One day, Vijaya and Vrajanatha, after honoring bhagavatprasada went to take darsana of Sri Haridasa Thakura’s samadhi and Sri Gopinatha at Sri Gopinatha-tota. They then proceeded to the Sri Radha-Kanta Matha. After offering their pranama at Sri Guru Gosvami’s lotus feet, they sat down and began to discuss a variety of subjects with Sri Dhyanacandra Gosvami. In the meantime, Sri Guru Gosvami after honoring mahaprasada, gracefully came out and sat on his asana. Vrajanatha then humbly inquired about vatsalya-bhakti-rasa, and Sri Guru Gosvami replied, “In vatsalya-rasa, Sri Krsna is visaya-alambana and His elders (guru-jana) are asraya-alambana. Krsna is beautiful with His dark-complexioned limbs. He is endowed with all auspicious symptoms, His behavior is mild, His speech is sweet, and He is simple and bashful. He is modest, He is respectful towards His elders, and He is charitable. Among His elders, Vrajesvari Yasoda and Vrajesvara Nanda Maharaja are the most prominent. Others are Rohini and the other elderly gopis who are Krsna’s worshipable superiors, also Devaki, Kunti, Vasudeva, Sandipani and so on. In this rasa, the uddipanas are Krsna’s ages, such as kaumara, His beauty, His dress, His childhood, His restlessness, His sweet words and laughter, and His pastimes.

Vrajanatha: Please tell me about the anubhavas of this rasa. 

Gosvami: The anubhavas are smelling Krsna’s head, cleansing His limbs with the hands, offering blessings, giving Him orders, nurturing Him and caring for Him, and giving beneficial instructions.  The general (sadharana) anubhavas of this rasa are kissing Krsna, embracing Him, calling Him loudly by name, and restraining and scolding Him at the appropriate times.

Vrajanatha: Which sattvika transformations arise in this rasa? 

Gosvami: There are the eight symptoms, such as shedding tears, trembling, perspiration and becoming stunned. There is also the unique symptom of milk flowing from the breast, so altogether there are nine sattvika-vikaras in this rasa.

Vrajanatha: Kindly also tell me about the vyabhicari-bhavas. 

Gosvami: In vatsalya-rasa, the vyabhicari-bhavas are the same as those I explained previously in connection with prita-rasa (dasyarasa).  In addition to all the others, there is apasmara (fainting).

Vrajanatha: What is the sthayibhava of this rasa?

Gosvami: The sthayibhava is the rati of the benevolent superior for the object of his kindness, which is utterly devoid of reverence.  The vatsalya-rati of elders like Yasoda is naturally mature. The sthayibhava of this rasa progresses through prema and sneha to raga.  Baladeva Prabhu’s bhava is a mixture of prita (dasya) and vatsalya; Yudhisthira’s bhava is combined with vatsalya, prita (dasya) and sakhya; Ugrasena’s priti-dasya-rasa is a combination of vatsalya, and sakhya-rasa; while Nakula, Sahadeva, and Narada have a mixture of sakhya and dasya-rasa, as is the bhava of Rudra, Garuda, and Uddhava. 

Vrajanatha: Prabhu, I have understood vatsalya-rasa. Now kindly explain the ultimate mellow, madhura-rasa, for we shall become blessed simply by hearing about it.

Gosvami: Madhura-bhakti-rasa has been called mukhya-bhakti-rasa.  The conditioned jiva has taken shelter of mundane rasa, but when his intelligence becomes dedicated to Isvara, he naturally attains the path of detachment. Even then, he cannot be inclined for madhura-rasa until he becomes eligible for cid-rasa. Such people have no qualification for this rasa. The very nature of madhurarasa makes it difficult to understand, and candidates for madhura- rasa are rarely found. This is the reason why this rasa is extremely secret. Madhura-rasa is naturally an extensive subject, but I will only give a brief summary now.

Vrajanatha: Prabhu, I am a follower of Subala. I know that you will consider my eligibility to hear about madhura-rasa and instruct me appropriately.

