni' lubdha haya kona bhagyavan
raga-mayi consisting of attachment; bhaktira of devotional service; haya is;
ragatmika spontaneous love; nama the name; taha suni' hearing this; lubdha
covetous; haya becomes; kona bhagyavan some fortunate person.
Thus devotional service which consists of raga [deep attachment] is called ragatmika,
spontaneous loving service. If a devotee covets such a position, he is considered to be most
In the next text (Cc. Madhya 22.153), Krsnadasa Kaviraja says, lobhe vraja-vasira bhave
kare anugati, sastra-yukti nahi mane raganugara prakrti: to covet the devotional mood of the
ragatmika devotees is the nature of raganuga.

These texts clearly establish that ragatmika-bhakti is the perfect devotional attachment found in
the residents of Vrndavana, and raganuga-sadhana-bhakti is the practice of a devotee who aspires
to develop their devotional mood.

Meaning of Ragatmika
Literally, ragatmika means one whose very essence (atma) is intense attachment for Krsna
Raga also means "color." Wearing red-colored eyeglasses causes one to see red
everywhere. Similarly, when one has an extremely intense attachment he sees the object of his
obsession everywhere, all the time.
The passions of this world are only weak and perverted reflections. Real raga is the
passionate obsession with pleasing Lord Sri Krsna. The passion to serve Krsna consumes the
devotee's consciousness to such an extent that they cannot even think of anything else, under
any circumstance.

B RS 1.2.272


Srila Rupa Gosvami therefore defines Ragatmika-bhakti as spontaneous attraction for

something while completely absorbed in thoughts of it, with an intense desire of love (pg 119).
One can find this intense absorption only in Vrndavana (and, to some extent, in
Dvaraka). The reason for this was explained in the Second Chapter of this book 4

Two Types of Ragatmika-Bhakti

Srila Rupa Gosvami divides ragatmika-bhakti into two categories: (1) kamarupa sensual
attraction, and (2) sambandharupa relationship.
Kamarupa consists of devotees with intense desire to satisfy the Lord in conjugal love.
Sambandharupa consists of devotees with intense desire to satisfy the Lord as His parent, friend,
or intimate servant.
Although conjugal love (kama) is also a type of relationship (sambandha), Srila Rupa
Gosvami gives it a separate category to emphasize its preeminent position.

Srimad-Bhagavatam 7.1.31
Srila Rupa Gosvami next quotes a verse from Srimad-Bhagavatam:
gopyah kamad bhayat kamso
dvesac caidyadayo nrpah
sambandhad vrsnayah snehad
yuyam bhaktya vayam vibho
gopyah the gopis; kamat by lusty desires; bhayat out of fear; kamsah King Kamsa;
dvesac out of envy; caidya-adayo Sisupala and others; nrpah kings; sambandhat out of
kinship; vrsnayah the Vrsnis or the Yadavas; snehat out of affection; yuyam you (the
Panavas); bhaktya by devotional service; vayam we; vibho O great King.
My dear King Yudhisthira, the gopis by their lusty desires, Kamsa by his fear, Sisupala and
other kings by envy, the Yadus by their familial relationship with Krsna, you Panavas by
your great affection for Krsna, and we, the general devotees, by our devotional service, have
obtained the mercy of Krsna. 5
The main point is that spontaneous devotion is the best method of absorbing the mind in Krsna.
The essence of sadhana is absorption of the mind in Krsna. Spontaneous emotion does this more
effectively than regulated practice. Kamsa and Sisupala feared and envied Krsna, but these
emotions caused them to obsessively think about Him and thus become purified to such an
extent that they achieved the same destination as the gopis.


(See footnote on page ).

rla Prabhupda summarizes this text in The Nectar of Devotion, on the bottom of page 119.


Inimical Emotions Recommended?

It is not that inimical emotions towards Krsna are being recommended. 6 For example, King
Vena also hated God, but, unlike Kamsa and Sisupala, his mind was not always absorbed in
thought of the Lord. Therefore his hatred of God only sent him to hell. 7
Thus we clearly see that it is not envy or fear of God which Narada recommends, but
total absorption of the mind in Him, even if out of envy or fear.

Categories of Ragatmika-Bhakti
This text confirms Srila Rupa Gosvami's division of ragatmika-bhakti into two categories:
kamarupa and sambandharupa.
Narada mentions six different moods of spontaneous emotional attachment to the Lord,
but only two of these are genuine types of spontaneous devotion (ragatmika-bhakti).
The six moods mentioned by Narada are:

Lusty desire in the gopis (gopyah kamat)

Fear in Kamsa (bhayat kamsah)
Envy in Sisupala and other kings of Caidya (dvesac caidyadayo)
Kinship in the Vrsnis or the Yadavas (sambandhat vrsnayah)
Affection in the Panavas (snehat yuyam)
Devotional service in Narada (bhaktya vayam)
Fear & Envy

Clearly, fear and envy are not genuine forms of spontaneous devotion. Srila Prabhupada says,
The attraction of Kamsa to Krsna in fear, and the attraction of Sisupala in envy are not accepted
as devotional service, however, because their attitudes are not favorable (pg 120).
Devotional Service in Narada
Narada's attachment to Krsna is called bhaktya. Jiva Gosvami explains that the Sanskrit verb
tenses used here indicate that Narada's devotional service arises from a sense of duty. Thus it is
vaidhi-bhakti, and cannot be counted amongst the genuine forms of ragatmika-bhakti. 8
The affection of the Panavas may or may not be ragatmika-bhakti, depending on whether or not
it is mixed with awe and reverence. Generally it is mixed with a mood of reverence, which
introduces restraints of formal etiquette that hinder ragatmika-bhakti. However, when this
reverence sometimes subsides, their affection can be ragatmika-bhakti. Srila Prabhupada
explains, Again he analyzes the affection of the Yadus. If it is on the platform of friendship then

The word anukulyena in the definition of uttama-bhakti rejects any inim ical emotions from pure devotional service
(For further information, see page of this book).
7 "Somehow or other, one m ust consi der t he form of K na very seri ously. Then, by one of t he fi ve di fferent
processes mentioned above, one can return home, back to Godhead. Atheists like King Vena, however, being unable
to think of Kna' s form in any of t hese five ways, cannot attain salvation. Therefore, one m ust somehow think of
Kna, whether in a friendly way or inimically." (rmad-Bhgavatam 7.1.32)
8 See Jva Gosvm - BRS 1.2.274 & 275.


it is spontaneous love, but if it is on the platform of regulative principles, then it is not (pg
Lusty Desire & Kinship
Four of the six types of attachment fear, envy, respectful affection, and obedient devotion
have been excluded from ragatmika-bhakti. Only the remaining two lusty desire (kamarupa)
and familial relationship (sambandharupa) are genuine types of ragatmika-bhakti. This
confirms Srila Rupa Gosvami's analysis.

They Achieved the Same Goal

This Srimad-Bhagavatam text indicates that Kamsa, Sisupala, the Yadus, the gopis... all of them
achieved the same goal of life. How could the Lord award his devotees with the same goal as He
awards His enemies?
To clear this doubt, Srila Rupa Gosvami cites the analogy of the sunshine (Brahman) and
the sun-globe (Bhagavan). The demons and devotees both achieved the same goal: Krsna.
However, the demons achieved only the Brahman aspect of Krsna, whereas the gopis achieved
the highest Bhagavan realization of Krsna.
Srila Rupa Gosvami quotes two references to prove that the demons achieved only
impersonal liberation in Brahman (Brahmana Purana and Tenth Canto). (See pages 121 - 122.)

Spontaneous attraction (raga) is the supreme means of concentrating the mind upon Krsna.
There are six basic types of spontaneous attraction, and all of them are liberating. However, only
two of the six are genuine types of ragatmika-bhakti that will award the highest goal of prema.
These two are kamarupa and sambandharupa.

Kamarupa (Sensual Attraction)

Kama (lust) is the intense thirst to satisfy the senses. There are two types of kama: material and
Material kama is the intense thirst to satisfy one's own senses. Spiritual kama is the
intense thirst to satisfy Krsna's spiritual senses. Srila Prabhupada says, This lust is the devotee's
excessive desire to serve the Lord in a particular capacity (pg 122).

Distinguishing Mundane Kama from Transcendental Kama

The exchange of love between Krsna and the gopis resembles embracing, dancing, and so forth.
This causes some difficulty in the minds of conditioned souls.
The Difficulty
The conditioned soul naturally tends to interpret things in the context of his own experience. In
his experience, conjugal affairs such as dancing and embracing are manifestations of lust. Thus,
when he hears the pastimes of Krsna and the gopis, he misinterprets everything in the context of
mundane lust.
However, a devotee with some genuine realization in bhakti sees the pastimes as they
really are: pure exchanges of unalloyed love. He knows that the gopis' internal motivation is

radically different from the motivation of mundane "lovers," even though their external
activities may appear similar.
Material and spiritual lust are as different as iron and gold. Selfish desire is the
motivation of material lust; selfless desire is the motivation of spiritual lust. In the mundane
world, every action is selfish; in the spiritual world, every action is selfless exclusively for the
Supreme Lord's pleasure.
Apparent Selfishness
Sometimes it seems that the residents of Vrndavana act for their own happiness, but factually
they act only for the Lord's pleasure. They know that Krsna takes pleasure when His devotee is
pleased, and that is the only reason they sometimes seem to endeavor for their own happiness.

Kama "Lust"
Spiritual relationships are never "lusty," or selfish. When Srila Rupa Gosvami says that Krsna's
relationship with the gopis is "lusty" (kamarupa) he uses the word in a figurative sense only, to
aid our basic understanding. Srila Prabhupada explains, ...the gopis' ecstatic love for Krsna is
sometimes described by scholars as being like the "lusty desire" of the material world, but
actually this should not be taken as a literal fact. It is simply a way of trying to understand the
transcendental situation (pg 123).
The gopis are consumed and obsessed by a passion to satisfy Krsna, the force of which is
beyond our ability to comprehend. By comparing it to mundane lust, the single most consuming
and overwhelming urge in our experience, we may catch the slightest hint of the intensity in the
gopis desire to serve Krsna.
We must very carefully understand that Krsna's conjugal love affairs are impeccably
transcendental. Externally they may resemble mundane lust, but internally they are motivated
exclusively by pure, selfless prema.
Evidence for the Purity of Spiritual "Lust"
As evidence of the gopis' transcendental purity, Srila Rupa Gosvami cites the great devotee
Uddhava. Although completely free from all attraction to mundane love affairs, Uddhava
glorified the gopis' love for Krsna. Srila Prabhupada adds the example of Sri Caitanya
Mahaprabhu the strict sannyasi who also praised the gopis' love of Krsna. If the gopis were
affected by mundane sex desire, these two stalwart personalities would never praise them. (See
page 123.)

Transcendental Kama Mixed with Mundane Kama

To further highlight the exalted purity of the gopis' love for Krsna, Srila Rupa Gosvami mentions
Kubja, who's attraction to Krsna was not as pure as the gopis'. The selfish desire that slightly
tinged her attraction excluded her from the category of kamarupa, and relegated her to the lesser
status of kamapraya "almost lusty desire."


Chapter Sixteen

Spontaneous Devotion Further Described

BRS 1.1.288 - 309

This chapter continues Srila Rupa Gosvami's analysis of spontaneous devotional service.
As mentioned, the spontaneous love found in the residents of Vrndavana has two divisions:
(1) kamarupa sensual attraction, and (2) sambandharupa relationship. Chapter
Fifteen ended the analysis of kamarupa. Chapter Sixteen begins with a brief analysis of

Sambandharupa Relationship
Just as kamarupa (sensual attraction) is the intense attachment to service in the mood
of a lover, sambandharupa (relationship) is the intense attachment to service in the
mood of a parent, friend, or servant.

"No Necessity of Discussing Further"

Both kamarupa and sambandharupa describe the eternal residents of Vrndavana
who possess the perfection of spontaneous devotion. The primary subject of Chapters
Fifteen and Sixteen, however, is the practice of spontaneous devotion (raganugasadhana), not the perfection of spontaneous devotion (ragatmika-prema). Therefore
Srila Rupa Gosvami presents the subject of ragatmika-bhakti only briefly. Srila
Prabhupada says, In the stage of devotional service where regulative principles are
followed, there is no necessity of discussing this love, for it must develop of itself at a
more advanced stage (pg 125).

Spontaneous devotional service (raganuga-bhakti) is the practice of advanced
devotees, intended to cultivate the sentiments of a particular eternal devotee
(ragatmika-bhakta). Before revealing the methods of this practice, Srila Rupa Gosvami
first describes the prerequisite qualifications of the practitioner.

Basic Qualification to Practice

Spontaneous Devotional Service
The basic qualification for raganuga-bhakti is simply a natural, spontaneous desire to
serve Krsna in a specific relationship a desire that can be evoked by hearing about
the eternal residents of Vrndavana. Nectar of Devotion describes this in a simple way,
There is a gradual development of the ambition to become like a particular devotee,
and this activity is called raganuga (pg 125).


Srila Prabhupada's Caitanya-caritamrta more elaborately describes this verse of

tad-tad-bhavadi madhurye
srute dhir yad apeksate
natra sastram na yuktim ca
tal lobhotpatti-laksanam
When an advanced realized devotee hears about the affairs of the devotees of
Vrndavana in the mellows of santa, dasya, sakhya, vatsalya and madhurya he
becomes inclined in this way, and his intelligence becomes attracted. Indeed, he
begins to covet that particular type of devotion. When such covetousness is
awakened, one's intelligence no longer depends on the instruction of sastra
(revealed scripture), logic, or argument. (Cc. Mad 22.155)
The devotional service of a raganuga devotee is guided only by his intense craving to
attain the service of a particular resident of Vrndavana, not by scriptural injunction.
Srila Prabhupada describes, These raganuga devotees do not follow the regulative
principles of devotional service very strictly, but by spontaneous nature they become
attracted to some of the eternal devotees such as Nanda or Yasoda, and they try to
follow in their footsteps spontaneously (pg 125).
One point must be repeatedly stressed: That a raganuga devotee is "above the
regulative principles" means that they are not dependant on scriptural injunction for
their inspiration to serve and surrender. Their inspiration comes from their own
spontaneous affection. This does not mean that a raganuga-bhakta does not follow the
regulative principles, it means that their motivation is love (raga), not just obligation
(vidhi). 9

Achieving This Qualification

The basic qualification for raganuga-bhakti is simply eagerness (lobha) to achieve the
service of a particular ragatmika devotee, but this eagerness is not cheap or easy to
come by. Lobha (intense covetousness) refers to the state where one's sole and
overwhelming desire is to please Krsna in a particular way. As long as there is some
other desire in one's heart, the required intensity of focus cannot manifest.
Therefore generally lobha cannot awaken until the devotee achieves steadiness
at the completion of anartha-nivrtti. After having thoroughly heard SrimadBhagavatam and being freed from all unwanted desires, generally it is only then that
one possesses the qualification to practice genuine raganuga-bhakti.

Also, in "above t he regulative principles" the term regulative principles refers to either the injunctions
of Vedic dharma or to the 64 agas of sdhana-bhakti, not the "four regul ative principles:" no m eateating, no intoxication, no illicit sex, and no gambling.

Srila Prabhupada thus states, We must always remember, however, that such
eagerness to follow in the footsteps of the denizens of Vraja (Vrndavana) is not
possible unless one is freed from material contamination. He defines freedom from
material contamination, There is a stage called anartha-nivrtti, which means the
disappearance of all material contamination (pg 126).

Raganuga is Within the Realm of Sadhana

Upon completing anartha-nivrtti, one becomes qualified for raganuga-bhakti. Anarthanivrtti occurs within the stage of sadhana, before bhava or prema. We must therefore
conclude that raganuga-sadhana, although a very advanced platform of spiritual
development, is still within the realm of sadhana. It is not bhava or prema.
Freedom from anarthas comes at the stage of nistha. However, it is true that
slight traces of anartha remain until one attains the stage of prema. Thus, in an
extended sense, it may be said that anartha-nivrtti is not actually complete until the
stage of prema. 10
Srila Rupa Gosvami and Srila Prabhupada, however, do not use the term in this
extended sense. The following will make this point clear:
Raganuga-bhakti is discussed in the Second Wave of Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu.
The Second Wave deals exclusively with sadhana-bhakti, the Third Wave with bhavabhakti, and the Fourth Wave with prema-bhakti. Thus, by its location in the text we
can clearly understand that raganuga-bhakti is an element of sadhana, not of bhava or
The same fact is also clear from Nectar of Instruction (text eight, purport).
There, Srila Prabhupada translates Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu 1.2.295: In the
transcendental realm of Vraja (Vraja-Dhama) one should serve the Supreme Lord, Sri
Krsna, with a feeling similar to that of His associates, and one should place himself
under the direct guidance of a particular associate of Krsna and should follow in his
footsteps. This method is applicable both in the method of sadhana (spiritual practices
executed while in the stage of bondage) and in the stage of sadhya (God realization), when
one is a siddha-purusa, or spiritually perfect soul. [Emphasis added]

The basic qualification for spontaneous devotional service is lobha (the strong desire
to serve Krsna in a specific relationship) which generally manifests only when one is
"freed from material contamination."


rla Vivantha Cakravart hkura' s Mdhurya-kadambin (third shower) explains all th ese details
of anartha-nivtti.

Practices of Spontaneous Devotional Service

Three texts in Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu describe the actual practices of raganuga-bhakti.
Srila Prabhupada summarizes these in Nectar of Devotion, from the third paragraph of
page 126 to the subheading "conjugal love."

Verse One (BRS 1.2.294)

krsnam smaran janam casya
prestham nija-samihitam
tat-tat-katha-ratas casau
kuryad vasam vraje sada
krsnam Lord Krsna; smaran thinking of; janam a devotee; ca also; asya
of His; prestham very dear; nija-samihitam chosen by oneself; tat-tat-katha to
those respective topics; ratah attached; ca and; asau that; kuryat should
do; vasam living; vraje in Vrndavana; sada always.
The devotee should always think of Krsna within himself, and one should choose a
very dear devotee who is a servitor of Krsna in Vrndavana. One should constantly
engage in topics about that servitor and his loving relationship to Krsna, and one
should live in Vrndavana. However, if one is physically unable to go to Vrndavana,
he should mentally live there. (Cc Mad 22.160)
The first practice of raganuga-bhakti is to meditate on the relationship of service
between Krsna and His dear devotee. The specific relationship and devotee one
meditates upon depends on one's devotional aspiration. For example, one who desires
to serve with conjugal affection may meditate on the mood and service of a specific
gopi for Kisora Krsna. One who desires to serve with parental affection may meditate
on the mood and service of Mother Yasoda for Kumara Krsna.
A person who aspires to constantly remember Krsna and His eternal devotees
is advised to take shelter of Vrndavana. One should physically live in Vrndavana, and
mentally live there by constantly remembering the exchanges between Krsna and His
devotees there. Mental residence in Vrndavana is more essential than physical
residence, although they are both important. Srila Prabhupada says, if one is
physically unable to go to Vrndavana, he should mentally live there (pg 126).
Srila Prabhupada summarizes these instructions of Srila Rupa Gosvami, When
one is actually liberated from material contamination, he can always remember an
eternal devotee in Vrndavana in order to love Krsna in the same capacity. And
developing such an aptitude, one will always live in Vrndavana, even within his mind
(pg 126).


Verse Two (BRS 1.2.295)

seva sadhaka-rupena
siddha-rupena catra hi
tad-bhava-lipsuna karya
seva service; sadhaka-rupena with the external body as a devotee practicing
regulative devotional service; siddha-rupena with a body suitable for eternal, selfrealized service; ca also; atra in this connection; hi certainly; tad of that;
bhava mood; lipsuna desiring to obtain; karya to be executed; vraja-loka of
the particular servant of Krsna in Vrndavana; anusaratah by following in the
The advanced devotee who is inclined to spontaneous loving service should follow
the activities of a particular associate of Krsna in Vrndavana. He should execute
service externally as a regulative devotee as well as internally from his self-realized
position. Thus he should perform devotional service both externally and internally.
(Cc. Mad 22.158)
The first verse instructed the raganuga-bhakta to always think about an eternal
devotee of Vrndavana. The present verse elaborates on this, instructing how to think
of this Vrndavana devotee and absorb oneself in his or her loving service-mood.
We should first note that the residents of Goloka Vrndavana simultaneously
exist in two manifestations, as sadhakas and as siddhas. For example, Srila Rupa
simultaneously exists in Gaura-lila as Srila Rupa Gosvami (a sadhaka), and in Krsnalila as Srila Rupa Manjari (a siddha). Since the residents of Vraja have two
manifestations, there are two ways to meditate upon them. The first is externally and
the second is internally.
The word sadhaka-rupena instructs one to be absorbed in thought of an eternal
resident of Vrndavana by externally following the activities of their sadhaka form. For
example, one who desires to achieve the service and mood of Srila Rupa would follow
in the footsteps of Srila Rupa Gosvami's sadhana nicely described by Srinivasa
Acarya in Sa Goswamy-astaka. 11

sakhy-prvaka-nma-gna-natibhi klvasn-ktau
nidrhra-vihrakdi-vijitau ctyanta-dnau ca yau
rdh-kna-guna-smter madhurimnandena sammohitau
vande rpa-santanau raghu-yugau r-jva-goplakau
"I offer my respect ful obei sances unt o t he Si x Gosvms. . . who were engaged i n chant ing t he hol y
names of the Lord and bowing d own in a sch eduled m easurement. In th is way th ey u tilized th eir

Srila Prabhupada says, A devotee who is actually advanced in Krsna

consciousness, who is constantly engaged in devotional service, should not manifest
himself, even though he has attained perfection. The idea is that he should always
continue to act as a neophyte devotee as long as his material body is there. Activities
in devotional service under regulative principles must be followed even by the pure
devotee (pg 126). 12
The word siddha-rupena instructs one to be absorbed in thought of an eternal resident
of Vrndavana by internally (mentally) following the behavior of their siddha form. For
example, one who desires to achieve the service and mood of Srila Rupa would
internally meditate on the activities of Srila Rupa Manjari nicely described by
Raghunatha dasa Gosvami in Vraja-vilasa-stava. 13
Srila Prabhupada summarizes, But when he realizes his actual position in
relationship with the Lord, he can, along with the discharging of regulative service,
think within himself of the Lord, under the guidance of a particular associate of the
Lord, and develop his transcendental sentiments in following that associate (pgs 126 127).
Siddha-Pranali A Fallacious Interpretation
Srila Prabhupada warns us to be careful of the so-called siddha-pranali process. This
process is based on an interpretation of the current sloka of Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu
that is deviant in two ways. 14
The first deviation is to prematurely imagine one's eternally perfect spiritual
form (siddha-rupa). Srila Prabhupada says, They imagine that they have become
associates of the Lord simply by thinking of themselves like that (pg 127).




valuable lives, and in executing these devotional activities they conquered over eating and sleeping and
were always meek and humble, enchanted by remembering the transcendental qualities of the Lord."
Random House W ebster's di ctionary defi nes neophyte as "a begi nner or a novi ce." In cont ext of t he
three phases of bhakti sdhana, bhva, and prema "neophyte" refers to sdhana. The idea here is
this: regardl ess of how advanced one act ually i s, he shoul d al ways ext ernally behave as a person
diligently practicing to cultivate devotion.
vndranya-mahevarim priyatay yas toayanti priya
prna-preh-sahk-kuld api kilsankocit bhmik
keli-bhmiu rpa-majar-mukhas t dsik saraye
"By offering Her betel nuts, by massaging Her feet, by bringing Her water, by arranging for Her secret
meeting wi th Lord Kna, and by
perform ing m any ot her servi ces, many gop maidservants
affectionately please r Rdh, who i s more dear than life. I take shelter of those gop maidservants,
who have rla Rpa Majar as their leader."
Siddha-pranl ori ginates wi th R pa Kavirja, a deviant disciple o f Hem alin hkuran, rnivasa
crya's daughter.

According to acaryas, realization of one's siddha-rupa develops gradually by the

purified desire of the heart.
The second deviation is their proposal that the word vraja-loka (residents of
Vrndavana) refers exclusively to the residents of Vrndavana in Krsna-lila such as Srila
Rupa Manjari, and not to the residents of Vrndavana in their Gaura-lila such as Srila
Rupa Gosvami.
Thus they wrongly interpret seva sadhaka-rupena, siddha-rupena catra hi to
mean that one should imitate the activities of the gopis, both as one's external sadhana
and as one's internal meditation. One can see such men dressed in saris, jewellery,
etc.; not worshipping guru or Tulasi; and making a show of imitating the behavior of
the gopis, even though they are not yet purified of basic material desires. Srila
Prabhupada succinctly states, Their external behavior is not at all according to the
regulative principles (pg 127).

Verse Three (BRS 1.2.296)

vaidha-bhakty uditani tu
yanyagani ca tanyatra
vijneyani manisibhih
Learned acaryas know that the 64 practices of vaidhi-bhakti headed by hearing
and chanting are also useful in raganuga-bhakti.
Raganuga-sadhana does not entail a rejection of vaidhi, but a more focused
concentration upon particular aspects that are conducive to the individual devotee's
particular mood of service. For example, the raganuga devotee does not abandon
regular hearing and chanting, but focuses his hearing and chanting upon particular
topics that specifically nourish his particular serving mood.
Deity worship is another example. The raganuga devotee does not reject this
aspect of vaidhi-sadhana. He may continue to worship the Deity, but in a way
conducive to his devotional mood. Later in the chapter Srila Rupa Gosvami will
illustrate this with the story of an old man who developed the aspiration to love Krsna
in a paternal mood. Narada Muni advised him to worship the Deity as his own
beloved son, following the footsteps of Nanda Maharaja.
Srila Prabhupada extracts the essence of this third instruction from Bhaktirasamrta-sindhu, Learned acaryas recommend that we follow the regulative principles
even after the development of spontaneous love for Krsna... one should specifically
engage himself in the type of devotional service for which he has a natural aptitude...
In this way, everyone should act according to his particular taste (pg 127).


Two Types of Raganuga-Bhakti

There are two categories of raganuga-bhakti: (1) kamanuga, and (2) sambandhanuga.
Kamanuga is a devotional practice that
strives for the mood of the kamarupa
Kamanuga Kamarupa
ragatmikas (the gopis of Vrndavana or
Sambandhanuga Sambandharupa
the queens of Dvaraka). Sambandhanuga
is a devotional practice that strives for
the mood of the sambandharupa ragatmikas (The devotee of Vrndavana in parental,
friendly, or servile love).
Raganuga-bhakti Ragatmika-bhakti

Kamanuga Conjugal Love

The Nectar of Devotion begins to describe Kamanuga-sadhana-bhakti on page 127, at
the subheading "Conjugal Love."
There are two divisions of kamanuga: (1) sambhoga icchamayi striving to
serve Krsna as do those who directly meet Him in conjugal love, and (2) tat-tadbhava-icchatmika striving not to directly meet with Krsna, but to assist the Supreme
Radharani and thus
directly experience
Her loving mood,
Conjugal love Friendship and parenthood
through service and
Sambhoga-icchmay Tat-tat-bhva-icchtmik
Mood of the
Mood of the Heroine
Eligibility for
Heroine's maid
becomes eligible for kamanuga-sadhana-bhakti by developing a natural attraction to
serving Krsna in conjugal love. One achieves this mainly by worshipping Deities of
Radha-Krsna and hearing Krsna's pastimes with the gopis.
Srila Prabhupada explains, This development of conjugal love can be possible
only with those who are already engaged in following the regulative principles of
devotional service, specifically in worship of Radha and Krsna in the temple. Such
devotees gradually develop a spontaneous love for the Deity, and by hearing of the
Lord's exchange of loving affairs with the gopis, they gradually become attracted to
these pastimes (pg 128).
Eligibility in Males
Since conjugal love of Krsna entails feminine sentiments on behalf of the devotee, one
may have the impression only females can properly aspire for it. To dispel this
misconception and establish that our transcendental relationship with Krsna has

nothing to do with the material body Srila Rupa Gosvami cites the sages of
Danakaranya. Although they were all men, when they saw Lord Ramacandra their
conjugal love for Krsna blossomed. They took their next birth as daughters of gopis
and got the direct association of Lord Krsna. (See page 128)
Two Further Classifications
There are two moods in conjugal love: (1) parakiya unwedded, and (2) svakiya
Parakiya is practiced by those who follow in the footsteps of the gopis of
Vrndavana. One who perfects this sentiment will be elevated to Goloka Vrndavana,
to associate with the gopis and enjoy loving affairs with Krsna there (pg 129).
Svakiya is practiced by those who follow in the footsteps of Krsna's wedded
wives in Dvaraka. One who perfects this sentiment will be elevated to Dvaraka,
where the devotee becomes a queen of the Lord (pg 129). The reference from Maha
Kurma Purana is an example of this. 15

Sambandhanuga (Parenthood or Friendship)

This chapter ends with a summary of Srila Rupa Gosvami's instructions on developing
spontaneous attachment to Krsna in parental or friendly moods.
Like conjugal love, parenthood and friendship have two categories. The first
aspires for direct parenthood or friendship with Krsna; the second aspires for service
and appreciation of Krsna's parents and friends. Srila Prabhupada explains, In the
development of becoming either the father or friend of Lord, there are two varieties.
One method is that one may try to become the father of the Lord directly, and the
other is that one may follow Nanda Maharaja and cherish the ideal of being Krsna's
father (pg 129).
Srila Rupa Gosvami warns of the danger in aspiring for direct relationship,
especially concerning parenthood. In desiring to directly become the father of Krsna,
one may inadvertently develop the desire to become Nanda Maharaja himself. This is
no less mayavada than desiring to be Krsna. If one becomes contaminated by such
mayavada implications, whatever advancement he has made is obliterated. 16
Srila Rupa Gosvami gives an example of sambandhanuga-sadhana-bhakti, In
the Skanda Purana there is a story of an old man residing in Hastinapura, capital of the



BRS 1.2.303 Jva Gosvm and Vi vantha C akravart hkura expl ain t hat i f one desires the
mood of conjugal servi ce t o Kna, y et t he desi re i s not st rong enough t o overpower hi s fear of
neglecting proper et iquette i n servi ce t o t he Lord (i e. he does not ri se above t he pl atform of vaidhibhakti) then his conjugal attraction will grant him the attainment of svakya, or servitorship amongst the
Queens of Dvrak.
For further clarification of this point, refer to the following: The Nectar of Devotion, pages 129 - 130 &
page 206; Waves of Devotion, page .

kingdom of the Panus, who desired Krsna as his beloved son. This old man was
instructed by Narada to follow in the footsteps of Nanda Maharaja, and thus he
achieved success (pg 130).

Alternate Terminology
Srila Rupa Gosvami closes the discussion of raganuga-sadhana-bhakti by mentioning
that some people (the Vallabha-sampradaya) use the term pusti-marga to indicate
raganuga-sadhana. Srila Prabhupada says, "This process of devotional service is
sometimes called pusti-marga (pg 130).


Eastern Ocean
Third Wave

Chapters 17 & 18


Chapter Seventeen
Ecstatic Love
BRS 1.3.1 - 24

Chapter Seventeen begins Srila Prabhupada's summary study of Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu's

Third Wave, dealing with bhava-bhakti.
As mentioned in Chapter Two, the purpose of sadhana-bhakti is to awaken bhava.
Thus Srila Prabhupada explains, ...in the previous chapters the symptoms of
devotional service were explained along with instructions as to how we may execute
devotional service with our present senses and gradually rise to the platform of ecstasy
in spontaneous love (pg 131).
Clearly, bhava is the goal (sadhya) of our devotional practice (sadhana). Srila
Prabhupada says, Within the stage of the regulative principles of devotional service
there are two divisions, namely executive and effective. The effective portion of
devotional service is called bhava, or ecstasy (pg 131).
Sadhana is "executive" because it involves execution of devotional practice.
Bhava is "effective" because it is the effect of practice.
Srila Prabhupada says that both sadhana and bhava are "within the stage of the
regulative principles of devotional service." The phrase regulative principles of
devotional service is a translation of cestarupa, not vaidhi-sadhana. The next paragraph
will explain this.



by endeavors

by emotions



endeavors which endeavors which are

cause bhva
the effect of bhva

There are two divisions

of pure devotional service: (1)
cestarupa devotional service
executed with one's endeavors,
and (2) bhavarupa devotional
service executed with one's
"Within the stage of the
devotional service there are two


divisions, namely executive and effective." This indicates that there are two
subdivisions of cestarupa: (1) "executive" endeavors that cause bhava, and (2)
"effective" endeavors that result from bhava. 1

Definition and Characteristics of Bhava-Bhakti

Srila Rupa Gosvami defines bhava-bhakti as follows (see NOD 131, paragraph 1):
rucibhis citta-masrnyakrd asau bhava ucyate
suddha-sattva by unadulterated goodness; visesa distinguished; atma whose
nature; prema of love of Godhead; surya like the sun; amsu a ray; samyabhak which is similar to; rucibhih by different tastes; citta of the heart;
masrnya softness; krt which causes; asau that softness; bhavah emotion;
ucyate is called.
When devotional service is situated on the transcendental platform of pure
goodness, it is like a ray of the sunlight of love for Krsna. At such a time, devotional
service causes the heart to be softened by various tastes, and it is called bhava
[emotion]. (Cc. Mad 23.5)

Primary Characteristic
The primary characteristic of bhava is suddha-sattva-visesatma; it is the stage wherein
suddha-sattva enters the devotee's heart. Suddha-sattva is not the material mode of
goodness, but the Lord's internal potency whose function is to revive the living
entity's dormant love for Krsna.
A dormant seed cannot grow without being touched by the sun's energy of heat
and light. Similarly, love of Godhead (prema) is like a seed lying dormant in the heart
of every living entity. It cannot grow without the touch of the Lord's own devotional
energy, suddha-sattva.
When a person eagerly wants to serve the Lord, the suddha-sattva potency may
enter his heart through the mercy of a pure devotee. When suddha-sattva touches the
heart, it energizes the seed of prema and causes it to sprout (ankura). Consequently,
Srila Rupa Gosvami describes bhava as premankura ("the first sprout of prema").

Endeavors that cause bhva (cerp, sdhana) are heari ng, chanting, worshipping, etc. Endeavors
that result from bhva (cerp, sdhya) are anubhva, and will be extensively described in Chapter
Twenty (see page in this book). In brief, anubhva is an endeavor that
results from stimulation of one' s affection for Kna. For example, when a friend' s love is stim ulated,
the anubhva may be that he endeavors to play with Kna.

Bhava is prema, but in a preliminary, budding state. This is also indicated by

the term prema-suryamsu "a ray of the sun of prema." Bhava is the sun-ray. Prema is
the sun itself. The sun and the sun-rays are qualitatively non-different, but there is a
distinction in quantitative intensity. Bhava is the onset of prema, as dawn is the onset
of day. When the first rays of dawn appear, one can be sure that the full light of the
sun will soon rise. Similarly, when one achieves bhava the full light of prema will
manifest very quickly.
How Suddha-Sattva Descends
According to Srila Rupa Gosvami, suddha-sattva is composed of the samvit and hladini
potencies of the Lord. Samvit is the cognitive or knowledge-giving potency. Hladini is
the devotional potency.
Samvit-sakti, the Lord's own cognitive potency, descends into the heart and
empowers one to perceive and know Krsna. The Lord's devotional potency (hladinisakti) also descends into the devotee's heart, empowering one to fully manifest blissful
love of Godhead. When the divine potencies of cognition and affection (samvit and
hladini) combine in the heart, one can begin to fully relish Krsna as the supreme
object of love. This is bhava-bhakti the awakening of love of Godhead. 2

Secondary Characteristics
The secondary characteristics of bhava are: (1) it softens the heart, and (2) it gives rise
to various tastes.
Softening of the Heart
A soft heart is one easily moved or changed by emotion. The Srimad-Bhagavatam
(2.3.24) describes this, Certainly that heart is steel-framed which, in spite of
chanting the holy name with concentration, does not change when ecstasy takes place
and tears fill the eyes and hairs stand on end.
Srila Prabhupada explains, In this connection there is a statement in the
Tantras that ecstasy is the first symptom of pure love for the Personality of Godhead,
and in that state one is sometimes found shedding tears or shivering (pg 131).
In this quote, Srila Prabhupada first defines the primary characteristic of bhava
by saying that ecstasy (bhava) is the first symptom of pure love of Godhead (prema).
He then defines its secondary characteristic by saying that one's heart softens to such
an extent that he is often found to be visibly moved by emotions.
In brief, the characteristic of a devotee on the platform of bhava is that his
heart is very easily moved by Krsna conscious stimulation.

The combination of savit and hldin is called uddha-sattva. W hen o ne is in contact with uddhasattva, one si multaneously feel s nouri shment (puti) and sat isfaction (tuti). The savit potency
nourishes one by cognition of Kna, and the hldin potency satisfies one by devotion for Kna.

Giving Rise to Various Tastes

There are three kinds of "tastes" or devotional desires that blossom when one achieves
the stage of bhava: (1) prapti-abhilasa desire to achieve Krsna, (2) anukulyaabhilasa desire to please Krsna with various services, (3) sauharda-abhilasa
desire to be close at heart with Krsna. 3

Nature of Bhava
When bhava appears, it permeates one's consciousness to such an extent that it
appears to become one with the mind just as an iron rod placed in fire eventually
becomes permeated by the qualities of fire to such an extent that they appear to
become one. This condition is called tad-atmaka.
Srila Prabhupada describes this state as samadhi, After the outward
appearance of these ecstatic symptoms, they stay within the mind, and continuation of
the ecstasy is called samadhi (pg 131 - 132).
Bhava is relishable by nature, and it also causes one to taste and realize the
sweet pastimes of the Lord. Srila Prabhupada thus states, This stage of appreciation
becomes the cause of future exchanges of loving affairs with the Lord (pg 132).

Achieving Bhava
According to Srila Rupa Gosvami, there are two ways to achieve bhava: (1) by ardent
spiritual practice, and (2) by the special mercy of Krsna or His devotee. Elevation to
this stage of ecstasy can be possible in two ways. One way is by constant association
with pure devotees. The other way is by the special mercy of Krsna or by the mercy of
a pure devotee of Krsna (pg 132).
Srila Prabhupada uses the term "association with pure devotees" synonymously
with "executing the practices of devotional service." A pure devotee has no business
other than hearing and chanting about Krsna. Therefore, associating with a pure
devotee automatically implies practicing devotional service.
Srila Prabhupada states, It is essential, therefore, that one constantly associate
with pure devotees who are engaged morning and evening in chanting the Hare Krsna
mantra. In this way one will get the chance to purify his heart and develop this
ecstatic pure love for Krsna (pg 133).

This information comes from Jva Gosvm's commentary on BRS 1.3.1.


Bhava Achieved By Practice (Sadhana)

by Practice
by Vaidhi

by Mercy

Bhava achieved by practice has two further

subdivisions: (1) bhava attained through vaidhisadhana, and (2) bhava attained through

by Rgnug

By Vaidhi-Sadhana
Narada Muni's life story is an example of someone who achieves bhava by way of
vaidhi-sadhana. Narada's service to the Bhaktivedantas may be considered vaidhi
because it was motivated not by his specific attraction to Krsna, but by obligation to
the injunction of sastra. Serving these great souls, he got the opportunity to regularly
hear krsna-katha from their lips, and by this regulated hearing he achieved the level of
Again it is apparent that vaidhi-bhakti is not something to be made light of. We
find that vaidhi-bhakti also leads to a type of bhava, and even the most exalted Narada
Muni practices it.
The example of Narada Muni confirms that bhava is a precursor to prema. Srila
Prabhupada explains, This ecstatic love is prior to pure love of Krsna, because in the
next verse Narada confirms that by the gradual process of hearing from the great sages
he developed love of Godhead (pg 132).
To further support that one can achieve bhava by repeatedly listening to the
discourses of pure devotees, Srila Rupa Gosvami quotes Lord Kapiladeva. Srila
Prabhupada sums up the essence of this quote, ...when a realized soul who is
engaged in the service of the Lord is speaking, he has the potency to inject spiritual
life within the audience. One should, therefore, seek the association of such pure,
unalloyed devotees, and by such association and service a neophyte devotee will
certainly develop attachment, love and devotion for the Supreme Personality of
Godhead (pg 133). 4
By Raganuga-Sadhana
The quote from Padma Purana is an example of bhava attained through raganugasadhana. In this story, a lady named Candrakanti saw the Deity of Krsna, which

(SB 3.25.25) The last line of t his verse ("raddh ratir bhaktir anukramiyati") proves that a vaidhisdhaka m ay achieve raddha (which devel ops up t o sakti, "attachment."), then rati (rati is
synonymous with bhva), and finally, bhakti (bhakti is analogous to prema).
rla Prabhupda indicates th is, ...and by such associati on and service a neophy te devotee
[vaidhi-sdhaka] will certain ly d evelop attach ment [raddha-sakti], l ove [ bhva] and devot ion
[prema] for the Supreme Personality of Godhead (pg 133).
See BRS 1.3.12, com: Mukunda Dsa; and BRS 1.3.13.

aroused her desire to dance with Krsna throughout the night. Her dancing is an
example of raganuga-sadhana-bhakti because she desired to develop the sentiments of
the ragatmikas, namely the gopis of Vraja.
By this raganuga-sadhana she achieved bhava, evidenced by the fact that she
remained dancing all night, without wasting a moment on rest. This reluctance to
waste time is a symptom of bhava known as avyartha-kalatvam.

By Mercy
Achieving bhava solely by mercy is not common. Srila Prabhupada says that one who
expects to achieve bhava by mercy alone is like one who expects to complete college
not by studying hard, but by getting an honorary degree.

by Practice

by Mercy


Good wishes

There are three ways of receiving

Krsna's mercy: (1) vacika by a verbal
blessing, (2) darsana-dana blessing by
appearing in person to the devotee, and (3)
harda by a heartfelt, unspoken blessing.
Srila Prabhupada translates these as: simply
by speaking, simply by glancing and simply
by good wishes (pg 133).

Vacika Verbal Blessing

Naradiya Purana illustrates a devotee achieving mercy through a verbal blessing.
Krsna blesses Narada to achieve bhava-bhakti (devotional service full of transcendental
bliss): O best of the brahmanas [Narada], I wish that you may develop unalloyed
devotional service to Me, which is full of transcendental bliss and all auspiciousness
(pg 133).
Darsana-Dana Blessing by Personal Appearance
Skanda Purana illustrates a devotee achieving mercy through the Lord's personal
appearance: When the inhabitants of the Jangala Province saw the Personality of
Godhead, Krsna, they were so stricken with feeling that they could not withdraw their
glance from Him (pg 134).
The Inhabitants of Jangala were not qualified to see the Lord, but out of His
causeless mercy He gave them His darsan. When they glanced upon Him they became
stricken with feeling (bhava) and could not look away from the Lord for a moment.
Harda Heartfelt Blessings
Krsna or His devotee may bestow heartfelt blessings. Suka-samhita illustrates heartfelt
blessings from Krsna. While still within the womb of his mother, Sukadeva Gosvami
achieved bhava. Since he had not yet come out of the womb to see or hear the Lord,
one can surmise that he attained this perfection by the Lord's heartfelt blessings.

Chapter 17 finishes with two examples of achieving bhava by the heartfelt good
wishes of a devotee. The first example is Prahlada Maharaja, who received the good
wishes of Narada while within the womb of his mother. The second example is
Mrgrari the Hunter, who became an exalted devotee simply by the good wishes of
Narada Muni.
The Southern Division of Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu (Chapters 20-34 of Nectar of
Devotion) gives a more detailed analysis of the transcendental symptoms of bhava.
Srila Prabhupada therefore states, This ecstatic love for Krsna can be divided into five
divisions, which will be described by Srila Rupa Gosvami later on (pg 134).


Chapter Eighteen

Character of One in Ecstatic Love

BRS 1.3.25 - 61

Chapter Eighteen continues Srila Rupa Gosvami's description of bhava-bhakti.

Symptoms of Bhava
One characteristic of bhava is citta-masrnya a soft heart, sensitive to Krsna conscious
emotions. Various emotional reactions like crying, shivering, faltering of the voice, etc.
symptomize such softness of disposition. 5
Any actor or actress can imitate tears, shivering, etc. it does not mean they have
bhava-bhakti. Furthermore, sometimes a devotee who really does have bhava may purposely
conceal these emotional symptoms and remain undetected. Therefore, external symptoms are
not sufficient evidence to ascertain that a devotee has achieved bhava-bhakti.
In Srimad-Bhagavatam (2.3.24), Srila Prabhupada explains, Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti
Thakura has very critically discussed all these bhava displays in connection with some
unscrupulous neophyte's imitating the above symptoms for cheap adoration. Not only
Visvanatha Cakravarti but also Srila Rupa Gosvami treats them very critically. Sometimes all the
above eight symptoms of ecstasy are imitated by mundane devotees... Therefore real, steady
bhava is definitely displayed in the mater of cessation of material desires (ksanti), utilization of
every moment in the transcendental loving service of the Lord (avyartha-kalatvam), eagerness
for glorifying the Lord constantly (nama-gane sada ruci), attraction for living in the land of the
Lord (pritis tad-vasanti sthale), complete detachment from material happiness (virakti), and
pridelessness (mana-sunyata). One who has developed all these transcendental qualities is really
possessed of the bhava stage, as distinguished from the stone hearted imitator or mundane
devotee. 6

Nine Reliable Symptoms

Srila Rupa Gosvami gives a list of nine character traits possessed by a genuine bhava-bhakta. A
person can neither imitate nor conceal these nine symptoms, and thus they are excellent
standards for ascertaining the achievement of bhava.
1. Avyartha-kalatvam Utilization of time. Constant engagement in devotional service,
twenty-four hours a day.
2. Ksanti Perseverance. To remain tolerant and patient, even amid great disturbance.
3. Virakti Detachment. Complete indifference to objects of sense gratification. 7
4. Mana-sunyata Pridelessness. One feels humble, even though he is extremely elevated.

Chapter Twenty-Eight will fully describe these emotional reactions.

The reader is encouraged to read rmad-Bhgavatam 2.3.24 in its entirety.
There are two types of detachm ent: vairgya and virakti. Before one achieves the stage of bhva, he may be able to
manifest vairgya; he can keep him self forcibly separated from the objects of sense grat ification, and t hus control
his senses. At the stage of bhva, however, one m anifests a superi or type of detachment. This superior detachment
is virakti, wherein one completely looses all taste fo r th e o bjects of the senses. Thus his senses rem ain entirely
controlled, even if he is directly in the midst of sense objects.

5. Asa-bandha Hope against hope. Firm faith that Krsna will deliver one to the highest
perfection, even though one feels low and utterly unqualified to achieve it on his own. 8
6. Samutkantha Intense eagerness for achieving pure loving service.
7. Nama-gane sada ruci Constant attraction to chanting Hare Krsna.
8. Asaktis tad-gunakhyane Addiction to glorifying Krsna's qualities.
9. Pritis tad-vasati sthale Love for living in the Lord's Dhama.
After listing the nine characteristics, Srila Rupa Gosvami separately defines and illustrates each
one with sastric examples. (See Nectar of Devotion pages 135 - 139).

Ecstatic Symptoms in Neophyte or Non-Devotees

Sometimes non-devotees may seem to exhibit signs of ecstasy. This is simply an external display
of mundane emotion. Genuine ecstatic symptoms are the private domain of advanced devotees
with strong and exclusive attachment for Krsna. They can never appear in people attached to
sense gratification or liberation. It is said by Rupa Gosvami that the attachment exhibited by
pure devotees for Krsna cannot possibly be perfected in the hearts of fruitive workers or mental
speculators (pg 139)."
Even those who arduously execute sadhana-bhakti may not attain bhava, so what to speak
of a non-devotee? Srila Prabhupada says, "This attachment is very confidentially kept by Krsna
and is bestowed only upon pure devotees. Even ordinary devotees cannot have such pure
attachment for Krsna. Therefore, how is it possible for success to be achieved by persons whose
hearts are contaminated by the actions and reactions of fruitive activities and who are entangled
by various types of mental speculation? (pg 139)"
When neophyte or non-devotees display emotions that resemble the symptoms of bhava
it is known as raty-abhasa: a mere reflection of bhava. There are two types of raty-abhasa: (1)
prati-bimba "reflective," and (2) chaya "shadow."

Reflective Attachment Prati-Bimba Raty-Abhasa

Someone may execute devotional service with an ulterior motive for fruitive gain or liberation.
In this case, although the motive is corrupt, the practice is usually quite intense. While
performing devotional activities in the association of advanced devotees such a person may
experience symptoms that resemble ecstasy, because the genuine ecstasy of advanced devotees
are reflecting upon the mirror of his heart.
Srila Prabhupada explains, Sometimes it is found that a person actually attached to
material enjoyment or salvation has the good fortune to associate with pure devotees while they
are engaged in chanting the holy name of the Lord. By the good grace of the Lord one may also
cooperate and join in the chanting. At that time, simply by the association of such pure

Due to self-realization, one becomes fully aware of how insignificant and helpless one is: It is impossible for him to
achieve anything on his own, not to mention achieving the highest, most rare thing: kna-prema. Thus the devotee
becomes despondent.
However, self-realization also causes one t o unders tand the omnipotence of t he Lord, and the unfathomable
affection He has for all living entities. Therefore, although one is completely unable to achieve anything on his own,
he is sure that Kna will help him. Thus he becomes fully confident of achieving the highest success, in spite of his

devotees, the moonlike rays from their hearts reflect on him, and by the influence of the pure
devotees he may show some likeness of attachment... (pg 140)

Shadow Attachment Chaya Raty-Abhasa

Sometime a person may execute devotional service out of social convention or vague curiosity.
Compared to reflective attachment, this devotional service is less intense, but the motive is not
nearly as corrupt. Such people may exhibit a slight resemblance of ecstatic symptoms, especially
when they join kirtana, attend big festivals, visit the holy Dhama, or get the occasional
association of saintly devotees.
Srila Prabhupada explains, Such shadow attachment or para attachment can develop if
one associates with a pure devotee or visits holy places like Vrndavana or Mathura, and if an
ordinary man develops such attachment for Krsna and fortunately performs devotional activities
in the association of pure devotees, he can also rise to the platform of pure devotional service
(pg 140).
The previous type of raty-abhasa (prati-bimba) more intensely reflects bhava it is like
an image reflected in a mirror. However, in chaya raty-abhasa the symptoms are not as clearly
reflected it is more like a shadow cast on the ground, there is only a vague semblance to the
original object. Therefore Srila Prabhupada translates chaya raty-abhasa as "shadow
attachment," and prati-bimba raty-abhasa as "reflective attachment."
Srila Prabhupada describes shadow attachment (chaya) as para transcendental. Even
though it is less intense, shadow attachment (chaya) is better than reflective attachment (pratibimba) because there is less ulterior motive.

Transforming Raty-Abhasa Into Genuine Bhava

The power of the devotees is the only cause of both semblances of ecstasy. If one serves these
devotees, his imitative attachment can transform into genuine attachment. Srila Prabhupada
explains, ...If such attachment is seen manifested even in some common man, by the
association of a pure devotee it can bring one to the perfectional stage. But such attachment for
Krsna cannot be invoked in a person without his being sufficiently blessed by the association of
pure devotees (pg 140).
In other words, the only way that one can transform his imitative emotions into genuine
bhava is by receiving the mercy of a pure devotee. This mercy is attained by service, and blocked
by offences. If someone offends a devotee, whatever attachment he has achieved real or
imagined will wane away to nothing.
Srila Prabhupada explains, As attachment can be invoked by the association of pure
devotees, so attachment can also be extinguished by offences committed at the lotus feet of pure
devotees. To be more clear, by the association of pure devotees, attachment for Krsna can be
aroused, but if one commits an offence at the lotus feet of a devotee, one's shadow attachment or
para attachment can be extinguished... If the offence is very serious, then one's attachment
becomes almost nil, and if the offence is not very serious, one's attachment becomes second
class or third class (pg 141).
The most offensive mentality is impersonalism. If one even associates with an
impersonalist, his devotional ecstasy will wane and be extinguished. Srila Prabhupada explains,
If someone becomes attached to the principles of salvation or to merging into the existence of


the brahmajyoti, his ecstasies gradually diminish into shadow and para attachment or else
transform into the principles of ahangrahopasana (pg 141). 9
The person who associates with impersonalists becomes contaminated by the notion, "I
am God." Srila Prabhupada says, it is his view that by worshipping himself he is worshipping
the supreme whole... Sometimes it is found that a neophyte is taking part in chanting and
dancing very enthusiastically, but within himself he is under the impression that he has become
the supreme whole (pg 141).
This offensive mentality undermines any hope for advancement to genuine bhava-bhakti.

Apparently Causeless Bhava

If a person who apparently has not undergone serious devotional practices suddenly manifests
symptoms of ecstasy, one should not automatically assume that he is pretending or exhibiting
one of the varieties of raty-abhasa. His ecstasy may be genuine. ...if it is seen that a person has
developed a high standard of devotion without having undergone even the regulative principles,
it is to be understood that his status of devotional service was achieved in a former life (pg

Attitude Towards "Faults" In Devotees

If a person on the platform of bhava appears to have some fault, how should we understand
this? Srila Rupa Gosvami explains that although bhava has arisen, it has not yet completely
destroyed all sinful reactions. One should disregard such "faults," understanding that the
devotee will soon become completely perfect by the glorious force of his devotion.
Srila Prabhupada says, The example is given that on the full moon there are some spots
which may appear to be pockmarks. Still, the illumination spread by the full moon cannot be
checked. Similarly, a little fault in the midst of volumes of devotional service is not at all to be
counted as a fault (pg 142).

The term ahangrahopsan refers to self-worship


Eastern Ocean
Fourth Wave

Chapter 19


Chapter Nineteen

Devotional Service in Pure Love of God

BRS 1.4.1 - 21

Chapter Nineteen covers prema-bhakti the Fourth Wave of the Eastern Ocean.
The philosophical discussion of prema is quite brief because prema is simply the mature state of
bhava, and Srila Rupa Gosvami has already extensively described bhava.
Bhava softens the heart. Prema softens the heart completely. When bhava deepens to the
maximum it is called prema.
Srila Rupa Gosvami described bhava as a ray of prema. Both the sun and the sun-ray
possess light, but there is a difference of intensity. Similarly, both bhava and prema possess
ecstatic love of God, but it is not as intense in bhava as it becomes at the stage of prema.

Definition of Prema
samyan masrnita-svanto
bhavah sa eva sandratma
budhaih prema nigadyate
samyak completely; masrnita-svantah which makes the heart soft; mamatva a sense of
ownership; atisaya-ankitah marked with an abundance; bhava emotion; sah that; eva
certainly; sandratma whose nature is very condensed; budhaih by learned persons;
prema love of Godhead; nigadyate is described.
When that bhava softens the heart completely, becomes endowed with a great feeling of
possessiveness in relation to the Lord and becomes very much condensed and intensified, it
is called prema [love of Godhead] by learned scholars. (Cc Madhya 23.7)
This is Srila Rupa Gosvami's definition of prema-bhakti, which he confirms with the following
quote: In the Narada-pancaratra it is clearly stated that when lust is transferred to he Supreme
Godhead and the concept of kinship is completely reposed in Him, such is accepted as pure love
of God by great authorities like Bhisma, Prahlada, Uddhava and Narada (pg 143).
He explains further, Great authorities like Bhisma have explained that love of Godhead
means completely giving up all so-called love for any other person. According to Bhisma, love
means reposing one's affection completely upon one person, withdrawing all affinities for any
other person (pg 143).

