Discussions on the doctrines of Gaudiya Vaishnavism. Please place practical questions under the Miscellaneous forum and set this aside for the more theoretical side of it.
Snippets of bhava -
Jagat - Sat, 25 Sep 2004 06:09:27 +0530
prAyo dvividha evAyaM bhAvo dvividhAnAM bhaktAnAM dvividha-cid-vAsanA-sanAtheSu hRdayeSu sphuran dvividhAsvAdyatvaM bhajate, ghana-rasa iva rasAla-panasekSu-drAkSAdiSu praviSTaH pRthak-pRthaG-mAdhuryavattvaM bhajate.
(1) Sarvabhavana: "Hence these two varieties of bhava are relished by its two kinds of devotees respectively in hearts laden with transcendental desires to serve, in two different ways.
"Now we shall discuss the different ways of relishing that rasa. Sweetness is present in different foods in varying degrees. Jackfruit is sweeter than mango, sugarcane sweeter than jackfruit, and raisins sweeter than the rest."
(2) Dinabandhu: "These two types of bhavas are relished in two different ways in the hearts of the two types of devotees filled with two types of spiritual desires. As the juisces of mange, jackfruit, sugarcane or grapes differ in thickness, so there are different degrees of sweetness in bhava."
(3) Advaita : "These two types of bhava are relished in two different ways by the two types of devotees having two different transcendental desires. As the juice of mango, jackfruit, sugarcane, and grapes differ in density, so the sweetness differs in different bhävas."
(4) Jagat: "When this bhava, which is usually of these two types, enters into the hearts of the two kinds of devotees, which are ruled by two different kinds of transcendental desire, it is relished in two different ways. It is just like the water (ghana-rasa) that enters different kinds of fruit—mangoes, jackfruit, sugarcane, or grapes—but takes on a different kind of sweetness in each."
The point being: Vishwanath seems to be saying, nay empasizing, that bhava, being of the suddha-sattva, is like water--without color or flavor--but that it takes on its particular color or flavor in the heart of the devotee according to the types of desires, etc., that he has.
Sakhicharan - Sat, 25 Sep 2004 07:17:10 +0530
My "flavorless" bhavs taste like Roohafza to me!
Will the Lord reciprocate with every loving bhav?
Jagat - Sun, 17 Oct 2004 22:21:28 +0530
Here"s a typical case of misunderstanding.
atha tasyA eva bhakti-kalpa-vallyAH sAdhanAbhikhye ye pUrvaM dve patrike lakSite, idAnIM tato’ticikkaNAni tAdRza-zravaNa-kIrtanAdi-mayAni bhAva-kusuma-saMlagnAni anubhAvAbhidhAnAni bahUni patrANi sahasaivAvirbhUya kSaNe kSaNe dyotayanti. yAny eva bhAva-kusumaM pariNAmaM prApayya punas tadaiva premAbhidhAna-phalatvam Anayanti. (Madhurya-kadambini 8.1)
(1) Sarvabhavana : In the second chapter, we discussed the two leaves of sädhana bhakti that unfolded from the creeper of devotion. Later the creeper burgeoned forth flowers of bhava, and now shiny and delicate leaves known as anubhava have unfurled around those flowers. Those leaves are pretty and have been nurtured by hearing and chanting. Every so often, the leaves influse the buds to ripen into the nectarean fruits of prema.
(2) Dinabandhu : The two unfolding leaves of sadhana on the desire creeper of bhakti were described before. Now as hearing, chanting and other devotional processes become very smooth and buttery, suddenly many shiny petals appear at every moment clinging to the flower of bhava known as anubhävas (symptoms of ecstasy). Shining brilliantly, the fully blossoming flower of bhava matures and brings forth the fruit of prema.
(3) Advaitadas : The two unfolding leaves called sadhana on the desire creeper of bhakti were described before. Now as hearing, chanting and other devotional processes become very smooth, suddenly many shiny petals known as anubhävas (symptoms of ecstasy) appear at every moment, clinging to the flower of bhäva. Shining brilliantly, the fully blossoming flower of bhäva matures and brings forth the fruit of prema.
