Jaiva Dharma - Bhaktivinoda ThakuraJaiva Dharma - Chapter Twenty Five
Jaiva Dharma - Bhaktivinoda ThakuraJaiva Dharma - Chapter Twenty Seven

Introduction to Rasa-tattva, The Principles of Spiritual Mellow

by Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura
(translated by Śrī Sarvabhāvana Prabhu)

Note From the Bhaktivinoda Institute

In his introduction to Jaiva-Dharma written on 29th January 1953, Śrīmad Bhakti Prajñāna Keśava Gosvāmī wrote the following:

“According to the line of thought stemming from Śrīla Prabhupāda (Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura), even if one engages in bhajana but is not highly qualified, it is improper to enter into discussions on rasa. Śrīla Prabhupāda has expressed this very clearly in such works as Bhāi Sahajiyā, Prākṛta-rasa Śata-duṣaṇī and many other essays. Nevertheless, even today there are many unqualified persons who are given to studying the portions of Jaiva-Dharma containing the analysis of rasa. According to Śrīla Prabhupāda’s understanding, this is detrimental. Being the worthy recipient of Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura’s merciful glance, and being destined with an increasingly intense desire to fulfill his innermost wishes, he has divided the book into three sections for his followers. According to his desire we will not be selling the third volume, viz. Rasa-vicāra, to the unqualified public. The first two volumes will be available for a symbolic price.

Since the purpose of the Bhaktivinoda Institute is to preserve and propagate the teachings of Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura for future generations, we have included the third part of Jaiva-Dharma in its entirety including chapters 26-40 detailing rasa-vicāra. Nonetheless, everyone should pay heed to the above words of Śrīla Keśava Gosvāmī Mahārāja in relation to delving into subject matters above their adhikāra (spiritual qualification). Simply wandering the internet and reading anything and everything is unadvisable. Literature that goes into great detail in regards to rasa-tattva should only be learned from a qualified guru.

Vijaya-kumāra soon left and stayed away from Navadvīpa for almost a month. Meanwhile, having received the consent of both Vrajanātha and Vijaya-kumāra to the marriage the grandmother of Vrajanātha did not waste a moment in finding a bride. As soon as Vijaya-kumāra heard from his sister that the brāhmaṇa matchmaker had found the right bride for Vrajanātha, he promptly sent his younger brother to Bilva Puṣkariṇī Village to take care of the necessary arrangements. Finally, an astrologically auspicious date was fixed and the marriage duly performed.

Soon after the marriage, Vijaya-kumāra himself suddenly appeared in Navadvīpa. He seemed to be in a pensive, withdrawn mood—thoughtful about his spiritual life, but apathetic towards all mundane discussions. Approaching him, Vrajanātha said, “Uncle, you appear restless, why don’t you tell me what is going on? I have tied the knot at your request, but now you do not reveal your heart to me. What is your decision regarding yourself?”

Vijaya-kumāra said, “I have decided to go on a pilgrimage to Puruṣottama-kṣetra Purī with a group that leaves in a few days. Let us visit Śrīla Gurudeva and ask his permission.”

Late in the afternoon, Vijaya-kumāra and Vrajanātha went to Śrīvāsāṅgana and related everything to Raghunātha dāsa Bābājī, requesting his permission for Vijaya to visit Purī-dhāma. Raghunātha dāsa Bābājī was very pleased with the idea and informed his two disciples that the seat of the preceptorial line of Śrī Caitanya based at the house of Kāśī Miśra in Purī was presently held by Śrī Gopāla-guru Gosvāmī, a disciple of Śrīla Vakreśvara Paṇḍita. Raghunātha dāsa Bābājī directed them to take darśana of his lotus feet and attentively receive instructions from him. In fact, they were informed, the teachings of Śrīla Svarūpa Dāmodara were under the safe and efficient custody of Śrī Gopāla-guru Gosvāmī.

On their way back from Māyāpura, Vrajanātha informed Vijaya-kumāra of his desire to accompany him to Purī, which pleased Vijaya very much. When they told everybody in the house what they were going to do, grandmother not wanting to be left behind decided to also accompany them to Purī. Therefore travel plans were worked out for the threesome, and when the hot days of the Jyeṣṭha month (May/June) were approaching, the pilgrims set out for Jagannātha Purī.

