TLC 1 (1968)
Teachings to Rupa Goswami
Srila Rupa Goswami, the younger brother of Sanatan Goswami, went to Prayag, the modern Allahabad, with his younger brother Ballabha, and when they heard that Lord Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was staying there, both of them became very much pleased. They went to see Lord Chaitanya and saw that the Lord was going to visit the temple of Bindumadhava. While the Lord was going, chanting and dancing, thousands of people were following Him and some of them were crying, some were laughing, some were dancing, and some singing. Some of them were fallen on the ground, offering obeisances to the Lord. And all of them were roaring with the Holy Name of Krishna, Krishna. Prayag is situated on the confluence of the Rivers Ganges and Yamuna. And it is said that in spite of its being at the junction of two rivers, it remained without being overflooded until the appearance of Lord Chaitanya, when the city was overflooded by the tide of love of Krishna.
The two brothers, Rupa Goswami and Ballabha, saw the great crowd and the wonderful scene, staying aloof in an uncrowded place. The Lord was dancing, raising His two hands, and roaring with the words, Hari Boll Hari Boll All the people assembled there were astonished, struck with wonder at the Lord's activity, and it is very difficult to describe the actual situation. The Lord was acquainted with one Deccanist Brahmin, and the Lord came back to the Brahmin's house to accept prasadam. While Lord Chaitanya was sitting at the house of this Deccanist Brahmin, the two brothers, Rupa Goswami and Ballabha, arrived there. From a distant place they fell down on the ground to offer obeisances, and were chanting many Sanskrit verses from Scriptures. The Lord saw Rupa Goswami in front of Him, thus offering obeisances. He was very much pleased, and asked him: "My dear Rupa, please get up." The Lord informed Rupa Goswami about the causeless mercy of Krishna on him, because Krishna had delivered him from the materialistic way of life which is based simply on pound-shilling-pence.
The Lord accepted the two brothers as His own devotees, and cited one verse from the Scriptures which states that a Brahmin who has studied the four Vedas may not be His devotee, but a pure devotee coming from a very low family may be accepted by Him. The Lord then embraced the two brothers, and by His causeless mercy He touched His Lotus Feet on their heads. When they were so blessed both the brothers came to offer their prayers to the Lord in their own words. The prayers said that Lord Sri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Who is Krishna Himself, has assumed the Form of fair complexion, Gouranga, and is the most munificent Incarnation of Krishna, because He is distributing love of Krishna. Srila Rupa Goswami also quoted one verse which was later on found in the book, Govinda Lilamrita. The verse says as follows: "Let me be surrendered unto the Lotus Feet of Sri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Who is the greatest, most merciful Personality of Godhead, and Who delivers those merged in ignorance, and offers them the highest gift of love of Krishna, and thus makes them mad after Krishna Consciousness.
After this incident the Lord was invited by Ballabha Bhatta to the other side of the Ganges, and He went there. But wherever He used to go, Rupa Goswami would follow Him, and was staying with Him. The Lord felt inconvenience in crowded places, and therefore He asked Rupa Goswami to accompany Him to the bank of the Ganges known as Dasaswamedhaghat. And for ten days He instructed Rupa Goswami about the Truth of Krishna, the principles of devotional service, and the transcendental mellows. All was described in full detail, so that in future he could distribute the science of Krishna in his book, Bhakti Rasamrita Sindhu. Srila Rupa Goswami has described this incident in the first verse of Bhakti Rasamrita Sindhu which speaks about the causeless mercy of the Lord upon him. The Supreme Personality of Godhead is cognizant, All-Powerful, and, by His causeless mercy, He empowers a living entity to receive His mercy. People in general, being under the spell of conditional life, are averse to devotional service and Krishna Consciousness. They are unaware of the principles of Krishna Consciousness: namely, one's eternal relationship with the Supreme Personality of Godhead; the ultimate goal of life, which is to return back to Home, back to Godhead; and the process of returning to the spiritual world. These things are unknown to the conditioned soul. Lord Chaitanya, out of His causeless mercy, instructed Rupa Goswami on the principles of devotional service, and later on Rupa Goswami distributed to the people in general the science of devotional service.
Srila Rupa Goswami has described Lord Chaitanya in the Prologue to Bhakti Rasamrita Sindhu as follows: "I am offering my respectful obeisances unto the Lotus Feet of the Personality of Godhead, known as Lord Chaitanyadeva because, inspired by Him, I am feeling it within my heart to write something about devotional service. Therefore, I am engaged in writing this great book on the science of devotion, known as Bhakti Rasamrita Sindhu."
Lord Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu instructed Rupa Goswami continually for ten days, and He began His teaching as follows: "My Dear Rupa, the science of devotional service is just like a great ocean, and it is not possible to show you all the length and breadth of the great ocean. But I shall simply try to explain about the nature of the ocean by just taking a drop out of it; and you can thus taste it and understand what is that ocean of devotional service.
