The next day, Vijaya Kumara arrived punctually at the lotus feet of his Gurudeva, offered sastanga-dandavat, and sat in his place. Sri Gopala Guru Gosvami observed Vijaya’s eagerness

to know about sthayibhava and said, “Madhura-rati is the sthayibhava of madhura-rasa.”

Vijaya: What causes the appearance of rati?

Gosvami: Rati arises from abhiyoga, visaya, sambandha, abhimana, tadiya-visesa, upama and svabhava. Each of these causes is progressively superior to the previous one, so the rati that arises from svabhava is the best of all.

Vijaya: What is abhiyoga?

Gosvami: Abhiyoga is expressing one’s bhava. There are two types of abhiyoga: that which one reveals personally, and that which someone else reveals.

Vijaya: What is visaya?

Gosvami: There are five types of visaya, namely, sound (sabda), touch (sparsa), beauty (rupa), taste (rasa) and fragrance (gandha). 

Vijaya: What is sambandha?

Gosvami: Sambandha refers to the glories of four aspects: lineage, beauty, qualities and pastimes.

Vijaya: What is abhimana?

Gosvami: Abhimana is the definite decision to accept only one particular object although many other beautiful objects are present. For example, when Krsna went to Mathura, a certain vraja-gopi had awakened her rati for Krsna. However, she had not been able to have His association because she had not yet attained full youth.  One of her friends saw the exquisite beauty of her age, and spoke to her in a solitary place to test her: “O sakhi, Krsna has left Vraja and gone away, and now your new youthfulness and other qualities are developing. There are so many youths in Vraja who are handsome and qualified. If you want to marry any of them, whisper to me, and I will speak with your mother and make all the necessary arrangements.”

     When that vraja-gopi heard her friend’s words, she replied, “O sakhi, this whole world may have so many expert young men, who are like waves of beauty and sweetness, each sweeter and more beautiful than the one before. Let them be. Highly qualified young ladies may accept them. As far as I am concerned, if someone does not wear a crown of peacock feathers upon His head, if there is no murali splendidly adorning His lips, and if His body is not beautified by tilaka and other decorations made with minerals such as gairika-dhatu, then I will consider him to be as insignificant as a piece of straw, and I will not have the slightest inclination towards him.”

This is an example of abhimana.

Vijaya: I have understood abhimana. What is tadiya-visesa? 

Gosvami: Krsna’s footprints, the pasturing grounds of Vrndavana, and Krsna’s priya-jana are called tadiya-visesa. Krsna’s priya-jana are those who have raga, anuraga and mahabhava for Him.

 Vijaya: What is upama?

Gosvami: Upama is a resemblance between one object and another. In this context, it refers to some resemblance to Krsna.

Vijaya: What is svabhava?

Gosvami: Svabhava is the nature that is self-manifest and does not depend on any other cause. There are two kinds of svabhava: nisarga and svarupa.

Vijaya: What is nisarga?

Gosvami: Nisarga is the desire or samskara arising from firmly established habits or practices. Hearing about Krsna’s guna, rupa and so on is only a partial cause of the awakening of rati. Nisarga consists of the impressions caused by steadfast raty-abhasa developed in many lives of the jiva. It is awakened suddenly and unexpectedly when one hears the descriptions of Krsna’s guna, rupa and so on. This means that hearing about Krsna’s qualities and beauty is not the only cause of rati.

Vijaya: Please explain svarupa.

Gosvami: Svarupa is the bhava that has no birth and no origin, and which manifests its own perfection independently. There are three types of svarupa: krsna-nistha, lalana-nistha and ubhaya-nistha. Those who have a demonic nature cannot attain krsna-nisthasvarupa, but it is easily attainable for those who have a godly nature. Lalana-nistha-svarupa is self-manifest rati that is expressed as an involuntary impulse towards Sri Krsna, even when one has not seen Him or heard about His beauty and qualities. The svabhava in which both krsna-nistha and lalana-nistha are manifest is called ubhaya-nistha-svarupa.

Vijaya: That means that there are seven causes all together: abhiyoga, visaya, sambandha, abhimana, tadiya-visesa, upama and svabhava. Do all types of madhura-rati arise from these seven causes? 

Gosvami: The krsna-rati of the gopis of Gokula occurs naturally and of its own accord. It is self-manifest, and is not aroused by abhiyoga and so on. However, these causes also play a role in many pastimes. The rati of the sadhana-siddhas and nisarga-siddhas is awakened by these seven causes, beginning with abhiyoga.

Vijaya: I have not been able to comprehend this subject thoroughly.

Please give one or two examples to help me to understand.

Gosvami: The rati that I am talking about arises only from raganugabhakti, but this type of rati is very far away as long as vaidhi-bhakti does not become bhavamayi. A sadhaka who develops a greed for those moods on seeing the vraja-gopis’ ecstatic emotional performance of krsna-seva gradually attains rati arising from the six causes other than svabhava, and especially from priya-jana. When he becomes sadhana-siddha, he experiences a sphurti, a momentary, internal

manifestation of lalana-nistha-svarupa.