Comment: First of all, Advaitaji's translation is clearly taken directly from Dinabandhu's. But never mind, the same misunderstanding appears in all three of these translations, stemming from the basic misunderstanding of the word anubhava.
What Vishwanath Chakravarti is saying here is this: Previously [in the second chapter], the two leaves known as sadhana were observed growing from the desire creeper of bhakti. Now, from that creeper many other leaves known as anubhavas suddenly manifest. These are the same kinds of devotional activities like hearing and chanting found in sadhana bhakti, but are smoother and more brilliant. Surrounding the flower of bhava, they shine brilliantly and cause a transformation in it, turning it at that very moment into the fruit of prema.
What was missed was the comparitive in "tato'ticikkaNAni" "smoother and shinier" and the understanding that anubhavas are spontaneous actions that follow (anu) emotional states (bhava). Thus in the MK, we started with hearing and chanting that was done as a practice, i.e., governed by the intelligence and geared towards achieving an inner result (bhava). Now, we have external actions that are impelled by emotion. Though the active intelligence is still involved (distinguishing anubhavas from sattvikas), at this stage it is completely spontaneous.
According to Vishnavanath, it is the combination of bhava (as in the previous chapter) combined with the other ingredients of rasa that leads to prema.
Advaitadas - Sun, 17 Oct 2004 22:36:42 +0530
Comment: First of all, Advaitaji's translation is clearly taken directly from Dinabandhu's.
For the record, I only translated the last 2 chapters of MK myself. The rest of the work is of Dinabandhu and Akinchan Krishna das. I got the file from Dinabandhu himself in Vrindavan in April 2000, and he told me I was free to do with it whatever I wanted. I did edit the text of Dinabandhu though.
Jagat - Mon, 18 Oct 2004 03:11:29 +0530
That first sentence was quite similar, and from time to time there are not many changes made to DB's version. In general, though, you made numerous improvements and your version is mostly better than Dina Bandhu's.
Sarvabhavana, on the other hand, doesn't let the meaning of the Sanskrit interfere with his inspiration. Or to put it another way, his inability to understand the meaning doesn't disturb his enthusiasm. The thing is that Sarvabhavana writes well, so his books are usually a decent read.
The translation I gave is still in need of a little touching up. I just posted it to get myself back on the board. I only discovered the similarities of the two versions while posting.
Jagat - Tue, 19 Oct 2004 01:19:57 +0530
bhAvaH sa eva sAndrAtmA
budhaiH premA nigadyate
When bhava becomes very intense and completely softens the heart, through being endowed with a great sense of intimacy with Krishna, the learned call it prema. (BRS 1.4.1)
ananya-mamatA viSNau mamatA prema-saGgatA
bhaktir ity ucyate bhISma-prahlAdoddhava-nAradaiH
That which reverts the feeling of intimacy towards the body and home into feelings of intimacy towards Sri Vishnu, has been called prema by great saints like Bhishma, Prahlada, Uddhava and Narada. (BRS 1.4.2)
A note about the word mamatA
. It is a hard word to translate. Literally, it means "mine-ness." It is used frequently in association with the word "ahaMtA" or "ahaGkAra" as a quality of material consciousness. It is identification with objects outside of oneself, through which one seeks self-value. Just as identity or ego is purified through understanding that one's true self is servant of God, so too is a devotee's sense of external value established through Krishna.
In other words, ahaM is about me in relation to the world and God; mama is about God and the world in relation to me.
The word madIyatA
, though it has the same meaning, in the context of bhakti-rasa appears to have a stronger sense. Why is madIyatA
considered stronger than tadIyatA
? Because in the latter, one is still thinking somewhat in terms of one's self.
I was thinking about this the other day: Love means identifying so closely with someone else that you no longer even have a place for the consciousness that "I am yours." We talk about Krishna being the "viSaya" and the devotee being the "Azraya." Ujjvala-nilamani says, "You are to identify with the devotee and not with Krishna," likely to forestall Krishna imitators "engaging in the Rasa Lila." But in fact, to serve, one has to identify closely with the object of service. Radha says, "I know what Krishna likes, and I will do it to him--no matter what he says." Chandravali has not achieved that same level of intimacy or identification, so she still responds to Krishna's words rather than to his inner desires.
