From Sraddha to Prema

Bhakti-Rasamrta-Sindhuh (2nd edition, published 2000)
 Sri Krsna, who is the most beloved of Sri Radha, is now manifest as Sri Krsna Caitanya deva with three specific
purposes. First, He reveals Himself in order to remove forever, out of His limitless compassion for the entire humanity,
the agonies of the threefold miseries relating to the physical body and subtle mind-intelligence-ego! (Adhyatmika pains),
the providential sufferings like earthquake, flood, etc. (Adhidaivika sufferings), and afflictions caused by other living
beings (Adhibhautika inflictions). Secondly, He by His own personal example is desirous of teaching unalloyed devotion
and loving intimate service to the Supreme Lord as the Divine Master the Divine Friend the Divine Son, and the Divine
Consort, to the fallen and self-forgetful humanity so that it may have a taste of the elixir which is Bhakti-Rasa through
the varied reciprocal relationships of servanthood, friendship, parenthood and consorthood. According to their
temperamental predilections even though they may be utterly lacking even in the faintest idea, of a true spiritual life of
unalloyed devotion and divine love; and thereby bringing to the world a flood of the waves of the hitherto untasted nectar
of the vast ocean of Bhakti-Rasa and Ujjvala-Prema. Sri Krsna Caitanya deva promulgated the Yuga-dharma, religion of the
Kali age, of the chanting of the Name of the Supreme Lord Sri Krsna, and unrestrictedly distributed the most precious
wealth of the highly brightened Ujjvala-Prema to one and all, which was so far completely unknown to the people of the
world. There is also a third reason of the appearance of Sri Krsna Caitanya deva in this world, viz. the Supreme Lord Sri
Krsna manifested Himself as Sri Krsna Caitanya deva in order, above all, to taste for Himself and to make all unalloyed and
highest devotees to appreciate that super-excellence of PREMA developing into: Sneha, Mana, Pranaya, Raga, Anu-Raga,
Bhava and Mahabhava, the last culminating in Sri Radha (the Counter-Whole Divine Moiety) and Her associate Counter-
Parts. The eight Sakhis in their supramundane consorthood relation with the Supreme Lord Sri Krsna. The Supreme Lord
Sri Krsna is the only predominating and transcendental recipient of Prema, while Sri Radha is the predominated Counter-
Whole Divinity who alone can offer the supreme enjoyments to the Absolute Lord.
The stage of Prema (which must not be misidentified with 'love'), developing up to Anu-Raga and Bhava can
manifest itself in the eight Sakhis, i.e. the extended Counter-Parts of Sri Radha, the Counter-Whole Divinity, the Supreme
Lord Sri Krsna being the only Predominating and Original Whole-Divinity. Therefore, the climax of Prema in Mahabhava
is possible in Sri Radha alone and cannot be possible in any finite self however advanced in the spiritual life. The Supreme
enjoyer Sri Krsna tastes the mellow-sweetness of the consorthood-services of Sri Radha to Him, but what She experiences
in return both in union and separation, the Lord does not know. Hence, Sri Krsna accepted, out of His divine prerogative
and Free Will, the complexion of Sri Radha as also the feelings of Sri Radha for Him, so that He might relish Sri Radha's
feelings in the brightened state of Ujjvala-Prema, and thus He became Sri Krsna Caitanya deva.
Before Sri Krsna Caitanya deva brought His message of Krsna-Prema to the world, Gita-Govindam,
Krsnakarnamrtam, songs of Candidasa and Vidyapati, dealing with Sri Radha-Krsna-Prema had already been published.
But as the subject was unfamiliar, it was grossly misunderstood by the intellectual laity, who were given to senseexperience
and who were normally addicted to sensualities. So long as one’s heart is polluted by sense-egoism, so long as
one's mind is darkened by a very very thick quagmire of sex-mindedness, so long as an individual misidentifies his true
self with his gross body and his subtle body (mind, intelligence, ego), there is absolutely no possibility of entering into
the depth of the spiritual transparency of Sri Radha-Krsna-Prema. Eligibility demands absolute effacement of manwoman-
conceptions from the thoughts of an individual before he can realize the supreme beauty of the "Divine Sex".
There is no short cut to it. Those who will venture to dabble in Sri-Krsna-Prema with their pre-possessed association of
ideas of human or animal sex-experiences will knowingly bring utter ruin to themselves. The Super-excellence of the
unsurpassable Beauty of the Divine Prema-Rasa will ever remain unaffected by their wrong attempts.
It will, therefore, be worth while to explain here in a nutshell the transcendental significance of Mahabhava, which
is identified with Sri Radha alone. The conception of Sri Radha is completely misconceived by most people. From the
present state of utter self-forgetfulness of an individual soul, engrossed in the physical and mental tabernacles till its final
freedom and attainment of Prema-Bhakti, there are different stages of gradual unfolding of the innate dormant nature of
the soul, which it must undergo by way of spiritual practices before it can aspire to understand and relish the superexcellence
of Sri Radha-Krsna-Prema.
These stages are:
(I) Sraddha, (II) Sadhu-Sanga, (III) Bhajana-Kriya, (IV) Anartha-Nivrtti, (V) Nistha, (VI) Ruci, (VII) Asakti,
(VIII) Bhava, and (IX) Prema.
Sri Rupa Gosvami deals in this book Bhakti-Rasamrta-Sindhuh with the subject matter of Prema staging from its lowest
step of Sraddha. From (I) Sradha to (IV) Anartha-Nivrtti are steps of spiritual sadhana (practices) from utter bondage to
 the soul's freedom from the clutches of the threefold deviating influences of Maya, the Deluding Energy of God. After
self-realization, the soul develops in his on her spiritual practices from (V) Nistha, to (IX) Prema, which is attainable even
while the soul is not separated from his or her physical and mental, gross and subtle, coverings.
PREMA can develop in the siddha-deha alone, i.e. the supramundane and eternally spiritual body of the pure soul
or the finite self, otherwise called Jiva-atma, as categorically different from In the physical and mental associations, into:
(X) Sneha, (XI) Mana, (XII) Pranaya, (XIII) Raga, (XIV) Anu-Raga, (XV) Bhava, (XVI) Mahabhava.
(XV) Bhava is distinct from (VIII) Bhava-Rati in the earlier stages of Bhakti and spiritual practices till Prema is
attained. The individual finite self or the Jiva-atma cannot, as stated above, attain Mahabhava. The conceptions about (I)
Sraddha to (IX) Prema have been dealt with in the Bhakti-Rasamrta-Sindhuh by Sri Rupa Gosvami, while Sri Rupa has
elaborately explained the stages from (X) Sneha to (XVI) Mahabhava in his famous Ujjvala-Nilamani.
There has been a lot of confused thinking amongst scholars, both eastern and western, about the true nature of
Bhakti in general, Prema in particular, and much more about Mahabhava, i.e. the supra-mundane Love-Sports of the
Counter-Whole (Sri Radha.) with the Predominating Original Whole (Sri Krsna), in which the Absolute-Whole having
projects Himself out into the second or Counter-Whole without losing the Original Whole (Cf. Upanisad). As these
technical transcendental aspects of the unalloyed soul's eternal and ever-progressive relations with the Supreme Being Sri
Krsna have been wrongly identified in certain quarters with mundane and sensual love-daliances, we propose to give here
a short explanatory note on each of the above mentioned sixteen stages of the soul's progress to self-realization and Godrealization
and the reciprocal relationships that exist between God (Parama-Atma) and the individual soul or finite self
(Jiva-atma). In the glossary at the end of the book, these technical terms in rasa-sastra or rasa literature will be explained,
and in the text we shall retain the original Sanskrt expressions which cannot conveniently be rendered into English
equivalents For example, it is absolutely wrong to translate prema as "love", or Mahabhava as "great sentiment". By such
'easy' translation, the whole purpose of the works of Sri Rupa Gosvami will be lost.