Vijaya: How many kinds of rati are there?

Gosvami: There are three kinds of rati: sadharani (general), samanjasa (proper), and samartha (competent). The rati of Kubja is an example of sadharani rati. It has been condemned because its fundamental basis is the desire to enjoy union. The rati of the mahisis of Dvaraka is called samanjasa (proper), because it satisfies worldly standards of righteous conduct, and it is awakened by the regulative principles of marriage. “I am His wife, He is my husband,” this rati is limited by such sentiments. The rati of the residents of Gokula is samartha because such rati magnificently goes beyond even the boundaries of social restrictions and religious principles.  Samartha rati is not actually improper. Indeed, from the perspective of the ultimate transcendental objective (parama-paramartha), only samartha rati is correct in the highest sense. Sadharani rati is like a jewel; samanjasa rati is like cintamani; and samartha rati is supremely rare, like the Kaustubha-mani.

     Vijaya’s eyes filled with tears and, weeping continuously, he said, “Today, I am extremely fortunate to hear such an unprecedented and exalted subject. Prabhu, by your causeless mercy, please describe the characteristics of sadharani rati.

Gosvami: Sadharani rati appears from the desire for sambhoga. It is stimulated by utter infatuation when one sees Krsna face-to-face, but it is not so deep and neither is it thick nor permanent. When the desire for sambhoga subsides, this rati also subsides, which is why it is categorized as inferior.

Vijaya: What is the nature of samanjasa rati?

Gosvami: Samanjasa rati is the full and concentrated rati that is aroused by hearing about Krsna’s beauty and qualities, and which arises from the conception, “I am His wife, and He is my husband.” Sometimes the desire for sambhoga also occurs in this rati. When the desire for sambhoga is separate from samanjasa rati, it is not possible to control Sri Krsna by expressing one’s mood, or by the hava, bhava, hela and so on arising from the desire for sambhoga. 

Vijaya: What is the nature of samartha rati?

Gosvami: The desire for sambhoga with Krsna is present in every type of rati. In sadharani and samanjasa rati, the desire for sambhoga is for one’s own personal satisfaction. Samartha is the special bhava that is completely selfless and free from the self-interested desire for union, and which attains the state of tad-atmya or oneness with the desire for union.

Vijaya: What is the nature of that special bhava? Kindly clarify this point a little more.

Gosvami There are two types of desire for sambhoga. The first is the desire for sambhoga in which one desires that one’s own senses are satisfied by the beloved for one’s own happiness. The second is the desire for sambhoga that consists entirely of the conception that one should satisfy the senses of the beloved for His happiness. The first type of desire can be called kama, because the desire for one’s own happiness is inherent in it. The second type of desire has been called prema, because it consists exclusively of the desire for the happiness of one’s beloved. The first type of desire, kama, is powerful and it is prominent in sadharani rati, but it does not predominate in samanjasa. The latter characteristic, namely prema, or the exclusive desire for the happiness of one’s beloved, is the inherent distinctive: function (visesa-dharma) of the desire for sambhoga in samartha rati.

Vijaya: One must feel happiness from the touch of one’s beloved in sambhoga. Is there no desire for this happiness in samartha rati? 

Gosvami: It is certainly extremely difficult to be completely free from such a desire. Nevertheless, although such a desire is present in the heart of one who has samartha rati, it is extremely faint. This samartha rati becomes powerful with the support of its visesadharma (specific characteristic) when it embraces and becomes one with the desire for sambhoga. This type of rati is celebrated by the name samartha (capable) because it is endowed with great capability (to control Krsna).

Vijaya: What is the special glory of samartha rati? 

Gosvami: As soon as this samartha rati appears, one becomes oblivious to all types of obstacles, such as family, religious principles, patience and shyness. This is so, whether it was aroused by sambandha, tadiya, svabhavika-svarupa, or any of the other causes beginning with abhiyoga that I mentioned previously. This type of rati is extremely deep.

Vijaya: How does the desire for sambhoga attain oneness when it mixes with suddha rati?

Gosvami: The samartha rati of the vraja-gopis is only for the sake of Krsna’s happiness, and whatever happiness they experience in their sambhoga is also to please Krsna. Therefore, the desire for sambhoga combines with rati, which is exclusively the desire for Krsna’s happiness, and assumes the most astounding splendor with waves of vilasa. This rati does not allow the desire for sambhoga to exist separately from itself. Sometimes this rati can terminate itself

in samanjasa.

Vijaya: Aho! How extraordinary this rati is! I want to hear about its ultimate glory.

Gosvami: When this rati is mature, it attains the condition of mahabhava. All liberated personalities are searching for this rati, and five kinds of bhaktas attain it to the degree that they are capable of doing so.

Vijaya: Prabhu, I wish to know about the sequence in which rati evolves.