After a few days, they reached Dāntana and soon after Jaleśvara. In Remūṇa they had darśana of the famous Kṣīra-corā Gopīnātha Deity, moving on then to Śrī Virajā Kṣetra on the banks of the River Vaitaraṇī where they performed the Nābhi-gāya-kriyā sacrifice, bathed in the Vaitaraṇī River, and then arrived at the garden of Ekāmbara to see Lord Śiva in his form as Śrī Liṅga-rāja.

A few days later, they arrived at the Śrī Kṣetra Purī of Lord Jagannātha. There the group, originally large, dispersed into single persons and smaller groups to allow for accommodation in the family houses of the various pāṇḍās—the temple priests who were to act as guides for the pilgrims visiting Purī. Vijaya-kumāra, Vrajanātha and the grandmother took up residence in Haracaṇḍi Sāhi.

Soon after their arrival Vijaya and Vrajanātha set out for a few days of visiting the many nearby holy spots, to take dips in the ocean, to circumambulate the dhāma, to honour Jagannātha prasādam, and so forth. Vijaya-kumāra and Vrajanātha went inside the temple of Lord Jagannātha to have darśana of the portrait-deity of Śrī Caitanya and to see the impressions of His lotus-feet upon the temple floor and the impressions of His fingers upon the Garuḍa-stambha pillar. The impressions were caused as the stones melted by the transcendental touch of the Lord as he took darśana of Lord Jagannātha in sublime transcendental ecstasy. Falling into trance, Vijaya-kumāra and Vrajanātha experienced the highest bliss whilst remembering the various pastimes of the Lord.

From there they went to see the house of Śrī Kāśi Miśra. First, they offered obeisances to the khaḍama, wooden clogs, and other personal paraphernalia of Śrī Caitanya that are kept there and also to the Śrī Gambhīra room, which was the quarters of Śrī Caitanya during His final twelve years in Purī. The house of Śrī Kāśi Miśra is very spacious and on one side of the complex there is the temple of Śrī Rādhā-kānta, with the residence of Śrīla Gopāla-guru Gosvāmī on the side opposite to the temple. Upon entering the room of Śrī Gopāla-guru Gosvāmī, Vijaya-kumāra and Vrajanātha threw themselves down upon the ground with humility, choking with emotions.

Observing their devotional attitude, Śrīla Gopāla-guru Gosvāmī reached down, raised them up and embraced them. After they had taken seats, he asked them, “Where do you come from? Please tell me more about yourselves.”

They introduced themselves and Śrīla Gopāla-guru Gosvāmī was overwhelmed with joy when he heard who they were and from where they had come. Upon hearing the word Navadvīpa, he said, “I feel very fortunate today to see such dhāma-vāsīs and I am eager to learn how Raghunātha dāsa Bābājī, Gauracandra dāsa, and the other Vaiṣṇavas of Śrī Māyāpura are doing. Raghunātha dāsa Bābājī always reminds me so much of my śikṣāguru, Śrīla Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī.”

Śrīla Gopāla-guru Gosvāmī sent for his disciple, Śrī Dhyānacandra and told him to feed the two honourable guests with prasādam. After mahāprasādam Dhyānacandra and the two guests sat together discussing many topics of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Vijaya-kumāra, a paṇḍita of the Śrīmad Bhāgavatam, and Vrajanātha, an expert in many different branches of the scriptures, both impressed Śrī Dhyānacandra with their erudition, who then informed his guru about the knowledge of the scriptures possessed by their two guests. Śrīla Gosvāmī called for the two, benignly telling them, “You are the two priceless gems of my heart, allow me to have your darśana every day as long as you are in Purī.”

Vijaya-kumāra and Vrajanātha humbly replied, “Master, Śrīla Raghunātha dāsa Bābājī is well and in Māyāpura. He has showered us with much mercy. Before we came to Purī, he instructed us to approach your lotus feet and hear your teachings.”