Primary and Secondary Characteristics

The primary characteristic of prema is: bhavah sa eva sandratma it is the intensified (sandra)
state of bhava.
The secondary characteristics of prema are: (1) samyan masrnita-svanto it completely
softens the heart, and (2) mamatva-atisayankitah it is marked by highly possessive ownership
of Sri Krsna.

Mamatva Highly Possessive Ownership of Krsna

Ordinary devotional service has the mood of tadiya "I am Krsna's." Prema-bhakti, however,
has the mood of mamatva "Krsna is mine!"
In bhava-bhakti one gets vision of the Lord and understands his eternal relationship with
Krsna. However, in prema-bhakti one actually enters the Lord's pastimes in one's eternal spiritual
identity, overwhelmed with the mood that "Krsna is my son," or "Krsna is my friend," or "Krsna
is my lover."

Achieving Prema
There are two ways to achieve prema: (1) by the maturation of bhava, and (2) by the Lord's
extraordinary mercy.




Prema Arising from Maturation of Bhava

There are two subdivisions of prema arising from bhava:
(1) vaidha-bhavottho prema arising from bhava achieved
through vaidhi-sadhana, and (2) raganugiya-bhavattho prema
arising from bhava achieved through raganuga-sadhana.
Prema Arising From Bhava Achieved Through Vaidhi-Sadhana

A devotee, in the course of executing the regulative principles of devotional service, develops
his natural Krsna consciousness, and being thus softened at heart he chants and dances like a
madman. While performing chanting of the holy name of the Lord, he sometimes cries,
sometimes talks wildly, sometimes sings, and sometimes without caring for any outsider
dances like a madman (pg 144).
This verse (SB 11.2.40) shows that constantly practicing the regulative principles of
devotional service (vaidhi) can arouse bhava.
Prema Arising From Bhava Achieved Through Raganuga-Sadhana
Srila Rupa Gosvami cites the story of Candrakanti, from Padma Purana. Candrakanti practiced
raganuga-sadhana, striving to develop the mood of the ragatmikas of Vrndavana, specifically the
gopis. By this practice she achieved bhava, at which point she decided to accept no one else
besides Krsna as her husband. This complete indifference to anyone other than Krsna is one of
the nine symptoms of bhava, namely virakti.
By maturation of her bhava-bhakti, she began to constantly engage in meditation on
Krsna's form with the concept "Krsna is my lover." This indicates mamatva a symptom of
prema. Thus she achieved prema by maturation of the bhava she achieved through raganugasadhana. 1

Prema Achieved by the Extraordinary Mercy of Krsna

Srimad-Bhagavatam 11.12.7 exemplifies this, Lord Krsna tells Uddhava, the gopis of Vrndavana
did not study the Vedas to achieve Me. Nor had they ever been in holy places of pilgrimage. Nor
did they ever devoutly execute any regulative principle. Nor did they undergo any kind of

See Jva Gosvm & Mukunda dsa BRS 1.4.7 - 8.


austerity. It is simply by My association that they have attained the highest perfection of
devotional service (pg 144).

Two Types of Prema

There are two types of prema-bhakti: (1) mahatmya-jnana prema mixed with knowledge of the
Lord's majesty, and (2) kevala unmixed, pure prema. Srila Prabhupada says that prema ...can
be placed under two headings: one is profound veneration for the greatness of the Lord, and the
other is one's being automatically attracted to Krsna without any extraneous consideration (pg

Narada-pancatratra illustrates prema imbued with knowledge of the Lord's greatness: ...if on
account of profound veneration for the greatness of the Supreme Lord one attains a great
affection and steady love for Him, one is certainly assured of achieving the four kinds of
Vaisnava liberation... (pg 145)
Devotees who achieved bhava from vaidhi-sadhana can attain mahatmya-jnana-prema.

Kevala-prema, pure and one-pointed prema, is not even slightly mixed with any other aspiration
or interest such as aspiration for Vaikuntha liberation, or interest in the Lord's profound
power and opulence.
A devotee with one-pointed love (kevala-prema) always lovingly fixes his mind upon Sri
Krsna without the slightest deviation to any other topic. Srila Rupa Gosvami explains this with a
quote from Narada-pancaratra, If a devotee is
continuously in love with Lord Krsna and his mind
is always fixed upon Him, that devotional attitude
will prove to be the only means of attracting the
attention of the Lord. In other words, a Vaisnava
who is always thinking of the form of Lord Krsna
vaidha-bhvottho rgnugya-bhvottho
is to be known as a pure Vaisnava (pg 145).
Devotees who achieved bhava from
raganuga-sadhana can attain kevala-prema.

Evolution to Prema

Generally, one attains prema only by persistent,

ardent practice not by a sudden stroke of mercy. Srila Rupa Gosvami describes the gradual
evolution from sraddha to prema:
adau sraddha tatah sadhusango 'tha bhajana-kriya
tato 'nartha-nivrtti syat
tato nistha rucis tatah
athasaktis tato bhavas
tatah premabhy udancati
sadhakanamayam premnah

pradurbhave bhavet kramah

In the beginning there must be faith. Then one becomes interested in associating with pure
devotees. Thereafter one is initiated by the spiritual master and executes the regulative
principles under his orders. Thus one is freed from all unwanted habits and becomes firmly
fixed in devotional service. Thereafter, one develops taste and attachment. This is the way of
sadhana-bhakti, the execution of devotional service according to the regulative principles.
Gradually emotions intensify, and finally there is an awakening of love. This is the Gradual
development of love of Godhead for the devotee interested in Krsna consciousness. (Cc.
Madhya 23.14-15)
Srila Prabhupada summarizes these verses in Nectar of Devotion, page 146, first

Difficulty of Understanding Prema

Usually, we judge a person's level of success by how happy he has become. This standard
becomes useless when applied to a prema-bhakta. A devotee in prema is so inundated in waves of
transcendental emotion that he cannot even perceive external happiness or distress.
Consequently, attempting to measure success by conventional standards is fruitless, and misses
the point.
'My dear supreme goddess, you may know from me that anyone who has developed the
ecstasy of love for the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and who is always merged in
transcendental bliss on account of this love, cannot even perceive the material distress or
happiness coming from the body or mind (pg 146).

Further Information on Prema

Srila Rupa Gosvami refers the reader to Brhad-bhagavatamrta by Sri Sanatana Gosvami for a
more detailed description of the affections and dealings of prema-bhakti. He ends the Eastern
Division by offering obeisances to his guru Sanatana Gosvami, and other prominent


Part Two:
Southern Ocean

II: Samanya-Bhagavad-Bhakti-Rasa Overview of Transcendental Mellows

1: Vibhava Ecstatic Excitants

Chapters 20 - 26

2: Anubhava Ecstatic Expressions

Chapter 27

3: Sattvika-Bhava Involuntary Ecstatic Expressions

Chapter 28

4: Vyabhicari-Bhava Transient Ecstatic Disturbances

Chapters 29 - 31

5: Sthayi-Bhava Permanent Ecstatic Mood

Chapters 32 - 34


Southern Ocean
First Wave

Chapters 20 - 26


Chapter 20

Transcendental Mellow
BRS 2.1.1 - 18

To inaugurate the Southern Ocean of Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu, Srila Rupa Gosvami
offers his respectful obeisances unto "Sanatana." This can indicate either Sri Krsna
Himself (sanatana = Eternal Lord) or Sanatana Gosvami, who is Rupa Gosvami's elder
brother and spiritual master.
Srila Prabhupada explains, This Sanatana can be interpreted as either Sri
Krsna Himself or as Sanatana Gosvami, the elder brother and spiritual master of Rupa
Gosvami (page 151).
Srila Rupa Gosvami says that "Sanatana" is agha-damano. This glorifies Krsna
as the 'killer of Aghasura' and it simultaneously glorifies Sanatana Gosvami as the
'destroyer of sins' (agha).
Srila Prabhupada explains, In the case where Sanatana is accepted to mean
Sri Krsna, the obeisances are offered to Krsna because He is naturally so beautiful and
because He is the killer of the demon Agha. If it is interpreted to mean Sanatana
Gosvami, then it is because he is so greatly favored by Rupa Gosvami, being always
served by him, and because he is the annihilator of all kinds of sinful activities (page


The Southern Division of Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu describes how a devotee relishes
rasa, transcendental mellow. Rasa is not simply one's eternal relationship with Krsna.
Instead, rasa occurs when one's affectionate relationship is intensified and stimulated
to a relishable crescendo.
There are five components of rasa: the eternal affection, and four types of
emotional experiences which intensify that affection. Each of the five waves in the
Southern Division will discuss one component in detail. Srila Rupa Gosvami first gives
a brief summary of each:

The First Wave Vibhava

Chapters 20-26
The first wave describes the first component of rasa vibhava.
Vibhava is that which stimulates one's eternal affection for Krsna, heightening
it to the point of relishable intensity.

We can grasp the basic concept of vibhava with help from a simple example: A
mother has constant affection for her child, but sometimes it is in the background of
her thoughts. To relish that affection requires some stimulus. Seeing her child's
beautiful face, for example, can heighten her motherly affection to a relishable
Her child's face corresponds to vibhava it simulates her basic motherly
affection to the point of relishable intensity.
In The Nectar of Devotion, Srila Prabhupada defines vibhava as, "causes of
ecstasy (page 151).

The Second Wave Anubhava

Chapter 27
The second wave describes the second component of rasa anubhava.
Anubhava is an action that results from heightened affection for Krsna, which
serves to further enhance that affection.
We can return to the same example: When a mother's affection is stimulated,
loving emotions swell up in the heart and must be expressed. Perhaps she will
embrace her child. This corresponds to anubhava. It results from heightened affection
and serves to further enhance that affection.
Anu means "to follow," in a chronological and/or ontological sense. Anubhava
is an outward result that follows from one's heightened affection. Therefore, Srila
Prabhupada translates anubhava as "subsequent ecstasy." 1

The Third Wave Sattvika-Bhava

Chapter 28
The third wave describes the third component of rasa sattvika-bhava.
Sattvika-bhava is an involuntary reaction that results from heightened affection
for Krsna, which serves to further enhance that affection.
Both anubhava and sattvika-bhava are expressions that result from heightened
affection for Krsna, but they are distinct in an important way: Anubhava involves a
conscious decision how to suitably express one's ecstasy. Sattvika-bhava, however, is
an unpremeditated, involuntary expression arising directly from the spiritually
surcharged consciousness.
There are eight sattvika-bhavas, such as hair standing on end, becoming
stunned, crying, etc.

W ebster's defines subsequent: (1) occurri ng or com ing l ater or aft er. (2) fol lowing i n order or
succession; succeeding.

These symptoms are called sattvika because the arise directly from the suddhasattva enriched soul which is the constitutional nature of the living entity.
Consequently. Srila Prabhupada defines sattvika-bhava as "constitutional or existential
ecstasy." 2

The Fourth Wave Vyabhicari-Bhava

Chapters 29 - 31
The fourth wave describes the fourth component of rasa vyabhicari-bhava.
Vyabhicari-bhava is an emotional experience that results from intensified
affection for Krsna, which serves to embellish and further stimulate that affection.
We can grasp the basic concept of vyabhicari-bhava by returning to our original
example: Seeing her baby precariously crawling on the edge of a cliff, a mother's
affection intensifies drastically, embellished by the flavor of extreme anxiety. This
intense emotional experience corresponds to vyabhicari-bhava transitory emotions
that result from intensified affection, which embellish and further stimulate that
A transcendental example: When Mother Yasoda saw Krsna enwrapped in the
deadly coils of Kaliya her love for Him intensified drastically, causing acute motherly
distress. This distress is a vyabhicari-bhava that further stimulated her worriful
motherly affection for Krsna.
Vyabhicari-bhavas arise like waves from the ocean of one's heightened affection
for Krsna, embellish and flavor it, and then return into that ocean to heighten it even
Srila Prabhupada defines vyabhicari-bhava as "aggressive ecstasy." 3

The Fifth Wave Sthayi-Bhava

Chapters 32 - 34
The fifth wave describes the fifth and final component of rasa sthayi-bhava.
Sthayi-bhava is one's eternal mood of affection for Krsna (as a passive admirer,
servant, friend, parent, etc.). Srila Prabhupada defines sthayi-bhava as "continuous
Another term for sthayi-bhava is rati.

W ebster's defines constitution: (1) t he way i n whi ch a t hing i s com posed or m ade up; m akeup;
composition. A liv ing en tity is co mposed o f brahman, sp irit. Th us, th e liv ing en tity's co nstitution is
spirit-soul. Ecstasy th at arises d irectly fro m th e uddha-sattva enriched soul is sttvika-bhva:
"constitutional ecstasy."
3 Another term for vyabhicr-bhva is sacari-bhva. The two are entirely synonymous.

Rasa commonly indicates one's eternal relationship with Krsna. Strictly speaking, this
is inaccurate. Rati, not rasa, is the correct term.
Rasa occurs when the above-mentioned bhavas stimulate rati and heighten it to
an unprecedented intensity. When these five bhavas properly combine, one can taste
Srila Prabhupada explains, The different types of rasa, when combined
together, help one to taste the mellow of devotional service in the highest degree of
transcendental ecstasy (page 151). . . Without some mixture of these five ecstatic
principles, one cannot relish transcendental bliss (page 153). 4
Srila Rupa Gosvami says the taste of rasa is so astonishing that it always remains
apurvata: unprecedented, eternally fresh and new, as if being experienced for the very
first time. Thus Srila Prabhupada says, Such a position, although entirely
transcendental to our experience, will be explained in this section as far as possible,
following in the footsteps of Srila Rupa Gosvami (page 151).
Srila Prabhupada, wanting to help us appreciate the transcendental position,
explains it in a way we can relate to. He compares the extraordinary taste relished in
our eternal relationship with Krsna to the taste we can find in our devotional practices
(sadhana). Generally this mellow is experienced by chanting, hearing, worshipping in
the temple, and being engaged in the service of the lord (page 152).
This also gives a clue to how one may achieve the transcendental experience of

Achieving Rasa
Previously, Srila Rupa Gosvami made a point about sadhana, No one can take to
devotional service unless he has had a previous connection with it (page 19). Yet
Srila Prabhupada notes in his commentary: . . .even if there is no continuity, if only
by chance one takes interest in a pure devotee's instruction, he can be accepted and
can advance in devotional service (page 19).
In this chapter, Srila Rupa Gosvami reiterates his point, in the context of rasa:
This relishing of transcendental mellow in discharging devotional service cannot be
experienced by all classes of men, because this sweet loving mood is developed only
from one's previous life's' activities. . . (page 152) 5


In this quotation, rla Prabhupda uses the term rasa to indicate the five different types of bhvas.
By perfect execution of sdhana one m ay achieve the stage of bhva. In th e n ext life, that bhva is
given proper facility to mature into rasa.

Again, Srila Prabhupada notes that tasting rasa is also possible by the mercy of
a pure devotee. In other words, this transcendental bliss is not to be enjoyed by any
common man unless he is so extraordinarily fortunate as to be in association with
devotees or to be continuing his previous birth's devotional activities (page 152).
Rasa Attained by Sadhana
Srila Rupa Gosvami states that one can achieve the platform of rasa by discharge of
sadhana-bhakti, particularly by hearing the Srimad-Bhagavatam and associating with
rasika Vaisnavas. 6 Srila Prabhupada summarizes, This joyous life is attained by one's
reaction to reading Bhagavada-Gita or Srimad-Bhagavatam, or else from associating
with persons who are very interested in the spiritual life of Krsna consciousness
specifically those who have made the determination to achieve the favor of Govinda
by being engaged in transcendental loving service at His lotus feet (page 152).
By hearing and chanting, one achieves the blissful experience of rasa. To
confirm this Srila Prabhupada quotes the First Canto: The beginning is to hear about
Lord Krsna in the association of devotees who have themselves cleansed their hearts
by association. Hearing about the transcendental activities of the Lord will result in
one's feeling transcendental bliss always (page 152). 7
Srila Prabhupada further confirms this with a quotation from Bhagavada-gita. 8

Relation of Rasa and Sadhana

Although sadhana cannot directly bestow rasa, there is a definite link between them.
By faithful adherence to sadhana one may please the Lord and thereby attract suddhasattva into his purified heart, which will cause the awakening of devotional ecstasy
bhava. This bhava matures into rasa only when "encouraged" or stimulated by various
"principles of compelling force" (varieties of vibhava).
Srila Prabhupada explains, Being encouraged by such a feeling, one who is
constantly engaged in discharging the regulative principles of devotional service in
such a way as to please the Supreme Personality of Godhead develops two principles
of compelling force, which come under the heading of vibhava. Thus one enjoys
transcendental bliss (page 152).
Srila Rupa Gosvami summarily described the process of achieving rasa. He now
reveals the finer details, beginning with its first component:


Rasika Vainava one who is accomplished in relishing rasa.

This i s a t ranslation of rmad-Bhgavatam 1.2.18 & 19:
naa-pryev abhadreu, nitya
bhgavata-sevay, bhagavaty uttama-loke, bhaktir bhavati naihik; and tad rajas-tamo-bhv,
kma-lobhdaya ca ye, ceta etair anviddha, sthitam sattve prasdati.
This is a translation of Bhagavada-gt 18.54: brahma-bhta prasanntm. . .

Definition of Vibhava
Srila Rupa Gosvami defines vibhava as that which stimulates one's eternal affection for
Krsna, heightening it to the point of relishable intensity. Srila Prabhupada summarizes
this definition: The cause or basis for relishing transcendental mellow is exactly what
we mean by vibhava (page 153).

Overview of It's Subdivisions

Vibhava has two subdivisions: (1) alambana basic, and (2) uddipana impelling.
To validate this, Srila Rupa Gosvami quotes Agni Purana: The basis from which
ecstatic love is born is called vibhava, which is divided into two basic and impelling
(page 153).
"Basic" Excitants
"Basic" excitants (vibhava-alambana) are subjects in which rati (affection) is tasted.
There are two subjects who relish the taste of affection: Krsna, and Krsna's devotees.
Chapters 21 through 25 will elaborately discuss this.
"Impelling" Excitants
"Impelling excitants" (vibhava-uddipana) are objects by which rati is tasted. There are
many objects that impel Krsna and His devotee to relish the taste of affection: Krsna's
flute, His footprints, His prasadam, etc. Srila Prabhupada says, Impelling ecstatic
love, then, is that love which develops when one sees an object which reminds him of
Krsna (page 153). Chapter 26 will elaborately discuss this.


Devotional Excitents

ex: flute

Srila Prabhupada's Summary of Vibhava's

There are several origins or causes for this
compulsive love of Krsna, such as Krsna
Himself [visaya], the devotees of Krsna
[asraya], and Krsna's playing on the flute
[uddipana] (page 153).

All the Bhavas Stimulate Ecstatic Love

Although vibhava is the primary stimulant that transforms rati into rasa, it is not the
only stimulant involved in this transformation. The heightening of rati into rasa is a

cooperative effort, accomplished by interaction of all five emotional components

vibhava, anubhava, sattvika, vyabhicari, and sthayi-bhavas.
Srila Prabhupada states, There are eight transcendental symptoms found in
the body during ecstasy, and all of them are possible only by a mixture of the above
mentioned five ecstatic divisions. Without some mixture of these five ecstatic
principles, one cannot relish transcendental bliss (page 153).

Vibhava-Alambana Basic Excitants


Devotional Excitents

ex: flute

Vibhava-alambana (subjects in which rati is

tasted) has two subdivisions: (1) visaya, and
(2) asraya.
The word visaya literally means
"object." Krsna is the object of affection.
The word asraya literally means
"shelter." Krsna's devotee is the shelter wherein
love of Godhead resides. In context, asraya
often translates into "reservoir." As a reservoir
is the source of one's water, a devotee is the

source of love of Godhead.

In Waves of Devotion, we use the phrase "object of affection" to indicate
visaya, and "reservoir of affection" to indicate asraya.
Succinctly put, asraya is the lover and visaya is the beloved.

Visaya Krsna as a Stimulus for Ecstatic Love

Krsna has different ages and forms that stimulate different devotees in different ways.
Srila Rupa Gosvami first mentions anya-rupa: Krsna taking an entirely different form
to stimulate the devotee's love for Him. An example is Brahma-vimohana-lila, when
Krsna took the forms of so many cows and cowherd boys, and thus stimulated
Balarama's ecstatic love for Him (see last paragraph of page 153).


Chapters 21 & 22
Qualities of Sri Krsna
BRS 2.1.19 - 128

The end of Chapter 20 described anya-rupa, wherein Krsna takes an entirely different
form to stimulate His devotee's affection. Anya-rupa is the first of many ways in which
Krsna stimulates ecstatic love. Chapter 21 begins by describing the second way He does so:



Devotional Excitents


His own form


A different form

Ka as HimselfKa in disguise

In sva-rupa, Krsna's own

form stimulates the devotee's
love. Sva-rupa has two
subdivisions: (1) avrta-rupa
(covered, disguised), and (2)
Personal features can be
divided into two: one feature
is covered, and the other is
manifested (page 155).
Avrta-Rupa Krsna in

In avrta-svarupa, Krsna covers Himself in a disguise. Srila Prabhupada says, When
Krsna is covered by different kinds of dress, His personal feature is called covered
(page 155).
Srimad-Bhagavatam illustrates this: Uddhava said, How wonderful it is that
this woman is attracting my ecstatic love exactly as Lord Krsna does. I think she must
be Krsna covered by the dress of a woman! (page 155)
There is a difference between anya-rupa (another form) and avrta-svarupa (a
disguised form). Anya-rupa is a completely different expansion of Krsna. Avrta-svarupa
is Krsna's own form, superficially disguised to look like someone else.
Prakata-Rupa Krsna, as He is
In prakata-svarupa, Krsna's own form, undisguised, stimulates the devotee's affection.
For example, One devotee praised the bodily features of Krsna when he saw
the Lord in His personal manifest feature [prakata-svarupa]. He exclaimed, How
wonderful is the personal feature of Lord Krsna! How His neck is just like a conch

shell! His eyes are so beautiful, as though they themselves were encountering the
beauty of a lotus flower. . . (page 155)

Krsna's 64 Qualities
Srila Rupa Gosvami includes Krsna's 64 qualities in the Second Wave (vibhava)
because they stimulate the devotee's affection for Him.

1 - 64
1 - 60
& iva
1 - 55
1 - 50

Out of Krsna's 64 qualities, ordinary living entities can

possess the first 50 "in minute quantities," Siva and Brahma can
"partially manifest" the first 55 qualities, and Narayana can
"manifest" the first 60 qualities, but only Krsna can posses any
one of these qualities to an infinite extent, "wonderfully
manifest," and "in fullness as deep as the ocean."
Moreover, Krsna exclusively possesses four unique
qualities, not found in anyone else: (1) lila-madhurya uniquely
sweet pastimes, (2) prema-madhurya uniquely sweet devotees,
(3) venu-madhurya uniquely sweet all-attractive flute, and (4)
rupa-madhurya uniquely sweet beauty.
Lila-Madhurya Uniquely Sweet Pastimes

What makes a person sweet is his submission to those who love Him. No other form
of Godhead has pastimes as sweet as Krsna's, because in no other pastimes is the Lord
so completely submissive to the love of His devotees. Thus, among all the Lord's
pastimes, Vrndavana-lila is the sweetest. And among all the Vrndavana pastimes, rasalila is the sweetest; because in rasa-lila Krsna submits to His devotee's love to the
fullest extent.
One devotee said, I know about Narayana, the husband of the goddess of
fortune, and I also know about many other incarnations of the Lord. Certainly all the
pastimes of such incarnations are exciting to my mind, but still the pastimes of the
rasa-lila performed by Lord Krsna Himself are wonderfully increasing my
transcendental pleasure (page 191).
Prema-Madhurya Uniquely Sweet Devotees
As a jewel becomes more beautiful when set in a golden ring, a person becomes more
enchanting when surrounded by those who adore him. The Vrajavasi's love for Krsna
is unparalleled. Surrounded by them, Krsna shines most brightly as the zenith of
enchanting sweetness.
Among all devotees of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the Vrajavasi's
love is the deepest. Among all the Vrajavasis, the gopi's love is best. Thus Sri Krsna is
the most attractive form of the Lord, with Srimati Radharani at His left.


Srila Rupa Gosvami helps us appreciate the gopis' intense love by quoting two
slokas from Srimad-Bhagavatam. One of them reads: . . .the gopis lament, My dear
Krsna, during the daytime when You go out into the forest of Vrndavana with Your
cows, we consider one moment to be twelve years. . . And again when You come back
at the end of the day, by seeing Your beautiful face we are so much attracted that we
are unable to stop looking upon You constantly. At these times, when there is
occasional blinking of our eyelids, we condemn the creator, Brahma, as a dunce,
because he does not know how to make perfect eyes! (page 191)
Venu-Madhurya Uniquely Sweet All-Attractive Flute
No being in this world can compare to Krsna's musical expertise. Even the great
demigods cannot understand it. Indra, the king of heaven, is a connoisseur of the finest
things in the universe. Siva and Brahma are the originators of all musical skills. Yet
neither Indra, Brahma, nor Siva can even comprehend the fascinating musicianship
that Krsna joyfully displays when playing His flute.
In Srimad-Bhagavatam, the gopis tell mother Yasoda, When your son plays on
His flute, Lord Siva, Lord Brahma and Indra although they are supposed to be the
greatest learned scholars and personalities all become bewildered. Although they
are all very great personalities, by hearing the sound of Krsna's flute they humbly bow
down and become grave from studying the sound vibrated (page 192).
Krsna's musical excellence, expressed through the melodies of His flute,
stimulates everyone to engage in His devotional service.
Rupa-Madhurya Uniquely Sweet Beauty
In this world, beautiful people use jewellery, clothing and other ornaments to enhance
their charm. Krsna, however, is bhusana-bhusanangam: He beautifies His ornaments,
not visa-versa. 9 Thus, Krsna is far more beautiful than anyone. Even amongst all
expansions and incarnations of Godhead, Krsna's beauty is supreme.
Krsna's sweet beauty attracts everyone, even Krsna Himself, to taste the bliss of
His devotional service. One day Krsna happened to see the shadow of His beautiful
form reflected on the jewelled foreground. Upon seeing this bodily reflection, He
expressed His feelings: How wonderful it is that I have never seen such a beautiful
form! Although it is My own form, still, like Radharani, I am trying to embrace this
form and enjoy celestial bliss (page 193).
Krsna's wonderful pastimes, devotees, flute-playing, and beauty make Him the
supremely attractive entity. Thus even among all expansions of Godhead, He is the
supreme stimulus (vibhava-visaya) for ecstatic love.

rmad-Bhgavatam 3.2.12.


Chapter 23

Krsna's Personality
BRS 2.1.220 - 250

Continuing the description of vibhava-visaya (Krsna as the object of loving

stimulation), Srila Rupa Gosvami explains that Krsna manifests His sweetly
stimulating qualities in three gradations of fullness, . . .when He is in Goloka
Vrndavana His transcendental qualities are exhibited as most perfect, when He is in
Dvaraka He exhibits His qualities as very perfect, and when He is in Mathura He
exhibits His qualities as perfect (page 195).

Krsna's Four Personality Traits

Besides His 64 qualities, another stimulus of ecstatic love is Krsna's personality. Srila
Rupa Gosvami defines and illustrates the four classical types of heroic personalities,
all perfectly found in Krsna: (1) dhirodatta noble, (2) dhira-lalita romantic, (3)
dhira-prasanta peaceful, and (4) dhiroddhata haughty. 10
These may appear to be contradictory traits. How can one be humble and
haughty, noble and proud? Srila Rupa Gosvami explains that Krsna is the reservoir of
all qualities, and by His inconceivable potency He can reconcile all contradictory
qualities and personality traits.
One should never consider Krsna's haughtiness, etc. to be impure. All His
characteristics are wonderfully attractive and pure; for He is completely free from
mundane inebrieties like illusion, fatigue, errors, roughness, etc. (See page 198.)

Chapter 24

Further Traits of Sri Krsna

BRS 2.1.251 - 270

Chapter 24 concludes Srila Rupa Gosvami's description of Krsna as the stimulus of

ecstatic love (vibhava, visaya-alambana) by defining and illustrating eight prominent
excellences in Krsna's character:
1. Decorated Sobha


4. Dependable Mangalya

2. Enjoying Vilasa

5. Steady Stairya

3. Pleasing Madhurya

6. Predominating Teja

In all four, the word dhra ("firmly") is common.


7. Meticulous Dresser Lalita

8. Magnanimous Audaryam


Chapter 25

Devotees of Krsna
BRS 2.1.271 - 300

Chapters 20 through 24 concern visaya (Krsna as a stimulus for ecstatic love). Chapter 25
concerns asraya (The devotee as a stimulus for ecstatic love).

Asraya The Devotee as a Stimulus for Ecstatic Love

There are two subdivisions of devotees who stimulate ecstatic love for Krsna: (1)
sadhaka the practicing devotee; (2) siddha the perfect devotee.
Srila Prabhupada says, The devotees of Krsna can be classified into two
groups: those who are cultivating devotional service in order to enter into the
transcendental kingdom, and those who are already in the perfectional stage of
devotional service (page 203).

Sadhaka - The Practicing Devotee

A sadhaka is an advanced devotee, not just any practitioner. Only one who is full of
ecstaticy love can stimulate that love to arise in others. Therefore, in this context,
sadhaka refers to devotees on the platform of rati, attraction for Krsna; in other words,
bhava-bhakti. 11
Srila Prabhupada says, A person who has attained attraction for Krsna and
who is not freed from the material impasse, but who has qualified himself to enter
into the kingdom of God, is called a sadhaka. Sadhaka means one who is cultivating
devotion in Krsna consciousness (page 203).
Since a sadhaka is at the stage of bhava, he is qualified to periodically recieve
direct darsana of Krsna. However, since he has not yet attained prema, he is not quite
out of the "material impasse." An example of this is Bilvamangala Thakura (who
began to manifest sattvika-bhava in the process of attaining perfection).
If even a sadhaka can stimulate ecstatic love, what to speak of the perfected
souls (siddha).


Thus a sdhaka must at least be a madhyama-adhikri. rla Rpa Gosvm quotes a prominent verse
from the Eleventh Canto that describes a madhyama-adhikri as one who has at least begun to develop
love for the Lord: vare tad-adhineu, blieu dviatsu ca, prema-maitri-kpokeka, ya karoti sa
madhyama. "An i ntermediate or second-cl ass devot ee, cal led madhyama-adhikri, offers hi s love to
the Suprem e personality of Godhead, is a sincere fri end to all devotees of the Lord, shows m ercy to
people who are in nocent an d d isregards th ose wh o are en vious o f th e Su preme Perso nality o f
Godhead." (SB 11.2.46)

Siddha - The Perfected Devotee

A devotee at the stage of bhava is a sadhaka-asraya-alambana. A devotee at the stage of
prema is a siddha-asraya-alambana.
Srila Rupa Gosvami defines the siddha as one who never experiences any
material distress, who always takes shelter of Krsna, who completely offers all his
activities for the Lord's pleasure, and who always tastes the happiness of uninterupted
Srila Prabhupada summarizes, When a devotee is never tired of executing
devotional service and is always engaged in Krsna Conscious activities, constantly
relishing the transcendental mellows in relationship with Krsna, he is called perfect
(page 203).
categories of siddhas (perfect
devotees): (1) nitya-siddha
those who are always perfect,
and (2) those who become

Devotees who Stimulate Ecstatic Love


There are two subNitya-Siddha

categories of those who
Became Perfect
Eternally Perfect
become perfect: (1) sadhanasiddha those who become Sdhana-Siddha
perfect by practice, and (2) Perfect by Practice
Perfect by Mercy
krpa-siddha those who
become perfect by causeless mercy.
Sadhana-Siddha Perfect by Practice
Srila Rupa Gosvami gives two examples of devotees who have achieved perfection by
practice (sadhana-siddhas): (1) SB. 3.15.25, and (2) the example of Markendeya Rsi:
Learned sages like Markendeya Rsi attained perfection in devotional service by
executing such regulative principles of service (page 204).
Krpa-Siddha Perfect by Mercy
Srila Rupa Gosvami gives two examples of devotees who have achieved perfection by
the Lord's causeless mercy (krpa-siddha): (1) The dvija-patnis (wives of the yajnic
brahmanas), and (2) Sukadeva Gosvami.
Srila Rupa Gosvami quotes their husbands, who praised them for receiving the favor
of the Lord without executing reformatory practices. (page 204)


Sukadeva Gosvami
Narada praised him thus: My dear Sukadeva Gosvami, you never took the trouble to
reside under the care of a spiritual master, yet you have attained such a great status of
transcendental knowledge. You never took the trouble to undergo severe austerities,
and still, how wonderful it is that you have been situated in the most perfect stage of
love of Godhead (page 205).

Nitya-siddha Eternally Perfect

Devotees who are never separated from Krsna are called nitya-siddha eternally
perfect. Nitya-siddhas are on the same platform as Sri Krsna, since they, like He, are
never touched by maya. Persons who have achieved eternal blissful life exactly on the
level of Sri Krsna, and who are able to attract Lord Krsna by their transcendental
loving service, are called eternally perfect (page 205).
In the Padma Purana the Lord tells Satyabhama, My dear wife, you should not
consider that My associates are ever separated from Me (page 205).
This is confirmed in a later reference from the same Purana: When the
Supreme Lord returns to His eternal abode, His associates return with Him to their
respective places. As such, these ever liberated Vaisnavas are never bound by the
material laws of birth and death (page 206).
Quoting Bhagavada-Gita, Srila Prabhupada points out that the birth, deeds, and
activities of nitya-siddha devotees are as transcendental as the Lord's. 12
Eternal Individuality of Nitya-Siddhas
Just as the post of God is eternally filled by Krsna, the various nitya-siddhas are also
eternally situated in their respective posts. Thus, . . .as it is an offence to consider
oneself Krsna, so it is offensive to consider oneself to be Yasoda, Nanda or any other
associate of the Lord (page 206).
Nitya-Siddhas Possess 55 of Krsna's Qualities
As previously described, Krsna possesses 64 qualities, and a pure devotee can possess
the first 50 (in minute quantity). The nitya-siddhas, however, posses 55 qualities, all
of the ever liberated souls who accompany the Lord have the first fifty-five of the
qualities, without any doubt (page 206).


The verse rla Prabhupda paraphrases is BG 4.9: Janma karma ca me divyam. . .


Chapter 26

Stimulation for Ecstatic Love

BRS 2.1.301 - 384

Chapters 20 - 25 concern alambana (Krsna or Krsna's devotee as a stimulus for ecstatic

love). Chapter 26 concerns uddipana (Objects related to Krsna or His devotee, which
stimulate ecstatic love).
There are four categories of uddipana (objects that stimulate love of Krsna): (1) guna
the Lord's qualities, (2) cesta His adventures, (3) prasadhana His
embellishments and attire, and (4) prakirna miscellaneous stimulants.

Guna Qualities
There are three categories of Krsna's qualities: (1) Krsna's bodily qualities, (2) His
mental qualities, and (3) His vocal qualities.
Srila Prabhupada says, As far as Krsna's transcendental qualities are
concerned, they can be divided into three groups: qualities pertaining to His
transcendental body, qualities pertaining to His transcendental speech and qualities
pertaining to His transcendental mind (page 209).
Alambana or Uddipana?
A question arises: Vibhava-alambana refers to Krsna as the stimulus for ecstatic love.
Krsna's body, mind, and words are non-different from Him, so why does Srila Rupa
Gosvami separately categorize them as uddipana?
The Nectar of Devotion gives the answer: There is no difference between
Krsna and His body, and therefore the transcendental features pertaining to His body
are the same as Krsna Himself. But because these qualities stimulate the devotee's
ecstatic love, they have been analyzed as separate causes of that love. . . In technical
Sanskrit terms, such qualities as Krsna's name and fame are accepted both as
reservoirs of and as stimulations for love of Krsna (pages 209 - 210).
Krsna's body, mind, and words are both alambana and uddipana; and may be
described as either, depending on the point of view. If considered non-different from
His personality, they are alambana. If considered distinct entities (for the sake of more
detailed analysis), they are uddipana.
Bodily Qualities (Guna)
Srila Rupa Gosvami has already described Krsna's mind and speech in the section on
visaya-alambana (Chapters 21 & 22). Therefore, he now only discusses the qualities
of Krsna's body.

Krsna's bodily qualities are of four types: (1) age, (2) beauty, (3) ornaments,
and (4) softness.

Srila Rupa Gosvami describes three distinct age periods in Krsna's pastimes: (1)
kaumara 1-5 years old; (2) pauganda 6-10 years old; and (3) kaisora 11-15
years old.
Different ages stimulate
different relationships with Krsna.
Srila Prabhupada explains, His
Rpa Prakra
affectionate pastimes with His
parents are exhibited in His
kaumara age. His friendship with
the cowherd boys is exhibited
Beauty Ornaments Softness
during the pauganda period. And
His friendship with the gopis is
exhibited during the age of kaisora.
Kumra Paugua Kaiora
Krsna's pastimes at Vrndavana are
finished by the end of His fifteenth
year, and then He is transferred to Mathura and Dvaraka, where all other pastimes are
performed (page 210).


Kaisora Adolescence
Srila Rupa Gosvami divides kaisora into three
parts: (1) adya kaisora early adolescence;
(2) madhya kaisora mid-adolescence; and
(3) antya kaisora late adolescence.
Adya-Kaisora 11 to 12

Ka's Age

6 - 10





At this age, The luster of His body becomes so

bright that it becomes an impetus for ecstatic love.
Similarly, there are reddish borders around His eyes, and a growth of soft hairs around
His body (page 210).
A gopi named Kundalata describes Adya-Kisora-Krsna, My dear friend, I have
just seen an extraordinary beauty appearing in the person of Krsna. His blackish
bodily hue appears just like the indranila jewel. There are reddish signs on His eyes,
and small soft hairs are coming out of His body. The appearance of these symptoms
has made Him extraordinarily beautiful (page 210).


Madhya-Kaisora 13 to 14
At this age, Krsna's body manifests in a more developed way. When Krsna attained
thirteen years of age, His two thighs were challenging the trunks of elephants, His
rising chest was trying to come with peace talks with doors of jewels, and His two
arms were minimizing the value of the bolts found on doors. Who can describe the
wonderful beauty of these features of Krsna (page 211)?
Srila Rupa Gosvami describes, The special beauty of Krsna's body was His
mild smiling, His restless eyes and His world-enchanting songs. These are the special
features of this age (page 211).
Special pastimes characterize madhya kaisora. At this age Krsna enjoyed the
rasa-lila, exhibiting His power of joking with the cowherd girls and enjoying their
company in the bushes of the gardens by the
bank of the Yamuna (page 212).
Srila Rupa Gosvami describes the
special sights in Vrndavana caused by
Krsna's madhya-kaisora pastimes with the
gopis. He then describes the powerful effect
of Krsna mid-adolescent features on the
minds of the gopis (See page 212).

Krsna's ages
and their attractions:

beautiful bodily luster, reddish edges
around the eyes, soft new bodily hairs

Srila Rupa Gosvami gives a similar analysis
and description antya-kaisora, which begins
at the age of fifteen (see the end of page 212
to the first paragraph of page 213).

mild smiling, restless eyes, worldenchanting flute songs, rasa-lila
all the above qualities reach full

After antya kaisora (at the age of 16), the features of Krsna's body are nava-yauvana.
He continuously manifests this age throughout the remainder of His pastimes.
Descriptions of nava-yauvana begin from the first paragraph of page 213.

After age, beauty is the second category of Krsna's bodily qualities that stimulate
ecstatic love (uddipana). Srila Rupa Gosvami says, Krsna was beautiful because every
part of His body was perfectly arranged without any defect (page 213).

Krsna's ornaments are the third category of bodily qualities that stimulate ecstatic
love. Srila Rupa Gosvami describes this in an interesting way. The ornaments on the


body of Krsna were not actually enhancing His beauty, but just the reverse the
ornaments were beautified by Krsna (page 214).
Srila Rupa Gosvami only briefly describes Krsna's ornaments; there is an
extensive description in the upcoming sections.

The softness of Krsna's body (mrduta) is the fourth category of qualities that stimulate
ecstatic love for Him.
Srila Rupa Gosvami describes, A person is called mild when he cannot bear
the touch of the most soft thing. It is described that every part of Krsna's body was so
soft that even at the touch of newly grown leaves, the color of the touched part of His
skin would change (page 214).

Cesta - Adventures
Srila Rupa Gosvami has finished an extensive description of Krsna's guna (qualities).
Now he briefly mentions Krsna's cesta (adventures, or "endeavors") such as rasa-lila
and dusta-vadha (slaying the wicked). Krsna's endeavors were always bent towards
arranging the rasa dance, as well as towards killing the demons in the forest of
Vrndavana (page 214). These adventures stimulate the devotee's love for Krsna.

Prasadana - Attire
The third category of uddipana is prasadana (attire). Krsna has three categories of
attire: (1) vasana dress, (2) akalpa natural decorations, and (3) mandana
jewellery and ornaments.

Vasana Dress






Natural ornaments


2 piece
4 piece

Face paintings


Srila Rupa Gosvami describes

Krsna's three types of dress: (1)
yuga two-piece outfit of
upper and lower garments, (2)
catuska four-piece outfit, and
(3) bhuyistha elaborate,
festive outfit of many garments.

summarizes by describing His
four-piece outfit. Generally,
there are four kinds of garments
on the body of Krsna: His shirt,
turban, belt, and wearing garments. In Vrndavana, He used to put on reddish

garments, with a golden shirt on His body and an orange colored turban on His head
(page 214).

Akalpa Natural Decorations

Krsna has six types of natural decorations: (1) kesa-bandha hair style, (2) alepa
ointments smeared on His body, (3) mala flower garlands, (4) citra face
painting, (5) visesaka decorative tilaka, and (6) keli-padma toy lotus.
Srila Prabhupada summarizes this list, Akalpa refers to the texture of Krsna's
hair, His nicely dressed body anointed with sandalwood pulp and decorated with
flower garlands, His tilaka, and His chewing pan (page 214).
Kesa-Bandha Hair Style
Srila Rupa Gosvami describes several subdivisions of hairstyles, which Srila
Prabhupada summarizes: Krsna's hair was sometimes decorated with flowers placed
on the middle of His head, or else it was reaching down to His back (page 214).
Alepa Ointments
As for the ointment on His body, the pulp of sandalwood generally appeared to be
white, and when it was mixed with saffron dye it appeared to be yellow (page 214).
Mala Garlands
Srila Rupa Gosvami describes various types of garlands, the most prominent being the
Vaijayanti. This vaijayanti garland is made of flowers of at least five different colors.
Such a garland was always long enough to touch Krsna's knees or feet (page 214).
Citra Face Painting
Artistic paintings with sandalwood pulp and colored sandalwood were also to be
found on the body of Krsna (page 215).
All these aspects of Krsna's natural decorations evoke ecstatic love. Srila Rupa
Gosvami describes an instance of this, One gopi addressed her friend and began to
praise the bodily features of Krsna. She praised His blackish complexion, the reddish
color of chewing pan enhancing His beauty hundreds of times, the curling hair on His
head, the kumkum red spots on His body and the tilaka on His forehead (page 215).

Mandana Jewellery and Ornaments

Srila Rupa Gosvami lists some of Krsna's jewellery and ornaments: kirita crown,
kundala earring, hara necklace, catusiki another type of necklace, valaya
bracelet, anguliyaka ring, keyura armlet, and nupura anklet.

Srila Prabhupada summarizes, Krsna, the enemy of Agha, always looked

beautiful with His incomparable helmet, His earrings made of diamonds, His necklace
of pearls, His bangles, His embroidered garments, and the beautiful rings on His
fingers (page 215).
All these ornaments can stimulate a devotee's ecstatic love.
Vana-mali means one who extensively decorates Himself with flowers from the forest
(flower crowns, flower bracelets, etc.). Krsna was dressed like this not only in
Vrndavana but also on the Battlefield of Kuruksetra. Seeing such colorful dress and
the garlands of different flowers, some great sages prayed 'Lord Krsna is going to the
Battlefield of Kuruksetra not to fight, but to grace all the devotees with His presence
(page 215).

Items such as Krsna's flute, buffalo horn, footprints, etc. comprise the fourth category
of uddipana. The remainder of Chapter 26, beginning with the section on Krsna's flute,
lists each item and illustrates it poetically.


Southern Ocean
Second Wave

Chapter 27


Chapter 27

Symptoms of Ecstatic Love

BRS 2.2.1 - 21
Chapter 27 begins the Second Wave of the Southern Ocean, describing anubhava.
Anubhava is an action that results from heightened affection for Krsna, which serves to further
enhance that affection. The Sanskrit word has two components, anu and bhava. Srila
Prabhupada says, The bodily symptoms manifested by a devotee in expressing ecstatic love for
Krsna are called anubhava (page 219).
When one's eternal affection for Krsna heightens, it must be expressed in various
activities such as dancing, laughing, etc. For example, a servant's ecstatic love heightens by
seeing his master, and outwardly expresses itself by his offering obeisances.
Offering obeisances not only expresses the servant's affection, it further intensifies and
confirms it. Thus, anubhava is not merely a physical action but an emotional component of itself
which both relieves and reinforces the excessive ecstatic love built up in the devotee's heart.
Srila Prabhupada says, When there is an extraordinary excess of ecstatic love, with all these
bodily symptoms manifested, one feels relieved transcendentally (page 219).

Categories of Anubhava
There are two categories of anubhava: (1) sita without strong bodily movement, and (2)
ksepana with strong bodily movement. 1 Srila Prabhupada explains, These symptoms are
divided into two parts: one is called sita, and the other is called ksepana. When there is yawning,
the symptoms are called sita, and when there is dancing they are called ksepana (page 219).
The remainder of chapter 27 defines and illustrates the thirteen main anubhavas, citing
sastric evidence.
There are two additional sita-anubhavas that this chapter does not describe: (1)
raktodgam bleeding, and (2) utphulla swelling of the limbs. Srila Prabhupada explains,
Sometimes trembling of the whole body and hemorrhaging from some part of the body are also
manifested in response to ecstatic love for Krsna, but such symptoms are very rare, and
therefore Srila Rupa Gosvami does not discuss any further on this point (page 222).

Sita Manifest without great
bodily motion

Ksepana Manifest with great

bodily motion

1. Gita singing loudly

1. Nrtya dancing

2. Jimbhanam yawning

2. Viluhita rolling on the


Literal translations: ta cold, kepana tossing, throwing.


3. Svasa bhuma breathing


3. Tanu-motana stretching the


4. Loka anapeksita neglecting

the presence of others

4. Krosanam crying loudly

5. Lalasrava Foaming at the

mouth ("drooling")

5. Atha hasa laughing like a


6. Hunkara roaring 2

6. Ghurna staggering
("wheeling of the head")

7. Raktogam bleeding

7. Hikka hiccups ("belching")

8. Utphulla swelling of the


The Nectar of Devotion includes the reference for hunkra under Crying Loudly: "By heari ng t he vibration of
Kna's flute, Lord iva becom es very puzzled and begins to cry so loudly in to outer space that the dem ons become
vanquished and the devotees become overwhelmed with joy." (page 220)

Southern Ocean
Third Wave

Chapter 28


Chapter 28

Existential Ecstatic Love

BRS 2.3.1 - 96

"Existential ecstatic love" is Srila Prabhupada's translation of sattvika-bhava. In this

context, the word sattva does not refer to the mode of goodness but to suddha-sattva,
the Lord's internal potency. As described in Chapter Seventeen, the Lord's suddhasattva descends into the heart at the stage of bhava and energizes one's dormant love
of Godhead. Sattvika-bhavas are ecstatic symptoms that arise directly from the suddhasattva enriched soul.

Distinguishing Sattvika-Bhava From Anubhava

Sattvika-bhava can also be considered anubhava because both are expressions which
result from heightened affection for Krsna. However, the two are distinct in an
important way: Anubhava involves a conscious decision how to suitably express one's
ecstasy. Sattvika-bhava, however, is an unpremeditated, involuntary expression arising
directly from the spiritually surcharged consciousness.
In anubhava one experiences devotional ecstasy and thinks "let me dance," or
"let me sing" the expression is wilful and voluntary. In sattvika-bhava, however, the
expression is involuntary. It occurs when one's heightened affection overrides the
intelligence and directly causes involuntary physical symptoms such as paralysis,
standing of the hairs, perspiration, tears, etc.

Definition of Sattvika-Bhava
Sattvika-bhava is an involuntary physical symptom, occurring when emotions in the
primary or secondary mellows intensely overpower the heart (citta). Srila Prabhupada
explains, "When a devotee is always intensely affected by love for Krsna in a direct
relationship with Him or even a little apart from Him his status is called
existential ecstatic love (page 223)."
This quote establishes two things: (1) sattvika-bhava is a uniquely "intense"
anubhava, and (2) sattvika-bhava may arise from emotions in one of the five direct
relationships ("in a direct relationship with Him"), or it may arise from emotions in
one of the seven indirect relationships ("or even a little apart from Him").

Three Types of Sattvika-Bhava

"The symptoms originating from such existential ecstatic love are divided into three
headings namely moist, burnt, and dried-up (page 223)."


Causes of Sttvika-Bhva


Mukhya Gauna
Primary Secondary


1) Snigdha "moist." Ecstatic symptoms

in persons who love Krsna, instigated
by emotions arising from either the
direct or indirect mellows.
2) Digdha "burnt." Ecstatic symptoms
in persons who love Krsna, not
instigated by the direct or indirect

3) Ruksa

symptoms that seem to appear in those with no love for Krsna. 1


Snigdha-Sattvika-Bhava Moist Existential Ecstasy

There are two subdivisions of snigdha sattvika-bhava ("moist existential ecstasy"): (1)
mukhya-snigdha direct-moist, and (2) gauna-snigdha indirect-moist. Mukhyasnigdha, occurs when a direct mellow (neutrality, servitude, etc.) causes the emotions
that overpower the mind. Gauna-snigdha occurs when an indirect mellow (laughter,
astonishment, etc.) causes the emotions that overpower the mind.
Mukhya-Snigdha Direct Moist
Radharani was weaving a garland of kunda flowers, and upon hearing the vibration of
Krsna's flute, She immediately stopped Her work (page 223).
"Stopped Her work" indicates the sattvika-bhava called stambha (becoming
stunned). This ecstatic symptom was caused by the flute, which is an uddipana of the
direct mellow called madhurya-rati. Radharani's ecstasy exemplifies the mukhyasnigdha type of sattvika-bhava because it manifested due to emotions arising from one
of the direct mellows.
Gauna-Snigdha Indirect Moist
Srila Rupa Gosvami describes how Mother Yasoda vehemently rebuked Nanda
Maharaja when he took Krsna to Mathura. Out of extreme anger, she chastised her
husband so severely that her voice began to falter.
Faltering voice is a sattvika-bhava known as svarabheda. This ecstatic symptom
manifested from emotions in one of the seven indirect mellows (krodha anger).
Therefore Mother Yasoda's ecstasy exemplifies the gauna-snigdha type of sattvikabhava.

Literal translations: snigdha oily, tender, affectionate ("moist"); digdha smeared ("burnt"); ruka

Burnt Existential Ecstasy Digdha-Sattvika-Bhava

Burnt existential ecstasy (digdha) are ecstatic symptoms in persons who love Krsna,
that are instigated by neither the direct nor indirect mellows.
For example: once, at the end of the night, Sri Yasoda dreamt that Putana was
lying on the ground in a most dreadfully fearful form. Upon seeing her, Yasoda awoke,
trembling. Her mind being very agitated, she began to search out her son, Sri Krsna.
(See page 223)
Fear in relation to Krsna is an indirect mellow. Yasoda's fear, however, was in
relation to Putana, not Krsna. Consequently it is not an indirect mellow. Yet because
her maternal affection for Krsna is so deep, she naturally dovetails her every emotion
to her relationship with Krsna. The fear initially instigated by Putana was immediately
dovetailed to her affection for Krsna, and caused her to tremble out of ecstatic
motherly concern for His safety.
Her trembling (kampa) is therefore an example of digdha-sattvika-bhava.

"Dried-Up Existential Ecstasy" Ruksa-Sattvika-Bhava

The first two types of sattvika-bhava (snigdha and digdha) are exhibited by devotees
with genuine affection for Krsna. Ruksa-sattvika-bhava, however, occurs when ecstatic
symptoms appear in persons devoid of genuine affection for Krsna. These symptoms
are very similar to raty-abhasa. 2
For example, an impersonalist may hear that those who practice devotional
service easily achieve liberation, and may therefore join a kirtana party. Jubilantly
dancing with hairs standing on end, he thinks, "Now I will achieve liberation! Now I
will achieve liberation!!" Affection for Krsna is not the cause of these symptoms.
Therefore they are ruksa-sattvika-bhava ("dried-up").
Another example is the trembling and standing-hairs of the sannyasis who
witnessed Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu delivering Prakasananda Sarasvati. Because they
had no rati, their bodily symptoms were ruksa-sattvika-bhava.

Eight Bodily Symptoms of Overwhelming Emotion
Srila Rupa Gosvami described three different causes of ecstatic symptoms (snigdha,
digdha, and ruksa). He will now describe the symptoms themselves. There are eight:

1) Stambha stunned

3) Romanca standing hairs

2) Sveda perspiration

4) Svarabheda faltering

See page in this book.


5) Kampa trembling

7) Asru tears

6) Vaivarnya changing color

8) Pralaya devastation
Srila Prabhupada lists them, "There are eight symptoms of existential ecstatic love:
becoming stunned, perspiring, standing of the hairs on the body, faltering of the
voice, trembling of the body, changing of bodily colors, shedding of tears, and
devastation (page 223)."

How Spiritual Emotions Produce Physical Effects

Elements of the Body

Srila Rupa Gosvami explains how sattvika-bhava is

produced. First, a particularly strong Krsna conscious
emotion agitates the heart (citta) very markedly. Then, the
strongly agitated mind disturbs the life air. Next, the
dislodged life air contacts and disturbs various physical
elements in the body (earth, water, etc.). These disturbed
elements cause a physical symptom of spiritual ecstasy.
Depending on which element the life air contacts, a
specific symptom will be produced. For example, one
sheds tears when the life-air contacts the body's water
element. One perspires when the life-air contacts the
body's fire element. Srila Prabhupada describes this in
detail. (See pages 223 - 224)

Ecstatic Symptom

Always Existing, Sometimes Manifesting

Ecstasy always exists in a pure devotee, but he only sometimes manifests them as
external symptoms. Srila
Agitated Life
air Contacts Resultant Physical Symptom
manifested internally and
Earth Stunned (stambha)
sometimes externally. The
Water Shedding tears (asru)
pure devotee always feels
Fire Perspiration (sveda)
expressions within himself,
Fire Change of bodily color (vaivarnya)
but being afraid of outsiders
Air Standing of hairs (pulaka)
he does not generally
Air Faltering voice (svarabheda)
manifest them externally
Air Trembling (kampa)
(page 224).
Ether, "Sky" Devastation (pralaya) 3

The di stinction bet ween stambha (Stunned) and pralaya (d evastation): Stambha involves paralysis of
the body and speech; pralaya involves paralysis of the body, speech, and the mind.