The following explanatory notes on the sixteen stages of bhakti will be, we hope, helpful to the readers of this
English edition of Bhakti-Rasamrta-Sindhuh:
(I) SRADDHA: Faith in the Supreme Being Sri Krsna, i.e. the faith that by serving Him alone everything else is
served wholly and completely, as by pouring water at the root of a plant all its branches, twigs and leaves are fed. Sraddha
is aroused in the heart of an individual being in bondage by his association with saints and by listening to the injunctions
of the scriptures. Sraddha is of two kinds, viz. (a) mundane, and (b) spiritual. The spiritual Sraddha or firm faith is the
seed of Bhakti (Cf. Bhakti-Sandarbha).
(II) SADHU-SANGA: Company of sadhus or saints. This means an individual’s eager desire to be in the company
of a sadhu in order to learn the methods of spiritual practices for God-realization alone and for no other purpose. But who
is a sadhu?
According to Bhagavatam, Canto XI, Chap. 11, slokas 29 to 3l, the following are the qualities of a genuine sadhu
or saint: a sadhu is kind, he cherishes animosity toward none and he smilingly endures even the bitterest miseries. He
loves truth as the vein-blood of his life, he never allows any evil thought to pollute his mind, and he looks upon all with
equal love and compassion. He does not entertain any kind of mundane desires to darken his mental quantum and he is
self-controlled, amiable and pure in character. He remains farthest from any attempt to accumulate for his future
subsistence and does not beg anything from anybody and he is abstemious and peaceful. He is steady in his mind, he
depends absolutely on the Supreme Lord Sri Krsna, and remains in constant remembrance of the Lord. He is patient,
solemn, magnanimous and undisturbed even by utmost provocation and turmoils. He has control over hunger, thirst,
lamentations, infatuation, birth and death. He does never aspire after respect for himself, but is always respectful to
others, he is friendly to all, and his heart is full of compassion for others. He is fully conversant with the real nature of
God and he is erudite. To keep company with such a one in person, thought and through discussions is Sadhu-Sanga.
(III) BHAJANA-KRIYA: Spiritual practices (in the stage of bondage). This Bhajana-Kriya is twofold, viz. (a)
Nisthita, i.e. rigid following of listening to and singing the glories of the Supreme Lord, and (b) Anisthita, i.e. slackness in
spiritual practices. This slackness in spiritual practices may be due to six different circumstances, viz.
(i) Utsahamayi-early zeal in Bhakti like a child's first attempt at reading the first primer, thinking that it has become a
great scholar, which slowly declines.
(ii) Ghana-tarala-or thickened liquidity, i.e. sometimes progressive and sometimes retrogressive processes of spiritual
practices of Bhakti like the intensity end slackness of a student in his studies.
(iii) Vyudha-Vikalpa-this is like a married man vacillating between resolutions and doubts. At times such a sadhaka
resolves to remain in his householder’s life in the company of his wife and children, relatives and friends, and devote
himself to spiritual practices of service to God, i.e., Bhakti, and again, the next moment, he resolves to cut off all ties with
 his blood-relations in order to devote himself completely to a spiritual life. Such a vacillating state of mind of a devotee is
called Vyudha-Vikalpa-Anisthita-Bhajana-Kriya, which means a vacillating state resulting in slackness in spiritual
(iv) Visaya-Sangara i.e. fight against the temptations of worldly enjoyments. In this state of slackness, the devotee
sometimes overcomes all allurements of worldly pleasures and sometimes they dupe him.
(v) Niyama-Aksama- unstability in determination. In this state of slacked Bhakti, the sadhaka fails to stick even for his
strong determinations.
(vi) Taranga-Rangini-even when a sadhaka (one in his bondage engaged in spiritual practices) is overwhelmed by a
desire for spiritual advancement and is engaged in spiritual practices, he is drifted away by the powerful forces of the tide
of worldly gains, name and fame, etc. Such a state is called Taranga-Rangini.
(IV) ANARTHA-NIVRITTI: Cessation of the obstacles and the defect that cloud Bhakti. These obstacles are fours:
(1) Obstacles arising out of impious thinking and wrong doings, as well as fivefold miseries, which are:
(i) Avidya-to mistake a changeable and transitory object for an eternal entity.
(ii) Asmita-to misidentify one's own self with one's gross physical body and one's subtle body (mind, intelligence, and
(iii) Raga-attachment to objects of sense-experiences viz. form, (rupa), taste (rasa), smell (gandha), touch (sparsa) and
sound (sabda) corresponding to fire, water, earth, air and ether.
(iv) Dvesa-anger against opposition to the enjoyment of the senses.
(v) Abhinivesa-to misconceive one as dead when the physical body and the phenomenal objects of physical
enjoyments are destroyed.
(2) Obstacles arising out of pious actions done either in this life or in previous births, which offer enjoyment here in
this world or hereafter in heaven (svarga). Enjoyments in this world or in heaven as a result of pious deeds are obstacles
to the attainment of Bhakti. They are like deep clouds that cover the moon of Bhakti.
(3) Obstacles arising out of ten offenses done to the Name of Krsna and thirty-two offenses committed in the services
of Arcana, i.e. worship of the Deities in the temples. One should know them in detail so that spiritual practices of Bhakti
might not be clouded over.
(4) Obstacle arising out of Bhakti itself, that is, from a non-rigid state of sadhana of Bhakti. It is possible that one is
carried away by the desire for bhukti, i.e. for enjoyment of pleasures of heaven as a minor god, or by the desire for mukti
(sayujya-mukti), i.e. self-annihilation by way of a desire to merge into the Absolute Brahman. Or by desires for worldly
gains, name and fame, etc. One has got to be very careful about these subtle temptations that may lead one astray from
unalloyed Bhakti.
After there is a complete cessation of the above-mentioned fourfold possible obstacles, there are five impediments
to the practices of elementary Bhakti for a sadhaka- a devotee in bondage, viz.
(i) Laya-to feel ever increasing drowsiness while singing, listening to and remembering the glories of the Godhead.
(ii) Viksepa-to maintain mundane associations while practicing even the external forms of Bhakti.
(iii) Apratipatti-disinclination for bhajana or spiritual endeavors even when realizing one's Laya and Viksepa.
(iv) Kasaya-instinctively prone to anger, avarice, vanity, etc.
(v) Rasasvada- to think of sensual enjoyment and worldly pleasures while engaged in bhajana or practices of Bhakti.
To be completely freed from all the above stated obstacles, which over-cloud unalloyed Bhakti, is Anartha-Nivrtti.
(V) NISTHA: Firmness in the striving for the unfolding of Bhakti.
When the obstacles of laya, viksepa, kasaya, etc. are almost removed
from the path of Bhakti of such a sadhaka, the steadiness that he then
attains is called Nistha. This Nistha or firmness in Bhakti can be of two different forms:
 (1) Steadfastness that directly concerns Bhakti which is again of three forms, viz.
(i) Physical, such as worship in the temple, listening to the scriptures prostrated obeisances before the Deities in the
temple and before the Guru or Spiritual Master, circumambulation of the temple of God and the sacred places of
pilgrimage associated with His Divine Descents in this world.
(ii) Verbal, such as chanting of the name of God, chanting on beads and reading aloud His glories.
(iii) Mental, such as remembrance of and meditation on the Divine Name, transcendental Form and Beauty, supramundane
limitless Qualities, spiritual Realm, Associates and Entourage, and Eternal Pastimes of the Lord.
(2) Steadiness in relation to things which are favorable to Bhakti. No desire for one's own respect, being respectful to
others, friendliness, compassion, gratitude, self-control, mental tranquillity, tolerance, and such other qualities as are
helpful to the development of constancy in Bhakti.
(VI) RUCI: Liking or Taste. When a strong taste for listening to the glories of the Lord becomes much more agreeable
than talks on mundane things then such a mental taste of the devotee is called Ruci. This Ruci or taste for the singing of
the glories of God is of two forms, viz.
(a) to pay equal attention to all aspects of Bhakti without paying any particular attention to the less important aspects of
(b) to feel agreeably affected by the various traits of Bhakti, keeping in view the more important and the less important
aspects thereof.
