Rasa-tattva Overview

Citta Hari Dasa - January 11, 2005 6:40 pm

In light of the discussion on rasa-tattva and for the benefit of those who may not have a copy of BRS-bindu, Guru Mahraja suggested that I post what the different ingredients for each rasa are. I will post one rasa a day.






Visayalambana-vibhava: Krsna manifested as the personification of eternity, cognizance, and bliss, the pinnacle of atmaramas, the Parabrahma with humanlike appearance, four-handed Narayana, and the Paramatma.


Asrayalambana is of two kinds:

1) atmarama: those who are devoid of mamata or the sense of possessiveness in relationship to th eLord, who are firmly fixed in the Lord (bhagavan-nistha), and who propound the path of bhakti. The prominent example are the four Kumaras.

2) tapasvi-gana: those who adopt yukta-vairagya dn practice bhagavad-bhajana knowing that without bhakti mukti cannot be obtained.



hearing the Upanisads, living in a secluded place, the appearance of Krsna within the heart imbued with suddha-sattva, discussing philosophical conclusions, predominance of jnana-sakti, beholding the universal form, association of sadhus or jnani-bhaktas who reside in the mountains and forests


Uddipanas shared with daysa:

the fragrance of tulasi from the Lord's feet, the sound of a conch, sacred mountains and holy forests, holy places like the Ganga or Badarikasrama, the perishability of material objects, the all-devouring quality of time



staring at the tip of the nose, behaving as an avadhuta, indifference, walking while extending the vision no more than six feet in front, exhibiting the jnana-mudra, absence of malice toward those who are adverse to the Lord, absence of excessive affection toward the devotees of the Lord, maintaining great respect for siddhata or the disintegration of material existence and jivan-mukti or th eabsence of absorption in the gross and subtle body, indifference, absence of proprietorship, freedom from false ego, observance of silence, deep absorption in the janan-sastras


Anubhavas shared with dasya:

yawning, writhing of the limbs, giving instructions on bhakti, bowing and offering prayers to the Lord


Sattvika bhava:

Other than pralaya (fainting), all the sattvika-bhavas are visible in santa-rasa. They manifest up to the stage of jvalita (two or three sattvika-bhavas appear simulaneously and can be controlled only with difficulty.)



nirveda (self-disparagement), dhrti (fortitude), harsa (jubilation), mati (conviction or understanding), smrti (remembrance), visada (despondency), autsukhya (ardent desire), avega (excitement), vitarka (deliberation)

Robertnewman - January 12, 2005 2:47 am

Thank you very much, prabhu. That was extremely interesting and helpful.

Citta Hari Dasa - January 12, 2005 5:08 pm

Glad you found it helpful, Robert. Here's installement no. 2:





Visayalambana: the two-handed form of Krsna (for the residents of Gokula); sometimes two-handed and sometimes four-handed in Dvaraka and Mathura.



1) adhikrta (appointed servants, like Brahma, Sankara, Indra, etc.)

2) asrita (those who have taken refuge of Krsna's lotus feet)

3) parisada (the attendants of the Lord--

in Dvaraka--Uddhava

among the Kauravas--Bhisma, Pariksit

in Vraja--Upananda)

4) anugas (followers of the Lord

in Dvaraka--Sucandra, Mandana, etc.

In Vraja--Raktaka, Patraka, etc.)


Uddipanas specific to dasya alone:

attainment of Krsna's favor

the dust from his lotus feet,

acceptance of his mahaprasada

the association of other devotees in dasya-rasa


Uddipanas in common with other rasas:

the sound of Krsna's flute and buffalo horn

his smiling glance, hearing of his qualities

a lotus flower, his footprints, a fresh rain cloud

the fragrance of his limbs


Anubhavas specific to dasya:

to be fully engaged in services to Krsna that are suited to one's ability

to be devoid of all trace of jealousy in spite of seeing each other's excellence in the matter of personal service to the Lord

to have firm faith in the mood of servitude


Anubhavas shared with other rasas:

the thirteen anubhavas such as dancing and singing, etc.


Sattvika-bhava: all eight are present in this rasa



jubilation, pride, fortitude, self-disparagement, depression, wretchedness, anxiety, remembrance, apprehension, resolve, ardent desire, fickleness, deliberation, agitation, bashfulness, inertness, bewilderment, madness, concealment of emotions, awakening, dreaming, fatigue, disease, and death.

Bhrigu - January 13, 2005 5:29 pm

Thanks for posting these, Cittahari! The Bhaktirasamritasindhubindu is an extremely useful text (even apart from having such a lovely name!). It's a shame they haven't reprinted it.

Nanda-tanuja Dasa - January 13, 2005 7:42 pm
It's a shame they haven't reprinted it.

