Jaiva Dharma - Bhaktivinoda ThakuraJaiva Dharma - Chapter Thirty Two
Jaiva Dharma - Bhaktivinoda ThakuraJaiva Dharma - Chapter Thirty Four

Chapter Thirty-three
Mādhurya-rasa, Part Three

by Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura
(translated by Śrī Sarvabhāvana Prabhu)

After having taken a dip in the sacred lake of Indradyumna Sarovara, Vijaya-kumāra and Vrajanātha returned home and ate their noon prasādam together. Vrajanātha then decided to visit Śrīla Haridāsa Ṭhākura’s samādhi, and in the meantime Vijaya-kumāra went to the Rādhā-kānta Mandira, where he offered his prostrated obeisances to Śrīla Gopāla-guru Gosvāmī and sat in respectful expectation, waiting for a signal from his guru to speak.

When Śrīla Gosvāmī was ready, Vijaya-kumāra spoke as follows, “Gurudeva, the daughter of Śrī Vṛṣabhānu Mahārāja, Vṛṣabhānu-nandinī, Śrīmatī Rādhikā, is the reigning mistress of my heart, my very life and soul are in Her hands. Inexplicably, my heart melts at the very sound of Her name. Kṛṣṇa, indeed, is our sole refuge, yet, His pleasurable dalliances with Śrī Rādhā are the most relishable spiritual pastimes. Narrations where Śrīmatī Rādhikā is absent, although they may contain descriptions of Kṛṣṇa, seem colourless to me.

“Gurudeva, may I frankly express something to you? I no longer feel like introducing myself as Vijaya-kumāra Bhaṭṭācārya; I enjoy thinking of myself solely as the pālyadāsī, maidservant of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī, entirely dependent upon Her support. Another unique development that I find within myself is that I abhor discussing vrajalīlā with materially engrossed persons. Assemblies wherein persons speak without profound knowledge of rasa are unbearable to me. I feel the urge to get up and leave.”

Gosvāmī, “Certainly, you are most fortunate. Until a person acquires such complete faith in his svarūpa as a vraja-gopī, he is not eligible to discuss the intimate pastimes of Śrī Rādhā and Śrī Kṛṣṇa. What to speak of devas, even devīs are not privileged to talk on such elevated topics.

“Earlier I spoke about the beloved consorts of Śrī Kṛṣṇa. Amongst all of them, Śrīmatī Rādhā and Śrīmatī Candrāvalī are the foremost. They both have millions of yūthas of youthful gopīs following them. In the mahā-rāsa-līlā, countless millions of exquisitely beautiful gopīs dance gracefully within the rāsa-maṇḍala.”

Vijaya, “Gurudeva, let Candrāvalī have her millions and millions of yūthas, but kindly tell me the glories of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī and cleanse my contaminated heart and ears. As your surrendered disciple I earnestly request you to fill my ears with this divine rasa.”

Gosvāmī, “Ah yes! Between Rādhikā and Candrāvalī, Śrīmatī Rādhā is mahābhāvasvarūpa, the embodiment of the unsurpassable pinnacle of bhāva. Thus, She is superior in all respects to Candrāvalī. The śruti scripture, the Gopala-tapani Upaniṣad, has glorified Her as Gāndharvā. The Ṛkpariśiṣṭa, the final supplementary section of the Ṛg Veda, narrates how Mādhava, Kṛṣṇa, becomes more resplendent in the company of Śrī Rādhikā. The Padma Purāṇa records the statement of Śrī Nārada Muni, ‘Śrīmatī Rādhikā’s kuṇḍa is as precious to Kṛṣṇa as Śrī Rādhikā Herself, and, above all gopīs, Śrī Rādhā is Kṛṣṇa’s most beloved.”

“What is rādhā-tattva, the philosophical truth regarding Śrī Rādhā? Śrīmatī Rādhikā is the embodiment and vital soul of the hlādinīśakti of Śrī Kṛṣṇa, which is the topmost amongst all His potencies.”

Vijaya, “This spiritual instruction is wonderful! In truth, what is the svarūpa of Śrīmatī Rādhikā?”

Gosvāmī, “Dearmost Śrīmatī Rādhikā, daughter of Śrī Vṛṣabhānu, is suṣṭhu-kāntā-svarupa, constantly served and decorated by sixteen śṛṅgāra, excellences of beauty, and twelve ābharaṇas, embellishments.”

Vijaya, “What is the meaning of suṣṭhu-kāntā-svarupa?”

Gosvāmī, “Possessing unsurpassable beauty, Rādhikā does not need any beauty aids, make-up, or jewellery to enhance Her exquisite features. Her hair cascades in curly locks around a lovely expressive lotus-like face that is beautified with large, elongated eyes. The proportions of Her body are perfect: firm breasts, a narrow waist, petite shoulders. Her nails glow like moonstone gems. She is the perfection of unmatched, sublime beauty.”

Vijaya, “What are the sixteen different śṛṅgāra?”

Gosvāmī, “An elaborate bath; the brilliant gem on her nose ring; a blue sari; the sash around Her waist; platted curly locks; dangling earrings; sandalwood paste smeared upon Her body; flower arrangements in Her hair; a fine garland; a lotus flower joyfully in hand; chewing betel leaf; a dot of kasturī, musk, upon Her chin; kājala, mascara, around Her eyes; colourful designs painted upon Her cheeks; feet painted with the red alta tint; and Her brow decorated with tilaka are the sixteen śṛṅgāras shining with divine splendour upon the person of Śrī Rādhā.”