(VII) ASAKTI: Attachment. When taste for services of the Supreme Lord develops into full-grown maturity and the Lord
alone becomes the sole object of life, and then such an intensity of spiritual practices by a devotee creates a glue-like
attachment for the Lord in his heart. This attachment for the Lord is like the foliage of the all-wish-yielding creeper of
Bhakti, in the form of loving services of the Supreme Lord, the Godhead, which very soon brings forth the flower of
Bhava and the fruit of Prema.
This Asakti cleanses the heart of the devotee and makes it so transparent that the Lord's reflection appears therein
in such a way as if the Lord has appeared before the devotee in person. In the beginning, the sadhaka i.e. a devotee in the
early stages of spiritual practices, purposely turns his mind towards the Supreme Person and soon his mind is
spontaneously and constantly fixed on Him. In this stage of Asakti, if the devotee were in the midst of even worldly
gossip, his mind will turn unawares to the Lord and be attached to thinking about Him. His soul now begins to relish the
supreme sweetness of the incomparable Beauties of Sri Krsna, the Lord. All worldly talks and worldly affairs become
boring and unbearable to him.
(VIII) BHAVA: When the above explained Asakti or attachment along with Ruci or spontaneous taste softens the
heart, mind, and ego, and all reasoning faculties reach a point of melting, it is called Bhava. This Bhava is the innate
nature of the self-same potency (Svarupa-Sakti) or internal potency (Antaranga-Sakti) of the all-powerful Supreme Lord,
and is like the aurora immediately preceding the rise of the sun of Prema.1
When a devotee attains the stage of Bhava-Rati, the following nine traits are fully developed in him2:
(1) He wastes not his time, even for the twinkling of an eye without being constantly engaged in his bhajana i.e.
intense spiritual practices.
(2) The mental quantum of such a devotee remains perfectly calm
and composed even if there be causes of extreme excitement.
(3) He develops a natural apathy for worldly objects.
(4) He is unassuming even though possessing all noble qualities.
(5) He has a firm faith in the realization of God in this very life and meeting with his Beloved Lord.
(6) He develops an intense longing for his Beloved Lord.
(7) He constantly sings the Name of his Beloved Lord.
(8) His attachment for singing the glories of the Lord remains steady.
(9) He passionately loves Vrndavana, the Eternal Realm of the Transcendental Pastimes of the Supreme Lord Sri
The Madhurya-Kadambini describes the following further characteristics of Bhava-Bhakti:
(i) This Bhava is also called Rati.
(ii) The fragrance of the flower of Bhava-Bhakli of a devotee forcibly attracts Sri Krsna the Lord, like a bee.
(iii) When the devotee reaches the stage of Bhava, he anoints the Lord with the bhava-scented oil of affection,
squeezed out of the sesame of his metal quantum. The Lord is also overwhelmed by en enjoying the Bhava-Bhakti of His
(iv) Even the gods adore such a devotee in Bhava-Bhakti, however lowly the society in which he might have been
(v) When Bhava is awakened in the heart of a devotee, showers of tears of Prema drench his soul. Being overfilled
with emotions of inexplicable joy due to his experiencing and realizing the suppleness of the dark-blue Body of Sri Krsna,
the ruddiness of the Corners of His Eyes and the Ends of His Lips, the silverness of His gentle Smile and the yellowness
of His Robes.
(vi) He feels, at intervals, that he has listened to the soothing music of the Lord’s flute, the sweet jingling of the
tinkling anklets of His Feet, and His own charming and fascinating Voice. He remains ever eager to taste them again and
(vii) He feels an immensely delightful sensation, of occasional touch of the tender Hands and the Feet of the Lord, and he
is thrilled to smell the gladdening Odour of His Body.
(viii) He sometimes feels His presence, and is drowned in the stream of ecstasy. Again, he feels that the Lord has forsaken
him, and he is thrown into the depth of the pang of separation.
(ix) The devotee in Bhava-Bhakti experiences the above mentioned conditions not only when wide awake, but also in
deep sleep as also in dreams.
(x) In the stage of Bhava, the devotee strongly identifies himself with his siddha-deha or eternal cit-body, i.e.
supramundane all-spiritual and eternal body, (which is encaged in the gross and subtle physical bodies in the state of
bondage of an individual), and forgets his wrong "I"-ism or egoism of the physical body. Now he has attained bhava stage
of absolute freedom from the bondage of the gross physical body and the subtle mind and perverse egoism.
(xi) Though such a devotee tries to hide his spiritual experiences from worldly-minded folks, they become manifest in
the company of genuine, freed and passionate devotees. To the ordinary people, expressions of such supramundane
experiences appear like madness.
This Bhava, which is otherwise called Sthayi-Bhava, i.e. permanent trait of relation between the individual atma
and the Parama-atma or Godhead, are Five primary and Seven secondary types. The Five primary Sthayi-Bhavas are:
(a) Santa-Rati: or indifference, i.e. when the individual self in the eternal Realm, such as the Cow, the Stick, the Flute, etc.
does not take the reciprocal initiative, but is accepted by the Lord Himself out of His own prerogative. In the Realm of the
Lord, nothing is inanimate; everything is Cit or animate. But the objects of Santa-Rati appear as inanimate as they allow
themselves to be utilized or not by the Lord.
(b) Dasya-Rati: or servanthood. The servants like Citraka, Patraka, and others are the eternal Servants of the Lord, and
they serve the Lord as their Beloved Master.
(c) Sakhya-Rati: or friendship. The friends of Sri Krsna, like Sridama, Sudama, Vasudama, Subala, Madhumangala,
Ujjvala, and others always serve the Lord as their most Intimate Friend.
(d) Vatsalya-Rati: parenthood. The parents of Sri Krsna, like Nanda, Upananda, Sunanda, Yasoda, Rohini, Devaki and
others eternally serve Lord Sri Krsna as their Most Affectionate Child.
(e) Madhura-Rati: Consorthood. The queens of Dwaraka, such as Rukmini,
Satyabhama, Jambavati and others, eternally serve the
Lord as their Most Beloved Husband, while the gopis of Vraja
(the Vraja-gopis) eternally serve the Supreme Lord Sri Krsna
as their Most Intimate Beloved with an unrestricted and
supremely intense dedication to the all-out satisfaction and
absolute delight of the Lord. There is absolute self-effacement
of the Vraja-gopis in Their Sthayi or permanent Madhura-Rati
for the Lord, for the Lord's absolute and unrestricted Enjoyment.
The Sthayi-Bhava combined with the four ingredients of Vibhava Anu-Bhava, Satvika and Sancari develops into an
inconceivable concrete form out of the transcendental and absolutely spiritual mellow-sweetness, which is called Rasa.
The Supreme Lord Sri Krsna is Rasa (Cf. Sruti:Raso vai sah). All this will be explained in the text of Bhakti-Rasamrta-
(IX) PREMA: When Bhava develops to such a pitch that it completely softens the mental quantum of the most advanced
devotee and it creates a sense of intense "my-ness" for the Beloved Lord and gladdens the heart beyond all measure, it is
 called Prema.3 This Prema may manifest itself in a devotee in two different ways, viz. (a) as a development of Bhava, and (b) as,
arising from the Grace of the Lord.
(a) Prema arising from Bhava: In this aspect of Prema, it becomes
normal and spontaneous as a vow, as it were, in the life
of such a devotee to be completely and constantly engaged in
listening to, chanting and singing the endearing Name of the Lord;
he is deeply attached to his Most Beloved Lord and a profound
fondness for Him overwhelms him. All his reasoning faculties
are dissolved and melt into divine emotions; he then forgets
all social decorum and gives way like a mad person sometimes to
shrieks of loud laughter, sometimes to bitter weeping, sometimes to
shouting, sometimes he is merged in the melody of music of singing
the Lord's limitless Qualities, and sometimes to dancing in ecstasy.4
(b) Prema arising from Grace of the Lord: The damsels of Vraja
read not the Vedas, served not the saints, undertook no
religious vows, performed no austere penances, and yet they
achieved Prema for the Supreme Lord Sri Krsna, because of His
causeless Grace only.5
Prema is again two different natures according to the two different Aspects of the Supreme Lord Sri Krsna
Himself, viz. (i) His all majestic aspect, and (ii) His all-beauteous aspect.