Within this Brahmanda, or Universe, there are innumerable living entities, and according to their own fruitive activities they are transmigrating from one species of life to another, and from one planet to another. In this way their encagement in material existence is 'being continued since time immemorial. The living entities are atomic parts and parcels of the Supreme Spirit. There is, however, a measurement for the length and breadth of the atomic spiritual spark. It is said in the Srimad Bhagwatam, Tenth Canto, Eighty-seventh Chapter, 36th verse, that if you divide the tip of a hair into 100 parts, and again if you divide one part of that into another 100 parts, such 1/10,000th part of the tip of a hair is the length and breadth of the individual soul. This is also confirmed in the Vedas, in the Svetasvataro Upanishad.
This atomic magnitude of the individual living entity is again described in the Srimad Bhagwatam, Eleventh Canto, Sixteenth Chapter, 11th verse, as follows: (This is a speech given by one of the four Kumaras, known as Sananda, on the occasion of performing a great sacrifice;) He said, O Supreme Truth! if the living entities were not infinitesimal living sparks of the Supreme Spirit, then each minute spark would have been all-pervading, and there would be no necessity of its being controlled by superior power. But if the constitution of the living entity is accepted as being the minute part and parcel of the Supreme Lord, then automatically he becomes a controlled living entity under supreme energy or power. This is his constitutional position. Therefore, if he remains as he is created in that natural position, he can attain full freedom. As such, if somebody by mistake calculates that his constitutional position is equal to the constitutional position of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, then he becomes contaminated by the doctrine of non-duality and his efforts in transcendental life are without any effect.
The Lord continues His teaching, saying that there are two kinds of living entities: one is called eternally liberated, and the other is called eternally conditioned. Out of the eternally conditioned living entities, again they are divided into two classes, namely, the moving and the non-moving entities. Those who cannot move, who, like trees, for example, are standing in one place, are called non-moving entities. And those who are moving, such as birds and beasts, are called Jangam, or moving entities. These moving entities are also divided into three: there are the tiryak, or the birds: some of them can fly in the sky, and swim on the water, as well as walk on the land. Besides this tiryak, there are aquatics; and there are animals and human beings, who are moving on the land. Out of the many millions and trillions of living entities on the land, the species of human beings are very few. Out of that small quantity of human beings there are many who are actually without any advancement in spiritual science, and are without cleanliness in their habits, without any faith in the existence of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and are simply like animals. They may be deducted from the human society or from the civilized society of human beings.
We shall hardly find a few human beings who believe in the Scriptures or in the existence of God, or in good behavior for the human being. Such believers are known as Aryans, or those who believe in advancing in spiritual life. Out of such persons believing in the Scriptures and in the advancement of human civilization, there are two classes of men, who are known as the righteous and the unrighteous. Of those who are righteous, most execute fruitive activities. That means they prefer to perform righteous activities in order to derive some good result from them for sense gratification. Out of many, many such persons who are engaged in good righteous activities for sense gratification some of them come to know about the Absolute Truth, and they are called Jnanins, meaning persons who are seeking after the Absolute Truth, or philosophers—empiric philosophers. Out of many hundreds and thousands of such empiric philosophers some actually become liberated. This liberation means that theoretically one can understand that a living entity is not made of any of the material elements; that he is spirit soul, different from matter. Simply by understanding this doctrine, even theoretically, one may be called mukta, or liberated; but actually a mukta, or liberated soul, is he who understands his constitutional position as part and parcel eternal servitor of the Lord. Such liberated souls, if they are engaged with faith and devotion in the service of the Lord, are called Krishna-bhaktas, or Krishna conscious persons.
These Krishna conscious persons are free from all material desires. Those who are liberated theoretically simply know that the living entity is not made of any material element. Although they may be classified amongst the liberated souls, they have desire. They have the desire to become one with the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Such persons are very much attached to the ritual performance of the Vedic injunctions, and to righteous activities, in order to enjoy material welfare. And even when some of them are out of material enjoyment, they want enjoyment in the spiritual world, to merge into the existence of the Supreme Lord. And some of them are also desirous of getting the perfection of mystic powers, known as the Yoga principles. So long as all these desires are within the heart of a person, he cannot understand the nature of pure devotional service, and on account of being agitated by such desires, he is not peaceful. So long as there is any desire for material perfection, he cannot be at peace. The devotees of Lord Krishna are not desirous of material achievement, and as such they are the only peaceful persons within this material world. This is confirmed in the Srimad Bhagwatam, Sixth Canto, Fourteenth Chapter, 4th verse: It is said there as follows: "O great sage, out of many millions of liberated persons, and persons who have achieved success in mystic Yoga powers, one who is completely devoted to the Supreme Personality of Godhead and is therefore very peaceful is very rarely to be found."