Vijaya, “What are the twelve ābharaṇas?”

Gosvāmī, “Fabulously precious gems in Her crown, golden earrings, a bejewelled girdle around Her hips, a gem-studded golden locket around Her neck, Her upper ears pierced with golden studs, a choker around Her throat, a variety of sparkling rings upon Her fingers, a necklace with star designs, wristbands, armlets, gem-studded ankle-bells, and toe-rings are the twelve ābharaṇas basking in the resplendent beauty of Śrīmatī Rādhikā.”

Vijaya, “What are the principal attributes of Śrīmatī Rādhikā?”

Gosvāmī, “The Queen of Vṛndāvana, Rādhārāṇī, is, like Kṛṣṇa, the treasure-trove of endless excellences. The most prominent twenty-five qualities are (1) mādhurya: She is sweetness personified, and extremely lovely to behold. (2) nava-vayāḥ: She blossoms with the fresh youthfulness of adolescence. (3) calaapāṅga: She has bright restless eyes. (4) ujjvalasmitā: Constantly, a tender soft smile plays upon Her lips. (5) cāru-saubhāgya-rekha-āḍhyā: Beautiful auspicious signs and lines mark Her body. (6) gandha-unmādita-mādhavā: Her bodily fragrance enchants Kṛṣṇa. (7) saṅgīta prasaraabhijñā: She is an expert musician and singer. (8) ramyavāk: She is practised in the art of pleasing conversation. (9) narmapaṇḍitā: She possesses sparkling feminine wit and humour. (10) vinītā: She is modest and gentle by nature. (11) karuṇāpūrṇā: She is full of compassion and mercy. (12) vidagdhā: She is extremely intelligent and transcendentally cunning. (13) pāṭavaanvitā: She is expert in performing Her duties. (14) lajjāśīlā: She is shy. (15) sumaryādā: She is always respectful. (16) dhairya: She is patient and calm and able tolerate pain and suffering. (17) gāmbhīryaśālinī: She is grave and sober. (18) su-vilāsā-priya: She relishes pastimes and is expert in enjoying life. (19) mahābhāva parama-utkarṣa-tarṣiṇī-yukta: She is situated at the topmost level of mahā-bhāva, ecstatic love, and always desirous to experience the same. (20) gokula-prema-vasatiḥ: She is the embodiment and abode of vrajaprema; Her very sight evokes spontaneous love in the residents of Gokula. (21) jagatśrenīlasadvasaḥ: She is the most famous devotee throughout creation. (22) gurvarpitasnehaspāda: She is very affectionate to Her elders and always receives their affection. (23) sakhīpraṇayitāvaśā: She is controlled by the love and affection of Her girlfriends. (24) kṛṣṇa-priya-āvalī-mukhyā: She is the chief gopī and the most beloved of Kṛṣṇa. (25) santataāśravakeśavāḥ: She always keeps Kṛṣṇa under Her control.”

Vijaya, “I wish to learn in detail the beautiful and auspicious signs and lines that mark the transcendental body of Śrīmatī Rādhikā.”

Gosvāmī, “The Varāha-saṁhitā, jyoti-śāstra, Kāśī-khaṇḍa of the Skanda Purāṇa, Matsya Purāṇa, and Garuda Purāṇa have presented the following descriptions of Her auspicious signs and lines:

“Upon the sole of Rādhikā’s left foot there are (1) at the base of the big toe of the left foot, the auspicious mark of a yava, barleycorn; (2) a discus below that; (3) a lotus flower at the base of the middle toe; (4) a flag and (5) a banner below that; (6) the urdhvarekha line beginning right of the middle toe and extending up to the middle of the sole; and (7) an aṅkuśa, elephant goad, at the base of the little toe.

“Upon the sole of Her right foot there are (1) a conchshell at the base of the big toe; (2) a fish upon the heel; (3) a chariot above the fish; (4) an altar throne at the base of the little toe, and above the fish is (5) a mountain; (6) a coil like an earring; (7) a mace, and (8) a śakti symbol like a spear.”

“Upon the palm of Her left hand, the prominent lines are (1) the life line which begins from between the index finger and middle finger and runs all the way to below the little finger; (2) another line, starting below the life line extends from the middle of outer side of the palm below the little finger and travels up to between the index finger and thumb; and (3) at the base of the thumb, starting from the wrist, a line curves up, to meet the middle line thus reaching the mid-section between the thumb and index finger. The following marks are also found upon the palm of the left hand: (4-8) a disc upon each fingertip, which with the three lines add up to eight signs. Furthermore, there are: (9) an elephant below the ring-finger; (10) a horse below the life-line; (11) a bull below the middle-line; and (12) below the little finger, an elephant goad; plus (13) a fan; (14) a bilva Śrī Lakṣmī bel fruit tree; (15) a post; (16) an arrow; (17) a lance; and (18) a string of beads—thus making eighteen signs and lines.

“Upon the palm of Her right hand there are (1-3) the same three prominent lines as on the left palm; plus (4-8) a conchshell on each finger-tip; (9) a yak-tail cāmara fan below the index finger; and (10) a goad; (11) a palace; (12) a dundubhi, kettle drum; (13) a lightning bolt; (14) a pair of carts; (15) a bow; (16) a sword; and finally (17) a water pot with a spout below the little finger.

“Thus, on the sole of the left foot there are seven signs, on the sole of right foot eight signs, on the palm of the left hand eighteen signs, and on the right hand seventeen signs. Therefore, altogether there are fifty auspicious marks and lines.”