Specific Causes and Effects of Specific Ecstatic Symptoms

Each ecstatic symptom has specific emotions that cause it. For example, The
symptom of being stunned is caused by ecstatic tribulation, fearfulness, astonishment,
lamentation, and anger (page 224).
Each ecstatic symptom has specific characteristic effects. For example, This
symptom [stunned] is exhibited by a stoppage of talking, a stoppage of movement, a
feeling of voidness, and an extreme feeling of separation (page 224).
Srila Rupa Gosvami separately describes each ecstatic symptom, listing its
causal emotions and characteristic effects, with references from sastra.

Stambha Becoming Stunned

Causes: tribulation, fearfulness, astonishment, lamentation, and anger. Effects:
stoppage of talking, stoppage of movement, feeling of voidness, and an extreme feeling
of separation.
Stambha Caused by Astonishment
There is an example of the astonishment of Lord Brahma. It is explained in the Tenth
Canto, Thirteenth Chapter, verse 56 of Srimad-Bhagavatam that when Brahma
understood that this cowherd boy was the Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself,
he became stunned. All of his sensory activities stopped when he saw all the cowherd
boys again, along with Krsna. Lord Brahma was so stunned that he appeared to be a
golden statue with four heads (page 224).
Also, when the residents of Vraja found that Krsna had lifted Govardhana Hill
with His left hand, they became stunned (page 224). Although not explicitly stated in
this translation, it is obvious that astonishment is what caused the Vrajavasis to
become stunned.
Stambha Caused by Lamentation
Astonishment caused by lamentation was exemplified when Krsna was entering into
the belly of the Bakasura demon and all the demigods from the higher planets became
stunned with lamentation (page 225).

The Remaining Sattvika-Bhavas

Srila Rupa Gosvami similarly illustrates each cause of stambha. Srila Prabhupada has
included many of these verses in his summary study (See pages 225 - 229).
We have discussed only one symptom (stambha). By applying this paradigm to
each of the seven remaining ecstatic symptoms, the reader can appreciate them all.


Restating the Distinction Between

Anubhava and Sattvika-Bhava
Srila Rupa Gosvami again stresses the distinction between anubhava and sattvikabhava: Anubhava is an ecstatic symptom that results from heightened affection for
Krsna. Sattvika-bhava is an involuntarily ecstatic symptom expressed without any
involvement of will or intellect, which occurs when suddha-sattva agitates the heart to
a particularly significant degree. 4
Srila Prabhupada explains this very simply, Out of the many ecstatic
symptoms, the symptom of being stunned is especially significant (page 229).
Stambha ("being stunned"), and the other sattvika-bhavas are uniquely "significant" or
intense ecstatic symptoms, and this is what distinguishes them from anubhava.

Various Intensities of Sattvika-Bhava

If the emotion for Krsna is slight, the mind will be overpowered by a small degree of
sattva (transcendental ecstasy). The mildly overpowered mind will only gently agitate
the life airs, which will lightly disturb various bodily elements and thus produce a
slight manifestation of sattvika-bhava.
If the emotion for Krsna is intense, the significantly overpowered mind will
strongly agitate the life airs, which will markedly disturb various bodily elements and
produce an intense manifestation of sattvika-bhava. Thus each sattvika-bhava can
manifest different degrees of intensity.
Srila Prabhupada explains, According to the degree of being stunned, the vital
force within the body becomes agitated, and due to such a state, the other ecstatic
symptoms become altered (page 229). 5

Four Categories of Intensity

These transcendental ecstatic symptoms gradually develop, and in the course of such
development they are sometimes called smoky, sometimes called blazing, and
sometimes called shining. . . .when various symptoms become manifest very
prominently, the devotee's condition may be called the brightest (pages 229 - 230).
Thus there are four degrees of intensity:
1) Dhumayita smouldering ("smoky")
2) Jvalita flaming ("blazing")


uddha-sattva causes both anubhva and sttvika-bhva. In sttvika-bhva, however, it directly causes
the symptom. In anubhva, it indirectly causes the symptom through the agency of volition.
In t his quot e, Prabhupda' s use of t he word "st unned" does not refer t o t he specific sttvika-bhva
called stambha. Inst ead "degree of bei ng st unned" refers t o t he i ntensity of sttva (ecstatic emotion)
which overpowers the mind.

3) Dipta burning ("shining")

4) Uddipta brightly burning ("brightest")
Criteria for Placement Within These Categories
There are three criteria that place an ecstatic symptom in one of the above four
categories: (1) duration for example, one may tremble briefly or for a very long
time, (2) pervasiveness for example, only the hands may tremble, or the entire
body may tremble, and (3) intensity for example, the hands or body may tremble
slightly, or profoundly.
Srila Prabhupada summarizes, The three degrees are experienced for many,
many years and they extend to different parts of the body (page 229). The phrase
"many, many years" indicates the first criterion (duration). "Extend to different parts
of the body" indicates the second criterion (pervasiveness). Srila Prabhupada implies
the third criterion (multiplicity) in upcoming paragraphs. 6
The ecstatic symptoms of faltering voice and crying are localized by nature. Only the
voice can falter. Only the eyes can cry. Thus one cannot measure their intensity by
how extensively they pervade the body. One must apply a substitute criterion.
With crying, the substitute criterion for pervasiveness is the extent to which the
eyes become swollen and blurry. Srila Prabhupada explains, The shedding of tears,
however, sometimes makes the eyes become swollen and whitish, and sometimes the
eyes become differently focused (page 229).
With faltering of the voice, the substitute criterion for pervasiveness is the
extent to which the throat becomes altered. Srila Prabhupada explains, Faltering of
the voice may cause choking in the throat and extreme anxiety (page 229).
All Symptoms are Based on Affection
All the ecstatic symptoms, and all the stages of their intensity, are based on rati or
strong affection for Krishna. None of the above symptoms can be manifested without
the basic principle of strong attachment for Krsna (page 229).

rla Prabhupda implies the third criteria by describing an increasing multiplicity of symptoms in each
category of intensity. For exam ple, "When several such ecst atic symptoms are vi sible. . .," and "W hen
the ecst atic sy mptoms cannot be checked and t hey si multaneously appear i n four or fi ve di fferent
categories. . ."

Definitions of the Four Categories

Dhumayita Smouldering: The ecstatic symptom is only slightly manifest, and thus
can be concealed. Srila Prabhupada explains, In the smoky condition of such ecstatic
expression, the symptoms could otherwise be hidden (page 229).
Gargamuni exemplifies this (page 229-230).
Jvalit Flaming: Two or three ecstatic symptoms manifest simultaneously, and are
very difficult to conceal. When several such ecstatic symptoms are visible, the
condition is called blazing (page 230).
The following example illustrates jvalit's increased multiplicity of symptoms:
One of Krsna's friends told Him, My dear friend, as soon as I heard the sound of
Your flute within the forest, my hands became almost motionless, and my eyes
became full of tears so much so, in fact, that I could not recognize your peacock
feather. My thighs became almost completely stunned so that I could not move even
an inch. Therefore, my dear friend, I must acknowledge the wonderful vibration of
your transcendental flute (page 230).
This example shows the difficulty of concealing jvalit ecstatic symptoms: A
gopi addresses her friend, My dear friend, when I heard the sound of Krsna's flute, I
tried to hide myself from the reaction of the vibration. But still I could not check the
trembling of my body, and therefore all of my friends in the house could detect my
attachment for Krsna without any doubt (page 230).
Dipta Burning: Four or five ecstatic symptoms manifest simultaneously, and are
impossible to conceal. When the ecstatic symptoms cannot be checked and they
appear simultaneously in four or five categories, this stage of ecstatic love is called
shining (page 230).
Srila Rupa Gosvami gives two examples, one of Narada and one of Srimati
Radharani. The second: Dear Friend, You are blaming the aroma of the flowers for
the tears in Your eyes. You are rebuking the air for the standing of the hairs on Your
body. And You are cursing Your walking in the forest for your thighs' being stunned.
But Your faltering voice reveals the cause to be different: it is just Your attachment for
Krsna! (page 230) This illustrates the multiplicity of symptoms and impossibility of
concealment that occurs at dipta
Uddipta Brightly Burning: Five or more ecstatic symptoms manifest
simultaneously and very powerfully. The residents of Vrndavana exemplified this
(My dear Pitambara... page 230-31).


Suddipta The Most Bright: This level is unattainable by ordinary souls. Suddipta
occurs when all the eight sattvika-bhavas manifest simultaneously, with the highest
possible degree of intensity. This can happen only in the mahabhava of Srimati
Radharani and Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.
Srila Prabhupada mentions, when the symptoms of ecstatic love become the
most bright, that stage is accepted as mahabhava (page 231).

Intensity of Ecstatic Symptoms in Non-Devotees

The ecstatic symptoms of a non-devotee can achieve no more than the minimal
intensity (dhumayita smoky). Srila Prabhupada expresses this, All these symptoms
are listed under the dried-up existential condition known as smoky, and they are
exhibited in different ways (page 229).
There is one exception: in a devotional festival amidst dancing devotees, a nondevotee may sometimes exhibit sattvika-bhavas which radiate up to the intensity of
jvalita ("blazing"). Srila Prabhupada says, Sometimes while participating in
ceremonies celebrating Krsna's pastimes, or in a society of devotees, there is dancing
ecstasy. Such sentiments are called blazing (page 229).

When ecstatic symptoms seem to appear in a person who has no genuine affection for
Krsna, they are called sattvika-abhasa a semblance (abhasa) of real ecstasy.
There are four types of sattvika-abhasa. Srila Rupa Gosvami further analyzes
the ecstatic loving expression into four divisions which are called sattvikabhasa (page

Raty-abhasa "Ecstatic symptoms" caused by proximity to a genuine ecstatic



Sattvika-abhasa "Ecstatic symptoms" caused by a soft-hearted emotional



Pratipa "Ecstatic symptoms" in a hard-hearted person, caused by the powerful

influence of krsna-katha.


Nisattva "Ecstatic symptoms" that are simply a forced, theatrical display.

Raty-abhasa occurs when the genuine rati (affection) of a pure devotee reflects in the
heart of a neophyte or non-devotee.
A genuine devotee's heart radiates ecstatic affection for Krsna as brilliantly as
the sun. This may reflect into the dark hearts of non-devotees like impersonalists and

cause them to experience a glimmer of ecstatic symptoms. The section on bhavabhakti has already extensively described this. 7
Srila Prabhupada says, . . .even if the reactions to chanting are manifest in an
impersonalist's body, they should not be considered to be symptoms of actual
attachment, but reflections only, just like the sun reflected in a dark room through
some polished glass (page 231).

Raty-abhasa is a reflection of genuine ecstatic love. Sattvika-abhasa, however, has no
connection with transcendental ecstatic love, reflected or otherwise. It is simply a
softhearted emotional disposition that causes the semblance of ecstasy. Krsna's name
or pastimes may by chance strike a chord in the heart of those who are naturally
sensitive and emotional, and thus cause them to cry, etc.

If a non-devotee appears to be exhibiting ecstatic symptoms, it may be due to the
influence of a genuine devotee (raty-abhasa). If there is no such influence, it may be
due to the persons naturally emotional nature (sattvika-abhasa). However, if the
person is quite cold and hard hearted, like the staunch logicians and analytical
philosophers, how can the "ecstatic symptoms" be explained?
Pratipa is the term for appearance of "ecstatic symptoms" in a cold, stoichearted person. That even such barren people may sometimes be able to exhibit a
semblance of ecstasy simply testifies to the overwhelming potency of krsna-katha.
Srila Prabhupada explains, Such non-devotees are not actually melted, they are hardhearted. But the influence of the glories of the Lord is so great that even the nondevotees sometimes shed tears (page 231).

Sometimes a person with no rati (affection for Krsna), and also without any of the
above abhasas may display symptoms of ecstasy. They are simply actors and who can
display emotions by practice.
Physical displays like crying and shivering are not necessarily transcendental
symptoms of ecstasy, they can even manifest in people who are outright opposed to
Krsna. Sometimes it is found that a non-devotee who has practically no taste for
Krsna and who follows no rules or regulations, can, by practice, make a show of
devotional symptoms, even crying in an assembly of devotees (page 232).

References: The Nectar of Devotion , page 139; W aves of Devot ion, page

Reason for Discussing Sattvika-Abhasa

Srila Rupa Gosvami describes these varieties of pseudo-ecstasy so one can distinguish
between the real thing and the imitation. Srila Prabhupada explains, Although there
is no need to describe these reflections of ecstatic love, Srila Rupa Gosvami gives some
instances where there is no actual devotional service and such expressions are
manifested (page 232).


Southern Ocean
Fourth Wave

Chapters 29 - 31


Chapter 29

Expressions of Love for Krsna

BRS 2.4.1 - 93

Vyabhicari-bhava is an extremely technical subject. In the next three chapters Srila

Prabhupada will explain many of its intricacies. He begins by stating, There are some
bodily symptoms which express overwhelming ecstatic love (vyabhicari-bhava) (page
Vyabhicari-bhava is an emotional experience that results from intensified
affection for Krsna, which serves to embellish and further stimulate that affection.
We can grasp the basic concept of vyabhicari-bhava with a simple example:
Seeing her baby precariously crawling on the edge of a cliff, a mother's affection
intensifies drastically, embellished by the flavor of extreme anxiety. This intense
emotional experience corresponds to vyabhicari-bhava transitory emotions that
result from intensified affection, which embellish and further stimulate that affection.
A transcendental example: When Mother Yasoda saw Krsna enwrapped in the
deadly coils of Kaliya her love for Him intensified drastically, causing acute motherly
distress. This distress is a vyabhicari-bhava that further stimulated her worriful
motherly affection for Krsna.
Vyabhicari-bhavas arise like waves from the ocean of one's heightened
affection for Krsna, embellish and flavor it, and then return into that ocean to
heighten it even further. 1

Thirty-Three Vyabhicari-Bhavas
Srila Rupa Gosvami lists thirty-three emotional experiences in the category of
vyabhicari-bhava. Each emotion has various causesand effects, which Srila Rupa
Gosvami describes and authenticates with elaborate sastric references.

Nirveda Self-Disparagement ("Disappointment")

There are four principle causes of self-disparagement (nirveda): (1) maha-duhkha
great distress, (2) viprayoga separation, (3) irsa jealousy, and (4) sad-viveka
recognition of one's failure to live up to his duty, or admission of one's commision of
a forbiddin action. 2

Just as waves cause the ocean to m ove and enlarge, vyabhicr-bhva moves and hei ghtens one' s
relationship wi th Kna ( sthy-bhva). Thus a sy nonym for vyabhicr-bhva is sacri-bhva
(literally, "that which moves").
2 B RS 2.4.7

Srila Prabhupada traslates sad-viveka, the fourth cause of nirveda: When one
is forced to act in a way which is forbidden, or to refrain from acting in a way which
is proper, he becomes regretful and thinks himself dishonored. At that time, there is a
sense fo disappointment (pg. 233).
Srila Rupa Gosvami mentions the effects of nirveda: In this kind of
disappointment one becomes full of anxiety, sheds tears, changes bodily color, feels
humility and breathes heavily (pg. 233).
Self-Disparagement Caused by Great Distress
Mother Yasoda experienced great distress when Krsna was in the clutches of Kaliya.
This caused self-disparagement, she condemned her "sinful" existence and desired to
enter the deadly lake. (See pg. 233.)
Self-Disparagement Caused by Separation
When Krsna left Vrndavana, Subala condemned his residence there. (See pg. 233.)
Srimati Radharani felt that, if She could not see or hear Krsna, the Her vision
and hearing were condemned. She said, My dear friend, if I cannot hear of the
glorious activities of Krsna, it is better for Me to become deaf. And because I am now
unable to see Him, it would be good for me to be a blind woman (pg. 234).
Self-Disparagement Caused by Jeaulousy
Satyabhama, Krsna's queen, condemned herself due to jealousy of Rukmini, Krsna's
chief queen. (See pg. 234.)
Self Disparagement Caused by Recognition of One's Wrongdoing
My dear Krsna, I cannot say that it is only other people who are implicated in
material ecistence, because I too am much entangled with the bodily concept of life...
And because I have been so maddened by this material atmosphere, I am thinking
now that my life has been simply spoiled (pg. 234).
Srila Rupa Gosvami describes all thirty-three vyabhicari-bhavas using this same systematic procedure. Srila Prabhupada summarizes this description on pages 233 - 262
in Nectar of Devotion (BRS 2.4.7 - 2.4.291).
As we see from these examples, vyabhicari-bhava is a temporary, transient emotional
experience that results from and further stimulates one's heightened affection for
In each example the devotee's self-disparagement has a different flavor,
because each is based on a different type of affection for Krsna. For example, conjugal

affection flavored Srimati Radharani's self-disparagement; while friendship flavored

Subala's self-disparagement.
This clarifies that one's relationship with Krsna is like an ocean, and
vyabhicari-bhava is a beautiful wave which rises from that ocean, transforms and
heightens it in wonderful ways, and again subsides within it.



Other Translations

1. Nirveda
2. Visada
3. Dainya
4. Glani
5. Srama
6. Mada
7. Garva
8. Saka
9. Trasa
10. Avega
11. Unmada
12. Apasmrti
13. Vyadhi
14. Moha
15. Mrti
16. Alasya
17. Jadata
18. Vrida
19. Avahittha
20. Smrti
21. Vitaska
22. Cinta
23. Mati
24. Dhrti
25. Harsa
26. Utsukata
27. Ugrata


Disappointment, indifference...
Frustration, lamentation...

Doubt, apprehension...
Intense emotion...

Confusion, illusion...

(Hiding one's feelings)

Happiness, joy...

28. Amarsa
29. Asuya
30. Capalata
31. Nidra
32. Supti
33. Bodha


Jealousy, malice...
Impudence, unsteadiness...
"Dizziness" 3
Altertness, restlessness...

The phonetic similarity between "drowsiness" and "dizziness" leads one to suspect a mistake on behalf
of the original transcriber. With this in mind, it is p leasant to read the examples given for "dizziness,"
on pages 258 - 259 in The Nectar of Devotion.

Chapter 30

Further Features of Ecstatic Love

BRS 2.4.94 - 190

The previous chapter described the first thirteen vyabhicari-bhavas. This chapter describes the
remaining twenty.

Chapter 31

Additional Symptoms
BRS 2.4.191 - 270

One can classify vyabhicari-bhavas as uttama, madhyama, or kanistha according to the level of
ecstatic love they invoke. Srila Prabhupada mentions this, These symptoms, however, can be
divided into three groups: first class, second class and third (page 263).

Thirteen "Additional" Emotions

After describing the thirty-three vyabhicari-bhavas in detail, Srila Rupa Gosvami introduces
thirteen more. Srila Prabhupada lists them, There are many disturbing symptoms in ecstatic
love, such as envy, anxiety, pride, jealousy, conclusion, cowardliness, forgiveness, impatience,
hankering, regret, doubtfulness and impudence (page 263). 4
These are not truly "additional" because they can be included within the original thirtythree. Srila Prabhupada explains, These are included in the thirty-three conditions of ecstatic
love (page 263).

How the Thirteen are Included in the Thirty-Three

Jiva Gosvami's commentary points out exactly how the thirteen additional emotions are
included in the original thirty-three. 5 For example: Matsarya (malice 6 ) is one of the thirteen
"additional" emotions. Asuya (envy) is one of the thirty-three main emotions. Envy includes
malice, so there is no need to consider malice a separate emotion. Srila Prabhupada explains,
When one becomes malicious upon seeing another's advancement of life, his state of mind is
generally called envy (page 263).
Another example: avahittha (concealment), one of the thirty-three main emotions,
includes the "additional" emotion called dambha (pride or conceit). Srila Prabhupada explains,
One's desire to hide his real mentality is called avahittha, or concealment, and a desire to
exhibit superiority is called pride. Both of these may be classified under pretension. In a
pretentious attitude both avahittha and pride are to be found (page 263).
To conceal (avahittha) one's real feelings, one must employ pretension; he must pretend
to feel differently then he truly does. Similarly, pride (dambha) involves concealing one's real
status and pretending to be something greater. Thus concealment implicitly includes pride.

Viveka (reason), the thirteenth "additional" emotion, is omitted in The Nectar of Devotion.
BRS 2.4.192 - 193, Jva Gosvm.
In the list of thirteen additional emotions given in Chapter 31, rla Prabhupda translates matsarya as "envy."


Jiva Gosvami continues describing how the original thirty-three vyabhicari-bhavas

include all the thirteen "additional" symptoms (NOD, middle page 263 to page 264).

Vibhava and Anubhava within Vyabhicari-Bhava

"All of these symptoms are transcendental, and they are exhibited in different ways, acting and
interacting under different circumstances (page 264)."
There is an intricate inter-relationship between the vyabhicari-bhavas, in which some
symptoms take on the character of vibhava (stimulant), and others take on the character of
anubhava (result of the stimulant). For example: Envy and disgust are vyabhicari-bhavas, but
they possess qualities of vibhava and anubhava in relation to each other. Envy can instigate
disgust and thus take the quality of vibhava (stimulant) in relation to disgust. Similarly, disgust
can be an expression that results from envy, and thus take the quality of anubhava (sub-sequent
ecstasy) in relation to envy. Both envy and disgust are vyabhicari-bhavas but relative to each
other they exhibit qualities of vibhava and anubhava.
Srila Prabhupada summarizes, When a person is envious or defamed, there may be a
change in the color of the body. This may be classified as vibhava, or subecstasy. Sometimes
illusion, collapse and strong anxiety are also considered to be vibhava (page 264).

Divisions of Vyabhicari-Bhava
A vyabhicari-bhava may be (1) paratantra dependent, or (2) svatantra independent. A
paratantra (dependent) vyabhicari-bhava is born from affection for Krsna. A svatantra
(independent) vyabhicari-bhava is not directly born from affection for Krsna. 7

Paratantra Dependant
Born of affection
for Ka

Not born of affection
for Ka

Nourishes rati Doesn't nourish rati
primary rati

secondary rati

There are two types of paratantra

(dependent) vyabhicari-bhavas: (1)
vara superior, and (2) avara
inferior. A vyabhicari-bhava is vara
when it nourishes one's affection for
Krsna. It is avara when it does not
nourish one's affection for Krsna. 8
Vara (superior) has two
further subdivisions: (1) saksat
direct, and (2) vyavahita indirect.
Saksat occurs when the vyabhicaribhava nourishes a primary rati.

vyabhicari-bhava nourishes a secondary rati.

Srila Prabhupada explains this: Dependence is also grouped under ecstatic love, and
this can be divided into superior dependence and inferior dependence. The direct
differentiations between superior and inferior dependence are ascertained by Srila Rupa
Gosvami and will be explained in due course (page 264).

B RS 2.4.205
B RS 2.4.206


Vyabhicari-Bhavas that Nourish Primary Rati
Oh, I cannot see the district of Mathura! Even though by simply hearing the name of Mathura
the hairs of my body are standing up, I cannot see the place. So what are the use of my eyes?
(page 264).
This nirveda (self-disparagement) is born from strong attachment to Krsna and
nourishes the devotee's direct affection for Krsna (mukhya-rati). Therefore it is saksat-vara.
Vyabhicari-Bhavas that Nourish Secondary Rati
Bhima began to murmur, My arms are just like thunderbolts, but despite these arms I could
not smash Sisupala while he was blaspheming Krsna. Therefore, of what use are these strong
arms (page 265)?
This nirveda nourishes Bhima's anger, an indirect affection for Krsna (gauna-rati).
Therefore it is vyavahita-vara.
Vyabhicari-Bhavas that do not Nourish Rati
When Arjuna witnessed the universal form of Krsna, whose dazzling teeth were practically
devouring the very existence of the universe, Arjuna's mouth became dried up. At that time
Arjuna forgot himself and could not understand that he was Arjuna, Krsna's friend, although he
was always dependent on Krsna's mercy. This is an example of inferior dependence
(page 265).
Arjuna experienced the vyabhicari-bhava known as moha (bewilderment). Although
born of affection for Krsna (paratantra), Arjuna's bewilderment did not heighten his friendly
affection for Krsna. On the contrary, it diminished his sakhya-rasa, and is therefore avara

Svatantra Independent
vyabhicari-bhavas that
are not born from
affection for Krsna.
Born of affection
Not born of affection
There are three types:
for Ka
for Ka
(1) rati-sunya void of
ratyDevoid of affection Subsequent affection Trace of affection
anusparsana emotions not originally
born from affection for Krsna but which later contact affection for Krsna, and (3) rati-gandhi
slight trace of rati. 9


B RS 2.4.217


Vyabhicari-Bhavas Completely Void of Affection for Krsna
The self-disparagement of the yajnic brahmanas exemplifies this. Their nirveda was born from
realization of their own abominable condition, not from affection for Krsna. By their own
admission, they were completely devoid of affection for Krsna thus their lamentation is ratisunya.
Vyabhicari-Bhavas that Become Connected with Affection for Krsna
Rati-anusparsana literally means "that which subsequently (anu) touches or contacts (sparsa)
affection for Krsna (rati). The gopis exemplify this, When the bull demon attacked the
damsels of Vraja, they began to cry out, Dear Krsna please save us! We are now gone! (page
Their trasa (fear) was born from apprehension of their own distress, not Krsna's. But due
to the gopis deep love for Him, everything they experience or express becomes dovetailed with
krsna-rati. Even though their fear of the bull demon arose of an independent cause, it
subsequently came into direct contact with krsna-rati.
Vyabhicari-Bhavas that have a Slight Trace of Affection for Krsna
Srila Rupa Gosvami gives an example of rati-gandhi: Srimati Radharani's grandmother said,
Radha! I recognize that yellow clothing you are wearing. Don't try to hide it! Hearing this,
Srimati Radharani immediately lowered Her head in shame and covered Her face with Her
veil. 10
Jiva Gosvami explains: In this quotation, Srimati Radharani experiences the vyabhicaribhava called vrida (shame). This shame does not come from Her affection for Krsna, but from
embarasment that Her respected gradmother discovered Krsna's yellow clothing on Her body.
Therefore it is svatantra (independent).
Although independant of Her specific madhurya-rati for Krsna, Sri Radha's shame does
has a trace of rati, because it is only due to Her madhurya-rati that Krsna's yellow clothing was
on Her body. Because of this slight connection to Her madhurya-rati, Srila Rupa Gosvami
classifies this shame as rati-gandha.
Carefully analyzing all the svatantra vyabhicari-bhavas, one finds that only rati-sunya is truly
independent of affection for Krsna. Raty-anusparsana and rati-gandha are actually connected to
krsna-rati, and are therefore dependent (paratantra).
Thus only rati-sunya is fully svatantra. Srila Rupa Gosvami explains that the others may
be seen as independant: just as a goverment tax collector seems to be collecting money himself,
be he is actually dependant upon the goverment's authorization. 11


B RS 2.4.223
B RS 2.4.216


Vyabhicary-abhasa are emotions that only externally resemble vyabhicari-bhava. There are two
types: (1) pratikulya unfavorable, and (2) anaucitya improper. Praticulya occurs in
persons who are inimical towards Krsna. Anaucitya occurs when a devotee imagines vyabhicaribhava in persons who are not actually feeling that emotion. 12

Semblance of Vyabhicari-Bhava in Hostile Persons
After Krsna killed the Kesi demon, Kamsa said, Kesi-daitya was as dear to me as my own life,
but he has been killed by some cowherd boy who is crude, uneducated, and ignorant in
fighting. Even though I have defeated the King of heaven without difficulty, still I do not know
the value of life (page 265).
Kamsa appears to exhibit nirveda (self-disparagement, or "hopelessness"). However, his
emotion is born from a hostile (pratikula) attitude towards Krsna and therefore is not an actual
Another example of vyabhicary-abhasa in persons hostile to Krsna: Kamsa told Akrura,
You are such a fool that you are accepting a cowherd boy to be the Supreme Personality of
Godhead simply because He has defeated some harmless water snake! The boy may have lifted
one pebble called Govardhana Hill, but what is more surprising than that is your statement that
this boy is the Personality of Godhead! (page 266)
Kamsa appears to exhibit asuya (envy, or "maliciousness") but his emotion is born from
a hostile attitude towards Krsna and is therefore pratikulya-vyabhicary-abhasa.

Semblance of Vyabhicari-Bhava in Inappropriate Persons
Anaucitya-vyabhicary-abhasa occurs when a devotee imagines vyabhicari-bhava where it does
not really exist. There are two types: (1) asatyatvam non-existence, and (2) ayogyatvam
incapability. In asatyatvam, a
devotee imagines vyabhicari-bhava
to be present in a subject in whom
it does not exist (generally an inert
Hostile persons
Inappropriate persons
living entity). In ayogyatvam, the
devotee imagines vyabhicari-bhava
to be present in a subject who is
Inert living entites
incapable of fully experiencing it
(generally an animal). 13
A devotee tried to console a kadamba tree, which was lamenting because Krsna had not even
touched its shadow. My dear kadamba tree, do not be worried. Just after defeating the Kaliya
snake in the Yamuna River, Krsna will come and satisfy your desire (page 266).


BRS 2.4.224-225
B RS 2.4.228


The devotee imagines that the tree is experiencing nirveda (self-disparagement). 14 In

truth the nirveda exists only in the devotee's mind, and he projects it onto the tree. The tree
may be experiencing some type of ecstatic love for Krsna, but not the specific emotion the
devotee perceives. This is asatyatvam-anaucitya projection of vyabhicari-bhava onto a subject
in whom the emotion does not exist.
This type of vyabhicary-abhasa usually occurs with animals, who are incapable of properly
experiencing the intricacies of vyabhicari-bhava. It is exemplified in connection with Garuda
(see page 266). 15
Trees and Animals are Incapable of Ecstasy?
Both cases presume that the trees and animals can not properly experience bhava. But the trees,
peacocks, etc. of Vraja are not ordinary birds and trees, they are eternal associates of Sri Krsna.
How can their emotions be asatyatvam (non-existent) or ayogyatvam (incapable)?
Jiva Gosvami and Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura explain: it is a fact that the apparently
unintelligent life forms in Vraja are liberated souls with full love for Krsna. Due to this ecstatic
love, they take on the role of His trees and animals, fully assuming the appropriate
characteristics of intelligence and behavior. They do so to facilitate Krsna's pastimes. If the
animals and foliage manifested their full intelligence, their presence would pose a hindrance to
the confidential amorous pastimes of the Lord.
In this light, one might consider their vyabhicari-bhavas to be asatyatvam or ayogyatvam.

Conditions of Vyabhicari-Bhava
The symptoms of ecstatic love are grouped under four headings namely generation,
conjunction, aggregation, and satisfaction (page 266).
1) Utpatti "generation." The beginning of an emotion.
2) Sandhi "conjunction." When two or more emotions unite.
3) Savalya "aggregation." When one emotion supplants another.
4) Santi "satisfaction." When a disturbing emotion is resolved.

Utpatti Generation
This is the most basic condition of vyabhicari-bhava. Every vyabhicari-bhava must first undergo
generation before any other condition is possible. The example of Srimati Radharani knitting
Her eyebrows in response to Krsna's joking (page 266) exemplifies the generation of matsarya


Here rla Prabhupda translates nirveda as "lamentation" and "hopelessness."

The original text (BRS 2.4.230) gives additional details that may help clarify ayogyatvam:
A devotee sees the peacock feather in Kna's turban and imagines that the peacock must be thinking: "Today,
leaving aside even the wings of Garuda, r Kna has he ld my sanctified feathers on His head. Therefore, what
other bird can be a match for me?" Here the devotee is superimposing the vyabhicr-bhva known as garva (pride)
unto an animal who is actually unable to properly experience such emotion.

Sandhi Conjunction
In this condition, two or more vyabhicari-bhavas unite to create a single emotional experience.
There are five types of conjunctions:

One emotion from two causes


Two emotions from one cause


Two emotions from two causes


Several emotions from one cause


Several emotions from several causes

One Emotion from Two Causes

Mother Yasoda became stunned with bliss when she saw that her child was safe on the lap of
Putana's dead body. At the same time, she became stunned with anxiety due to the dangerous
demon. Two causes (happiness over the safety of her child, and fear of demoniac calamity)
produced one effect (stunned). (See page 266.)
Two Emotions from One Cause
When Mother Yasoda saw that her child had learned to walk, she became simultaneously happy
and fearful. One cause (Krsna's walking) produced two effects (happiness for her child's
maturity, and fear for the child's safety). (See page 267.)
Two Emotions from Two Causes
When Devaki, the mother of Krsna, saw her son very jubilant in the presence of the wrestlers
in Kamsa's arena, two kinds of tears were simultaneously gliding down her cheeks: sometimes
the tears were warm, and sometimes they were cold. This is an instance of conjunction of
jubilation and lamentation due to different causes of ecstatic love (page 267).
Two causes (her jubilant son, and the powerful wrestlers) produced two distinct effects
(harsa-happiness, and visada-despair). Seeing her jubilant son caused great happiness
(symptomized by cold tears), but seeing the powerful wrestlers caused great despair
(symptomized by hot tears).
Several Emotions from One Cause
Srimati Radharani's reaction to Krsna's aggressiveness illustrates this. The cause was one: Krsna.
The effect was many different emotions. This is an instance of exhibiting varying feelings in
ecstatic love, although the cause is one only Krsna (page 267).
Several Emotions from Several Causes
Sometimes there were great festivals in the house of Nanda Maharaja, and all of the inhabitants
of Vrndavana would assemble for these festivals. During one such festival, Srimati Radharani
was seen wearing a golden necklace given Her by Krsna. This was immediately detected by
mother Yasoda as well as by Radharani's mother, because the necklace was too long for
Radharani's neck. At the same time Radharani could see Krsna nearby, as well as Her own
husband, Abhimanyu. So all of these things combined to make Radharani feel very much
ashamed, and with Her face shrivelled She began to look very beautiful. In this case there was a
combination of bashfulness, anger, jubilation and lamentation (page 267).

Many different causes Krsna, Abhimanyu, Yasoda, etc. produced many different
emotions bashfulness, anger, jubilation and lamentation.

Savalya Aggregation
Both sandhi (conjunction) and savalya (aggregation) involve combinations of multiple
emotions. In sandhi, however, the emotions exist simultaneously. In savalya the succeeding
emotion supplants the preceding one.
For example, Kamsa once said, What harm can this boy do to me? He has no power.
Here Kamsa exhibits garva (pride). The next moment he was informed that all of his friends
had been killed by the boy. Then Kamsa began to think in perplexity, Shall I go immediately
and surrender unto Him? But how can a great warrior do this? Here, Kamsa's previous garva
aggregated with visada (lamentation) In other words, lamentation supplanted the pride
(page 268).
The householder devotee's self-analysis is an example of seven successive savalya
aggregations (page 268).

Santi Satisfaction
Once the cowherd boys in Vrndavana were vainly searching after Krsna for a long time, and
for that reason their faces became blackened, and their complexions appeared faded. Just then
they could hear on the hill a faint vibration from Krsna's flute. Immediately all of them became
very much gladdened. This is an instance of satisfaction in the midst of disappointment (page
First the cowherd boys were experiencing visad (despair), but that despair was later
"satisfied" or pacified by harsa (jubilation). Santi occurs when the preceding emotion is pacified
and resolved by the succeeding one.
Srila Prabhupada adds a significant point in his commentary. He quotes a Sanskrit
proverb, "Disappointment gives rise to the greatest satisfaction," and says that the experience of
Krsna conscious joy is most relishable during the satisfaction of a disturbing emotion.

Citta Vrtti Internal Disposition

Vyabhicari-bhavas arise from the devotees internal disposition (citta vrtti). Internal disposition
is determined by one's eternal affection for Krsna, one's individual characteristics, and various
stimulating factors one is exposed to in any given situation. The rise of emotions in a devotee is
thus under the control of many variables.
Srila Prabhupada explains, . . .attachment for Krsna is one, but because there exist
different kinds of devotees, such attachment is manifested in many varieties. . . In fact, all the
different humors and mellows of the devotees produce various specific feelings within the
mind. And according to these differences, the symptoms of ecstatic love appear in different
forms and degrees (page 269).
Srila Rupa Gosvami will now elaborately categorize the various internal dispositions.


Determining Factors
The first paragraph of page 269 mentions forty-one emotions that combine to make up a
devotee's internal disposition. These include the thirty-three vyabhicari-bhavas, as well as eight
sthayi-bhavas (seven secondary + one primary). 16
Srila Prabhupada explains, All of them can be accepted as different feelings of the heart.
Sometimes some of the feelings are quite natural. Sometimes some of the feelings are just
temporary appearances. Those symptoms which are very natural always remain, both within
and without the devotee (page 269).
"Natural feelings" refers to sthayi-bhava, which is permanent. "Temporary feelings"
refers to vyabhicari-bhava, which is transitory.
Srila Rupa Gosvami mentions these forty-one characteristics to show that there is a
cyclic relationship between vyabhicari-bhava and the devotee's internal disposition. Vyabhicaribhavas manifest from the devotee's internal disposition; but at the same time one's internal
disposition is a composition of forty-one elements, which include the vyabhicari-bhavas.
These 44 factors produce different dispositions in a devotee's heart depending on how
they combine.

Various Dispositions of the Heart

In Terms of Ability to Conceal Emotion
Srila Rupa Gosvami categorizes the disposition of the heart as either karkasa (hard) or komal
(soft). Karkasa does not indicate "hard-heartedness" or a lack of ability to feel emotion. The
"hardness" or "softness" of the heart, in this context, refers to the devotee's ability to conceal
his emotional ardour from the eyes of others. Srila Prabhupada explains, Actually, people
cannot generally understand such different qualities of mentality, but when one's heart is very
soft or gentle, these symptoms become very easily visible, and one can understand them very
clearly (page 269).
A devotee with a karkasa (hard) disposition can conceal the emotions he experiences.
However, even the slightest uprise of emotion will visibly agitate a devotee with a komal (soft)
Srila Rupa Gosvami uses three adjectives to describe the karkasa (hard) disposition: (1)
Garistha "heavy," one's heart is hard like metal (gold); (2) Gambhira "grave," one's heart
is deep like the ocean; (3) Mahistha one's heart is "big" like a great city.
There are three varieties of komal (soft) disposition: (1) Laghistha one's heart is
"light" like cotton; (2) Uttana one's heart is "shallow" like a small puddle; (3) Ksodistha
one's heart is "tiny" like a small cottage.

Garistha (heavy) vs. Laghistha (light)

Srila Rupa Gosvami compares the karkasa heart to heavy gold; the komal heart to cotton. Strong
wind does not move a gold brick, but even a slight breeze will toss the cotton. Similarly, strong
ecstasy is not easily detected in a karkasa devotee, because his heart is heavy like gold


The sthy-bhvas are not counted as twelve because each devotee may posses only one primary rasa. Thus, there
is one pri mary sthy-bhva, seven secondary sthy-bhvas, an d thirty-three vyabhicr-bhvas whi ch make up
one's internal disposition.

(garistha), but even a slight breeze of emotion is noticeable in a komal devotee, because his
heart is light like cotton (laghistha).
The heart of one who is highly elevated and grave is compared to gold. If one's heart is
soft and gentle, his heart is compared to a cotton swab. When there is an ecstatic sensation
within the mind, the golden heart or grave heart is not agitated, but the soft heart immediately
becomes agitated (page 269).

Gambhira (deep) vs. Uttana (shallow)

Srila Rupa Gosvami compares the karkasa heart to the deep ocean, the komal heart to a shallow
puddle. The ocean can hide great mountains underneath its waters, but a shallow puddle
cannot hide even a tiny pebble. Similarly, a karkasa devotee is deep like the ocean (gambhira)
and can thus conceal the most powerful vyabhicari-bhavas; but even the smallest emotion
visibly agitates a komal devotee, whose heart is shallow like a puddle (uttana).

Mahistha (big) vs. Ksodistha (tiny)

To offer another example, a grave, magnanimous heart is compared to a great city, and a soft
heart to an insignificant cottage. There may be many lights, or even great elephants in the big
city, but no one will take particular notice of them. But when such lights or elephants are seen
near a small cottage, everyone can distinctly point them out (page 269).

Various Dispositions of the Heart

In Terms of Ability to be Moved by Emotion
Previously, Srila Rupa Gosvami categorized the heart as karkasa or komal (hard" or "soft") in
terms of its ability to conceal emotion. Now, he will analyze the heart in terms of its ability to
experience emotion.
Emotions melt the heart. Consequently, Srila Rupa Gosvami compares them to heat.
Various hearts have various melting points, and vyabhicari-bhavas can manifest different
intensities of heat. A karkasa (hard) heart melts only in the intense heat of fire. A komal (soft)
heart melts even in the sunlight.

"Hard" Hearts
He uses three adjectives to illustrate the karkasa hearts: lightning, gold, and shellac.
The lightning bolt is very strong and never becomes soft. Similarly, the hearts of those who are
engaged in severe austerities and penances do not become very easily softened (page 270).
No degree of emotion can move a person with this disposition, just as no intensity of fire
can melt a lightning bolt.
The golden heart becomes melted at a high temperature. . . (page 270) Unlike the
thunderbolt, gold can melt, but only in a very hot fire. Similarly, only extremely intense
emotions can move a person with this disposition.

The shellac heart is very easily melted in slight temperature (page 270). Even a little fire will
melt shellac. Similarly, a strong emotion can move a person with this disposition.

"Soft" Hearts
A soft heart is compared to honey, to butter and to nectar. And the condition of the mind is
compared to sunshine. As honey and butter become melted in even slight sunshine, softhearted
persons become easily melted. Nectar, however, is by nature always liquid. And the hearts of
those who are in pure ecstatic love with Krsna are by nature always liquefied, just like nectar
(page 270).
The hearts of pure devotees may posses differing dispositions towards different vyabhicaribhavas. A pure devotee of Krsna is always specifically qualified with nectarean qualifications
and sometimes with the qualifications of butter and honey (page 270). 17
If the emotion from a very powerful vyabhicari-bhava is extremely strong it will melt any
heart, regardless of its hardness. On the whole, the heart in any of the different conditions
mentioned above can be melted under certain circumstances, just as a hard diamond is
sometimes melted by a combination of certain chemicals (page 270). Srila Rupa Gosvami cites
Dana-keli Kaumudi as evidence for this.


A pure devotee can possess all these varities of internal dispositions, depending on the circumstances.


Southern Ocean
Fifth Wave

Chapters 32 - 34


Chapter 32

Symptoms of Continuous Ecstasy

BRS 2.5.1 - 44

One relishes rasa when various emotional components heighten and churn one's affection
for Krsna. Affection for Krsna is the subject of Chapters 32 - 34 in The Nectar of Devotion.
Sthayi-bhava denotes one's permanent mood of affection for Krsna. 1 Therefore, Srila
Prabhupada translates sthayi-bhava as "permanent," or "continuous ecstasy."

Comment [VKD1]: Page: 2

This opening section I found to
be very complex and difficult to
understand clearly. It has been
changed extensively.

King of Bhavas
Sthayi-bhava is the king of bhavas, for two reasons: (1) it is the most essential element
of rasa, and (2) all other emotions are under its dominion.

Most Essential Element of Rasa

One's mood of affection for Krsna is the permanent foundation of one's heart, and is
therefore the most important element of rasa. To explain this we offer the following
Rasa consists of an interaction among five bhavas. Similarly, the ocean consists
of an interaction between sea-water, wind, waves, tides, etc. Sthayi-bhava is
comparable to the sea-water, and the other four bhavas are comparable to wind,
waves, tides, etc.
All these elements are essential parts of the ocean without waves the ocean
seems incomplete, and without the winds and tides there can be no waves.
Nonetheless, the sea-water is by far the most important element of the ocean, because
it is the permanent foundation upon which the other elements interact.
Similarly, sthayi-bhava is the permanent foundation upon which the other
bhavas interact and is therefore the most essential element of rasa.

Dominator of All Other Emotions

Sthayi-bhava is the king, and all other emotions of rasa are dominated by it. Sthayibhava subdues and puts them under its dominion. In a kingdom, all the subjects
cooperatively serve the king. Similarly, all the emotions of rasa cooperate to enhance
the sthayi-bhava.

T hus sthy-bhva and rati are synonymous.


Srila Prabhupada's Summary

Srila Prabhupada summarizes all this: The continuous ecstasy of love can remain like
a powerful king, subduing all temporary manifestations of love as well as any
opposing elements of anger (page 271). 2

Two Varieties of Sthayi-Bhava



Sthayi-bhava is of two varieties: (1) mukhyarati direct, and (2) gauna-rati indirect.
Srila Prabhupada mentions this, It can be
exhibited directly or indirectly, and thus
ecstatic love can be described as direct or
indirect (page 271).

Since rati is synonymous with bhava

we can understand that neither variety of
sthayi-bhava can manifest until the devotee
attains the platform of bhava. Therefore, Srila
Prabhupada says, These symptoms of ecstatic
love are possible only when one is fully
situated in a transcendental position (page 271).

Mukhya-rati exhibits two natures: (1) svartha self-nourishing," and (2) prarartha
nourishment-giving. Srila Prabhupada says, Direct ecstatic love can be divided
into two groups - namely, selfish and selfless (page 271).
Svartha indicates one who works for his own interests. When one's permanent
affection for Krsna is "svartha" it takes nourishment from other emotions.
Prarartha indicates one who works in the interest of others. When one's
permanent affection for Krsna is "prarartha" it gives nourishment to other emotions.
This will become more clear in the next chapter. 3

"continuous ecstasy of l ove" sthy-bhva; "temporary m anifestations of l ove" o ther bhvas,

(vibhva, etc.); "opposing el ements of an ger" gauna-sthy-bhvas su ch as ghastliness, anger,
chivalry, etc. (See page 7.)
Thus rl a Prabhupda sa ys, sthy-bhva can remain l ike a pow erful ki ng, subduing all other
bhvas and ind irect mellows (gauna-rati). The term "remain" summarizes the perm anency of sthybhva. "Subduing. . ." summarizes the dominion of sthy-bhva.
See Waves of Devotion, page 8.


Neutrality Suddha-Rati
The first type of sthayi-bhava is suddha-rati, neutral affection. There are three
subdivisions of neutral affection for Krsna: (1) samanya general, (2) svaccha
transparent, and (3) santi peaceful. Neutrality can be further subdivided into
general, transparent, and peaceful (page 271).
Anubhavas of Suddha-Rati
Srila Prabhupada summarizes the anubhavas of suddha-rati: It can be manifest
sometimes in trembling of the body and changing of the color of the eyes (to red,
white, etc.), although there is no symptom of any particular affection (page 271).

Samanya-Rati General Affection

Samanya-rati occurs when one's affection for Krsna has not yet matured into a specific
relationship. Srila Prabhupada explains, An attraction for Krsna by the people in
general or by children cannot take any specific or satisfactory position (page 271).
One old man was told by a young man, Just see how this child only three years
old is so jubilant! Simply by seeing Krsna he is running so swiftly, making a
tumultuous sound. Just see! (page 271) Due to the young age of the child, his
affection has not yet matured into any specific sentiment. Srila Prabhupada thus
comments, This is an instance of neutral ecstatic love in the heart of a child, without
any specific subdivision.
Another example is the young girls of Vraja. Their specific conjugal affection
for Krsna cannot satisfactorily manifest before the age of maturity. In time they will
grow up to become gopis, but before maturity their affection for Krsna is in no specific
category; it is "general," samanya. 4

Svaccha-Rati Transparent Affection

Svaccha-rati occurs in a devotee who does not yet possess any specific affection for
Krsna, but who sometimes reflects the affections of various devotees like a
transparent crystal reflecting the color of any object placed in its proximity. Srila
Prabhupada explains, Their symptoms are manifested transparently, just like jewels
(page 272).

B RS 2.5.9


It is said that a great devotee brahmana would sometimes address the Supreme
Personality of Godhead as master and sometimes joke with the Lord, using different
kinds of familiar words. Sometimes he would protect the Lord with a filial affection,
sometimes he would cry out to the Lord, addressing the Lord as his beloved, and
sometimes he would meditate on the Lord as the Supersoul (page 272).

Santa-Rati Peaceful Affection

Santa-rati occurs in those who are completely detached from sense gratification, but
have no inclination for an active relationship with the Lord. In other words, santabhaktas are liberated personalists who lack the more advanced sentiment that, "Krsna
is mine" my master, my friend, my child, etc.
Mamata-buddhi is the term for this sense of "Krsna is mine." 5
Two examples of santa-bhaktas: The Four Kumaras, and brahma-nista devotees whose
desire to see the Lord is awakened by the association of devotees. (See page 272).

Pure and Mixed Flavors

Santa-bhaktas do not possess mamata-buddhi, but there are three groups of devotees
who do: (1) dasya or priti servants, (2) sakhya friends, and (3) vatsalya
parents. 6 Srila Prabhupada says, One group consists of devotees who are completely
dependent on the merciful affection of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, another
group consists of those who are dealing with Krsna on friendly terms, and the third
group consists of those who are dealing with Krsna as His superiors, with parental
affection (page 272).
Mamata-buddhi can be either kevala (unmixed, or "pure") or sankula (mixed).
One finds "unmixed possessiveness" (kevala) in a devotee whose service mood is
exclusively servitude, friendship, or parental affection. One finds "mixed
possessiveness" (sankula) in a devotee whose service mood is a blend of servitude,
friendship, or parental affection. For example, Uddhava's mood is sankula, servitude
mixed with friendship.


Liter ally, mamata-buddhi means, "conception of mine-ness."

Conjugal love also has mamat-buddhi, but to such an intense degree that it is catego rized separately
from dsya, sakhya, and vatsalya.


Servitorship Dasya-Rati
Srila Prabhupada describes dasya-rati (or prita-rati) in the section entitled
"Subordinate Ecstatic Love." The essence of dasya-rati is a feeling of inferiority to
Krsna, and therefore a sense of dependence upon His favor and kindness.
The quotation from Mukunda-mala-stotra is a prayer for the kind favor of the
Lord upon the dependent devotee, so that he may be able to remember the Lord's
lotus feet at the time of death. This exemplifies the mood of dasya-rati (See page 273).

Friendship Sakhya-Rati
The main characteristic of sakhya-rati is a feeling of equality with the Lord, "He is one
of us." This type of affection is therefore devoid of shyness; characterized by prankish,
humorous behavior. Srila Rupa Gosvami gives two examples of these uninhibited
sakhya dealings (see page 274).

Parenthood Vatsalya-Rati
The essence of vatsalya-rati is a sense of seniority or protective superiority to Krsna.
Contrast dasya-rati with vatsalya-rati: In dasya the devotee is the object of Krsna's
mercy. In vatsalya, Krsna is the object of the devotees' mercy. Indeed, those in
vatsalya-rati always shower Krsna with their kind, affectionate favors. One finds
vatsalya-rati in devotees who are Krsna's elders. Krsna derives bliss by honoring and
worshipping these great souls.
Srila Rupa Gosvami gives two examples of vatsalya-rati (see page 274).

Conjugal Love Madhurya-Rati

Next, Srila Rupa Gosvami describes priyata-rati, or madhurya-rati conjugal love.
He briefly describes its characteristics: The Lord and the young gopis exhibit this in
different ways glancing, moving the eyebrows, speaking very sweet words and
exchanging smiles (page 274). The quotation from Govinda-vilasa is an example of

Comment [VKD2]: Page: 6

There are many confusing senates
in this section which have been
left undeveloped, how will people
understand these if they are not
expanded here?


Chapter 33

Indirect Expressions of Ecstatic Love

BRS 2.5.54 - 80

The previous chapter described mukhya-rati (the five direct forms of affection). This
chapter will describe gauna-rati (the seven indirect forms of affection).

The seven secondary emotions are not transcendental in and of themselves, because
they are not inherently connected to krsna-rati (transcendental affection for Krsna).
There is nothing intrinsicaly transcendental about laughter, astonishment, anger, etc.
However, these emotions become transcendental when connected with a direct
affection (mukhya-rati).
For instance, laughter is not transcendental affection for Krsna, but when a
cowherd boy jokes with Krsna the laughter becomes saturated in a transcendental
mood of friendship. Another example, if a gopi begins joking with Krsna, their
laughter is imbued with the mood of conjugal love. Thus the laughter indirectly
attains the status of rati transcendental affection.
Laughter (hasya) by itself is only laughter (hasya), but when connected with
sakhya-rati the laughter becomes "laughing ecstasy" (hasya-rati). The mukhya-rati
transmits its quality of rati to the gauna emotion.
Emotions such as laughter are therefore called indirect affection (gauna-rati).

An Example to Clarify
Jiva Gosvami gives the following example: Sometimes people at a concert may say,
"The stage is raising quite a noise!" In truth, the noise comes from the musicians on
stage, not the stage itself. Being in such close contact with the musicians, however, the
stage becomes indirectly imbued with noisiness.
Similarly, emotions such as laughter become imbued with transcendental
affection for Krsna when connected to one of the five mukhya-rati.


Distinction Between
Mukhya-Rati, Gauna-Rati, & Vyabhicari-Bhava
The five direct forms of affection for Krsna (mukhya-rati) are eternal, but the seven
indirect affections (gauna-rati) appear and disappear in various situations. Although
they sometimes disappear, the secondary affections leave a lasting impression
(samskara) on the heart. Thus gaunaMukhya-rati -Permanent emotions
rati does possess a degree of
Gauna-rati -Temporary emotions
permanency, and
that leave permanent
classified as sthayi-bhava, distinct
from vyabhicari-bhava which
Vyabhicari-bhava -Temporary emotions
comes and goes without any trace

Seven Types of Gauna-Rati

1. Hasya-rati Laughter

5. Krodha-rati Anger

2. Vismaya-rati Astonishment
3. Utsaha-rati Valorous Enthusiasm

6. Bhaya-rati Fear
7. Jugupsa-rati Disgust

4. Soka-rati Lamentation
After listing the seven gauna emotions, Srila Rupa Gosvami illustrates them with
examples from sastra (constituting Chapter 33 in The Nectar of Devotion), which
clarify how gauna-rati is transcendentalized by contact with mukhya-rati.
The first example is this chapter shows the friends of Srimati Radharani
responding in great laughter to Krsna's joking words. This laughter is a result of their
madhurya-rati, thus its connection to madhurya-rati promotes the laughter to hasyarati.
Another example: Mother Yasoda said, Krsna is now entrapped within the
hoods of the Kaliya snake, and yet I am not tattered to pieces! (page 277) This
lamentation arises from her motherly love, thus its connection to vatsalya-rati
promotes the lamentation to soka-rati.

Svartha and Parartha

Understanding the relationship between gauna and mukhya-rati helps to clarify the
idea of svartha (self-nourishing) and prarartha (nourishment-giving), presented in the
previous chapter.
When a mukhya-rati is svartha it draws nourishment from various emotions.
When a mukhya-rati is prarartha it gives nourishment to other emotions. In the above


examples, the gopis madhurya-rasa was prarartha, nourishing the laughter; mother
Yasoda's vatsalya-rati was also prarartha, nourishing the lamentation.


Chapter 34

The Nectar of Devotion

BRS 2.5.81 - 132

Chapter 34, the last section in the Southern Ocean, describes additional points concerning sthayibhava.