The Lord continued to explain that in this way many thousands and millions of living entities are wandering within this material world, and some of them, by the grace of Lord Krishna and the Spiritual Master, can get the seed of devotional service. The pious or religious man is generally inclined to worship the deities in various temples and if by chance he offers obeisances and worshipful respects to Lord Vishnu, even without his knowledge, and he receives the favor of a Vaishnava, a devotee of the Lord, at that time he accumulates some asset in the matter of approaching the Supreme Personality of Godhead. This is very plainly understood from the Srimad Bhagwatam in the matter of the life of the great sage Narada. Narada got the chance of serving the Vaishnavas in his previous life, and thus he was favored by the devotees of the Lord, with the result that he became a great sage, as he is known—Narada Muni.
The Vaishnavas or devotees are generally very compassionate toward the conditioned souls, and even being uninvited by any conditioned soul, a devotee goes from door to door to enlighten people from the darkness of nescience, and to inject in them knowledge in various ways about their constitutional position of being engaged in devotional service, or Krishna Consciousness. Such persons are devotees empowered by the Lord, and they are especially empowered to distribute devotional consciousness, or Krishna Consciousness, to the people in general. They are known as authorized Spiritual Masters. It is just by the mercy of such an authorized Spiritual Master that a conditioned soul gets the seed of devotional service. The causeless mercy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead is first appreciated when one is in touch with a bona fide Spiritual Master who can enlighten the conditioned soul to the highest position of devotional life. Therefore, Lord Chaitanya said that by the mercy of the Spiritual Master, one can achieve the causeless mercy of the Lord; and by the mercy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, one can get the mercy of the bona fide Spiritual Master.
By such mercy from the Spiritual Master and Krishna one receives the seed of devotional service, and one has to sow the seed in the field of his heart just as a gardener sows the seed of a valuable tree. After sowing the seed one has to pour water in the form of chanting and hearing the Holy Name of the Supreme Lord, or by taking part in the discussion of the science of devotional service in the society of pure devotees. When the plant of devotional service sprouts up from the seed of devotion, it begins to grow freely, and when it is full grown it then surpasses the length and breadth of this Universe and enters into the transcendental position of the spiritual world, where everything is effulgent in the Brahmajyoti, and the plant penetrates even the Brahmajyoti, and then gradually enters into the planet known as Goloka Vrindaban, and there the plant takes shelter at the Lotus Feet of Krishna. That is the ultimate goal of devotional service. After attaining such a position, the plant produces fruit which is known as the fruit of love of Godhead. The devotee or the transcendental gardener has, however, to pour water on the plant daily, in regulation, by the process of chanting and hearing. Without chanting and hearing, or without pouring water on the root of the plant, there is every chance of the plant becoming dried up.
The Lord continued to say that there is another source of danger while pouring water on the root of the plant. When the plant of devotional service grows, some animal may come and eat the whole thing or destroy the plant, just like an ordinary plant is also destroyed by the animal. And when the green leaves of the plant are taken away by some animal, the plant generally dries up. So one has to take precaution about the plant of devotional service not being disturbed by other animals. An animal is used to refer to offenses unto the pure devotee of the Lord, which is called Vaishnava Aparadh. This offense unto the pure devotee is compared to a mad elephant: As a mad elephant, if it enters into the garden, causes tremendous loss to the plants and trees, so in the devotional discharge, if there is any offense unto the feet of the pure devotee, it creates havoc in the matter of advancing in devotional service. Therefore, one has to defend the plant by fencing it properly; one has to take care, while discharging devotional service, not to commit any offense to the pure devotees. If one is cautious in the matter of not committing offenses unto the pure devotees, then the plant of devotional service is properly protected.