Prema for the all-majestic aspect of Lord Sri Krsna (as in Vaikuntha), which is called "Aisvaraya", and for the all-majesticall
beauteous aspect of the Lord Sri Krsna (as in Dwaraka and Mathura which is called "Aisvarya-Amdhurya" is restricted
by a conscious knowledge of awe and reverence, and it is called Vaidhi-Bhakti. While a spontaneous attachment and fond
liking for the All-beauteous, All-attractive aspect of Lord Sri Krsna in Vraja alone, which is called Madhurya is without any
restriction whatsoever on the supra-mundane love-dalliance, and is called Ruci-Bhakti.
The Majestic Divinity of Sri Krsna (Aisvarya) always consists of (1) All-majesty, (2) All-prowess, (3) All-fame, (4)
All-beauty, (5) All-knowledge, and (6) All-detachment. According to Visnu-Puranam, Narada and Uddhava had this
Aisvarya-Prema for Sri Krsna with their conscious knowledge of His Divinity.
The Beauteous Divinity of Sri Krsna (Madhurya) is (1) All-charming, (2) All-attracting, (3) All-beauty, (4) Alldominance,
(5) All-skilfulness, and craftiness, and (6) All-desirous. Sri Krsna's associates in Vraja had this Madhurya-
Prema for Him in the form either of the devoted Servant, or of the intimate Friend, or as the affectionate Son, or as the
Divine Consort with the feelings of intimacy, filial affection and conjugal love or consortship without restrictions, social
or any other, respectively.
Prema has two more important aspects as mentioned in Madhurya-Kadambini, viz.
(a) Prema in its intrinsic nature is itself a dense, consolidated and
ecstatic bliss or Ananda. Prema once awakened never ceases even if there be strong grounds of a break or cessation.
(b) Prema possesses the supreme power to attract even Sri Krsna, who is the All-attractor.
When the sun of Prema dawns in the perfectly cleansed and transparent heart of the Prema-Bhakta (a devotee
who has attained Prema), the following characteristics become natural and normal with him:
(i) All forms of "my-ness' and attachment of a Prema-Bhakta for his body-mind-soul and those related to the body-mind
are completely directed to Sri Krsna alone. His "my-ness" is attracted by Sri Krsna like a magnet drawing a clean
piece of iron.
(ii) As a greedy and hungry man’s desire for palatable dishes never ends even if he has eaten much of them, so also a
prema-bhakta's burning desire and solicitude for Sri Krsna have no end when once he has attained Him, rather the
longing increases all the more. To a prema-bhakta in his pangs of separation from his beloved Lord, his own dear friends
appear like a dry well without water and his own home pricks him like a house of thorns. Food tastes like severe beating,
praise seems like the venom of a snakebite, and the different limbs and organs of his body become a heavy burden to him.
The solacing words of friends sound platitudinous and even bitter. Sleep is death to him, and existence of the body seems
to him as God's punishment. What more, even meditation on the Beloved by such a Prema-Bhakta in the agonies of
separation, cuts asunder, as it were his very soul.
(iii) Like a covetous thief, the Prema-Bhakta loses all powers of distinguishing between good and evil.
(iv) As the soothing rays of the moon cool the scorching heat of a thousand suns, so also the union with Sri Krsna
 removes all the intense pangs of separation from the heart of a Prema-Bhakta who has acquired this wealth of Prema.
(v) Overpowered by these anxieties of Prema of His devotee, Sri Krsna reveals to him His matchless Beauty,
extraordinary Loveliness, incomprehensible Adolescence, soul attracting Handsomeness, limitless Magnanimity, and
fathomless Compassion and such other Divine Qualities. The devotee who has ascended the ladder of Prema and has thus
been blessed by the Lord, experiences such a divinely wondrous and luminous pleasure that far outweighs the pleasures
that a tired traveler experiences at midday in the scorching rays of the summer sun, in the midst of hot sands of a vast
desert, when he suddenly finds a densely shaded banyan tree, full of thick foliage with all its branches and twigs, or the
pleasure that a wild elephant enjoys being drenched in a cool waterfall after it has escaped half-burnt from the huge forestfire.
(vi) After an individual soul has attained Prema by his or her spiritual practices, he or she now beholds the Lord face
to-face with the darsana-rati or attachment of vision, and realizes that this luminous experience far excels all the
experience he or she had at the stage of Bhava-Bhakti.
This experience is of the following order:
(vii) First: With the eyes (soul's organ of visual perception);
Second: With the nose (soul's: perception through the organ of smelling);
Third: With the ears (soul's perception through the organ of hearing);
Fourth: With the tactile sense (soul's perception through the organ of touch);
Fifth: With the tongue (soul's faculty of tasting).
(viii) Out of His magnanimity Sri Krsna occasionally makes the devotee experience in his prema the beatitude of His
Beauteous Sweetness all at once with all his supra-mundane and transcendental senses.
(ix) At the time of revealing His Person before His devotee in the stage of Prema, the Lord responds favorably to the
devotee's nature of sadhana or spiritual practices.
So far the different stages in the gradual development of Prema, starting from Sraddha to Prema, have been dealt with by
Sri Rupa Gosvami in Bhakti-Rasamrta-Sindhuh, and we have given here just a summary of the same. It will, however, be
necessary to explain here in a nutshell how Prema further unfolds itself into Sneha, Mana, Pranaya, Raga, Anu-Raga,
Bhava and Mahabhava in relation to transcendental Love-Pastimes in Madhurya-Rati, i.e. supra-mundane wifehood and
mistresshood of the freed soul (which is no more misidentified with the physical and mental bodies) in relation to the
Supreme Godhead in His Husbandhood and Paramourhood respectively. There is absolutely nothing mundane and
physical in it, although it may sound so.
Though Prema functions in all the twelve Sthayi-Bhavas, i.e.
permanent sentiments, viz. five primary, i.e. (1) Santa, (2) Dasya, (3) Sakhya, (4) Vatsalya, and (5) Madhurya, and seven
secondary, i.e. (6) Hasya, (7) Karuna, (8) Raudra, (9) Vira, (10) Bhayankara, (11) Vibhatsa, and. (12) Adbhuta, it is
essentially in Madhurya-Sthayi-Bhava-Rati only that it rolls ever more, on and on, in all the manifold fine shades and
ripples. Therefore, Madhurya-Bhava has been accepted to be the highest expression of Prema in the realm of the Absolute
Divinity. Sri Rupa Gosvami has, therefore, dealt with this aspect of Prema as expressed in the various shades of
Madhurya-Bhava beginning from Prema and reaching up to Mahabhava, separately in his Ujjvala-Nilamani. Whereas the
Bhakti-Rasamrta-Sindhuh deals up to Prema, beginning from the lowest step of Sraddha in the ladder of the spiritual
sadhana of Bhakti of the highest order. Here we shall give a very short note on Madhura-Rati culminating in Mahabhava
as described in the Ujjvala-Nilamani.
The Supreme Transcendental and sole enjoyer of the supramundane Erotic Sentiments finds His highest expressions in
Madhura-Bhava, also called Madhura-Rati, which is a Sthayi-Bhava or permanent feeling. In this Madhura-Sthayi-Bhava,
Sri Krsna is the only Subject6, and the transcendental damsels of Vraja are the Objects.7 When the Madhura-Sthayi-Bhava
combines with the four ingredients of Vibhava, Anu-Bhava, Sattvika and Sancari, it is then called MADHURYA-PREMA or
SRNGARA-RASA. As already stated, all these conceptions have nothing mundane about them, and they are technical
expressions of the supra-mundane realm of the Supreme Godhead and can be experienced only by genuine spiritual practices.