Gosvami syad drdhe ‘yam ratih prema prodyan snehah kramad ayam

                 syan manah pranayo rago’nurago bhava ity api

(Ujjvala-nilamani, Sthayibhava-prakarana 53)


     The meaning is that this madhura-rati is made unshakable by the presence of antagonistic elements. Then it is called prema. This prema gradually manifests its own sweetness as it develops into sneha, mana, pranaya, raga, anuraga and bhava.

Vijaya: Prabhu, please give an example to help me understand this point.

Gosvami: Just as the seed of sugar cane grows and progressively develops into cane juice, guda, khanda, sarkara, sita and sitotpala, similarly rati, prema, sneha, mana, pranaya, raga, anuraga and bhava are all one substance in progressive stages of development. In this context, the word bhava refers to mahabhava. 

Vijaya: Why have you referred to all these bhavas as prema when they all have different names?

Gosvami: Panditas have used the word prema to denote all the stages beginning with sneha because they are six progressive stages in the development of the unmitigated pleasure sports (vilasa) of prema itself. As prema for Sri Krsna appears in His bhaktas, the corresponding type of prema also arises in Krsna for His bhaktas. 

Vijaya: What is the primary characteristic of prema? 

Gosvami: In madhura-rasa, the bond of emotion between the youthful couple never breaks despite there being cause for the destruction of the relationship. That indestructible emotional bond is called prema.

Vijaya: How many kinds of prema are there?

Gosvami: There are three kinds: praudha, madhya and manda.

Vijaya: What is the nature of praudha-prema? 

Gosvami: In praudha-prema, the heart of the beloved flounders in anxiety over the pain that her lover must be feeling when she is late for the meeting.

Vijaya: What is madhya-prema?

Gosvami: Madhya-prema is that in which the beloved can tolerate the distress of the lover.

Vijaya: What is manda- prema?

Gosvami: Manda-prema is prema in which forgetfulness may occur under some particular circumstances of time and place, or in which there is no sacrifice or respect, as the lovers are always extremely familiar which each other, due to being very intimate and remaining together. Although this prema is mild (manda), there is no disrespect or neglect in it.

Vijaya: If there are any more important points on this subject, please explain them.

Gosvami: Praudha, madhya and manda-prema can also be easily understood by one other type of characteristic. The prema in which separation is intolerable is praudha-prema; the prema in which the pain inflicted by separation is tolerable is madhya-prema; and the prema in which forgetfulness may occur in certain special circumstances is called manda-prema.

Vijaya: I have understood prema. Now please describe sneha. 

Gosvami: When prema attains its ultimate limit and illuminates the lamp of the citta (mind) and melts the heart, it is called sneha.  Here the word citta denotes the attainment of the object (visaya) of prema. The marginal characteristic of sneha is that one is never satiated, despite repeatedly looking at the object of one’s affection.

Vijaya: Are there any superior and inferior divisions within sneha?

Gosvami: Yes. There are also three divisions in accordance with the gradations of the development of sneha. These are uttama, madhya and kanistha. In kanistha-sneha, the heart melts on touching the limbs of one’s beloved; in madhya-sneha, the heart melts simply upon seeing one’s beloved; and in uttama-sneha, the heart melts merely by hearing anything in connection with one’s dearest beloved.

Vijaya: How many types of sneha are there?

Gosvami: The natural characteristic of sneha is that it can manifest

in two ways: ghrta-sneha and madhu-sneha.

Vijaya: What is ghrta-sneha?

Gosvami: Ghrta-sneha is deep with a great deal of respectful affection.  Ghrta (ghee) is not independently sweet like honey; it is only delicious when it is mixed with sugar and other ingredients. Similarly, ghrta-sneha is not independently sweet like madhu-sneha, and it only becomes highly palatable when mixed with other bhavas such as garva (pride) and asuya (jealousy). Ghrta-sneha is cool in its natural state, so it becomes thick with mutual honor and deep respect. In other words, ghrta-sneha solidifies in contact with the mutual respect (adara) of the nayaka and nayika, just as ghee naturally solidifies in contact with a cool substance. This sneha is called ghrta-sneha because it has the characteristics of ghee. 

Vijaya: You have mentioned adara (honor). What is its nature? 

Gosvami: Adara is born from gaurava (awe and veneration), so adara and gaurava are mutually interdependent. This honor (adara) becomes clearly manifest in sneha, although it is present in rati.

 Vijaya: What is gaurava?

Gosvami: Gaurava is the conception, “He is my guru-jana (respectable superior),” and the bhava that is aroused by this conception is called sambhrama. Adara and gaurava are mutually interdependent.  Maintaining a respectful attitude is a sign that gaurava (awe and veneration) is naturally present.

Vijaya: What is the nature of madhu-sneha?

Gosvami: Madhu-sneha is the affection that is imbued with excessive possessiveness (madiyatva), which makes the lover think, “He is mine.” This affection manifests its own sweetness without depending on any other bhavas. It is independently full of sweetness, and a variety of rasas are combined within it. It also creates heat because of its natural tendency towards mad passion. It has been called madhu-sneha because it has these characteristics of honey.

Vijaya: What is possessiveness (madiyatva)?