Śrīla Gosvāmī said, “Raghunātha dāsa Bābājī is a great paṇḍita—always be sure to follow his advice carefully. If you have any questions, come tomorrow at noon. After the midday offering, join us for mahā-prasādam. Then we will meet and discuss your questions.” Offering their respects to Śrīla Gopāla-guru Gosvāmī, Vijaya and Vrajanātha returned to their residence in Haracaṇḍi Sāhi.

Vijaya-kumāra and Vrajanātha came to the Rādhā-kānta temple the next day at the arranged time. After honouring mahāprasādam, they went to see Śrīla Gopāla-guru Gosvāmī and offered obeisances at his feet. They asked, “Prabhu, we are keen to learn rasatattva, the truth of spiritual mellows. If we are allowed to hear about rasatattva in kṛṣṇabhakti from your lips, that will be a great blessing for us. You are the chief preceptor of the Nimānanda disciplic line and in line from Śrī Caitanya you are the bona fide successor of Śrīla Svarūpa Dāmodara Gosvāmī. We offer our respects to you as you are a world ācārya. Whatever we hear from you about rasatattva will crown our research and study with success.”

Śrīla Gosvāmī was extremely pleased to have quite unexpectedly found two such worthy disciples. He said, “May the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who mercifully appeared in Navadvīpa to acknowledge the Gaudiyas of Bengal and the Oriyās of Orissa as His own, Śrī Nimāi Paṇḍita, the son of Śacīmātā, bless us with spiritual bliss. May Śrīla Svarūpa Dāmodara, who was a source of constant ecstasy for Śrī Caitanya by his flawless service in describing mādhuryarasa appear in our hearts. May Śrīla Vakreśvara Paṇḍita, who captivated Nimāi Paṇḍita with his scintillating dancing, and who rectified Śrī Devānanda Paṇḍita by his causeless compassion, shower benedictions upon you.

Rasa is an unparalleled and most esoteric tattva. Rasa-tattva is the fully blossomed flower of the transcendental pastimes of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Śrī Kṛṣṇa. When kṛṣṇa-bhakti reaches the pinnacle of purity and becomes dynamically active, it is transformed into kṛṣṇa-bhakti-rasa, the mellows of devotion to Kṛṣṇa.”

Vrajanātha, “Is eligibility for kṛṣṇa-bhakti-rasa gained through previous practice?”

Gosvāmī, “This question does not have a simple answer. I shall have to elaborate upon the subject—you should try to understand it. You must have heard about kṛṣṇa-rati, loving attachment to Kṛṣṇa, otherwise known as sthāyibhāva, steady mood of devotion, from your Gurudeva. When sthāyi-bhāva is fanned and nurtured for a long time by sāmagrībhāva, the ingredients of rasa, it evolves into kṛṣṇabhakti-rasa, the sublimely relishable mellows of śuddhabhakti to Śrī Kṛṣṇa.”

Vrajanātha, “Kindly speak about sthāyi-bhāva and sāmagrībhāva. Śrīla Gurudeva has explained bhāva to us, but we have not yet heard how the mingling of sāmagrī-bhāva with sthāyibhāva produces kṛṣṇabhakti-rasa.”

Gosvāmī, “Bhāva-bhakti and kṛṣṇarati flourish in the heart of the devotee because of his involvement in bhakti in his present or previous lifetimes. They embody spiritual bliss, which at a mature stage transforms in to kṛṣṇa-bhakti-rasa.

Sāmagrī-bhāva is divided into four groups known as: vibhāva, that which causes the appearance of kṛṣṇa-rati; anubhāva, subsequent ecstasy; sāttvika-bhāva, constitutional ecstasy; and vyabhicārī-bhāva, aggressive ecstasy, also known as sañcāri-bhāva, continuously existing ecstatic symptoms. Vibhāva, which is also known as kṛṣṇa-prema, is of two divisions: ālambana, basic cause; and uddīpana, awakening stimuli. Ālambana is the basic cause that gives rise to rati, divine love, and is divided into two parts: viṣaya, the beloved; and āśrayā, the lover. The beloved object is viṣaya, and the one who embraces love is the āśrayā. Thus, the one who possesses rati is āśrayā, and the one who is the aim of that love is viṣaya. The heart of the Kṛṣṇa devotee embraces rati, hence the devotee is the āśrayā, and as Kṛṣṇa is the object of the devotee’s love, so He is the viṣaya.”