We do and indeed must identify with Krishna, though not in the sense of ahangrahopasana. We identify with Krishna as a part of the process of sAdhAraNI-karaNa, as explained in the rasa-shastra. Observe yourself when you watch a film or TV program. How are your emotions being manipulated? Does it matter really which character is an object of pity or affection for you to be moved? Certainly--to some extent--but ultimately, the potential is there to identify with any character to experience some sentiment--even the bad guys.
In terms of bhakti-rasa, the intimacy with Krishna develops to the extent that we are capable of empathizing with the pleasure or pain of the Other.
In his commentary, Mukunda Das picks up on something that Ananta Dasji follows. Prema is the intensification of bhava. Mukunda says that whereas ruchis (rucibhiz citta-mAsRNya-kRt
) are the source of ecstasy (i.e., the "melting of the heart") in bhava, in prema it is the mamatA
. The ruchis are defined in Jiva's commentary as desires. He further defines them: rucibhiH prApty-abhilASa-sva-kartRkAnukUlyAbhilASa-sauhArdAbhilASaiz cittArdratA-kRt |
"the desires to attain the Lord, to be able to act in a way favorable to him, and to achieve intimacy (sauhArda) with him."
So, it seems that the special characteristic of prema is that one becomes ecstatic directly as a result of Krishna's pleasure itself, through intense identification with him. Whereas on the level of bhava, there is still an element of self, whereby one is moved by one's own desire.
Jagat - Thu, 28 Oct 2004 01:50:24 +0530
I've been working on this one verse since yesterday--Ujjvala-nilamani 14.155, the definition of [mahA]bhAva.
anurAgaH sva-saMvedya-dazAM prApya prakAzitaH
yAvad-Azraya-vRttiz ced bhAva ity abhidhIyate
Here are the three versions given by the translators of Madhurya-kadambini.SB
. "The highest expression of love with all its diversity and complexity. This is not found in any of the other loving exchanges."DB
. The ultimate stage of anuraga is known as bhava, where one doesn’t care a fig for the anguish of giving up one’s loved ones, honor (worse than death for a chaste woman), or even life itself, to go to meet Krishna. Indeed, one feels no trouble in giving these up, but rather supreme pleasure.AD
. (attempting to follow Ananta Das) :“When yAvad Azraya vRtti anurAga reveals a state of sva saMvedya it is called mahAbhAva.”
Raga is the shelter of anurAga, and when it has arisen as far as it can, it is called yAvad-Azraya-vRtti. When this anurAga has attained the condition of sva-saMvedya it is known as mahAbhAva. And sva-saMvedya means that only those VrajadevIs who have attained this yAvad-Azraya-vRtti anurAga or mahAbhAva can know it.
No other type of devotee has mahAbhAva. Indeed, it is very rarely attained even by RukminI, SatyabhAmA and other queens of KRSNa. In it are manifestations of uddIpta and sUddIpta sAttvika bhAvas. There are also many other astonishing manifestations of mahAbhAva as well as varieties like sneha, mAna and praNaya. For further knowledge please see the Sthayi-bhava Prakarana of SrI Ujjvala Nilamani.
I don't blame Adwaita Dasji for being so confused. I myself have found this verse to be exceedingly opaque in its meaning. Jiva and Vishwanath have taken quite different views of this verse. I will attempt to clarify its meaning with the help of the three commentaries.
Jagat - Thu, 28 Oct 2004 02:40:12 +0530
The Chaitanya Charitamrita makes a distinction between bhava and mahabhava as follows.
hlAdinIra sAra prema, prema-sAra bhAva
bhAvera parama-kASThA, nAma mahA-bhAva
The essence of the hlAdinI potency is love of God; the essence of love of God is feeling (bhAva), and the ultimate development of feeling is mahA-bhAva. (Chaitanya CharitAmRta, 1.4.68)
Jagat - Thu, 28 Oct 2004 06:03:21 +0530
First a look back at bhAva in Bhakti-rasamrita-sindhu, 1.3.4-5. This pair of verses is refered to by Jiva in the commentary to UN above, and it contains some parallels with the verse in question. Also useful for understanding aspects of Madhurya Kadambini.