Gosvami: Two conceptions are active in rati. One type of rati is imbued with the idea, “I am His,” and the other type of rati is imbued with the conviction, “He is mine.” The predominant mood in ghrta-sneha is “I am His,” whereas the predominant mood in madhu-sneha is “He is mine.” Ghrta-sneha is Candravali’s characteristic mood, while madhu-sneha is Srimati Radhika’s. Both these bhavas are madiyatva. 

     When Vijaya heard about these two types of bhava, his hair began to stand on end. Choked with emotion, he offered his dandavat-pranama to Sri Guru Gosvami and said, “Today I have become fortunate, and my human birth has become successful. Although drinking the nectar of your instructions, my thirst to hear is still not satiated. Now please be causelessly merciful to me by explaining about mana.

Gosvami: Mana is sneha that has attained the pinnacle of its excellence and has externally assumed a guileful or crooked mood to cause the nayaka and nayika to realize a new sweetness.  Vijaya: How many types of mana are there?

Gosvami: There are two types of mana: udatta and lalita.

Vijaya: What is udatta-mana?

Gosvami: There are also two types of udatta-mana. One type takes on a submissive mood (daksinya-bhava) externally, and a contrary mood (vamya-bhava) internally. The other is expressed through extremely cryptic behavior; it hides the bhavas of the mind and is characterized by profound gravity, laced with a slight scent of vamya. Udatta-mana occurs only in ghrta-sneha.

Vijaya: What is lalita-mana? I cannot say why, but for some reason I have more interest in it.

Gosvami: When madhu-sneha becomes turbulent due to its tendency to boil over, conveying unrestrained and extremely sweet crookedness and humor, it is called lalita-mana. There are also two types of lalita-mana, namely kautilya-lalita-mana and narma-lalitamana. When the heart independently assumes a crooked nature,it is called kautilya-lalita-mana, and mana that is infused with humor is called narma-lalita-mana. Both types of lalita-mana arise from madhu-sneha.

Vijaya: What is pranaya?

Gosvami: When mana is imbued with visrambha so that one considers oneself non-different from one’s beloved, it is called pranaya. 

Vijaya: What is the meaning of visrambha in this context?

Gosvami: Visrambha is intimate confidence, and it is the intrinsic nature of pranaya. Visrambha is not the instrumental cause (nimitta-karana) of pranaya; rather, it is the ingredient cause

(upadana-karana). There are two kinds of visrambha: maitra and sakhya.

Vijaya: What is maitra-visrambha?

Gosvami: Maitra-visrambha is the implicit trust that is imbued with courtesy and humility.

Vijaya: What is sakhya-visrambha?

Gosvami: Implicit trust is called sakhya-visrambha when it is free from all types of fear and is imbued with the full confidence that one’s beloved is controlled by one’s love.

Vijaya: Please clearly explain the inter-relationship between pranaya, sneha and mana.

Gosvami: In some circumstances, pranaya arises from sneha, and then develops the characteristic behavior of mana. In other cases, mana arises from sneha, and then becomes pranaya. Therefore, mana and pranaya are interchangeably related as cause and effect.  That is why visrambha has been described separately. The appearance of maitra and sakhya is caused by the differences between udatta and lalita. Moreover, there is also the further consideration of sumaitra and susakhya in pranaya (i.e., the prefix su indicates special or good).

Vijaya: Now please describe the symptoms of raga. 

Gosvami: Pranaya is called raga in its highest condition, when even extreme distress seems like happiness.

Vijaya: How many types of raga are there?

Gosvami: There are two types of raga: nilima-raga and raktima-raga.

Vijaya: How many types of nilima-raga are there?

Gosvami: There are also two types of nilima-raga, namely nili-raga and syama-raga.

Vijaya: What is nili-raga?

Gosvami: Nili-raga is raga that has no possibility of becoming weakened and when it is visible externally, it conceals the other bhavas with which it is combined. This raga can be seen in Candravali and Krsna.

Vijaya: What is syama-raga?

Gosvami: Syama-raga is the raga that is displayed through timidity, ausadhaseka and so on. It is manifest somewhat more than niliraga, and is attained after a long time.

Vijaya: How many types of raktima-raga are there?

Gosvami: There are two types: kusumbha-raga and manjistha sambhava-raga.

Vijaya: What is kusumbha-raga?

Gosvami: Kusumbha-raga is the raga that is infused at once within the heart, and that manifests its own beauty according to necessity, although it illuminates the splendor of other ragas at the same time. Kusumbha-raga is stable in the heart that has a special capacity to contain it, although it sometimes diminishes when it is mixed with manjistha in Krsna’s beloveds.

Vijaya: What is manjistha-raga?

Gosvami: Manjistha-raga is the raga that is self-manifest; that is, it is not dependent on others; it is never destroyed; it is always steadfast; and it is never dulled, unlike kusumbha. Such raga is found in Srimati Radha and Krsna.