Vibhava is that which stimulates and awakens the sthayi-bhava, causing the devotee to relish a
particular type of ecstatic loving affection for Krsna. Srila Prabhupada says, The particular type
of ecstatic loving sentiment that develops within the heart of a particular devotee is considered
to be vibhava (page 279).

Anubhava, Etc.
When vibhava stimulates sthayi-bhava there are various effects called anubhava (such as dancing,
moving the eyebrows, etc.).
Sattvika (crying, standing of hairs, etc.) and vyabhicari-bhavas (fear, astonishment, etc.)
are types of anubhavas. Srila Prabhupada says, And the resultant manifestations such as moving
of the eyebrows, fear, astonishment and smiling, which have been explained hereinbefore, are
called anubhava (page 279).

Experience of Rasa is Made Possible by Sthayi-Bhava

Ordinary artisans of poetry and drama believe that one experiences rasa by listening to poetry or
seeing drama. Srila Rupa Gosvami, however, says that affection for Krsna (krsna-rati, or sthayibhava) is the essential foundation required to experience genuine transcendental rasa. (See page

Full Understanding of Rasa is Made Possible by Sthayi-Bhava

Transcendental affection for Krsna is a manifestation of hladini-sakti the Lord's own pleasure
potency, which is inconceivable by nature. Consequently, rasa is inconceivable by logic and
argument. Srila Prabhupada says, No one, while remaining on the material platform, should
discuss these different descriptions of bhava and anubhava by quoting different statements of
transcendental literatures. Such manifestations are displays of the transcendental pleasure
potency of the Lord. . . In the Mahabharata, Udyama-parva, it is warned that things which are
inconceivable should not be subjected to arguments (page 279).
One may achieve some understanding by studying various scriptures, but, until one
directly experiences it, rasa will remain largely theoretical. Direct experience of rasa can occur
only after one achieves bhava-bhakti characterized by decent of the Lord's pleasure potency
into the heart (suddha-sattva visesatma). 7 At this stage, one leaves the material platform and
develops sthayi-bhava.

Se e page

of this book.


Srila Prabhupada explains all this: Actually, the transactions of the spiritual world are
inconceivable to us in our present state of life. Great liberated souls like Rupa Gosvami and
others have tried to give us some hints of transcendental activities in the spiritual world, but on
the whole these transactions will remain inconceivable to us at the present moment.
Understanding the exchanges of transcendental loving service with Krsna is possible only when
one is actually in touch with the pleasure potency of the Supreme Lord (page 279).

Two Types of Rasa From Two Types of Sthayi-Bhava

Rasa is the relishing of one's heightened rati. Since there are two types of rati (mukhya and
gauna), there are also two types of rasa: mukhya (direct) and gauna (indirect). Srila Prabhupada
thus states, "Transcendental pleasure derived from devotional service can be divided into two
groups: direct devotional service and indirect devotional service (page 280)."
One relishes mukhya-rasa when a mukhya-rati is stimulated. One relishes gauna-rasa
when a gauna-rati is stimulated.

Colors and Predominating Deities of the 12 Sthayi-Bhavas





sona-deep red
syamablaksih blue
raktablood red


Srila Rupa Gosvami associates each

sthayi-bhava with a particular color.
Devotional service can therefore be
divided into twelve types, each of which
has a different color (page 280). Jiva
Gosvami says the association of sthayibhava with different colors is similar to
the poets association of various qualities
with different colors. 8
Each sthayi-bhava has a particular
presiding Deity. Srila Prabhupada
explains, The twelve different kinds of
transcendental humors are controlled by
different incarnations of God, such as
Kapila, Madhava, Upendra, Nrsimha,
Kalki, Raghava, Bhargava, Varaha and
Matsya (page 280) 9


The classic example is white representing the "good guy" and black representing the "bad guy."
Jva Gosvm says that these 12 forms of Godhead are Predominating Deities (adhihtr devat) of the 12 rasas,
just as the mood is the predominating deity of the mind.
Mukunda dsa, however, describes the 12 De ities as personified forms of the 12 rasas. He cites SB 10.13.53
to illustrate what he means by "personified forms."
Vivantha Ca kravart hkura allo ws th at it m ay be agreeable fo r the 12 rasas to ha ve personified forms,
since hldin-akti has a personified form (r Rdh).


Five Symptoms of Relishing Sthayi-Bhava

There are five symptoms of relishing sthayi-bhava: (1) purti fulfilment, (2) vikasa
manifestation, (3) vistara expansion, (4) viksepa dispersion, and (5) ksobha agitation,
Srila Prabhupada states, Sustenance, manifestation, expansion, reflection, and lamentation are
the five visible symptoms in exchanges of ecstatic love (page 280).
Different sthayi-bhavas manifest different symptoms when relished. One can understand
a devotee's sthayi-bhava by observing which of the five symptoms he manifests when relishing
transcendental pleasure.
For example, purti (sustained sense of fulfilment) is a symptom of relishing suddha-rasa
(neutral affection). Srila Prabhupada explains, In the devotional service of neutrality there is
sustenance. . . in angry devotional service there is lamentation, and so on (page 280).

Who is Qualified to Understand Rasa

Rasa-sastra lists different persons according to their capability to understand rasa. Only
qualified persons can understand how secondary rasas like tragedy (karuna) and fear
(bhayanaka) are composed of intense spiritual bliss, although externally appearing distressful.
Srila Prabhupada says, An apparently pitiable condition in devotional service may appear
distressing to the inexperienced student, but the feelings of the devotee in this pitiable condition
are considered to be ecstatic by expert devotees (page 280).
To explain this, Srila Rupa Gosvami cites the Ramayana, using very clear and simple
logic, All of these subjects in the Ramayana seem very pitiable, and they may appear very
distressing to the reciter, but actually they are not. Otherwise, why would Hanuman, the great
devotee of Lord Ramacandra, read daily about the activities of Lord Ramacandra, as described in
the Ramayana itself? (page 281)
If the "tragedies" of the Lord's pastimes were truly distressing, devotees would not desire
to repeatedly hear about them. Since devotees do want to hear these pastimes again and again
they must not be sources of pain but sources of joy. Everything in devotional service is blissful,
regardless of whether it externally appears "happy" or "sad." The fact is that in any of the
above-mentioned twelve transcendental humors of devotional service, everything is
transcendentally pleasing (page 281).

Those Who Are Disqualified

Srila Rupa Gosvami mourns in this connection for persons who are in the fire of false
renunciation, the dry speculative habit, and who neglect devotional service. Persons who are
attached to the ritualistic ceremonies recommended in the Vedas and to the impersonal
Brahman cannot relish the transcendental pleasure of devotional service (page 281).

Guarding the Nectar of Devotion

Srila Rupa Gosvami further warns that those who are eligible for tasting bhakti-rasa should
carefully keep it hidden from those who are unqualified or antagonistic to devotional service.
Srila Rupa Gosvami advises, therefore, that devotees who have already tasted the nectar of
devotion be very careful to protect devotional service from such dry speculators, formal
ritualistic elevationists and impersonal salvationists. Devotees should protect their valuable
jewel of spiritual love from the clutches of thieves and burglars (page 281).


Two Important Qualifications

The chapter ends with two important points about the qualification to understand and relish
(1) Bhakti-rasa is incomprehensible to non-devotees, Only persons who have dedicated
their lives unto the lotus feet of the Supreme Personality of Godhead can relish the real nectar of
devotion (page 281).
(2) Only in bhava-bhakti can one actually relish rasa. When one transcends the status of
ecstatic love and thus becomes situated on the highest platform of pure goodness, one is
understood to have cleansed the heart of all material contamination. In that pure stage of life,
one can taste this nectar, and this tasting capacity is technically called rasa, or transcendental
mood (page 281). [Emphasis added].


Western Ocean
First Wave

Chapter 35


Chapter 35

Neutral Love of God

BRS 3.1.1 - 47

To inaugurate the Western Ocean of Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu, Srila Rupa Gosvami offers a
mangalacarana. As previously, Sri Rupa Gosvami uses the word sanatana to indicate: (1) Krsna
the Eternal Lord, and/or (2) Sanatana Gosvami, his spiritual master. By addressing this prayer
to "Sanatana," Sri Rupa Gosvami simultaneously seeks the blessings of both Krsna and his
spiritual master.
Srila Prabhupada translates the magalacarana: Sri Rupa Gosvami offers his respectful
prayers to the eternal Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is always so beautiful and for
whom the pure devotees are always engaged in loving transcendental service (pg. 285).
It can also be translated: "I offer my respectful prayers unto Sanatana Gosvami, whose
devotion for the Supreme Lord is beautifully resplendent, and who has great love for the
Vaisnavas." 1
Still another interpretation describes Sanatana as, "He who bears the extremely heavy
weight of thinking about the material and spiritual welfare of the author, who is ignorant." Sri
Rupa Gosvami describes himself as helpless, ignorant, and utterly dependant upon the support
and protection of Sanatana.

Overview of the Western Ocean

The Southern Ocean described five elements of rasa: vibhava, anubhava, sattvika-bhava,
vyabhicari-bhava, and sthayi-bhava. In the section on
Southern Ocean
sthayi-bhava, Sri Rupa Gosvami introduced five direct
Wave 1:
moods of affection for Krsna: santa, dasya, sakhya,
Western Ocean
Wave 2:
Wave 1:nta-rasa
vatasla, and madhura.
The Western Ocean has five waves. The First
Wave describes the vibhava, anubhava, sattvika-bhava,
and vyabhicari-bhava that heighten santa-rati to santarasa. The Second Wave does the same for dasya-rasa.
The Third Wave for sakhya-rasa. The Fourth Wave for
vatsalya-rasa. The Fifth Wave, madhurya-rasa.

Wave 3:
Wave 4:
Wave 5:


1) nta-rati
2) Dsya-rati
3) Sakhya-rati
4) Valtsala-rati
5) Madhura-rati

When one can maintain a transcendental position of neutrality, or indifference to external sense
objects, one becomes qualified to achieve love of Godhead at the stage of neutrality (santa-rasa).
Srila Prabhupada explains, When one is actually able to maintain the transcendental position,
his stage is called neutrality in devotional service (pg. 285).

B RS 3.1.1


There are two types of souls in the transcendental position. Both are free from material
desires, but one is inclined to appreciate the impersonal Absolute, while the other is inclined to
appreciate the personal Absolute.
Some great sages have attained this neutral position by practicing austerity, penance and
meditation to control the senses. Such sages are generally called mystic yogis, and in most cases
they are inclined to appreciate the spiritual pleasure of the impersonal feature of the Absolute
Truth (pg. 285).
A personalist is far more fortunate than the impersonalist, because he is inclined to appreciate
the Lord's form. The happiness derived from direct perception of the Lord's form is far greater
than the happiness derived from impersonal Brahman; because without the Lord's form there is
no possibility of relishing rasa.
Srila Prabhupada explains, Actually the transcendental pleasure derived in association
with the Supreme Person is far greater that the pleasure derived from impersonal Brahman
realization, because of the direct meeting with the eternal form of the Lord (pg. 285).
Although neutral devotees may be qualified to achieve darsana of the Lord's form, they are not
qualified to experience His pastimes. Until one has dasya-bhava, one cannot achieve this

Krsna as a Stimulus for Neutral Devotion
Srila Rupa Gosvami mentions two ways that the Lord stimulates neutral affection: (1) the fourarmed form of Visnu, and (2) the transcendental qualities of Visnu.
Form of Visnu
For those great sages situated in the position of transcendental neutrality, the beginning should
be to take shelter of Lord Visnu, the four-handed eternal form of the Supreme Personality of
Godhead (pg. 286). Srila Prabhupada confirms this by citing three Vedic references. 2
Qualities of Visnu
He is also appreciated as being completely peaceful, completely controlled and pure, merciful
to the devotees and untouched by any material condition.

Bhagavada-Gt 18.54 (brahma-bhta prasanntm), the g Veda

Bhgavatam 7.5.31 (na te vidu svrtha gati hi vinu.)

(o tad vinu parama), and rm ad188

The Devotee as a Stimulus for Neutral Devotion
Srila Rupa Gosvami mentions two types of devotees who stimulate santa-bhakti: (1) atmaramas
self-realized souls, and (2) tapasvis those who undergo penance and austerities.
Atmaramas and tapasvis are usually impersonalists, but they can develop faith in visnubhakti if they are fortunate enough to contact a pure devotee. This faith promotes them from
impersonalism to the status of neutral devotees. Srila Prabhupada explains, After Brahman
realization, when a liberated soul comes in contact with a pure devotee of Lord Krsna and
submissively accepts the teachings of Lord Krsna without misinterpretation, he becomes
situated in this neutral stage of devotional service (pg. 287).
The best atmaramas are the Four Kumaras. Srila Rupa Gosvami describes their appearance and
devotional mood.
Their Form: They appear like naked young children, four or five years old, with fair
complexions and bright effulgences. These four brothers usually stay together.
Their Devotional Mood: Srila Rupa Gosvami includes a statement by the Four Kumara's
that indicates their mood of devotion: O Lord Mukunda. . . only so long as one does not
happen to see your eternal form of bliss and knowledge. . . can the impersonal feature of the
Absolute Truth, known as Brahman, be very pleasing to a saintly person (pg. 287).
A tapasvi takes up devotional service because he knows liberation can be obtained only through
bhakti. Srila Prabhupada says, A saintly person is one who understands fully that simply by
discharging devotional service he can become confident of liberation (pg. 287 - 288).
Srila Rupa Gosvami does not mention the form of a tapasvi because there is no foremost
tapasvi to describe.
Devotional Mood: A saintly person thinks like this: When shall I be able to live alone in
the caves of the mountains? When shall I be dressed simply with undergarments? When shall I
be satisfied simply by eating a little fruit and vegetables? When will it be possible for me to
think always of the lotus feet of Mukunda, who is the source of the Brahman effulgence? When,
in such a spiritual condition of life, shall I fully understand my days and nights to be
insignificant moments in eternal time? (pg. 288)

Objects That Impel Neutral Devotion
There are two subdivisions of uddipana: (1) asadharan "unique," and (2) sadharana
"shared." Unique uddipanas are objects that impel devotees of one specific rasa. Shared
uddipanas (sadharana) are objects that impel devotees of many different rasas.
Asadharana Uddipana Unique Impetuses
Srila Rupa Gosvami lists the impetuses unique to santa-rasa: The impulse of a saintly person is
to be engaged in the study of the Vedas, especially the Upanisadic portions, to live always in a
place where there is no disturbance from the common people, to think always of the eternal

form of Krsna, to be ready to consider and understand the Absolute Truth, to be always
prominent in exhibiting knowledge, to see the Supreme Lord in His universal form (visva-rupa),
to associate always with learned devotees and to discuss the conclusion of the Vedas with
similarly elevated persons (pg. 288).
Example of "Hearing the Upanisads"
Hearing the Upanisads in Lord Brahma's assembly impelled the neutral affection of learned
yogis, causing them to relish santa-rasa. (See pg. 288.)
Sadharana Uddipana Shared Impetuses
Srila Rupa Gosvami lists the impetuses of santa-rasa that may impel devotees of other rasas as
well: . . .smelling the tulasi offered at the lotus feet of the Lord, by hearing the sound of His
conchshell, by seeing a sanctified place in some mountain or hill, by observing a forest like the
ones in Vrndavana, by going to a place of pilgrimage, by visiting the course of the Ganges River,
by being victorious over the dictations of bodily demands (ie. eating, sleeping, mating and
defending), by understanding the devastation of eternal time and by constantly associating with
devotees engaged in Krsna consciousness (pgs. 288 - 289).
Example of Smelling Tulasi
Sri Rupa Gosvami quotes the Third Canto, describing how the Four Kumaras achieved and
relished santa-rasa by smelling the aroma of tulasi leaves mixed with saffron and offered to Lord
Visnu's lotus feet.

Manifestations of Ecstasy Unique to Santa-Rasa
Srila Rupa Gosvami lists the anubhavas unique to santa-rasa: . . .They concentrate their eyesight
on the tip of the nose, and they behave just like an avadhuta... Another symptom is that such
persons are very careful to step forward when giving speeches. When they speak, they join
together the forefinger and the thumb... The list continues to the paragraph's end, on page 289.
Example of Concentrating Eyesight on Tip of Nose
This great sage is concentrating his eyesight on the tip of his nose, and from this it appears that
he has already realized the eternal form of the Lord within himself (pg. 289).

Manifestations of Ecstasy Shared with Other Rasas
Srila Rupa Gosvami lists the anubhavas that santa shares with other rasas: Sometimes a devotee
in santa-rasa yawns, stretches his limbs, instructs on devotional service, offers respectful
obeisances unto the form of the Lord, offers nice prayers to the Lord and has a desire to give
direct service with his body. These are some of the common symptoms [sadharana-anubhava] of
the devotee who is situated in neutrality (pg. 290).


Example of Yawning
My dear mystic, I think that within your heart there is some ecstatic devotional love which is
causing you to yawn (pg. 290).

It is sometimes found that a devotee in the santa-rasa falls down on the ground, his hairs stand
up on his body, and he trembles all over. In this way, different symptoms of ecstatic trance are
exhibited automatically by such devotees (pg. 290).
Example of Hairs Standing Up
. . .when Lord Krsna was blowing His conchshell known as Pancajanya, many great sages who
were living in the caves of the mountains immediately reacted, being awakened from their
trance of meditation. They immediately saw that the hairs of their bodies were standing (pg.

Sometimes devotees in santa-rasa become stunned, 3 peaceful, jubilant, deliberate, reflective,
anxious, dexterous and argumentative. These symptoms indicate continuous ecstasy, or
established emotion 4 (pg. 290).
Example of Nirveda Self-Disparagement
Once a great sage was lamenting that the Supreme Lord Krsna was living in Dvaraka but that
he was unable to take advantage of seeing Him. After thinking this, the sage immediately
became stunned (pg. 290).

Obviously, a conditioned soul has not developed his sthayi-bhava; and when one becomes a
liberated soul still it is not developed. If a liberated soul is fortunate, the Lord arranges to
uproot the impersonal impressions in his heart (jnana-samskara) and gradually the sthayi-bhava
known as santa-rati manifests. This promotes him from impersonalism to personalism.
If he is extremely fortunate, this Brahman-realized personalist can achieve darsana of the
Lord's form. When the Lord's form (vibhava) stimulates his santa-rati, he can for the first time
experience santa-rasa which is infinitely more pleasurable than any impersonal realization.
An Example of Elevation to Sthayi-Bhava and Santa-Rasa
My dear friend, do you think that after I perfect the eightfold yoga performance I shall be able
to see the eternal form of the Supreme Personality of Godhead? (pg. 290)
This illustrates the mood of a devotee who has achieved santa-rati. He desires to achieve
darsana of the Lord's form and thus make further advancement to santa-rasa.

"Stunned" refers t o t he vyabhicri-bhva called nirveda (self-disparagem ent), not to the sttvika-bhva called
"Established emotion" refers t o sthy-bhva. The presence of these vyabhicri-bhvas indicates that one' s sthybhva is nta-rati.

Two Types of Santa-Rasa

There are two ways that a Brahman-realized devotee may finally achieve the Lord's darsana:
indirectly, or directly. Two types of santa-rasa are thus produced: (1)paroksa indirect, and
(2) saksaka direct.

Indirect Santa-Rasa
Srila Rupa Gosvami gives an example of indirect (paroksa) santa-rasa: When some yogis saw the
bodily effulgence of Krsna and Balarama they almost forgot the pleasure derived from
impersonal Brahman realization. (See pg. 291)
Their santa-rasa was not evoked directly by the Lord's form, but indirectly by the
effulgence emanating from the Lord's form. Thus the rasa they experience is indirect (paroksa).

Direct Santa-Rasa
When a great mystic was once awakened from his meditative trance by hearing the vibration of
Krsna's Pancajanya conchshell, the mystic became overpowered so much so, in fact, that he
began to bash his head on the ground, and with eyes full of tears of ecstatic love, he violated all
the rules and regulations of his yoga performances. Thus he at once neglected the process of
Brahman realization (pg. 291).
The sage snapped out of his impersonal meditation when he heard the sound of Krsna's
conchshell. Opening his eyes, he directly beheld the beautiful blackish color of the Lord's form,
and impersonalism immediately became distasteful. Lamenting his waste of time, he harshly
disregarded all impersonalist yoga and became a santa-bhakta of the Lord. 5

Grades of Mercy
An impersonalist who gets the Lord's mercy achieves santa-rati and indirectly perceives the
Lord's form via the Brahman effulgence that emanates from it. The rasa he derives from this
indirect stimulus is also indirect, and causes him to "almost forget" his impersonalism.
An impersonalist who gets more substantial mercy achieves santa-rati and directly
perceives the Lord's form. As a result, he tastes full santa-rasa which causes him to harshly
reject His previous impersonalism.
Srila Rupa Gosvami next describes what can happen if an impersonalist receives the
highest mercy of the Lord.

The Highest Mercy Upon Impersonalists

If the Lord is most merciful, an impersonalist can be promoted to the highest realization:
madhurya-rasa. Srila Rupa Gosvami cites the wonderful example of Bilvamagala Thakura, who
wrote in his Krsna-karnamrta, Let the impersonalists be engaged in the process of
transcendental realization by worshiping the impersonal Brahman. Although I was also initiated
into that path of Brahman realization, I have now become misled by a naughty boy one who
is very cunning, who is very much attached to the gopis and who has made me His maidservant.
So I have now forgotten the process of Brahman realization (pg. 291).

B RS 3.1.42


One receives a different degree of mercy depending on the manifestation of Krsna who
bestows it. If Visnu bestows His mercy, one may achieve a certain level of appreciation for the
Lord's form in Vaikuntha. Bilvamagala Thakura, however, received mercy from Vrajendranandana Krsna and was thus able to attain Vraja Prema.
Srila Prabhupada explains, Bilvamagala Thakura was first spiritually initiated for
impersonal realization of the Absolute Truth, but later on, by his association with Krsna in
Vrndavana, he became an experienced devotee (pg. 291).

Is Neutral Devotion a Genuine Rasa?

According to some authorities, this condition [santa] cannot be accepted as one of the
transcendental humors, or rasas (pg. 291).
To experience rasa, various stimuli must heighten one's rati. Santa-rati, however, is
indifferent and neutral towards external stimulation. Because of this, some authorities say that
santa-rati cannot be stimulated into genuine rasa. Vaisnava scholars generally disagree. They
point out that santa-rati is neutral only towards material stimulation. Therefore, santa-rati can
be stimulated by the Lord's transcendental form and be heightened to genuine rasa.
Consequently, Vaisnavas generally accept santa as a genuine rasa, or at least as the
preliminary requirement for genuine rasa.
Santa as a Prerequisite for Rasa
The extent one is inclined towards sense gratification is the extent one will be disinclined
towards devotional service (bhakti-rasa). Therefore santa (indifference and neutrality towards
material desires) is a prerequisite for rasa. Srila Prabhupada says, Even if one does not accept
[santa] as a transcendental humor, one must still accept it as the beginning position of
devotional service (pg. 291).
When one achieves indifference to material desires, his mind becomes free to exhibit its
original tendency towards ananda-svarupa-brahman the bliss relished by active devotional
service. Thus santa-rasa can lead the devotee to servitude (dasya-rasa), which all authorities
accept as a genuine rasa. Srila Prabhupada mentions this: However, if one is not further raised
to the platform of actual service to the Lord, he is not considered to be on the platform of
transcendental mellow (pgs. 291 - 292).

Sastric Confirmation of These Points

To recapitulate: (1) Santa is a genuine rasa, called santa-rasa. (2) Even if it is not accepted as a
genuine rasa, it is the beginning position of transcendental rasa. (3) Achieving santa (neutrality
towards material desires) leads one towards the stage of actual service.
Lord Krsna confirms all these points in the Eleventh Canto: The state of being
established in My personal form is called santa-rasa, and without being situated in this position,
no one can advance to actual pure devotional service (pg. 292).


Western Ocean
Second Wave

Chapters 36 - 40


Chapter 36

Transcendental Affection (Servitude)

BRS 3.2.1 - 56

Three Different Authorities

Srila Rupa Gosvami begins his description of dasya-rasa by quoting three personalities who
define it in different ways.
Sridhara Svami
According to him, when a person in santa-rati develops strong affection (priti) for the Lord he
becomes inclined towards actual service (dasya-rasa). He does not consider santa a perfectional
stage. His says, however, that the element of affection transforms santa into the perfectional
stage, dasya-rasa.
Srila Prabhupada mentions this: The transcendental mellow of affection has been
accepted by authorities like Sridhara Svami. as a perfectional stage of devotion. It is just above
the humor of neutrality and is a requisite for the development of the serving humor (pg. 293).
This book defines priti (affection) as the sthayi-bhava of dasya-rasa. Srila Prabhupada says, In
literature such as Nama-kaumudi this state of existence is accepted as continuous affection for or
attraction to Krsna (pg. 293).
Sudeva Gosvami 1
He says that even santa-rasa possesses priti. As Srila Prabhupada says, he considers this stage of
affection to be in the neutral stage. . . (pg. 293).

Resolving Apparent Differences

Sridhara Svami says that priti comes between santa and dasya. Nama-kaumudi says priti comes at
dasya. Sudeva Gosvami says it is in santa. One may resolve these apparent differences of opinion
by noting that priti (affection for Krsna) is in every mellow, but is not strong enough to make its
presence felt until one achieves dasya.
Consequently, even though all rasas contain priti, Srila Rupa Gosvami singles out
servitude as priti-rasa because it is the first stage in which one feels the effect of priti (active
Srila Prabhupada summarizes this: . . .but in any case this affection is relished by the
devotees in different transcendental tastes, and therefore the general name for this state is
affection, or pure affection for Krsna (page 293).

The Nectar of Devotion refers to this personality as "ukadeva Gosvm." BRS 3.2.3 lists him as Sudeva-Gosvm.
The transcriber misunderstood rla Prabhupda.

Two Moods of Dasya

Dasya-rasa has two divisions: (1) sambhrama-priti servitude with awe and reverence, and (2)
gaurava-priti servitude in a more intimate mood, as a son or person similarly dependant on

SAMBHRAMA-PRITI (Reverential Servitude)

Devotees engaged in servitude are attached to Krsna in the affection of reverence (page 293).

Krsna as a Stimulus for Reverential Servitude
Srila Rupa Gosvami describes how Krsna's form and qualities stimulate reverential servitude.
Krsna's Form
The inhabitants of Vrndavana used to say, Krsna is always manifest before us with a
complexion like a blackish cloud. He holds His wonderful flute in His lotus hands. He is dressed
in yellow silks and bedecked with peacock feather on His head... (pg. 293).
Sometimes Visnu's form can also be a stimulus for sambhrama-priti-rasa. But Daruka's
statement in Lalita-madhava informs us that Krsna's form is a far more powerful stimulant.
The qualities of Krsna that stimulate reverential servitude: Another devotee once said, This
Supreme Personality of Godhead from whose bodily pores come millions of universes,
permanently rising, who is the ocean of mercy, who is the owner of inconceivable energies...
(page 294).

The Devotee as a Stimulus for Reverential Servitude
The devotees who stimulate reverential servitude are called dasas, servants. They have the
following character traits: Prasrita they are humble, modest souls who always glance
downward and bend over in repectful deference. Nirdesa vasa vartti they are naturally
inclined to engage their specific abilities in carrying out Krsna's orders. Visvasta bhakta they
are trustworthy and faithful. Vinamrta buddhi they are always fully aware that Krsna is their
master. 2

Four Types of Dasas

1.) Adhikrta dasa demigods appointed to specific services in the material world.
2.) Asrita dasa devotees who have taken shelter of the Lord's protection.

B RS 3.2.16


3.) Parisada dasa intimate ministers who render various personal services.
4.) Anuga dasa intimate followers of the Lord in Vraja and Dvaraka.
Srila Prabhupada explains, The devotees of the Lord in servitude are divided into four classes:
appointed servants (such as Lord Brahma and Lord Siva, who are appointed to control the
material modes of passion and ignorance), devotees in servitude who are protected by the Lord,
devotees who are always associates and devotees who are simply following in the footsteps of
the Lord (pg. 294).

Adhikrta Dasa Appointed Servants

Adhikrta dasa are devotees whom Krsna appoints to serve as demigods. The conversation
between Jambavati and Kalindi points out the various adhikrta-dasas. (See pg. 294.)

Asrita Dasa Devotees Under the Lord's Protection

"My dear Krsna, O pleasure of Vrndavana! Being afraid of this material existence, we have taken
shelter of You, for You can completely protect us! We are well aware of your greatness. As such,
we have given up our desire for liberation and have take shelter under Your lotus feet. Since we
have heard about Your ever-increasing transcendental love, we have voluntarily engaged
ourselves in Your transcendental service (pg. 295).
This quotation establishes three types of asrita dasa (devotees under the Lord's
1. Sarangata those who take shelter of the Lord's protection due to fear of material
existence. ("Being afraid of this material existence, we have taken shelter of You, for You can
completely protect us!")
2. Jnanicari those who have realized Brahman, but give up the desire for moksa and
take shelter of Krsna, knowing Him to be the origin of Brahman. ("We are well aware of your
greatness. As such, we have given up our desire for liberation and have take shelter under Your
lotus feet.")
3. Seva-nistha those who simply love Krsna, and therefore have fixed desire to serve
Him. ("Since we have heard about Your ever-increasing transcendental love, we have voluntarily
engaged ourselves in Your transcendental service.")

Sarangata Those Who Take Shelter out of Fear

A sarangata servant is (1) afraid of material existence, and (2) is convinced that the Lord can
protect Him.
Srila Rupa Gosvami gives two examples of sarangata. The first is a prayer of Kaliyaserpent, whose fear of imminent death caused him to surrender to the Lord. The second is from
Aparadha-bhanjana: My dear Lord, I am ashamed to admit before You that I have carried out
the orders of my masters named lust, anger, avarice, illusion and envy. Sometimes I have carried
out their orders in a way most abominable. Yet in spite of my serving them so faithfully, they are
not satisfied, nor are they kind enough to give me relief from their service. They are not even
ashamed of taking service from me in that way. My dear Lord, O head of the Yadu dynasty, now
I have come to my senses, and I am therefore taking shelter of Your lotus feet. Please engage me
in Your service (pg. 295 - 296).

Jnanicari Those Who Take Shelter Out of Knowledge

A jnanicari servant: (1) is Brahman-realized, and (2) knows that the Lord is the origin of
Brahman, and therefore renounces the desire for moksa and takes shelter of the Lord. As Srila
Prabhupada says, "There are many instances in the various Vedic writings of persons who were
aspiring after liberation by speculative knowledge but gave up this process in order to take
complete shelter under the lotus feet of Krsna (pg. 296)."
Srila Rupa Gosvami gives two examples. The first is sages of Naimisaranya, who gave up
their impersonal realization by hearing knowledge about the glories of the Supreme Personality
of Godhead. The second example is from Padyavali, in which a former impersonalist describes
his attachment to Krsna. (See page 296.)

Seva-Nistha Those Who Take Shelter Out of Love

A sarangata was engaged in sense gratification, a jnanicari was engaged in processes of
liberation, but a seva-nistha is attached to the Lord's service right from the beginning. Srila
Prabhupada says, Those who are from the very beginning of their self-realization attached to
devotional service are called seva-nistha (pg. 296).
Srila Rupa Gosvami gives an example: My dear Lord, Your transcendental qualities
attract even the liberated souls and carry them to the assembly of devotees where your glories
are constantly chanted... And, observing all your transcendental qualities, I have also become
attracted and have decided to dedicate my life to Your loving service (pg. 296). Seeing how the
Lord attracts even the liberated souls, the seva-nistha immediately dedicates his life to the Lord's
The principal seva-nisthas: Lord Siva, King Indra, King Bahulasva, King Iksvaku,
Srutadeva and Pundarika (pg. 296). 3

Parisada Dasa Personal Servants

The parisada dasa are the Lord's ministers, who also perform intimate personal services
appropriate to their particular situation, such as carrying messages, fanning the Lord, etc.

Principal Parisada Dasas

In the city of Dvaraka the following devotees are known as Krsna's close associates: Uddhava,
Daruka, Satyaki, Srutadeva, 4 Satrujit, Nanda, Upananda and Bhadra. And, Among the Kuru
dynasty, Bhisma, Maharaja Pariksit and Vidura are also known as close associates of Lord Krsna
(pg. 297).

rla Rpa Gosvm lists Lord iva as both adhikta (an appoi nted servant ) and sev-niha (one who t akes
shelter of the Lord's protection out of love). One may understood this as follows: Out of love for Kna, iva takes
shelter of His protection and surrenders to His service (seva-niha). The specific service which Kna awards iva
is that of an appointed demigod (adhikta).
rla Rpa Gosvm lists rutadeva as both seva-niha and pariad. Thus he, l ike iva, appears t o be in two
categories. One m ay understand this as fol lows: Out of l ove for Kna, rutadeva takes shelter of Hi s protection
and surrenders to His service (seva-niha). The specific service Kna awards hi m is that of a personal minister

Their Form
All the associates of Lord Krsna have lustrous bodily features, and their eyes are just like lotus
flowers. They have sufficient power to defeat the strength of the demigods, and the specific
feature of their persons is that they are always decorated with valuable ornaments (pg. 297).
Their Devotional Mood
My dear Lord, Your personal associates, headed by Uddhava, are always awaiting Your order by
standing at the entrance gate of Dvaraka. They are mostly looking on with tears in their eyes,
and in the enthusiasm of their service they are not afraid even of the devastating fire generated
by Lord Siva. They are souls simply surrendered unto Your lotus feet (pg. 297).

Uddhava, The Foremost Parisada Dasa

His Form
His body is blackish like the color of the Yamuna River, and it is similarly as cool. He is always
decorated with flower garlands first used by Lord Krsna... (pg. 297)
His Devotional Mood
Lord Sri Krsna, who is our master and worshipable Deity, the controller of Lord Siva and Lord
Brahma, and the controller of the whole universe as well, accepts the controlling orders of
Ugrasena, His grandfather. He is the proprietor of millions of universes, but still He begged a
little land from the ocean. And although He is just like an ocean of wisdom, He sometimes
consults me. He is so great and magnanimous, yet He is engaged in His different activities just
like an ordinary person (pg. 297).

Anuga Dasa Intimate Followers

The anuga dasa are the most intimate personal servants of the Lord.

Principal Anuga Dasas of Dvaraka

They are, Sucandra, Mandana, Stamba and Sutamba (pg. 298).
Their Form
They are dressed and ornamented like the other associates (pg. 298).
Their Devotional Mood
The specific services entrusted to the anuga dasas is varied. Mandana always bears the umbrella
over the head of Lord Krsna. Sucandra is engaged in fanning with the white camara bunch of
hair, and Sutamba is engaged in supplying betel nuts... (pg. 298).

Principle Anuga Dasas of Vraja

They are, Raktaka, Patraka, Patri, Madhukantha, Madhuvrata, Rasala, Suvilasa, Premakanda,
Marandaka, Ananda, Candrahasa, Payoda, Bakula, Rasada and Sarada (pg. 298).


Their Form
...They always stay in Vrndavana, and their bodies are decorated with garlands of pearls and
with bangles and bracelets of gold. Their colors are just like black bees and the golden moon,
and they are dressed just to suit their particular special bodily features (pg. 298).
Their Devotional Mood
Their specific duties can be understood from a statement by Mother Yasoda, who said, Bakula,
please cleanse the yellowish dress of Krsna. Varika, you just flavor the bathing water with aguru
scent. And Rasala, you just prepare the betel nuts. You can all see that Krsna is approaching.
There is dust overhead, and the cows can be seen very distinctly. (pg. 298).

Raktaka, The Foremost Anuga Dasa

His Form
He wears yellow clothing, and his bodily color is just like newly grown grass.
His Devotional Mood
Raktaka said, Just hear me! Please place me so that I may always be engaged in the service of
Lord Krsna, who has now become famous as the lifter of Govardhana Hill (pg. 298).

Three Types of Parisada and Anuga

The intimate servants of the Lord (parisada and anuga) have three mentalities: dhurya, dhira,
and vira. Srila Prabhupada says, According to expert analytical studies of the direct associates
of the Lord, Srila Rupa Gosvami has divided these into three classes namely dhurya, dhira and
vira (page 299).

Dhurya are those who express love towards Krsna, towards the lovers of Krsna, and towards
those who serve the lovers of Krsna.
Raktaka epitomises this mentality: Not only is Krsna my worshipable and servable Lord,
but also the girl friends of Krsna, the gopis, are equally worshipable and servable by me. And not
only the gopis, but anyone who is engaged in the service of the Lord is also worshipable and
servable by me. I know that I must be very careful not to become overly proud that I am one of
the servitors and devotees of the Lord (page 299).

Dhira are those who do not have a specific service for the Lord, but are firmly situated in the
shelter of a dear devotee. The son of Satyabhama's nurse exemplifies this. He achieved the Lord's
mercy not exactly by executing service, but by being in the shelter of the Lord's dear devotee. 5

See pg. 299; also BRS 3.2.52


Vira are those who do not take shelter of anyone besides Sri Krsna. A vira devotee once
declared, Lord Baladeva may be a great enemy of Pralambasura, but I have nothing to worry
about from Him. And as far as Pradyumna is concerned, I have nothing to take from him,
because he is simply a boy. Therefore I do not expect anything from anyone else. I simply
expect the favorable glance of Krsna upon me, and so I am not even afraid of Satyabhama, who
is so dear to Krsna (page 299).

Grades of Servants
As mentioned in Chapter 25, all of Krsna's servants come into three categories: sadhaka
(neophyte), sadhana-siddha (perfect), and nitya-siddha (eternally perfect).
Srila Prabhupada says, Devotees attached to the transcendental loving service of the
Lord may be described either as surrendered souls [asrita], as souls advanced in devotional
knowledge [parisada], or as souls completely engaged in transcendental loving service [anuga].
Such devotees are called (respectively) neophyte, perfect and eternally perfect (page 300).


Chapter 37

Impetuses for Krsna's Service

BRS 3.2.57 - 103

Chapter 37 describes the vibhava-uddipana of sambhrama-priti-rasa, and is therefore titled,

Impetuses for Krsna's Service.

Vibhava (continued)
Impetuses Unique to Reverential Servitude
The causeless mercy of Krsna, the dust of His lotus feet, His prasada and association with His
devotees are some impetuses toward a devotee's engagement in transcendental loving service to
the Lord (page 301).
Example of Causeless Mercy
Bhismadeva said, My dear Krpacarya, just see the wonderful causeless mercy of Lord Krsna! ...I
have so many disqualifications, and yet the Lord is still so kind that He has come to see me at
the last point of my life... He is so merciful that He has come to see an abominable person like
me (page 301).

Impetuses That Also Stimulate Devotees of Other Rasas
Sometimes the vibration of Lord Krsna's flute, His bugling, His smiling, His footmarks on the
ground, the transcendental fragrance of His body and the appearance of a new cloud in the sky
also become impetuses for ecstatic love of Him (page 301).
Example of Flute
When Krsna was playing on His flute, Baladeva very anxiously declared, Just see how, after
hearing the transcendental sound of Krsna's flute, Indra, the King of heaven, is crying in his
heavenly kingdom! And from his teardrops falling on the ground, Vrndavana appears to have
become a celestial residence for the demigods.

Manifestations of Ecstasy Unique to Reverential Servitude
Ecstatic love for Krsna, which is known as anubhava, is symptomized by the following signs:
one becomes engaged exclusively in the service of the Lord, being attentive to carry out the
orders of the Lord faithfully; one becomes undisturbed and nonenvious in full transcendental
loving service to the Lord; and one makes friendship with the devotees of the Lord who are
situated in faithful service to Him (page 302).


Example of Exclusive, Attentive Service

While fanning Krsna, Daruka condemned his ecstatic tears, because they interfered with his

Manifestations of Ecstasy Shared with Other Rasas
Dancing (nrtyam) is one anubhava that sambhrama-priti-rasa shares with other rasas.
Srila Rupa Gosvami gives two examples of dancing: the first is Srutadeva, who became so
overwhelmed with the joy of seeing Krsna that he began dancing with both arms raised above
his head. (See page 302).
The next paragraph in The Nectar of Devotion gives the second example.

All eight sattvika-bhavas can manifest in reverential servitude. Srila Prabhupada mentions an
example for tears (asru) and faltering voice (svarabheda): ...after surrendering everything unto
the lotus feet of Vamanadeva, Bali Maharaja immediately caught hold of the lotus feet of the
Lord and pressed them to his heart. Being overwhelmed with joy, he manifested all the
symptoms of ecstatic love, with tears in his eyes and a faltering voice (page 302).

Srila Rupa Gosvami lists 24 vyabhicari-bhavas appropriate for reverential servitude. One will
find this list at the bottom of page 302 in The Nectar of Devotion.

Vyabhicari-Bhavas in Meeting and in Separation

Some of the 24 vyabhicari-bhavas are appropriate when meeting with Krsna. Others are
appropriate when in separation from Krsna. Srila Prabhupada explains, When a devotee meets
Krsna, there are symptoms of jubilation, pride and perseverance, and when he is feeling great
separation from Krsna, the symptoms of ghastliness, disease and signs of death become
prominent (page 303).
Examples of Jubilation in Meeting
...when Lord Krsna returned from the Battlefield of Kuruksetra to His home at Dvaraka, all the
residents of Dvaraka began to talk with Him, as a child talks lovingly to his father after the
father's return from foreign countries (page 303).
King Bahulasva (next paragraph in The Nectar of Devotion) is also an example of
jubilation in meeting.
Examples of Depression and Disparagement in Separation
My dear Lord, as the sun evaporates all the water on the ground by its scorching heat, so my
mental state has dried away the luster of my face and body, due to separation from You (page
303). This is an example of depression (visada).
Indra said, My dear sun-god, your sunshine is very glorious because it reaches unto the
lotus feet of Lord Krsna, the master of the Yadu dynasty. I have thousands of eyes, but they have

proved to be useless because not even for a moment are they able to see the lotus feet of the
Lord (page 303). This is an example of self-disparagement (nirveda)

Sambhrama-priti-rati is the sthayi-bhava of reverential servitude. It has two components: (1)
awareness of Krsna's supremacy, and (2) anxious eagerness to serve Him. 6
Awareness of Krsna's Supremacy causes the devotee to develop respectful humility, the
main character trait of a reverential servant. Prabhuta-jnana is the Sanskrit term for this
awareness that, "Krsna is my Lord and master."
Anxious Eagerness to Serve Krsna causes one to think, "How shall I serve Krsna? How
shall I utilize everything in His service?"
These two elements combine to produce sambhrama-priti-rati, which mixed with the
appropriate bhavas and heightens into relishable sambhrama-priti-rasa.

Examples of Sambhrama-Priti-Rati
The first example illustrates both principles of sambhrama-priti-rati awareness of Krsna's
supremacy, and eagerness to see Him and serve Him. Akrura says, Because I am going to see
Lord Krsna today, all symptoms of inauspiciousness have already been killed. My life is now
successful, because I shall be able to offer my respects unto the lotus feet of the Supreme
Personality of Godhead! (page 303).
The second example is similar. (See next paragraph in The Nectar of Devotion.)

Stages of Prema in Reverential Servitude

Prema has different characteristic stages: prema, sneha, raga, pranaya, and so forth. Sambhramapriti-rati can heighten to prema, sneha, and raga, but cannot go past raga.
Srila Prabhupada explains, Reverential devotion for the Lord gradually increases and
transforms itself into ecstatic love [prema], then affection [sneha] and then attachment [raga]
(page 303).

When one attains prema, one's love for Krsna never wavers or diminishes for an instant, even if
it has good reason to do so. Srila Prabhupada explains: When there is no diminishing of this
ecstatic love and when it is freed from all kinds of doubt, the devotee has reached the stage
called steady love for Krsna (page 304).
Examples of Prema
Bali Maharaja said, My dear Lord... Whether You give me the opportunity to enjoy all the yogic
perfections or You put me into the most abominable condition of hellish life, I shall never be
disturbed (page 304). This illustrates how prema never diminishes in any condition.
Lord Krsna told Uddhava, My dear friend, how can I express the glorious characteristics
of Bali Maharaja, the son of Virocana? Although the King of the suras [demigods] was cursed by

B RS 3.2.76.


this son of Virocana, and although I cheated him in My incarnation as Vamana, taking away his
dominions throughout the universe, and although I still criticised him for not fulfilling his
promise, I have just now seen him in his kingdom, and he feelingly expressed his love for Me
(page 304).
In spite of all the trouble Krsna put him through, Bali Maharaja still loved Krsna without
the slightest wavering or diminishing of intensity. That is the character of prema.

The distinguishing characteristics of sneha are: (1) the heart melts, and (2) one cannot
withstand even a moment of separation from Krsna.
Srila Prabhupada says, When such a feeling of love becomes intensified, it is called
affection. In that affectional stage, one cannot bear separation from Krsna even for a moment
(page 304).
Examples of Sneha
My dear Daruka, when you become like wood because of your separation from Krsna, it is not
so wonderful... (page 304). This sneha's second characteristic: inability to withstand even a
moment of separation.
When he saw Lord Krsna his eyes filled with tears and created a river which flowed
down toward the sea of Krsna to offer tribute, as a wife offers tribute to her husband. When his
body erupted with goose pimples, he appeared like the kadamba flower (pages 304 - 305). This
illustrates sneha's first characteristic: a melted heart.

Srila Prabhupada translated Srila Rupa Gosvami's definition of raga in Caitanya-caritamrta:
That stage at which affection for the beloved converts unhappiness into happiness is called
raga, or attachment. When one has such attraction for Krsna, he can give up his own life to
satisfy his beloved Krsna. 7
Meeting with Krsna converts even the greatest distress into happiness. Separation from
Krsna converts even the greatest happiness into distress, and one is prepared to give up his life.
These are the characteristics of raga.
Srila Prabhupada summarizes, When affection is symptomized by direct happiness and
distress, it is called attraction [raga]. In such an attracted state of ecstatic love, one can face all
kinds of disadvantages calmly. Even at the risk of death such a devotee is never bereft of the
transcendental loving service of the Lord (page 305).
Examples of Raga
The conditions surrounding Maharaja Pariksit's impending death were all distressful, but
meeting with the Lord through the hearing process converted all this distress into joy.
Srila Prabhupada explains, A glorious example of this ecstatic love was exhibited by
King Pariksit when he was at the point of death. Although he was bereft of his entire kingdom,
which spread over all the world, and although he was accepting not even a drop of water in the

Madhya 19.178, purport.


seven days remaining to him, because he was engaged in hearing the transcendental pastimes of
the Lord from Sukadeva Gosvami he was not in the least distressed. On the contrary, he was
feeling direct transcendental ecstatic joy in association with Sukadeva Gosvami (page 305).
Another example: If a drop of Lord Krsna's mercy can be bestowed upon me, then I
shall feel completely carefree, even in the midst of a fire or an ocean. But if I become bereft of
His causeless mercy, then even if I became the King of Dvaraka, I would be simply an object for
pinpricks (page 305).

Various Stages Achieved by Various Servants

The four types of reverential servants (adhikrta, asrita, parisada, and anuga) can attain different
levels of prema.
The adhikrta (demigod) and asrita (surrendered soul) can achieve up to prema. The
parisada (personal minister) and anuga (intimate follower) can achieve up to the level of raga. 8
At raga, a trace of friendship (sakhya) can appear in the devotee's reverential servitude.
Srila Prabhupada explains, Devotees such as Maharaja Pariksit and Uddhava are all situated in
ecstatic attraction on the basis of affection, and in that state of affection a feeling of friendship
becomes manifest (page 305).

Reverential Servitude in Meeting and Separation

Reverential servitude has two divisions: Such ecstatic love has been divided by great scholars
into two groups addition and subtraction.
The Sanskrit for "addition" and "subtraction" is yoga and ayoga, which can also be
translated as "meeting" and "separation." Both meeting and separation have their own
characteristic anubhavas and vyabhicari-bhavas.

Reverential Servitude in Separation

The anubhavas of reverential servitude in separation: In this state of love, one is constantly
fixed with his mind at the lotus feet of the Lord. A devotee in this state becomes very eager to
learn of the transcendental qualities of the Lord. The most important business of such a devotee
is attaining the association of the Lord (page 305.

Two Types of Separation

According to Sanskrit poetics, there are two types of separation: (1) utkanthitva, and (2) viyoga.
Utkanthitva is a longing to meet Krsna for the first time. Viyoga is a desire for reunion with the
Utkanthitva Longing
Longing to see the Lord, King Iksvaku becomes attached to anything that resembles Krsna, such
as the black cloud (whose color resembles Krsna's), the black deer (whose name krsna-sara
resembles Krsna's), and to the lotus flower (whose beauty resembles Krsna's eyes).

BRS 3.2.90 - 91


Another example of utkanthitva is Akrura, who desired to perfect his eyes by seeing
Krsna for the first time. (See page 306).
Eight vyabhicari-bhavas are appropriate for reverential servitude in utkanthitva:
Autsarya Eagerness
In the Krsna-karnamrta, written by Bilvamagala Thakura, there is this expression of eagerness
in ecstatic love: How miserable it is, my dear Krsna, O friend of the hopeless! O merciful Lord,
how can I pass these thankless days without seeing You? (page 306).
A similar sentiment was expressed by Uddhava when he wrote a letter to Krsna (page
Dainya Humility
My dear Lord, You are the ocean of mercy. With my arms placed upon my head, I am bowing
down before You with all humility and sincerity. I am praying unto You, my Lord. Would You
be pleased just to sprinkle a little of the water of Your glance upon me? That will be a great
satisfaction (pg. 306).
The next quotation on page 306 also exemplifies dainya.
The vyabhicari-bhavas of utkanthitva is reverential servitude continue into the next


Chapter 38

Indifference and Separation

BRS 3.2.104 - 127

This chapter continues describing the vyabhicari-bhavas of separation in reverential devotion.

Eight Vyabhicari-Bhavas of Utkanthitva (continued)

Nirveda Self Disparagement
Uddhava once wrote a letter to Krsna, My dear Krsna, I have just finished the study of all
kinds of philosophical books and Vedic verses about the goal of life, and so now I have a little
reputation for my studies. But still, in spite of my reputation, my knowledge is condemned,
because although enjoying the effulgence of Vedic knowledge, I could not appreciate the
effulgence emanating from the nails of Your toes. Therefore, the sooner my pride and Vedic
knowledge are finished, the better it will be! (pg. 307).
Cinta Anxiety
My mind is very flickering, so I cannot concentrate it upon Your lotus feet. And seeing this
inefficiency in myself I become ashamed, and the whole night I am unable to sleep because I am
exasperated by my great inability (page 307).
Capalya Restlessness
Krsna-karnamrta illustrates restlessness or unsteadiness, My dear Lord, Your naughtiness in
boyhood is the most wonderful thing in the three worlds. And You Yourself know what this
naughtiness is. As such, You can very easily understand my flickering mind. This is known to
You and me. Therefore, I am simply yearning to know how I can fix my mind on Your lotus feet
(page 307).
The next paragraph in The Nectar of Devotion also illustrates capalya.
Jadata Inertness
Srimad-Bhagavatam (7.4.37) depicts Prahlada's inertness in childish play, which is a vyabhicaribhava resulting from reverential longing to see the Lord for the first time. (See page 307).
Another example is the brahmana who simply stared upward, hoping to see Krsna. (See
page 308).
Unmada Madness
Srila Rupa Gosvami illustrates madness with two examples. The first is Prahlada Maharaja's
ecstatic dancing like a shameless madman. The second is Narada Muni's dancing naked, and
similar symptoms of insanity.
Moha Bewilderment
Prahlada Maharaja felt unfit to approach the Lord, so he lay down and cried, almost
unconsciousness from bewilderment.

Another example: The students of a great devotee once talked among themselves in this
way: My dear Godbrothers, our spiritual master, after seeing the lotus feet of the Lord, has
thrown himself into the fire of lamentation, and because of this fire the water of his life has
almost dried away. Let us now pour the nectar of the holy name through his ears, and by our
doing so the swan of his life may again show signs of life. (page 308). This loss of
consciousness, or loss of vital signs, is a vyabhicari-bhava of reverential longing to see the Lord's
lotus feet.

Viyoga Absence
The second type of separation from Krsna is viyoga, feeling the Lord's absence after having
previously had His association.
Uddhava exemplifies this mood: When Krsna left Dvaraka, Uddhava was almost
completely stunned into unconsciousness.
Srila Rupa Gosvami now describes ten vyabhicari-bhavas of viyoga.

Tapa Fever
Uddhava's statement to Narada illustrates tapa. (See page 309).

Krsata Emaciation (Withering of the Limbs)

Some devotees went to see Krsna in Dvaraka, but were detained at the gate. They prayed, My
dear Krsna, O friend of the Pandus, as the swan loves to dive into the water among the lily
flowers and would die if taken from the water, so we wish only to be with You. Our limbs are
shrinking and fading because You have been taken away from us (page 309).

Jagarana Sleeplessness
The King of Bahula, although very comfortably situated in his palace, began to think the nights
very long and distressing because of his separation from Krsna (page 309).

Alambana-Sunyata Inability to Find Shelter

King Yudhisthira once said, Krsna, the chariot driver of Arjuna, is the only relative of mine
within the three worlds. Therefore, my mind is becoming maddened day and night with
separation from His lotus feet, and I do not know how to situate myself or where I shall go to
attain any steadiness of mind (page 309).
Yudhisthira's mind could find no shelter from his feelings of separation in Krsna's
absence. Because his mind was thus afflicted day and night, this reference may also illustrate

Adhrti Nonattachment
Raktaka exemplifies complete nonattachment to all external objects. Simply because he saw a
peacock feather, he is now closing his eyes and is no longer attentive to pasturing the cows
(page 309).


Jadata Inertness
This is illustrated by Uddhava, When Krsna left Dvaraka for Hastinapura. (See pages 309 - 310).

Vyadhi & Unmada Disease & Madness

When Krsna left Dvaraka to seek out the Syamantaka jewel, Uddhava manifested symptoms of
disease and madness. (See page 310).

Murcchita Unconsciousness
Uddhava informed Krsna, My dear leader of the Yadu dynasty, Your servants in Vrndavana
cannot sleep at night thinking of You, so now they are all lying down on the bank of the
Yamuna almost paralyzed. And it appears that they are almost dead, because their breathing is
very slow (page 310).

Mrti Death
The final paragraph of Chapter Thirty-Eight illustrates mrti (death). Devotees do not allow
themselves to actually die, because they know that their ensuing absence from Krsna's future
pastimes would cause Him displeasure. Consequently, mrti is not actual death, but it displays
external symptoms similar to death. 9
Krsna was once informed, You are the life and soul of all the inhabitants of Vrndavana.
So because You have left Vrndavana, all of the servitors of Your lotus feet there are suffering. It
is as if the lakes filled with lotus flowers have dried up from the scorching heat of separation
from You (page 310)
Srila Prabhupada explains that this verse compares the residents of Vrndavana to lakes,
the lotus flowers are their souls, the swans are their life-air, and the scorching heat is their
separation from Krsna. The scorching heat of separation from Krsna had dried up their souls,
and thus the swan of their life-air seemed to be leaving the lakes of their bodies.

B RS 3.2.128


Chapter 39

Ways of Meeting Krsna

BRS 3.2.129 - 147

Srila Rupa Gosvami has completed his description of reverential servitude in separation (ayoga).
Chapter Thirty-Nine begins his description of reverential servitude in meeting (yoga).