Vrajanātha, “As you have said, vibhāva is divided into two: ālambana, the basic cause of transcendental love; and uddīpana, items related to Kṛṣṇa that stimulate the transcendental love. Ālambana is again divided into two: viṣaya, the object of love; and āśrayā, the receptacle of love. You have mentioned that Kṛṣṇa is the viṣaya and that the devotee is the āśrayā. Now a question arises: Is it possible that Kṛṣṇa may also be the āśrayā of transcendental love?”

Gosvāmī, “Certainly, as we have mentioned previously, when the devotee loves Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa is the viṣaya and the devotee is the āśrayā. However, when Kṛṣṇa loves the devotee, Kṛṣṇa is the āśrayā and the devotee is the viṣaya.”

Vrajanātha, “We have heard of the sixty-four qualities of Kṛṣṇa from Gurudeva. Is there anything more you would like to tell us on this subject?”

Gosvāmī, “Śrī Kṛṣṇa is the repository of unlimited excellences, which are manifest in Him to an absolute degree. Yet, because of the varieties on the absolute platform, the excellences of Śrī Kṛṣṇa are displayed in differing intensities. In Dvārakā, the excellences are pūrṇaḥ, complete; in Mathurā, the excellences are pūrṇataraḥ, more complete; and in Gokula-Vṛndāvana, the excellences are pūrṇatamaḥ, most complete.

“According to the time, place, and mood of the līlā, the manifestation of the excellences and character of Śrī Kṛṣṇa also vary correspondingly. In His līlā, Kṛṣṇa is always the nāyaka, hero, of which there are four types: dhīrodātta, dhīra-lalita, dhīra-praśānta, and dhīroddhata.”

Vrajanātha, “Respected Gosvāmī, kindly describe the dhīrodātta-nāyaka.”

Gosvāmī, “The dhīrodātta-nāyaka is naturally very grave, gentle, forgiving, merciful, compassionate, determined, humble, highly qualified, chivalrous, and physically attractive.”

Vrajanātha, “Dear Gosvāmī, kindly describe the dhīra-lalita.”

Gosvāmī, “The dhīra-lalita-nāyaka is naturally funny, witty, and expert in joking, ever full of youthfulness, a relisher of rasa, very submissive to His lovers, and extremely confident of Himself and thus free from all anxieties.”

Vrajanātha, “Esteemed Gosvāmī, kindly describe the dhīrapraśānta.”

Gosvāmī, “The dhīrapraśāntanāyaka is naturally very peaceful, forbearing in distress and troubles, considerate and obliging to all.”

Vrajanātha, “Gosvāmī, kindly describe the dhīroddhata.”

Gosvāmī, “The dhīroddhatanāyaka is envious and jealous, arrogant, deceitful, easily angered, restless, complacent, boastful and ostentatious.”

Vrajanātha, “Quite a few belligerent and also mutually contradictory qualities were mentioned. How are all of these possible in the personality of just one person?”

Gosvāmī, “Śrī Kṛṣṇa possesses absolute power and opulence. By His inconceivable potency, all these conflicting qualities and antipodes are perfectly harmonized in His character. There are sufficient references in the scriptures substantiating this point.

“The Kūrma Purāṇa states:

asthūlaś cāṇuś caiva sthūla ‘ṇuś caiva sarvataḥ
avarṇaḥ sarvataḥ proktaḥ śyāmo raktāntalocanaḥ
aiśvarya-yogād bhagavān viruddhārtho ‘bhidhīyate
tathāpi doṣo parame naivāhārya kathañcana
guṇāviruddhā apy ete samāhāryāḥ samantataḥ

“‘Conflicting qualities are wonderfully adjusted in the personality of the Supreme Lord. He is transcendental without a material form, minutely small or atomic in size, yet He is also corporal and all pervasive in every respect. Although His body does not have a material complexion, the aura of His body is of a transcendentally darkish hue and the scriptures describe the edges of His eyes as reddish. He is endowed with absolute opulence and therefore even contrary characteristics may embellish His personality, but in His personality they are not incriminating imperfections. Though these characteristics are ostensibly opposing, in the personality of the Supreme Lord they shine in divine excellence and are variously employed in His līlā by the supreme independent will of the Lord.’