Offenses are of ten kinds, and they are also known as offenses unto the Holy Name: The first offense is to blaspheme great devotees who have tried to spread the Glories of the Holy Name all over the world. If one is unnecessarily envious of a devotee who is trying to spread the Holy Name all over the world, in execution of the order of his Spiritual Master, such a rascal is the greatest offender at the Feet of the Holy Name. The Holy Name of Krishna is non-different from Krishna, and Lord Krishna cannot tolerate such offenses as to decry a pure devotee who is spreading His Holy Name all over the world. The second offense is to deny that Lord Vishnu is the Absolute Truth; There is no difference between His Name, Quality, Form, Pastimes, and Activities; but one who sees a difference in these different functions of the Supreme Lord is also an offender. In the same way, the Lord being supreme, nobody is equal to or greater than the Supreme Lord. Therefore, if anybody thinks that the Lord or His Name are equal to the personality of some demigod, he is also an offender. Such a conception of equality between the Supreme Lord and the demigods is not very congenial to the performance of devotional service. The third offense is to consider the bona fide Spiritual Master as one of the common men. The fourth offense is to blaspheme Vedic literature and the corollaries of Vedic literature, the Puranas. The fifth offense is to consider the Glories of the Holy Name as an exaggeration. The sixth offense is to imagine a perverted meaning of the Holy Name. The seventh offense is to commit sinful activities on the strength of chanting the Holy Name. It is understood that by chanting the Holy Name one gets freed from sinful reactions, but that does not mean that one should perversely act sinfully on the strength of his chanting the Holy Name of the Lord. That is the greatest offense. The eighth offense is to consider that religious ritualistic performances, austerity or renunciation or the performance of sacrifices are on an equal level with chanting the Holy Name. Chanting of the Holy Name is as good as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and other pious activities may be a means to approach the Supreme Personality of Godhead, but when they are employed for some material achievement they are called offensive. The ninth offense is that the Glories of the Holy Name of God may not be preached to a faithless person, and to speak about the Glories of the Holy Name unto such persons is also another offense. The tenth and last offense is to maintain material attachment even after hearing and chanting the Holy Name of God. The idea is that by chanting the Holy Name without any offense, one may be elevated to the liberated condition. And the liberated condition means that one gets freedom from all kinds of material attachment: so if it is found that a chanter of the Holy Name still has material attachment, then that is called an offense.
When the plant of devotional service is growing, there is still another chance of disturbance. Along with the growth of the plant of devotional service there are other plants also growing. They are material desires. When one is advanced in devotional service, it is natural that many persons will come to the devotee for becoming his disciples, and will offer him some material gains. So if a person becomes attracted by the increased number of disciples and the material conveniences offered by the disciples, and forgets his duty as a bona fide Spiritual Master, that is another disturbance in the growth of the plant of devotional service. It may be that, by taking advantage of material convenience, one becomes addicted to enjoy the material comforts of life.
Another disadvantage is to desire liberation. Another disadvantage is to be neglectful of the restrictions or prohibitions. The prohibitions are mentioned in the authorized Scriptures: one should not indulge in the association of woman or illicit sex life, one should not indulge in intoxication, one should not eat anything other than Krishna prasadam (food offered to Krishna), and one should not take part in gambling. These are the restrictions for devotional service, and if one does not follow these principles strictly then there may be a severe disturbance in the discharge of devotional service.
Another disturbing element is to aspire after material name and fame by discharging devotional service. If one is not particularly careful, then by the process of watering the plant of devotional service, other unnecessary plants, as described above, may grow, and that may hamper the progress of devotional service. The idea is that, by the watering process, these unnecessary plants grow very luxuriantly and the gardener does not see the impediments offered to the main plant of devotional service. It is the duty of the neophyte devotee to cut out all the unnecessary plants grown by the watering process. In other words, if one is careful against the growth of unnecessary plants, then the main plant grows luxuriantly and reaches the ultimate goal, the planet known as Goloka Vrindaban. To reach the ultimate goal, the Goloka Vrindaban planet, is the real result of devotional service, the real fruit grown of the plant of devotional service. When the living entity engaged in such devotional service relishes that fruit of love of Godhead, then he forgets all other ritualistic activities, religiousness for improvements in economic conditions, satisfaction of the senses, and the desire to become one with the Supreme Lord by merging into His effulgence.
There are many phases of spiritual knowledge and transcendental bliss, such as performance of the ritualistic sacrifices recommended in the Vedas, the execution of austerities and pious duties, and the practice of mystic Yoga. They have their different respective results to be enjoyed by the performer, but all these results may appear to be very glittering only so long as one is not elevated to the transcendental loving service of the Lord. There is a nice comparison in this connection: that a person bitten by a serpent remains unconscious so long as there is no smelling of the particular type of medicine recommended. As soon as the bitten person smells that particular type of medicine, however, he at once becomes conscious, and no longer can he remain unconscious by the poisonous effects.
Love of Godhead can be awakened from the dormant position by executing pure devotional service. And what is that devotional service? What are its symptoms? These were all described by Lord Chaitanya to Rupa Goswami:
In the matter of pure devotional service, there cannot be any other desire than to become advanced in Krishna Consciousness. In Krishna Consciousness there is no scope for worshipping any demigods, or any other Form of Krishna, or to indulge in speculative empiric philosophy, or to be engaged in fruitive activities. One should be freed from all these contaminations. One should accept only favorable things for keeping the body and soul together, not for increasing the demands of the body. Only the bare necessities of the body should be accepted, and putting the bodily necessities second, one should primarily cultivate Krishna Consciousness by chanting the Holy Name of God. Pure devotional service means to engage all the senses that we have in the service of the Lord. At the present moment our senses are all designated because the body is designated. So we think that this body belongs to a particular society or a particular country or a particular family: that is the designative understanding of the body; and similarly the senses belong to the body, and if the senses act under such a designative concept of life, family-wise, society-wise, or nation-wise, then one cannot cultivate Krishna Consciousness. The senses must be purified. One should purely understand that he belongs to Krishna, his life belongs to Krishna, his identity is eternal servitorship to Krishna—and in this way if one engages his senses in the service of the Lord, that is called pure devotional service.
