Krsna, the Ocean of Transcendental Mellows,

Appears Differently to Devotees





mallanam asanir nrnam nara-varah strinam smaro murtiman

gopanam sva-jano'satam ksiti-bhujam sasta sva-pitroh sisuh

mrtyur bhoja-pater virad avidusam tattvam param yoginam

vrsninam para-devateti vidito rangam gatah sagrajah


            "O king, the reservoir of all rasas, the fountainhead of all divine mellows,

Sri Krsna, was seen in different ways by those who are acquainted with Him in

different relationships. When Krsna entered the arena of Kamsa, accompanied

by His elder brother, Balarama, He was seen according to the respective men-

tality of every spectator; He appeared like a thunderbolt to the heroic athletes;

the people in general saw him as a superhuman being; the ladies saw Him as the

god of Love; the cowherders, with a mood of friendship, saw Him as their own

kinsman. Wicked monarchs saw Him as a strict ruler and dispenser of justice.

His parents saw Him as a child. Kamsa saw Him as death personified. The

worldly minded saw Him as the universal form; the santa-rasa yogis saw Him

the indwelling Supersoul, the Supreme Principle; and the Vrsnis saw Him as the

Supreme Deity. (Bhag. 10.43.17)


Note: Bhaktivinoda Thakura remarks that this verse gives a clue as to the

different rasas in which devotees of different points of view relate to the

Lord. Bhaktivinoda says that in this verse, the yogis are seen to be repre-

sentative of santa-rasa, the Vrsnis of dasya-rasa, while the cowherd boys

represent sakhya-rasa mixed with hasya-rasa (the sub-mellow of come-

dy). The cowherd men, headed by Nanda Maharaja, exemplify vatsalya-

rasa and karuna-rasa (the sub-mellow of compassion). The ladies ex-

hibit madhurya-rasa. The wrestlers exhibit virya-rasa, while the people

in general are examples of adbhuta-rasa (the sub-mellow of wonder.) The

kings exhibit raudra-rasa (the sub-mellow of anger) and the Bhojas, headed

by Kamsa exemplify bhayanaka-rasa (the sub-mellow of fear). The

worldly-minded, who view the Lord as the Universal Form relate to Him

in vibhatsa-rasa (the sub-mellow of ghastliness). In this way, Krsna is the

supreme object of the five principle and seven secondary rasas. For this

reason He is known as akhila-rasamrta-murti, or the embodiment of all

transcendental mellows.


The Absolute Truth is the Personification of Divine Mellows



raso vai sah rasam hyevayam labdhanandi bhavati

ko hyevanyat kah pranyat yadesa akasa anando na syat esa hyevanandayati


            Lord Krsna is the embodiment of all-ecstatic bliss; He is the reservoir of all

pleasure. Having derived ecstasy from Him, the individual souls become bliss-

ful. For, who indeed, could breathe, who could be alive if this blissful Lord were

not present within the hearts of all souls. He alone bestows ecstasy. (Taittiriya

Upanisad 2.7)


The Five Principle Rasas



santa, dasya, sakhya, vatsalya, madhura-rasa nama

krsna-bhakti-rasa-madhye e panca pradhana


            The chief transcendental mellows experienced with the Supreme Person-

ality of Godhead are five santa, dasya, sakhya, vatsalya, and madhurya-rasa.

(Cc. Madhya 19.185)


The Seven Secondary Rasas



hasya, adbhuta, vira, karuna, raudra, bibhatsa, bhaya

panca-vidha-bhakte gauna sapta-rasa haya


            In addition to the five direct mellows, there are seven indirect mellows

known as laughter, wonder, chivalry, compassion, anger, disgust, and fear. (Cc.