Vijaya, “Are any of these attributes possible in another person?”

Gosvāmī, “These attributes are present in minute degrees in the jīva and manifest to a higher degree in the Devas and Devīs, but they are in absolute fullness only in Śrīmatī Rādhikā. Śrī Rādhikā’s every attribute is supramundane and such attributes can never exist purely or completely in those souls conditioned by material nature. What to speak of those in the mundane creation, not even Parvatī, the consort of Śiva, and Gaurī, the consort of Nārāyaṇa, possess any of these attributes, either to perfection or to an absolute degree.”

Vijaya, “Yes, truly, Śrīmatī Rādhikā’s unsurpassable beauty and superexcellent attributes are inconceivable; Her mercy alone can endow one with the ability to perceive them.”

Gosvāmī, “How can words describe Her beauty and excellences? Even Kṛṣṇa is enchanted by them, how can they be compared to anything else?”

Vijaya, “Gurudeva, kindly tell me about Śrīmatī’s sakhīs.”

Gosvāmī, “Śrīmatī Rādhikā’s yūtha are the finest. The gopīs in her yūtha are embellished with all perfections, which help them to create an amorous and romantic ambience to attract Śrī Mādhava Kṛṣṇa.”

Vijaya, “How many types of sakhīs has Śrīmatī Rādhikā?”

Gosvāmī, “All in all there are five kinds: sakhī, friends; nityasakhī, eternal friends; prāṇasakhī, friends as dear as life; priya-sakhī, dearmost friends; and paramapreṣṭhasakhī, supremely dear friends.”

Vijaya, “Who are sakhīs?”

Gosvāmī, “Kusumikā, Vṛndā, Dhaniṣṭhā are prominent sakhīs.”

Vijaya, “Who are nityasakhīs?”

Gosvāmī, “Kastūrī, Maṇimañjarī, and others are nityasakhīs.”

Vijaya, “Who are prāṇasakhīs?”

Gosvāmī, “Some of the famous prāṇasakhīs who identify closely with Śrīmatī Rādhikā and often acquire a portion of Her svarūpata, beauty and features, are Śaśimukhi, Vāsantī, and Lāsikā.”

Vijaya, “Who are the priyasakhīs?”

Gosvāmī, “Some of the famous priyasakhīs are Kurāṅgākṣī, Sumadhyā, Madanālasā, Kamalā, Mādhurī, Muñjakeśī, Kandarpa-sundarī, Mādhavī, Mālatī, Kāma-latā and Śaśī-kāla.”

Vijaya, “Who are the parama-preṣṭha-sakhīs?”

Gosvāmī, “The parama-preṣṭha-sakhīs, often assisting in the most confidential pastimes of Śrīmatī Rādhā and Śrī Kṛṣṇa, are the aṣṭasakhīs, eight principal sakhīs: Lalitā, Viśākhā, Citrā, Campaka-latā, Tuṅga-vidyā, Indu-lekhā, Raṅgadevī, and Sudevī. According to the situation in the Divine Couple’s amorous pastimes, they sometimes exhibit partiality towards Kṛṣṇa, sometimes towards Śrī Rādhā.”

Vijaya, “Now I have a better concept of yūtha, but what is the position of the gaṇa?”

Gosvāmī, “Within every yūtha are subgroups that are known as gaṇa. Within Śrīmatī Rādhikā’s yūtha, for instance, is Lalitā Devī and those who owe allegiance to Lalitā Devī are referred to as Lalitā’s gaṇa.”

Vijaya, “The paroḍhābhāva is certainly an extremely exalted attribute of vrajagopīs, but is there a situation where paroḍhabhāva is not worshipable?”

Gosvāmī, “The distinction between male and female in the material world is illusory. These designations are the results of fruitive actions in material nature. The māyāśakti of the material nature is a breeding ground for irreligious and low desires; therefore, ṛṣis, munis, and gurus have forbidden man-woman relationships outside the institution of marriage. In order to uphold the pristine position of rasa and protect it under the shield of religious marriage vows, the great ṛṣis and munis have also gone a step further by denouncing the paroḍhabhāva as depicted in the mundane literature of the material world.

“However, rasa springing from transcendental paramour dalliance is pure and eternal, whereas illicit relationship in the material world between the illusory males and females is its perverted reflection. Mundane rasa is extremely limited and bound by both the cultural rules of society and the regulations of scripture that rightly exclude the conditioned jīvas of this material world from paramour relationships.

“Kṛṣṇa is sacidānandavigraha and is the sole puruṣa and nāyaka. His paroḍhabhāva that churns up the unlimited rasa of the spiritual platform is not in the least impure or condemnable. Thus within this highest spiritual concept of transcendental paramourship there is no room for the enactment of the prosaic laws of the illusory material world that govern the institution of mundane marriage. When the Hero of Goloka, Śrī Kṛṣṇa, manifests His Gokula-dhāma and the supreme pārakiyarasa upon earth, then the gopīs of Gokula are above reproach for exhibiting their transcendental paroḍhabhāva, even though illicit relationship in ordinary mundane literature has been rightly censored.”

Vijaya, “What notable symptoms are manifest in the love of the gopīs of Gokula for Kṛṣṇa?”