“In the Mahā-Varāha Purāṇa we read:

sarve nityāḥ śāśvatāś ca dehās tasya parātmanaḥ
hānopādāna-rahitā naiva prakṛti-jāḥ kvacit
paramānanda-sandohā jñāna mātrās ca sarvataḥ
sarve sarva-gunaiḥ pūrṇāḥ sarva-doṣa-vivarjjiāḥ

“‘All the varied expansions of the Personality of Godhead are transcendental and eternal, and all of them repeatedly descend to all the different universes of the material creation. Their bodies, composed of eternity, bliss and knowledge, are everlasting; there is no chance of their decaying, for they are not creations of the material world. These forms are concentrated spiritual existence, always complete with all spiritual qualities and devoid of material contamination.’

“The VaiṣṇavaTantra states:

aṣṭādaśa-mahdosaiḥ rahitā bhagavat-tanuḥ
sarvaiśvaryamayī satya-vijñānānanda-rūpiṇī

“‘The body of the Supreme Personality of Godhead is the eternal embodiment of the Absolute Truth and is, in every respect, full of knowledge, bliss, opulence and unlimited potency and is completely free from all eighteen mahādoṣas, great faults.’

“The Viṣṇu-yāmala Tantra describes the eighteen mahādoṣas:

mohas tandrā bhramo rukṣa-rasatā kāma ulbaṇah
lolatā mada-mātsaryau hiṁsā kheda-pariśramau
asatyaṁ krodha ākāṅkṣā āśaṇkā viśva-vibhramaḥ
viṣamatva parāpekṣā doṣā aṣöādaśoditā

“‘The following eighteen characteristics have been defined as mahādoṣa, great faults: illusion, lethargy, tendency to error, rough uncouth dullard behaviour, material lust, restlessness, pride, envy, hateful violence, lamentation, laziness and looking for comfort, dishonesty, anger, hankering, fearfulness, bewilderment, severe imbalance, and complete dependence on others.’

“In all manifestations of the Supreme Lord, the eighteen mahā-doṣas are absent. All the positive qualities are perfectly and supremely manifest in every avatāra of the Supreme Lord, and they are absolutely reposed in avatārī Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the source of all incarnations.

“Besides these characteristics, Śrī Kṛṣṇa possesses eight additional ones asserting His virility and manliness as the Supreme Enjoyer: śobhā, decorated with beauty and grace; vilāsa, fondness for enjoying; mādhurya, pleasing elegant sweetness; māṅgalya, auspicious dependability; sthairya, patient and steadfast; tejā, power and influence; lalita, playfulness and a charming dresser; and audārya, magnanimity.

“The quality of śobhā also includes being merciful to one’s subordinates, boldness in dealing with one’s equals, heroism and valour, enthusiasm, straight-forwardness and truthfulness. When a person is seen to be always happy and is accustomed to speak smilingly, he is considered to be in the mode of vilāsa, enjoyment. Measured gait, calm demeanour, amiable and sweet speech, and desirability come under the purview of mādhurya. Being the emblem of trustworthiness and dependability for the entire universe makes Kṛṣṇa all auspicious—māṅgalya. Kṛṣṇa never wavers or falters from performing His work and duty, so He is patient, fixed, and steadfast—sthairya. The ability to attract everyone with power and influence is a sign of tejā. One who makes endless efforts in romance and is a charming, beautiful dresser is lalita. Persons who magnanimously give themselves to others are known as audārya.

“Śrī Kṛṣṇa is thus the super-excellent nāyaka. Although Kṛṣṇa is supremely independent of everyone, out of His causeless mercy, He relies upon Garga Ṛṣi for religious instruction; for learning the military art, He takes instruction from Yuyudhāna, Sātyaki and other kṣatriyas; and for good counsel He enquires from His friend, Uddhava. He thus exhibits His versatility as a nāyaka.”

Vrajanātha, “Prabhu, the specifics about Śrī Kṛṣṇa as the supreme nāyaka, embodying the entire spectrum of rasa, is very enlightening. Kindly tell us about those intimate devotees who are eligible to taste rasa and have thus attained the platform of vibhāva, wherefrom they appreciate the cause of transcendental love.”

