The Definition of Bhava



suddha-sattva-visesatma prema suryamsu-samyabhak

rucibhis-cittatma srnyakrd-asau bhava ucyate


            As bhakti develops beyond the stage of ruci, and the heart, mind, and in-

tellect are softened by divine love, one comes to the stage known as bhava-

bhakti. This transcendental stage is beyond the modes of material nature, and

is saturated with the qualities of suddha-sattva: transcendental goodness. At

that time one's heart becomes illuminated like the sun, for bhava-bhakti is like a

ray of prema-bhakti. (Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu 1.3.1)


Mahaprabhu's Verse on Bhava



nayanam galad-asru-dharaya vadanam gadgada-ruddhaya gira

pulakair nicitam vapuh kada tava nama-grahane bhavisyati


            O My Lord, when will My eyes be decorated with tears of love flowing

constantly when I chant Your holy name? When will My voice choke up

ecstasy (bhava), and when will the hairs of My body stand on end while chant-

ing Your holy name? (Siksastakam 6)


The Causes of Bhava, Transcendental Emotion



yan martya-lilaupayikam sva-yoga-

maya-balam darsayata grhitam

vismapanam svasya ca saubhagarddheh

param padam bhusana-bhusanangam


            The Lord appeared in the mortal world by His internal potency, yoga-

maya. He came in His eternal form, which is just suitable for His pastimes.

These pastimes were wonderful for everyone, even for those proud of their

opulence, including the Lord Himself in His form as the Lord of Vaikuntha.

Thus His transcendental body is the ornament of all ornaments. (Bhag. 3.2.12)


The Lord's Sweet Nature as the Opulent Lord of Threes



svayam tv asamyatisayas tryadhisah


balim haradbhis cira-loka-palaih



            Lord Sri Krsna is the Lord of all kinds of threes and is independently sup-

reme by achievement of all kinds of fortune and opulence. He is worshiped by

the eternal maintainers of the creation, who offer Him the paraphernalia of

worship by touching their millions of helmets to his feet. (Bhag. 3.2.21)


The Symptoms of Bhava Appear in Those Who

Cultivate the Holy Name in the Association of Devotees



parasparanukathanam pavanam bhagavad-yasah

mitho ratir mithas tustir nivrttir mitha atmanah

smarantah smarayantas ca mitho 'ghaugha-haram harim

bhaktya sanjataya bhaktya bibhraty utpulakam tanum


            One should learn how to associate with the devotees of the Lord by gath-

ering with them to chant the glories of the Lord. This process is most purifying.

As devotees thus develop their loving friendship with one another, their rati, or

transcendental happiness, and their satisfaction gradually increases. And by

thus encouraging one another they are able to give up sense gratification, which

is the cause of all suffering.

            The devotees of the Lord constantly discuss the glories of Lord among

themselves. Thus they constantly remember Him and remind one another of

His qualities and pastimes. In this way, by their devotion to the principles of

bhakti-yoga, the devotees please the Lord, who takes away from them every-

thing inauspicious.         

            Being purified of all impediments, the devotees awaken to pure love of

Godhead, which can only be obtained from those who have it for bhakti alone

can cause bhakti. Thus, even within this world, their spiritualized bodies ex-

hibit symptoms of transcendental ecstasy, such as standing of the bodily hairs

on end. (Bhag. 11.3.30-31)


The Practical Symptoms of Bhava



ksantiravyartha kalatvam viraktirmana sunyata

asabandhah samut-kantha namagane sada rucih

asaktis-tad gunakhyane pritis-tad-vasati-sthale

ityadayo 'nubhavah syurjata-bhavankure jane


            In those within whom bhava-bhakti has awakened, the following symp-

toms will be found: tolerance, eagerness to utilize one's time in the devotional

service of the Lord, detachment from material things, humility or pridelessness,

ardent hopes of receiving the Lord's mercy, eager and anxious longing for the

Lord and his service, a constant taste for chanting the Lord's holy name, eager-

ness to glorify the Lord and discuss his pastimes, and a longing to live in a holy

place where the Lord has performed his pastimes. (Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu,

Purva Vibhaga 1.3.25)