Gosvāmī, “The gopīs of Gokula perceive Kṛṣṇa exclusively as the darling of Nanda and Yaśodā. The symptoms of bhāva garnered from this natural, spontaneous, passionate love and affection are even for learned devotees very difficult to fathom, what to speak of for non-devotees and empiricists. In Nanda-nandana Kṛṣṇa, aiśvarya-bhāva is overwhelmed by an excess of mādhuryabhāva. Even when Kṛṣṇa in jest and play displays His four-armed form, the gopīs are apathetic towards it, or even actually ignore it. Moreover, in the presence of Śrīmatī Rādhikā, the four-armed form is quickly replaced by His two-armed original form because of the compelling power of Her transcendental love. This supramundane phenomenon is directly a consequence of Śrī Rādhikā’s profound pārakiya-rasa-bhāva.”

Vijaya, “Gurudeva, I feel so very fortunate and I am ever grateful to you for these explanations. Kindly explain the different nāyikās.”

Gosvāmī, “There are three types of nāyikās: svakīya, married; pārakiya, paramours; and sāmānya, general. I have already spoken about the svakīya and pārakiya nāyikās in spiritual rasa, so now I will delve into the sāmānya-nāyikās. The paṇḍitas of rhetoric, mundane literature and arts have ascertained that the sāmānyanāyikās are prostitutes, only greedy for money. Accordingly, the sāmānya-nāyikās neither despise the characterless, unqualified nāyakas, nor love and respect those nāyakas who are endowed with good qualities. Their feigned love is not true, but described as śṛṅgārābhāsa, a semblance of love. However, Kubjā of Mathurā, generally considered to possess śṛṅgārābhāsa, should according to our spiritual authorities be placed on the level of pārakiya because of the particular temperament towards Kṛṣṇa that she developed.”

Vijaya, “Gurudeva, what is this particular temperament of Kubjā?”

Gosvāmī, “When Kubjā was still ugly, disfigured, and unattractive she was never in love or infatuated with anybody. Yet, upon beholding Kṛṣṇa’s beautiful features, she immediately felt a spontaneous urge to apply sandalwood paste to His body and tugged at Kṛṣṇa’s garment begging for His embrace. This was an exhibition of rati analysed as being in the pārakiya mood. In contrast, the love of the queens of Dvārakā is superior, because they always unselfishly desired to give pleasure to Kṛṣṇa. Since Kubjā’s love was mixed with selfish motives, it is categorized as sādhāraṇa, ordinary and general.”

Vijaya, “As Kubjā’s attraction to Śrī Kṛṣṇa can be considered to be pārakiya, I now understand that the purely spiritual rasa of the nāyikās is divided into only svakīya and pārakiya—within the sphere of these two what other specific differences in mood are there?”

Gosvāmī, “Both svakīya and pārakiya nāyikās are of three types: mugdhā, captivated; madhyā, intermediate; and pragalbhā, imperious.”

Vijaya, “Gurudeva, because of your unlimited grace each time I meditate upon transcendental rasa I see you as one of the vrajagopīs. At that moment, all material designations of male and female disappear. Though I feel the ramaṇībhāva of the vrajagopīs, I am incapable of serving in an appropriate manner. Thus, I am extremely keen to learn the different sentiments of the various nāyikās. I wish to serve Kṛṣṇa by garnishing my spiritual sentiments with their particular service attitude, and I pray at your feet, kindly school me in this subject. Therefore, please illuminate the nature of the mugdhānāyikā.”

Gosvāmī, “Hear the symptoms of the mugdhānāyikā: She is navayauvanā, ever-fresh and most youthful, amorous and extremely feminine, her innocent newly-found love enchants her. She leans very much towards the vāmabhāva, leftist mood, wherein she tends to act contrary to the desires of her beloved. She is submissive to her fellow sakhīs and is very bashful in expressing her love, but in private she is artfully meticulous in planning a meeting with her beloved. If the nāyaka is offensive or neglectful, she simply observes Him with tearful eyes, neither speaking harshly nor sweetly, nor flying into māna, a withdrawn temper tantrum.”

Vijaya, “What is the nature of the madhyānāyikā?”

Gosvāmī, “The madhyānāyikā’s great madana, amorous passion, for union with Kṛṣṇa is balanced by her shyness upon meeting Him. Navayauvanā, ever fresh and in the prime of her youth, her speech tends to being occasionally pragalbhā, intrepid and impertinent. Sometimes she is so passionate that her amorous play transports her up to the ecstatic symptom of mūrchā, loss of consciousness. Her temper is at times mild, at other times severe, and when angry, she is of three types: dhīra, passive and composed; adhīra, intolerant and restless; and dhīrādhīra, a mixture of both dhīra and adhīra.

“When she is dhīra, the madhyānāyikā coolly ridicules her errant beloved with sarcastic words; as adhīra, she hurls abusive words in a rage; and when she is dhīrādhīra, she is moved to tears while speaking cuttingly to her beloved. The madhyānāyikā possesses a combination of the mugdhā mood and pragalbhā temperament; hence, the pinnacle of all rasa is beautifully reposed in her.”

Vijaya, “What is the nature of the pragalbhānāyikā?”

Gosvāmī, “The pragalbhānāyikā’s symptoms are as follows: She is pūrnayauvanā, ever-fresh and in the full bloom of youth, she is proud, blinded by passion, and extremely enthusiastic about romance. She knows the art of weaving a net composed of a myriad of bhāvas in which she entrances her lover. And upon meeting her lover, she may even intimidate Him with the characteristic power of her premarasa. Her speech and activities are serious and very mature, and when she is angry, she is harsh and imperious. In such māna, the pragalbhānāyikā is also of three kinds: dhīra, adhīra and dhīrādhīra.