A pure devotee accepts transcendental loving service to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, but does not accept any kinds of liberation for his personal sense gratification. It is stated in the Srimad Bhagwatam, Third Canto, Twenty-ninth Chapter, verses 10-12, as follows: Lord Kapiladeva explains in those verses about the pure nature of devotional service: that as soon as a pure devotee hears the Glories and transcendental Qualities of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Who is seated in everyone's heart, at once his mind flows towards the Lord, as the water of the Ganges flows down towards the sea. Such spontaneous attraction of the devotee's mind to the service of the Supreme Personality of Godhead is the significance of pure devotional service. Devotional service, engagement in the service of the Supreme Personality of Godhead without any cause, and without being hampered by any material impediment, is called pure devotion. The pure devotee does not desire to live in the same planet with the Personality of Godhead, he does not desire the same opulence as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and he does not desire to have the same form as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He does not desire to live along with Him side by side, neither does he desire at any time to merge into the existence of the Supreme Person, even if these things are offered by God to the devotee. The thing is that a devotee is so much absorbed in the transcendental loving service of the Lord that he has no time to think of any other benefit beyond his engagement. Just as an ordinary materialistic businessman, when he is absorbed in his business, does not think of any other thing, so a pure devotee, when he is engaged in the pure devotional service of the Lord, does not think of anything beyond that engagement.
By these symptoms alone one can be understood to be elevated to the topmost position of devotional service. And it is with such transcendental loving service alone that one can surpass the influence of Maya, and can relish pure love of Godhead. So long as one has the desire for material benefit, or for liberation, which are called the two witches of allurement, one cannot relish the taste of transcendental loving service to the Supreme Lord.
There are three stages of devotional service: the first stage is called the beginner's cultivation stage, and the second is called the realization of the service, and the third, the supreme stage, is called attainment of love of Godhead. There are nine different methods for cultivating devotional service, such as hearing, chanting, remembering, etc. All these processes are employed in the neophyte stage of cultivation. If one is engaged in the matter of chanting and hearing with devotion and faith, then gradually his material misgivings become vanquished. Gradually his faith in devotional service increases more and more, and such stages assure him a higher perfectional position. Thus, one becomes firmly fixed, increases the taste for it, becomes attached to it, and feels an ecstasy which is called the preliminary stage of love of Godhead. Attainment of ecstasy is produced by execution of the cultivation of devotional service. Such attainment, when still more developed by that same process of hearing and chanting, gradually becomes thickened, and it assumes the name of love of Godhead.
In the stage of transcendental love of God, there are further developments, which are known as transcendental affection, emotion, ecstasy, and extreme, intense attachment. These are technically known as raga, anuraga, bhava, mahabhava. These are technical terms. The process is exemplified by the gradual thickness of sugarcandy juice. Sugarcandy juice in the first stage is liquid; and when by evaporation it becomes thicker and thicker, it becomes molasses, then granules, then sugar, then rock candy, and so on. These are different stages of the liquid sugar juice, and similarly there are different stages of the development of transcendental love for the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
When one is situated on the transcendental platform, that stage is called steady. Unless one is situated on the transcendental platform, the practice or love of Godhead may not be steady. One may fall down. But when one is situated on the transcendental platform he becomes steady, and there is no fear of falling down. This stage of understanding is technically called sthaibhava.
There are still further developments stepping forward from the position of sthaibhava, and these are called vibhava, anubhava, satwik, and byabhibhachary; and when these four ingredients are added to the steadfast position of pure transcendental life, that is called exchange of rasa or transcendental flavor. This exchange of loving reciprocation between the lover and the beloved is generally called Krishna-bhakti-rasa, the transcendental taste of exchanging loving sentiments between the devotee and the Supreme Personality of Godhead. But we must know that this development of the transcendental loving exchange of flavors, stands on the steadfast position of sthaibhava, as explained before. The basic principle of vibhava is sthaibhava, and the other activities are auxilliary assistants for the development of transcendental love.
The ecstasy of transcendental love has two components, the context, and the cause of the excitement. The context is also divided into two parts: the subject and the object: The exchange of devotional service is the subject, and Krishna is the Object. And the transcendental Qualities of Krishna are the causes of excitement. That means that a devotee becomes excited to serve the Supreme Personality of Godhead Krishna, being enamoured by the transcendental Qualities of Krishna. The Mayavadi philosophers say that the Absolute Truth is without specific qualities, and the Vaishnava philosophers say that being without qualities, (nirguna) means that the Absolute Truth has no material qualities, but that the spiritual qualities are so great and so enchanting that even liberated persons become attracted by the Supreme Lord. This fact is very nicely explained in the atmarama verse of Srimad Bhagwatam: those who are already situated in self-realization are also attracted by the transcendental Qualities of Krishna. That means Krishna's Qualities are not material—they are pure and simple transcendental qualities.