Gosvami: The priya-narma-sakhas are eligible for srngara-rasa to some extent. I will keep your qualification in mind and speak whatever is appropriate for you, and I will say nothing unsuitable.  Vrajanatha: Who are the alambana of this rasa?

Gosvami: Sri Krsna is the visaya-alambana of this rasa. As a gallant lover, He is the supreme abode of expertise in relishing pastimes of unequalled and unsurpassed beauty. The asraya-alambana of this rasa are the gopis of Vraja, and Srimati Radhaji is the best of all Krsna’s beloved consorts. The sound of Krsna’s murali is the uddipana of this rasa, and the anubhavas are casting sidelong glances and smiling. All the sattvika-bhavas manifest completely in madhura-rasa, and so do all the vyabhicari-bhavas, with the exceptions of laziness and fierceness.

Vrajanatha: What is the nature of the sthayibhava of this rasa? 

Gosvami: Madhura-rati becomes madhura-bhakti-rasa when it has been nourished by the appropriate vibhavas and so on of one’s atma.  Such rati for Radha-Madhava is not subject to any type of obstruction (viccheda) through the influence of compatible (svajatiya) or incompatible (vijatiya) bhavas.

Vrajanatha: How many types of madhura-rasa are there? 

Gosvami: There are two divisions of madhura-rasa: vipralambha (separation) and sambhoga (meeting).

Vrajanatha: What is vipralambha?

Gosvami: There are many types of vipralambha, such as purva-raga, mana, and pravasa.

Vrajanatha: What is purva-raga?

Gosvami: Purva-raga is the bhava that exists before meeting one’s beloved.

Vrajanatha: What are mana and pravasa?

Gosvami: I don’t need to explain mana, because everyone understands

it. Pravasa means being away from each other, or separation


Vrajanatha: What is sambhoga?

Gosvami: Sambhoga is the bhoga (ananda) that occurs when lovers

meet. I will say no more about madhura-rasa. Those sadhakas qualified

for madhura-rasa should learn its confidential mysteries by

studying Sri Ujjvala-nilamani.

Vrajanatha: Kindly tell me something about the position of the gauna-bhakti-rasas.

Gosvami: There are seven gauna-rasas: hasya (comedy), adbhuta (wonder), vira (chivalry), karuna (compassion), raudra (anger), bhayanaka (fear) and bibhatsa (disgust). When they become powerful and take the place of the mukhya-rasa, they appear as separate, individual rasas. When they act as independent rasas in this way, they become the sthayibhava, and when they are nourished by appropriate vibhavas and so on, they become rasa. Actually, only the five mukhya-rasas – santa, dasya, sakhya, vatsalya, and madhurya – are rasa; the seven gauna-rasas beginning with hasya are generally included within the category of vyabhicaribhavas.  Vrajanatha: I am fully acquainted with hasya and so on from my studies of rasa-vicara in alankara-sastra, so please tell me about their relationship with the mukhya-rasas.

Gosvami: Now I will explain how the various rasas, such as santa, are mutually compatible or incompatible.

     Dasya, bibhatsa, dharma-vira (chivalry in performing religious rites) and adbhuta are all compatible with santa.

    Adbhuta is also compatible with dasya, sakhya, vatsalya and madhura.

     Santa is incompatible with madhura, yuddha-vira, raudra and



     Dasya is compatible with bibhatsa, santa, dharma-vira and danavira, and incompatible with madhura, yuddha-vira and raudra. 


     Sakhya is compatible with madhura, hasya and yuddha-vira, and incompatible with vatsalya, bibhatsa, raudra, and bhayanaka. 


     Vatsalya is compatible with hasya, karuna and bhayanaka and incompatible with madhura, yuddha-vira, dasya and raudra. 


     Madhura is compatible with hasya and sakhya, and incompatible with vatsalya, bibhatsa, santa, raudra and bhayanaka. 


     Hasya is compatible with bibhatsa, madhura and vatsalya, and incompatible with karuna and bhayanaka.


     Adbhuta is compatible with vira, santa, dasya, sakhya, vatsalya and

madhura, and incompatible with hasya, sakhya, dasya, raudra and



     Vira-rasa is compatible with adbhuta-rasa and incompatible with bhayanaka. According to some opinions, vira is also incompatible with santa.