“The dhīrapragalbhā pretends to be indifferent to sambhoga, amorous pleasure, keeping her emotions and feelings secret and is externally polite, respectful and affectionate, whereas the adhīrapragalbhā pitilessly rails at her lover, caustically running him down. Finally, the dhīrādhīra-pragalbhā-nāyikā possesses a very similar personality to that of the dhīrādhīra-madhyā-nāyikā.

“Both the madhyā and pragalbhā nāyikā are further subdivided into jyeṣṭha, senior, and kaniṣṭha, junior. Thus, there are jyeṣṭhamadhyā and kaniṣṭha-madhyā, jyeṣṭha-pragalbhā and kaniṣṭhapragalbhā. These distinctions of jyeṣṭha and kaniṣṭha mirror the inflections and intensity of the praṇaya, love, of the individual nāyikās.”

Vijaya, “All in all, how many nāyikās are there?”

Gosvāmī, “There are fifteen different nāyikās. First there is a further nāyikā that we have not yet mentioned, the kanyānāyikā, unmarried heroine, who is very young, is exclusively a mugdhā, and therefore of one kind. Then, as just described, there are the three kinds of nāyikās: mugdhā, madhyā, and pragalbhā. However, out of these three, the madhyā and pragalbhā nāyikās are further subdivided thrice into dhīra, adhīra, and dhīrādhīra—thus making, one mugdhā, plus three madhyās, plus three pragalbhās, equalling seven. Then, we should consider that this resultant seven maybe either svakīya or parakīya. Consequently, seven svakīyanāyikās, plus seven pārakiya-nāyikās, plus the one kanyāmugdhānāyikā make a total of fifteen nāyikās.”

Vijaya, “What are the different psychological conditions displayed by a nāyikā?”

Gosvāmī, “There are eight specific conditions: (1) abhisārikā, thinking, ‘I will serve my lover,’ the nāyikā fondly goes to the place of rendezvous; (2) vāsaka-sajjā, the nāyikā proudly dresses in her best finery to receive her lover; (3) utkaṇṭhitā, the nāyikā is waiting in a state of eager anxiety to meet her lover; (4) khaṇḍitā, the nāyikā is offended by the late arrival of her lover and notes evident signs of His infidelity; (5) vipralabdhā, the nāyikā waits at the place of rendezvous, but her lover does not arrive; (6) kalahāntaritā, the nāyikā sends her lover away in a jealous argument, but then becomes very unhappy; (7) proṣitabhartṛkā, the nāyikā suffers greatly as her beloved has gone abroad not to return even after many days; and (8) svādhīnabhartṛkā, the nāyikā dominates her obedient lover and they live together in peace. All fifteen nāyikās display these eight symptoms.”

Vijaya, “Gurudeva, kindly further explain these conditions in more detail, starting with the abhisārikānāyikā.”

Gosvāmī, “The abhisārikānāyikā arranges an abhisāra, tryst, with her nāyaka and then goes to the secret place of meeting. The nāyikā, who goes to such a meeting on a full moon night, in a white sari, is a jyotsnābhisārikā and the nāyikā who goes to such a meeting on a new moon night in a black sari is a tamo ‘bhisārikā. The abhisārikānāyikā goes to her meeting decorated with jewellery from head to feet; moving stealthily and silently, shyness and modesty cover her body like a mantle, and she seeks a snigdha, sweet, gentle and affectionate sakhī to accompany her.”

Vijaya, “Kindly describe the vāsaka-sajjā-nāyikā.”

Gosvāmī, “Vāsakasajjā means to decorate the place of tryst and oneself in expectation of the lover; hence, the nāyikā who is acting in such a manner is called a vāsaka-sajjā-nāyikā. She is determined to make amorous advances and ploys in the presence of her lover. While she is eagerly awaiting his arrival, she discusses His pastimes with her girl friends and repeatedly sends her female messengers to discover the latest news of His expected arrival.”

Vijaya, “Kindly describe the utkaṇṭhita-nāyikā.”

Gosvāmī, “When the nāyikā becomes eager and extremely anxious because her lover is late, though it is not His own fault, she is called an utkaṇṭhitanāyikā. Her heart is burning, her body quivering and her mind continuously seeks the reason for her lover’s absence. Feeling frustrated and irritated in all her activities, she perspires profusely and speaks with everyone about her condition, shedding tears of lamentation.

“Eventually, the vāsaka-sajjā-nāyikā’s condition may transform into that of the utkaṇṭhitanāyikā when she begins to brood over the thought that her late lover may not come at all, having come under the spell and wiles of another nāyikā. At this stage, the anxiety of waiting and separation makes her utkaṇṭhita.”

Vijaya, “Kindly describe the khaṇḍitānāyikā.”

Gosvāmī, “When the nāyaka does not turn up at the designated time, but saunters in at the end of the night with visible bodily marks of amorous play with another nāyikā, then the awaiting nāyikā becomes khaṇḍitā, abandoned. She expresses anger by releasing long sighs and, turning her face away from her beloved, silently begins to sulk.”

Vijaya, “Kindly describe the vipralabdhānāyikā.”

Gosvāmī, “The vipralabdhā condition is brought about, when for reasons beyond His control the nāyaka does not meet the nāyikā at the appointed tryst, which was made definite through sign language, hints, or the like. A spectrum of emotions washes over the most disappointed nāyikā—feeling constantly the crippling pangs of separation, she broods without pause, is full of remorse, fretful thoughts plague her mind, she cries constantly, sighs heavily, and may even loose consciousness through swoon.”

Vijaya, “Kindly describe the kalahāntaritā-nāyikā.”

