How Emotion Becomes an Experience (Rati -> Rasa)

Here are the verses from the beginning of the second section of Bhakti Rasāmṛta, from my old 1998 notes:.I begin with text 3 because 1 and 2 are maṅgalācarana.

3-4

asya pañca lahary yaḥ syur vibhāvākhyā ‘grimā matā |
dvitīyā tv anubhāvākhyā tṛtīyā sāttvikābhidā || 3 ||

vyabhicāry abhidhā turyā sthāyi-saṁjñā ca pañcamī |
athāsyāḥ keśava-rater lakṣitāyā nigadyate |
sāmagrī-paripoṣeṇa paramā rasa rūpatā || 4 ||

asya – in this (Southern Ocean); pañca – five; lahari – waves; yaḥ – she; syuḥ – should be; vibhāva-akhyā – called “vibhāva” (“stimuli”); agrimā – the first; matā – in my opinion; dvitīyā – the second; tu – but; anubhava-akhyā – called “anubhāva” (“expressions”); tṛtīyā – the third; sāttvika-abhidā – called “sāttvika” (“reflexive expressions”).

vyabhicārī abhidhā – called “vyabhicārī” (“counter-expressions”); turyā – the fourth; sthāyi-saṁjñā – well known as “sthāyī-bhāva” (“foundational emotion”); ca – and; pañcamī – the fifth; atha-asyāḥ – now, here; keśava-rateḥ – of affection for Keśava; lakṣitāyā – the characteristics; nigadyate – I will describe; sāmagrī – completely, entirely; paripoṣeṇa – totally nourishing; paramā – paramount; rasa – bhakti rasa; rūpatā – the form or nature of.

In this Southern Ocean are five waves. In my opinion, the first should be called “Stimuli” (Vibhāva), but the second should be called “Expressions” (Anubhāva), and the third called “Reflexive Expressions” (Sāttvika-bhāva). The fourth should be called “Counter-Expressions” (Vyabhicārī-bhāva), and the fifth is well known as “Foundational Emotion” (Sthāyi-bhāva).

Now, I will describe how affection for Keśava can be completely and fully nourished to become paramount bhakti rasa.

5

vibhāvair anubhāvaiś ca sāttvikair vyabhicāribhiḥ |
svādyatvaṁ hṛdi bhaktānām ānitā śravaṇādibhiḥ |
eṣā kṛṣṇa-ratiḥ sthāyī bhāvo bhakti-raso-bhavet || 5 ||

vibhāvaiḥ – Vibhāva (“stimuli”); ca – and; anubhāvaiḥ – Anubhāva (“expressions”); ca – and; sāttvikaiḥ – Sāttvika-bhāva (“reflexive expressions”); vyabhicāribhiḥ – Vyabhicārī-bhāva (“counter-expressions”); svādyatvam – tasted; hṛdi – in the heart; bhaktānām – of the bhaktas, devotees; ānitā – taken, brought near; śravaṇādibhiḥ – hearing, etc.; eṣā – this; kṛṣṇa-ratiḥ – affection for Krishna; sthāyī bhāvaḥ – Sthāyi-bhāva (“foundational emotion”); bhakti-rasaḥ – Bhakti Rasa; bhavet – if/becomes.

If activities like hearing about Krishna bring stimuli (Vibhāva), expressions (Anubhava), reflexive expressions (Sāttvika-bhāva), and counter-expressions (Vyabhicārī-bhāva) into contact with one’s affection for Krishna, then one’s foundational emotion (Sthāyi-bhāva) becomes Bhakti Rasa, and is tasted in the heart of the devotees.

Bhakti Rasa, the transcendental experience of rapture in love of Godhead, has five components. The most basic component is the foundational emotion, “Sthāyi-bhāva,” which is the specific type of unique affection one has for Krishna. This basic emotional relationship with Krishna can be heightened into a rapturous experience (“Bhakti Rasa”) under certain circumstances. First it must be stimulated (“Vibhāva”). Hearing about Krishna, and similar activities, usually introduces the elements that create this stimulation. Once stimulated, one’s emotions for Krishna need to be experienced by being expressed through the senses (“Anubhāva”). For the experience to reach the state of divine rapture (“Bhakti Rasa”), the emotion must also be expressed reflexively, in ways such as shivering, becoming stunned, crying, perspiring, etc. (“Sāttvika-bhāva”). Finally, counter-expressions (“Vyabhicārī-bhāva”) such as attempting to conceal one’s feelings heighten the experience further.