     The conclusion is that the bhavas that I have already described such as ghrta-sneha, udatta, maitra, sumaitra, and nilima – are found in Candravali and the mahisis such as Rukmini. All of the progressively superior bhavas – such as madhu-sneha, lalita, sakhya, susakhya and raktima – are found fully in Sri Radhika. They are sometimes manifested in Satyabhama, and under special circumstances in Laksmana as well.

     When I discussed alambana-vibhava earlier, I analyzed the divisions, such as svapaksa, between the various devis of Gokula, which arise from these different types of bhava.

      Scholarly personalities take support of transcendental intelligence (the power of prajna) to comprehend the various separate divisions that can occur by the mutual combination of the forty- one other mukhya-bhavas mentioned in Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu. I am not giving a separate explanation here.

Vijaya: Which bhavas do you mean when you use the term “other bhavas” (bhavantara)?

Gosvami: This means the sthayi-madhura-bhava, thirty-three vyabhicari-bhavas, and seven gauna bhavas beginning with hasya. The term ‘other bhavas’ (bhavantara) refers to this total of forty-one bhavas taken together.

Vijaya: I have understood the subject of raga. Now please explain anuraga.

Gosvami: Anuraga is eternally newer and newer and causes one’s beloved to be always experienced as new at every moment.

 Vijaya: Does this anuraga manifest any other fascinating features? 

Gosvami: Anuraga is manifest in forms such as the sentiment in which the lovers feel that each has subjugated the other by their love, by prema-vaicittya and by the desire to take birth among lifeless objects. Anuraga also causes the sphurti of Krsna to appear at the time of separation.

Vijaya: I can easily understand the sense of mutual subjugation, and the desire to take birth as an inert object such as a tree. But please, mercifully instruct me about prema-vaicittya. 

Gosvami: Prema-vaicittya is included in vipralambha; I will tell you about this later.

Vijaya: That is fine. Then kindly tell me about mahabhava. 

Gosvami: My dear child, my acquaintance with vraja-rasa is utterly insignificant. Where am I, and where is the description of the supremely elevated mahabhava? Nevertheless, I am speaking on the strength of the merciful siksa I have received from Sri Rupa Gosvami and Pandita Gosvami. You should realize that by their mercy alone I can say something in accordance with Sri Rupa Gosvami’s specifications. When anuraga in the form of yavadasraya-vrtti attains the condition of svayamvedya-dasa and becomes manifest (prakasita), it is called bhava or mahabhava.

 Vijaya: Prabhu, I am thoroughly worthless and destitute. I am inquiring foolishly. Please be compassionate and explain the symptoms of mahabhava in simple language that is suitable for my understanding.

Gosvami: Sri Radhikaji is the asraya of anuraga, and Krsna is the visaya of anuraga. Sri Nandanandana in His srngara form is the ultimate limit of visaya-tattva, and Sri Radhaji is the ultimate limit of asraya-tattva. This means that Sri Krsna alone is the supermost visaya of anuraga, and Sri Radhaji is its supermost asraya. Their anuraga is the sthayibhava. When that anuraga reaches its ultimate limit, it is called yavad-asraya-vrtti. In that condition, it attains the svayamvedya-dasa, the condition that is only completely realized by that special beloved. At that time, anuraga is illuminated by the bhavas such as suddipta.

Vijaya: Aho! Mahabhava! What is the meaning of mahabhava – today I have understood something. Mahabhava is the ultimate limit of all bhavas. I have become intensely eager to hear an example of this mahabhava. Please be merciful and describe something to satisfy my ears.

Gosvami: This sloka is an example of mahabhava.

radhaya bhavatas ca citta-jatuni svedair vilapya kramad

yunjann adri-nikunja-kunjara-pate nirdhuta-bheda-bhramam

citraya svayam anvaranjayad iha brahmanda-harmyodare

bhuyobhir nava-raga-hingula-bharaih srngara-karuh krti

                                      (Ujjvala-nilamani, Sthayibhava prakarana 155)


          Sri Radha-Krsna continuously enjoy Their loving play in the nikunjas. Vrnda-devi, having           realized the excellence of their anuraga, says to Krsna, “O King of mad elephants, who                   sports in the groves on Govardhana Hill, there is an accomplished artist of the name                         Srngara rasa and upon the fire generated from the heat of Your two bhavas, he has slowly               melted Your shellac-like hearts and made them one.  Then mixing that with profuse                     quantities of the kunkuma of Your everfresh raga, he is painting an astonishing picture                   upon the inner walls of the grand temple of the universe.”

     Here, ‘nirdhuta-bheda-bhramam’ means Radha and Krsna have become free from Their duality and become one, thus culminating in the stage of svayamvedya dasa. The grand temple of the universe should be understood to refer to yavad-asraya-vrtti and the term “he is painting” indicates the condition of prakasita. 

Vijaya: Where is this mahabhava to be found? 

Gosvami: Mahabhava is extremely rare, even in the mahisis headed by Rukmini. It is only experienced by the vraja-devis headed by Sri Radha.

Vijaya: What is the purport of this?