Madhya 19.187)



sarvam khalu idam brahma taj-jalaniti santa upasita


            Everything is Brahman. That is everything that exists has emanated from

Brahman, the Supreme Absolute Truth. Nothing can exist that is unrelated to

Him. From Him everything emanates, by Him everything is maintained, into

Him everything is dissolved. Therefore, one who is santa, or peaceful, who has

intuitive wisdom, should worship Him through devotional service. [One who

worships the Lord in this way, free from any trace of material hankering, is said

to be a devotee in santa-rasa.] (Chandogya Upanisad. 3.14.1)


Srimad Bhagavatam on Santa-rasa



vata-vasana ya rsayah sramana urdhva-manthinah

brahmakhyam dhama te yanti santah sannyasino 'malah


            Sages who subsist on air, those who exert themselves in penance, those

who observe strict celibacy for life, those who are peaceful, and those who are

sannyasis, attain to the spiritual abode known as Brahman. (Bhag. 11.6.47)


Being Fixed in Krsna is a Quality of Santa-rasa



samo man-nisthata buddher dama indriya-samyamah

titiksa duhkha-sammarso jihvopastha-jayo dhrtih


            The word sama, or santa-rasa, indicates that one is attached to the lotus

feet of Krsna. His mind is fixed in constantly meditating on the Lord. Dama

means controlling the senses and not being deviated from the Lord's service;

titiksa means to tolerate unhappiness; dhrti means complete control of the tongue

and the genitals. (Bhag. 11.19.36)


 The Essential Feature of Santa-rasa



svarga, moksa krsna-bhakta 'naraka' kari' mane

krsna-nistha, trsna-tyaga santera 'dui' gune

santera svabhava krsne mamata-gandha-hina

'param-brahma'-'paramatma'-jnana pravina


            When a devotee is on the platform of santa-rasa, he desires neither eleva-

tion to the heavenly planets nor liberation. These are the results of karma and

jnana, and the devotee considers them no better than hell. A person on the

santa platform manifests the two transcendental qualities of detachment from

all material desire and full attachment to Krsna. It is the nature of santa-rasa

that not even the smallest intimacy exists. Rather, knowledge of impersonal

Brahman and localized Paramatma is prominent. (Cc. Madhya 19.215,218)


Dasya-rasa = Santa-rasa + Service



kevala 'svarupa-jnana' haya santa-rase

'purnaisvarya-prabhu-jnana' adhika haya dasye

isvara-jnana, sambhrama-gaurava pracura

'seva' kari' krsne sukha dena nirantara

santera guna dasye ache, adhika 'sevana'

ataeva dasya-rasera ei 'dui' guna


            In santa-rasa one only realizes his constitutional position, but when one is

raised to dasya-rasa, he better understands the full opulence of the Supreme

Personality of Godhead. In dasya-rasa, knowledge of the Supreme Person is

revealed with awe and veneration. By rendering service to Krsna, the devotee

in dasya-rasa gives constant happiness to the Lord. The qualities of santa-rasa

are also present in dasya-rasa, but in dasya-rasa service is added. Thus dasya-

rasa has the qualities of santa-rasa and dasya-rasa. (Cc. Madhya 19.219-221)


Srimad Bhagavatam on Dasya-rasa



ittham satam brahma-sukhanubhutya

dasyam gatanam para-daivatena

mayasritanam nara-darakena

sakam vijahruh krta-punya-punjah


            Those engaged in self-realization, appreciating the Brahman effulgence of

the Lord, and those engaged as servants of the Supreme Lord, accepting Him as

master, as well as those who are under the clutches of maya, thinking the Lord

an ordinary person, cannot understand that certain exalted persons after accu-

mulating heaps of pious activities are now playing with the Lord in friendship

as cowherd boys. (Bhag. 10.12.11)


Note: Ramananda Raya cited this verse to Caitanya Mahaprabhu as an

example of the superiority of sakhya-rasa over dasya-rasa.


Srimad Bhagavatam on the Glories of Dasya-rasa




ucchista-bhojino dasas tava mayam jayema hi


            Simply by decorating ourselves with the garlands, fragrant oils, clothes,

and ornaments that You have already enjoyed, and by eating the remnants of

Your meals, we, Your servants will indeed conquer Your illusory energy.

(Bhag. 11.6.46)


The Glories of Being a Servant of Krsna



alpa kari' na maniha dasa hena nama

alpa bhagye dasa nahi karena bhagavan

agre haya mukti, tabe sarva-vandha-nasa

tabe se haite pare sri krsnera dasa


            [Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu said] Those who are devoid of a service atti-

tude and don't wish to call themselves "Krsna-dasa," have little good fortune.

The Lord will never accept them as His servants. Let those who would be

liberated from material bondage accept the service of Krsna.