     Karuna is compatible with raudra and vatsalya and incompatible with vira, hasya, the sambhoga aspect of srngara, and adbhuta. 

     Raudra is compatible with karuna and vira, and incompatible with hasya, srngara and bhayanaka.

     Bhayanaka is compatible with bibhatsa and karuna, and incompatible with vira, srngara, hasya and raudra.

     Bibhatsa is compatible with santa, hasya, and dasya, and incompatible with srngara and sakhya.

The remaining combinations are all mutually neutral (tatastha).

Vrajanatha: Please describe the result of the combinations. 

Gosvami: The tasting of rasa is increased by the combination of compatible rasas. The combination of anga (supplementary) with angi (principal) rasas is good. Whether the compatible rasa is mukhya or gauna, it is appropriate to make it the complement (mitra) of angi-rasa.

Vrajanatha: Please tell me about the difference between anga and


Gosvami: When any rasa, either mukhya or gauna, dominates the other rasas and becomes prominent, it is called angi, and the rasa that nourishes the angi-rasa plays the role of a sancari-bhava as an anga. As stated in Visnu-dharmottara:


rasanam samavetanam yasya rupam bhaved bahu

sa mantavyo rasah sthayi sesah sancarino matah


          When rasas combine, one should understand that the rasa whose nature is particularly                    prominent is the sthayi-rasa, and the other rasas are sancari-bhavas.

Vrajanatha: How can gauna-rasa be angi?

Gosvami: Sri Rupa Gosvami has said:

prodyan vibhavanotkarsat pustim mukhyena lambhitah

kuncata nija-nathena gauno ‘ py angitvam asnute

mukhyas tv angatvam asadya pusnann indram upendravat

gaunam evanginam krtva nigudha-nija-vaibhavah

anadi-vasanodbhasa vasite bhakta-cetasi

bhaty eva na tu linah syad eva sancari-gaunavat

angi-mukhyah svam atrangair bhavais tair abhivarddhayan

svajatiyair vijatiyaih svatantrah sann virajate

yasya mukhyasya yo bhakto bhaven nitya-nijasrayah

angi sa eva tatra syan mukhyo py anyo ngatam vrajet



                             (Northern Division, 8th Wave, 46-50)


          Sometimes even a gauna-rasa achieves the position of angi when it is inspired by an                 abundance of vibhava, and has also been nourished by the mukhya-rasa that usually                        predominates it but has now developed a contracted condition (gauna-bhava). At that time,       the former mukhya-rasa becomes anga, hides its own splendor, and nourishes the gauna-           rasa that has become angi, just as Upendra Bhagavan, Vamanadeva, maintained Devaraja              Indra. Unlike the gauna-sancari-bhavas, this mukhya-rasa does not merge into the land of            the bhakta’s heart, which is endowed with sublime fragrance in the form of the                           beginningless tendency for transcendental service.  In other words, the mukhya-rasa does               not disappear, as the gauna-rasas do when they become vyabhicari and disappear into the            mukhya-rasas. Rather the mukhya-rasa remains independently manifest, nourishing itself            by the aggregate of the compatible bhavas, which take the position of angas. 

     Those who relish a particular rasa are eternally sheltered in that one specific rasa, which for them remains radiant as angi-rasa.  Other rasas, even though they may be mukhya, function in the capacity of angas of this prevailing angi-rasa.

     You should also note that anga-rasa is only accepted when it combines with angi-rasa to increase the relish of rasa; otherwise, its combination with another anga-rasa will be fruitless.  Vrajanatha: What happens when incompatible rasas are combined? 

Gosvami: If you mix a sweet juice with sour, salty, or pungent substances, the taste becomes distasteful; similarly, when one rasa is combined with another that is incompatible, the result is without rasa or tasteless (virasata). This defective combination of opposite rasas can be called rasabhasa.

Vrajanatha: Is the combination of incompatible rasas invariably bad?