Reverential Servitude in Meeting

When Krsna and His devotees meet, the meeting is technically called yoga, or linking up with
the Lord (page 311).
There are three ways of meeting Krsna: (1) siddhi perfection, (2) tusti satisfaction,
and (3) sthiti steadiness. Srila Prabhupada says, Such meetings between Krsna and His
devotees can be divided into three classes namely perfection, satisfaction and steadiness
(page 311).
Siddhi In utkanthitva, the devotee longs to meet Krsna for the first time. Siddhi
(perfection) occurs when he finally does meet Krsna.
Tusti In viyoga, the devotee suffers from the Krsna's absence. When the Lord finally
returns, the devotee experiences tusti (satisfaction).
Sthiti This occurs when the meeting with Krsna is steady and constant, not prefaced
by any type of separation.

Siddhi Perfectional Meeting

My dear King, as soon as Akrura the chariot driver saw Lord Krsna and His elder brother
Balarama in Vrndavana, he immediately got down from the chariot and, being greatly afflicted
by affection for the transcendental Lord, fell down upon His lotus feet to offer respectful
obeisances (page 311).
This illustrates siddhi because it is the first time that Akrura met Krsna.

Tusti Meeting in Satisfaction

When Lord Krsna returned to His capital, Dvaraka, the inhabitants said, Dear Lord, if You
remain in foreign countries for so long, we shall certainly be bereft of seeing Your smiling face!
Upon observing Your face, we, Your eternal servitors, become greatly satisfied. All the anxieties
of our existence are immediately mitigated. If we cannot see You because You are long absent
from Dvaraka, then it will be impossible for us to live anymore (pg. 311).
This illustrates tusti because it is a reunion with Krsna.
When Krsna returned to Dvaraka, out of ecstasy His servant Daruka forgot to offer Him
respects. This is another example of tusti.

Sthiti Steady Meeting

Those who steadily experience the association of Krsna for extended periods are enjoying sthiti
steady meeting. Srila Prabhupada says, When a devotee is ultimately situated in association
with Krsna, his position is called steadiness in devotional service (page 312).

Srila Rupa Gosvami illustrates sthiti with a verse from his book, Hamsaduta. This book
describes how Srimati Radharani feels faint in separation from Krsna. Her friend Lalita-Devi
hurries to the Yamuna for fresh water. Arriving there, she sees a beautiful swan travelling
downstream towards Mathura Krsna's newfound home. She asks the swan to take a message
to Krsna informing Him of Srimati Radharani's plight. The swan wants to know how to
recognise Krsna, so Lalita-devi describes that He is always surrounded by certain devotees,
especially Akrura (who would be talking to the Lord) and Uddhava (who would be massaging
His feet). Thus the Hamsaduta shows Akrura and Uddhava as examples of devotees enjoying
sthiti constant association with Krsna.

Anubhavas of Reverential Servitude in Meeting

Srila Prabhupada mentions two anubhavas of reverential servitude in meeting: (1) Devotees
situated in the transcendental rasa of servitorship render their particular service whenever there
is an opportunity, and (2) Sometimes they sit down in front of Krsna to receive orders (page

Is Reverential Servitude a Genuine Rasa?

Some say that reverential servitude is not a genuine rasa. They say the sthayi-bhava of
reverential servitude cannot be stimulated to rasa because there is a lack of appropriate vibhava,
etc. 10 Srila Prabhupada mentions this, Some persons are reluctant to accept this level of
devotional service as actual bhakti-yoga... (page 312).
This opinion is faulty. Srila Rupa Gosvami quotes two texts from Srimad-Bhagavatam
which clearly depict reverential servants experiencing all varieties of vibhava, etc. (See page


As mentioned in the beginning of this wave, there are two moods of dasya-rasa: (1) sambhramapriti, and (2) gaurava-priti. Srila Rupa Gosvami now treats the subject of gaurava-priti.
Gaurava-priti is more intimate than sambhrama-priti, because the gaurava-priti devotee
sees Krsna as his personal protector and maintainer, like a parent. The devotees in this mood
feel utterly dependent on Krsna's mercy, like a son feels dependent on the mercy of his father.
Indeed, often the gaurava-priti devotee is one of Krsna's sons. 11

Krsna as a Stimulus for Familial Servitude
Srila Rupa Gosvami describes the form and qualities of Krsna that stimulate familial servitude.


BRS 3.2.139 - 140

Dependence on Kna' s protection is one of t he symptoms of gaurava-prti. It is also one of t he six symptoms of
surrender mentioned in Bhaktivinode hkura's aranagati. Therefore, rla Prabhupda comments extensively on
the six processes of surrender.

Krsna's Form
When Krsna was residing in Dvaraka, some of the elderly members of the Yadu family would
occasionally put some important matter before Him. At such a time, Krsna would carefully give
attention to those matters. And if there were some humorous topics mentioned, Krsna would
immediately respond with a smiling face. Sometimes when Krsna was executing His duties in
the assembly known as Sudharma, He would ask the elderly members for good advice (page
Krsna's Qualities
...He is manifest as the supreme spiritual master, the supreme executive head, the superior
intelligence and the supreme power, protector and maintainer (page 313).


Chapter 40

Reverential Devotion of Sons and Other Subordinates

BRS 3.2.148 - 178

Srila Rupa Gosvami's description of gaurava-priti continues from the previous chapter.

Vibhava (continued)
The Devotee as a Stimulus for Familial Servitude
There are two types of gaurava-priti devotees: (1) kanistha those who feel intimately
subordinate to Krsna, and (2) putra those who feel subordinate to Krsna in the mood of a
son, or similar family member.
Srila Prabhupada says, True reverential devotion is exhibited by persons who think
themselves subordinate to Krsna and by persons who think themselves sons of Krsna (page
Principal Gaurava-Priti Devotees
The principal intimate subordinates are, Sarana, Gada and Subhadra (page 315).
principal sons and relatives are, Pradyumna, Carudesna and Samba (page 315).


Their Bhakti
Srila Rupa Gosvami describes the devotional mood of Krsna's sons: When Krsna's sons dined
with Him, they would sometimes open their mouths for Krsna to feed them. Sometimes when
Krsna would pat one of His sons, the son would sit on Krsna's lap, and while Krsna was blessing
the son's head by smelling it, the others would shed tears, thinking how many pious activities he
must have performed in his previous life (page 315).
The Foremost Gaurava-Priti Devotee
Out of Krsna's many sons, Pradyumna, a son of Krsna's chief queen, Rukmini, is considered the
leader (page 315).
Pradyumna's Form
Pradyumna's bodily features resemble Krsna's exactly. Pure devotees of Krsna glorify
Pradyumna because he is so fortunate: like father like son (315).
Pradyumna's Mood of Devotion
My dear Prabhavati, just look at the head of our family, Sri Krsna. He is Visnu Himself, the
supreme driver of Garuda, and He is our supreme master. Because we have become so proud
and confident of His protecting us, we sometimes do not even care about fighting with Tripurari
[Lord Siva] (page 315).


A Subtle Distinction
There are gaurava-priti devotees in Dvaraka and Vrndavana. Awareness of the Lord's opulence
captivates the gaurava-priti devotees in Dvaraka. Consequently, they are somewhat more distant
than the gaurava-priti devotees in Vrndavana.
Srila Prabhupada explains, The servitors in the abode of Dvaraka always worship Krsna
as the most respectable and revered Personality of Godhead. They are captivated by Krsna
because of His superexcellent opulences (page 316).

The basic anubhava of gaurava-priti-rasa is an expression of subordination to Krsna. Srila
Prabhupada mentions, These feelings of subordination... are sometimes manifested as anubhava
(page 316). 12
The basic anubhava of gaurava-priti is an expression of subordination. This can take
many forms: Sitting at a lower level than Krsna, Following the instructions of the Guru,
Accepting the burden of responsibility for Krsna's daily activities, renouncing activity that
displeases Krsna, and displaying gravity in front of one's superiors.
Example of Sitting at a Lower Level
When the demigods came before Krsna, the sons, instead of sitting on golden chairs, sat down
on the floor, which was covered with deerskin (page 316). [Emphasis added.]
Srila Rupa Gosvami mentions some additional anubhavas: ...the sons used to offer their
obeisances, they were silent, submissive and gentle... (page 316).
Srila Rupa Gosvami marks an interesting anubhava of gaurava-priti: such devotees never
discussed Krsna's pastimes in conjugal love (page 316). Srila Prabhupada elaborately comments
on this. (Last paragraph, page 316). 13

Srila Rupa Gosvami illustrates sattvika-bhava in gaurava-priti by citing Cupid. Upon seeing
Krsna, Cupid manifested ecstatic perspiration (sveda) and became stunned (stambha).
My dear Cupid, because you have been so fortunate as to have placed your eyesight on
the lotus feet of Krsna, the drops of perspiration on your body have become frozen, and they
resemble kantaki fruits [a kind of small fruit found in thorny bushes] (page 317). The beauty of
Krsna's lotus feet stunned Cupid so much that his entire body froze up, even his perspiration.

All the Vyabhicari-bhavas mentioned for sambhrama-priti-rasa also apply in gaurava-priti-rasa.


rla Rpa Gosvm illustrates th is with a referen ce to "Balarm a." Referrin g to th e o riginal tex t in Bhaktirasmta-sindhu (3.2.157) is helpful. The Sanskrit agraja ("elder brother") refers to Kna. A person called Gada is
Kna's y ounger brot her (he i s t he son of Vsudeva by anot her wi fe). Seei ng hi s elder brot her Kna, Gada
becomes overwhelmed with gaurava-prti and begi ns offering prostrated obeisances to His lotus feet. (Gada also
means "club.")
Jva Gosvm explains that this anubhva applies to sdhakas (practitioners) of gaurava-prti-rasa. Those who are
eternally perfect in gaurava-prti-rasa never have any inclination to discuss the Lord's conjugal pastimes. Therefore
restraining from topics of conjugal pastimes is an anubhva which has no possibility of arising in them.

The Yadu princes are an example of jubilations (harsa). (See page 317).
Pradyumna is an example of self disparagement (nirveda). He said, My dear Samba, you
are such a glorified personality! I have seen that once when you were playing on the ground,
your body became covered with dust; yet our father, Lord Krsna, still took you up on His lap.
But I am so unfortunate that I could never get such love from our father! (page 317).
When Pradyumna was young he was taken away from home, not to return until his
adulthood. He laments having thus missed the opportunity for intimate childhood exchanges
with his father, Lord Krsna.

To regard Krsna as one's superior is called reverential feeling, and when, in addition to this, a
devotee feels that Krsna is his protector, his transcendental love for Krsna is increased, and his
combined feelings are called reverential devotion (page 317).
"Regarding Krsna as one's superior" is sambhrama-priti-rati. When this is augmented by
the more intimate conception of personal dependence on the Lord for maintenance and
protection, it evolves to gaurava-priti-rati.
Srila Rupa Gosvami illustrates the sthayi-bhava of gaurava-priti: In this reverential
devotional attitude, Pradyumna never talked to his father in a loud voice. In fact, he never so
much as unlocked the lips of his mouth, nor did he ever show his face filled with tears. He
would always glance only at the lotus feet of his father (page 317).

Stages of Prema in Gaurava-Priti

Gaurava-priti-rati can heighten to prema, sneha, and finally raga. Srila Prabhupada summarizes,
When this steady reverential devotion increases further, it is called love of Godhead in
reverential devotion. Attraction and affection are two prominent symptoms of this stage (page
317). 14

At the level of prema, one's love for Krsna never diminishes or wavers, even if there is
justification for it to do so. Krsna's younger sister, Subhadra, illustrates this. She was informed
that Krsna had failed to protect her beloved son Abhimanyu from death on the battlefield of
Kuruksetra. Still, her deep love for Krsna never wavered or diminished for a moment. Arjuna,
her husband, told Krsna, Although Abhimanyu was killed almost in Your presence, Subhadra's
love for You is not agitated at all, nor has it even slightly changed its original color (page 318).

Sneha has two characteristics: (1) a melted heart, and (2) inability to withstand a moment of
absence from Krsna. Srila Rupa Gosvami illustrates gaurava-priti-rasa at sneha by citing
Pradyumna, who once approached Krsna very bashfully, with tears in his eyes (a symptom of a
melted heart). (See page 318).


"Steady reverent ial devot ion" i ndicates gaurava-prti-rati. When that rati "increases further" by encouragem ent
from the appropriate bhvas, it heightens to "love of Godhead" prema, "attraction" rga, and "affect ion"

Raga is love that transforms happiness into distress, and distress into happiness. Whenever
[Pradyumna] was ordered by his father to execute something, he would immediately execute
the order, taking the task as nectarean even though it may have been poison. Similarly,
whenever he would find something to be disapproved of by his father, he would immediately
reject it as poison, even though it may have been nectarean (page 318).

Separation and Meeting

The conditions of yoga and ayoga also apply in gaurava-priti-rasa. Srila Rupa Gosvami gives a
few examples:

Ayoga Separation
Utkanthitva in Gaurava-Priti-Rasa
Pradyumna said to his wife Rati, The enemy, Sambara, is already killed. Now I am very anxious
to see my father, who is my spiritual master and who always carries the conchshell known as
Pancajanya (page 318).
As previously mentioned, Pradyumna was taken from his father at infancy. In this
statement, he has grown to adulthood and is on the verge of being reunited with his long-lost
father. Thus Pradyumna exemplifies a gaurava-priti bhakta who longs to see Krsna for the first
time (utkanthitva).
Viyoga in Gaurava-Priti-Rasa
When his father was away at the battle of Kuruksetra, Pradyumna said, Since my father has left
Dvaraka, I do not take much pleasure in practicing fighting, nor am I interested in any kind of
sporting pastimes. And what need is there to speak of these things? I do not even wish to stay at
Dvaraka in the absence of my father (page 318).

Yoga Meeting
Siddhi Perfectional Meeting
After killing Sambarasura and returning to Dvaraka, Pradyumna achieved the perfection of his
long-cherished desire to be reunited with his father. (See page 318).
Tusti Meeting in Satisfaction
After Krsna returned from Kuruksetra, the joy of tusti overwhelmed all His sons in Dvaraka.
...when Krsna returned from the Battlefield of Kuruksetra to His home at Dvaraka. All of His
sons were so overjoyed that out of ecstasy they repeatedly made many mistakes (page 318).
Sthiti Constant Meeting
Every day Pradyumna looked over Krsna's lotus feet with tears in his eyes. [Emphasis added.]
Srila Rupa Gosvami will not explicitly describe all the vyabhicari-bhavas for each facet of union
and separation. He has already extensively described the topic in connection with sambhramapriti. The intelligent reader can simply apply the same paradigm to gaurava-priti. Srila

Prabhupada summarizes, These signs of reverential devotion on the part of Pradyumna may be
described in the same way they have been described in the cases of other devotees (page 318).


Western Ocean
Third Wave
Chapters 41 & 42


Chapter 41

Fraternal Devotion
BRS 3.3.1 - 56

"When a devotee is permanently situated in devotional service, and by different symptoms of

ecstasy he has developed and matured a fraternal mellow or flavor in relationship with the
Personality of Godhead, his feeling is called fraternal love of Godhead." (pg. 319) 1
In other words, when fraternal affection (sakhya-rati) is stimulated by the appropriate
bhavas it develops and matures into sakhya-rasa.
Srila Rupa Gosvami will now describe the appropriate vibhavas, etc., for sakhya-rasa.

Krsna as a Stimulus for Friendship
Srila Rupa Gosvami describes the form and qualities of Krsna that specifically stimulate sakhyarasa.
Krsna's Form
The form that stimulates sakhya-rasa in the residents of Vrndavana: The Lord, Hari, whose
bodily hue is like the indranila jewel, whose smiling is as beautiful as the kunda flower, whose
silk dress is as yellow as golden autumn foliage, whose chest is beautified with garlands of
flowers and who is always playing upon His flute this enemy of the Agha demon is always
attracting our hearts by wandering about Vrndavana (pg. 319).
The form that stimulates sakhya-rasa of devotees outside Vrndavana: When the sons of
Pandu, headed by Maharaja Yudhisthira, saw Krsna in His four-handed form on the Battlefield
of Kuruksetra, holding His conchshell, disc, club, and lotus flower, they completely forgot
themselves and became merged in the ocean of nectarean happiness (pg. 319).
Krsna's Qualities
...Krsna's nice dress, His strongly built body, the all-auspicious symptoms on His body, His
knowledge of different languages, His learned teachings in Bhagavada-Gita, His uncommon
genius in all fields of endeavor, His exhibition of expert knowledge, His mercy, His chivalry, His
behavior as a conjugal lover, His intelligence, His forgiveness, His attraction for all kinds of
men, His opulence and His happiness all provoke fraternal love (pgs. 319 - 320).

The Devotee as a Stimulus for Friendship
The devotees who can stimulate friendly devotional sentiments are, naturally, Krsna's friends.

"Permanently situated in devotional service" refers to sakhya-rati, the sthy-bhva of fraternal devotion. When
"different symptoms of ecstasy" (the four bhvas) stimulate this rati it develops into a mature "fraternal mellow or
flavor" (sakhya-rasa).


Srila Prabhupada describes, The impetus to fraternal love upon seeing the associates of
Krsna in Vrndavana is also very natural, for their personal bodily features, their qualities and
their dress are all equal to Krsna's. These associates are always happy in their service to Krsna,
and they are generally known as vayasyas, or friends of the same age (pg. 320). 2

Varieties of Friends
There are two types of vayasyas: (1) vraja-sakhas friends in Vrndavana, and (2) pura-vyasyas
friends living outside Vrndavana, in larger towns and cities.
Srila Prabhupada explains, Such eternal vayasyas are also found beyond the jurisdiction
of Vrndavana, in places such as Dvaraka and Hastinapura. Except for Vrndavana, all the places
of Krsna's pastimes are called puras (towns) (page 320).

Pura-Vyasyas Friends Living Outside Vrndavana

Principal Pura-Vyasyas
Personalities like Arjuna, Bhima, Draupadi and Sudama Brahamana are counted among Krsna's
fraternal devotees in the puras (pg. 320).
Their Bhakti
When Sri Krsna arrived in Indraprastha, the capital of the Kurus, Maharaja Yudhisthira
immediately came out to smell the flavor of Krsna's head. It is the Vedic custom that a superior
smells the heads of his subordinates when the subordinates offer respect to the superior by
touching his feet. Similarly, Arjuna and Bhima embraced Krsna with great jubilation, and the
two younger brothers, namely Nakula and Sahadeva, touched the lotus feet of Krsna with tears
in their eyes and offered their respects. In this way all the five Pandava brothers enjoyed the
fraternal friendship of Krsna in transcendental mellow. (pg. 320)

The Foremost Pura-Vyasya

Arjuna is the foremost friendly devotee outside Vrndavana. Of the five Pandavas, Arjuna is the
most intimately connected with Krsna (pg. 320).
Arjuna's form
He has a nice bow called Gandiva in his hand. His thighs are compared to the trunks of
elephants, and his eyes are always reddish... (pg. 320).
Arjuna's Bhakti
It is said that once Arjuna was lying on his bed with his head upon Krsna's lap and was talking
and joking with Krsna in great relaxation, enjoying Krsna's company with smiling and great
satisfaction (page 320).

The terms vayasya and sakha are synonymous.


Vraja-Sakhas Friends in Vrndavana

Among all of Krsna's friends, the vraja-sakhas have the strongest devotion, evidenced by their
inability to tolerate separation from Him. As far as the vayasyas (friends) in Vrndavana are
concerned, they become greatly distressed when they cannot see Krsna even for a moment (pgs.
320 - 321).

Their Forms
All glories to Krsna's vayasyas, who are just like Krsna in their age, qualities, pastimes, dress
and beauty. They are accustomed to playing on their flutes made of palm leaves, and they all
have buffalo-horn bugles ornamented like Krsna's with jewels such as indranila and with gold
and coral. They are always jubilant like Krsna. May these glorious companions of Krsna always
protect us!" (pg. 321)

Their Bhakti
When Krsna lifted Govardhana Hill, His friends said: Dear friend, You have been standing for
the last seven days and nights without any rest. This is very troublesome for us, because we see
that You have undertaken a severely laborious task. We think, therefore, that You need not
continue to stand in that way holding the hill. You can just transfer it onto Sudama's hand. We
are very much aggrieved to see You in this position. If you think that Sudama is not able to
support Govardhana Hill, then at least You should change hands. Instead of supporting it with
Your left hand, please transfer it to Your right hand, so that we can give Your left hand a
massage (page 321).
Srila Prabhupada comments, This is an instance of intimacy, showing how much the
vayasyas considered themselves equal to Krsna (pg. 321).
Srimad-Bhagavatam (10.12.11) further describes the vraja-sakhas' mood of friendly
Srila Rupa Gosvami illustrates Krsna's special affection for the vraja-sakhas. [Krsna]
once said to Balarama, My dear brother, when My companions were being devoured by
Aghasura, hot tears poured down from My eyes. And as they were washing My cheeks, My dear
elder brother, for at least one moment I completely lost Myself (pg. 321).

Four Types of Vraja-Sakhas

Krsna has four types of friends in Vrndavana:
1.) Suhrt well-wishers
2.) Sakhas friends
3.) Priya-sakhas confidential friends
4.) Priya-narma-sakhas most intimate friends
Srila Prabhupada explains, Within Gokula, Krsna's vayasyas are generally divided into four
groups: (1) well-wishers, (2) friends, (3) confidential friends, and (4) intimate friends (pg.


Suhrt Well-Wishers
Krsna's well-wisher friends are a little bit older than Krsna, and they have some parental
affection for Him. Because of their being older than Krsna, they always try to protect Him from
any harm. As such, they sometimes bear weapons so that they can chastise any mischievous
persons who want to do harm to Krsna (pg. 322).
Principal Suhrts
Counted among the well-wisher friends are Subhadra, Mandalibhadra, Bhadravardhana,
Gobhata, Yaksa, Indrabhata, Bhadraga, Virabhadra, Mahaguna, Vijaya and Balabhadra (pg.
Their Bhakti
My dear Mandalibhadra, why are you wielding a shining sword as though you were running
toward Aristasura to kill him? My dear Baladeva, why are You unnecessarily bearing that heavy
plough? My dear Vijaya, don't be unnecessarily agitated. My dear Bhadravardhana, there is no
need to make these threatening motions. If you will all look more closely you will see that it is
only a thundercloud upon Govardhana Hill; it is not the Aristasura in the shape of a bull, as you
have imagined (pg. 322).
The Foremost Suhrts
Among the well-wisher friends, Mandalibhadra and Balabhadra are the chiefs (pg. 322).
Mandalibhadra's Form
His complexion is yellowish, and his dress is very attractive. He always carries a stick of various
colors. He wears a peacock feather on his head and always looks very beautiful (pg. 322).
Mandalibhadra's Bhakti
My dear friends, our beloved Krsna is now very tired from working with the cows in the
pasturing grounds... I can see that He is very fatigued. Let me massage His head silently while
He is taking rest in His house. And you, Subala you just massage His thighs (pg. 322).
Balabhadra's form
Let me take shelter of the lotus feet of Balarama, whose beauty is enhanced by the earrings
touching His cheeks. His face is decorated with tilaka made from kasturi [musk], and His broad
chest is decorated with a garland of gunja [small conchshells]. His complexion is as white as an
autumn cloud... (pg. 322 - 323).
Balabhadra's Bhakti
Balarama's statement to Subala describes His mood of devotion. (See page 323.)

Sakha Friends
Friends who are younger than Krsna, who are always attached to Him and who give Him all
kinds of service are called ordinary friends, or, simply, friends (page 323).

Principal Sahkas
The names of some sakhas are Visala, Vrsabha, Ojasvi, Devaprastha, Varuthapa, Maranda,
Kusumapida, Manibandha and Karandhama (page 323).
Because the sakhas are younger than Krsna, they have a trace of servitude. They greatly
enjoy helping to dress Krsna, keeping Krsna informed about the whereabouts of His cows, and
other relishable tasks like fanning and massaging Him. (See second full paragraph of page 323.)
The Foremost Sakha
The foremost of all sakhas is Devaprastha.
Devaprastha's Form
He is very strong, a ready scholar, and is very expert in playing ball. He wears a white dress,
and he ties his hair into a bunch with a rope... (pg. 324).
Devaprastha's Bhakti
Krsna began to recline and, taking this opportunity, Devaprastha, out of his strong affection for
Krsna, immediately began to massage His legs (pg. 324).

Priya-Sakhas Confidential Friends

The more confidential friends are called priya-sakhas and are almost Krsna's age. Because of
their very confidential friendship, their behavior is only on the basis of pure friendship. The
behavior of other friends is on the ground of parental love or servitude, but the basic principle
of the confidential friends is simply friendship on an equal level (pg. 324).
Suhrts are older than Krsna. Consequently, parental love mixes with their friendship.
Sakhas are younger than Krsna. Thus, servitude mixes with their friendship. Priya-sakhas,
however, are the same age as Krsna. Their friendship is perfectly on the level of equality. It is
pure friendship without any influence of parental affection or servitude.
Principal Priya-Sakhas
Sridama, Sudama, Dama, Vasudama, Kikini, Stoka-krsna, Amsu, Bhadrasena, Vilasi,
Pundarika, Vitaka and Kalavika (page 324).
Their Bhakti
Srimati Radharani's friend describes their devotional mood. (See pg. 324.)
Srila Rupa Gosvami gives a second description: Sometimes a confidential friend would
come before Krsna and embrace Him with great affection and love. Another friend would then
come up from the rear and cover Krsna's eyes with his hands. Krsna would always feel very
happy by such dealings with His confidential friends (pg. 325).
Srila Prabhupada adds his own commentary, further illustrating the devotional mood of
the priya-sakhas by describing Krsna's laddu-stealing friend, Madhumagala. (See pg. 325)
The Foremost Priya-Sakha
Out of all these confidential friends, Sridama is considered to be the chief (pg. 325).

Sridama's Form:
Sridama used to put on a yellow-colored dress. He would carry a buffalo horn, and his turban
was of reddish, copper color. His bodily complexion was blackish, and around his neck there
was a nice garland... (pg. 325).
Sridama's Bhakti
He once told Krsna, Oh, You are so cruel that You left us alone on the bank of the Yamuna, and
we were all mad from not seeing You there! Now it is our great fortune that we are able to see
You here. If You want to pacify us, You must embrace each one of us with Your arms... (pg.

Priya-Narma-Sakhas Most Intimate Friends

There are other friends who are still more confidential. They are called priya-narma, or
intimate friends (pg. 325).
The priya-narma are the most intimate and exalted of all devotees in the sakhya mood,
because Krsna engages them in the very confidential service of arranging His meetings with the
Principal Priya-Narmas
Counted among the priya-narma friends are Subala, Arjuna, Gandharva, Vasanta and Ujjvala
(pg. 325).
Their Bhakti
A gopi tells Srimati Radharani, My dear Krsagi [delicate one], just see how Subala is
whispering Your message into Krsna's ear, how he is delivering the confidential letter of Syamadasi silently into Krsna's hand, how he is delivering the betel nuts prepared by Palika into
Krsna's mouth, and how he is decorating Krsna with garland prepared by Taraka. Did you
know, my dear friend, that all these most intimate friends of Krsna are always engaged in His
service in this way? (pgs. 325 - 326).
The Foremost Priya-Narma
Out of the many intimate priya-narmas, Subala and Ujjvala are considered to be the most
prominent (pg. 326).
Subala's Form
(Subala is slightly superior to Ujjvala): His complexion is just like molten gold. He is very, very
dear to Krsna. He always has a garland around his neck, and he wears yellow clothing. His eyes
are just like lotus flower petals... (pg. 326).
Subala's Bhakti
When Krsna would speak to Subala no one else could understand what they were saying; not
even the assembly of sakhis who are expert in understanding Krsna's subtle gestures and
movements. Subala's superior intimacy would thus become evident. Srila Prabhupada says, The
degree of intimacy shared by Krsna and Subala can be understood by the fact that the talks

between them were so confidential that no one else could understand what they were saying
(pg. 326).
Ujjvala's Form
Ujjvala always wears some garment of orange color, and the movements of his eyes are always
very restless. He likes to decorate himself with all kinds of flowers, his bodily hue is almost like
Krsna's, and on his neck there is always a necklace of pearls (pg. 326).
Ujjvala's Bhakti
Srimati Radharani said, My dear friend it is impossible for Me to keep My prestige! I wanted to
avoid talking to Krsna anymore but just see! There again is His friend Ujjvala, coming to Me
with his canvassing work. His entreaties are so powerful that it is very difficult for a gopi to
resist her love for Krsna... (page 326).
Ujjvala always desires to glorify Krsna's very confidential love for the gopis. The last
paragraph of page 326 illustrates this.

Pramana Evidence
There are different ways to ascertain who the intimate friends of Lord Krsna are, how they dress,
etc. One way is by the descriptions given in sastra, another is by local lore and oral tradition.
Among the groups of different friends of Krsna, some are well known from various scriptures,
and some are well known by popular tradition (pg. 327).

Three Types of People Who Become Krsna's Friends

There are three types of people who become Krsna's friends: (1) some are eternally perfect
friends, (2) some are elevated demigods who become Krsna's friends, and (3) some are devotees
who have achieved intimate friendship with Krsna by executing sadhana.
Srila Prabhupada says, There are three divisions among Krsna's friends: some are
eternally in friendship with Krsna, some are elevated demigods, and some are perfected devotees
(pg. 327).

Services Performed by Krsna's Friends

Each individual friend renders service according to his inherent personality: "In all of these
groups there are some who by nature are fixed in Krsna's service and are always engaged in
giving council; some of them are very fond of joking and naturally cause Krsna to smile by their
words; some of them are by nature very simple, and by their simplicity they please Lord Krsna...
(page 327).


Chapter 42

Fraternal Loving Affairs

BRS 3.3.57 - 136

Vibhava (continued)
Objects Which Impel Fraternal Love
Krsna's age, His beauty, His bugle, His flute, His conchshell and His pleasing attitude all
provoke love in friendship for Him. His exceptional joking abilities, exhibited sometimes by His
pretending to be a royal prince, or even the Supreme Personality of Godhead, also give impetus
to devotees developing love for Krsna in friendship (pg. 329).

Krsna's Age
Krsna has three age periods: (1) kaumara birth to 5 years old, (2) pauganda 6 to 10 years
old, (3) kaisora 11 to the end of 15 years old.
Srila Prabhupada says, Learned scholars have divided Krsna's age into three periods: the
age up through five years is called kaumara, the age from the sixth to the tenth year is called
pauganda, and the age from the eleventh through fifteenth year is called kaisora (pg. 329).

Kaumara up to Five Years Old

Srimad-Bhagavatam (10.13.11) describes Krsna in His kaumara age flute tucked in His belt,
enjoying a festive picnic with His young boyfriends.

Pauganda Six to Ten Years Old

Krsna's pauganda age can be further divided into three periods namely the beginning [adya],
middle [madhya] and end [sesa] (pg. 330).
Adya Pauganda (6 - 7)
Beauty of this Age
In the beginning of the pauganda age there is a very nice reddish luster on His lips, His
abdomen is very thin, and on His neck are circles like those on a conchshell (pg. 330).
Srila Rupa Gosvami gives an example of how this beauty can impel ecstatic friendship.
Sometimes, some outside visitors would return to Vrndavana to see Krsna and, upon seeing
Him again, would exclaim, My dear Mukunda, Your beauty is gradually increasing, just like the
leaf on a banyan tree! ...I am sure that Your beautiful bodily development is now giving much
pleasure to Your friends (pg. 330).
Dress of this Age
At this age Krsna was garlanded with various kinds of flowers. He used to put on a silk dress,
colored with various kinds of dye (pg. 330).

Activities of this Age

Sometimes He would wrestle there with His different friends, and sometimes they would all
dance together in the forest (pg. 330).
Srila Rupa Gosvami gives an example of how these activities can impel ecstatic
friendship. The cowherd boys said, Dear Krsna... when You pretend, just like an actor, to be
fighting with us, You give us unlimited transcendental bliss (pg. 330).
Madhya-Pauganda (8 - 9)
Beauty of this Age
When Krsna is more grown up, in the middle age of pauganda, His nails become finely sharp,
and His chubby cheeks become lustrous and round. On the two sides of His waist above His belt
there are three distinct lines of folded skin, called trivali (pg. 330).
Dress of this Age
In this age Krsna wore a silk dress that glittered like lightening, His head was decorated with a
silk turban covered with gold lace, and in His hand He carried a stick about fifty-six inches long
(pgs. 330 - 331).
Srila Rupa Gosvami gives an example of how this dress can impel ecstatic friendship.
One of Krsna's friends said, My dear friend, just look at Krsna! See how He is carrying in His
hand a stick which is bound up and down with golden rings, how His turban with golden lace is
showing such a beautiful luster, and how His dress is giving His friends the highest
transcendental pleasure! (pg. 331).
Sesa Pauganda (10 years)
Beauty of this Age
At the end of Krsna's pauganda age, Krsna's hair sometimes hangs down to His hips, and
sometimes it becomes scattered. In this age His two shoulders become higher and broader, and
His face is always decorated with marks of tilaka. When His beautiful hair scatters over His
shoulders, it appears to be a goddess of fortune embracing Him, and this embracing is highly
relished by His friends (pg. 331).
Srila Rupa Gosvami gives an example of how this beauty can impel ecstatic friendship.
My dear Kesava... all of Your beautiful bodily features are defeating me today, although I am
usually stronger than You or any of our friends. Since this is so, I do not know how these
features of Your body can fail to defeat the pride of all the young girls of Vrndavana. When I am
so defeated by this beauty, what chance is there for those who are naturally very simple and
flexible? (pg. 331).
Activities of this Age
The sesa pauganda period borders directly upon Krsna's kaisora period (in which His pastimes
with the gopis become prominent). Thus one can see the dawning of Krsna's conjugal affairs
within the activities of this age. At this age Krsna took pleasure in whispering into the ears of
His friends, and the subject of His talks was the beauty of the gopis, who were just tarrying
before them (pg. 331).
Srila Rupa Gosvami gives an example of how these activities can impel ecstatic
friendship. Subala said, My dear Krsna, You are very cunning. You can understand the

thoughts of others; therefore I am whispering within Your ear that all of these five gopis, who
are most beautiful, have been attracted by Your dress. And I believe Cupid has entrusted them
with the responsibility of conquering You (pg. 331).

Kaisora 11 to 15 Years Old 3

All the devotees in Vrndavana servants, friends, parents, and consorts find the age of
kaisora to be the most pleasing of all. Therefore Krsna never ages beyond kaisora. As such there
is no description of Krsna's yauvanam given in Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu.
Srila Prabhupada summarizes, And it is at this age that devotees generally most
appreciate Krsna. Krsna with Radharani is worshipped as Kisora-kisori. Krsna does not increase
His age beyond this form of kaisora... (pgs. 331 - 332).

Krsna's Beauty
After age, the next uddipana is beauty. Srila Rupa Gosvami describes how the cowherd boys
appreciate Krsna's beauty. Dear Krsna, You need not decorate Your body with so many
ornaments. Your transcendental features are themselves so beautiful that You do not require any
ornamentation (pg. 332).

Miscellaneous Objects
Krsna's Flute
Krsna's flute can impel fraternal love. Whenever Krsna begins to vibrate His flute early in the
morning, all of His friends immediately get up from bed just to join Him in going to the
pasturing grounds (page 332).
An example: One of the friends once said, My dear cowherd friends, the sound of
Krsna's flute from above Govardhana Hill is telling us that we need not go to search Him out on
the bank of the Yamuna.

Krsna's Conchshell
The statement of Parvati to Siva illustrates how the conchshell gives enthusiasm to Krsna's
friends. (See pg. 332.)

Krsna's Humor (Vinode)

The story of Krsna dressing Himself up like Srimati Radharani, "just to create fun among His
friends," is an illustration of how Krsna increases the fraternal devotion of His friends by doing
various funny things.

Srila Rupa Gosvami mentions various expressions of fraternal devotion. Krsna played with His
intimate friends sometimes by fighting or wrestling with their arms, sometimes by playing ball

Previously, r Rpa Goswm elaborately described all three divisions (adya, madhya, and ea) of Kna's
kaiora age. see The Nectar of Devotion, page 210; Waves of Devotion, page .


and sometimes by playing chess. Sometimes they carried one another on their shoulders, and
sometimes they exhibited their expertness at whirling logs [sticks]... by joking together, and by
swimming in the pool. All these activities are called anubhava. Whenever all the friends would
assemble in the company of Krsna, they would immediately engage in all these functions,
especially in dancing together (pg. 332).
Example of Wrestling
My dear friend, O killer of the Agha demon, You are very proudly wandering among Your
friends trying to exhibit Your arms as very strong. Is it that You are envious of me? I know that
You cannot defeat me in wrestling, and I also know that You were sitting idly for a long time
because You were hopeless of defeating me (page 333).
Different types of friends have different types of anubhavas.

Anubhavas of Pura-Vayasyas
All the friends were very daring and would risk any difficulty, because they were confident that
Krsna would help them to be victorious in all adventures (pg. 333).

Anubhavas of Suhrts (Older Friends)

Krsna's older friends express their devotion by instructing Krsna on what is to be done and what
is not to be done. They used to sit together and advise one another what to do, sometimes
inducing one another to be engaged in welfare work (pg. 333).
The phrase "inducing one another to be engaged in welfare work" means that they
advised Krsna to engage in auspicious activities.

Anubhavas of Sakhas (Younger Friends)

Sometimes they would offer betel nuts to one another, decorate one another's faces with tilaka
or smear pulp of candana on one another's bodies. Sometimes, for the sake of amusement, they
used to decorate their faces in strange ways (pg. 333).

Anubhavas of Priya-Sakhas (Peers)

Another business of the friends was that each of them wanted to defeat Krsna. Sometimes they
used to snatch His clothing or snatch away the flowers from His hands. Sometimes one would
try to induce another to decorate his body for him, and failing this, they were always ready to
fight, challenging one another to combat in wrestling (pg. 333).

Anubhavas of Priya-Narma-Sakhas (Confidential Friends)

...they served as messengers to and from the gopis; they introduced the gopis to Krsna and
canvassed for Krsna. When the gopis were in disagreement with Krsna, these friends would
support Krsna's side in His presence but when Krsna was not present, they would support
the side of the gopis.
In other words, they engaged in highly diplomatic behavior to reconcile Krsna and the
gopis. In this way, sometimes supporting one side, sometimes the other, they would talk very
privately, with much whispering in the ears, although none of the business was very serious (pg.

Sadharana (Common) Anubhavas of Sakhya-Rasa

Described above are the anubhavas highly specific to each type of friend. There are also
anubhavas that are common to all types of friends: The servants of Krsna were sometimes
engaged in collecting flowers, decorating His body with valuable ornaments and trinkets,
dancing before Him, singing, helping Him herd the cows, massaging His body, preparing flower
garlands and sometimes fanning His body (pg. 333).

All eight sattvika-bhavas are appropriate to sakhya-bhava.

Stambha Stunned
When Krsna came out from the Yamuna after chastising the Kaliya-naga, Sridama wanted to
embrace Him first, but he could not raise his arms because of his great feeling of respect (pg.
333). When Sridama saw Krsna entangled in the Kaliya serpent he became stunned. When
Krsna came out victoriously from the lake, he could not raise his still-stunned arms to embrace

Sveda perspiration
When Krsna's flute roared like a thundercloud under the Svati constellation, the resulting
perspiration on Sridama's body appeared to be just like pearls (pg. 334).

Romanca Standing of the Hairs

In Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu the quotation about Subala embracing Krsna illustrates romanca.
When Subala embraced Sri Krsna, the hairs on his arms were standing in ecstasy.
In The Nectar of Devotion, Srila Prabhupada uses the same quotation to highlight the
sentiments of Srimati Radharani.

Four Sattvika-Bhavas
The following quotation exemplifies four other sattvika-bhavas in fraternal ecstasy: (1)
svarabheda faltering or distortion of the voice, (2) vaivarnya changing of bodily color, (3)
pralaya loss of consciousness, and (4) kampa trembling.
When Krsna entered the lake of Kaliya, His intimate friends became so perturbed that
their bodily colors faded [vaivarnya], and they all produced horrible gurgling sounds
[svarabheda]. At that time all of them fell down on the ground as if unconscious [pralaya] (pg.
334). Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu mentions that they were also trembling [kampa].

Asru Tears
Similarly, when there was a forest fire, all of Krsna's friends neglected their own protection and
surrounded Krsna on all sides to protect Him from the flames (pg. 334). Bhakti-rasamrtasindhu describes that floods of tears were pouring from the eyes of these boys as they lovingly
protected their friend Krsna.


In vyabhicari ecstatic love for Krsna there is sometimes madness, dexterity, fear, laziness,
jubilation, pride, dizziness, meditation, disease, forgetfulness and humbleness (pg. 334).
This is a partial list of the vyabhicari-bhavas that manifest in sakhya-rasa. Srila
Prabhupada says, These are some of the common symptoms in the stage of vyabhicari ecstatic
love for Krsna (pg. 334). 4

The permanent ecstasy of fraternal love has one essential ingredient: the devotee deals with
Krsna on an equal level, as a peer.
Srila Prabhupada says, When there are dealings between Krsna and His friends which
are completely devoid of any feelings of respect and they all treat one another on an equal level,
such ecstatic love in friendship is called sthayi (pg. 334).
An example of sthayi was exhibited when Arjuna [the cowherd boy] told Akrura, 'My
dear son of Gandini, please ask Krsna when I shall be able to embrace Him in my arms (pg.
334). This illustrates the basic mood (sthayi-bhava) of intimate friendship in sakhya-rasa.

Stages of Prema in Friendship

Sakhya-rati can heighten to: (1) pranaya attraction, (2) prema affection, (3) sneha
affinity, (4) raga attachment. 5
Srila Prabhupada explains, When one is situated in this confidential friendly
relationship with Krsna, one shows symptoms of love such as attraction [pranaya], affection
[prema], affinity [sneha] and attachment [raga] (pg. 334). 6

Sakhya-rati at Pranaya
Devotees have full knowledge of the Lord's supremacy. But when their affection is extremely
intense it outshines this knowledge, and causes them to relate with Krsna purely on friendly
terms, free from formalities of respect. This is the characteristic of pranaya.
Srila Prabhupada explains, When there is full knowledge of Krsna's superiority and yet
in dealings with Him on friendly terms respectfulness is completely absent, that stage is called
affection (page 335).
There is one brilliant example of this affection. When the demigods, headed by Lord Siva, were
offering respectful prayers to Krsna, describing the glorious opulences of the Lord, Arjuna [the
cowherd boy] stood before Him with his hand on His shoulders and brushed the dust from His
peacock feather (pg. 335).


See Appendix B for full list of vybhicr-bhva in sakhya-rasa.

Rasas progress through the levels of prema in different orders. In dsya-rasa the progression is prema, sneha, rga.
In sakhya-rasa, however, the progression is first pranaya, then prema, sneha, and rga.
The term "confidential" refers to virambha friendly relationship on an entirely equal level.

This wonderfully illustrates the quality of pranaya: an unchecked predominance of pure

love, devoid of formality.

Sakhya-Rati at Prema
The Pandavas illustrate the level of prema (unchanging, never-diminishing love) in friendship.
Despite all the troubles Krsna put them through, their friendly love for Him never even slightly
diminished. (See pg. 335.)

Sakhya-Rati at Sneha
In sneha, one's heart melts, and he cannot withstand a moment of separation. This example
illustrates the first quality: In the pasturing ground Krsna felt a little tired and wanted to take
rest, so He lay down on the ground. At that time, many cowherd boys assembled there and with
great affection began to sing suitable songs so that Krsna would rest very nicely (pg. 335).
[Emphasis added.]

Sakhya-Rati at Raga
In raga, Krsna's association transforms distress into happiness. Arjuna, pierced with showers of
arrows during the Kuruksetra war, exemplifies this. At that time, although Arjuna was being
harmed by those arrows, he felt an ecstatic love for Krsna, and the arrows appeared to him like
showers of flowers (pg. 335).
A second example of sakhya-rasa at the level of raga: Once when a cowherd boy named
Vrsabha was collecting flowers from the forest to prepare a garland to be offered to Krsna, the
sun reached it's zenith, and although the sunshine was scorching hot, Vrsabha felt it to be like
the moonshine. Srila Prabhupada adds, That is the way of rendering transcendental loving
service to the Lord; when the devotees are put into great difficulties like the Pandavas, as
described above they feel all their miserable conditions to be great facilities for serving the
Lord (pg. 326).

Meeting and Separation

Sakhya-Rasa in Separation (Ayoga)
Utkanthitva Longing
Narada told Krsna, When Arjuna was learning the art of shooting arrows, he could not see You
for so many days. But when You arrived there, he stopped all his activities and immediately
embraced You (pg. 336).
Young Arjuna was longing to meet Krsna for the first time. Consequently, he exemplifies
fraternal devotion in utkanthitva.

Viyoga Absence
Patri addressed Krsna thus, My dear Lord, You protected the cowherd boys from the hunger of
the Aghasura demon, and You protected them from the poisonous effects of the Kaliya snake.
And You also saved them from the fierce forest fire. But I am suffering from Your separation,

which is more severe than the hunger of Aghasura, the poison of Lake Kaliya and the burning of
the forest fire. So why should You not protect me from the pangs of separation? (pg. 336.)
Ten Emotions of Viyoga
Srila Rupa Gosvami illustrates the vyabhicari-bhavas that are appropriate for sakhya-rasa in
Tapa Fever or Heat
Another friend once told Krsna, My dear enemy of Kamsa, since You have left us, the heat of
separation has become extraordinary. And this heat is felt more severely when we understand
that in Bhandiravana You are being refreshed by the waves of the cooling river known as Bhanutanaya [Radharani]. The purport is that when Krsna was engaged with Radharani, the cowherd
boys headed by Subala were feeling great separation, and that was unbearable for them (pg.
Krsata Emaciation (Withering of the Limbs)
My dear Krsna, O killer of Aghasura, when You left Vrndavana to kill King Kamsa in Mathura,
all the cowherd boys became bereft of their four bhutas [the elements earth, water, fire and
space]. And the fifth bhuta, the air, was flowing very rapidly within their nostrils (pg. 336).
Jagarana Sleeplessness
When one of Your friends was feeling much separation from You, there were tears covering his
lotus eyes, and so the black drones of sleep became discouraged from entering his eyes and left
that place (pg. 337).
Bumblebees collect honey from lotus flowers, but if the flowers are filled with water the
bees cannot do their work. The lotus eyes of Krsna's friends became filled with tears, and thus
the bumblebees of sleep could not do their work. The boys remained sleepless, crying in
separation from their dear Krsna.
Alambana-Sunyata Helplessness, Unable to Find Shelter
Due to Krsna's departure from Vrndavana to Mathura, Krsna's dearest cowherd boys felt as
mentally light as possible. They were like fragments of cotton, lighter than the air, and were all
floating in the air without any shelter (pg. 337).
Adhrti Nonattachment
Out of the sorrow of separation, all these boys forgot to take care of their cowherding and tried
to forget all the melodious songs they used to sing in the pasturing ground. At last they had no
desire to live anymore, being separated from Krsna (pg. 337).
In the absence of Krsna, the boys had no attachment to cowherding, to the songs they
previously sung, nor even to life itself.
Jadata Inertness
When Krsna left Vrndavana for Mathura, all the cowherd boys became inert and still, like
leafless trees on the tops of hills (pg. 337).

Vyadhi Disease
Sometimes they felt diseased from their separation from Krsna, and being so greatly
disappointed, they were aimlessly wandering on the banks of the Yamuna (pg. 337).
Unmada Madness
When Krsna was absent from Vrndavana, all the cowherd boys became bewildered... they
appeared to be mad and forgot all their regular business... (pgs. 337 - 338).
Murcchita Unconsciousness
My dear Lord, You have become the King of Mathura after killing Kamsa, and that is very good
news for us. But at Vrndavana all the residents have become blind from their continuous crying
over Your absence... (pg. 338).
Becoming 'blind' refers to loosing their consciousness.
Mrti Death
My dear enemy of Kamsa, because of their separation from You, the cowherd boys are suffering
too much, and they are now lying down in the valleys, breathing only slightly... (pg. 338).

Krsna's Friends are Never Separated From Him

"In the Mathura-khanda chapter of the Skanda Purana, there is a description of Krsna and
Balarama, surrounded by all the cowherd boys, always engaging in taking care of the cows and
calves." (pg. 338)
Jiva Gosvami explains: Skanda Purana uses the word sada, "always" which literally
means "without ending." Krsna is always in Vrndavana, tending the cows with His friends. In
the eternal spiritual world, Krsna and his friends are never significantly separated, although the
experience of such emotions certainly exists in a subjective sense. Gerenally, the cowherd boys
experience physical separation only in Gokula Vrndavana (Vrndavana manifest on the earth).

Sakhya-Rasa in Meeting (Yoga)

Siddhi Perfection
When Krsna was met by Arjuna at a potter's shop in the city of Drupada-nagara, because of the
similarity of their bodily features they made intimate friendship (pg. 338).
This was the first time that Arjuna ever saw Krsna; thus it exemplifies siddhi.

Tusti Satisfaction
Tusti occurs when the devotee meets Krsna after a long absence. Bhima meeting Krsna in
Indraprastha (described in Srimad-Bhagavatam 10.71.27), and the cowherd boys meeting Krsna
again at Kuruksetra are examples of tusti. (See page 338).

Sthiti Steady Association

Sthiti is a type of meeting not predicated by any separation. Srimad-Bhagavatam 10.12.12
illustrating this. The cowherd boys are superior even to great yogis. The yogis are unable to see

so much as the dust of Krsna's lotus feet, even after arduous struggle. The cowherd boys, on the
other hand, perform no penance whatsoever, yet constantly see the beautiful Lord face to face.
This constant vision of Krsna is an example of sthiti.

Speciality of Fraternal Devotion

Sakhya-rasa has a special sweetness not found in dasya or vatsalya. In dasya the devotee loves
the Lord as his master, and the Lord loves the devotee as His servant. In vatsalya the devotee
loves the Lord as his son, and the Lord loves the devotee as His parent. In sakhya, however, the
feelings of Krsna and the devotee are exactly mutual the devotee loves the Lord as his friend,
and the Lord loves the devotee as His friend.
Fraternal love and conjugal love are the only relationships in which the Lord and the
devotee feel exactly the same way towards each other. Therefore, Srila Prabhupada states, The
friendly relationship of the cowherd boys with Krsna is a particular type of spiritual ecstasy
almost similar to the ecstasy of conjugal love (pg. 339).
Thus there is a special type of sweetness nourished by fraternal devotion. Great expert
devotees like Rupa Gosvami express their astonishment at the inconceivable feelings which are
in Krsna and His cowherd boyfriends (pg. 339).


Western Ocean
Fourth Wave
Chapter 43


Chapter 43
BRS 3.4.1 - 83

When vatsalya-rati is nourished by appropriate bhavas, it heightens into vatsalya-rasa.
Srila Prabhupada says, When ecstatic love develops into the relationship of parenthood
and becomes steadily established, the relationship is called vatsalya-rasa (page 341).

Main Characteristic of Parental Love

Anugraha (compassion and mercy towards Krsna) is the main characteristic of parental
affection. Anugraha flows from a senior towards a junior. Consequently, parental devotees
maintain a mood of seniority to Krsna.
Srila Prabhupada says, The exhibition of this vatsalya-rasa standard of devotional
service can be found in the dealings of Krsna with His devotees who represent themselves as
superior personalities like father, mother and teacher (page 341).

Krsna as a Stimulus for Parental Affection
Krsna's Form
The Supreme Personality of Godhead, whose bodily complexion is just like a bluish, newgrown lotus flower, whose body is very delicate and whose lotus eyes are surrounded by
scattered hair as black as bees... (page 341).
Krsna's Qualities
...His blackish bodily hue... His all-auspicious bodily features, His mildness, His sweet words,
His simplicity, His shyness, His humility, His constant readiness to offer respect to the elderly
and His charity. All of these qualities are considered ecstatic provocations for parental love
(page 341).
Lordly Qualities
Qualities that reveal Krsna's supremacy do not stimulate vatsalya-rasa, because they interfere
with the devotee's mood of seniority. Consequently, parental devotees do not give much
credence to displays of Krsna's opulence. 1

To authenticate this, rla Rpa Go svm quotes SB 10.8.45:...m other Yaod accepted Lord Kna as her son,
although He is accepted in the Vedas as the King of heav
en, in the Upaniads as the im personal Brahm an, in

Srila Rupa Gosvami illustrates this, Once mother Yasoda addressed one of her friends in
this way: Nanda Maharaja, the leader of the cowherd men, worshiped Lord Visnu, along with
me, and as a result of this worship, Krsna has been saved from the clutches of Putana and other
demons. The twin arjuna trees were, of course, broken due to a strong wind, and although
Krsna appeared to have lifted Govardhana Hill along with Balarama, I think that Nanda
Maharaja actually held the mountain. Otherwise how could it have been possible for a little boy
to lift such a great hill? (pages 341 - 342).

The Devotee as a Stimulus for Parental Affection
The devotee who has anugraha is a stimulus for vatsalya-rasa. In this connection, Srila Rupa
Gosvami quotes, Let me take shelter of the elderly parental devotees of Lord Krsna. They are
always anxious to serve Krsna and to maintain Him, and they are always so kind to Him. Let us
offer our respectful obeisances unto them for being so kind to the Supreme Personality of
Godhead, who is the parent of the whole universe! (page 342).
In his commentary, Srila Prabhupada writes, There is a similar prayer by a brahmana
who says, "Let others worship the Vedas and the Upanisads, and let others worship the
Mahabharata if they are afraid of material existence and want to become liberated from that
condition. But as far as I am concerned, I wish only to worship Maharaja Nanda, because the
supreme absolute Personality of Godhead, Krsna, is crawling in his courtyard as his own child
(page 342).
Principal Parental Devotees
Following is a list of respectful personalities who enjoy parental affection toward Krsna: (1)
mother Yasoda, the Queen of Vraja, (2) Maharaja Nanda, the King of Vraja, (3) mother Rohini,
the mother of Balarama, (4) all the elderly gopis whose sons were taken away by Lord Brahma,
(5) Devaki, the wife of Vasudeva, (6) the other fifteen wives of Vasudeva, (7) Kunti, the mother
of Arjuna, (8) Vasudeva, the real father of Krsna and (9) Sandipani Muni, Krsna's teacher (page
342). 2
Foremost Parental Devotees
Yasoda and Nanda are the foremost parental devotees.
Yasoda's Form
My dear King, the wide hips of mother Yasoda were surrounded by silk and linen clothes, and
her breasts were flowing with milk because of her affection...(page 342). 3
Srila Rupa Gosvami gives a second description: Let me be given protection by mother
Yasoda, whose curly hairs are bound with thread, whose hair is very brightly beautified by the
vermilion placed in the part and whose bodily frame derides all her ornaments... (page 343).


philosophy as the suprem e male, by the yogis as the Supe rsoul and by the devotees as the Suprem e Personality of
Godhead (NOD, page 341). This shows how mother Yaod ignored the Lordly features of Kna.
This list is in order of importance.
rmad-Bhgavatam 10.9.3.