Gosvāmī, “The kalahāntaritānāyikā refuses to talk with the nāyaka and angrily spurns Him, even if He falls at her feet in the presence of other sakhīs, confessing Himself. Not allowing Him to touch her, she dismisses Him, rages in delirium, beats her head in grief, feels debilitating languor, and breathes heavily.”

Vijaya, “Kindly describe the proṣita-bhartṛkā-nāyikā.”

Gosvāmī, “When the nāyaka travels far away, the nāyikā is in a state of proṣitabhartṛkā. She fills the emptiness of her lover’s absence by glorifying Him, feels lonely and humble, grows thin, becomes pale with melancholy, is restive, worries deeply, and becomes inert, not sleeping, dressing, or bathing herself.”

Vijaya, “Kindly describe the svādhīna-bhartṛkā-nāyikā.”

Gosvāmī, “The svādhīna-bhartṛkā-nāyikā keeps her beloved enchanted, obedient, and always near her. Therefore, according to her desire, with the nāyaka, she is engaged in pastimes in the forest, in sporting water games, and picking flowers.”

Vijaya, “The state of svādhīnabhartṛkā must be very blissful for the nāyikā.”

Gosvāmī, “When the nāyaka is spellbound by the prema of a svādhīnabhartṛkānāyikā to such an extent that He is unable to leave her company even for a moment, she is called mādhavī, one who captures the heart of her nāyaka. Among the eight nāyikās just enumerated, three—svādhīna-bhartṛkā, vāsakasajjā, and abhisārikā—are always joyful and decorated with numerous jewellery and ornaments, whereas the other five nāyikākaṇḍhitā, vipralabdhā, utkaṇṭhita, proṣita-bhartṛkā, and kalahāntaritā—abstain from fineries and ornaments and are often seen sitting disconsolately, resting their left cheeks upon their clenched fists in deep melancholy with fretful worries that torment their hearts.”

Vijaya, “What is the significance of being so tormented by kṛṣṇaprema?”

Gosvāmī, “Kṛṣṇaprema is cinmaya, absolutely transcendental, and is thus always paramānanda, supremely blissful. The apparent torment one experiences in loving Kṛṣṇa is simply another form of this paramānanda even though outwardly it may appear most unpleasant. In the material world, torments are undoubtedly excruciating, but in the spiritual realm, they are a variant form of ānanda. One who experiences spiritual torment in kṛṣṇaprema perceives only a current of transcendental bliss within the heart since such emotions are caused by deep immersion in cinmayarasa, transcendental mellow. This transcendent experience cannot be expressed adequately by words.”

Vijaya, “What are the gradations of kṛṣṇaprema in these various nāyikās?”

Gosvāmī, “The nāyikās are grouped into three categories according to their varying intensity of prema for Vrajendranandana Kṛṣṇa. They are uttama, topmost; madhyama, intermediate; and kaniṣṭha, junior. It should be understood that Kṛṣṇa reciprocates with the different nāyikās in accordance with the intensity of their prema.”

Vijaya, “What are the symptoms of the uttamanāyikās?”

Gosvāmī, “The uttama-nāyikā is prepared to give up all her dharmas no matter how important they may be simply to give even a moment’s pleasure to her beloved. If ever the nāyaka should cause her pain and sorrow, she never retaliates or shows malice. Moreover, if she hears even fabricated or joking stories that her nāyaka is in distress, her heart aches.”

Vijaya, “What are the symptoms of the madhyamanāyikā?”

Gosvāmī, “The madhyama-nāyikā is one who is pained when she hears that her nāyaka is troubled.”

Vijaya, “What are the symptoms of the kaniṣṭhanāyikā?”

Gosvāmī, “The kaniṣṭhanāyikā displays the tendency to be suspicious and fearful of the impediments—such as embarrassing public opinion—that check her from meeting her beloved nāyaka, Kṛṣṇa.”

Vijaya, “How many types of nāyikās are there all in all?”

Gosvāmī, “There are three hundred and sixty types of nāyikās. The first set of fifteen nāyikās multiplied by the eight moods makes one hundred and twenty, and this further multiplied by the three intensities just mentioned makes three hundred and sixty types.”

Vijaya, “Gurudeva, I have followed your explanations on the different nāyikās and now I am eager to know more about the various and divergent personalities of the many yūtheśvarīs.”

Gosvāmī, “Yūtheśvarīs are of three kinds: svapakṣa, friends; vipakṣa, enemies; and taṭasthā, neutrals. They are again divided into three sections according to their saubhāgya, good fortune: adhika, greater; samā, moderate; and laghu, light. And again, they are further divided into three categories according to their temperament: prakharā, harsh; madhyā, moderate; and mṛdvī, sweet and soft. The prakharāyūtheśvarīs express their loving sorrow and anger in the mood of pragalbhā, boldness and guilelessness. Those whose words are the least pragalbhā are the mṛdvīyūtheśvārīs, who speak very sweetly. The speech of the madhyā-yūtheśvārīs is in-between these two.

“The adhikayūtheśvārīs are further subdivided into ātyantikī, the ultimate in qualification; and āpekṣikī, highly qualified. The one who is unparalleled and unsurpassable in all respects is the ātyantikī-adhika-yūtheśvārī. This position belongs to Rādhikā alone. She is also madhyā by nature and has no equal in Vraja or anywhere else throughout the entire creation.”

Vijaya, “Which yūtheśvārīs come under the category of āpekṣikīadhika, the second level of qualification?”