By any application of the cognitional and emotional faculties of the mind, however developed and refined, Prema can never be
understood, much less realized. Here the Means and the End must be one and the same. It has to be unfolded and awakened
from within the innate nature of the eternal self and cannot be got from without. These technical expressions will therefore, be
explained, as far as humanly possible, in a glossary, and in the body of the book we shall use the original expressions. It will be a
mistake to attempt to render these expressions in common English equivalents, which will only relate to human love, which is
sensual lust. We must draw a thick line between sensual and transcendental; between sensual love, which is another name far
lust, and Divine Prema.
The Divine gopis, the eternal damsels of Vraja are eternally freed souls, and are associated parts of Sri Krsna, as
distinct from His separated parts, i.e. the individual finite souls. Each one of them has a supra-mundane personality, and
they conceive themselves in their unmarried Maidenhood or married Wifehood or unrestricted Mistresshood in relation to
the Supreme Lord Sri Krsna who is their Beloved. When Prema is discussed, it must always be remembered that it has
 nothing to do with any love affair between a man and a woman of this world, however noble it might appear to be. The
love-relation between a man and woman in this world is sensual lust, while the Prema between
the Supreme Lord Sri Krsna, the Godhead, and the supra mundane Damsels of Vraja is absolutely transcendental. Love of
this world, in any form, is definitely lust in different forms and degrees and can be compared with the dense darkness of
the 15th day of the dark-fortnight, while Prema of Vraja and of the Damsels of Vraja are bright like the midday sun. With
this preliminary background we now proceed to discuss Prema in Madhura-Rati.
The clever and intriguing nature of the Damsels of Vraja is eternal and innate in their very existence. Though
Prema is their normal characteristic, yet the under-mentioned seven causes and conditions make Prema manifest itself in
(1) Abhiyoga: Complaint. To make one's inner sentiments known either by oneself or thorough someone else as by way
of complaint or abhiyoga to Sri Krsna in Madhura-Rati.
(2) Visaya: Subject.8 Voice, Touch, Form, Taste and Smell of Sri Krsna are the “Subjects" of Madhura-Rati and are its roots,
i.e. these, viz. Voice, Touch, Form, Taste and Smell of Sri Krsna dominate the reciprocal senses of the damsels of Vraja in
(3) Sambandha: Relation. Madhurya-Rati is aroused by-Family, Supra-mundane Body, Heroism, Civility etc., which are
related to Sri Krsna.
(4) Abhimana: Feeling as their own. In spite of the presence of other beautiful objects, the Damsels of Vraja cherish a
determined and sensitive decision that Sri Krsna alone is the only Subject of attainment. This feeling that Sri Krsna is
their own arouses Madhura-Rati in them.
(5) Tadiya Visesa: His Specialties. Rati is awakened by the sight of the Foot-prints of Sri Krsna, His Vraja and His dear
Associates and Companions, etc.
(6) Upama: Comparison. Madhura-Rati is kindled in the heart of the Damsels of Vraja at the sight of any object, which
has even the slightest likeness with the Form and Beauty of Sri Krsna.
(7) Svabhava: Natural. When Rati wakes up spontaneously in the heart of the Vraja-gopis without any exterior causes,
it is called svabhava or normal nature of Madhurya-Rati. This Svabhava has again two forms, viz.
(i) Nisarga: Causal. The various impressions that grow from a culture of day-and-night listening to and meditation
upon the Form, Qualities, etc. of Sri Krsna.
(ii) Svarupa: Innate. A normal and spontaneous Madhura-Rati is independent of any such listening to or meditating
upon Sri Krsna, and is called Svarupa-Svabhava or innate nature of Madhura-Rati, which is again of three forms, viz.
(a) Krsna-Nistha: Krsna as the Subject of Rati. When the Damsel of Vraja do not hide the character and qualities of Sri
Krsna from anybody except the devils and the demons, and when they expose their Rati for Sri Krsna amongst
themselves, it is called Krsna-Nistha.
(b) Lalana-Nistha: Vraja gopis as the object of rati. When the damsels of Vraja have an independent and normal rati for
Sri Krsna without any previous knowledge of Him or without previously listening to anything about Him, or without
previously seeing Him, it is called lalana-nistha svarupa-svabhava of Madhura-Rati. It is a specialty of the damsels of Vraja.
(c) Ubhaya-Nistha: Mutually devoted. When Bhava or Rati is aroused in the hearts of the beautiful Damsels of Vraja
(Vraja-Lalana) at the sight of Sri Krsna, and similar reciprocal bhava is aroused in the heart of Sri Krsna at the sight of the
Damsels of Vraja, it is called Ubhaya-Nistha Svarupa-Svabhava.
The above mentioned seven causes of Madhura-Rati have been stated only to show its super-excellence in amatory
gestures, though in fact the Madhura-Bhava of the Damsels of Vraja is innate and normal, and their attachment does not
depend on any cause whatsoever.
There are three forms of Madhura-Rati of an individual soul (atma), conceiving itself as inspired by the feeling of
womanhood or mistresshood.
They are:
(a) SADHARANI-RATI: The rati, i.e. the permanent sentiment or sthayi-bhava that is not very much deep and that is
generally aroused by the sight of Sri Krsna alone, and that is pregnant with a thirst for love-sports with the Lord is called
Sadharani-Rati. Its climax is up to Prema only, as already explained under heading ix. The Rati that was aroused in Kubja's
heart at the very sight of Sri Krsna when the Lord was going to the amphitheater of King Kamsa to kill him, is an example
of this Sadharani-Rati, which is indeed very rare and valued like a jewel (mani).
(b) SAMANJASA-RATI: This Rati is very very rare like the fabulous gem that grants the possessor whatever maybe
wished for (cinta-mani). Here the Rati is deep in the feeling of married wifehood, as in the caste of the Queens of Dvaraka,
 such as Rukmini, Satyabhama, Jambavati and others, in their relation with the Supreme Lord. This Samanjasa-Rati is
wakened in the heart on listening to the glories and qualities of Sri Krsna. There is also occasional desire for love-sports
with the Lord. The Queens of Dvaraka are the objects of Samanjasa-Rati, and it reaches to the stage of Anu-Raga in the
gradual superior order of Prema, Sneha, Mana, Pranaya, Raga and Anu-Raga, and does not reach Bhava and Mahabhava.
(c) SAMARTHA RATI: This Rati is possible in the damsels of Vraja alone, and nowhere else. It is supremely one
without a second like the Kaustubha-mani, the jewel that adorns the breast of Sri Krsna. As the Kaustubha-jewel cannot
be found anywhere but on the breast of Sri Krsna alone, so also this Samartha-Rati is possible with the damsels of Vraja
only. By its distinctive characteristic of an inconceivable luminous quality, which is lacking in Sadharani and Samanjasa-
Rati, Samartha-Rati overwhelms and charms Sri Krsna and thereby subdues Him completely. Here there is no possible gap
for any thirst for union with the Lord, because here Samarthana-Rati and the supreme union are merged into one. This
Rati is exceedingly profound and deep beyond one’s imagination. From the faintest smell of this Samartha-Rati, the gopis
forget all about themselves, their hearth and home, their supposed husbands and relatives. Here everything they have and
all their efforts are directed to this one end, namely to increase the pleasures of Sri Krsna alone. There is not the slightest
tinge of self-enjoyment. The maturity of Samartha-Rati grows into Prema, Sneha, Mana, Pranaya, Raga, Anu-raga and
Mahabhava. Here ‘Prema’ should be understood to be Madhura-Prema and not Prema in any other Sthayi-Bhava-Rati.