Yasoda's Bhakti
After rising early in the morning, mother Yasoda first of all offered her breast milk to Krsna,
and then she began to chant various mantras for His protection... (page 343).
Nanda's Form
The hairs on his head are generally black, but some of them are gray. His garments are of
greenish color, like the new-grown leaves of a banyan tree. His belly is fatty, his complexion is
exactly like the full moon, and he has a beautiful mustache (page 343).
Nanda's Bhakti
When Krsna was a baby, one day He was walking in the courtyard, capturing the finger of His
father, and because He could not walk steadily He appeared to be almost falling down. While
Nanda Maharaja was giving protection to His transcendental son in this way, all of a sudden
there were drops of tears in his eyes, and he became overwhelmed with joy... (page 343)

Objects that Impel Parental Love
Childhood age, childish dress, movements by the child, sweet words spoken by the child, nice
smiling and various forms of childish play are considered provocations for increasing parental
love for Krsna (page 343).

Kaumara Childhood Age

Kaumara (birth through five years old) is the age most conducive to parental love.
The childhood ages of Krsna are divided into three periods: the beginning of kaumara
age, the middle of kaumara age and the end of kaumara age (page 343).
Adya Kaumara
Srila Rupa Gosvami describes the form, activities, and ornaments of Krsna's adya-kaumara (birth
through one year old).
Rupa form
During the beginning and middle of the kaumara age, Krsna's thighs are fatty, and the inner
part of His eyes are whitish. There are signs of teeth coming out, and He is very mild and
Srila Rupa Gosvami cites an example of how this beautiful form impels parental
affection: When Krsna had only three or four teeth coming out of His gums, His thighs were
fatty, His body was very, very short, and He began to enhance the parental love of Nanda
Maharaja and mother Yasoda with the activities of His childish body. (pages 343 - 344). 4

The last phrase in this quotation should read: "and He bega n to enhance t he parental love of Nanda M ahrja and
mother Yaod with the beauty of His childish body." Instead of "beauty," rla Prabhupda says "activities." This
is because his summary study is beginning to introduce the next subject: cea activities.

Cesta Exploits
He began to enhance the parental love of Nanda Maharaja and mother Yasoda with the
activities of His childish body. He was sometimes stepping with His legs again and again,
sometimes crying, sometimes smiling, sometimes sucking His thumb and sometimes lying down
flat. These are some of the different activities of the child Krsna (page 344).
Srila Rupa Gosvami cites an example of how these activities impel parental affection:
When Krsna was lying down flat, sometimes sucking the toes of His feet, sometimes throwing
His legs upward, sometimes crying and sometimes smiling, mother Yasoda, seeing her son in
such pastimes, did not show any sign of restricting Him, but rather began to watch her child
with eagerness, enjoying these childhood pastimes.
Mandana Ornaments
In the beginning of Krsna's kaumara age, the nails of tigers were set in a golden necklace about
His neck. There was protective tilaka on His forehead, black mascara around His eyes and silk
thread around His waist (page 344).
Srila Rupa Gosvami cites an example of how these ornaments impel parental affection:
When Nanda Maharaja saw the beauty of child Krsna, with tiger nails on His chest... he never
became satiated by the child's beauty (page 344).
Srila Rupa Gosvami describes the form and ornaments of Krsna's madhyama-kaumara (two
through three years old).
Rupa Form
Srila Rupa Gosvami describes Krsna's form in madhyama-kaumara, then cites an example of how
this form impels parental ecstasy: His scattered hairs were touching His eyebrows, and His eyes
were restless, but He could not express His feelings with proper words; still, when He was
talking, His talk was so nice and sweet to hear. When mother Yasoda looked at His little ears
and saw Him naked, trying to run very quickly with His little legs, she was merged into the
ocean of nectar (page 344).
Mandana Ornaments
Srila Rupa Gosvami describes Krsna's ornaments at this age, then cites an example of how these
ornaments impel parental ecstasy: ...when mother Yasoda saw that the child was moving,
ringing the bells on His waist, smiling at her with a pearl between His nostrils and with butter
on His hands, she became wonderfully pleased to see her little child in that fashion (pages 344 345).
Srila Rupa Gosvami similarly describes the form, ornaments, and activities of sesa-kaumara (four
through five years old).
Rupa Form
While Krsna was in the [end] of His kaumara age, His waist became thinner, His chest became
broader, and His head was decorated with His curly hairs, resembling the falling of the wings of

a crow. These wonderful features of Krsna's body never failed to astonish mother Yasoda (page
345). 5
Mandana Ornaments
At the end of His kaumara age, Krsna carried a small stick in His hand, His clothing was a little
longer, and He had a knot around His waist, resembling the hood of a snake (page 345).
Cesta Activities
...He used to take care of the calves near the house, and sometimes He played with cowherd
boys of about the same age. He had a slender flute and a buffalo-horn bugle, and sometimes He
played on a flute made from the leaves of trees (page 345).
As Krsna grew up a little, His cowherding would wander farther away from home.
Sometimes He would return a little late, impelling great anxiety to overwhelm His parents. (See
page 345).
Other Ages
Krsna's kaumara age is the primary uddipana for parental affection. However, even when Krsna
is in pauganda or kaisora, parental devotees still see Him as their baby and thus feel an impetus
to parental devotion.
When Krsna, the beloved son of Nanda Maharaja, steps into His kaisora age, although
He becomes more beautiful, His parents still consider Him to be in the pauganda age even
though He is between the ages of ten and fifteen (pages 345 - 346).
The devotee sees through the eyes of love. The color of that love tints one's vision,
causing one to perceive Krsna in the way most suitable to one's loving relationship with Him.
Thus, Pauganda-Krsna can still stimulate parental affection in a devotee who has that
mood. Srila Rupa Gosvami gives the following example: Mother Yasoda would then address
Nanda Maharaja, See my dear son, whose eyes are white, who has a turban on His head, a
wrapper on His body and leg bells which tinkle very sweetly on His feet. He is coming near,
along with His surabhi calves, and just see how He is wandering upon the sacred land of
Vrndavana! (page 345).
White eyes, turban, chaddar, and ankle bells are symptoms of pauganda.
Even Kaisora-Krsna can stimulate parental affection: ...Maharaja Nanda would address
his wife, My dear Yasoda, just look at your offspring, Krsna! See His blackish bodily luster, His
eyes tinged with red color, His broad chest and His nice golden necklace! How wonderful He
looks, and how He is increasing my transcendental bliss more and more! (page 345).
Dark complexion, reddish eyes, broad chest, and gold necklace are symptoms of kaisora.

Saisava Capalya Childish Movements

Previously, Srila Prabhupada listed the uddipanas for vatsalya-rasa: Childhood age, childish
dress, movements by the child, sweet words spoken by the child, nice smiling and various forms
of childish play are considered provocations for increasing parental love for Krsna (page 343).

The sentence, While Kna was in the beginning of His kaumra age... should read: While Kna was in the end
of His kaumra age... (See BRS 3.4.30)

Having finished his elaborate description of "childhood age," Srila Rupa Gosvami now
describes "childish movements" saisava capalya.
When Krsna performs His childish pastimes, His general practice is to break the milk
and yogurt pots, throw the yogurt in the courtyard and steal the cream from the milk... (page
Srila Rupa Gosvami cites an example of how this activity impels parental ecstasy:
Mother Yasoda said, Just look at Krsna looking stealthily toward all sides and slowly stepping
forward from the bushes. It appears that He is coming just to steal the butter. Don't expose
yourself or He may understand that we are looking toward Him. I want to enjoy the sight of His
eyebrows moving in this cunning way, and I want to see His fearful eyes and beautiful face (page

Manifestations of Ecstasy Unique to Parental Affection
...mother Yasoda experienced the ecstasy of maternal love by smelling His head, sometimes
patting His body with her hand, sometimes offering blessings, sometimes ordering Him,
sometimes gazing at Him, sometimes maintaining Him and sometimes giving Him good
instructions not to become a thief (page 346).
Srila Prabhupada adds, An important point to be observed in this connection is that the
childish propensity of stealing is there even in the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and
therefore this propensity is not artificial. However, in the spiritual relationship there is no
inebriety to this stealing propensity, as there is in the material world (page 346).
Example of "Smelling Krsna's Head"
Srila Rupa Gosvami illustrates this with two examples. The first is Srimad-Bhagavatam
The second: In their childhood pastimes, all these cowherd boys joined with Krsna in
stealing butter. But rather than become angry, mother Yasoda became wet from the milk flowing
out of her breasts. Out of her affection for Krsna, she began to smell His head repeatedly (Page

Manifestations of Ecstasy Shared with Other Rasas
The general activities of all the mothers of the cowherd boys were to kiss them, to embrace
them, to call them by their names and sometimes to chastise them mildly for their stealing
habits (page 346).

All eight sattvika-bhavas can fully manifest in vatsalya-rasa. These manifestations of parental
love are called sattvika ecstasy, wherein manifestations of eight kinds of ecstatic symptoms are
visible in full (page 347).


There is an additional symptom found exclusively in motherly devotees: milk flowing from the
breasts. Srila Rupa Gosvami illustrates this with two examples (Srimad-Bhagavatam and Lalitamadhava). (See pg. 347.)
Srila Prabhupada comments on the verse from Lalita-madhava. It is the custom in the
temples of Deities that if there have been some impure activities, the Deity has to be washed
with milk. Krsna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and He was washed by the milk from
the breast of mother Yasoda, which purified Him from the dust covering (page 347).

Example of Stambha
Srila Rupa Gosvami also illustrates stambha (stunned): When mother Yasoda saw her son lifting
Govardhana Hill, she hesitated to embrace Him and became stunned... (page 347).

All thirty-three vyabhicari-bhavas are appropriate in vatsalya-rasa.

Example of Harsa Jubilation

Mother Yasoda sometimes enjoyed transcendental ecstasy in happiness when her child was
saved from a dangerous situation, such as being attacked by Putana or some other demon (page
Srila Rupa Gosvami cites instances of such jubilation from Srimad-Bhagavatam
(10.17.19) and Vidagdha-madhava. (See pages 347 - 348).

Vatsalya-rati is the sthayi-bhava of vatsalya-rasa. The main characteristic of vatsalya-rati is
anugraha protective compassion and mercy towards Krsna, free from all restraints of formal
Srila Rupa Gosvami illustrates vatsalya-rati with two quotes. The first is SrimadBhagavatam 10.6.43. The second: A similar statement is there in connection with mother
Yasoda when she was too anxious to hear the sound of Krsna's flute, expecting Him back from
the pasturing ground. Because she thought that it was getting very late, her anxiety to hear the
sound of Krsna's flute became doubled, and milk began to flow from her breast. In that
condition she was sometimes going within the house, sometimes coming out of the house. She
was constantly looking to see if Govinda was coming back along the road (page 348).

Stages of Prema in Vatsalya-Rasa

Vatsalya-rati can heighten to prema, sneha, and raga.
Srila Prabhupada explains, The parental love of mother Yasoda for Krsna steadily
increases, and her love and ecstasy are sometimes described as intense affection and sometimes
as overwhelming attachment (page 348). 6

In this quote, rla Prabhupda utilizes the following terminology: "parental love" prema; "intense affection"
sneha; "overwhelming attachment" rga.

When many very great sages were offering prayers to Lord Krsna, glorifying His activities, the
Queen of Gokula, mother Yasoda, entered the Battlefield of Kuruksetra, wetting the lower part
of her sari with the milk flowing from her breast (page 348). 7
At prema, one's love for Krsna never wavers, even if there is sufficient cause. The
presence of Krsna in His royal mode, surrounded by great sages offering respectful panegyric,
invokes profound awe and reverence. This certainly interferes with the mood of anugraha and
thus causes parental affection to diminish. However, despite these unfavorable circumstances,
mother Yasoda's maternal love did not waver or diminish even a fraction of an inch, as
evidenced by the milk flowing from her breast.
Another example: when Krsna arrived in Kuruksetra, everyone jubilantly announced that
the son of Devaki and Vasudeva had arrived. Hearing Krsna proclaimed to be someone else's son
would certainly put a damper on Nanda and Yasoda's parental love. However, their love did not
even slightly waver or diminish. Instead, they became overwhelmed with parental affection and
expressed great pleasure. (See pages 348 - 349).

My dear Queen [Yasoda], the milk flowing out of your breast-mountain has already whitened
the River Ganges, and the tears from your eyes, mixed with black mascara, have already
blackened the color of the Yamuna. And as you are standing just between the two rivers, I think
that there is no need for your anxiety to see your son's face. Your parental affection has already
been exhibited to Him by these two rivers! (page 349).
Yasoda-devi had decided to visit Krsna at Kuruksetra, but her friend tried to dissuade
her: "You want to express your affection to your son, but you need not go to Kuruksetra to
accomplish this. It has already been accomplished. The milk flowing from your breast has
whitened the Ganges, and your tears have blackened the Yamuna with the mascara washed from
your eyes. These two rivers mix together and flow to Krsna's lotus feet in Kuruksetra, expressing
your affection to Him."
Mother Yasoda's affection is in sneha which is characterized by: (1) inability to
withstand separation, and (2) melting of the heart. Profuse tears and flowing milk are
indications of a melted heart.

In raga, meeting with Krsna transforms distress into happiness, and separation from Krsna
transforms happiness into distress. If mother Yasoda could see Krsna's face, then even scorching
fire would seem as pleasantly cooling as Himalayan ice. If she could not see Krsna's face, even
the ocean of nectar would seem like an ocean of arsenic. (See pg. 349.)

Separation and Meeting

rla Prabhupda com ments, This entrance of m other Yaod at Kuruketra was not during
the Battle of
Kuruketra. At other times Kna went to Kuruketra from His paternal home (Dvrak) during the solar eclipse,
and at these times the residents of Vndvana also went to see Him there (page 348).

Ayoga Separation
Utkanthitva Longing
Queen Kunti's statement to Akrura occurred before Krsna had left Vrndavana for Dvaraka.
Therefore, it exemplifies the longing to see Krsna for the first time. (See pg. 349.)

Viyoga Absence
Srimad-Bhagavatam 10.46.28 exemplifies viyoga in vatsalya-rasa.
Another example: ...when Krsna went to Mathura mother Yasoda was looking at Krsna's
makeup utensils, and she fell down on the ground almost unconscious, with a great sound.
When she was rolling over on the ground, there were many scratches on her body, and in that
piteous condition she began to cry, O my dear son! My dear son! And she slapped her breasts
with her two hands (page 349).
Ten Emotions of Viyoga
There are ten vyabhicari-bhavas appropriate to vatsalya-rasa in viyoga: ...great anxiety,
lamentation, frustration, being stunned, humility, restlessness, madness and illusion (page
349). Srila Rupa Gosvami illustrates them.
Cinta Anxiety
Yasoda, I think your movements have been slackened, and I see that you are full of anxieties...
All these conditions prove that out of separation from your son you have a severe headache
(page 350).
Visada Lamentation
When Akrura told Yasoda that Krsna had married so many queens in Dvaraka, she lamented. If
she could have married Krsna to a nice Vrndavana girl, Krsna would have stayed nearby.
Therefore, upon hearing Akrura's news, she exclaimed, My dear Akrura, you are simply
throwing thunderbolts on my head! (page 350).
Nirveda Self Disparagement
Mother Yasoda had so much opulence. But since her son had left for Dvaraka, she was unable to
use it in His service. Therefore she condemned her useless opulence. (See page 350).
Jadata Inertness
When Yasoda sees the walking stick Krsna used when He was in Vrndavana, she becomes
motionless (jadata) with feelings of separation. (See page 350)
Dainya Humility
In separation from Krsna, mother Yasoda became so humble that she prayed to the creator of
the universe, Lord Brahma, with tears in her eyes, My dear creator, won't you kindly bring my
dear son Krsna back to me so that I can see Him at least for a moment? (page 350).


Capalya Restlessness
Sometimes, in restlessness like a madwoman, mother Yasoda used to accuse Nanda Maharaja,
What are you doing in the palace? You shameless man! Why do people call you the King of
Vraja? It is very astonishing that while being separated from your dear son Krsna, you are still
living within Vrndavana as a hardhearted father! (page 350).
Unmada Madness
Mother Yasoda used to wander all over Vrndavana asking the trees and birds about Krsna. (See
page 351)
Moha Illusion
In the illusion caused by separation, Nanda Maharaja imagined that Krsna was standing right in
front of him. When Nanda Maharaja was accused by mother Yasoda of being "hardhearted," he
replied, My dear Yasoda, why are you becoming so agitated? Kindly look more carefully. Just
see, your son Krsna is standing before you! Don't become a madwoman like this. Please keep my
home peaceful (page 351)."

Yoga Meeting
Siddhi Perfectional Meeting
Siddhi occurs when the devotee meets Krsna for the first time. When Krsna appeared in the
arena of Kamsa, it was the first time that the other wives of Vasudeva got the opportunity to see
Him. (See page 351)

Tusti Satisfaction
Tusti occurs when the devotee is reunited with Krsna after a long absence. When Krsna entered
Dvaraka after finishing the Battle of Kuruksetra, He first of all saw His mother and all His
different stepmothers and offered His respectful obeisances unto their feet... (page 351).
The quotation from Lalita-madhava illustrates mother Yasoda's joy upon being reunited
with her son.

Sthiti Constant Meeting

My dear Mukunda, just after seeing Your face, which was full with the scent of the lotus flower,
mother Yasoda, being attracted by the moonlight of Your face, became so overjoyed in her
affection that immediately from the nipples of her waterpotlike breasts, milk began to flow
(pages 351 - 352).
This reference illustrates sthiti (constant association) in a very interesting way. Jiva
Gosvami explains: After living in Dvaraka for many years, Krsna killed Dantavakra and then
returned to Mathura. There he rested at Visrama-Ghata, laid down His kingly attire, and
returned to Vrndavana. 8
After 44 years of separation, mother Yasoda's love for Krsna was as intense as it had been
the day He left evidenced by the milk that continually flowed from her breast. Yasoda-devi's

See BRS 3.4.76, com: Jva Gosvm.


maternal love was constant (sthiti), and afforded her the constant association of Krsna (sthitiyoga) even in His apparent absence.

Summary of Sthayi-Bhava
The characteristic of vatsalya-rati is a feeling that Krsna is one's helplessly dependant child.
Srila Prabhupada says, Symptoms of ecstatic love in parental affection are expressed
when Krsna is accepted as the son. These constant transcendental emotions for Krsna are called
steady ecstasy in parental love (page 352).

Combinations of Vatsalya, Sakhya, and Dasya

The remainder of the chapter illustrates a variety ways that these three mellows combine in
different devotees.
Balarama and Yudhisthira are friends but this friendship is combined with parental
affection (due to their seniority), and servitude (due to their awareness of Krsna's Godhood).
Ugrasena, Krsna's grandfather, has the mood of servitude but it is combined with
parental affection.
The elderly gopis have parental love, combined with servitude and friendship. Nakula,
Sahadeva, and Narada have fraternal love, combined with servitorship. Siva, Garuda, and
Uddhava are servants but their mood is combined with a touch of friendship.


Western Ocean
Fifth Wave
Chapter 44


Chapter 44

Devotional Service in Conjugal Love

BRS 3.5.1 - 37

When madhurya-rati is nourished by the appropriate bhavas, it heightens to madhurya-rasa.
Srila Prabhupada summarizes, A pure devotee's attraction to Krsna in conjugal love is
called devotional service in conjugal love (page 353).

Brief Description of Madurya-Rasa

Madhurya-rasa is a very lengthy subject, but Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu describes it only briefly.
Srila Rupa Gosvami reasons that non-devotees attached to sense gratification will pollute their
understanding of madhurya-rasa with lusty material associations. Srila Prabhupada says,
Although such conjugal feelings are not at all material, there is some similarity between this
spiritual love and material activities. Therefore, persons who are interested only in material
activities are unable to understand this spiritual conjugal love... (page 353).
Madhurya-rasa is a confidential and mysterious subject. Consequently, it is not discussed
very openly. ...these devotional reciprocations appear very mysterious to them. Rupa Gosvami
therefore describes conjugal love very briefly (page 353).
Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu gives only a brief description of madhurya-rasa because it is an
advanced subject, easily misunderstood by common people. Srila Rupa Gosvami wrote a
separate book, Ujjvala-nilamani, for those who are qualified to understand these topics.

In madhurya-rasa, Sri Krsna is visaya-alambana and the gopis are asraya-alambana. Srila
Prabhupada explains, The impetuses of conjugal love are Krsna and His very dear consorts,
such as Radharani and Her immediate associates (page 353).

Krsna as a Stimulus for Conjugal Attraction
Krsna's Form
Lord Krsna has no rival; no one is equal to Him, and no one is greater than Him. His beauty is
also without any rival, and because He excels all others in the pastimes of conjugal love, He is
the original object of all conjugal love (page 353).
Krsna's Qualities
In the Gita-govinda, by Jayadeva Gosvami, one gopi tells her friend, Krsna is the reservoir of all
pleasure within this universe. His body is as soft as the lotus flower. And His free behavior with
the gopis, which appears exactly like a young boy's attraction to a young girl, is a subject matter
of transcendental conjugal love. (page 353).


The Devotee as a Stimulus for Conjugal Attraction
A pure devotee follows in the footsteps of the gopis and worships the gopis as follows: Let me
offer my respectful obeisances to all the young cowherd girls, whose bodily features are so
attractive. Simply by their beautiful attractive features they are worshiping the Supreme
Personality of Godhead, Krsna. (page 353).
The Best Devotee in Madhurya-Rasa
Out of all the young gopis, Srimati Radharani is the most prominent (page 353).
Srimati Radharani's Beautiful Form
Her eyes defeat the attractive features of the eyes of the cakori bird. When one sees the face of
Radharani, he immediately hates the beauty of the moon. Her bodily complexion defeats the
beauty of gold. Thus, let us all look upon the transcendental beauty of Srimati Radharani (pages
353 - 354).
Srimati Radharani's Bhakti
Krsna's attraction for Radharani is described by Krsna Himself thus: When I create some
joking phrases in order to enjoy the beauty of Radharani, Radharani hears these joking words
with great attention; but by Her bodily features and counterwords She neglects Me. And I even
possess unlimited pleasure by Her neglect of Me, for She becomes so beautiful that She increases
My pleasure one hundred times. (page 354).
Krsna's Devotion for Srimati Radharani
A similar statement can be found in Gita-govinda, wherein it is said that when the enemy of
Kamsa, Sri Krsna, embraces Srimati Radharani, He immediately becomes entangled in a loving
condition and gives up the company of all other gopis (page 354).

Objects that Impel Conjugal Love
Srila Rupa Gosvami gives an example of Krsna's flute as an uddipana for madurya-rasa: In the
Padyavali of Rupa Gosvami it is stated that when the gopis hear the sound of Krsna's flute, they
immediately forget all rebukes offered by the elderly members of their families. They forget their
defamation and the harsh behavior of their husbands. Their only thought is to go out in search
of Krsna (page 354). 1

When the gopis meet Krsna, the display of their exchanging glances as well as their joking and
laughing behavior is called anubhava, or subecstasy in conjugal love (page 354).
Example: In the Lalita-madhava, Rupa Gosvami explains that the movements of Krsna's
eyebrows are just like the Yamuna and that the smiling of Radharani is just like the moonshine.

Anot her uddpana for mdhurya-rasa is Kna's kaiora age. For an extensive description see Waves of Devotion,
page .

When the Yamuna and the moonshine come in contact on the bank of the river, the water tastes
just like nectar, and drinking it gives great satisfaction. It is as cooling as piles of snow (page

Similarly, in the Padyavali, one constant companion of Radharani says, My dear moon-faced
Radharani, Your whole body appears very content, yet there are signs of tears in Your eyes. Your
speech is faltering, and Your chest is also heaving. By all these signs I can understand that You
must have heard the blowing of Krsna's flute, and as a result of this, Your heart is now melting.
(page 354).

Srila Rupa Gosvami explains that all thirty-three vyabhicari-bhavas are appropriate in madhuryarasa, with the exception of two: alasya (laziness) and ugrata (ferocity).
However, there are some cases when even laziness and violence may become appropriate.
Laziness may be present at the end of conjugal pastimes. Ferocity may be present when there is
interference to the association of Radha and Krsna.
Srila Rupa Gosvami illustrates two of the vyabhicari-bhavas for madhurya-rasa:

Nirveda Self Disparagement

Srimati Radharani said, Dear Mr. Cupid, please do not excite Me by throwing your arrows at
My body. Dear Mr. Air, please do not arouse Me with the fragrance of flowers. I am now bereft
of Krsna's loving attitude, and so, under the circumstances, what is the use of My sustaining this
useless body? There is no need for such a body by any living entity. (page 354).

Harsa Jubilation
Srimati Radharani says, This clever boy of the forest has the beauty of a bluish lotus flower, and
He can attract all the young girls of the universe. Now, after giving Me a taste of His
transcendental body, He has enthused Me, and it is more than I can tolerate. I am now feeling
like a female elephant who has been enthused by a male elephant! (page 355).

Previously, in the Southern Ocean, Srila Rupa Gosvami described that Madhurya-rati is the
sthayi-bhava of madhurya-rasa. 2
The characteristic of madhurya-rati is that it incites eight kinds of desires for union with
Krsna (sambhoga). Srila Prabhupada mentions this: The steady ecstasy of conjugal love is the
original cause of bodily enjoyment (page 355). 3


BRS 2.5.36. See Waves of Devotion, page .

rla Prabhupda uses the following terminology here: "Steady ecstasy of conjugal love" mdhurya-rati; "bodily
enjoyment" sambhoga. For a descri ption of t he eight varieties of sambhoga, see foot note 5, on page 6 of t his

Example of Madhurya-Rati
Srimati Radharani said, My dear friend, who is this boy whose eyelids, dancing constantly, have
increased the beauty of His face and attracted My desire for conjugal love? His ears are
decorated with buds of asoka flowers, and He has dressed Himself in yellow robes. By the sound
of His flute, this boy has already made Me impatient (page 355).
This illustrates how madhurya-rati incites sambhoga the impatient desire to meet with
Krsna in conjugal love. 4

Unshakeability of Madhurya-Rati
The conjugal love of Radha-Krsna is never disturbed by any personal consideration (page
Some circumstances are favorable to conjugal love (sajatiya). Others are unfavorable
(vijatiya). Regardless of whether the circumstance is favorable or unfavorable, conjugal affection
cannot be subdued.
For example: Just a little distance away from Krsna was mother Yasoda, and Krsna was
surrounded by all of His friends. In front of His eyes was Candravali, and, at the same time, on a
chunk of stone in front of the entrance to Vraja stood the demon known as Vrsasura. But even
in such circumstances, when Krsna saw Radharani standing just behind a bush of many
creepers, immediately His beautiful eyebrows moved just like lightning toward Her (page 355).
This scene presents many unfavorable elements (vijatiya): (1) Mother Yasoda's presence
invokes vatsalya-rasa an obstacle to conjugal love. (2) Krsna's friends invoke sakhya-rasa
on obstacle to conjugal love. (3) Candravali-gopi is Srimati Radharani's arch-rival another
obstacle to Radha and Krsna's conjugal love. (4) Vrsasura the demon invokes bhayanaka-rasa
(fear) another obstacle to conjugal love. Despite all these opposing elements, Krsna's love for
Srimati Radharani could not be subdued for even a moment. It immediately manifested in His
loving glances towards Her.
Srila Rupa Gosvami further highlights the unshakeability of madhurya-rati with a
beautiful poetic analogy: On one side of the courtyard the dead body of Sakhasura was lying,
surrounded by many jackals. On another side were many learned brahmanas who were all selfcontrolled. They were offering nice prayers, which were as soothing as the cool breeze in
summer. In front of Krsna, Lord Baladeva was standing, causing a cooling effect (page 355).
In Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu 3.5.23, the Sanskrit word for "jackal" also indicates
"inauspicious night," the prayers of the brahmanas are like snow, and Balarama is like the
cooling moon. A day-blooming lotus flower withers in the presence of the night, the snow, and
the moon. Similarly the lotus of Radha and Krsna's love should wither in the presence of a dead
demon (who invokes fear), Vedic brahmanas (who invoke reverence), and Krsna's elder brother
(who invokes proper behavior). But even amid all these different circumstances of soothing
and disturbing effects, the lotus flower of ecstatic conjugal love that Krsna felt for Radharani
could not wither (page 355).

Separation and Meeting

For a description of the eight varieties of sambhoga, see footnote 5, on page 6 of this chapter.


Srila Rupa Gosvami classifies separation and meeting in madhurya-rasa somewhat differently
than the other rasas. Conjugal love is divided into two portions: vipralambha, or conjugal love
in separation, and sambhoga, or conjugal love in direct contact (page 355).

Vipralambha Separation
Vipralambha, separation, has three subdivisions, known as (1) purva-raga, or preliminary
attraction, (2) mana, or seeming anger, and (3) pravasa, or separation by distance (page 355).

Purva-Raga Separation Prior to First Meeting

Purva-raga is similar to utkanthitva. When the lover and the beloved have a distinct feeling of
not meeting each other, that stage is called purva-raga, or preliminary attraction (page 356).
An example of purva-raga is Radha and Krsna's preliminary meeting. Srimati Radharani
said, My dear friend, I was just going to the bank of the Yamuna, and all of a sudden a very nice
boy whose complexion is like a dark blue cloud became visible in front of My eyes. He glanced
over Me in a way that I cannot describe. But since this has occurred, I am sorry that I can no
longer engage My mind in the duties of My household affairs (page 356).
Srimad-Bhagavatam 10.53.2 is another example of purva-raga, this time between Krsna
and Rukmini.

Mana Self-Imposed Separation Due to Anger

When Srimati Radharani saw Krsna enjoying Himself in the company of several other gopis,
She became a little jealous because Her special prestige was being dimmed. Therefore, She
immediately left the scene and took shelter in a nice flower bush where the black drones were
humming. Then, hiding Herself behind the creepers, She began to express Her sorrow to one of
Her consorts (page 356).

Pravasa Separation Caused by Physical Distance

Pravasa separation occurs when the beloved is in a far away place.
The Padyavali illustrates Srimati Radharani's pravasa separation from Krsna: Since the
inauspicious day when Krsna left for Mathura, Srimati Radharani has been pressing Her head on
one of Her hands and constantly shedding tears. Her face is always wet now, and therefore there
is no chance of Her sleeping even for a moment (page 356).
Prahlada-samhita illustrates Krsna's pravasa separation from Srimati Radharani: The
Supreme Personality of Godhead, Govinda, painstricken due to being pierced by the arrows of
Cupid, is always thinking of you [the gopis], and He is not even accepting His regular lunch.
Nor is He getting any proper rest (page 356).

Sambhoga Meeting
When the lover and beloved come together and enjoy one another by direct contact, this stage
is called sambhoga (page 356). 5

Ujjvala-nlamani, Chapter 15, describes sambhoga. There are four vari eties of meeting with Kna: 1. Sankipt
Meeting i s bri ef due t o fear or shyness (comes after prva-rga separation). 2. Sakrna Meeting is slig htly
hindered by previous anger between Kna and R dhrn (comes after mna separation). 3. Sampanna Warm

Padyavali illustrates this: Krsna embraced Srimati Radharani in such an expert manner
that He appeared to be celebrating the dancing ceremony of the peacocks (page 357).

Sri Rupa Gosvami thus ends the fifth wave of his Ocean of the Nectar of Devotion. He offers his
respectful obeisances to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who appeared as Gopala, the
eternal form of the Lord (page 357).

loving meeting (comes after are bri efly separated by a short distance, "dra-pravsa"). 4. Samddhimna Fully
enriched meeting (comes after the lovers are separated for a long time by great distance, "sudra pravsa").
These four meetings can occur while awake (mukhya) or whi le dreaming (gauna). Thus, altogether there are
eight vari eties of sambhoga, meeting wi th Kna i n conjugal l ove. Duri ng t hese m eetings, t here are charm ing
pastimes which include glancing, conversing, riding in a boat, playing in Yamun, stealing Kna's flute, playing
hide and seek in the forest, etc.

Part Four:
Northern Ocean
IV: Gauna-Bhakti-Rasa Indirect Loving Relationships
1. Hasya-rasa Laughing Ecstasy

Chapter 45

2. Adbhuta-bhakti-rasa Astonishment

Chapter 46

3. Vira-bhakti-rasa Chivalry

Chapter 46

4. Karuna-bhakti-rasa Compassion

Chapter 47

5. Raudra-bhakti-rasa Anger

Chapter 47

6. Bhayanaka-bhakti-rasa Dread

Chapter 48

7. Vibhatsa-bhakti-rasa Ghastliness

Chapter 48

8. Maitri-vaira-sthiti Compatible and incompatible mixing of mellows

Chapter 49 & 50

9. Rasabhasa Incomplete expression of mellows

Chapter 51

Northern Ocean
First Wave

Chapter 45


Chapter 45

Laughing Ecstasy
BRS 4.1.1 - 29

To inaugurate the Northern Ocean of Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu, Srila Rupa Gosvami offers a
mangalacarana. Again, he uses the word sanatana to indicate both Krsna and Sanatana Gosvami.
If sanatana refers to Krsna: he prays that Sri Krsna always be pleased with him, and says
that the super-excellent bhakti of the Vraja-vasis compels Lord Krsna to accept eternal residence
in Sri Vrndavana.
If sanatana refers to Sanatana Gosvami: he prays that Sanatana Gosvami always be
pleased with him, and says that Sanatana Gosvami has developed attachment for living in Sri
Vrndavana due to his super-excellent bhakti. 1

Overview of Northern Ocean

The Northern Ocean has nine waves. The first seven describe the seven indirect mellows of
devotional service (gauna-rati). In the fourth division of Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu, Srila Rupa
Gosvami has described seven kinds of indirect ecstasies of devotional service, known as
laughing, astonishment, chivalry, compassion, anger, dread and ghastliness (page 361).
The Eighth Wave describes tasteful and distasteful mixing of rasas. In this portion, Srila
Rupa Gosvami further describes these ecstasies of devotional feelings, some being compatible
and others incompatible with one another (page 361).
The Ninth Wave describes rasabhasa conditions that distort genuine rasa. When one
kind of ecstatic devotional service overlaps with another in a conflicting way, this state of affairs
is called rasabhasa, or a perverted presentation of mellows (page 361).
Having summarised the contents of the Northern ocean, Srila Rupa Gosvami briefly
reiterates the main difference between direct and indirect mellows: Direct mellows can be
permanent, whereas indirect mellows are always transitory. 2

When one's humorous attitude (hasya-rati) is nourished within the heart of a devotee by
appropriate vibhava, etc, it transforms into laughing ecstasy (hasya-rasa).


B RS 4.1.1
BRS 4.1.5 - 6. For further information on direct and indirect mellows see Southern Ocean, Fifth Wave, Chapter 33 of
the present book.

Srila Rupa Gosvami gives a list of those who experience laughter (asraya-alambana): Expert
learned scholars say that laughing is generally found among youngsters or in the combination of
old persons and young children (page 361).
There are exceptions: This ecstatic loving laughing is sometimes also found in persons
who are very grave by nature (page 361).

There are two possible causes of ecstatic laughter: (1) Krsna or (2) other people who interact
with Krsna.
Krsna as the Cause of Laughter
In the example of the old mendicant at mother Yasoda's door, Krsna made funny statements that
caused the mendicant to laugh in ecstasy. Thus, In this instance, Krsna Himself is the object of
laughing affairs (page 361).
Others as the Cause of Laughter
Generally, Sri Krsna is the object of rasa, but someone else may also take that position, if their
activities are connected to Krsna. Tad-anvayi-alambana is the term for this. 3
Srila Rupa Gosvami gives two examples. In the first, Krsna's friends laugh when someone
tricks Him into eating a bitter flower instead of sugar candy. The person who tricked Lord Krsna
became a cause of ecstatic laughter, because his humorous activities were connected with Krsna.
In the second example, Nanda Maharaja inquires from a palmist about the future wellbeing of his son. The palmist finds these questions quite amusing because Nanda's son is the
husband of the Goddess of Fortune There is no need for a fortune teller! Nanda Maharaja
became a cause of ecstatic laughter because his humorous inquiries were connected with
Krsna. 4

Srila Prabhupada summarises the uddipanas of ecstatic laughter: In such a laughing ecstasy of
love, Krsna or matters pertaining to Krsna are the cause of the laughter (page 362).
Specifically, Krsna's behavior and Krsna's parents are uddipanas of ecstatic laughter. 5

Vibration of the nostrils, lips, cheeks and so on are the anubhavas of ecstatic laughter. 6


B RS 4.1.9
These examples are found on pages 361 - 362 in The Nectar of Devotion.

B RS 4.1.12

B RS 4.1.12

In such laughing devotional service, there are symptoms of jubilation, laziness, concealed
feelings and similar other seemingly disturbing elements (page 362).

Hasya-rati is the sthayi-bhava of hasya-rasa. 7

Intensities of Ecstatic Laughter

According to Srila Rupa Gosvami's calculation, laughter in ecstatic love can be broken down
into six divisions. These divisions, according to different degrees of smiling, are called in the
Sanskrit language smita, hasita, vihasita, avahasita, apahasita and atihasita (page 362).
Srila Rupa Gosvami groups these six kinds
of laughter in two subdivisions: elder ("major")
and younger ("minor"). These six classes of
smiling can be classified as major and minor. The
major division includes smita, hasita and vihasita
smiling, and the minor division includes
avahasita, apahasita and atihasita smiling (page
362). The chart at right clearly illustrates this.
Srila Rupa Gosvami defines the six
intensities of laughter and gives examples for each
(see The Nectar of Devotion, middle of page 362
to middle of page 364).

Manifested in
Smita smiling
Hasita Smile,
with teeth slightly
Vihasita Smile,
with teeth
distinctly visible

Manifested in
Smiling which
squints the eyes
Smiling with tears
& shaking
Atihasita Smiling
with clapping &

Implied Laughter
Implied laughter occurs when hasya-rasa produces no overt manifestations. For example, My
dear Kutila, daughter of Jatila, your breasts are as long as string beans simply dry and long.
Your nose is so gorgeous that it defies the beauty of the noses of frogs. And your eyes are more
beautiful than the eyes of dogs. Your lips defy the flaming cinders of fire, and your abdomen is
as beautiful as a big drum. Therefore, my dear beautiful Kutila, you are the most beautiful of all
the cowherd girls of Vrndavana, and because of your extraordinary beauty, I think you must be
beyond the attraction of the sweet blowing of Krsna's flute! (page 364) There is no mention of
any smiling or laughing in this quotation, yet it is obvious that the gopis are tasting ecstatic
Implied laughter usually occurs when one employs sarcasm in cleverly poking fun at

B RS 4.1.13

Northern Ocean
Second & Third Waves

Chapter 46


Chapter 46

Astonishment and Chivalry

BRS 4.2.1 - 4.3.61

BRS 4.2.1 - 13
In The Nectar of Devotion, Srila Prabhupada describes only the essential elements of adbhutabhakti-rasa (astonishment). 1

Two Types of Astonishment

There are two ways to experience ecstatic astonishment: (1) saksat by direct perception, or
(2) anuman by inference.
Saksad adbhuta (direct astonishment) occurs when one directly perceives Krsna's
wondrous activities, qualities, etc. Anuman adbhuta (inferred astonishment) occurs when one
infers that Krsna has performed some astonishing act, although one does not directly perceive it.

Saksad Adbhuta Direct Astonishment

There are three subdivisions of saksad
adbhuta: 1) astonishment by seeing, 2)
astonishment by speaking. 2

Ecstatic Astonishment
Directly Percieved


By Seeing

The Nectar of Devotion gives two examples:

In the first, Narada becomes astonished by
seeing Krsna simultaneously present in
16,108 palaces, engaged in completely
different activities. In the next example, a friend of mother Yasoda became astonished when she
saw Krsna lift Govardhana Hill as though it was a toy (See page 365).

By Seeing By Hearing By Speaking

By Hearing
Maharaja Pariksit became astonished when he heard about how Krsna killed Narakasura.
Although he did not witness the astonishing event, his adbhuta-rasa is still "direct." The
cause of his astonishment was Sukadeva Gosvami's narration of the event, which he directly

Elem ents of Adbhuta-rasa not described in NOD: a definition of adbhuta-rasa, and a description of its vibhva,
anubhva, sttvika-bhva, vyabhicr-bhva, and sthy-bhva. For these details, see BRS 4.2.1-4
2 B RS 4.2.5


perceived with his own ears. Consequently, this is an example of ecstatic astonishment arising
from direct aural perception. 3
By Speaking
When Lord Brahma returned to Satyaloka he informed the residents about his stealing the
cowherd boys and calves. By speaking this news to them, Brahma became overwhelmed with
astonishment. This exemplifies astonishment arising from speech.
Although Lord Brahma is not directly witnessing the astonishing event, he is directly
witnessing his own narration of the pastime. Consequently, he is an example of ecstatic
astonishment arising from direct verbal perception. 4

Anuman-Adbhuta Inferred Astonishment

After Krsna swallowed the forest fire, the cowherd boys opened their eyes and saw that the
forest was saved (page 366). They inferred that Krsna must have performed some wonderful
activity. They did not witness Krsna's amazing act; they inferred it. Consequently, they
exemplify ecstatic astonishment arising from inference.

Astonishment (Adbhuta-Rasa) is dependant on Love (Priti)

Without love (priti) there can be no rasa. Srila Rupa Gosvami thus concludes: The activities of
a person, even if they are not very extraordinary, create an impression of wonder in the heart
and mind of the person's friends. But even very wonderful activities performed by a person who
is not one's friend will not create any impression. It is because of love that one's wonderful
activities create an impression in the mind (page 366).

BRS 4.3.1 - 61
When the mood of valorous enthusiasm (utsah-rati) is nourished within the heart of a devotee
by appropriate vibhava, etc, it transforms into ecstatic chivalry (vira-rasa).
Srila Prabhupada explains, When on account of love and devotional service for the Lord
there is special valorous enthusiasm, the resultant activities are called chivalrous (page 366).

Types of Chivalry
There are four types of chivalrous heroes: (1) yuddha-vira a hero in fighting, (2) dana-vira
a hero in giving charity, (3) daya-vira a hero in performing acts of compassion, and (4)
dharma-vira a hero in abiding by religious principles. Srila Prabhupada explains, These
chivalrous activities can be manifested in the acts of mock-fighting, giving charity, showing
mercy and executing religious principles. By performing chivalrous activities in fighting, one is

According to BRS 4.2.9, the last paragraph on page 365 should read: First sentence "An instance of astonishment
by direct perception." Last sentence "This instance is an example of astonishment in devotional service by
direct perception through aural reception."
4 According to BRS 4.2.10, the first sentence on page 366 should read: "There is another example of direct


called yuddha-vira. By charitable activities one is called dana-vira. By showing extraordinary

mercy one is called daya-vira. And when one is munificent in executing religious rites, he is
called dharma-vira (pages 366 - 367).
Devotees who posses these four moods are the four types of asraya-alambana for virabhakti-rasa.
Krsna is the visaya-alambana of all types of chivalry. Srila Prabhupada therefore says, In
all such different chivalrous activities, Krsna is the object (page 367).
Srila Rupa Gosvami separately discusses each type of chivalry.

Yuddha-Vira Chivalrous Fighting

Krsna is the object of chivalrous fighting. He enjoys this rasa in two ways: (1) by directly
fighting, or (2) by being a spectator.
Srila Prabhupada explains, "When a friend wants to satisfy Krsna by performing some
chivalrous activities, the friend becomes the opponent; or else Krsna may give audience to the
fighting, and by His desire another friend becomes the opponent (page 367).
Krsna as the Opponent
A friend once challenged Krsna thus: My dear Madhava, You are very restless because You
think that no one can defeat You. But if You do not flee from here, then I shall show You how I
can defeat You. And my friends will be very satisfied to see this! (page 367)
Another example: Krsna and Sridama were very intimate friends, yet Sridama, out of
anger with Krsna, challenged Him. When both of them began to fight, all the friends on the
bank of the Yamuna enjoyed the wonderful fighting of the two friends (page 367).
Krsna as the Spectator
Srila Rupa Gosvami describes that Krsna's hair stood on end as He witnessed the heroic fighting
skills of Sridama, who dexterously whirled a pole to deflect the arrows being shot at him. 5
This is an example of Krsna enjoying yuddha-vira-rasa as a spectator. Srila Prabhupada
says, Such mock-fighting generally takes place among chivalrous persons and creates
wonderful excitement for all viewers (page 367).
Additional Point on Chivalry: Chivalrous devotees are jubilant and enthusiastic to fight,
sometimes even with members of their own group. There is a statement in the Hari-vamsa that
sometimes Arjuna and Krsna fought in the presence of Kunti, and Arjuna would be defeated by
Krsna (page 367).

BRS 4.3.8


Srila Rupa Gosvami lists things that impel the ecstatic fighting spirit: ...bragging, complacence,
pride, power, taking to weapons, challenging and standing as an opponent. All of these
symptoms become impetuses to chivalrous devotional service (page 367).
Example of Bragging as an Uddipana
My dear Damodara, You are an expert only in eating... You have advertised Yourself as a
serpent, and I am the peacock who will now defeat You (page 367).

The anubhavas of yuddha-vira-rasa are very similar to the uddipanas. We can clarify this by
means of a hypothetical situation:
"Person A" is not in a fighting mood, but "Person B" challenges him by bragging, taking
up weapons, etc. These activities impel the fighting spirit to rise up in "Person A."
Consequently, they act as uddipana.
From another angle: "Person B" was in the fighting mood, which caused him to
challenge "Person A" by bragging, taking up weapons, etc. Consequently, these activities were
anubhavas for "Person B" because they resulted from his fighting mood.
When something impels the fighting spirit it is an uddipana. When something results
from an already evoked fighting spirit, it is an anubhava.
Srila Prabhupada mentions this, In such fighting between friends, when the selfadvertisement becomes personal, learned scholars say that it is subecstasy (page 367). 6
Bragging is an anubhava when it results from one's fighting spirit and is used to challenge
others. On the other hand, bragging is an uddipana when it impels one's fighting spirit, coming
as a challenge from someone else.
This is true for each uddipana of yuddha-vira-rasa. For example, taking up weapons to
challenge an opponent is an anubhava, but it is an uddipana when someone else takes up
weapons and challenges one to battle.
In addition to these uddipana/anubhavas, there are some things which are exclusively
anubhava: enthusiasm in fighting, roaring like a lion, being enthusiastic to fight in spite of being
alone, to never withdraw from battle, to instil fearlessness in persons who are afraid, etc.

Example of Bragging as an Anubhava

One friend addressed Krsna in this manner: My dear Madhusudana, You know my strength,
yet You are encouraging Bhadrasena, and not me, to challenge mighty Baladeva. By this action
You are simply insulting me, because my arms are as strong as the bolts of the gate! (page 368)
This bragging is as an anubhava, because it is a result of one's own yuddha-utsah-rati. It is one's
own self-provoked challenge.

In the above quotation, rla Prabhupda uses the following terminology: Self-advertisement bragging; personal
it arises from one's own fighting spirit, not from someone else's fighting spirit; and subecstasy subsequent
ecstasy (anubhva).
Thus: In such fighting between friends, when bragging arises from one's own fighting spirit, learned scholars
say that it is anubhva.


Example of Roaring Like a Lion

A devotee once said, My dear Lord Krsna, may Your challenger Sridama become glorious for
his chivalrous activities, such as vibrating like a thundercloud and roaring like a lion. May all
glories go to Sridama's chivalrous activities! (page 368)

Sattvika-Bhava & Vyabhicari-Bhava

Sattvika-bhava: Chivalrous activities in the matter of fighting, charity, mercy and execution of
religious rituals are called constitutional... (page 368)
Vyabhicari-bhava: Expressions of pride, emotion, endurance, kindness, determination,
jubilation, enthusiasm, jealousy and remembrance are called unconstitutional (page 368).
"Constitutional ecstasy" is Srila Prabhupada's
"Unconstitutional ecstasy" refers to vyabhicari-bhava.




The sthayi-bhava of yuddha-vira-rasa is called yuddha-utsaha-rati "enthusiasm to fight. This
enthusiasm manifests in four ways. 7

One fights by himself, after being challenged by an opponent.


One fights by himself, and he starts the fight.


One fights in a team, after being challenged by an opponent, or encouraged by an ally.


One fights in a team, and he starts the fight.

Example of First Yuddha-Utsaha-Rati

(He fights by himself, after being challenged)
After being chastised by His father, Stoka-krsna stopped fighting with Krsna... But Krsna
continued to challenge him, and thus, in order to meet the challenge, Stoka-krsna took his pole
and began to display his dexterity by whirling it (page 368).
Stoka-krsna fought by himself, after being challenged by Krsna.

Example of Second Yuddha-Utsaha-Rati

(He fights by himself, and he starts the fight)
Once Sridama challenged Bhadrasena and said to him, My dear friend, you needn't be afraid of
me yet. I shall first of all defeat our brother Balarama, then I shall beat Krsna, and then I shall
come to you... (page 368)
Sridama is starting the fight, and he wants to fight each person "one-on-one".

Examples of Third Yuddha-Utsaha-Rati

(He fights in a team, after being challenged or encouraged)

BRS 4.3.18


See example beginning Bhadrasena therefore left the party of Balarama and joined Krsna (page
368). After being challenged by Sridama, Bhadrasena teamed up with Krsna to defeat Sridama
and his friends.
Another example, Once Krsna challenged all His friends and said... (page 368) In this
example, Varuthapa teamed up with his friends, after being challenged by Krsna.

Example of Fourth Yuddha-Utsaha-Rati

(He fights in a team, and he starts the fight)
One of the friends once remarked, Sudama is trying his best to see Damodara defeated, and I
think that if our powerful Subala joins him, they will be a very beautiful combination, like a
valuable jewel bedecked with gold (page 368).
Sudama started the fight against Damodara, and he will team up with his ally, Subala.

Ecstatic Fighting is not Possible Without Love (Priti)

In these chivalrous activities, only Krsna's friends can be the opponents. Krsna's enemies can
never actually be His opponents. Therefore, this challenging by Krsna's friends is called
devotional service in chivalrous activities (page 368).

Dana-Vira Chivalrous Charity

Dana-vira, or chivalry in giving charity, may be divided into two parts: munificence and
renunciation (page 369). Munificence means giving charity to others. Renunciation means
receiving charity from Krsna, but renouncing it (a devotee shows heroism or chivalry by never
accepting anything from Krsna except pure devotional service). 8

A person who can sacrifice everything for the satisfaction of Krsna is called munificent (page

Seeing a fit recipient of charity is an uddipana of dana-vira. 9
Another uddipana for charity is Krsna. Seeing Krsna impels one's good and charitable
sentiments, and thus one desires to please the Lord by helping others. When a person desires
to make a sacrifice because of seeing Krsna, Krsna is called the impetus of the munificent
activity (page 369). 10

See BRS 4.2.25 & 43.

BRS 4.3.27
10 Other points from Bhakti-Rasmta-Sindhu helpful in understanding dna-vra-rasa:
1) Anubhva: Giving more than is deserved, conversing with laughter, firmness or steadiness, cleverness and skill,
patience. (BRS 4.3.27)
2) Vyabhicr-bhva: Vitaska ("counter-arguments"), utsukat (enthusiasm), hara (jubilation)... (BRS 4.3.28)
3) Sthy-bhva: "Dna-utsaha-rati" enthusiasm to give charity (BRS 4.3.29)
4) Vibhva: The person who gives charity is the raya alambana. r Kna, as either the recipient of charity or the
recipient of the auspicious benefit accrued by giving charity, is the viaya alambana.


Two Types of Munificence

Munificence (giving charity for the Lord's pleasure) is of two types: (1) Abhudayika giving
charity to a brahmana, to create auspiciousness for Krsna, and (2) tat sampradanaka giving
charity directly to the Lord. 11
Abhudayika is the desire to invoke auspiciousness for Krsna by giving charity to others, as
Nanda Maharaja did by giving charity to the brahmanas at Krsna's birth. (See page 369)
Tat-sampradanaka involves giving charity directly to Krsna. When a person knows the glories
of the Lord completely and is prepared to sacrifice everything for the Lord, he is called
sampradanaka, or one who gives everything in charity for the sake of Krsna (page 369).
also of two kinds: 12

of charity given by Lord

Giving to the Lord
Giving to others
for Lord's pleasure

Giving directly to Lord
Giving to Ka
out of affection

Giving to Lord
in worship


1) Pritidana Charity given

to Krsna in a loving,
friendly mood.
2) Pujadana Charity given
to Krsna in a worshipful

When Maharaja Yudhisthira
went with Krsna in the arena of the Rajasuya sacrifice... (page 369)
Out of deep friendship for Lord Krsna, Maharaja Yudhisthira gave Him all his
possessions, and became disturbed when he finally had nothing else to give. This is pritidana
because his intimate friendship inspired him to give to the Lord.
Pujadana Tat-Sampradanaka
See example beginning with Similarly, Maharaja Bali once told his priest, Sukracarya... (page
369) This is pujadana; Maharaja Bali feels that Lord Vamana is the Supreme Lord, the most
worshipable object and worthy recipient of charity.

In "munificence," the devotee is the giver and the Lord is the recipient. In "renunciation," the
Lord is the giver and the devotee is the recipient. The devotee, however, displays heroic purity
by renouncing anything offered by the Lord, even liberation.


BRS 4.3.30
BRS 4.3.34


Srila Prabhupada explains, A person who wants to give everything in charity to Krsna
but does not want anything in return is considered the real renouncer. Thus, a devotee will
refuse to accept any kind of liberation, even if it is offered by the Lord (pages 369 - 370).

The sthayi-bhava of renunciation is tyaga-utsaha-rati enthusiasm for renunciation of
everything besides the Lord's service (a very powerful aversion to accept even the five types of
liberation). 13
Dhruva Maharaja's statement from the Hari-bhakti-sudhodaya is an example of tyagautsaha-rati the chivalry of renunciation. Even though various types of opulence were present
before him, he was prepared to renounce them all.
Srimad Bhagavatam 3.15.48 is also an example of tyaga-utsaha-rati.

Daya-Vira Chivalrous Mercy

Daya-vira is a mood of compassion (daya) for Krsna, which inspires the devotee to perform
heroic and chivalrous (vira) acts of charity. The devotee's powerful mood of compassion makes
him willing to do anything that may benefit the Lord, even if it requires him to cleave his own
body in two. 14
Thus daya-vira is a mood of heroism that arises from compassion for the Lord. 15
Example of Daya-Vira Rasa
One devotee has described his feelings about the charity exhibited by King Mayuradhvaja...
(page 370) Krsna once disguised himself as a brahmana beggar and asked Maharaja
Mayuradhvaja for half his body, to be sawed off by his wife and children. Because the king felt
such strong compassion for Krsna (in the disguise of this brahmana), he did not hesitate to fulfil
his every request, even though it required him to cleave his body in half. 16

Compassion for the Supreme Godhead?

Daya-vira is heroism motivated by compassion and pity. Compassion and pity are emotions felt
for those in need. Since the Supreme Godhead can never be in need or in difficulty, how could a
devotee feel compassion or pity for Him?