The Srutis on Sakhya-rasa



dva suparna sayuja sakhaya samanam vrksam parisasvajate

tayoranyah pippalam svadvattoyanasnannanyo 'bhicakasiti


            The Supreme Lord is the friend of the living being. He is so kind to him

that He always accompanies the living being. In the same way that two birds

occupy the same branch of a tree, the Lord sits in the heart of every living being

ready to bestow auspiciousness upon the soul. In this way the Lord acts as the

indwelling witness, even while the soul pursues the fruits of karma happiness

and distress (Svetasvatara Upanisad 4.6)


In Sakhya-rasa There may be Quarrels

in Which the Lord is Defeated by the Jiva



uvaha krsno bhagavan sridamanam parajitah

vrsabham bhadrasenas tu pralambo rohini-sutam


            Being defeated, Krsna bore His friend Sridama upon His back; and Vrsabha

and Pralambha took Balarama; the powerful son of Rohini, upon their back.

(Bhag. 10.18.24)


Sakhya-rasa = Santa-rasa + Dasya-rasa + Feelings of Kinship,

Friendship, and Intimacy



santera guna, dasyera sevana sakhye dui haya

dasyera 'sambhrama-gaurava'-seva, sakhye 'visvasa'-maya

kandhe cade, kandhe cadaya, kare krida-rana

krsne seve, krsne karaya apana-sevana!

visrambha-pradhana sakhya gaurava-sambhrama-hina

ataeva sakhya-rasera 'tina' guna cihna

'mamata' adhika, krsne atma-sama jnana

ataeva sakhya-rasera vasa bhagavan


            The qualities of santa-rasa and the service attitude of daysa-rasa are both

present in sakhya-rasa. In fraternity, the qualities of dasya-rasa are mixed with

the confidence of fraternity instead of awe and veneration. In sakhya-rasa, the

devotee sometimes offers the Lord service and sometimes makes Krsna serve

him in exchange. In their mock-fighting, the cowherd boys would sometimes

climb on Krsna's shoulders, and sometimes they would make Krsna climb on

their shoulders. Since the platform of fraternity is dominated by confidential

service, awe and veneration are absent. Therefore, sakhya-rasa is character-

ized by three qualities. In sakhya-rasa, the Lord is obliged to the devotees who

are intimate with Him and think themselves equal to Him.

(Cc. Madhya 19.222-224)


Vatsalya-rasa = Santa + Dasya + Sakhya + the Feeling of Nurturing



vatsalye santera guna, dasyera sevana

sei sei sevanera ihar nama 'palana'

sakhyera guna 'asankoca', 'agaurava' sara

mamatadhikye tadana-bhartsana-vyavahara

apanare 'palaka' jnana, krsne 'palya'-jnana

'cari' gune vatsalya rasa amrta-samana


            In vatsalya-rasa, the qualities of santa-rasa, dasya-rasa, and sakhya-rasa

are transformed into a form of service called nurturing. The essence of fraternal

love is intimacy devoid of the formality and veneration found in dasya-rasa.

Due to a greater sense of intimacy, the devotee functioning in paternal love

chastises and rebukes the Lord in an ordinary way. In paternal love the devotee

considers himself the Lord's maintainer and protector. Thus the Lord is the

object of protection, like a son, and therefore this mellow has the qualities of

santa-rasa, dasya-rasa, sakhya-rasa, and vatsalya-rasa. This is more transcendental

nectar. (Cc. Madhya 19.226-228)


Madhuyra-rasa = Santa + Dasya + Sakhya + Vatsalya + the Desire for Offering one's

Body in Service to Sri Krsna



madhura-rase krsna-nistha, seva atisaya

sakhyera asankoca, lalana-mamatadhikya haya

kanta-bhave nijanga diya karena sevana

ataeva madhura-rasera haya 'panca' guna

akasadi guna yena para para bhute

eka-dui-tina-cari krame panca prthivite

ei-mata madhure saba bhava-samahara

ataeva asvadadhikye kare camatkara


            In conjugal love, attachment for Krsna, rendering service to Him, the re-

laxed feelings of fraternity and the feelings of maintenance all increase in inti-

macy. In conjugal love, the devotee offers his body in the service of the Lord.