Gosvami: In Sri Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu, Sri Rupa Gosvami has said:

dvayor ekatarasyeha badhyatvenopavarnane

smaryyamanatayapy uktau samyena vacane ‘pi ca

rasantarena vyavadhau tatasthena priyena va

visayasraya-bhede ca gaunena dvisata saha

ity adisu na vairasyam vairino janayed yutih


                                      (Northern Division 8th Wave 63-64)


          The combination of two incompatible rasas does not result in virasata under the following               circumstances: when one establishes the excellence of one rasa by making logical                     statements, and by describing the obstructions or inferiority of another rasa that is                        incompatible with the first; when one describes the remembrance of an incompatible rasa;                when one establishes a similarity; when there is the intervention of a neutral or compatible           rasa; or when there is a difference between the visaya or asraya of a gauna-rasa and                  mukhya-rasa that are incompatible with each other. 

     Furthermore, consider this point. In bhaktas such as Yudhisthira, dasya and vatsalya are manifest separately at different times. Mutually incompatible rasas do not arise together at the same time. However, in the stage of adhirudha-mahabhava, if all the incompatible bhavas arise together simultaneously, they will not generate rasabhasa.


     Srila Rupa Gosvami has said (Sri Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu 80.57):

kvapy acintya-mahasaktau mahapurusa-sekhare

rasavali-samavesah svadayaivopajayate


          When many contradictory rasas combine at once in a personality who is the crest-jewel of               the maha-purusas and who is imbued with inconceivable maha-sakti, this only enhances            the wondrous nature of the taste.

Vrajanatha: I have heard from learned and rasika Vaisnavas that Sriman Mahaprabhu had a low opinion of rasabhasa, and that He would never hear bhajanas, kirtanas or poetry that contained it.  Now kindly tell me how many types of rasabhasa there are?

Gosvami: Rasa, when it is devoid of an angi, is called rasabhasa.  There are three gradations of rasabhasa: major (uttama), intermediate (madhyama) and minor (kanistha). They are called uparasa, anurasa and aparasa respectively.

Vrajanatha: What is uparasa?

Gosvami: If any of the twelve rasas, beginning with santa, has an ingredient such as the sthayibhava, vibhava, or anubhava that has become disfigured (virupita), they can be called uparasa. Uparasa is caused by the disfigurement of the sthayibhava, vibhava, or anubhava.

Vrajanatha: What is anurasa?

Gosvami: The secondary rasas, beginning with hasya, if not related to Krsna’ are called anurasa. If vira-rasa and so on are manifest in neutrally disposed personalities, this is also anurasa.  Vrajanatha: But if they arise in the heart of someone who has no relation to Krsna, they are not rasa at all. In that case, they will be mere mundane rasa. Why then have such symptoms of anurasa been described?

Gosvami: Rasa is anurasa only when it has no direct relationship with Krsna. For example, the gopis laughed when they saw the nose of Srimati Radha’s pet female monkey, Kakkhati. Another example is Devarsi Narada seeing some parrots sitting on the branch of a tree in Bhandiravana, discussing Vedanta. When he saw this, great astonishment (adbhuta-rasa) arose in his heart. The gopis’ laughter, and the adbhuta-rasa arising in Narada’s heart have no direct relationship with Krsna, but there is still some distant relationship with Him. Consequently, both are examples of anurasa. 

Vrajanatha: What is aparasa?

Gosvami: When Krsna’s opponents are the asraya of any of thegauna-rasas beginning with hasya-rasa, and the visaya is Krsna Himself, the result is aparasa. For instance, Jarasandha’s repeated laughter when he saw Krsna running away on the battlefield is an example of aparasa. Srila Rupa Gosvami has written in Bhaktirasamrta- sindhu (9.21):


bhava sarve tad-abhasa rasabhasas ca kecana

ami prokta rasabhijnaih sarve’pi rasanad rasah


          Some persons refer to bhava in terms of tad-abhasa (a dim reflection of the Supreme                    Absolute Truth) and others rasabhasa. However, learned scholars who have realized rasa                only use the word bhava to denote rasa that is derived from relishing transcendental                        ananda.