Gosvāmī, “The apekṣiki-adhika-yūtheśvārīs are comparatively superior to one or more of the other yūtheśvārīs.”

Vijaya, “Who are the ātyantikī-laghu-yūtheśvārīs?”

Gosvāmī, “The ātyantikī-laghu-yūtheśvārī is inferior to all the other yūtheśvārīs, whereas all yūtheśvārīs are inferior to the sole ātyantikī-adhika-yūtheśvārī, Śrī Rādhikā. Aside from the ātyantikīlaghu, all the yūtheśvārīs are adhikā. Therefore, there is no question of the ātyantikī-adhikā-yūtheśvārī, Śrī Rādhā, being equal or inferior to any other yūtheśvarī. Similarly, there is no question of the ātyantikī-laghu-yūtheśvārī being superior to anyone else. There is just one type of samālaghu. However, the madhyā-yūtheśvārīs are further sub-grouped into nine divisions. Thus, there are twelve divisions of yūtheśvārīs: (1) ātyantikīadhika; (2) samālaghu; (3) adhikamadhyā; (4) samāmadhyā; (5) laghumadhyā; (6) adhikaprakharā; (7) samāprakharā; (8) laghuprakharā; (9) adhikamṛdvī; (10) samāmṛdvī; (11) laghu-mṛdvī; and (12) ātyantikīlaghu.”

Vijaya, “I would like to know about the different dūtīs, female messengers?”

Gosvāmī, “Dūtīs are most important for the nāyikās, because the nāyikās are deeply hankering for the company of their beloved Kṛṣṇa and the dūtīs help them to attain this goal. Dūtīs are of two kinds: svayam-dūtī, messengers who act on their own behalf and upon their own initiative; and āptadūtī, messengers who carry the confidential intimations of another.”

Vijaya, “Kindly describe the svayam-dūtī.”

Gosvāmī, “On account of the ardent desire caused by anurāga, the nāyikā sometimes sheds her shyness; she is enamoured by love for the nāyaka and thus personally expresses her own loving bhāva to Him. Thus, she enters the role of svayamdūtī. These sentiments are expressed in the form of abhiyoga, intimations, in three ways: kāyika, by bodily gestures; vācika, by speech; and cakṣuṣā, by glances of the eyes.”

Vijaya, “What is vācikaabhiyoga?”

Gosvāmī, “Vācikaabhiyoga is expressed in vyaṅga, a form of speech that subtly carries hints and suggestions giving vent to the feelings of the heart. Vyaṅga is of two kinds: śabdavyaṅga, the hint is given by the words and their intonation; and artha-vyaṅga, the hint is given by hidden meanings in the words. Sometimes Kṛṣṇa is the subject of the vyaṅga, and sometimes the vyaṅga pretends to be related to something else.”

Vijaya, “In what way does Kṛṣṇa become the subject of vyaṅga?”

Gosvāmī, “Vyaṅga works in two ways when making Kṛṣṇa its subject: sākṣāt, direct; and vyapadeśa, upon pretext.”

Vijaya, “What is sākṣātvyaṅga, a direct hint?”

Gosvāmī, “Sākṣātvyaṇga is of many types, but mainly three: garva, words of praise; ākṣepa, words of accusation and lamentation; and yācñā, words conveying yearning and requests.”

Vijaya, “Kindly explain ākṣepavyaṅga, words of accusation and lamentation.”

Gosvāmī, “Ākṣepavyaṇga leads to two other varieties of lovelorn vyaṅga: śabdottha, one using the sound of words; and arthottha, one using poetic meanings of words. You are a student of alaṅkāra wherein poets have used the same, therefore I think citing examples is unnecessary.”

Vijaya, “Yes, that is correct. Kindly elucidate yācñāvyaṅga, allusions carrying requests?”

Gosvāmī, “Yācñāvyaṅga is also of two types: svārtha, in one’s self-interest; and parārtha, in the interest of another. In svārthayācñā, the dūtī requests for herself, and in parārtha-yācñā she faithfully conveys the requests of somebody not present. Both these yācñā-vyaṅga are embellished with śabdavyaṅga, hints by word intonation, and arthavyaṅga, hints by hidden meanings. When bhāva is united with the words, it becomes saṅketika-yācñā, emblematic yearning.”

Vijaya, “Thus far we have heard mostly about sākṣātvyaṅga, which I have understood. The śabdavyaṅga, suggestions by word intonation, and artha-vyaṅga, suggestions by word meanings, are present in the nāyikā’s speech when she addresses Kṛṣṇa directly with abhiyoga-vākya, messages, requests, or complaints. These have been expressed in plays and dramas by authors and poets through the clever use of words and their nuances. How is vyapadeśa used in vyaṅga?”

Gosvāmī, “The word vyapadeśa is a technical term derived from the word apadeśa, disguise or pretext, that is found in alaṅkāraśāstra. Vyapadeśa factually means to use some other topic as a pretext to convey a confidential matter.

“The direct meaning of a speech spoken to Kṛṣṇa by the nāyikā will convey the obvious, but by the employment of vyapadeśavyaṅga a second meaning is implied. Such language will carry a secret prayer longingly soliciting Kṛṣṇa’s company and the opportunity to serve Him; this is the definition of vyapadeśa. Also sometimes this form of speech is artfully conveyed for a sakhī by her faithful dūtī.”

Vijaya, “I see. Vyapadeśa is a form of artful speech full of secret intimations whose hidden meaning carries a yācñā, request. This, I have understood, now if there is more, kindly explain.”