Thus on this platform all five transcendental qualities are present. All the ma-

terial qualities one after another in the material elements, beginning with ether,

by gradual evolution, first one quality develops, then two develop, then three

and four, until all five qualities are found in earth. Similarly, in conjugal love,

all the feelings of the devotees are amalgamated. The intensified taste is cer-

tainly wonderful. (Cc. Madhya 19.231-234)


Sthayi-bhava, Together With Different Kinds of Affection

are Transformed Into Rasa.

In Other Words, Rati is the Root Cause of Rasa.



premadika sthayi-bhava samagri-milane

krsna-bhakti rasa-rupe paya pariname

vibhava, anubhava, sattvika, vyabhicari

sthayi-bhava 'rasa' haya ei cari mili'


            When the permanent ecstasies are mixed with different kinds of rati, devo-

tion in ecstasy is transformed and becomes transcen-dental mellows. The per-

manent ecstasy becomes a more and more tasteful rasa through the mixture of

special ecstasy, subordinate ecstasy, natural ecstasy, and transitory ecstasy.

(Cc. Madhya 23.47-48)


The Cause of Rasa



dvividha 'vibhava', alambana, uddipana

vamsi-svaradi 'uddipana, krsnadi 'alambana'


            There are two kinds of particular ecstasies (vibhava). One is called the

support (alambana), and the other is called the awakening (uddipana). The

vibration of Krsna's flute is an example of the awakening, and Lord Krsna Hims-

elf is an example of the support. (Cc. Madhya 23.50)


Two Kinds of Alambana



krsnas ca krsna-bhaktas ca buddhairalambana matah

ratyader-visayatvena tathadharataya'pi ca


            According to the learned scholars, Lord Krsna and His devotees are

alambana-vibhava. Lord Krsna is the object of love and the devotee is the

reservoir of the love. (Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu, Daksina-vibhaga 1.16.)


Krsna is the Best of all Objects of Worship



siddhanta-tas-tva-bhedo'pi krsna srisa-svarupayoh

rasenot-krsyate krsna-rupamesa rasasthitih


            Although the Lord of Laksmi (Narayana) and Krsna are essentially one

and the same, the super excellence of Krsna's position lies in His being the

object of the highest prema-rasa, because the very nature of rasa shows the

most supreme excellence of the form of Krsna in whom alone all twelve rasas

find their highest expression. (Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu, Purva-vibhaga 2.59)


Srimati Radharani is the Best of all Asrayas



anayaradhito nunam bhagavan harir isvarah

yan no vihaya govindah prito yam anayad rahah


            [The Vraja-gopis said] O my friend! Leaving us aside Krsna has gone off to

a secluded place with a particular gopi. She must truly be expert in worshiping

(anayaradhito) Him, for He was so pleased with Her service that He has left us

all behind. (Bhag. 10.30.28)


NOTE: The hidden meaning of this verse is that Sri Radha, who is indi-

cated here by the word "aradhita" is the topmost maidservant and devo-

tee of Sri Krsna, being the very crown jewel of devotion.



kamsarirapi samsara-vasana baddha-srokhalam

radhamadhaya hrdaye tatyaja vraja-sundarih


            Lord Krsna, the enemy of Kamsa, left aside the other gopis during the rasa

dance and took Srimati Radharani to His heart, for She helps the Lord in real-

izing the essence of His desires. (Gita Govinda 3.1)


Subdivisions of Rasa



'anubhava' smita, nrtya, gitadi udbhasvara

stambhadi 'sattvika' anubhavera bhitara


            The subordinate ecstasies are smiling, dancing, and singing; as well as dif-

ferent manifestations in the body. The natural ecstasies, such as being stunned,

are considered among the subordinate ecstasies (anubhava). (Cc. Madhya 23.51)



nirveda-harsadi tetrisa 'vyabhicari'

saba mili' 'rasa' haya camatkarakari


            There are other ingredients, beginning with complete despondency

jubilation. Altogether there are thirty-three varieties and when these

the mellow becomes very wonderful. (Cc. Madhya 23.52)


Thus ends the Ninth Jewel of the Gaudiya Kanthahara entitled, Bhagavad-rasa-tattva

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