BRS 4.3.43
B RS 4.3.47
15 Other points from BRS helpful in understanding day-vra-rasa:
1. Vibhva: Kna in a disguised form is the viaya (such as Vmana-deva). The compassionate devotee is the
raya (BRS 4.3.47).
2. Uddpana: Things that display the distress of the person whom compassion is being shown. (BRS 4.3.48).
3. Anubhva: Giving one's life; protecting the distressed person; speaking comforting, soothing words; exhibiting
steadiness, etc. (BRS 4.3.49).
4. Vyabhicr-bhva: Utsukat (enthusiasm), mati (thoughtfulness), and hara (jubilation)... (BRS 4.3.50)
5. Sthy-bhva: Day-utsaha-rati enthusiasm characterised by an abundance of compassion (BRS 4.3.50).
16 The first full sentence on page 371 should thus read, "He is known as the perfect day-vra renouncer" (pg. 371)


To facilitate the exchange of loving emotions such as pity and compassion, the Lord's
supremacy must be covered. Therefore daya-vira-rasa can only manifest when the Lord conceals
His divinity and appears in a disguised form. 17

Dana-Vira or Daya-Vira?
Both dana-vira and daya-vira involve heroic acts of charity for the Lord. Dana-vira occurs when
one is aware of the Lord's supremacy. Daya-vira, on the other hand, occurs when one is
unaware of the Lord's identity. Charity given in Dana-vira is motivated by a sense of worship, or
a sense of friendship. Charity given in daya-vira is motivated by a sense of pity and compassion
for the Lord. 18

Dharma-Vira Heroic Religiosity

Dharma-vira is the chivalrous mood of being always engaged in dharma for Krsna's pleasure.
Any person who is always ready to satisfy Krsna and who is always dexterous in executing
devotional service is called dharma-vira, or chivalrous in executing religious rituals (page 371).

Uddipana and Anubhava

Uddipana: Hearing the scriptures is the impetus to becoming dharma-vira, a hero of religiosity.
Anubhava: Moral conduct, tolerance, and sense control are the results of becoming dharmavira. 19
Srila Prabhupada summarizes, Dharma-viras are produced after going through the
authoritative scriptures, following moral principles, being faithful and tolerant and controlling
the senses (page 371).

Example of Dharma-Vira
See example beginning The best example of dharma-vira is Maharaja Yudhisthira (page 371).
This example describes how Maharaja Yuddhisthira performed many yajnas to the demigods for
Krsna's pleasure. Therefore, the section ends by explaining how it is possible to worship the
Lord by performing sacrifice to the demigods.



Jva Gosvm explains in his commentaries to BRS 4.3.52 - 53: The Lord's supremacy may be covered either, (1)
by a disguise, or (2) by the devotee's spontaneous love. In day-vra-rasa the Lord is covered by a disguise. In
karuna-rasa the Lord is covered by love (karuna-rasa is the subject of the next wave). Day-vra-rasa is
specifically for devotees in the reverent dsya mood, since they cannot feel pity for the Lord unless He disguises
Himself. Karuna-rasa is specifically for devotee's in higher rasas. They can constantly exchange feelings of
compassion and mercy with the Lord because their spontaneous affection always covers His majesty and
BRS 4.3.52 - 53
BRS 4.3.56


Northern Ocean
Fourth & Fifth Wave

Chapter 47


Chapter 47

Compassion and Anger

BRS 4.4.1 - 4.5.33

BRS 4.4.1 - 16
When lamentation (soka-rati) is nourished within the heart of a devotee by appropriate vibhava,
etc, it transforms into tragic compassion in devotional service (karuna-rasa).
Srila Prabhupada explains When the ecstasy of devotional service produces some kind
of lamentation in connection with Krsna, it is called devotional service in compassion (page

Karuna Compassion
Karuna-rasa is the Sanskrit term for "devotional service in compassion." According to Sanskrit
poetics, karuna means "tragedy." When the devotee sees Krsna in a tragic situation, he or she
feels lamentation and compassion. Consequently, Srila Prabhupada translates karuna as
"compassion," and sometimes as "lamentation."

There are three objects of kaurna-rasa: (1) Krsna, (2) His dear associates, and (3) the relatives of
Krsna's associates. 1

There are three: (1) those who witness Krsna in a tragic situation, (2) those who witness Krsna's
dear associates in a tragic situation, and (3) those who witness the relatives of Krsna's dear
associates in a tragic situation. 2

The impetuses for this devotional service are Krsna's transcendental quality, form and activity
(page 373).
How can these wonderful aspects of Krsna stimulate tragic lamentation? If Yasoda-devi
sees Krsna in an extremely dangerous situation her memory will suddenly flood with memories
of His lovable qualities, form, and activities. This increases her affection for Him, which
increases her lamentation over the calamitous tragedy now befalling the object of her love.
Thus Krsna's form, qualities, and pastimes can be uddipanas for karuna-rasa. 3


BRS 4.4.3
BRS 4.4.4
For a pastime that illustrates this, see page .


In this ecstasy of devotional service there are sometimes symptoms like regret, heavy breathing,
crying, falling on the ground and beating upon one's chest (page 373).

Sometimes symptoms like laziness, frustration, defamation, humility, anxiety, moroseness,
eagerness, restlessness, madness, death, forgetfulness, disease and illusion are also visible (page

Soka-rati (bereavement or lamentation) is the sthayi-bhava of karuna-bhakti-rasa. When in the
heart of the devotee there is expectation of some mishap to Krsna, it is called devotional service
in bereavement. Such bereavement is another symptom of this devotional service in compassion
(page 373).

Examples of Karuna-Rasa
As mentioned earlier, there are three objects of kaurna-rasa: (1) Krsna, (2) His dear associates,
and (3) the relatives of Krsna's associates. Srila Rupa Gosvami now illustrates each.

Krsna as the Object of Compassion

One can experience karuna-rasa as a result of Krsna being put in a tragic calamity.
Srimad-Bhagavatam 10.16.10 shows Krsna wrapped in the coils of the Kaliya serpent. His
cowherd friends who witness the Lord's apparent tragedy are the reservoirs (asraya-alambana)
of compassionate lamentation (karuna-rasa).
Srila Rupa Gosvami cites another example. When Krsna entered the Yamuna river,
which had become very poisonous from the presence of Kaliya, mother Yasoda feared all kinds
of mishaps, and she was breathing hotly. Tears from her eyes were soaking her clothes, and she
was almost collapsing (page 373). Krsna is the object of compassion (visaya-alambana), and
Mother Yasoda is the reservoir of compassion (asraya-alambana).

Krsna's Associates as Objects of Compassion

One can also experience karuna-rasa as a result of Krsna's dear devotees being put in a tragic
For example, ...when the Sakhasura demon was attacking Krsna's queens one after
another, Lord Baladeva become more and more bluish (page 374). Here the visaya-alambana is
Krsna's queens, and the asraya-alambana is Lord Baladeva. 4

Relatives of Krsna's Associates as Objects of Compassion

One can also experience karuna-rasa as a result of the relatives of Krsna's dear devotees being
put in a tragic calamity.

Those familiar with this ll can understand that "Kna's queens" refers to Vndvanevar and the gops.


The reference from Hamsaduta (page 374) describes Krsna's footprints. When Lord
Brahma sees them he bows down. When Narada Muni sees them he becomes very ecstatic.
Narada then becomes overwhelmed with compassion for the liberated sages; who have achieved
impersonal liberation and are thus bereft of the opportunity to see the wonderful footprints of
the Supreme Personality.
Narada is a muni, and the liberated sages are also in the family of munis. Thus the
liberated sages are relatives of Krsna's associate, Narada. The munis are visaya-alambana. Narada
is asraya-alambana. 5
Compassion towards a relative is more evident in the next example: There is an instance
when Sahadeva, the younger brother of Nakula, became greatly gladdened at seeing the effulgent
glowing of Krsna's footprints. He began to cry and call out, Mother Madri! Where are you now?
Father Pandu! Where are you now? I am very sorry that you are not here to see these footprints
of Krsna! (page 374)
Sahadeva's mother and father are the objects of his compassion, because they are
deprived of seeing Krsna's footprints. His mother and father are visaya-alambana. He is asrayaalambana.

Advanced Nature of Karuna-Rasa

In devotional service without strong attraction to the Lord there may sometimes be smiling and
other symptoms, but never the stress or lamentation that are symptoms of devotional service in
compassion (page 374). Laughter, etc. can sometimes arise even in a devotee who has not yet
developed his rati. However, lamentation and compassion for Krsna can never arise without rati.

Love Covers Krsna's Supremacy

Since Krsna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead there can be no real threat to His welfare.
Yet unless one perceives a threat to Krsna's welfare there is no possibility of karuna-rasa.
Therefore, the Lord's supremacy and omnipotence must be covered. In karuna-rasa the devotee's
intoxicating love covers his awareness of the Lord's supremacy. 6
Srila Prabhupada explains, The apprehension of some mishap to Krsna or to His
beloved queens, as exhibited by Baladeva and Yudhisthira, has been explained above. This
apprehension is due not exactly to their ignorance of the inconceivable potencies of Krsna but
to their intense love for Him (page 374).

Even Tragedy is Blissful

This kind of apprehension of some mishap to Krsna first of all becomes manifested as an object
of lamentation, but gradually it develops into such compassionate loving ecstasy that it turns to
another channel and gives transcendental pleasure (page 374).
We must not equate karuna-rasa with ordinary material lamentation. Material emotions
can bring only misery, since they focus on the temporary platform. When our emotions focus on
Krsna, they can result only in bliss. Thus even "tragedy" is blissful in Krsna consciousness.


BRS 4.4.11
See Chapter 46, footnote .


BRS 4.5.1 - 33
When anger (krodha-rati) is nourished within the heart of a devotee by its corresponding
vibhava, etc. it transforms into ecstatic fury (raudra-bhakti-rasa). 7

There are three objects of ecstatic anger; (1) Krsna, (2) Krsna's well-wishers, and (3) enemies. 8

If the object is Krsna, the asraya may be either the sakhis or elderly gopis. If the object is Krsna's
well-wishers or His enemies, any devotee can be the asraya. 9
Anger of Sakhis Towards Krsna
The sakhis become angry at Krsna when He mistreats Radharani. 10
Lalita-gopi expressed her anger, which was caused by Krsna, when she addressed
Srimati Radharani thus: My dear friend, my inner desires have been polluted. Therefore I shall
go to the place of Yamaraja. But I am sorry to see that Krsna has still not given up His smiling
over cheating You. I do not know how You could repose all Your loving propensities upon this
lusty young boy from the neighborhood of the cowherds (pages 374 -375). 11
Anger of Elderly Gopis Towards Krsna
After seeing Krsna, Jarati sometimes said ... (page 375) The elderly gopis become angry at
Krsna for His libertine connection with their chaste young daughters. They worry that such
improper behavior will cast infamy and irreligiously upon Him. In his commentary on this
verse, Jiva Gosvami describes that their anger is therefore an expression of their love. 12
Anger Towards Krsna's Well-Wishers
There are three reasons for becoming angry at Krsna's well-wishers: 13

Anavahita - "inattentive," they are inattentive in protecting Krsna.


Sahasi - "bold," they rashly take Krsna into danger.

B RS 4.5.1
B RS 4.5.2
9 B RS 4.5.2
10 B RS 4.5.3
11 This verse illustrates several components of ecstatic anger: Vibhva viaya: Kna. Vibhva raya: Lalit-Sakh.
Vibhva uddpana: Kna's indifference to r Rdh's suffering. Anubhva: The desire to die ("I sh all go to the
place of Yamarja"). Vyabhicr-bhva: Extreme agitation
12 It is interesting to note that jarat is not the name of a particular gop. Jarat is a generic term meaning, "old lady."
13 BRS 4.5.8


Irsyu - "envious," they have unnecessary anger towards Krsna, due to jealous love.
Anavahita Inattentive

Srila Rupa Gosvami defines anavahita: Even though entrusted with Krsna's safety and
maintenance, one becomes inattentive to Krsna's protection due to being too absorbed in
collecting articles for His service. 14
Srila Rupa Gosvami illustrates this by citing Rohini's anger towards Yasoda-devi after the
twin Arjuna trees fell. You may be very expert in giving lessons to your son by binding Him
with rope, but don't you look to see if your son is in a dangerous spot? The trees are falling on
the ground, and He is simply loitering there! (page 375)
Sahasi Rash
Srila Rupa Gosvami defines sahasi as one who rashly and foolhardily persuades Krsna to enter a
dangerous, fearful place. 15 Mother Yasoda's anger at the cowherd boys for sending Krsna alone
into such danger in the Talavana Forest (page 375) is an example of ecstatic anger towards a
foolhardy well-wisher of Krsna.
Irsyu Jealous Lover
Srila Rupa Gosvami defines irsyu as anger towards a well-wisher whose jealous love causes her
to unnecessarily remain dissatisfied with Krsna. 16
For example, When
Objects of Anger
Radharani was dissatisfied
Sakhis mad at Him for wronging Sri Radha
with the behavior of Krsna
Elderly gopis mad at His scandalous behavior
and had stopped talking
with Him, Krsna was very
Anavahita inattentive to protecting Krsna
sorry for Radharani's great
Sahasi Inconsiderate of Krsna's safety
dissatisfaction, and in order
(When they are:) Irsyu Unnecessarily mad at Krsna
to beg forgiveness, He fell
down at Her lotus feet. But
Nija ahita-kari Those who interfere with
one's relationship to Krsna
even after this, Radharani
Sri Krsna ahita-kari Enemies of Krsna
was not satisfied, and She
did not talk with Krsna. At
that time, one of Her
friends chastised Her in the following words: My dear friend, You are allowing Yourself to be
churned by the rod of dissatisfaction, so what can I say unto You?... (page 375)
In this example, Srimati Radharani is the object of anger (visaya-alambana) and Her
friend is the reservoir of anger (asraya-alambana).
Anger Towards Enemies
There are two kinds of enemies: 17


BRS 4.5.9
BRS 4.5.11
BRS 4.5.13
BRS 4.5.15



Nija ahita-kari one's own enemy.


Krsna ahita-kari Krsna's enemy.

Nija ahita-kari

Srila Rupa Gosvami defines nija ahita-kari as someone who creates impediments in one's
relationship with Krsna. 18 The gopis' anger towards Akrura for taking Krsna out of Vrndavana is
an example of this. (See page 376, 2nd full paragraph)
Krsna ahita-kari
The Pandavas' anger towards Sisupala after he insulted Krsna in rajasuya yajna is an example of
ecstatic anger towards one who wants to harm Krsna. (See page 376, 3rd full paragraph)

In such a transcendental angry mood sometimes sarcastic remarks, unfavorable glances and
insulting words are exhibited (page 376). These things can spark transcendental anger.

The results of ecstatic anger: Sometimes there are other symptoms, like rubbing of the two
hands, clacking of the teeth, clamping the lips, moving of the eyebrows, scratching of the arms,
lowering of the head, rapid breathing, uttering of strong words, nodding of the head,
yellowishness at the corners of the eyes, and trembling lips. Sometimes the eyes turn red, and
sometimes they fade. And there are sometimes chastisement and silence (page 376).

Sattvika-Bhava & Vyabhicari-Bhava

Raudra-bhakti-rasa exhibits all the standard sattvika- and vyabhicari-bhavas.
Sometimes great emotion, bewilderment, pride, frustration, illusion, impotence,
jealousy, dexterity, negligence, and signs of hard labor are also manifest as unconstitutional
[vyabhicari] symptoms (page 376).
Sattvika-bhava: ecstatic anger exhibits all eight. Vyabhicari-bhava: great emotion,
bewilderment, pride, etc.

Anger is the steady ecstasy of ecstatic fury (krodha is the sthayi-bhava of raudra-rasa). Srila
Prabhupada says, In all these humors of ecstatic love, the feeling of anger is accepted as the
steady factor (page 376).
There are three kinds of krodha-rati: 19
1) Kopa anger exhibited towards the enemy
2) Manyu anger towards a relative


BRS 4.5.16
BRS 4.5.26


3) Rusa anger towards the beloved

Kopa Anger Towards Krsna's Enemy

When Jarasandha angrily attacked the city of Mathura, he looked at Krsna with sarcastic
glances. At that time Baladeva took up His plough weapon and gazed upon Jarasandha with
colored eyes (page 376). Here Sri Baladeva exhibits kopa-rati, anger towards the enemy.

Manyu Anger Towards Krsna's Well-Wisher

There are three kinds of anger towards a well-wisher: 20
1) Manyu pujya anger towards superior well-wishers.
2) Manyu samana anger towards well-wishers who are one's equals.
3) Manyu chote anger towards junior well-wishers.
Anger Towards a Superior Manyu-Pujya
There is a statement in the Vidagdha-madhava wherein Srimati Radharani, in an angry mood,
addressed Her mother, Paurnamasi, after she had accused Radharani of going to Krsna... (pages
376 - 377)
Anger Towards an Equal Manyu-Samana
Sometimes among contemporary personalities there are signs of ecstasy in anger because of
love for Krsna. An example of such anger was exhibited in a quarrel between Jatila and Mukhara
(page 377). Both Jatila and Mukhara are senior family members. Thus their anger at each other
exemplifies manyu-samana.
Anger Towards a Junior Manyu Chote
"Once, when Radharani was taking off the necklace given to Her by Krsna, Jatila, her mother-inlaw, told a friend, My dear friend, just see the beautiful necklace that Krsna has presented to
Radharani. She is now holding it, but still She wants to tell us that She has no connection with
Krsna. This girl's activities have disgraced our whole family! (page 377)

Ecstatic Anger is not Possible Without Love

The anger of Krsna's enemies can never attain to bhakti-rasa. Natural jealousy of Krsna by
persons like Sisupala cannot be accepted as ecstatic love in anger with Krsna (page 377).


BRS 4.5.26


Northern Ocean
Sixth & Seventh Waves

Chapter 48


Chapter 48

Dread and Ghastliness

BRS 4.6.1 - 4.7.14

BRS 4.6.1 - 16
When fear (bhaya-rati) is nourished within the heart of a devotee by its corresponding vibhava,
etc. it transforms into ecstatic dread (bhayanaka-bhakti-rasa). 1

The devotee who experiences dread is the asraya-alambana, and the person or thing which is the
cause of that dreadful fear is the visaya-alambana.

There are two possible objects (visaya) that cause ecstatic fear: (1) Krsna Himself, or (2) a
demon (who creates a dreadful situation for Krsna). In ecstatic love for Krsna in dread, there
are two causes of fear: either Krsna Himself or some dreadful situation for Krsna (page 379).

There are two types of persons who experience ecstatic fear: (1) if the object of fear is Krsna
Himself, the asraya-alambana is a devotee who committed an offence; (2) if the object of fear is
a demon, the asraya-alambana is a very intimate devotee who fears for Krsna's safety.
When a devotee feels himself to be an offender at Krsna's lotus feet, Krsna Himself
becomes the object of dreadful ecstatic love. And when, out of ecstatic love, friends and wellwishers of Krsna apprehend some danger for Him, that situation becomes the object of their
dread (page 379).

Examples of Krsna as the Object of Fear

When Rksaraja realizes that the person he is fighting is the Supreme Lord, he fears having
offended Him. Krsna is the visaya-alambana. Rksaraja is asraya-alambana. (See page 379.)
Another example: after Krsna sufficiently chastised Kaliya, the serpent said, ...I did not
know Your actual position, and out of ignorance I have committed such horrible offences (page
379). When Kaliya understood Krsna's supreme position he feared having offended Him. Krsna
is the visaya-alambana. Kaliya is the asraya-alambana.

Examples of Demons as Objects of Fear.

There are three ways in which a demon can be the cause (visaya-alambana) of ecstatic fear: (1)
by seeing the demon, (2) by hearing about it, and (3) by remembering it.

BRS 4.6.1


Objects of Fear
By Seeing the Demon



By seeing the huge form of Kesi, and

witnessing some of the recent disturbances
Seeing Hearing about Remembering
caused by him, Yasoda-mayi became very
fearful about Krsna's safety. (See pages 379
- 380.) Seeing Kesi is the visaya-alambana. Yasoda is the asraya-alambana.
By Hearing About the Demon
When it was learned that the demon was entering Gokula in an angry mood, mother Yasoda
became so anxious to protect her child that her face dried up and there were tears in her eyes
(page 380). 2 Hearing about Kesi's angry entrance into Vraja is the visaya-alambana. Yasoda is
the asraya-alambana.
By Remembering the Demon
After the Putana witch had been killed, some friends of mother Yasoda inquired from her about
the incident. Mother Yasoda at once requested her friends, Please stop! Please stop! Don't bring
up the incident of Putana. I become distressed just by remembering this incident... (page 380)
Remembering Putana is the visaya-alambana. Yasoda-devi is the asraya-alambana.

In the ecstasy of devotional service in dread, the unconstitutional symptoms are drying up of
the mouth, exuberance, glancing behind oneself, concealing oneself, bewilderment, searching
after the endangered lovable object and crying very loudly (page 380).

Some other unconstitutional symptoms are illusion, forgetfulness and expectation of danger
(page 380). Other prominent vyabhicari-bhavas for bhayanaka-bhakti-rasa are fear, death,
unsteadiness, nervousness, despondency, depression and agitation. 3

Bhaya-rati (fear), is the sthayi-bhava of bhayanaka-bhakti-rasa. It arises from an offence or a
fearful asura. Such dread is caused either by offences committed or by dreadful circumstances
(page 380).

Other Objects of Dread

There is another possible visaya-alambana for bhayanaka-rasa: Anyone who is powerful may be
an object of dread and fear. Such persons strike fear into the heart in three ways: (1) by their
fearsome form, (2) by their devious nature, and (3) by their awesome power.
Srila Prabhupada mentions, When dread is caused by a fearful object, this fearful object
is generally a person who is fearsome in his features, nature and influence (page 380).

The original text (BRS 4.6.7) also describes one of the prominent uddpanas for ecstatic dread the raising of the
demon's eyebrows.
BRS 4.6.11

Fearsome Form
Putana invokes ecstatic dread by her fearsome form. An example of an object which caused
ecstatic dread is the Putana witch (page 380).

Devious Nature
Kamsa and other wicked kings are examples of devious, mischievous natures that can invoke
ecstatic dread. Dread may be caused by mischievous demonic characters, such as King Kamsa
(page 380).

Awesome Power
Great demigods like Sakara or Indra are examples of great powers who may cause ecstatic
dread: ...and it may be caused by great powerful demigods, such as Indra or Sakara (page

Ecstatic Dread is not Possible Without Love

Only devotees with love for Krsna can experience bhayanaka-bhakti-rasa (ecstatic dread).
Demons like Kamsa feared Krsna, but their feelings cannot be described as ecstatic dread in
devotional service (page 380).

BRS 4.7.1 - 14
When disgust (jigupsa-rati) is nourished within the heart of a devotee by its corresponding
vibhava, etc. it transforms into ecstatic ghastliness (vibhatsa-bhakti-rasa). 4
It is understood from authoritative sources that an attachment for Krsna because of
feelings of disgust sometimes presents a ghastly ecstasy in devotional service (page 380).

Krsna is akhila-rasamrta-mutih. He is the object of all rasa including ecstatic ghastliness. But
Krsna is not disgusting. How can He be the cause of ghastliness and disgust?
Jiva Gosvami describes that He does not directly cause disgust. Things like the material
world, objects of sense gratification, and the material body are immediate or direct causes
(bahir-visaya) of ghastly rasa. Krsna is the indirect or root cause (mula-visaya) of ghastly rasa.
Without Krsna at its root, emotion is not transcendental. Simply being disgusted with
sex life is not transcendental mellow. But it is transcendental mellow if that disgust is linked
with one's affection for Krsna.
Thus there are two types of visaya for ecstatic ghastliness: the root object and the
superficial object.

BRS 4.7.1


A devotee who feels a heightened mood of disgust for the material world is the asraya-alambana
of ghastly-mellow. This disgust towards sense gratification is a trademark of devotees in the
neutral stage. Thus, The person experiencing such ecstatic love for Krsna is almost always in
the neutral stage of devotional service, or santa-rasa (page 381). 5
Srila Rupa Gosvami gives an example of ecstatic ghastliness, which describes an
advanced devotee's genuine disgust toward sex life. 6

Anubhava & Sattvika-Bhava

Anubhava: In this mellow of devotional service in ghastliness, the subecstatic symptoms are
spitting upon the consideration of one's past life, contorting the face, covering the nose and
washing the hands (page 381).
Sattvika-bhava: There is also trembling of the body, forcible twisting of the body, and
perspiration (page 381).

Other symptoms which may be present are shame, exhaustion, madness, illusion, frustration,
humility, self-pity, restlessness, eagerness and stunning of the body (page 381).

The sthayi-bhava of ecstatic ghastliness is jigupsa-rati (disgust), which is of two types: (1) vivekja disgust arising from intelligence, and (2) prayiki disgust arising from direct experience
of material nature's abominable qualities.

Due to an awakening of true knowledge one becomes disgusted with sense gratification and
laments his previous absorption in it. Srila Prabhupada explains, When a devotee, lamenting
for his past abominable activities, shows special symptoms on his body, his feeling is called
ecstasy in devotional service in ghastliness. This is caused by the awakening of his Krsna
consciousness (page 381).
In this connection there is the following statement: How can a person take pleasure in
the enjoyment of sex life in this body, which is a bag of skin and bones... (page 381) This is an
example of intellectual discrimination that causes disgust (jigupsa-rati) towards sex life.
Srila Prabhupada comments on vivek-ja: This perception is possible only for one who is
awakened to Krsna consciousness and who has become fully cognizant of the abominable nature
of this material body (page 381).


Specifically, nta-bhaktas and arita-dsa (those who take shelter of the Lord 's service because of fear of the
material world) are the raya for vibhatsa-bhakti-rasa. (See BRS 4.7.2)
See The Nectar of Devotion , page 381: A description of ecstatic l ove caused by ghastliness is found in the
following statement...


Prayiki refers to the direct experience of the abominable qualities of material nature. This causes
the devotee to lament his fallen condition and remember the Lord. To illustrate this, Srila Rupa
Gosvami describes the disgust a child experiences in the womb, and his consequent yearning for
devotional service (See page 381).
Another example, My dear Lord, Yamaraja has placed me in a situation which is full of
filthy and obnoxious smells. There are so many insects and worms, surrounded by the stools left
by different kinds of diseased persons... I have fallen into this hell, but I shall try to remember
Your holy name always (page 381).
The rest of the chapter is Srila Prabhupada's commentary on prayiki.


Northern Ocean
Eighth Wave

Chapters 49 & 50


Chapter 49

Mixing of Rasas
BRS 4.8.1 - 52

Very often, in addition to one's regular rasa, there is found the presence of some
other rasa, and the mixture of these loving humors is sometimes compatible, or
palatable, and sometimes incompatible, or unpalatable. The following is a scientific
analysis of the compatibility and incompatibility of the mixtures of these various
rasas, or loving moods (page 383).
Each individual is eternally situated in one primary rasa, which interacts with
all the other rasas in many complex and interesting ways. Some rasas are incompatible
they subtract from the flavor of the main rasa. Other rasas are compatible they
augment the flavor of the main rasa. Still others are neutral, neither augmenting nor
subtracting from the main rasa.
Srila Rupa Gosvami will list each of the rasas, along with its compatible and
incompatible rasas.

Santa-Rasa Neutrality



dasya (servitude)

madhurya (conjugal love)

sakhya (friendship)

vibhatsa (ghastliness)

yuddha-vira (chivalrous

vatsalya (parental)

dharma-vira (heroic

(astonishment) 1

When in the rasa of

neutral love (santa-rasa)
there are found traces of
ghastliness or
astonishment, the result is
compatible (page 383).

raudra (anger)
bhayanaka (fear)

hasya (laughter)
karuna (compassion)

When with this neutral

love there are
manifestations of conjugal
love, chivalry, anger or
dread, the result is
incompatible (page 383).

BRS 4.8.2-3. r Rpa Gosvm explains that adbhuta is compatible with all the primary rasas.

Dasya-Rasa Servitorship



vibhatsa (dread)

madhurya (conjugal)

sakhya (friendship)

santa (neutrality)

yuddha-vira (Chivalrous
fighting ) 2

vatsalya (parenthood)

dharma & dana vira

(heroic religiosity and


(anger) 3

hasya (laughter)
karuna (compassion)
bhayanaka (fear)

adbhuta (astonishment)

vibhatsa (ghastliness)

When in the ecstasy of a

serving humor there are
manifestations of dread,
neutral love or chivalry
(such as dharma-vira and
dana-vira), the result is
compatible (page 383).

The ecstasy of devotional

service in chivalry
(yuddha-vira) and anger
are directly produced by
Krsna Himself (page

Sakhya-Rasa Friendship



madhurya (conjugal)

vatsalya (parenthood)


hasya (laughter)

vibhatsa (ghastliness)

dasya (servitorship)

yuddha-vira (chivalrous

raudra (anger)

karuna (compassion)

adbhuta (astonishment)
With the ecstasy of
fraternal love a mixture of
conjugal love, laughter or
chivalry is highly
compatible (page 383).


bhayanaka (fear) 4
With the same fraternal
love, a mixture of dread or
parental love is most
Ghastliness and anger are
also listed in BRS 4.8.5.

Yuddha-vra is incompatible with dsya only if it involves fighting with Kna. See BRS 4.8.4
Raudra is incompatible with dsya only when the anger is directed at Kna. See BRS 4.8.4
Bhaynaka is incompatible with sakhya only if Kna is the object of fear.

Vatsalya-Rasa Parenthood



hasya (laughter)

madhurya (conjugal)

santa (neutral)

karuna (compassion)

dasya (servitorship)

sakhya (friendship)

bhayanaka (fear) 5

yuddha-vira (chivalrous

vibhatsa (ghastliness)

adbhuta (astonishment)

raudra (anger) 6
Although there are gulfs
of differences between
them, with the ecstasy of
parental affection, a
mixture of laughter,
compassion or dread is
compatible (page 383).

With the ecstasy of

parental love a mixture of
conjugal love, chivalry or
anger is incompatible
(page 384). Servitude is
also listed in BRS 4.8.6.

Madhurya-Rasa Conjugal Love




hasya (laughter)

vatsalya (parental)

dasya (servitorship)

sakhya (friendship)

vibhatsa (ghastliness)

karuna (compassion)

adbhuta (astonishment)

santa (neutral)

vira (chivalry)

bhayanaka (fear)

raudra (anger)

With the ecstasy of

devotion in conjugal love
a mixture of laughter or
fraternity is compatible
(page 384).

See BRS 4.8.7.

There are other opinions of which rasas are compatible with madhurya, According to
certain expert opinions, in the ecstasy of conjugal love the feelings of chivalry known

Bhaynaka is compatible with vtsalya only when the demons are the object of fear.
Dsya is in compatible with vtsalya onl y when Kna i s t he object of service. Yuddha-vra is
incompatible with vtsalya only if it involves fighting directly with Kna. Raudra is incompatible with
vtsalya only when directed at Kna. See BRS 4.8.6

as yuddha-vira and dharma-vira are the only compatible additions. According to this
view, except for these two humors, all other manifestations are taken as incompatible
with conjugal love (page 384). This is not the opinion of Srila Rupa Gosvami.

Hasya-Rasa Laughter



vibhatsa (ghastliness) 7

karuna (tragedy)

santa (neutral)

madhurya (conjugal)

bhayanaka (fear)

dasya (servitorship)

vatsalya (parental)

sakhya (friendship)
adbhuta (astonishment)
vira (chivalry)
raudra (anger)

With the ecstasy of

devotional laughter a
mixture of dread, conjugal
love or parental love is
compatible (page 384).

A mixture of compassion
or ghastliness is
incompatible (page 384).

Jva Gosvm says that vbhatsa's co mpatibility with hsya (laughter) refers to a devotee putting on
ghastly cost umes, or exhi biting ghast ly gest ures t hat cause feel ings of hum orous di sgust. It does not
imply th e d isgust ex perienced b y seein g a v ery g hastly th ing, o r realisin g th e g hastliness o f m aterial


Adbhuta-Rasa Astonishment



vira (chivalry)

raudra (anger)

hasya (laughter)

santa (neutral)

vibhatsa (ghastliness)

karuna (tragedy)

dasya (servitorship)

bhayanaka (fear)

sakhya (friendship) 8
vatsalya (parental)
madhurya (conjugal)
With the ecstasy of
devotion in astonishment
a mixture of chivalry or
neutral love is compatible
(page 384).

A mixture of anger or
dread is always
incompatible (page 384).

Vira-Rasa Chivalry



adbhuta (astonishment)

bhayanaka (fear)

vatsalya (parental)

hasya (laughter)

madhurya (conjugal) 9

karuna (tragedy)

sakhya (friendship)

santa (neutral)

raudra (anger)

dasya (servitorship)
With the ecstasy of
devotional chivalry a
mixture of astonishment,
laughter or servitude is
compatible (page 384).


vibhatsa (ghastliness)
A mixture of dread or
conjugal love is
incompatible (page
384). 10

BRS 4.8.10 mentions that sakhya is compatible with adbhuta. (See also footnote 1, this chapter.)
Only according to some authorities are madhurya and vra incompatible.
The l ast sent ence, si xth paragraph, page 384 s hould read: "Accordi ng t o som e expert opinions the
ecstasy of neutral love is always incompatible with devotional service in chivalry." See BRS 4.8.10

Karuna-Rasa Tragic Compassion




raudra (anger)

hasya (laughter)

dasya (servitorship)

vatsalya (parental)

adbhuta (astonishment)

sakhya (friendship)

bhayanaka (fear) 11

madhurya (conjugal) 12

santa (neutral)
vira (chivalry)
vibhatsa (ghastliness)

With the ecstasy of

compassion in devotional
service a mixture of anger
or parental love is
compatible (page 384).

A mixture of laughter,
conjugal love or
astonishment is always
incompatible (page 384).

Raudra-Rasa Anger



karuna (tragedy)

hasya (laughter)

santa (neutral)

vira (chivalry)

madhurya (conjugal)

vatsalya (parental)

bhayanaka (fear)

adbhuta (astonishment)
dasya (servitorship)
sakhya (friendship)
vibhatsa (ghastliness)

With the ecstasy of anger

in devotional service a
mixture of compassion or
chivalry is compatible
(page 384).


A mixture of laughter,
conjugal union or dread is
completely incompatible
(page 384).

See BRS 4.8.13

Lamentation (karuna-rasa) is in compatible with Madhurya-rasa onl y when t here i s reuni on of the
lovers; when there is separation, lamentation is quite compatible with madhurya-rasa. See BRS 4.8.11

Bhayanaka-Rasa Fear



vibhatsa (ghastliness)

vira (chivalry)

santa (neutral)

karuna (tragedy)

madhurya (conjugal)

dasya (servitorship)

hasya (laughter)

sakhya (friendship)

raudra (anger)

vatsalya (parental)
adbhuta (astonishment)

With the ecstasy of dread

in devotional service a
mixture of ghastliness or
compassion is compatible
(page 384).

With the ecstasy of

chivalry in devotional
service a mixture of
conjugal love, laughter or
anger is always
incompatible (page
384). 13

Vibhatsa-Rasa Ghastliness



santa (neutral)

madhurya (conjugal)

vatsalya (parental)

dasya (servitorship)

sakhya (friendship)

vira (chivalry)

hasya (laughter)

karuna (tragedy)
adbhuta (astonishment)
raudra (anger)
vibhatsa (ghastliness)

In the ecstasy of
ghastliness in devotional
service, feelings of neutral
love, laughter or servitude
are compatible (page


Feelings of conjugal
union and fraternity are
incompatible (page 384).

This sentence should read, "With the ecstasy of dread, a mixture of chivalry, conjugal union, laughter or
anger is always incompatible."

Mixing of Rasas It's Importance in Pleasing the Lord

Srila Prabhupada discusses the importance of understanding tasteful and distasteful
mixing of rasa by describing how Lord Caitanya's secretary, Svarupa Damodara,
would carefully check all poetry brought before Lord Caitanya for incompatible
mixing of rasas. If there was a trace of distasteful mixture, Svarupa Damodara would
reject it, and Lord Caitanya would never even see the offering. (See pages 384 - 385.)

Compatible Rasas
When compatible rasas combine the result is very relishable, like the meeting of two
friends. When a friend meets another friend, the mellow produced out of that
meeting is generally taken as very palatable (page 385).
Srila Prabhupada comments, But actually with such meetings between two
friends, there are so many feelings involved that it is difficult to ascertain when these
feelings are actually becoming compatible and when they are becoming incompatible
(page 385).

Rasas: "Whole" and "Part"

When compatible rasas mix, one of them predominates and the others cooperate with
and nourish it. Agi-rasa is the term for predominating mellow. Aga-rasa is the term
for cooperative mellows.
Agi means "that which possesses limbs." Aga means "limbs." Srila
Prabhupada thus translates agi as the "whole" and aga as the "part," because the
limbs and parts (aga) of the body serve and nourish the whole body (agi).
Expert literary scholars have analyzed the rasas which are compatible with
one another by contrasting the various rasas in a particular mixture under the names
whole and part. According to this method, the prominent feeling is called the whole,
and the subordinate feeling is called the part (page 385).
In the tables previously given, the rasa listed in the table's heading is the agirasa, while the rasas listed in the "compatible" column are its aga-rasas. For


The agi-rasa is santa-rasa. The rasas listed in the "compatible" column are
aga-rasas they act as the parts (aga) which serve the whole (agi). The
incompatible rasas cause
Santa-Rasa Neutrality
distaste. They do not
serve the whole and thus
are not aga-rasas.
dasya (servitude)
madhurya (conjugal love)
One can analyse
vibhatsa (ghastliness)
yuddha-vira (chivalry)
the rest of the tables in
the same way.
adbhuta (astonishment)
raudra (anger)
dharma-vira (religiosity)

bhayanaka (fear)

Examples of Agi
and Aga

Servitude Nourishes Neutrality
All living entities are just like sparks from the supreme fire, and as such, I do not
know if I, a tiny spark, shall be able to engage myself in the transcendental loving
service of this supreme fire, Lord Krsna (page 385).
We will first establish that two rasas are present: santa and dasya.
Santa-rasa: By referring to the original verse (BRS 4.8.20) one can understand that
"supreme fire" is a translation of Parambrahman. Thus the devotee in this verse sees
the Lord primarily as Parambrahman, not Krsna. 14 Parambrahman is the visaya of
santa-rasa. Consequently, there is an element of santa-rasa in this verse.
Dasya-rasa: The devotee desires to engage in the loving service of
Parambrahman. Consequently, there is an element of dasya-rasa in this verse.
We will now establish that santa-rasa predominates over dasya-rasa.
The speaker of this text possesses acute awareness of the Lord's overwhelming,
infinite majesty and opulence (aisvarya-jnana). This shows in his stress on the point
that he is extremely minute and insignificant in comparison to the Lord a "tiny
spark" compared to the "supreme fire." Although a desire for active service does arise,
aisvarya-jnana causes him to hesitate, become shy, and finally desist from stepping
forward to engage in intimate service. He can simply wonder if he will someday be
able to serve the Lord.
Thus santa is clearly the predominating mood (agi-rasa), nourished by dasya
(the aga-rasa).

As rla Prabhupda's personal mood of affect ion is well beyond nta-rasa, his sum mary includes a
mention that Kna is the ultimate source of Parambrahman.

Ghastliness Nourishes Neutrality

Alas, I am still trying to relish different pleasurable states from this body, which is
simply some skin covering mucus, semen and blood... (page 385) The ghastliness
serves to nourish the neutrality (ie detachment from the material world), thus santa is
the agi-rasa, and vibhatsa is the aga-rasa.
Servitude, Astonishment, and Ghastliness Nourish Neutrality
I shall now begin my service of fanning the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Sri
Krsna [servitude], who is seated on a golden throne [astonishment]. He is the supreme
Parambrahma [santa] in His eternal transcendental form of a cloudy blackish
complexion. Now I shall give up my affection for my material body, which is nothing
but a bunch of flesh and blood [ghastliness] (pages 385 - 386). This is an example of
three rasas simultaneously nourishing the santa-rasa.

Agi: Dasya-Rasa
Neutrality Nourishes Servitude
When shall I be freed from the mode of ignorance? And being thus purified, when
shall I attain the stage of serving Krsna eternally? Only then shall I be able to worship
Him, always observing His lotus eyes and beautiful face (page 386). Dasya is the
agi-rasa, and santa (symptomized by the desire for purification of existence) is the
Ghastliness Nourishes Servitude
Please look at this devotee of the Lord who is dancing just from remembering the
lotus feet of Krsna. Simply by observing his dance you will lose all interest in even the
most beautiful women! (page 386)
Ghastliness, Neutrality, and Chivalry Nourish Servitude
One devotee boldly [chivalry] said, My dear Lord, now I am turning my face from
any thought of association with young girls [ghastliness]. As far as Brahman
realization is concerned [neutrality]... (page 386)

Agi: Sakhya-Rasa
Conjugal Love Nourishes Friendship
My dear Subala, the damsels of Vrndavana who had the opportunity of enjoying
Krsna's kissing must be the foremost of all the fortunate women in the world (page
386). Topics of conjugal love often nourish friendship by becoming the topic of
friendly conversation.


Laughter Nourishes Friendship

While Krsna was joking in this way... Subala was also on the scene, and he began to
look at Krsna with wide and laughing eyes (page 386). The laughter nourishes
Subala's friendly relationship with Krsna.
Conjugal Love and Laughter Nourish Friendship
When Krsna saw that Subala, in the dress of Radharani, was silently hiding under the
shade of a beautiful asoka tree on the bank of the Yamuna, He immediately arose from
His seat in surprise. Upon seeing Krsna, Subala tried to hide his laughter by covering
his cheeks (page 387).

Agi: Vatsalya-Rasa
Compassion Nourishes Parental Love
When mother Yasoda was thinking that her son was walking in the forest without
any umbrella or shoes, she became greatly perturbed to think of how much difficulty
Krsna must have been feeling (page 387).
Laughter Nourishes Parental Love
My dear Yasoda, your son has very cunningly stolen a lump of butter from my home.
And to make me blame my own son for His mischief, He has smeared some of the
butter on my son's face while he was sleeping! (page 387)
Fear, Astonishment, Laughter, Compassion Nourish Parental Love
When Krsna was holding up Govardhana Hill with His left hand, His hair became
scattered all over His shoulders, and He appeared to be perspiring. When mother
Yasoda saw this scene, she began to tremble [fear]. Then, as she stared at the scene
with broadened eyes [astonishment], she saw Krsna begin to exhibit varieties of facial
caricatures. Mother Yasoda then became very happy and began to smile [laughter].
Then again, when she thought that Krsna was holding up the hill for such an
extremely long time [compassion], her clothes became soaked with perspiration (page

Agi: Madhurya-Rasa
Friendship Nourishes Conjugal Love
Srimati Radharani said, My dear friends, just see how Krsna is resting His hand on
the shoulder of Subala, who is dressed up just like a young girl! I think He must be
sending some message to Me through Subala (page 387).


Laughter Nourishes Conjugal Love

Krsna, in the dress of a young girl, told Radharani, Oh, You hardhearted girl! Don't
You know that I am Your sister? Why are You unable to recognize Me? Be merciful
upon Me and please capture My shoulders and embrace Me with love... But because
She was in front of many of Her superiors, She simply smiled and did not say anything
(page 388).
Friendship and Chivalry Nourish Conjugal Love
See paragraph beginning, The following illustrates a mixture of several feelings...
(page 388)

Examples of Gauna-Rasas as Agi

The common idea that indirect rasa is always subordinate to direct rasa is a
misconception, as will become clear from these examples.

Laughter Nourished by Conjugal Love

When Kubja caught hold of Krsna's yellow garment because she was feeling almost
lusty with sex urge, Krsna simply bowed down His head with His cheeks glowing in
front of the many people who were standing there and laughing (page 388).
The main mood here is laughter. Kubja's uncontrolled public display of lust
nourishes the humorous scene.

Chivalry Nourished by Friendship

Visala... was addressed by another cowherd boy as follows: Why are you attempting
to show your chivalrous spirit before me?... (page 388)

Anger Nourished by Friendship and Chivalry

Sisupala was habituated to calling Krsna ill names... The Pandavas [sakhya] therefore
equipped themselves with all kinds of weapons to kill Sisupala [vira] (page 389).

Astonishment Nourished by Friendship, Chivalry, and Laughter

When Krsna saw Balarama finally defeated by Sridama [friendship], who was using
only a small stick [chivalry], Krsna became filled with pleasure [laughter] and began
to look upon Sridama with great wonder (page 389).

Alternate Terminology
There are two alternate terms to indicate predominant and subordinate mellows:
sthayi and vyabhicari. Sthayi refers to agi-rasa (predominant mellow); vyabhicari
refers to aga-rasa (subordinate mellow).

Expert analysts of these various kinds of mellows instruct us that when different
mellows overlap one another, the mellow which is the whole, or the prominent
humor, is called the permanent ecstasy. It is confirmed in the Visnu-dharmottara that
when there are many mellows of devotional ecstasy mixed together, the prominent
one, or the whole, is called the steady ecstasy of devotional service (page 389).
"Permanent" or "steady" ecstasy is Srila Prabhupada's translation of sthayi.

Although the subordinate mellow may be manifested for a certain time, at length it
will become merged into the prominent whole. Thus it is called an unconstitutional
ecstasy of devotional service (page 389). The phrase "unconstitutional ecstasy" is
Srila Prabhupada's translation of vyabhicari.
When an unconstitutional ecstasy of devotional service manifested
prominently at a certain time, it is still accepted as the part (page 389).
In summary, sthayi refers to agi-rasa, and vyabhicari refers to aga-rasa. They do not
refer to sthayi-bhava and vyabhicari-bhava. 15

Criteria of Subordinate Mellows

A mellow cannot be considered aga-rasa unless it substantially affects the
predominant mellow. If it is not very prominently manifested, it appears only slightly
and merges quickly back into the whole. At such times of slight appearance, no
consideration is given to it; when one is eating some palatable dishes, if one also eats a
small blade of grass he will not taste it, nor will he care to distinguish what its taste is
like (page 390).


The rel ationship bet ween ag and aga is similar to th e relatio nship b etween sthy-bhva and
vyabhicr-bhva. Vyabhicr-bhvas nourish t he sthy-bhva, and are t hen envel oped wi thin i t.
Likewise, aga-rasas nourish t he ag-rasa and then becom e m erged into the ag. Du e to th is
similarity, the terminology is borrowed.

Chapter 50

Further Analysis of Mixed Rasas

BRS 4.8.53 - 85

Virasata Distaste from Incompatible Mellows

When compatible mellows mix they increase the relishability of the agi-rasa. However, when
incompatible mellows mix they diminish the agi-rasa and cause distaste (virasata). As already
described, if certain kinds of mellows become mixed and there is a joining of opposite mellows,
then the situation is called incompatible. Srila Prabhupada comments, When one is eating
sweet rice and something salty or sour is mixed in, the mixture is not very tasteful, and it is
called incompatible (page 391).
Srila Rupa Gosvami gives some examples of distasteful situations.

With Madhurya-Rasa
A young lady said, For a long time my mind has been uselessly engaged in samadhi upon
impersonal Brahman, thus I have not obtained darsan of Sri Krsna, the personification of
transcendental bliss.
Santa-rasa and madhurya-rasa are incompatible. Mixing them causes virasata (distaste).
Srila Prabhupada comments on this verse: Just as it is incompatible to mix madhurya
with santa, it is incompatible for a neophyte devotee to artificially try to attain higher sentiments
in devotional service. He says, Sometimes it is found in places like Vrndavana that a person
with a slight devotional attitude of neutral love for Krsna may immediately and artificially try to
attain to the platform of conjugal love. But because of the incompatibility of neutrality and
conjugal love, the person is found to fall from the standard of devotional service (page 391).

With Madhurya-Rasa
I am very anxious to see Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is many millions of
times more affectionate than the Pitas (Forefathers) in the Pitrloka and who is always worshiped
by the great demigods and sages [servitude]. I am a little surprised, however, that although
Krsna is the husband of the goddess of fortune, His body is often marked with the nail pricks of
ordinary society girls! [conjugal] (page 391)

With Vatsalya-Rasa
There is the following statement by a gopi... (page 391) According to BRS 4.8.56, this
statement is spoken by a gopa, not a gopi, and may be read as follows, O friend sakhe! please
embrace me with your powerful arms, as sturdy as the bolts of a door. O Krsna, smelling your
head, I will play with you!
In Vedic culture, the father smells the head of his son to show affection it is an
activity of vatsalya-rasa. The rest of the statement is strongly in sakhya-rasa (he sakhe! Let's


play together!). Parental love is incompatible with friendship, and their mixing causes virasata
(distaste). 16

With Dasya-Rasa
One devotee said, My dear Krsna, how can I address You as my son when You are addressed by
the great Vedantists as the Absolute Truth and by the Vaisnavas who follow the principles of
Narada-pancaratra as the Supreme Personality of Godhead?... (page 392)
Krsna's parents are entrusted with His protection and maintenance; thus it is
incompatible for them to think of Him as the source of all maintenance, possessor of all
opulence, and supreme object of reverential worship. Mixing vatsalya and dasya causes virasata.

With Santa-Rasa
My dear friend, my youthful beauty is as temporary as lightning in the sky, and therefore my
possessing attractive bodily features is unimportant [neutrality]. I have never met Krsna, so I
request you to please arrange for my meeting Him immediately [conjugal] (page 392).
Youthful beauty is important in conjugal mellows. Therefore mixing santa-rasa with
madhurya causes distaste.
With Vastsalya-Rasa
A lusty woman in Kailasa once told Krsna, My dear Krsna, may You have a long life! Then,
after saying this, she embraced Krsna (page 392).
Giving blessings indicates vatsalya-rasa. Obviously, mixing parental love with conjugal
love causes distaste.
With Vibhatsa-Rasa (Ghastliness)
My dear boy, I know that my body is just a composition of flesh and blood and can never be
enjoyable to You. But still, I have been so attracted by Your beauty that I wish that You accept
me as Your conjugal lover (page 392).
It is clear how these ghastly realizations would put a damper on the mood of conjugal
enjoyment. Mixing ghastliness with conjugal love causes virasata.

A Warning
Srila Rupa Gosvami warns devotees to not commit such incompatibilities in their writings or in
their dealings. The presence of such contradictory feelings is called rasabhasa. When there is
rasabhasa in any book of Krsna consciousness, no learned scholar or devotee will accept it (page
392). 17


Friendship exists on the platform of equality. Parental love requires a distinction between parent and child, senior
and junior. Thus the two are incompatible.
rla Prabhupda and r Rpa Gosvm use the term "rasbhsa" where we may expect to find the term virasat.
We will an alyse the validity of this usage, as well as th e subtle distinction between virasat and rasbhsa in our
Ninth Wave. (See ch. 51)

Incompatible Mellows That Do Not Cause Distaste

There are six cases were incompatible mellows can combine without distaste:
1. When one uses an incompatible mellow to logically reinforce the predominant rasa.
2. When the incompatible mellows do not exist simultaneously, as when one of the
mellows is remembered.
3. When one uses incompatible mellows to highlight the excellence of the predominant
4. When either the asraya or visaya of the incompatible rasas is different.
5. When incompatible aga-rasa cooperatively nourish the agi-rasa.
6. When Krsna is either the visaya or asraya of all the mellows.

1) Used in Logical Argument to Reinforce the Predominant Rasa

When one uses an incompatible mellow to logically reinforce the predominant rasa it does not
create distaste. For example Paurnamasi says that great mystics try very hard to situate Krsna
within their hearts, therefore what a mistake it would be for the gopis to neglect Krsna and try to
force Him out of their hearts (See page 392).
Santa-rasa is usually incompatible with madhurya-rasa, but in this case it is used as a tool
to logically reinforce the mood of madhurya and thus does not cause virasata (distaste).

2) Non-Simultaneous Existence
Mixing of incompatible mellows does not cause distaste if the rasas do not exist simultaneously,
as when one of the rasas is remembered. For example, a devotee saw Krsna in the coils of Kaliya
and began remembering how Krsna's joking words gave pleasure to all the Vraja-vasis.
Hasya-rasa (laughter) is usually incompatible with karuna-rasa (lamentation), but in this
case karuna-rasa arises from remembrance of hasya-rasa and therefore the mixture does not
cause distaste. 18

3) Glorification of the Predominant Rasa by Comparison

One may say, "Your face is like the moon." This does not mean that you have a spherical,
pockmarked face; it means your face is effulgent and beautiful. Comparisons entail only the
compatible characteristics, implicitly excluding the incompatible ones.
Radharani is compared to a bramanandi, Your tranquil mood makes You appear to be
completely merged in Brahman realization (page 393). This does not mean that Srimati
Radharani is a rigid ascetic. It means the unwavering meditation of great self-realized sages is
the only thing that can possibly compare to the steadiness of Her love for Krsna.
Elements of santa are incompatible with madhurya, but a comparison implicitly excludes
these incompatible elements. Thus it does not cause distaste.


This also illustrates how Kna's fo rm, q ualities, an d p astimes are an uddpana for karuna-rasa (see W aves of
Devotion, page ).

Another example: Lord Krsna compared His meditation on Srimati Radharani to a santa-bhakta,
since it caused Him not to sleep, remain in a meditative mood, and take up residence in the
caves of mountains. This is an example of conjugal love mixed with neutral love, but there is
no incompatibility (page 393).

4) Different Asraya and Visaya

Another circumstance where incompatible rasas can mix without distaste is when the rasas have
a different asraya or visaya. Srila Rupa Gosvami gives three examples:
Different Visaya (Towards Krsna)
Rukmini-devi said, My dear husband, a woman who has no taste for the transcendental
pleasure available from Your personal contact must be inclined to accept as her husband
somebody who is externally a combination of moustache, beard, body hairs, fingernails and
some head hair. And within him there are muscles, bones, blood, intestinal worms, stools,
mucus, bile and similar things... (page 394) vibatsa (ghastliness) is usually incompatible with
madhurya (conjugal love), but in this case the two rasas have different objects (visaya) and thus
do not cause distaste. Krsna is the object of the conjugal sentiments; while an ordinary man is
the object of ghastliness.
Different Visaya (Towards Radharani)
Krsna says, My dear friend, what a wonderful thing it is that since I have seen the beautiful
lotus eyes of Srimati Radharani, I have developed a tendency to spit on the moon and the lotus
flower! (page 394) Although vibatsa is usually incompatible with madhurya, there is no virasata
here because Radharani is the object of the conjugal sentiments, while the moon and lotus
flower are the objects of ghastliness.
Different Asraya
The third example describes Krsna in the wrestling arena of Kamsa. When Krsna was victorious,
the cowherd boys experienced vira-rasa (chivalry), but the demons felt bhayanaka-rasa (fear).
Chivalry and fear usually cause distaste when mixed, but in this case there is no virasata because
the reservoirs (asraya) of the incompatible rasas are different. The cowherd boys are the asraya
of chivalry. The demons are the asraya of fear.
An Exception
In the first example, chivalry mixed with fear chivalry is a gauna-rasa, and fear is a gaunarasa. In the second and third examples, conjugal love mixed with ghastliness conjugal love is
a mukhya-rasa, and ghastliness is a gauna-rasa. In all three examples, virasata did not occur.
However, if two incompatible mukhya-rasas mix, virasata will occur, even if the visaya or
asraya is different.
For example, a young lady asked her father to lock up the house and take her to Mathura
to find Krsna, whom she had fallen madly in love with. This is a distasteful combination of


madhurya and dasya (two mukhya-rasas), even though the visayas are different (the object of
dasya is her father, and the object of madhurya is Krsna). 19
Another example: A brahmanandi impersonalist said, When shall I be able to see that
supreme absolute Personality of Godhead who is eternal bliss and knowledge and whose chest
has become smeared with red kumkum powder by touching the breast of Rukmini? (page 395)
This is a distasteful combination of santa and madhurya, even though the asrayas are different
(Rukmini for madhurya, and the brahmanandi for santa). 20

5) Incompatible Aga-Rasas Cooperatively Nourish the Agi-Rasa

When two inimical disciples cooperate to serve their common master, they forget their
differences. Similarly, when two subordinate mellows (aga-rasas) work cooperatively to serve
the predominant mellow (agi-rasa) there is no distaste, even if the subordinate mellows are
normally incompatible.
For example, Nanda Maharaja told his wife, My dear Yasoda, although your son, Krsna,
is as delicate and soft as the mallika flower, He has gone to kill the Kesi demon, who is as strong
as a mountain. Therefore I have become a little disturbed. But never mind, all auspiciousness to
my son! I shall raise this hand, which is as strong as a pillar, and I shall kill the Kesi demon, just
to give freedom from all anxieties to the inhabitants of Vraja-mandala! (page 395)
Nanda Maharaja first expresses fear of the demon (bhayanaka), then a chivalrous attitude
to protect his son (yuddha-vira). Generally bhayanaka is incompatible with yuddha-vira, but in
this case the combination does not cause distaste, because the inimical rasas work cooperatively
to serve the predominant mellow.