MADHURA-PREMA: The intense tie of attachment between the Subject of Prema, i.e. Visaya or Predominating
Nayaka or Enjoyer Krsna only, and the Object of Prema, i.e. dominated Asraya Nayikas or the Enjoyed Damsels of Vraja
alone and none else, is such that it never ceases, even though there be grave causes for such breach between the Subject
and the Object of Sthai-Bhava in Madhura Prema. Madhura-prema is the relation between the Supreme Godhead as the
transcendental and supra-mundane paramour and the Divine Damsels of Vraja, the gopis, in their All-cit, i.e. spiritual
supra-mundane eternal bodies as Mistresses. This Paramourhood of Sri Krsna and the Mistresshood of the Vraja-gopis is
the climax of Madhura-Prema in the transcendental Realm of the Highest Divinity Sri Krsna, and it excels the relation of
the Husbandhood of the Godhead Sri Krsna and the
Wifehood of the Queens of Dvaraka.
MADHRA-PREMA has three aspects, viz.
(i) Praudha-Prema, i.e. Prema in its full maturity. In this stage, separation between the Object and the Subject of
Prema becomes unbearable to the point of death.
(ii) Madhya-Prema, i.e. Prema in its middle aspect, in which separation between the Subject and the Object is painfully
endured by hard penance.
(iii) Manda-Prema, i.e. Prema of an inferior nature, in which there are occasional lapses of oblivion about things related
to the Supreme Lord Sri Krsna.
MADHURA PREMA unfolds itself into its successively ascending aspects of (X) Sneha, (XI) Mana, (XII) Pranaya,
(XIII) Raga, (XIV) Anu-Raga, (XV) Bhava, and (XVI) Mahabhava. These we shall explain here in a few short paragraphs
from Sri Rupa Gosvami's Ujjvala-Nilamani. Here we must again repeat by way of caution that the subject matter of
Madhura-Prema is completely beyond phenomenal associations, gross physical actions, subtle mental emotions, and far
beyond the scope of all human sense experience. It can be realized on its own level only by those freed souls who are
eligible for it.
In the science of spiritual life, the stages of sadhana or spiritual practices from (I) Sraddha to (IV) Anartha-Nivrtti
concern gradual progressive stages of a self-forgetful soul from its state of bondage to its stage of self-awakening. From
(V) Nistha to (VIII) Bhava the individual reaches the plane of transcendence, fully realizes its own true finite self as
distinct from the mundane body and the changeable mind-intelligence-ego, and transcends the thought world of sense
experiences and is blessed with the first flash of the Lord's Personal appearance before him. In the stage of (IX)
Prema_Bhakti, and not Madhura-Prema, the soul has attained both self-realization and God- realization. When Prema
further develops, it leads one to the supra-mundane (aprakrta) Realm of Sri Krsna, who has no material body, but
possesses an Eternal and Aprakrta Body of His own, which appears like a human form but is completely different from it
since similarity in appearance does not necessarily mean identity.
In the supra-mundane or Aprakrta Realm of Vraja in relation to Absolute Beatitude or Madhurya-Murti of Sri
Krsna, and in Mathura and Dvaraka in relation to His Majesties-cum-Beatitude, the conceptions of eternal relationships of
the Counter-Wholes and the Associate Counter Parts of the Godhead with God Himself have already been described as
(1) Santa, (2) Dasya, (3) Sakhya, (4) Vatsalya, and (5) Madhura. These conceptions of relation with God must not
therefore be dragged down to the level of similar but perverse relationships in this mundane world. Prema has its highest
unfolding in two forms, i.e. (a) in the concept of the "married wifehood", and (b) in the supra-mundane or Aprakrta
concepts of "unmarried maidenhood" and “married mistresshood”. The subject has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do
with the perverted love-relations in this world of changeable phenomena. A true conception and realization of Prema can
be possible only on the plane of transcendence, and can be aroused in the heart of a freed or mukta jiva-atma only. People
given to sensuality in any form, who try to understand it by sense-applications, must not dabble in Prema. As already
 said, from similar sounding expressions, one must not hurry to identify them. Prema and kama, or sensual love in any
form, are on two different levels. Prema is possible in the transcendental realm of God alone, while kama or sensual love is
on the plane of mundane senses. It will be an utter mistake to attempt to understand Prema in terms of the knowledge of
mundane love or lust (be it human or animal). It is only by honest and earnest spiritual practices or sadhana that an
individual may gradually climb the different steps of the ladder, from the lowest step of Sraddh to the highest step of
Prema. A mere jump from the lowest to the highest, from kama or mundane love (which is only another form of
mundane lust) to Prema will simply hurl one into the abyss of mundane lust, and such a person can never realize and
relish the mellow-sweetness of supra mundane Krsna-Prema. With this repeated caution to the readers we now proceed to
discuss the ascending stages in the development of Prema.
(X) SNEHA: When the lamp of Prema illuminates Sri Krsna and it attains a state of excellence, and makes the
inner organs of the Asraya or Object of Prema melt, then such Prema is called Sneha. When Sneha is kindled in the heart,
there is no quenching of the ever-new thirst for seeing the Lord. This Sneha is of two varities, (a) Ghrta-Sneha, and (b)
(a) Ghrta-Sneha: literally means “affection as tender as clarified butter.” When sneha becomes exceedingly endearing,
and the object of Prema, i.e. the Asraya expresses her sentiments as “I am Thine”, it is called Ghrta-Sneha. Sri Candravali
is the Asraya or Object of this Prema.
(b) Madhu-Sneha: literally means “affection as tender and sweet as honey.” When Sneha becomes expressive of the
sentiment of.”Thou art mine", it is called Madhu-Sneha. Here is a sense of the most intense feeling of "myness", such as,
"Thou art mine.', "Thou have many, but I have none but Thee". Madhu-Sneha itself a personification of bliss and charm,
many aspect of Rasa are simultaneously existent in it. Sri Radha Herself is the only Object or Asraya of this Madhu-Sneha.
(XI) MANA: When Sneha overflows in super-excellent manner and a new beatitude and sweetness in the
loveliness of Sri Krsna are relished which had not hitherto been felt, perceived or experienced, and when the
transcendental Mistress, the Object of Prema, assumes an outward demeanor of apparent indignation arising out of lovejealousy,
it is called Mana. Mana is of two kinds, viz. (i) Udatta-Mana, and (ii) Lalita-Mana.
(i) Udatta-Mana: When an inordinate endearment in Ghrta-Sneha emits, as it were, the odour of perverse reasoning
and sentiment of short-lived Vamya or assumed anger or displeasure, it is called Udatta-Mana. Sri Candravali is its Object
or Asraya.
(ii) Lalita-Mana: When Madhu-Sneha overflows and assumes an attitude of pique and turns into a tortuous sincerity
in the form of wrath and indignation excited by jealousy, it is called Lalita-Mana. Sri Radha is its Object or Asraya.
(XII) PRANAYA: When Mana reaches the stage of free sporting, and all manners of shyness and hesitation are
completely removed, it is called Pranaya. In this stage of Prema, the Asraya or the Object of Madhura-Rati, the mistress
perceives no distinction between her body, mind, intelligence, heart and life and those of her beloved Sri Krsna. Here it is
to be noted that in Mana, Sri Radhika (same as Radha) does not speak and assume an attitude of tortuous indignation and
it is only after this Mana of Sri Radhika has been appeased by Sri Krsna that Sri Radhika (who is Counter-Whole Divinity
and Hladini potency of Sri Krsna Himself), gives Herself unreservedly to the Predominating Absolute Moiety Sri Krsna
with all Her Body, Mind, Heart and Everything and becomes One with Him.
Pranaya can be both (a) Maitra-Pranaya, and (b) Sakhya-Pranaya. In (a) Maitra-Pranaya, the is a slight touch of
respect and importance given to the Beloved Sri Krsna. Sri Candravali is the Object of this Pranaya, while Sri Radhika, as
the Asraya of (b) Sakhya-Pranaya, does not have the least feeling of any superiority in Sri Krsna, Her Best Beloved.
(XIII) RAGA: When Pranay attains its highest stage, and when even the heaviest inflictions of pinches caused by
Sri Krsna gives immense pleasure to the whole "mental quantum" of the transcendental Mistress, it is called Raga. Raga is
either (a) Nilima (bluish) or (b) Raktima (reddish).
(a) Nilima-Raga is again of two forms, viz. Nili and Syama.