According to Gaudiya Grantha Mandira:


Bhakti Hridoy Bon Maharaj was the first to attempt an English translation of Bhakti Rasamrita Sindhu, but he only completed the first wave. A second edition of his work has recently been made available. It includes the original Sanskrit text with word for word translations as well as translations of the tikas by Jiva, Visvanath, and Mukunda Goswamins. Available from 'Bhajan Kutir' Vrindaban, or 'Bhajan Ashram' Calcutta at the addresses given below. The honorarium has been fixed at $25 payable by bank draft drawn in favour of "Sri Sri Radhagovindji Trust."


Bon Maharaj Bhajan Kutir

Madan Mohan Ghera

Vrindavan - 281121

(Mathura) U.P., India


Bon Maharaj Bhajan Ashram

86 Diamond Harbor Road

Shilpara - Barrisha

Calcutta-700008, India


A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami's Nectar of Devotion is a "summary study" of the Bhakti-rasamrita-sindhu. Dhanurdhara Swami has written a supplementary volume to Bhaktivedanta Swami's book, Waves of Devotion, which makes many correlations between the NOD and the original BRS. It also has a number of useful diagrams, etc. Available from http://www.wavesofdevotion.com/


The most recent, complete and authoritative translation of Bhakti-rasamrita-sindhu is that by David L. Haberman, a professor of comparative religion at the University of Indiana. He is a known scholar of the Gaudiya Vaishnava bhakti tradition. Though he is not himself a practitioner, this is a highly worthwhile translation for scholars and devotees alike. Available from http://www.manoharbooks.com/BookDetails.as...okid=722&Page=1

Citta Hari Dasa - January 13, 2005 7:43 pm

Yes, the Bindu is a great book. An interesting tidbit about NM's edition of it: Guru Maharaja donated the money to them to print the book. A reprint would be good no doubt. I'm hoping also that one day someone (maybe you, Bhrgu!) will do a translation of the entire BRS (with Jiva Goswami's commentary of course). That would be an invaluable contribution to the English-speaking Gaudiya community.


At any rate, here's the next installment from the Bindu:







Two or four-handed, as in dasya-rasa




The friends of Krsna who have a strong sense of mamata (possessiveness) toward him, who are possessed of deep faith, who are firmly fixed in Krsna, who benefit others by thier behavior, and who are deeple\y absorbed in serving Krsna in the mood of a friend. They are of two types: pura-sambandhi (city friends like Arjuna, Bhisma, Draupadi, etc.) and the Vrajavasis, who become perturbed when Krsna leaves their sight for even a moment, who always play with Krsna, and who hold Krsna as dear as life.




Krsna's age and beauty, his horn, flutes (venu and vamsi), conch, and other musical instruments made out of leaves, his joking behavior and heroism, his beloved associates, and his imitation of the behavior of kings, devatas, and incarnations of the Lord




(Common to all four types of friends) wrestling, playing with a ball, gambling, riding on each others' shoulders, stick fighting, laying down or sitting with Krsna on a bed, sitting place, or swing, joking in a most striking and charming manner, water sports, and upon meeting with Krsna, dancing, singing


Sattvika-bhava: all eight are present


Vyabhicari-bhava: all vyabhicari-bhavas are found except for fierceness, fear, and laziness. In separation from Krsna all vyabhicari-bhavas are found except for intoxication, jubilation, pride, sleep, and fortutide, and in meeting all are found except for death, fatigue, disease, hysteric convulsions and wretchedness


Sthayibhava: When one's rati for Krsna is possessed of the attitude that "We are equals" and is therefore devoid of the constraints arising from a reverential outlook, and when it is possessed of visrambha or very deep faith imbued with intimacy, it is called sakhya-rati

Shyam Gopal Das - January 13, 2005 8:17 pm

Thank you, Citta Hari Prabhu for this explanation. As it is still hocus pocus to me, I was wondering if you or somebody else could define the following words for me.




and what is the difference between Uddipana and Vibhava?




The Bindhu can be downloaded from http://www.purebhakti.com/library/brs/bhak...u-bindu_v2a.zip and it looks like they are expecting a reprint at the www.bhaktistore.com site.

Nanda-tanuja Dasa - January 13, 2005 8:34 pm
The Bindhu can be downloaded from ...

Sri Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu-bindu available from purebhakti is not the same book as Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu. It is a brief summary of the essential topics from Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu and was composed by Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura.

Shyam Gopal Das - January 13, 2005 8:50 pm

Ah okay, I see. But Bhrigu and Citta Hari where talking about that book, right?

Nanda-tanuja Dasa - January 14, 2005 12:51 am

Not sure, I would be very surprised. Maybe Citta Hari can clarify.