6) When Krsna is the Asraya or Visaya of all the Mellows

A mixture of incompatible rasa will not cause distaste if Krsna is the common visaya or asraya
of them all.
Krsna as the Common Visaya
When many different people see Krsna in different ways, the contrast of rasas is tasteful. For
example: After Krsna's arrival in Kamsa's arena, Kamsa's priest looked at Krsna with a detestful
expression. [vibhatsa-rasa] The entire arena was filled with dread on the part of Kamsa and his
priest [bhayanaka-rasa] and restless expressions of pleasure on the cheeks of Krsna's friends
[sakhya-rasa]. Frustration was felt by His envious rivals [raudra]. The great sages meditated
[santa]. Hot tears were in the eyes of Devaki and other motherly ladies [karuna], and hairs stood
on the bodies of the expert warriors [vira]. There was astonishment in the hearts of demigods
such as Indra [adbhuta]. The servants danced [dasya], and the restless eyes of all the young girls
glanced about [madhurya]. In this statement there is a description of a combination of different
mellows, but there is no incompatibility (page 395).


Thus the last sentence on page 394 of NOD shoul d read, "In this incident there is a m ixture of conjugal love and
parental love, which causes incompatible distaste."
Some devotees who are attached to the jna-marg do not accept that nta and madhurya cause virasat even
when there are different rayas. This is not the opinion of r Rpa Gosvm.

Krsna as the Common Asraya

A similar statement, which is free from incompatibility, is in the Lalita-madhava, wherein the
author blesses all the readers of the book in the following manner: Although the Supreme
Personality of Godhead is able to lift a mountain with a finger of His left hand, He is always
humble and meek. He is always very kind to His loving devotees. He has frustrated Indra's
attempt at vengeance by refusing him the sacrifice of Indra-yajna. He is the cause of all pleasure
to all young girls. May He be ever compassionate upon you all! (page 395).


Northern Ocean
Ninth Wave

Chapter 51


Chapter 51

Perverted Expression of Mellows

BRS 4.9.1 - 41

Five emotional elements compose rasa. If one of these elements is inappropriate or missing, a
distortion or perversion manifests in the rasa, called rasabhasa.
To illustrate this principle, Jiva Gosvami compares rasa to sweet rice which is also
composed of five elements (milk, sugar, rice, cardamom, and fire) and cannot properly manifest
if one of these ingredients is inappropriate or missing. If the cook mistakes salt for sugar, for
example, or if he forgets to light the stove, the result will be payas-abhasa (payas means sweet
rice) something that appears similar to sweet rice, but tastes distorted.
When a compositional element of rasa is inappropriate or distorted, the result is
rasabhasa it appears similar to rasa, but the taste is distorted.

Clarification of Terminology
In the final two waves of Bhakti-Rasamrta-Sindhu Srila Rupa Gosvami uses very specific
terminology, which we should briefly clarify here.
Vaira incompatible rasas.
Virasata distaste arising from mixture of incompatible rasas.
Rasabhasa defective rasa caused by a deficiency or incompatibility in its five
compositional elements.
Virasata occurs when two fully matured rasas clash and cause distaste. Rasabhasa occurs when
one rasa cannot fully mature, because of a defect in one or more of its components.
In The Nectar of Devotion, Srila Prabhupada seems to use the term rasabhasa
synonymously with virasata. This is not unjustified, as Srila Rupa Gosvami himself asserts in
BRS 4.8.62, and as we will now demonstrate. 1
Let us imagine a devotee whose sthayi-bhava is madhurya-rati. If this devotee meets the
Four-armed Narayana, her madhurya-rati will not be able to properly mature and express itself.
Lordly Narayana is an inappropriate visaya for madhurya-rasa. He is the proper visaya for santarasa.
From one angle, distortion of rasa occurs because the vibhava is deficient and
incompatible with the sthayi-bhava (this is rasabhasa). From another angle, distortion of rasa
occurs because elements of santa-rasa contacted elements of madhurya-rasa which are
incompatible rasas (this is virasata). Depending on the angle of vision, the same phenomena
may be viewed as either virasata or rasabhasa.
To thoroughly comprehend the subject, however, one should clearly understand the
distinction between terms. Virasata occurs when two fully matured rasas clash and cause
distaste. Rasabhasa occurs when one rasa cannot fully mature, because of a defect in one or
more of its components.

BRS 4.8.62: rla Rpa Gosvm says, Incompatibility of rasa (virasat) practically culminates in rasbhsa."


Varieties of Rasabhasa
Rasabhasa, or incompatible mixtures of mellows, may be classified as uparasa (false
expression), anurasa (imitation) and aparasa (perverted or misrepresented mellows) (page
Of all varieties of rasabhasa, uparasa is uttama it most closely resembles genuine rasa;
anurasa is madhyama it less closely resembles genuine rasa; aparasa is kanistha it least
resembles genuine rasa. 2

Uparasa Distortion of Rasa

When one of the five compositional elements of rasa is deficient, the effect generated is a
perverted or distorted mellow called uparasa. 3

Three things cause santa-uparasa: 4
1) When seeing the Lord, one focuses on His undifferentiated oneness with everything.
2) When seeing the world, one focuses on its undifferentiated oneness with God.
3) One has undue disgust for the material body, and dwells too much on distinguishing
matter and spirit.
God's Oneness with Everything
When a person has passed completely from all contamination of material existence, he relishes
a transcendental bliss of being established in trance. But as soon as I saw You, the original
Personality of Godhead, I experienced the same bliss (page 397).
The speaker of this verse equates the bliss of Lord's personal darsan with the bliss
experienced by realising the undifferentiated oneness of the Absolute. This equation is false. It
exemplifies an inappropriate expression that demotes santa-rasa to santa-uparasa.
Oneness of Everything with God
Wherever I am glancing I simply see Your personality. Therefore I know that You are the
uncontaminated Brahman effulgence... (page 397) In santa-rasa one focuses on Parambrahman,
but if that focus leans too much towards nirvisesa brahman it demotes santa-rasa to santauparasa.

Four things cause dasya-uparasa: 5
1. Displaying impudence before Krsna.
2. Disrespecting Krsna's devotees.

BRS 4.9.2
BRS 4.9.3
BRS 4.9.4
BRS 4.9.7


3. Seeing greater excellence in a devata other then one's own worshipable Lord.
4. Overstepping the boundaries of social etiquette.
Displaying Impudence Before Krsna
When Madhumagala, an intimate friend of Krsna, was dancing before Krsna in a joking
manner... (page 397)
By referring to the original text (BRS 4.9.8) one can understand that a brahmana boy was
dancing wildly in front of a Deity of Krsna, despite the admonishment of his elders. By not
following their orders, the boy was impudent. This distorted his service attitude (which is built
upon meekness and humility) and barred it from properly maturing into true dasya-rasa.

When friendship is not mutual there is sakhya-uparasa. 6
Krsna once addressed a king, "O friend." In response the king trembled in fear. The Lord
then joked with him, but in response the king offered prayers. Finally Krsna tried to embrace
him, but the king fell to the ground offering prostrated obeisances. Consequently, sakhya-rasa
could not properly develop. 7

If Krsna's elder has too much awareness of His power, and therefore does not carefully endeavor
for Krsna's protection and maintenance, vatsalya-rasa degrades to uparasa. 8
My dear sister, having seen your dear son Krsna, I think that He is so strong that He can
kill even wrestlers as strong as the mountains. So I will have no more anxieties about Him, even
if He is engaged in a terrible fight (page 397).
A co-wife of Devaki spoke this. She had maternal affection for Krsna, but excessive
awareness of Krsna's power disrupted the protective nature of motherly-love. Thus vatsalya-rasa
cannot properly manifest. 9

Three things cause madhurya-uparasa: 10
1) Defect in the sthayi-bhava (sthayi-bhava virupata).
2) Defect in the vibhava (vibhava-virupata).
3) Defect in the anubhava (anubhava-virupata).



BRS 4.9.9
BRS 4.9.10
BRS 4.9.11
BRS 4.9.12. The fi rst sent ence, l ast paragraph, page 397 shoul d read, "One of t he co-wi ves of Devak, once
addressed her as follows." The word for "sister" is bhayan, an affectionate term, just as one may call a good friend
his "brother."
BRS 4.9.13

Sthayi-Bhava Virupata
There are two causes of defect in the sthayi-bhava: (1) When conjugal attraction is not mutual.
heroine has affection
for more than one
Defect in Sthy-Bhva Defect in Vibhva Defect in Anubhva

Non-Mutual Attraction




The wives of the

yajnika brahmanas
were all young girls,
and they were attracted to Krsna in the same way as the gopis of Vrndavana. Out of their
attraction, they distributed food to Krsna (pages 397 - 398). The Dvija-patnis had conjugal
attraction to Krsna, but Krsna would only show them respect since they were brahmana's
wives. 11

Affection for More than One Lover

Affection for More than One Lover

See reference beginning One of the friends of Srimati Radharani told Her... (page 398) Srimati
Radharani appears to have rati towards more than one lover at the same time. In the original
text it describes her love being divided into two parts by Kamadeva, seeing Kamaphala (name of
Baladeva) playing before her, and hearing the venu of Mukunda. 12
Other Causes of Sthayi-Bhava-Virupata
According to some expert learned scholars, the feelings between lover and beloved create
perverted reflections of mellows in many ways (page 398). Some say there are other conditions
that cause sthayi-bhava-virupata, such as when the hero (Krsna) has equal intensity of love for
all his heroines (gopis), not properly recognising the gradations of their devotion to Him.
A defect in the vibhava is caused if the lover is deficient in vidagdhata (cleverness) and/or
ujjvalata (radiant beauty). This occurs when conjugal sentiments are expressed by animals,
creepers, and unfit or elderly ladies. All of them are deficient in cleverness and/or beauty. 13
Example of Creepers
The gopis have become purified by Krsna's glance. . (page 398). Only part of this verse appears
in The Nectar of Devotion. The full text (BRS 4.9.19) describes the gopis speaking amongst

Even though the Dvja-patns had conjugal affection for Kna, they didn't have t he proper bodi es to relate with
Kna Kna woul d never ha ve conjugal relations with brhmana ladies. Thus there is virpat (distortion) of
the raya. The original text describes that Kna withdrew His natural mild smiling and hid the natural restlessness
of His eyes when He saw t he blossoming of C upid's fire in the Dvija-patns. In ot her words, al though mdhuryarati existed in the ladies, Kna would not reciprocate th
eir conjugal sentim ents, because they were improper
rayas for mdhurya-rasa.
12 This seems to be an example of rasbhsa occurring due to quoting a wrong description of ll. rmat Rdhrn
loves Kna exclusively.
13 BRS 4.9.18

themselves about how the buds of the creepers were blooming in ecstasy upon receiving the
sidelong glance of Krsna and hearing the sound of His flute. This implies that the creepers were
experiencing conjugal love, since Krsna's sidelong glance and flute are uddipanas of madhuryarasa. Creepers, however, are deficient in vidagdhata (cleverness). When placed in the position of
asraya (lover), they cause a defect in the proper presentation of rasa. 14
The gopis see everything through the eyes of madhurya, and thus imagine the trees,
creepers, animals, etc. are experiencing madhurya-rasa. This does not cause a defect in their
taste of rasa. Trees and creepers themselves, however, cannot experience full madhurya-rasa.
They may possess madhurya-rati, but because they are unfit asrayas this rati cannot develop into
perfect rasa.

There are three causes of anubhava-virupata: (1) inappropriate behavior, (2) vulgarity, and (3)
impudence. 15
Inappropriate Behavior
Specific behavior is appropriate for specific situations. If one is not expert, she will behave
inappropriately and thus cause a defect in anubhava. 16 For example, if Krsna cheats His lover by
meeting another girl, the cheated girl should angrily chastise Him that is the appropriate
behavior for the circumstance. If she doesn't, then the rasa develops a defect due to her
inappropriate behavior.
Srila Rupa Gosvami illustrates this: A young lady once said to Krsna: Even if your chest
is marked with the nails of some other lover, please don't be embarrassed or shy. Just please
accept me as your maidservant, and grant me the mercy of your sidelong glance. 17
This young lady should have chastised Krsna. He would have then smiled mildly and the
madhurya-rasa would nicely escalate. Instead of becoming angry, however, this girl offered
humble prayers. This defective response is anubhava-virupata, which demotes madhurya-rasa to
There are two types of vulgarity that cause anubhava-virupata in madhurya-rasa: (1) using the
word bala (little boy) to address Krsna and (2) uncultured statements or behavior.



In NOD, rl a Prabhupda t ranslates one reference for vibhva-virpat. A bri ef sum mary of som e of the other
references follows:
Vibhva-virpat in animals: (BRS 4.9.20) The gops describe the deer as gazi ng upon Kna wi th cupidity
after seeing his sidelong glance.
Vibhva-virpat in unfit la dies: BRS 4.9.21 descri bes the pulinds (aborigine girls) with lusty desires after
seeing Kna's restless eyes.
Vibhva-virpat in elderly gops: BRS 4.9.22 descri bes an el derly gop trying to make herself look young
and casting sidelong glances at Kna. B RS 4.9.23 descri bes that this elderly gops does have genui ne madhuryarati, but due to vibhva-virpat the rati cannot evolve into rasa, only uparasa.
BRS 4.9.25
BRS 4.9.26
BRS 4.9.27

Addressing Krsna as Bala

After Krsna chastised the Kaliya-naga in the Yamuna River... (page 398) Kaliya's wives address
Krsna as gopal balak, "Dear boy". Conjugal relations are not proper with young children; thus
addressing Krsna as a young child (bala) is vulgar and causes uparasa.
Uncultured Statements or Behavior
Uncultured statements occur when one is too blatant in her requests for sambhoga service
(conjugal union). 18 For example, One devotee said, My dear Govinda, here is a nice flowery
bush in Kailasa. I am a young girl, and You are a young poetic boy. After this, what more can I
say? You just consider. (page 398)
Uncultured behavior (gramyatva village behavior) includes unattractive activities such
as scratching of the loins, etc. 19

Anurasa Imitation of Rasa

Genuine rasa always focuses on Krsna. If someone other than Krsna becomes the focus, rasa
degrades to anurasa. 20
For example: When Narada Muni was passing through Vrndavana... (page 398) Narada
saw a pair of parrots discussing Vedanta and, struck with wonder, he began to exhibit the
symptoms of adbhuta-rasa. Yet, because his wonder centred on someone other than Krsna, it is
anurasa (an imitation of real Krsna-centred rasa).

Aparasa (False Rasa)

Only Krsna's loving devotees can experience true rasa. His enemies can never experience rasa. If
they appear to manifest behavior similar to rasa, one must know that it is aparasa false rasa. 21
For example, When Krsna was fleeing from the battlefield, from a distant place
Jarasandha was watching Him with restless eyes and was feeling very proud. Being thus puffed
up with his conquest, he was repeatedly laughing (page 399). Jarasandha's laughter is hasyaaparasa false ecstatic laughter. 22

Usefulness of Rasabhasa
Rasabhasa does have some utility in evoking ecstatic love of Krsna. It is useful for achieving
certain effects in Krsna-lila and in dramatic presentations. Everything in connection with Krsna
is called ecstatic devotional love, although it may be exhibited in different ways: sometimes in
right order and sometimes as a perverted reflection. According to the opinion of all expert
devotees, anything that will arouse ecstatic love for Krsna is to be taken as an impetus for
transcendental mellow (page 399).


BRS 4.9.30
BRS 4.9.28
BRS 4.9.33
BRS 4.9.38
Jva Gosvm comments: if a devotee sees the demon laughing at Kna and t hus begins to laugh at his stupidity,
the devotee may experience true hsya-rasa. (This paradigm cannot be applied to mellows other than hsya).

Concluding Words
Srila Rupa Gosvami concludes by saying that Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu is very difficult for
ordinary men to understand, yet he hopes that Lord Krsna, the eternal Supreme Personality of
Godhead, will be pleased with his presentation of this book (page 401).


Important Sanskrit Terms


In Contextual and Alphabetical Order,
With Brief Definitions
How to Use this Glossary
Example: "Adhikrta dasa"
Find adhikrta dasa in the alphabetical listing. (Diacritics are given no concern. Thus,
"a" is the same as "a", "i" the same as "i", etc.)
The alphabetical listing says: "Adhikrta dasa (west2)." This indicates that the
term adhikrta dasa is discussed in the Western Ocean, Second Wave.
Go now to the contextual list, and locate the Western Ocean, Second Wave.
There you will find a succinct definition of adhikrta dasa, and a note of the page on
which the topic is discussed.
The advantage of the contextual listing is that one finds the term as it appears
in the original text, surrounded by relevant and related terms.

Alphabetical Listing
Asa-bandha (east3)
Asraya (south1)
Asrita dasa (west2)
Asru (south3)
Adhikrta dasa (west2)
Anga-rasa (north8)
Angi-rasa (north8)
Akalpa (south1)
Akhila-rasamrta-murti (intro)
Alambana (south1)
Amrta (pre)
Anaucitya (south4)
Anavahita (north5)
Anubhava (south2)
Anusilana (intro)

Anuga dasa (west2)

Anukampa (west4)
Anukulyena (intro)
Anuman adbhuta (north2)
Anurasa (north9)
Anya-rupa (south1)
Anyabhilasita-sunyam (intro)
Aparasa (north9)
Aprarabdha (east1)
Apurvata (south1)
Asadharana uddipana (west1)
Asaktis tad-gunakhyane (east3)
Asatyatvam (south4)
Atha hasa (south2)
Atmarama (west1)
Avara (south4)

Avrta-svarupa (south1)
Avidya (east1)
Avyartha-kalatvam (east3)
Ayoga (west2)
Ayogyatvam (south4)
Bhakti (pre)
Bhakti-rasa (pre)
Bhavarupa (east3)
Bhavah sa eva sandratma


Bhaya-rati (south5)
Bhoga-tyaga (pre)
Bhukti (east2)
Bhuyistha (south1)
Bijam (east1)

Capala-sukha (pre)
Catuska (south1)
Cesta (south1)
Cestarupa (east3)
Chaya (east3)
Citta (east3)
Citta vrtti (south4)
Citta-masrnya (east3)
Dainyavodhika (east2)
Dana-vira (north3)
Darsana-dana (east3)
Dasya-rati (south5)
Daya-vira (north3)
Dharma-vira (north3)
Dhira (west2)
Dhira-lalita (south1)
Dhira-prasanta (south1)
Dhirodatta (south1)
Dhiroddhata (south1)
Dhumayita (south3)
Dhurya (west2)
Digdha (south3)
Dipta (south3)
Gauna-rati (south5)
Gauna-snigdha (south3)
Gaurava-priti-rati (west2)
Ghurna (south2)
Gita (south2)
Guna (south1)
Guru-padasraya (east2)
Harda (east3)
Hasya-rati (south5)
Hikka (south2)
Hladini (east3)
Hunkara (south2)
Irsyu (north5)
Jimbhanam (south2)
Jnana (east2)

Lalasamayi (east2)
Lalasrava (south2)
Laulyam (east2)
Lila-madhurya (south1)
Lobha (east2)
Loka anapeksita (south2)
Madhurya-rati (south5)
Madhyama-adhikari (east2)

Maitri (north8)
Mamata-buddhi (south5)



Jnanicari (west2)
Jugupsa-rati (south5)
Jvalit (south3)
Kaisora (south1)

Kama (east2)
Kamanuga (east2)
Kamapraya (east2)
Kamarupa (east2)
Kampa (south3)
Kanistha-adhikari (east2)
Karkasa (south4)
Kaumara (south1)
Kevala (south5)
Kevala-prema (east4)
Klesa (east1)
Klesaghni (east1)
Komal (south4)
Kopa (north5)
Krosanam (south2)
Krodha-rati (north5)
Krodha-rati (south5)
Krpa-siddha (south1)
Krsna ahita-kari (north5)
Ksanti (east3)
Ksepana (south2)
Ksobha (south5)
Kutam (east1)

Mana (west5)
Mana-sunyata (east3)
Manana (south1)
Mangalacarana (intro)
Manyu (north5)
Manyu chote (north5)
Manyu pujya (north5)
Manyu samana (north5)
Maryada-marga (east2)
Mathura-manale sthitih

Moksa-laghutakrt (east1)
Nama-gane sada ruci (east3)
Nava-yauvana (south1)
Nija ahita-kari (north5)
Nirdesa-esa vartipi (west2)
Nisattva (south3)
Nisedha (east2)
Nitya-siddha (south1)
Nivrtti (intro)
Nrtya (south2)

Papam (east1)
Parakiya (east2)
Paratantra (south4)
Parisada dasa (west2)
Paroksa santa-rasa (west1)
Paugana (south1)
Phalgu-vairagya (east2)
Prapti-abhilasa (east3)
Prarabdha (east1)
Prayascitta (east2)
Prabhuta-jnana (west2)
Prakata-svarupa (south1)
Prakirna (south1)
Pralaya (south3)
Pranaya (west3)
Prarartha (south5)
Prasadana (south1)
Prati-bimba (east3)
Pratikulya (south4)
Pratipa (south3)
Pravasa (west5)
Pravrtti (intro)
Prayiki (north7)
Prema (west2)
Prema-madhurya (south1)
Prema-suryamsu (east3)
Premankura (east3)
Priti (west2)
Pritis tad-vasati sthale (east3)
Priyata-rati (south5)
Priya-narma-sakhas (west3)
Priya-sakhas (west3)
Pura-vyasyas (west3)
Purti (south5)
Purva-raga (west5)
Pusti-marga (east2)


Mukhya-rati (south5)
Mukhya-snigdha (south3)
Mukti (east2)

Raga (east2)
Raga (west2)
Raganuga-bhakti (east2)




Ragatmika-bhakti (east2)
Raktogam (south2)
Rasa (south1)
Rasa (pre)
Rasabhasa (north9)
Rati (south5)
Rati (south5)
Rati-sunya (south4)
Raty-abhasa (east3)
Raty-abhasa (south3)
Raty-anusparsana (south4)
Romanca (south3)
Rupa-madhurya (south1)
Ruksa (south3)
Rusa (north5)
Samvit (east3)
Sadhaka (south1)
Sadhaka-rupena (east2)
Sadhana (east3)
Sadhana-bhakti (east2)
Sadhana-siddha (south1)
Sadharana uddipana (west1)
Sadhya (east3)
Sahasi (north5)
Sajatiya (west5)
Sajatiyasaya-snigdha sribhagavad-bhakta-sango (east2)
Sakhas (west3)
Sakhya-rati (south5)
Saksad adbhuta (north2)
Saksaka santa-rasa (west1)
Saksat (south4)
Samanya-rati (south5)
Sambandhanuga (east2)
Sambandharupa (east2)
Sambhoga (west5)
Sambhoga icchamayi (east2)
Sambhrama-priti-rati (west2)
Samprarthanatmika (east2)
Samutkantha (east3)
Samyan masrnita-svanto

Sandhi (south4)
Sandrananda-visesatma (east1)
Sankula (south5)
Santa-rati (south5)
Santi (south4)
Sarangata (west2)
Sattvika-abhasa (south3)

Utkanthitva (west2)
Utpatti (south4)
Utphulla (south2)
Utsaha-rati (south5)
Uttama-adhikari (east2)
Uttama-bhakti (intro)

Sattvika-bhava (south3)
Sattvikabhasa (south3)
Sauharda-abhilasa (east3)
Savalya (south4)
Sita (south2)
Seva-nistha (west2)
Siddha (south1)
Siddha-rupena (east2)
Siddhi (west2)
Sindhu (pre)
Sneha (west2)
Snigdha (south3)
Soka-rati (south5)
Sri bhagavatarthasvado (east2)
Sri krsnakarsini (east1)


Vacika (east3)


pritah (east2)
Sri-nama-sankirtanam (east2)
Stambha (south3)
Sthayi-bhava (south5)
Sthiti (west2)
Subhada (east1)
Suddipta (south3)
Suddha-rati (south5)
Suddha-sattva (east3)
Sudurlabha (east1)
Suhrt (west3)
Sva-rupa (south1)
Svaccha-rati (south5)
Svakiya (east2)
Svarabheda (south3)
Svartha (south5)
Svarupa-laksanam (intro)
Svarupa-siddhi (east2)
Svasa bhuma (south2)
Svatantra (south4)
Sveda (south3)
Tad-anvayi-alambana (north 1)
Tad-atmaka (east3)
Tanu-motana (south2)
Tapasvi (west1)

Vaidhi-bhakti (east2)
Vaira (north8)
Vairagya (east2)
Vaivarnya (south3)
Vara (south4)
Vasana (south1)
Vatsalya-rati (south5)
Venu-madhurya (south1)
Vibhava (south1)
Vidhi (east2)
Vijatiya (west5)
Vijnapti (east2)
Vikasa (south5)
Viksepa (south5)
Viluhita (south2)
Vinamrta-buddhi (west2)
Vipralambha (west5)
Virakti (east3)
Virasata (north8)
Vismaya-rati (south5)
Vistara (south5)
Visrambhena guroh seva (east2)
Visvastha (west2)
Vivek-ja (north7)
Viyoga (west2)
Visaya (south1)
Vira (west2)
Vraja-sakhas (west3)
Vyabhicari-bhava (south4)
Vyabhicaryabhasa (south4)
Vyavahita (south4)
Yoga (west2)
Yuddha-vira (north3)
Yuga (south1)
Yukta-vairagya (east2)


Tatastha-laksanam (intro)
Trasrt (west2)
Tusti (west2)
Uddipana (south1)
Uddipta (south3)
Uparasa (north9)



Eastern Ocean: Varieties of Devotional Service


Bhakti devotional service

Rasa mellow, juice; the relishable taste derived from a relationship
Bhakti-rasa The relishable taste derived from devotional service
Amrta deathless, nectar (a beverage that brings immortality); indicates that the pleasure of
devotional service is eternal
Sindhu ocean; indicates that the pleasure of devotional service is unlimited
Bhoga-tyaga indicates that mundane pleasure requires oscillation between
enjoyment and renunciation
Capala-sukha flickering happiness; indicates that mundane pleasure is short-lived

First Wave:
Samanya-Bhakti Overview of Devotional Service
Mangalacarana auspicious invocation; prefaces any Vaisnava endeavor, especially literary; it
defines the objective, offers obeisances, and gives benedictions
Akhila-rasamrta-murti Krsna, the complete embodiment of all mellows
Uttama-bhakti pure, super-excellent devotional service
Svarupa-laksanam intrinsic characteristics; defines the fundamental nature of an object or
Tatastha-laksanam extrinsic characteristics; further defines and distinguishes an object (or
person) by describing qualities outside it's fundamental nature
Anusilana activities (silanam) guided by the disciplic succession (anu-)
Pravrtti pursuance of favorable activities
Nivrtti avoidance of unfavorable activities
Anukulyena favorable intention.
Anyabhilasita-sunyam completely free from ulterior motive
Jnana-karmady-anavrtam not covered by non-devotional activities, such as philosophical
speculation and ritualistic pursuits
Klesa suffering, and the causes of suffering
Klesaghni relief from suffering (in sadhana-bhakti)
Papam sinful actions
Prarabdha manifest reactions

Aprarabdha unmanifest reaction.

Bijam seed (of suffering): sinful desire
Kutam precursor of desire: sinful proclivity
Avidya ignorance; root of suffering
Subhada attainment of all-auspiciousness (in sadhana-bhakti)
Moksa-laghutakrt derides even the happiness of liberation (in bhava-bhakti)
Sudurlabha is rarely achieved (in bhava-bhakti)
Sandrananda-visesatma incalculably intense bliss (in prema-bhakti)
Sri Krsnakarsini is the only means to attract Sri Krsna (in prema-bhakti)

Second Wave:
Sadhana-Bhakti Devotional Service in Practice
Sadhana-bhakti practice executed by the senses, with the potential to bring on the
manifestation of one's dormant love of Godhead (bhava-bhakti).
Vaidhi-bhakti devotional service predominantly inspired by obligation to guru and
Raganuga-bhakti devotional service inspired simply by natural, spontaneous
attraction to a particular mood of service.
Uttama-adhikari candidate with highest eligibility for sadhana-bhakti. Very strong faith, and
very strong scriptural knowledge
Madhyama-adhikari candidate with medium eligibility for sadhana-bhakti. Very strong
faith, somewhat lacking in scriptural knowledge
Kanistha-adhikari candidate with the least eligibility for sadhana-bhakti. Weak faith and
weak scriptural knowledge. Easily swayed by superior arguments
Vidhi rule, order
Nisedha regulation, prohibition
Bhukti desire for material enjoyment
Mukti desire for liberation
Prayascitta ritual process of purification
Guru-padasraya accepting the shelter of a bona fide spiritual master
Sri-krsna-diksadi-siksanam accepting initiation from the spiritual master and receiving
instructions from him
Visrambhena guroh seva serving the spiritual master with faith and confidence
Vijnapti entreaty, submission

Samprarthanatmika expressing ones heart-felt desire for spontaneous devotional

Dainyavodhika expressing ones insignificance before the Deity
Lalasamayi expressing ones desire for a specific spiritual perfection. This is an
advanced practice that involves some realization of one's eternal relationship with
the Lord
Svarupa-siddhi the living entity's perfectional form and service
Laulyam excessive eagerness for meeting and serving the Lord in a
particular way
Mathura-manale sthitih residing in Mathura
Sri-murter-anghri-sevane pritah worshipping the Deity
Sri bhagavatarthasvado hearing Srimad-Bhagavatam
Sri-nama-sankirtanam chanting the Hare Krsna mantra
Sajatiyasaya-snigdha sri-bhagavad-bhakta-sango serving a devotee
Jnana knowledge. A process of self-realization through cultivation of knowledge
Vairagya renunciation. A process of self-realization through cultivation of renunciation
Yukta-vairagya balanced renunciation. To accept only those things that can be
used in Krsna's service, and to reject everything else
Phalgu-vairagya false renunciation. To reject things that can be used in Krsna's
Maryada-marga an alternate term for vaidhi-sadhana-bhakti
Raga attraction
Ragatmika-bhakti the perfect devotional attachment found in the residents of Vrndavana
Sambandharupa perfect devotees with intense desire to serve Krsna in the mood of
His parent, friend, or intimate servant
Kamarupa perfect devotees with intense desire to serve Krsna in the mood of
conjugal love
Raganuga-sadhana-bhakti practice that aspires to develop the devotional mood of a
Sambandhanuga practice that aspires to develop the mood of the sambandharupa
Kamanuga practice that strives for the mood of the kamarupa ragatmikas
Sambhoga icchamayi striving for the mood of those who directly meet
Krsna in conjugal love


Tat-tad-bhava-icchatmika striving for the mood of those who do not

directly meet with Krsna, but assist Srimati Radharani and thus directly
experience Her loving mood through service and appreciation
Svakiya wedded mood
Parakiya unwedded mood
Kamapraya Kubja's attraction for Krsna. "Almost lusty."
Kama lust.
Lobha intense covetousness for a particular mood of service. Basic qualification for
Sadhaka-rupena externally emulating the activities of one's ragatmika in his or her form as
a sadhaka in gaura-lila.
Siddha-rupena internally emulating the activities of one's ragatmika in his or her form as a
siddha in krsna-lila.
Pusti-marga an alternate term for raganuga-sadhana (used mainly by the Vallabhasampradaya).


Third Wave:
Bhava-Bhakti Devotional Service in Ecstasy
Cestarupa performing devotional service through one's endeavors
Sadhana endeavors that impel bhava to manifest; practice; "effective"
Sadhya endeavors that result from bhava; perfection; "effective"
Bhavarupa performing devotional service through one's emotions
Citta heart-mind; consciousness
Suddha-sattva the Lord's internal potency, who revives the living entity's dormant love for
Samvit cognitive, knowledge-giving aspect of the internal potency
Hladini devotional, pleasure-giving aspect of the internal potency
Tad-atmaka the condition wherein suddha-sattva permeates one's citta to such an extent
that it appears to become one with the consciousness
Premankura term describing bhava as "the first sprout of prema"
Prema-suryamsu term describing bhava as "a ray of the sun of prema"
Citta-masrnya a soft heart, sensitive to Krsna conscious emotions
Prapti-abhilasa desire to achieve Krsna
Anukulya-abhilasa desire to please Krsna with various services
Sauharda-abhilasa desire to be close at heart with Krsna
Vacika by a verbal blessing.
Darsana-dana blessing by appearing in person to the devotee.
Harda by heartfelt, unspoken blessing.
Avyartha-kalatvam scrupulous utilization of time
Ksanti perseverance
Virakti complete detachment, even in the midst of sense objects
Mana-sunyata pridelessness, even though one is highly elevated
Asa-bandha hope against hope; faith that Krsna will deliver one
Samutkantha intense enthusiasm
Nama-gane sada ruci constant attraction to chanting Hare Krsna
Asaktis tad-gunakhyane addiction to glorifying Krsna's qualities

Pritis tad-vasati sthale love for living in the Lord's dhama

Raty-abhasa when neophyte or non-devotees display emotions that resemble the symptoms
of bhava
Prati-bimba reflective attachment; relatively intense semblance of devotional
ecstasy caused by engagement in bhakti with ulterior desires
Chaya shadow attachment; semblance of devotional ecstasy caused by engagement
in bhakti out of curiosity. Less intense but also less offensive than prati-bimba, and
therefore the superior of the two

Fourth Wave:
Prema-Bhakti Devotional Service in Pure Love of Godhead
Bhavah sa eva sandratma the intensified state of bhava
Samyan masrnita-svanto complete softening of the heart
Mamatva-atisayankitah intense possessiveness of Sri Krsna
Vaidha-bhavottho-prema prema arising from bhava achieved through vaidhi-sadhana
Mahatmya-jnana-prema love mixed with knowledge of the Lord's majesty
Raganugiya-bhavattho-prema prema arising from bhava achieved through raganuga-sadhana
Kevala-prema unmixed, one-pointed love

Southern Ocean: Overview of Bhakti-Rasa

First Wave: Vibhava Ecstatic Stimulants

Rasa when various emotional components heighten one's affection for Krsna to a relishable
Apurvata the astonishing, unprecedented, eternally new taste of rasa
Vibhava "causes of ecstasy;" that which stimulates one's affection for Krsna, heightening it
to the point of relishable intensity
Alambana "basic" excitants; subjects in which affection is tasted
Asraya reservoir of affection; lover; generally the devotee
Visaya object of affection; beloved; generally Krsna
Anya-rupa Krsna in an entirely different form
Sva-rupa Krsna's in His own form
Avrta-svarupa Krsna's form in disguise
Prakata-svarupa Krsna's form, undisguised
Uddipana "impelling" excitants; objects by which rati is tasted (ie. flute, etc.)


Qualities of Sri Krsna
Lila-madhurya uniquely sweet pastimes
Prema-madhurya uniquely sweet devotees
Venu-madhurya uniquely sweet all-attractive flute
Rupa-madhurya uniquely sweet beauty
Krsna's Personality Traits
Dhirodatta noble
Dhira-lalita romantic
Dhira-prasanta peaceful
Dhiroddhata haughty
Sadhaka practicing devotee
Siddha perfect devotee
Nitya-siddha eternally perfect
Sadhana-siddha those who become perfect by practice
Krpa-siddha those who become perfect by causeless mercy
Guna Krsna's qualities (body, mind, and speech)
Kaumara childhood; 1-5 years old
Paugana boyhood; 6-10 years old
Kaisora adolescence; 11-15 years old
Nava-yauvana eternal youth; 16 years old
Cesta Krsna's adventures
Prasadana Krsna's attire
Vasana clothing
Yuga two-piece outfit of upper and lower garments
Catuska four-piece outfit
Bhuyistha elaborate, festive outfit of many garments
Akalpa natural decorations
Manana jewellery
Prakirna miscellaneous stimulants


Second Wave:
Anubhava Subsequent Ecstasy
Anubhava "subsequent ecstasy;" an action that results from heightened affection for Krsna,
which further enhances that affection
Sita actions that do not involve strong bodily movement
Gita singing loudly
Jimbhanam yawning
Svasa bhuma breathing heavily
Loka anapeksita neglecting the presence of others
Lalasrava Foaming at the mouth ("drooling")
Hunkara roaring
Raktogam bleeding (found only in mahabhava)
Utphulla swelling of the limbs (found only in mahabhava)
Ksepana actions that involve strong bodily movement
Nrtya dancing
Viluhita rolling on the ground
Tanu-motana stretching the body
Krosanam crying loudly
Atha hasa laughing like a madman
Ghurna staggering
Hikka hiccups ("belching")

Third Wave:
Sattvika-Bhava Existential Ecstasy
Sattvika-bhava "constitutional" or "existential ecstasy;" an involuntary reaction that arises
directly from the suddha-sattva-enriched soul
Snigdha moist; ecstatic symptoms in persons who love Krsna, instigated by emotions arising
from either the direct or indirect mellows
Mukhya-snigdha direct-moist; when a direct mellow instigates the emotions that
cause ecstasy
Gauna-snigdha indirect-moist; when an indirect mellow instigates the emotions
that cause ecstasy
Digdha smeared ("burnt"); ecstatic symptoms in persons who love Krsna, not instigated by
the direct or indirect mellows
Ruksa dried-up; ecstatic symptoms that seem to appear in those with no love for Krsna
Stambha being stunned

Sveda perspiration
Romanca standing hairs
Svarabheda faltering voice
Kampa trembling
Vaivarnya changing bodily color
Asru tears
Pralaya devastation
Dhumayita smouldering; the ecstatic symptom is only slightly manifest, and can be
Jvalit flaming; two or three ecstatic symptoms manifest simultaneously, very difficult to
Dipta burning; four or five ecstatic symptoms manifest simultaneously, impossible to
Uddipta brightly burning; five or more ecstatic symptoms manifest simultaneously and very
Suddipta most bright; attainable only in the mahabhava of Srimati Radharani and Sri
Caitanya Mahaprabhu; all eight sattvika-bhavas manifest simultaneously, with the highest
possible degree of intensity
Satvikabhasa "ecstatic symptoms" in persons without genuine affection for Krsna.
Raty-abhasa caused by proximity to a genuine ecstatic devotee.
Satvika-abhasa caused by a soft-hearted emotional disposition.
Pratipa in a hard-hearted person, caused by the powerful influence of krsna-katha.
Nisattva a forced, theatrical display.

Fourth Wave:
Vyabhicari-Bhava Transitory Ecstasy
Vyabhicari-bhava "transitory ecstasy;" an emotional experience resulting from intensified
affection for Krsna, that embellishes and further stimulates the affection
Paratantra dependent; ecstatic emotions born from affection for Krsna
Avara ecstatic emotions that do not nourish one's affection for Krsna
Vara ecstatic emotions that nourish one's affection for Krsna
Saksat ecstatic emotions that nourish a primary rasa
Vyavahita ecstatic emotions that nourish a secondary rasa
Svatantra independent; ecstatic emotions not directly born from affection for Krsna

Rati-sunya emotions void of affection for Krsna

Raty-anusparsana emotions not originally born from affection for Krsna, but
which subsequently dovetail with affection
Vyabhicaryabhasa semblance of ecstatic emotions
Pratikulya "ecstatic emotions" in persons who are inimical to Krsna
Anaucitya ecstatic emotions imagined to exist in those who are not actually feeling the
Asatyatvam ecstatic emotions imagined in a subject in whom they do not exist
(generally an inert living entity)
Ayogyatvam ecstatic emotions imagined in a subject who is incapable of fully
experiencing them (generally an animal)
Utpatti generation; the beginning of an emotion
Sandhi conjunction; two or more emotions unite
Savalya aggregation; one emotion supplants another
Santi satisfaction; a disturbing emotion is resolved
Citta vrtti internal disposition
Karkasa hard disposition; (1) can conceal emotions, (2) not easily moved by
Komal soft disposition; (1) cannot conceal emotions, (2) easily moved by

Fifth Wave:
Sthayi-Bhava Constitutional Ecstasy
Sthayi-bhava one's eternal mood of affection for Krsna (as a passive admirer, servant,
friend, parent, etc.).
Svartha selfish; when one's mood of affection takes nourishment from other
Prarartha selfless; when one's mood of affection gives nourishment to other
Mukhya-rati five moods of direct loving relationship with Krsna
Suddha-rati neutral affection
Samanya-rati general affection; affection that has not yet matured into a specific

Svaccha-Rati transparent affection; occurs in one who does not yet possess any
specific affection for Krsna, but who reflects the affections of various devotees, like
a transparent crystal reflecting the color of any object placed in its proximity
Santa-Rati peaceful affection; occurs in one who is completely detached from sense
gratification, but has no inclination for an active relationship with the Lord
Mamata-buddhi mine-ness; a sense of "possessing" Krsna in a personal relationship
Kevala unmixed possessiveness; a relationship of exclusive servitude, friendship, or
parental affection
Sankula mixed possessiveness; a relationship that blends servitude, friendship, and
parental affection
Dasya-rati servitorship; characterized by inferiority to Krsna, which results in a sense of
dependence upon His favor and kindness
Sakhya-rati friendship; characterized by equality with the Lord, which results in absence of
any timidity or shyness, and a predominance of prankish, humorous behavior
Vatsalya-rati parenthood; characterized by superiority and seniority to Krsna, which results
in a sense of protective, merciful compassion towards the Lord
Madhurya-rati or priyata-rati conjugal love; characterized by intimate infatuation with the
Lord, which gives rise to eight kinds of conjugal enjoyments (sambhoga) and many
affectionate exchanges
Gauna-rati seven moods of indirect loving relationship with Krsna
Hasya-rati laughter
Vismaya-rati astonishment
Utsaha-rati valorous enthusiasm
Soka-rati lamentation
Krodha-rati anger
Bhaya-rati fear
Jugupsa-rati disgust
Purti fulfilment
Vikasa manifestation
Vistara expansion
Viksepa dispersion
Ksobha agitation

Western Ocean: Mukhya-Bhakti-Rasa


First Wave: Santa-Rasa Neutral Affection

Paroksa santa-rasa indirect neutral affection; evoked not directly by the Lord's form, but
indirectly by the effulgence emanating from the Lord's form
Saksaka santa-rasa direct neutral affection; evoked by direct perception of the Lord's form
Atmaramas self-realized souls
Tapasvis those who undergo penance and austerities
Asadharana uddipana unique impetuses; objects that impel devotees of one specific rasa
Sadharana uddipanas shared impetuses; objects that impel devotees of many rasas

Second Wave:
Priti-Rasa Servitude
Sambhrama-priti-rati reverential servitude; characterized by awareness of Krsna's
supremacy and anxious eagerness to serve Him; respectful humility is the main character
trait of a reverential servant
Gaurava-priti-rati servitude with the intimate mood of a son or similar dependant
Prabhuta-jnana awareness that, "Krsna is my Lord and master"
Priti affection
Their Character Traits
Prasrt psychological disposition of asrita dasa; they are meek and humble, always
keeping their glance downward
Visvastha psychological disposition of anuga dasa; they are faithful and fearless of
carrying out very intimate services
Nirdesa-esa vartipi psychological disposition of parisada dasa; they have a natural
taste for carrying out Krsna's direct orders in accordance with their particular
Vinamrta-buddhi psychological disposition of adhikrta dasa; they are explicitly
aware of Krsna's position as Prabhu and Master
Four Dasas
Adhikrta dasa demigods appointed to specific services in the material world
Asrita dasa devotees who have taken shelter of the Lord's protection
Sarangata those who take shelter of the Lord's protection due to fear of
material existence
Jnanicari those who have realized Brahman, but give up the desire for moksa
and take shelter of Krsna, knowing Him to be the origin of Brahman.
Seva-nistha those who simply love Krsna, and therefore have fixed desire to
serve Him
Parisada dasa intimate ministers who render various personal services

Anuga dasa intimate followers of the Lord in Vraja and Dvaraka

Three moods
Dhurya those who express love towards Krsna, the lovers of Krsna, and those who
serve the lovers of Krsna
Dhira those who do not have a specific service for the Lord, but are firmly situated
in the shelter of a dear devotee
Vira those who do not take shelter of anyone besides Sri Krsna
Prema one's love for Krsna never wavers or diminishes for an instant, even if it has good
reason to do so
Sneha the heart melts, and one cannot withstand even a moment of separation from Krsna
Raga meeting with Krsna converts even the greatest distress into happiness; separation
from Krsna converts even the greatest happiness into distress, and one is prepared to give
up his life
Ayoga Separation
Utkanthitva longing to meet Krsna for the first time
Viyoga desire for reunion with the Lord
Yoga Meeting
Siddhi perfection; meeting Krsna for the first time
Tusti satisfaction; being reunited with Krsna
Sthiti steadiness; constant meeting

Third Wave:
Preyo-Rasa Friendship
Pura-vyasyas friends living outside Vrndavana, in larger towns and cities
Vraja-sakhas friends in Vrndavana
Suhrt well-wishers; a little older than Krsna; trace of parental affection
Sakhas friends; younger than Krsna; trace of servitude
Priya-sakhas confidential friends; same age as Krsna; pure friendship
Priya-narma-sakhas most intimate friends; most intimate and exalted devotees of
sakhya, Krsna engages them in the very confidential service of arranging His
meetings with the gopis
Pranaya one's love impels him to relate with Krsna on the platform of affection and
friendship, free from formalities

Fourth Wave:
Vatsala-Rasa Parenthood
Anukampa a protective mood of compassion and mercy towards Krsna; the main
characteristic of vatsalya-rati

Fifth Wave:
Madhura-Rasa Consorthood
Sajatiya circumstances favorable to conjugal love
Vijatiya are opposing conjugal love
Vipralambha separation
Purva-raga separation prior to first meeting
Mana self-imposed separation due to anger
Pravasa separation caused by physical distance
Sambhoga meeting

Northern Ocean: Indirect Bhakti-Rasa

First Wave: Hasya-Rasa Laughter

Tad-anvayi-alambana one who takes the position of visaya-alambana due to his or her
connection with Krsna

Second Wave:
Adbhuta-Rasa Astonishment
Saksad adbhuta astonishment caused by direct perception
Anuman adbhuta astonishment caused by inference

Third Wave:
Vira-Rasa Chivalry, Heroism
Yuddha-vira heroic fighting
Dana-vira heroic charity
Daya-vira heroic compassion
Dharma-vira heroic adherence to religious principles

Fourth & Fifth Waves:

Karuna-Rasa & Raudra-Rasa Compassion & Fury
Krodha-rati sthayi-bhava of raudra-rasa. "Anger"
Anavahita inattentive; they are inattentive in protecting Krsna

Sahasi bold; they rashly take Krsna into danger

Irsyu envious; they have unnecessary anger towards Krsna, due to jealous love
Nija ahita-kari one's own enemy
Krsna ahita-kari Krsna's enemy
Kopa anger exhibited towards the enemy
Manyu anger towards Krsna's well-wisher
Manyu pujya anger towards superior well-wishers
Manyu samana anger towards well-wishers who are one's equals
Manyu chote anger towards junior well-wishers
Rusa anger towards the beloved

Sixth & Seventh Waves:

Bhayananka-Rasa & Vibhatsa-Rasa Dread & Ghastliness
Vivek-ja disgust arising from intelligence
Prayiki disgust arising from experience

Eighth Wave:
Compatible & Incompatible Mixture of Mellows
Maitri compatible rasas
Angi-rasa in a mixture of rasa, that rasa which is served and nourished by the
Anga-rasa in a mixture of rasa, that rasa which serves and nourishes the angi-rasa
Vaira incompatible rasas
Virasata distasteful mixture of rasa

Ninth Wave:
Rasabhasa Imperfect Expression of Mellows
Rasabhasa imperfect rasa
Uparasa distorted rasa
Anurasa imitation rasa
Aparasa false rasa


Appendix A:
A Perfect Defintion
of Pure Devotional Service
anukulyena krsnanusilanam bhaktir uttama
Pure devotional service is: Empowered activity intended to please Krsna; without ulterior
motive, and not covered by philosophical or fruitive pursuits.
Here are three reasons why this is the perfect definition of pure devotional service: (1) It
is so precise that one cannot mistake pure devotional service for anything else. (2) It is neither
overly exclusive, nor overly inclusive. (3) It perfectly applies in all circumstances, to stages of
devotees in practice, and in perfection.

1. Unmistakably Distinct
A good definition clearly distinguishes it's object. For example, one may define chair as
"something with four legs." This is not so precise, since animals also have four legs. To better
distinguish a chair, one may say, "it is an object with four legs." But tables also fit that
description. To clarify even further: "a chair is an object that people sit on, which has four
supporting legs." Still, benches fit this description. Finally, one may define chair as "an object
that one person sits on, which has four supporting legs."
In a similar way, each word of Srila Rupa Gosvami's definition further clarifies the
subject, negating all misconceptions and making pure devotion unmistakably distinct.

One may wrongly think that uttama-bhakti ("pure devotion") is an idle emotion: "Love," in a
docile sense of the word. Silanam negates this misunderstanding by defining pure devotion as
active love.

Yes, pure devotion is active love, but for whom. Many people think that the ultimate expression
of devotion is to love your neighbors, your spouse, your family, your "fellow man," the world,
mother nature, etc.
The word krsna negates this misunderstanding by defining pure devotion as active love
for Krsna.

Another misconception: "He may not explicitly dedicate his life to God, but he performs no evil
actions, so he is a good man, pleasing to the Lord."

The person described above is not sinful, but it is wrong to think that he is on an equal
platform with those who explicitly try to please God. The word anukulyena negates this
misunderstanding by indicating that devotional service is not merely incidentally pleasing to the
Lord, it must be intended to please Him.
Demons such as Kamsa incidentally pleased Krsna, but this does not make them

The next misconception: Yes, Pure devotion is active love intended for Krsna's pleasure. I am
doing that, "in my own way."
Different people have different conceptions of what pleases God. Some conceive of
simple piety as the summit of devotion. Others imagine that illicit sex is somehow "spiritual."
The prefix anu- negates this misunderstanding by establishing that one can please God in
whatever way one so desires or imagines our activities can actually please God only when we
find out what he wants from us by connecting with a bona-fide spiritual master.

A pious person may go to the temple and perform authorized activities that are intended to
please Krsna. But what is their motive? They may be praying for a house, a TV, a good job... The
words anyabhilasita-sunyam (without ulterior motive) negate the misconception that this type of
worship is devotional service.

Jnana-Karmady Anavrtam
Finally, a person may engaged in authorized activities intended for Krsna's pleasure, and
without an ulterior motive but pure devotional service is not only apratihata (unmotivated),
it must also be ahaituki (uninterrupted).
The words jnana-karmady anavrtam make it clear that pure devotional service must not
be covered, or interrupted, by any other activities, such as philosophical speculation, and
fruitive pursuits.

2. Not Overly Inclusive or Exclusive

Each word of Srila Rupa Gosvami's definition corrects the over-inclusiveness caused by a
particular misconception, as described above. However, Srila Rupa Gosvami uses his words
carefully, and thus avoids being overly exclusive.

Docile love is an overly inclusive concept of bhakti, so Srila Rupa Gosvami defines it as anusilanam: activities. At the same time, he avoids over-exclusiveness by implying that the word
anu-silanam refers not only to bodily activities, but also to activities of the mind and words. 1

Further, rla Prabhupda poi nts out in The Nect ar of Devot ion th at th e mental activ ities o f K na consciousness
are, in many ways, the most important. "Thinking, feeling, and willing..." W hat we think about eventually manifests
in what we do. Therefore the "mental culture" of Kna consciousness is most important.

Thinking that anyone can be the object of pure devotion is overly inclusive, so Srila Rupa
Gosvami defines that pure devotion is exclusively for Krsna. At the same time, he avoids overexclusiveness by implying that "krsna" refers to Krsna and all His energies in their connection
with Him.

"Pure devotional service is activity that pleases Krsna." Demons sometimes inadvertently please
Krsna. Since this definition includes their activities as devotional service, it is overly inclusive.
Devotees sometimes seem to displease Krsna (like mother Yasoda in damodara-lila). Since this
definition would not include their activities as devotional service, it is overly exclusive.
Therefore, Srila Rupa Gosvami introduces the word anukulyena: the intention behind the
action is of utmost importance. Demons don't have favorable intentions. Thus their actions are
not devotional service. Devotees do have favorable intentions. Thus their actions are pure
devotional service.
In this way, the word anukulyena makes the definition neither overly exclusive nor
overly inclusive.

Srila Rupa Gosvami says that pure devotional service must be devoid of all material desire. At
the same time, he avoids over-exclusiveness by adding the suffix -ta.

Jnana-Karmady Anavrtam
Srila Rupa Gosvami also says that pure devotional service must not be interrupted by other
activities. He avoids over-exclusiveness by saying anavrtam.

3. Applies in all Circumstances

Srila Rupa Gosvami describes uttama-bhakti, the highest devotional service, in such a way that it
is applicable to all stages of devotees, both in practice and in perfection.
In the Second Wave he describes exactly how this definition applies to the stage of
practice (sadhana-bhakti). In the Third Wave, to bhava-bhakti. And in the Fourth Wave, premabhakti.


Appendix B

The Twelve Rasas and their Components

Santa Rasa Neutrality
I. Vibhava
Visaya Four-handed Narayana
Asraya Atmaramas (self-realized sages), and Tapasvis (renunciates).
Asadharana: Hearing Upanisads, living in solitude, meditation, knowledge, seeing
material objects in relation to the universal form, study of Vedanta...
Sadharana: Smelling tulasi offered to the Lord, going on pilgrimage, conquering the

II. Anubhava
Asadharana: Behave like an avadhuta, concentrate eyesight on tip of nose, give discourses on
Absolute Truth, use of hand-mudras.
Sadharana: Yawn, stretch, offer prayers...

III. Sattvika-bhava
Stambha (stunned), romanca (hairs standing on end