(i) Nili-Raga: There is no possibility of loss of Prema in Nili-Raga. There is no outward expression in it; rather
there is always an attempt to hide one's inner feelings. Sri Candravali is the Asraya of Nila-Raga.
(ii) Syama-raga: There is more expression, and it is moistened with a certain amount of shyness and timidity,
and it is delayed in its attainment. Sri Bhadra, an intimate lady-friend of Sri Candravali, is the Asraya of Syama-
(b) Raktima-Raga: It is divided into (i) Kusumbha-Raga, and (ii) Manjistha-raga.
(i) Kusumbha-Ragatmika-Raga has in it a combination of several other Ragas, and it very quickly charms the
inner organs (in the plane of Prema of sources). The Asraya of this Kusumbha-Raktima-Raga is Syama, the dear
lady-friend of Sri Radha.
 (ii) Manjistha-Raktima-Raga can never be lost; it is never dependent on any other aspect of Raga, and it is ever
progressive in its own radiance. Sri Radhika is the Asraya or Object of this Raga.
(XIV) ANU-RAGA: When the most beloved Lord Sri Krsna is constantly present before the eyes of the Asraya,
and when Raga has ripples, ever fresh and ever new in manifold forms with every the twinkling of the eye, it is called
Anu-Raga. The are numerous Anu-Bhavas of Anu-Raga, the Bhavas that follow in the wake of Anu-Raga, such as, (i)
desire to be born as an inanimate object, (ii) mutual victory or subjugation by mutual charm, (iii) Prema-Vaicittya, i.e. a
feeling of separation even in the midst of intense union, (iv) a feeling of particular alacrity and exhilaration and erotic
union in the depth of the pangs of separation from the Beloved Lord.
(XV) BHAVA and (XVI) MAHABHAVA: When in the Realm of transcendental Prema, Anu-Raga attains a stage
of exhilaration and relish, which can be experienced and relished by Anu-Raga itself only and by no other Bhava, and
when Anu-Raga in this stage is adorned with the inflamed and exciting Sattvika or transparent (not Sattvika quality of
Maya, the deluding energy of God, but here Sattvika refers to the absolutely pure and transparent quality of the cit-entity,
otherwise called Visuddha-Sattva) passions like molten gold, and when this Anu-Raga reaches its climax in the supreme
Asraya Sri Radhika and becomes identical with Her very temperament and dispositions, it is called Bhava, which is
otherwise called Mahabhava.
Sri Radhika’s very essence is identical with Mahabhava and Mahabhava is Sri Radhika. Sri Radhika, the Supreme Hladini
potency of Sri Krsna manifests Herself in eight Sakhis as Her Projected Self, i.e. the Counter-Whole projecting out into
eight associate Counter-Parts, called Asta-Sakhis or eight Inseparable Lady-friends of Sri Radhiki. Hence, Mahabhava can
partially be manifest in the eight Sakhis, known as Lalita, Visakha, Citra, Indurekha, Campakalata, Rangadevl, Tungavidya
and Sudevi. An individual finite self, Jiva-atma, cannot attain Maha-Bhava, Anu-Raga or Raga. The individual soul being a
"separated part of Lord Sri Krsna and a marginal potency". According to the philosophy of Sri Caitanya, such an individual
self in its stage of freedom from bondage and in the stage of self-realization and God-realization, is limited by its very
essential nature to be in subordination to the eternal Counter-Whole and associated Counter-Parts of the Supreme Lord,
called Ragatmikas. So the stage of Prema, even Madhurya-Prema that is attainable by a Jiva-atma is called Raganuga-
Bhakti, i.e. their Prema, Sneha, Mana, Pranaya, Raga, Anu-Raga are subservient to the Asraya Vigrahas. That is the
Raganuga-Bhakti of an individual soul can only be in subordination to and submissive to the Ragatmikas, the eternal
Counter-Whole manifestations of the Lord. In this Raganuga-Prema the individual soul finds her highest fulfillment in
the realm of Prema.
Sri Radhika possesses in Herself in fullness all the qualities of the eight Nayikas (the transcendental mistress in
Her eight different moods towards Her Beloved), and at the same time She distributes Her eight aspects of Nayika in eight
different moods in Her own Projected Bodies, called the eight Sakhis. Sri Radhika is the Supreme Asraya or Object of
Mahabhava. Mahabhava is, therefore, not possible in others, not even in the Queens of Dvaraka or in Laksmi in
Vaikuntha. Mahabhava is the essential nature of the Hladini aspect of the intrinsic potency of Sri Krsna Himself. The
effect of even a drop of the bliss of Mahabhava of Sri Radhika flows not merely into every sadhaka and siddha but also
inundates the entire universe. There could be no ananda or bliss even in its mundane form and no human and animal
pleasure without it.
MAHABHAVA is of two kinds, viz. (i) Rudha, and (ii) Adhi-rudha.
(i) Rudha-Mahabhava: When Mahabhava glows and is brightened with the external manifestations of the eight
Sattvika-Bhavas of the internal sentiments, viz. tears, horripilation or thrill, stupor or motionlessness, perspiration,
hoarseness of voice or indistinctiveness of utterances, tremor or heaving of breasts, change of complexion or paleness, and
swoon or loss of consciousness or syncope or a fainting-fit, and when five or six of these eight Satvika-Bhavas, are
simultaneously and fully manifest and the rest partially, then it is called Rudha-Mahabhava.
The following are the Anu-Bhavas, i.e. Bhavas or feelings that follow in the wake of the Rudha-Mahabhava, which
are the external expressions of the internal sentiments in appropriate symptoms, such as look, gestures, etc.:
(a) Separation even for the twinkling of the eye becomes unbearable.
(b) Even a period of a kalpa of union-pleasure appears to pass
swiftly like the twinkling of an eye.
(c) Even a moment of separation appears like a very very long period of many kalpas.
(d) Stirs the hearts of persons nearby.
(e) To have a feeling of unhappiness even when Sri Krsna is absolutely satiated, lest Sri Krsna’s desires should
still remain burning.
(f) Forgetfulness of oneself and one's belongings even in a state of consciousness.
(ii) Adhi-Rudha Mahabhava: When in Mahabhava all the eight Sattvika-Bhavas, mentioned above, are completely and
to the utmost extent manifest and culminate in a unique experience, it is called Adhi-Rudha Mahabhava, which has two
forms, viz. (a) Modana and (b) Madana.
 (a) Modana-in separation. When the conditions of Modana become uncontrolled and paralyzed in separation, and
when all the eight Sattvika-Bhavas, i.e. (1) stupor or motionlessness, (2) perspiration, (3) horripilation or thrill, (4)
cracking of voice or indistinctness of utterances, (5) tremor or heaving of breasts, (6) change of complexion or paleness,
(7) tears, (8) swoon or loss of consciousness or syncope or a fainting-fit, are fully and all at once manifest in all their
fascinating bewilderment, it is called Mohana. The following are the Anu-Bhavas, i.e. the external manifestations of
internal sentiments by appropriate symptoms such as look, gesture, etc. in the Mohana aspect of the Modana Adhi-Rudha
(1) When the state of Mohana is aroused in Sri Radhika in Her state of separation, then Sri Krsna Himself faints even
while He is in the supra-mundane embrace of other spiritual Damsels in far off places. The Supreme Lord, who is the
creator and preserver of all the three worlds and with the twinkling of whose eyes the entire universe has its dissolution,
even He swoons at this extraordinary Mohana state of Sri Radhika! It is simply inconceivable to any human thought or
(2) In this state of Mohana, inspite of the agonizing pangs of separation, Sri Radhika thinks only of the happiness of
Sri Krsna.
(3) When these conditions are created in Sri Radhika, the entire universe is enveloped by a thick cloud of agonizing
(4) In this separation, even the lower animals like fishes etc. begin to weep!
(5) In this state of intense pang of love-sickness in separation, and when She is, as it were, no longer alive, Sri Radhika
Herself voluntarily invokes the tenth or last condition viz., Her own Death. She desires that the five elements of Her Body
might, on Her death, prove to be useful for the service of Her Beloved Lord!