When one’s foundational emotion of attraction to Krishna is thus stimulated and expressed, it can be tasted within the heart as the divine state of bliss known as Bhakti Rasa.

6

prāktanyādhunikī cāsti yasya sad-bhakti-vāsanā |
eṣa bhakti-rasāsvādastāsyaivā hṛdi jāyate || 6 ||

prāktani – previously learned; ādhunikī – contemporarily; ca – and; asti – is; yasya – one who; sad-bhakti-vāsanā – enveloped in eternal devotion; eṣa – this; bhakti-rasāsvādastā – the nature of tasting Bhakti Rasa; asya – in this; evā – certainly; hṛdi – in the heart; jāyate – is born.

The ability to taste Bhakti Rasa certainly develops in the heart of one who is enveloped in eternal devotion as a result of previous and contemporary studies.

Śloka 5 briefly explained what Bhakti Rasa is. Now, Ślokas 6-11 present the topic of who is qualified to experience it.

7-10

bhakti-nirdhūta-doṣāṇāṁ prasannojjvala-cetasām |
śrī-bhāgavata-raktānāṁ rasikāsaṅga-raṅgiṇām || 7 ||

jīvanī-bhūta-govinda-pāda-bhakti-sukha-śriyām |
premāntaraṅga-bhūtāni kṛtyāny evānutiṣṭhatām || 8 ||

bhaktānāṁ hṛdi rājantī saṁskāra-yugalojjvalā |
ratir ānanda-rūpaiva nīyamānā tu rasyatām || 9 ||

kṛṣṇādibhir vibhāvādyair gatair anubhavādhvani |
prauḍhānandaś camatkāra-kāṣṭhām āpadyate parām || 10 ||

bhakti ­– Bhakti; nirdhūta-doṣāṇām – purified of faults; prasannaujjvala-cetasām – happy, bright mind; śrī-bhāgavata-raktānām – with taste for things related to Bhagavan, like Śrīmad Bhāgavatam, and devotees of Bhagavan; rasika-āsaṅga-raṅgiṇām – who take pleasure in associating with those who taste Bhakti Rasa.

jīvanī-bhūta – who has become the very life of; govinda-pāda – the feet of Govinda; bhakti-sukha – the happiness of Bhakti; śriyām – opulence; prema-antaraṅga-bhūtāni – which has become the internal aspect of Prema; kṛtyāni – activities; eva – certainly; anutiṣṭhatām – those who express that station.

bhaktānām – devotees; hṛdi – in the heart; rājantī – existing; saṁskāra-yugala – together with the impressions of previous experiences; ujjvalā – brilliant; ratiḥ – affection; ānanda-rūpa – the form of bliss; eva – certainly; nīyamānā – being brought; tu – but; rasyatām – to the stage of Rasa.

kṛṣṇa-adibhiḥ – by Krishna, etc.; vibhāva-adyaiḥ – by Stimuli (“Vibhāva”), etc.; gataiḥ – attained; anubhava-ādhvani – expressing itself tangibly (“audibly”), prauḍha-ānandaḥ – mature bliss; camatkāra-kāṣṭhām – the platform of wonder; āpadyate – arrives at; parām – paramount.

Those who are purified of faults, happy and bright-minded, who are inclined to Śrīmad Bhāgavatam, who enjoy associating with those who taste Bhakti Rasa, for whom the feet of Govinda is their very life, who are opulent with the happiness of Bhakti, and whose activities express the internal realization of Prema – When Bhakti exists in the hearts of such devotees, together with the brilliant impressions of previous experiences, then affection for Krishna is brought to the blissful stage of Rasa when excited by Stimuli, etc. (such as Krishna, etc.). When it expresses itself tangibly, it arrives at the paramount platform of wonder and mature bliss.

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