     When Vijaya Kumara and Vrajanatha heard this rasika, charming and poignant appraisal of rasa-tattva, they fell at Sri Guru Gosvami’s lotus feet weeping profusely, and spoke in voices choked with emotion:

ajnana-timirandhasya jnananjana-salakaya

caksur unmilitam yena tasmai sri-guruve namah


          I offer my respectful obeisances to Sri Gurudeva, who has applied the ointment of divya-            jnana, and has thus dispelled the dense darkness of the desires for dharma, artha, kama                  and moksa, which arise from the five types of ignorance.1 In this way, he has opened my             transcendental eyes, which have become inclined to the service of Hari.

     Lovingly lifting them up, Sri Guru Gosvami embraced them. He blessed them, saying, “May this rasa-tattva manifest within your hearts.”

1 The five kinds of ignorance are: (1) ignorance of one’s svarupa;(2) misidentifying with the inert material body as the atma; (3)possessiveness toward mundane sense objects, or the self-conceptionof being an enjoyer; (4) absorption in duality, or attachment to substances other than Krsna; (5) fear and distorted perception

     Every day Vijaya and Vrajanatha would discuss spiritual topics with Sri Dhyanacandra Gosvami, and accept caranamrta and Sri Guru Gosvami’s prasada remnants. At various times they observed that many suddha Vaisnavas were engaged in bhajana – sometimes in their bhajana-kutira, sometimes at the samadhi of Sri Haridasa  (virupa-grahana). sometimes at the temple of Sri Gopinatha, and sometimes at Siddha-Bakula. Thus, through the example of the Vaisnavas they also became immersed in bhavas favorable for their bhajana. They also had darsana of the places mentioned in Stavavali and Stavamala, where Sriman Mahaprabhu experienced complete absorption in bhava. Wherever suddha Vaisnavas performed namakirtana, they would join them. In this way, they both increasingly matured in their bhajana.

     Vijaya pondered deeply, “Sri Guru Gosvami has given us siksa about madhura-rasa, but it was just a very brief summary. Let Vrajanatha remain submerged in sakhya-rasa. At an appropriate time I will come alone to Sri Guru Gosvami and hear his elaborate appreciation of madhura-rasa.” Thinking in this way, through Dhyanacandra Gosvami’s mercy, he acquired a copy of Sri Ujjvalanilamani, and began to study it. Any doubts that arose in his mind, Sri Guru Gosvami would mercifully reconcile.

     Once’ at dusk, while Vijaya and Vrajanatha were strolling, they arrived at the shore of the ocean. Sitting on the beach they gazed at the waves. There was no end to the incessant waves. Observing this, they considered, “This life is also full of an incessant and unending flow of waves. Thus no one can know what will happen next, or when it will happen. Therefore, we should immediately learn the method of raga-marga bhajana.”

     Vrajanatha said, “I have seen the bhajana-paddhati composed by Sri Dhyanacandra Gosvami. It seems to me that if one studied it under the guidance of Gurudeva, one could attain a beautiful result.  I will make a copy!”

     Having made this resolution, he requested Sri Dhyanacandra Gosvami’s permission to copy his sacred manual, but Sri Dhyanacandra refused to give it unless Guru Gosvami gave his permission to do so. Accordingly, they approached Sri Guru Gosvami, begging him to allow Dhyanacandra Gosvami to give the paddhati. Sri Guru Gosvami gave his consent, and when Vijaya and Vrajanatha obtained it, they made separate copies. They considered that they should wait for an opportune moment to approach Sri Guru Gosvami in order to understand this paddhati thoroughly. 

          Sri Dhyanacandra Gosvami was a learned scholar with a broad and comprehensive vision of all sastra. Especially in regard to the procedures for hari-bhajana (hari-bhajana-tantra), no other scholar could match the depth of his experience, and he was the most prominent among all of Sri Gopala Guru’s disciples. Understanding that Vijaya and Vrajanatha were qualified for bhajana, he instructed them both thoroughly. Occasionally, they approached Sri Guru Gosvami’s lotus feet to clear all types of doubts about their practice of bhajana. Gradually through their studies, they came to comprehend the daily pastimes of Sriman Mahaprabhu and Sri Krsna. Thus becoming engaged in asta-kaliya bhajana, they rendered service within their hearts throughout the eight time-divisions of the day.





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