Gosvāmī, “Devotees whose inner nature is deeply steeped in Kṛṣṇa consciousness ever taste rasa. The twenty-nine of Kṛṣṇa’s qualities that begin with satyavāk, truthfulness, and continue to hrīmān, modest and bashful when glorified, as mentioned in the scriptures, are also present in His devotees.”

Vrajanātha, “What are the different classes of devotees eligible to cultivate rasa?”

Gosvāmī, “There are two kinds of rasopayogī, devotees eligible to taste rasa: the sādhaka and the siddha.”

Vrajanātha, “Who are the sādhakas?”

Gosvāmī, “A sādhaka is a devotee who has attained attraction for Śrī Kṛṣṇa but is not yet completely freed from all anarthas. He is engaged in qualifying himself to have the darśana of Śrī Kṛṣṇa by the cultivation of devotion in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. The Śrīmad Bhāgavatam, 11.2.46, describes the madhyama-adhikārī devotees belonging to the category of sādhaka:

īsvare tad-adhīneṣu bāliśeṣu dviṣatsu ca
prema-maitrī-kṛpopekṣā yaḥ karoti sa madhyamaḥ

“‘An intermediate or second-class devotee, called madhyamaadhikārī, offers his love to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is a sincere friend to all the devotees of the Lord, shows mercy to ignorant people who are innocent, and disregards those who are envious of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.’

Vrajanātha, “Gurudeva, are the neophyte devotees described in verse 11.2.47 of the Śrīmad Bhāgavatam qualified for tasting rasa?”

arcāyām eva haraye pūjāṁ yaḥ śraddhayehate
na tad-bhakteṣu cānyeṣu sa bhaktaḥ prākṛtaḥ smṛtaḥ

“‘A devotee who faithfully engages in the worship of the Deity in the temple, but does not behave properly toward other devotees or people in general is called a prākṛtabhakta, a materialistic devotee, and is considered to be in the lowest position.’”

Gosvāmī, “If they can progress to the stage of śuddhabhakti by the mercy of a pure devotee and become sādhakas they may become qualified to taste rasa otherwise they cannot. Śrī Bilvamaṅgala Ṭhākura is a shining example of a sādhaka of bhakti. The individual sādhaka is to be judged by his level of devotion.”

Vrajanātha, “Who are the siddhabhaktas?”

Gosvāmī, “Those devotees who do not experience any of the kleśas, the forms of material distress, whose activities revolve solely around Śrī Kṛṣṇa whose association they have realized, and who are always thirsty to drink the pleasure-inducing rasa of kṛṣṇa-prema are called siddhas. They are of two types: samprāpta-siddha, those who have attained complete perfection; and nitya-siddha, the eternally perfect souls.”

Vrajanātha, “Who are the samprāptasiddha devotees?”

Gosvāmī, “Samprāptasiddha devotees are subdivided into sādhanasiddha, those who have attained perfection through sādhana, and kṛpāsiddha, those promoted to the stage of perfection by the mercy of the Supreme Lord or His pure devotees.”

Vrajanātha, “Who are the nityasiddha devotees?”

Gosvāmī, “The nitya-siddha devotees have been described by Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī in the Bhaktirasāmṛta-sindhu, 2.1.290, as follows:

ātma-koṭi guṇaṁ kṛṣṇe premānaṁ paramaṁ gatāḥ
nityānanda-guṇāḥ sarve nitya-siddhā mukundavat

“‘The nitya-siddha devotees have achieved eternal, blissful life exactly on the level of Śrī Kṛṣṇa and are able to attract Śrī Kṛṣṇa by the purity of their transcendental loving service. Their most prominent characteristic is that their love for Śrī Kṛṣṇa is millions of times more intense than any affection they may have for themselves.’