Babhru Das - January 14, 2005 2:37 am

Yes, I think they were talking about Visvanath's Bhaktirasamrita-sindhu-bindu. It's a nice book, and as mentioned before, Swami donated the money for the printing. He told me he did so because it's a very important book. If it's available for free download at purebhakti, I'd suggest getting it for reference.

Citta Hari Dasa - January 14, 2005 5:10 pm

Yes, the reference to the Bindu means Sri Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu-bindu--A Drop (bindu) of the Nectar Ocean of Rasa by Sri Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura.


Vibhava refers to the causes of tasting rasa. Vibhava is divided into two categories: uddipana-vibhava (that which stimulates rati) and alambana (that in which rati is tasted). The alambana is divided into two categories as well: the visayalambana (the object of rati--Krsna), and the asrayalambana (the shelter or reservoir of rati--the devotee). When the vibhava mixes with the other bhavas--sthayibhava, anubhava, sattvika-bhava and sancari-bhava--then krsna-rati rises to the level of rasa.



And now on to the next installment:







Sri Krsna, endowed with the following qualities: his limbs are very soft (komalanga), he has a darkish complexion (syamanga), his beauty gives happiness to the eyes (rucira), he possesses all divine characteristics in the features and markings of his body (sarva-sat-laksananvita), he is mild (mrdu), his speech is very pleasing even when addressing offenders (priya-vak), he is simple (sarala), he is shy when praised by others (hrimana), he is devoid of pride (vinayi), he offers respect to his teachers, brahmanas, and elders (manya-manakrt), and he is charitable (data).




Krsna's mother, father, and other elders who have a strong sense of mamata or possessiveness in relationship to him, who give him instructions and nurture him, and who desire to bestow their favor upon him. In Vraja, Nanda Maharaja and Yasodamayi, and Rohini; in Mathura or Dvaraka, Vasudeva and Devaki, Kunti, Sandipani Muni




Krsna's age (kaumara, pauganda, and kaisora), beauty, dress, childhood restlessness, sweet words, mild smiling, and childhood pastimes




Smelling Krsna's head, cleansing his limbs with the hands, offering blessings, giving orders, looking after Krsna in various ways (such as bathing), offering protection, giving beneficial instructions




In addition to the eight usual sattvika-bhavas, the flowing of milk from the breast




The 24 listed in dasya rasa plus apasmara or hysteric convulsions

NrsinghaDas - January 14, 2005 7:42 pm
I'm hoping also that one day someone (maybe you, Bhrgu!) will do a translation of the entire BRS...


Bhrigu prabhu, I am curious if you are also able to translate from bengali?

Because Srila Sridhar Maharaj wrote a bengali commentary on Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakuras "Saranagati" song book that has yet to be transelated into english. I wrote the SCSM asking if this commentary really existed and if it was ever going to be put into to english. They replied that it exist and would be transelated one day. But I got a very strong impression that "one day" did not reffer to any day soon. So if possible maybe you could add this to your list.

Bhrigu - January 15, 2005 5:53 pm

Unfortunately, I know too little Bengali for that, though I am working on it. And I have too many other projects already -- Kamalaksa and Krisangi are probably not very happy with the speed of my progress on the Bhagavatam-one...

Citta Hari Dasa - January 16, 2005 12:29 am

Here's the final installment:






Sri Krsna with the four unique qualities of rupa-madhurya (sweet form), venu-madhurya (sweet flute), lila-madhurya (sweet pastimes), and prema-madhurya (sweet love of his devotees)




The gopis of Vrndavana




The sound of Krsna's flute (murali), the season of spring (vasanta), the call of the cuckoo, seeing a peacock's neck




Sidelong glances and mild smiling and laughter




All eight are present, which manifest up to the intensity of suddipta (extremely bright) which is found only in mahabhava wherein all eight of the sattvika-bhavas manifest simulaneously and to the utmost limit of radiance.




All sancari-bhavas are present except alasya (laziness) and ugrata (fierceness)

Bhrigu - January 16, 2005 4:48 pm

I am surprised to see so few anubhavas mentioned for Madhurya. For sakhya there was a long list of all kinds of activities, not just bodily movements. Any thoughts about the reasons for that?

Citta Hari Dasa - January 20, 2005 10:03 pm

Guru Maharaja has explained that in the BRS Sri Rupa's explanation of madhurya-rasa is very brief. He deals with the topic in great detail in the sequel to BRS, the Ujjvala-nilamani.

Guru-nistha Das - March 12, 2005 11:11 pm

I know I'm helplessly late with my question, but could somebody clarify this for me:


How can the visaya-alambana in sakhya-rasa be also the four handed form of Krsna? Doesn't that form do away with the feeling of equality in a devotee's eyes, ie. s/he's reminded of Krsna's Godhood?