The highest stage of ecstasy can be divided into thirteen transcendental activities, which are as follows: 1. dancing, 2. rolling on the floor, 3. singing, 4. clapping, 5. bristling of the body, 6. thundering, 7. yawning 8. breathing, 9. forgetting social conventions, 10. throwing down saliva, 11. laughing 12. headache, 13. coughing. All these thirteen symptoms do not awake simultaneously or at one time, but they act according to the exchange of transcendental flavor. Sometimes one symptom is prominent and at other times the other symptom is prominent. Transcendental flavor is also divided into five. Principally, the initial stage is called santa rati, appreciation of the greatness of the Supreme Personality of Godhead by persons who are liberated from the material contamination, but not exactly engaged in transcendental loving service. They are on the appreciative neutral stage.
The second stage is when a person appreciates that he is everlastingly subordinate to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and he is everlastingly dependant on the causeless mercy of the Supreme Person. At that time there is an awakening of natural affection, as a grownup son becomes attracted with the father's benediction. At that stage a living entity wants to serve the Supreme Personality of Godhead instead of being engaged in the service of Maya, Illusion. This stage is called dasya rati.
The next developed stage of transcendental love is called sakhya rati. Here one associates with the Supreme on an equal level with love and respect. That stage is further developed in the matter of joking and in exchange of different relaxations, by laughing, and so forth. This is called fraternity with the Personality of Godhead without any bondage. Practically, at that stage one forgets his inferior position as a living entity, although he has the greatest respect for the Supreme Person.
When the transcendental flavor or taste of fraternity is further developed, it is called vatsalya rati, filial affection. At that time the living entity tries to be the parent of God. Instead of the Lord being worshipped, the living entity as a parent of the Supreme Person becomes the object of worship for the Supreme Person. Then the Lord depends on the mercy of such pure devotees. This is called vatsalya rati. The Lord puts Himself under the control of the devotee for being brought up nicely. Such a devotee attains to the position of embracing the Supreme Personality of Godhead or kissing His Head. These are developments of parental filial affection for the Supreme Lord.
The next developed stage is called madhurya rati, or the transcendental exchange of tastes between the lover and the beloved in conjugal love. At this stage of loving affairs the damsels of Braja and Krishna glanced over one another in conjugal love. In that stage of transcendental loving service there is an exchange of glancing and a movement of the eyebrows and an exchange of nice pleasing words and attractive smiling between one another. Besides the five primary reciprocations of flavor there are seven secondary reciprocations, consisting of laughing, wonderful vision, chivalry, pitiableness, anger, ghastliness, and devastation. Bhisma, for example exchanged with Krishna in the transcendental flavor of chivalry. Hiranya Kasipu experienced an exchange of the ghastly and devastating Feature of the Supreme Lord.
The five primary rasas, or flavors, constantly remain within the heart of the pure devotee, and the other seven, which are secondary, sometimes appear and disappear, and enrich the existing flavors and tastes. After enriching the primary flavors, they disappear. The example of Santa Bhaktas or santa devotees are the nine yogis named Kavi, Havi, Antariksha, Prabuddha, Pippalayana, Havirhotra, Dravid or Drumil, Chamass, and Karabhajan. The four Kumaras, great sages, are: Sanaka, Sanandan, Sanatkumar and Sanatana. Examples of devotees in the transcendental mode of servitorship are, in the Gokula, Raktak, Chitrik, Patrak; these are all servants of Krishna. In Dwarka there are Daruka, and in the Vaikuntha planets, there is Hanuman, and other persons. Devotees in friendship are like Sridam in Vrindaban, and Bhima and Arjuna in Dwarka or on the Battlefield of Kurukshetra. So far as those in paternal love with Krishna are concerned, the devotees are his mother, father, uncle, and similar relatives. In conjugal love, the devotees are first the damsels of Braja, Vrindaban, and the Queens and Goddesses of Fortune in Dwarka. No one can count how many they are.