This verse follows a quote from the Padma Purana (BRS 1.3.3) with that famous Chandrakanti--"Meditating constantly on Krishna's lotus feat, she felt her soul change slightly and her eyes filled with tears." So the question is about bhava's appearance in a devotee within the material world.
AvirbhUya mano-vRttau vrajantI tat-svarUpatAM |
svayaM-prakAza-rUpApi bhAsamAnA prAkAzyavat ||
vastutaH svayam AsvAda-svarUpaiva ratis tv asau |
kRSNAdi-karmakAsvAda-hetutvaM pratipadyate ||
Rati/bhava (though being a property of the internal potency or suddha sattva) descends into mental processes (mano-vRttau) of the devotee and becomes identical with them. Even though it is self-manifest, it appears to be something that has been made to appear (by external activities like sadhanas). Though in fact rati is of the nature of relish itself, the actions of Krishna (his energies and his devotees) take on the causality of the relishing.
Jagat - Fri, 29 Oct 2004 22:14:55 +0530
I'm all over the place here. Anyway, here are a few more Ujjvala-nilamani verses before I get back to the subject at hand:
These are three examples of rUDha-mahAbhAva, selected for their relevence to the idea of yAvad-Äzraya-vRtti.
Making even the lower animals cry.
yAte dvAravatI-puraM muraripau tad-vastra-saMvyAnayA
kAlindI-taTa-kuJja-vaJjula-latAm AlAmbya sotkaNThayA |
udgItaM guru-bASpa-gadgada-galat-tAra-svaraM rAdhayA
yenAntar-jala-cAribhir jala-carair apy utkam utkUjitam ||
This verse is spoken by either Vrinda (according to Vishnu Das) or Nandimukhi (Vishwanath*) to Paurnamasi :
When Krishna, the enemy of Mura, had gone to Dvaraka,
Radha stood by the Yamuna, holding fast onto a hibiscus bush,
hugging Krishna’s upper cloth so as to grasp his fragrance.
Loudly and with a voice full of lamentation,
she sang a piteous song, her voice broken by the rush of tears,
causing even the fish, dolphins and crocodiles
deep beneath the water to wail in harmony.
(UN 14.188, Padyavali 373 (Aparajita), SKM 1.58.4 (anonymous); Dhvanyaloka, Vak 2.59; etc.)
paJcatvaM tanur etu bhUta-nivahAH svAMze vizantu sphuTaM
dhAtAraM praNipatya hanta zirasA tatrApi yAce varam |
tad-vApISu payas tadIya-mukure jyotis tadIyAGgana-
vyomni vyoma tadIya-vartmani dharA tat-tAla-vRnte’nilaH ||
This verse is an example of being ready to accept even death if it is someone of service to Krishna.
O Master of my Destiny, I fall down and place my head at your feet,
praying to you to give me this benediction:
Let this body die and all its elements be mixed with the cosmic elements;
let the water of my body mix with the lake where Krishna bathes,
its light enter his mirror, to serve him when he beholds his reflection,
its ether merge with his courtyard, to surround him when he walks, talks or yawns,
may the earth in my body enter the ground upon which he walks
and the life air itself enter the palm-leaf fan used to relieve him from the heat.
(UN 14.189, Padyavali 336 (Shanmasika), Spd 3428; Smv 43.32; Sbhv 1355)
sakhyaH prokSya kurUn guru-kSiti-bhRtAm AghUrNayantI ziraH
svasthA vizlathayanty azeSa-ramaNIr AplAvya sarvaM janam |
gopInAm anurAga-sindhu-laharI satyAntaraM vikramair
Akramya stimitAM vyadhAd api parAM vaikuNTha-kaNTha-zriyam ||
This is the characteristic of rudha-bhava, that it perturbs the hearts of everyone who comes in contact with it (Asanna-janatA-hRd-viloDanaM). This verse is spoken either by Rukmini or one of her friends, speaking in glorification of the gopis’s extraordinary love. It's a double entendre, so I just combined the two readings of the verse--one refering to this world, the other stretching to the Vaikuntha worlds.
O friends, the gopis’ love for Krishna is like the sea,
whose waves wash over the land and people of Kuru,
it topples the peaks of the great mountains,
just as it makes the heads of kings like Yudhishtir spin.