(6) This Mohana is unique in Sri Radhika only, who is the Counter-Whole Divinity, and this can be possible in none
else, not even in Candravali or other eight Sakhis of Sri Radhika, much less in any finite self.
(7) When Mohana reaches its climax in an inexpressible condition attaining to a surpassing mood of mistaken delusion,
then it is called ‘Divya Unmad’ or divine madness.
(8) This Divya Unmad or divine intoxication is expressive in manifold forms, out of which (i) Udghurna (ii) Citrajalpa
are outstanding.
(i) An inexplicable effort in an impossible state of uncontrol over a wonder-struck condition of Mohana is called
Udghurna, i.e. an unthinkable whirling motion as in giddiness.
(ii) When many a conflicting emotional raving of unfair arguments is resorted to by Sri Radhika out of a concealed
and incomprehensible resentment at the union of Her Beloved Lord Sri Krsna with His other transcendental darlings, and
at the end of which when an inrush of extreme anxiety is aroused in Her, such a
state of Sri Radhika is called Citrajalpa.
There are ten such different ravings of Sri Radhika in Her supreme state of Mohana-Prema:
(1) PRAJALPA: This is manifest in wondrous Prema-dalliance.
In Prajalpa, the Supreme Object of Prema (Asraya), Sri Radhika, belches out, as it were, at the worthlessness of Her
Beloved Lord by way of various modes of intertwining of Her fingers and sweet gesticulations out of contempt combined
with calumny, envy and pride!
(2) PARIJALPA: In this condition, Sri Radhika points out and tries to establish the various shortcomings in Her
Beloved Krsna, such as, heartlessness, fraudulence, insincerity, fickleness, etc., and declares Her own discreet Wisdom!
This is called Parijalpa.
(3) VIJALPA: In this condition, Sri Radhika hides in Her heart Her deep love-anger, and openly makes all sorts of
adverse criticism of Her Beloved Lord out of sheer malevolence! It is called Vijalpa.
(4) UJJALPA: When out of Her jealousy grown out of pride, Sri Radhika describes the various instances of insincerity
of Her beloved Lord and casts aspersions against Him, it is called Ujjalpa!
(5) SANJALPA: In this condition. Sri Radhika uses imperious, harsh and slashing words, and calls Her Beloved Lord,
“ungrateful”! This is Sanjalpa.
(6) AVAJALPA: In this condition of Citrajalpa, Sri Radhika, out of Her menacing envy, describes He vain attempts to
withdraw Her Attachment (Asakti) from Her most Beloved Lord even after realizing His stony heart, blind passions and
trickery! This is Avajulpa.
(7) ABHIJALPA: In this condition. Sri Radhika bemoans the behavior of Her Beloved Lord, which pains even the
birds! This is Abhijalpa.
(8) AJALPA: In this condition, owing to absolute indifference to everything, and in self-repentance, Sri Radhika
describes the insincerity and pain-giving nature of Her Beloved Lord, and She refuses by gestures of Her Limbs even to
listen to the tidings of Her most Beloved Sri Krsna! This is called Ajalpa.
(9) PRATIJALPA: In this condition, Sri Radhika bemoans that when Her Beloved Lord cannot live even for a moment
without the company of other Nayikas, then it will be unwise for a mistress to seek union with Him, and in the same
breath She cordially welcomes the messenger from Her Beloved! It is called Pratijalpa.
(10) SUJALPA: In this condition, Sri Radhika, because of Her inherent simplicity of the heart, inquires again from the
imaginary Messenger of Sri Krsna with mental composure, modesty of character and tremulousness of the whole mental
quantum, about the welfare of Her most beloved Lord Sri Krsna! This is sujulpa.
All these ten conditions of Citrajalpa in the Mohana state of Adhi-Rudha-Mahabhava of Sri Radhika have been described
in the famous "Bhramara-Giti" in the Bhagavatam, Canto X, Chapter 47, slokas 12-21. Sri Radhika in Her state of
Citrajalpa addressed a large black bee, mistaking it to be a Messenger from Her Cruel Beloved!
(b) Madana Mahabhava: When all the sentiments starting from Rati (Sthayi-Bhava Madhura-Rati), which is the
essence of the Hladini potency of Sri Krsna (the gladdening potency), and going up to Mahabhava are pleasantly and fully
bloomed, and when such a state excels all the aspects of Modana and Mohana in Adhi-Rudha Mahabhava, then it is
known as Madana. This is possible only in Sri Radhika.
The various movements of Madana are as complex and difficult as Sri Krsna Himself. Even Sri Bharata Muni and
Sri Sukadeva Gosvami, who wrote on the Rasa, failed to explain it frilly and clearly. Madana Mahabhava appears in the
Union between the transcendental and supra-mundane (aprakrta) Subject (Visaya) and Object (Asraya) Sri Krsna and Sri
Radhika only. There are thousands of shades of this eternal pastime of Prema and its active functionings. The wondrous
and extraordinary manifestations of Madana are impossible elsewhere. In other aspects of Madhura-Rati, the conditions of
"separation" and "union" exist differently, and they are also differently and distinctly felt. For example, in ‘union’ Sri
Radhika realizes and feels that She is being enjoyed by the Supreme Lord and that She is the "Object" of this Divine
Union, while in the pang of “separations”, She realizes that She is a Mistress separated from Her Beloved. But in Madana-
Mahabhava, there is the simultaneous feeling of manifold shades of pleasures in “union” and limitless ripples of pangs in
“separation”. Even when She realizes the various expressions of Prema-dalliance, such as embrace, etc., She experiences at
the same time various degrees of pangs of separation. There is simultaneous separation in union, and union in separation.
This has absolutely nothing to do with mundane love or physical existence. It is incomprehensible to human
imagination. It is the highest super-excellence of the Divine Love in the Realm of Sri Sri Radha-Krsna.
The Anu-Bhavas, i.e. the Bhavas or feelings that follow in the wake of Madana-Mahabhava of Sri Radhika are:
(i) To be envious of the unenviable flute and forest flower garland when they are found in the Body of Sri Krsna!
(ii) To sing the fortune of any blade of grass or any little creeper of Vraja when it may have accidentally been touched by
the Feet of Sri Krsna, even though She Herself may at that moment be uninterruptedly in the close embrace of the Lord!
(iii) To feel a simultaneous pleasure at the reciprocal functioning of all the Senses of the Lord in relation to Her, i.e. all
the cit Senses of the Object-Divinity relishing all the reciprocal supra-mundane Senses of the Subject-Divinity, as well as
every sense possessing the capacity of every other Sense. This most supreme conception of PREMA as MADANAMAHABHAVA
is possible in Sri Radhika alone. This is the supreme climax of Divine Prema, which was never before
known in this world, and it was the unique contribution that Sri Krsna Caitanya deva made known to the people of the
Kali age. It was possible for Sri Krsna Caitanya because He was Sri Krsna Himself, appearing with the MAHABHAVA of
Sri Radhika, so that the Lord Himself could relish it.

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Pranam to Swami Bon

"I make my obeisances with deep and loving devotion for ever and ever to my Gurudev, who is known by the name of Srimad Bhakti Hriday Bon, who being attracted by the lotus-feet of Radha-Madhab is for ever and ever immersed in the perennial stream of supramundane joy emanating therefrom.

I bow down again and again with loving devotion to my Gurudev who is a wandering Tridandi mendicant and erudite Vaishnava (who) is always following in the wake of Sri Rupa; I make my obeisances in all humility, at all times with sincere loving devotion to my Gurudev who resides happily in the
Kunja (bower) allotted to him by Shrimati Radhika, the dearest Divine Consort of the Supreme Lord Sri Krishna who is Rasa epitomized, who has taken to the way of Bhakti in consonace with the teachings of Sri Chaitanya - nay, whose whole pattern of life is moulded on the teachings and precepts of Sri Chaitanya."