Attachment for Krishna is also of two kinds: One kind of attachment is with awe and veneration. There is a lack of freedom in such attachments, which are exhibited in Mathura and the Vaikuntha planets. In such Abodes of the Lord, the flavor of transcendental loving service is restricted. But in the Gokula, Vrindaban, the exchange of loving is freely done, and the cowherd boys and the damsels of Vrindaban, although they know that Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, do not show awe and veneration on account of their thick and thin relationship in great intimacy with Him. Out of these five principal transcendental tastes, awe and veneration are sometimes impediments to perceiving the Lord's greatness or in the matter of service to the Lord. But in the matter of friendship and paternal affection, and in conjugal love, such awe and veneration is reduced. For example, when Krishna appeared as the Son of Vasudeva and Devaki they prayed to the Lord with awe and veneration, because they understood that the Supreme Lord Krishna or Vishnu had appeared before them as their little child. This is confirmed in the Srimad Bhagwatam, Tenth Canto, Fourty-fourth Chapter, 51st verse: Devaki and Vasudeva, after knowing the Supreme Personality of Godhead, began to pray to Him, although He was present as their Child. Similarly, when Arjuna saw the Universal Form of the Lord, he was also afraid, and he begged pardon because in his dealings with Krishna as an intimate friend, he had engaged in much unceremonious behaviour with Him.
This is stated in the Bhagavad Gita, that Arjuna prayed, "My Dear Krishna, I have sometimes insulted You, calling You my dear Friend Krishna, without knowing the greatness of Your inconceivable power. Therefore, please forgive me, because I was mad to address You like a common friend or a common man." Similarly, when Lord Krishna was playing jokes on Rukmini, she thought Krishna might leave her, and therefore she was very much afraid and became perturbed. At that time Rukmini was fanning Krishna, and as soon as she was afraid that Krishna would leave, the fan fell down from her hand and the hairs on her head became scattered. As a plantain tree falls by a blast of windy air, so she became almost unconscious and fell down. But so far as Yasoda, Krishna's mother in Vrindaban is concerned, it is stated in the Srimad Bhagwatam, Tenth Canto, Eighth Chapter, 45th verse, that the Personality of Godhead, Who is worshipped by all the Vedas and Upanishads, and the Samkhya system of philosophy, and all such authorized Scriptures—that Personality of Godhead was accepted as if born in her belly. In the same Srimad Bhagwatam, Tenth Canto, Ninth Chapter, 12th verse, it is stated that mother Yasoda bound the Boy Krishna with a rope as if He was the Son born. of her body, and appeared just like an ordinary child with a material body. Similarly, the description of Krishna's being treated as an ordinary man is given in the Srimad Bhagwatam, Tenth Canto, Eighteenth Chapter, 24th verse: When He was defeated by His friends, the cowherd boys, Krishna carried Sridam on His shoulders.
Similarly, regarding the Gopis' dealings with Sri Krishna at Vrindaban, it is described in the Srimad Bhagwatam, Tenth Canto, Thirtieth Chapter, verses 36-38, as follows: When Sri Krishna took away Srimati Radhika alone from the group of the Rasa Dance, at that time Srimati Radhika thought that Krishna had left all the other Gopis. Although they are equally beautiful, He satisfied Her in this way. With pride, She began to say, "My Dear Lord. Krishna has left the beautiful Gopis, and He is satisfied with Me alone." She thought like that and felt pride. Addressing Krishna in the forest She said, "My Dear Krishna, I am unable to move anymore. Now if You like You can take Me anywhere as You desire." When Radhika requested Krishna in such a way, Krishna replied, "You'd better come to My shoulder," and as soon as He said this, He disappeared from the scene, on which Srimati Radhika repented very much.
When Krishna disappeared from the scene of the Rasa Dancing, all thee Gopis began to repent, saying, "My Dear Krishna! We have come here, leaving aside our husbands, sons, relatives, brothers, and friends! Neglecting their advice we have come to You, and You know better what is the reason for our coming here. You know that we are captivated by the sweet sound of Your flute, and therefore we have come. O, You are so cunning that at this dead of night You have left girls and women like us! It is not very good for You."
The word sama means controlling the mind from being diverted in various ways, and fixing it up in the Supreme Personality of Godhead. And one who is so fixed up in the Supreme Personality of Godhead is situated on the sama platform. On that platform the devotee understands that Krishna is the basic principle of everything that be within our experience. The same thing is explained in the Bhagavad Gita: after many, many births in the cultivation of knowledge, one surrenders unto Vasudeva because he can understand that Krishna is present in everything, that He is distributed all over the cosmic manifestation. Everything is under the control of the Supreme Lord, and everything, being situated in His energy, is different from Krishna in His Personal Form. The same thing is explained in the Bhakti Rasamrita Sindhu, in which it is said that when intelligence is fixed on Krishna, that is called the quality of sama. This is spoken by the Supreme Personality of Godhead: Samo mannisthata buddhee: that without being elevated to the platform of santa rati, nobody can be fixed in knowing the greatness of Krishna, the diffusion of His different energies which are the cause of all manifestation. The same thing is further explained in the Srimad Bhagwatam, Eleventh Canto, Nineteenth Chapter, 33rd verse: equilibrium of the mind can be achieved by one who has fixed his conclusion on the Supreme Personality of Godhead as the Original Source of everything, and when one can control his senses, that is called sama. When one is ready to tolerate all kinds of suffering for controlling the senses and to keep the mind in equilibrium, that is called titiksha, or tolerance. And when one can control the urges of the tongue and the genital, that is called dhriti. From dhriti one becomes dhira, the pacified. A pacified person is never disturbed by the urges of the tongue and genital.