Gosvāmī, “Yes, there is another specific kind of expression that also uses pretext, known as puruṣaviṣaya-gata-viyoga. When the nāyikā speaks to Kṛṣṇa and considers that, ‘He seems to be listening, but perhaps He is really not.’ Then she begins to speak about a nearby bird, beast, or tree. This is known as puruṣa-viṣaya-gata-viyoga, addressing some other entity in the presence of the nāyaka to attract His attention and convey a meaning. This is also of the two types: śabdottha, using the intonation of words; and arthottha, using the poetic meanings of words.”

Vijaya, “By your grace, I have understood messages carried by words. Now kindly elaborate upon kāyika-abhiyoga, messages conveyed through body language.”

Gosvāmī, “Kāyikaabhiyoga is done in the presence of Kṛṣṇa; in many ways the body of the sakhī may send signals to Him. Gesturing with the fingers, moving quickly upon some pretext, covering one’s body out of apparent fear or shyness, drawing figures upon the ground with one’s toe, scratching one’s ears, appearing to apply tilaka as a symbol of chastity, playing about with one’s dress, playing with one’s necklace, making one’s eyebrows dance, embracing a sakhī, chastising a sakhī, biting one’s lips, stringing a necklace, jingling one’s ornaments, displaying one’s armpits by raising one’s arms, embracing a tree upon which one has etched Kṛṣṇa’s name, and similar movements are all kāyika or āṅgika-abhiyoga, messages through bodily language.”

Vijaya, “What are cakṣuṣāabhiyoga?”

Gosvāmī, “Smiling with one’s eyes, half opening one’s eyes, making one’s eyes dance, expressing hesitation with one’s eyes, looking out of the corner of one’s eyes, glancing with only the left eye, crooked and squinted glances, and the like are messages and feelings conveyed through one’s eyes.”

Vijaya, “So far you have described the svayamdūtī, the one who gives messages on her own behalf, very systematically, but briefly, knowing well that there are unlimited types of svayam-dūtī. However, who are the āptadūtīs, those who carry the messages of another, and how many types are there?”

Gosvāmī, “Those sakhīs who would never breach another sakhī’s trust and leak out confidential matters, even at the point of death, are called āpta-dūtīs. They are extremely affectionate, loyal and superb conversationalists. Only such versatile young gopīs endowed with all virtues are the favoured dūtīs of the vrajanāyikās.”

Vijaya, “How many types of āptadūtīs are there?”

Gosvāmī, “There are three types of āptadūtīs: amitārthā, the possessor of wonderful tactics; nisṛṣṭārthā, the possessor of witty arguments; and pātrahāri, the bearer of confidential letters. The amitārthā-dūtī is skilfully aware of the implications conveyed by innuendoes and hints; using these with great skill, she immediately arranges a rendezvous between her mistress and her beloved. The nisṛṣṭārthā-dūtī brings the lovers to union by witty logic and clever persuasion. The faithful pātrahāridūtī is a carrier of confidential written messages.”

Vijaya, “Are there any more types of āpta-dūtīs?”

Gosvāmī, “Śilpakāriṇī, artists; daivajñā, astrologers; liṅgiṇī, ascetic brāhmaṇa girls; paricārikā, maidservants; dhātreyī, nursemaids; vanadevī, the goddesses of the Vṛndāvana forest; the sakhīs; and many others are also considered āptadūtīs. The śilpakāriṇīdūtīs, artists, use their talents in drawing and painting to express the feelings of the lovers for union, thus propitiating their rendezvous. The daivajñā, astrologers, use their astrological knowledge to guide the lovers to a secret union at an auspicious time. The liṅgiṇī, brāhmaṇa girls and ascetics such as the tapasviṇī, Paurṇamāsī, use their knowledge and social position to remove obstacles to the fulfilment of the lovers. In addition, there are many paricārikā, maidservants, such as Lavaṅga-mañjarī and Bhānumatī, faithfully and brilliantly arranging the meeting of the lovers. The dhātreyī are women who have been nursemaids to Śrī Rādhā and the other gopīs; with great loyalty, they arrange meetings. The vanadevī, the adhiṣṭhātrīdevīs, presiding deities of the Vṛndāvana forest, carefully carry messages between the lovers. The devoted sakhīs have been mentioned earlier; they and many other gopīs also act as āptadūtīs. As the need arises, they may become vācikadūtīs, conveying messages spoken directly with unequivocal meanings, and they may also become vyaṅgadūtīs, delivering messages in śabdavyaṅga, intimations given by word intonation, and arthavyaṅga, intimations given by hidden poetic meanings. The complete gamut of abhiyoga conveyed to the nāyaka by all these dūtīs is vyapadeśa, statements with a hidden meaning; śabdamūla, the intonation of words; arthamūla; direct poetic word meanings; praśaṁsa, words of praise; ākṣepa, words of lamentation; and yācñā, words conveying yearnings and requests.”

Vijaya-kumāra keenly absorbed this esoteric analysis of the different types of intimate devotional service. Offering prostrated obeisances at his guru’s lotus feet, he begged permission to leave. While he was slowly walking home, his mind was alive and enthralled in deliberation upon all the most esoteric knowledge he had just received.

Thus ends the thirty-third chapter of Jaiva-dharma, entitled:
Mādhurya-rasa, Part Three

Jaiva Dharma - Bhaktivinoda ThakuraJaiva Dharma - Chapter Thirty Two
Jaiva Dharma - Bhaktivinoda ThakuraJaiva Dharma - Chapter Thirty Four

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