Gosvami: Svakiya-bhava is present wherever the nayika is bound to the nayaka by the regulations of marriage. In svakiya-bhava, rati is samanjasa, so it is not competent to attain the most elevated conditions such as mahabhava. Svakiya-bhava is also present in some gopis in Vraja, but parakiya-bhava is predominant. In Vraja, rati is samartha, so it develops fully, and reaches up to the condition of mahabhava.

Vijaya: How many types of mahabhava are there? 

Gosvami: Mahabhava, which is the embodiment of the highest nectar, attracts the heart and causes it to attain its own intrinsic nature. There are two types of mahabhava: rudha and adhirudha.

Vijaya: What is rudha-mahabhava?

Gosvami: Rudha-mahabhava is the stage in which all the sattvikabhavas are manifest in the uddipta condition.

Vijaya: Be merciful and explain the anubhavas of rudha-mahabhava.

 Gosvami: In rudha-mahabhava, even the passing of a moment is unbearable; this rudha-mahabhava churns the hearts of those present; a kalpa seems to pass like a moment (kalpa-ksanatva); one feels dejected because of the apprehension that Sri Krsna is undergoing some inconvenience, although He is actually happy; one becomes forgetful of everything, even oneself, although one is not bewildered; and one moment seems to pass like a kalpa (ksanakalpata).  Some of these anubhavas are experienced during meeting, and some during separation.

Vijaya: “Even the passing of a moment is unbearable” – please give an example of this to help me understand.

Gosvami: This bhava is vaicittya-vipralambha (a particular manifestation of separation). Even in meeting, there is the feeling of being separated, and even a moment’s separation is intolerable.  That is why, when the gopis looked upon Sri Krsna for the first time after so long at Kuruksetra, they cursed Brahmaji, the creator of their eyelids, because the blinking of their eyelids was obstructing their vision of Krsna. Even the time that elapsed during the blinking of their eyes became unbearable. 

Vijaya: “This rudha-bhava churns the hearts of those who are present” – what does that mean?

Gosvami: For example, at Kuruksetra, when the mahisis such as Rukmini and the kings such as Yudhisthira saw the uncommon anuraga of the gopis who had come to see Krsna, their hearts were churned. That is what this statement refers to.

Vijaya: What is kalpa-ksanatva?

Gosvami: Although the night of the rasa-lila was as long as a night of Brahma, it still seemed to be less than a second to the gopis. Such a mood is called kalpa-ksanatva.

Vijaya: Please help me to understand the bhava of feeling dejected for fear that Sri Krsna may undergo some inconvenience, although actually He is happy.

Gosvami: An example is found in the sloka:

yat te sujata-caranamburuham stanesu

bhitah sanaih priya dadhimahi karkasesu

tenatavim atasi tad vyathate na kim svit

kurpadibhir bhramati dhir bhavad-ayusam nah

                                                                            Srimad-Bhagavatam (10.31.19)

     Even when the gopis hold the lotus feet of Sri Krsna upon their breasts, they think, “It is lamentable that our breasts are so hard.  Krsna’s soft lotus feet must be feeling pain when we keep them on our breasts.” Such regret is called dejection due to the fear of difficulty for Krsna at the time of His happiness. 

Vijaya: What is the phenomenon of forgetting everything even in the absence of bewilderment?

Gosvami: All types of bewilderment (moha) are vanquished by the sphurti of Krsna within the heart; that is, there is the complete absence of moha. But when the sphurti of Krsna occurs, one loses awareness of everything else in the entire world, including one’s own body. 

Vijaya: What is ksana-kalpata?

Gosvami: Krsna describes the state of the gopis’ separation to Uddhava, “Uddhava, when I was with the vraja-vasis in Vrndavana, their nights with Me seemed to pass like a moment, but in separation from Me, those same nights appeared to never end and they felt those nights to be longer than a kalpa.” In this way, they would experience the passing of one moment to be like being lost in a vast ocean of time.

Vijaya: I have understood rudha-mahabhava. Now please explain adhirudha-mahabhava.

Gosvami: Adhirudha-mahabhava is the mood in which all the anubhavas that are manifested in resolute mahabhava attain special characteristics that are even more astonishing than those anubhavas in their normal forms.

Vijaya: How many types of adhirudha are there?

Gosvami: There are two types, modana and madana.

Vijaya: What is modana?

Gosvami: The adhirudha-mahabhava in which all the sattvika-bhavas of the nayaka and nayika are aroused to a much greater extent than in the uddipta condition is called modana. In this modana-bhava, Krsna and Radha feel some anguish and fear.

Vijaya: Please describe the position of modana.

 Gosvami: Modana does not occur anywhere other than in the yutha of Sri Radhika. Modana is the dearest and most delightful pleasure sport of the hladini-sakti. In some special conditions of separation, modana becomes mohana, and as an effect of this helpless condition of separation, all the sattvika-bhavas manifest in the suddipta condition.

Vijaya: Please describe the anubhavas in the stage of mohana. 