If one can fix up his mind in Krishna without any deviation, such a steadfast position in Krishna Consciousness is called santa rasa. In santa rasa two things are visible—unflinching faith in Krishna, and cessation from all material desires. The specific qualities of santa rasa, unflinching faith in Krishna and withdrawal from all kinds of desires which are not in connection with Krishna, are common factors in all the other rasas as well. Just like sound vibration is generally present in all other elements, namely air, fire, water, and earth: sound vibration is produced from the sky, so this sound is present in all other elements. Similarly, the qualities of santa rasa, unflinching faith in Krishna and desirelessness toward anything which is not Krishna—these two qualities are present in other transcendental relationships, such as dasya, servitorship, sakhya, fraternity, vatsalya, paternal affection, and the madhurya rasa, conjugal love.
When we speak of non-Krishna it does not mean that anything exists without Krishna. There cannot be anything non-Krishna because everything is a product of the energy of Krishna. And Krishna and His energies being identical, indirectly, everything is Krishna. As an example: consciousness is common to every living entity, but consciousness when it is purely centered on Krishna, when it is called Krishna Consciousness, is pure. And consciousness when it is other than Krishna Consciousness, or consciousness directed at sense gratification, is called non-Krishna. So in the polluted state the conception of non-Krishna comes. But in the pure state there is nothing but Krishna Consciousness. The active interest in Krishna—that Krishna is mine or I am Krishna's, and therefore my business is to satisfy the senses of Krishna—is a higher status than the santa rasa. Simply to understand the greatness of Krishna is to achieve that status of santa rasa, in which the worshipable object is the impersonal Brahman or Paramatman. This activity of worship of the impersonal Brahman and the Paramatman is the field of activities in empiric philosophical speculation and mystic Yoga practice. But when one develops still further in Krishna Consciousness or spiritual understanding, one appreciates that that Paramatman, the Supersoul, is the eternal worshipable object, and he surrenders unto Him: Bohunam Janmanamante: after many, many births. After many, many births in worship of the Brahman and Paramatman, when one surrenders unto Vasudeva Paramatman as the Supreme Master, and accepts oneself as eternally the servant of Vasudeva, he becomes a great transcendental realized soul. And at that time, on account of thick and thin relationship with the Supreme Absolute Truth, one begins to render some sort of transcendental loving service unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead. And therefore the status of santa rasa, neutrality, transforms into servitorship. It is then called dasya rasa.
In the dasya rasa status, the conception of the Supreme Lord is exhibited in the greatest quantity of awe and veneration. The greatness of the Supreme Lord is appreciated in dasya rasa also. It is marked here that in the status of santa rasa there is no spiritual activity of service, but in the status of dasya rasa, that service begins. Therefore, in the dasya rasa two qualities are there: this means the quality of the santa rasa, and the consciousness of the transcendental taste of fraternity.
The existence of the transcendental qualities of santa rasa and dasya rasa is certainly there, but beyond that there is another quality, confidential attachment, which is pure transcendental love. This confidence in the Supreme Personality is technically known as visrambha. In that status of visrambha, fraternity, there is no sense of awe or veneration toward the Supreme Personality of Godhead. As such, in the transcendental relationship of sakhya rasa there are three transcendental qualities: the sense of greatness, the sense of kinship, and the sense of intimacy without any impression of awe or veneration. Therefore, in the relationship of fraternity, one transcendental quality is further increased.
Similarly, in the status of paternal affection there are four qualities: above the three qualities already mentioned there is another sense of the devotee, that the Supreme Lord is dependent on the mercy of the devotee. As parent of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the devotee also sometimes chastises the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and considers Him as maintained by such devotee. This transcendental sense of being the maintainer of the Supreme Maintainer is very much pleasing both to the devotee and the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
The Lord instructed Srila Rupa Goswami to write the transcendental literature named Bhakti Rasamrita Sindhu, the Science of Devotional Service, indicating therein the substance of the five transcendental relationships. It is explained there how the transcendental quality of santa rasa in the shape of unflinching faith in Krishna, is further developed to the form of dasya rasa with the spirit of service, and then to sakhya rasa for undeterred fraternity, and can be still more developed in the transcendental flavor of paternal love, with the sense of maintaining the Lord. All culminates in the highest platform of conjugal love, wherein all the different transcendental relationships exist simultaneously.