It disturbs the countless goddesses in heaven, as it does everyone who is calm of mind.
and then inundates all Janaloka realm, as it does everyone in this world.
Its waves over Satyaloka, just as it overwhelms Satyabhama,
and even to Vaikuntha, where it paralyzes the opulences of the goddess of fortune.
... as it does all of us goddesses of fortune.
* Vishwanath does not seem to borrow much from Vishnudas, who probably preceded him by about two generations. Vishnudas is one of the five disciples of Krishnadas Kaviraj who are suspected of having become sahajiyas. Nevertheless, Vishwanath sometimes has entire sentences that are word for word what is in Vishnudas, but not where it is significant. They nearly always differ in their mise en scène.
Jagat - Sat, 30 Oct 2004 06:31:59 +0530
A couple more verses before I get back to the promised commentaries. This first one is an example of "the power to make Krishna faint, even when he is in the arms of another lover." This is actually very relevant to the definition of mahabhava given. Vishwanath's tika is brilliant, but I am already far enough off base to be able to translate that too. This verse is really great. What is amazing is that it is by the competitor to Jayadeva, Umapati Dhara. I think this verse is one of the most brilliant pre-Chaitanya verses for describing
ratna-cchAyA-cchurita-jaladhau mandire dvArakAyA
rukmiNyApi prabala-pulakodbhedam AliGgitasya |
vizvaM pAyAn masRNa-yamunA-tIra-vAnIra-kuJje
rAdhA-kelI-parimala-bhara-dhyAna-mUrcchA murAreH ||
In the Dvaraka palace standing
on the shores of the ocean, sprinkled with sparkling gems,
Krishna's body hairs stood on end
in Queen Rukmini's ecstatic embrace.
But suddenly recalling the fragrance
of dalliances joyfully exchanged with Radha
in the reeds by the banks of the black Yamuna waters,
he fainted. May that faint protect you always.
(SKM 1.61.1; UN 14.184; JIva and VCT to BRS 2.4.178)
Satyabhama - Sat, 30 Oct 2004 06:37:29 +0530
May that faint protect you always? Oh my goodness!
Could it be possible that there is some rasa that Radha has not tasted?
That being the deathly fear that no matter what you do or how much you love, He will *always* be thinking of someone else while laying in your arms?
Well, She might have thought that way about Candraavali, but of course it is unfounded.
Satyabhama - Sat, 30 Oct 2004 07:00:13 +0530
I'm just kidding of course... that faint would certainly protect a dasi of Radha very well.
Those lines are not meant for others... sorry to butt in!
Jagat - Sat, 30 Oct 2004 17:50:24 +0530
Rupa gives two examples of brahmANDa-kSobha-kAritvaM
nAraM cukroza cakraM phaNi-kulam abhavad vyAkulaM svedam Uhe
vRndaM vRndArakANAM pracuram udamucann azru vaikuNTha-bhAjaH |
rAdhAyAz citram Iza bhramati dizi dizi prema-niHzvAsa-dhUme
pUrNAnande’py uSitvA bahir idam abahiz cArtam AsId ajANDam ||
Vishwanath: This is about something that happens from time to time, not always, as indicated by the use of the past rather than present tense. So when Krishna was in Mathura, Radha was feeling his absence so intently that from time to time her sthayi bhava would rise to the mohana level. At this stage, the whole universe would be affected. Once Nandimukhi saw this going on and immediately ran to Krishna in Mathura to tell him what she had seen, to tell him of Radha’s misery.
All the human race began to wail;
the nagas and creatures of the lower worlds trembled;
the assembled denizens of heaven broke into a sweat,
and the residents of Vaikuntha shed a flood of tears.
O Lord! These are the amazing consequences
of the smoke from Radha’s loving breath
as it spread in every direction:
though they were enjoying full bliss,
both the inner and outer universes felt disturbed.
Krishna answered, “You are quite right Nandimukhi. I too was affected, for I was in bed with Rukmini at the time, and yet I fainted; and she too was deeply affected.”
This example thus shows that the phrase “yAvad-Azraya-vRttiH” in the definition of mahabhava must be extended to include every last creature in the universe, since the potential for devotion is present in them all.