Gosvami: Krsna faints while being embraced by another lover;1 one desires Krsna’s happiness while personally accepting unbearable distress; the bhava called brahmanda-ksobha-karita causes the whole universe to feel anguish, and even birds and beasts begin to cry; the powerful longing that, in the event of death, the five elements of the body may associate with Sri Krsna. Divya-unmada (divine madness) and other anubhavas also occur in the stage of mohana.  The miraculous characteristics of mahabhava are manifest to the fullest extent in Sri Radhika’s mohana-bhava, even more than in moha, which is included among the sancari-bhavas.


1 While Rukmini is embracing Krsna in Dvaraka, He sometimes falls unconscious, remembering His playful pastimes with Radha in the nikunjas of Vrndavana near the banks of the Yamuna. 


Vijaya: Prabhu, if you consider it to be appropriate, kindly describe

two symptoms of divya-unmada.


Gosvami: When mohana-bhava attains a unique, indescribable mode of behavior, developing into a wondrous condition that resembles a state of utter confusion, then it is divya-unmada. It has many different features such as udghurna and citra-jalpa. 

Vijaya: What is udghurna?

Gosvami: The state of divya-unmada in which many varieties of

astounding and uncontrollable endeavors are manifest is called


Radhika experienced udghurna when Krsna departed for Mathura. At that time, as if in complete forgetfulness due to feelings of separation from Krsna, Radhika thought, “Krsna is coming;

He will be here in just a moment.” Thinking in that way, She made the bed in Her kunja. Sometimes She rebuked the dark clouds like a nayika who expresses anger towards her unfaithful lover (khandita), and sometimes She wandered around hurriedly in the dense darkness of the night, like a nayika who makes a secret journey to meet with her lover (abhisarini).

Vijaya: What is citra-jalpa?

Gosvami: Citra-jalpa consists of the discourses that occur when one meets a friend of one’s beloved. They are full of intense longing, and they arise from bhavas such as jealousy, envy, restlessness, pride, and eagerness.

Vijaya: How many angas of citra-jalpa are there?

Gosvami: There are ten limbs of citra-jalpa, namely, prajalpa,

parijalpa, vijalpa, ujjalpa, sanjalpa, avajalpa, abhijalpa, ajalpa, pratijalpa

and sujalpa. You can find a description of them in Bhramara-gita in the Tenth Canto of Srimad-Bhagavatam.2


2 For further details, one may refer to Srimad-Bhagavatam, Canto 10, chapter 47 with Srila Sanatana Gosvami’s Vaisnava-tosani; and Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Antya-lila 19, with Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura’s Anubhasya commentary.

Vijaya: What is prajalpa?

Gosvami: Prajalpa means to reveal the tactlessness of one’s lover, using various neglectful mannerisms that are imbued with malice, jealousy, and pride.

Vijaya: What is parijalpa?

Gosvami: Parijalpa is showing one’s own expertise through expressions that establish faults in one’s prana-dhana, such as His cruelty, treachery and fickleness.

Vijaya: What is vijalpa?

Gosvami: Vijalpa refers to speech in which one outwardly makes malicious allegations against Krsna, while the aspect of mana is hidden in the heart.

Vijaya: What is ujjalpa?

Gosvami: Ujjalpa means speaking of Krsna’s treachery, hypocrisy and so on out of jealousy arising from one’s pride, and always making hostile allegations against Him.

Vijaya: What is sanjalpa?

Gosvami: Sanjalpa is establishing Krsna’s ungratefulness, harshness, deceitfulness and so on through cryptic joking accusations or mannerisms.

Vijaya: What is avajalpa?

Gosvami: Avajalpa is expressing one’s involuntary or helpless attachment to Krsna with fear imbued with jealousy, while finding in Him faults such as hard-heartedness, lustiness and villainy. 

Vijaya: What is abhijalpa?

Gosvami: Abhijalpa means to lament with indirect expressions such as, “Krsna even gives the distress of separation to His birds such as His parrot and the peacocks, so attachment to Him is useless.”

 Vijaya: What is ajalpa?

Gosvami: Ajalpa means to expose Krsna’s duplicity and persecution due to self-disparagement, and to say that only subjects other than Krsna’s lila-katha give happiness.

Vijaya: What is pratijalpa?

Gosvami: Pratijalpa means showing respect towards a messenger sent by Krsna, and saying, “Krsna is a knave and a dacoit when He is seeking amorous love, so it is inappropriate to meet with Him, because He is with other charming ladies at the moment.”

Vijaya: What is sujalpa?

Gosvami: Sujalpa is inquiring about Krsna out of simplicity, with a mood of gravity, humility, restlessness and eagerness.

Vijaya: Prabhu, am I qualified to know about the symptoms of madana?

Gosvami: When prema, which is the embodiment of the essence of hladini, increases even further than the mahabhava that I have described so far, it attains an extremely advanced condition. The paramount emotion in which it becomes jubilant (ullasa) due to the simultaneous manifestation of all types of bhavas is called madana. This madana is eternally and splendidly manifest only in Sri Radha. It does not arise in other gopis, even in those such as Lalita.

Vijaya: Is there jealousy in madana-bhava?