Two Kinds of Raga-marga the Practitioner

and the Perfected Soul



seva sadhaka-rupena siddha-rupena catra hi

tad-bhava-lipsuna karya braja-lokanusaratah


            A person desiring to attain the mood of Krsna's devotee should render

service both with his material body as well as spiritual body following in the

footsteps of the residents of Vraja. (Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu, Purva Vibhaga 1.2.295)



bahya, antara, ihara dui ta' sadhana

'bahye' sadhaka-dehe kare sravana-kirtana

'mane' nija-siddha-deha kariya bhavana

ratri-dine kare vraje krsnera sevana

nijabhista krsna-prestha pacheta' lagiya

nirantara seva kare antarmana hana


            There are two processes by which one may execute this raganuga bhakti--

external and internal. When self-realized, the advanced devotee externally re-

mains like a neophyte and executes all the sastric injunctions, especially hearing

and chanting. However, within his mind, in his transcendental spiritual body,

he serves Krsna in Vrndavana in his particular way. He serves Krsna twenty-

four hours, both day and night. (Cc. Madhya 22.156-157,159)


The Development of Prema into Sneha, Raga,

Anuraga, Bhava, and Mahabhava



syad-drdheyam ratih prema prodyan snehah kramadayam

syan-manah pranayo rago 'nurago bhava ity api

bijam iksuh sa ca rasah sa gudah khanda eva sah

sa sarkara sita sa ca sa yatha syat sitopala


            When rati, or constant affectionate attachment to Krsna, is very fixed, steady,

and determined, then it is known as prema, or pure love of God. The develop-

ment of such divine love may be compared to the refinement of sugar. Just as in

the development of sugar first there is the seed, then the juice, then molasses,

then crude sugar, refined sugar, sugar candy, and rock candy, so in the same

way, rati matures into prema, and then sneha, mana, praraya, raga, and anuraga

and bhava. (Ujjvala-nilamani, Sthayibhava Pra 53-54)



sadhana-bhakti haite haya 'rati'ra udaya

rati gadha haile tara 'prema' nama kaya

prema vrddhi-krame nama sneha, mana, pranaya

raga, anuraga, bhava, mahabhava haya


            By regularly practicing devotional service (sadhana-bhakti), one gradually

becomes attached to Krsna. This is called rati. Then rati becomes intensified, it

becomes, prema. The basic aspects of prema, when gradually increasing to

different stages are sneha, mana, praraya, raga, anuraga, bhava, and mahabhava.

(Cc. Madhya 19.177-178)


One With Eyes of Prema Can See the Supreme Person




santah sadaiva hrdayesu vilokayanti

yam syamasundaram acintya-guna-svarupam

govindam adi-purusam tam aham bhajami


            I worship Govinda, the Primeval Lord, who is Syamasundara, Krsna Him-

self with inconceivable innumerable attributes, whom the pure devotees see in

their heart of hearts with the eye of devotion tinged with the salve of love.

(Brahma-samhita 5.38)


The Shelter of Madhurya-rasa-bhakti




tabhir ya eva nija-rupataya kalabhih

goloka eva nivasaty akhilatma-bhuto

govindam adi-purusam tam aham bhajami


            I worship Govinda, the Primeval Lord, residing in His own realm, Goloka,

with Radha, resembling His own spiritual figure, the embodiment of the ecstatic

potency possessed of the sixty-four artistic activities, in the company of

Her confidantes (sakhis), embodiments of the extensions of Her bodily form,

permeated and vitalized by His ever-blissful spiritual rasa.

(Brahma-samhita 5.27)


The Direct and Indirect Tasting of Rasa



etavad eva jijnasyam tattva-jijnasunatmanah

anvaya-vyatirekabhyam yat syat sarvatra sarvada


            A person searching after the Supreme Absolute Truth, the Personality of

Godhead, must certainly search for this in all circumstances, in all space and

time, both directly and indirectly. (Bhag. 2.9.36)


The Definition of Rasa



vyavatitya bhavana-vartma yas camatkrtibharabhuh

hrdi sattvojjvale badham svadate sa raso matah


            When one transcends the status of ecstatic love and is situated on the high-

est platform of pure goodness, one is understood to have cleansed the heart of

all material contamination. In that pure stage of life, one can taste this nectar,

and this tasting capacity is technically called rasa, or transcendental mellow.

(Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu 2.5.132)


The Qualification for Madhurya-rasa



yadi hari-smarane sarasam manah yadi vilasa-kalasu kutahalam

madhura-komala-kanta-padavalim srnu tada jayadeva-sarasvatim


            If you at all wish to fill your consciousness with the remembrance of Sri Sri

Radha and Krsna and enter into a serving position within their sublime pleasure

pastimes on the banks of Radha-kunda, then listen carefully to this sweet

and poignant song of Jayadeva, which is filled with the narration's of their divine

love. [Within this verse there is relationship (sambandha) and the means

of attaining perfection (abhidheya). The qualifications (adhikara) for entering

one's constitutional position in the confidential pastimes of Radha-Madhava,

rendering Them service, and realizing the highest ecstasy in that position, is

attainable by those rasika devotees who are free from all anarthas. They are

qualified to read this book and thus reach the highest goal (prayojana). (Gita-

govinda 1.3)


The Prohibition for Those Who are Unqualified



naitat samacarej jatu manasapi hy anisvarah

vinasyaty acaran maudhyad yatharudro 'bdhi-jam visam


            One should never imitate the behavior of great persons. If out of foolish-

ness an ordinary person imitates such behavior [as Krsna's dancing with the

gopis], even mentally he is doomed, just as one who imitates Rudra by swallowing

a ocean of poison. (Bhag. 10.33.30)


The Separation Experienced in Madhurya-rasa



yugayitam nimesena caksusa pravrsayitam

sunyayitam jagat sarvam govinda-virahena me


            O Govinda! Feeling Your separation, I am considering a moment to be

like twelve years or more. Tears are flowing from my eyes like torrents of rain,

and I am feeling all vacant in the world in Your absence. (Siksastakam 7)



amuny adhanyani dinantarani hare tvad-alokanam antarena

anatha-bandho karunaika-sindho ha hanta katham nayami


            O Hari! O Friend of the helpless! You are the only ocean of mercy!

Because I have not met You, my inauspicious days and nights have become

unbearable. I do not know how I shall pass the time. (Krsna-karnamrta 41)



aslisya va pada-ratam pinastu mam adarsanan marma-hatam karotu va

yatha tatha va vidadhatu lampato mat-prana-nathas tu sa eva naparah


            I know no none but Krsna as My Lord, and He shall remain so even if He

handles Me roughly in His embrace or makes Me broken-hearted by ignoring

Me completely. He is completely free to do whatever He wants, for He is a

debauchee, yet He is still My worshipful Lord, unconditionally. (Siksastaka 8)


Extreme Separation



ayi dina-dayardra-natha he mathuranatha kadavalokyase

hrdayam tvadaloka-kataram dayita bhramyati kim karomy aham


            O my Lord! O most merciful Master of Mathura! When shall I see You

again? Because of my not seeing You, my agitated heart has become unsteady.

O most beloved one, what shall I do now? (Padyavali, Madhavendra Puri)


The Determined Prayer of One Who

Aspires to Worship Krsna in Madhurya-rasa



na dharmam nadharmam sruti-gana-niruktam kila kuru

braje radha-krsna-pracura-paricaryam iha tanu

sacisunum nandisvara-pati-sutatve guruvaram

mukunda-presthatve smara paramajasram nanu manah


            O mind! Disregard the piety and impiety mentioned in the Vedas. Render

eternal, confidential, loving service to the lotus feet of Sri Sri Radha and Krsna

in Vraja. Always meditate on the lotus feet of the son of Saci, Sri Caitanya

Mahaprabhu, who is nondifferent form the son of Nanda. And always meditate

on gurudeva, who [as the representative of Srimati Radharani] is the most

beloved of Mukunda [Sri Krsna]. (Manah-Siksa 2)


Thus ends the Eighteenth Jewel of Gaudiya-Kanthahara, entitled Prayojana-tattva.

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