“The Padma Purāṇa, Uttara-khaṇḍa:

yathā saumitrā-bharatau yathā saṇkarṣaṇādayaḥ
tathā tenaiva jāyante nija-lokād yadṛcchayā
punas tenaiva gacchanti tat-padaṁ śāśvataṁ paraṁ
na karma-bandhanaṁ janma vaiṣṇavānāñ ca vidyate

“‘By the desire of the Supreme Lord, the sons of Sumitrā Devī, Śrī Lakṣmaṇa and Śrī Bhārata, descended to earth from the spiritual realm, accompanying Śrī Rāmacandra. Similarly, Śrī Saṅkarṣaṇa Balarāma descended to earth with Śrī Kṛṣṇa. With the conclusion of the pastimes of Śrī Rāma upon the earth, all of the associates of Śrī Rāma returned to the supreme eternal abode with Him. Similarly, the Yādavas accompanied Kṛṣṇa down to the mundane plane and at the end of Kṛṣṇa’s līlā they went back to Vaikuṇṭha with Him. Similarly, the Vaiṣṇavas are also not bound by the laws of karma to take birth like ordinary mortals.’”

Vrajanātha, “Gurudeva, so far we have understood your elaborations on vibhāva ālambana. Kindly explain the stimuli known as uddīpana.”

Gosvāmī, “Objects and persons who stimulate bhāva are called uddīpana. Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s qualities, endeavours, embellishments, smile, bodily fragrance, flute, bugle, ankle-bells, conch, foot-impressions, places of pastimes, Tulasī Devī, the Vaiṣṇavas, Ekādaśī days, and so on, are all uddīpana.

“Of Kṛṣṇa’s qualities there are three kinds: kāyika, physical; vācika, vocal; and mānasika, intellectual.

“His age is one of the main kāyika qualities as described in the Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu, 2.1.309:

kaumāraṁ pañcamābdāntaṁ paugaṇḍaṁ daśamāvadhi
kaiśoram ā-pañcadaśād yauvanaṁ tu tataḥ param

“‘The kaumāra stage lasts until the age of five, paugaṇḍa up to age ten, and kaiśora up to age fifteen. From then on, one is known as yauvana, a youth.’

“Kaiśora is further divided into ādi, beginning; madhya, middle; and śeṣa, end. The most prominent kāyika, bodily quality of Kṛṣṇa, is His saundarya, beauty and attractiveness, which is described as a perfect grace and symmetry of all His bodily features. Prasādana, embellishments, includes His attire, His style of dress, and His ornaments and jewellery.

“Kṛṣṇa’s flutes, one of which is always in His hand, are of three varieties: veṇu, muralī and vaṁśī. The length of the veṇu is the width of twelve fingers; he is as thick as a thumb and has six holes. The muralī measures two cubits in length, has a hole at its mouth, and four other holes for various scales; he produces a most enchanting sound. The length of the vaṁśī is the width of seventeen fingers; he has eight scale holes with half a finger’s width between the scale holes. The playing hole at the mouth of the vaṁśī is four fingers from the top, while the last or bottom hole is three fingers from the end. Overall, the vaṁśī has nine holes. The conch-shell held by Kṛṣṇa opens to the right with a clockwise whorl and is called Pāñcajanya.

“All the paraphernalia and personal traits of Kṛṣṇa are infused with uddīpanabhāva, which evokes love for Śrī Kṛṣṇa. As the devotee’s attachment is stimulated, the devotee becomes filled with bliss and sthāyi-bhāva is produced within his heart. Sthāyi-bhāva in turn crystallizes into rasa. At this point we will leave this topic, but we will continue with anubhāva and the other items tomorrow. Try to assimilate what we have discussed today.”

Vijaya-kumāra and Vrajanātha took the dust from Śrīla Gosvāmī’s feet, smeared it upon their heads, and begged permission to leave. Thereafter they went first to the Siddha-bakula tree that had provided cooling shelter to Śrīla Haridāsa Ṭhākura for many years and then to have darśana of Lord Jagannātha.

After enjoying a wonderful evening, they finally returned home.

Thus ends the twenty-sixth chapter of Jaiva-dharma, entitled:
Introduction to Rasa-tattva, The Principles of Spiritual Mellow

Jaiva Dharma - Bhaktivinoda ThakuraJaiva Dharma - Chapter Twenty Five
Jaiva Dharma - Bhaktivinoda ThakuraJaiva Dharma - Chapter Twenty Seven

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