Gosvami: Jealousy is very prominent in madana-bhava; it is even seen to be directed towards unworthy or inanimate objects. Madana is also famous for causing Sri Radha to praise anything that has even the faintest scent of a relation with Krsna, although She is constantly in intimate union with Him. For example, Srimati Radha becomes envious of Krsna’s vana-mala (garland of forest flowers) and Krsna’s sweethearts from the mountainous regions, the girls of the Pulinda tribe.

Vijaya: When does madana arise?

Gosvami: This fascinating madana-bhava only occurs at the time of meeting. The eternal sporting pastimes of madana reign splendidly in innumerable forms.

Vijaya: Prabhu, can we find a description of this type of madana in the statements of any sages?

Gosvami: Madana-rasa is unlimited, so it is difficult for even the transcendental Cupid, Sri Krsna, to understand the full extent of its activities. That is why even Sri Suka Muni was not able to describe it fully, and what to speak of the philosophers of rasa, such as Bharata Muni.

Vijaya: Your statements are astounding. How is it possible that even Krsna Himself, who is the embodiment of rasa and the constitutional enjoyer of rasa, does not fully understand the behavior of madana?

Gosvami: Krsna is rasa Himself, and He is unlimited, omniscient and omnipotent. Nothing is hidden from Him, and nothing is inaccessible or impossible for Him. He is eternally eka-rasa, and at the same time, He is also aneka-rasa, due to His acintya-bhedabhedadharma.  As eka-rasa (encompassing everything within Himself), He is atmarama, and in this condition, no rasa exists separately from Him. However, He is simultaneously aneka-rasa. Thus, besides atma-gata-rasa (rasa experienced by oneself), there is also para-gatarasa (rasa experienced by others) and the varieties of mixed atmapara-vicitra-rasa. The happiness of His lila lies in the latter two types of rasa. When para-gata expands to the ultimate degree, it is called parakiya-rasa, and this highest development manifests abundantly in Vrndavana. Thus for the atma-gata-rasa, the unknown, exalted and unique happiness of parakiya-rasa is the last limit of madana. This is present during the purely unmanifest lila in Goloka, and also to a slight extent in Vraja.

Vijaya: Prabhu, you have shown unlimited mercy to me. Now please explain the essence of all types of madhura-rasa in brief, so that I may easily understand.

Gosvami: All the bhavas that arise in the vraja-devis are divine in all respects, and beyond the jurisdiction of logic. Therefore, it is not only difficult, but impossible to describe those bhavas thoroughly.  It has been stated in sastra that Sri Radhika’s raga manifested from purva-raga. Under special conditions, that very raga becomes anuraga, and from anuraga comes sneha. Then it is further manifest in the form of mana and pranaya. All these points are not fixed, but the condition of dhumayita is certainly the last limit of sadharani rati. Samanjasa rati develops as far as sneha, mana, pranaya, raga and anuraga, in which dipta-rati is manifest in the jvalita form. In rudha-mahabhava there is uddipta, and from modana onwards there is suddipta-rati. You should understand that madhura-rasa is sometimes like this because the order of the stages may also be rearranged according to differences in time, place and circumstance. Sadharani rati develops as far as prema, samanjasa rati as far as anuraga, and samartha rati as far as mahabhava. 

Vijaya: How far does rati develop in sakhya-rasa? 

Gosvami: The rati of the narma-vayasa associates reaches up to anuraga, but the rati of Subala and others reaches up to mahabhava. 

Vijaya: I see that the characteristics of sthayibhava that you described earlier reach up to the limit of mahabhava. If sthayibhava is only one tattva from top to bottom, why do we see a difference between the rasas?

Gosvami: This difference between the rasas arises from the different kinds of sthayibhava. The mysterious activities of sthayibhava are not evident. The different categories only become visible when the ingredients are combined with the sthayibhava. The sthayibhava attains the state of rasa by a combination of the appropriate components of rasa, according to its particular, hidden identity.

Vijaya: Is the distinction between svakiya and parakiya eternal in

madhura rati?

Gosvami: Yes, the distinction between svakiya and parakiya is eternal; it is not an arbitrary designation. If this difference were to be considered an arbitrary designation, then all the rasas headed by madhura-rasa would also have to be considered arbitrary designations. One’s eternal and natural rasa is indeed his very own distinctive category of eternal rasa. He has a corresponding ruci, and performs bhajana accordingly, and this leads to a corresponding type of attainment.

     There is also svakiya-rasa in Vraja. Those who maintain the mood, “Krsna is my husband,” have a corresponding type of ruci, sadhana-bhajana, and ultimate attainment. The quality of svakiya in Dvaraka is a Vaikuntha tattva, whereas the quality of svakiya in Vraja is a Goloka tattva. There is a difference between them.  Vasudeva Krsna, the son of Vasudeva, is situated within Vrajanatha Krsna, and one should understand that the highest condition of this svakiya-tattva in relation to Vasudeva Krsna extends only as far as Vaikuntha.

     After  hearing this, Vijaya offered pranama to Sri Gurudeva and returned to his residence, absorbed in great love.








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