Vishwanath asks himself the question: “I have heard that Krishna’s pastimes are going on constantly. Radha is no doubt experiencing these periods of mohana-mahabhava, and yet we don’t see the entire universe being affected in this way. Why is that?” His answer is that it only takes place in the universe where Krishna is having his prakata lila. (14.186)
Second example. In the previous verse, the fiery nature of mohana mahabhava was insinuated by the words “smoke from Radha’s loving breath.” This same theme is further developed here.
aurva-stomAt kaTur api kathaM durbalenorasA me
tApaH prauDho hari-virahajaH sahyate tan na jAne |
niSkrAntA ced bhavati hRdayAd yasya dhUma-cchaTApi
brahmANDAnAM sakhi kulam api jvAlayA jAjvalIti ||
Radha says to Vishakha,
How I will be able to bear
the heat of Krishna’s absence,
which is sharper than molten lava,
within my feeble breast, I do not know.
Such a fire is it, my friend,
that should even a puff of smoke
find its way out of my heart,
all the universes would burn to a crisp
from its heat.
Again, Vishwanath reiterates that this mohana mahabhava is not a constant state but only occasional, pointing to the phrase “should even a puff of smoke find its way out of my heart.”
Jagat - Sat, 30 Oct 2004 21:08:15 +0530
I just thought I'd upload this page from my Indian verse notebook. At one time Ii thought I would memorize several chapters of Ujjvala Nilamani and Bhakti Rasamrita Sindhu. When I look at this page, it feels like an ancient manuscript to me, though it dates from probably 1983 or thereabouts. I am actually quite amazed at my neat handwriting. I think my hands have become deformed by typing and I can barely sign my name any more.
The arrows indicate the verses under discussion.
Jagat - Sat, 30 Oct 2004 21:21:51 +0530
This image is a little unclear, but it might be helpful in understanding this topic.
Kubja only goes as far as "manda-prema," which is pretty high where mere mortals stand, but low on this totem pole. The distinction I made between bhava and mahabhava in the far left column is debatable. I may have mentioned above that Kaviraj Goswami makes a distinction between this bhava and mahabhava, but Rupa does not, nor does Jiva. See the following post.
In general, I am rather sorry about the slipshod way I have just been posting whatever comes to mind on this thread. Oh well...
Jagat - Sat, 30 Oct 2004 22:00:01 +0530
anurAgaH sva-saMvedya-dazAM prApya prakAzitaH
yAvad-Azraya-vRttiz cet tadA bhAva ity abhidhIyate
My basic problem with this verse stems from the fact that Jiva and Vishwanath (and Vishnudas) have quite divergent interpretations. As I said above, I am not convinced that Vishwanath had Vishnudas’s commentary in front of him when he wrote his commentary. Similarly, it is hard to say whether Vishnudas had ever seen Jiva’s tika. He does not refute, copy, follow, or seem to engage with Jiva's ideas in any way (though I may have missed something). The situation is quite different from the Bhakti-rasamrita-sindhu where the relations between the different commentaries are very clear. On the other hand, Vishwanath often refutes Jiva’s positions in UN, especially on the parakiya-svakiya question. Here is one case in which they are in clear disagreement.
In general, I assume that Jiva knew Rupa Goswami’s mind fairly well. However, VCT is pretty brilliant and may well have sussed something that Jiva didn’t. This is why it has been necessary to read all the verses and commentaries from the subsequent section of verses in UN, which describe the characteristics of mahabhava. It must be said, of course, that mahabhava has subcategories itself, but each of these subcategories and their characteristics must somehow fit the basic general definition of mahabhava given in this verse.
Here is where the sloka’s “anvaya” becomes all important.
Jiva reads the verse like this : anurAgo yAvad-Azraya-vRttiz cet, tarhi sva-saMvedya-dazAM prApya prakAzitaH bhAva ity abhidhIyate |
Vishwanath reads it more straightforwardly, changing almost nothing: anurAgo sva-saMvedya-dazAM prApya prakAzitaH, [ata eva] yAvad-Azraya-vRttiz [syAt], tadA bhAva ity abhidhIyate |
Though VCT does drop the word “if” (cet) from this anvaya, but he accommodates it in his next sentence. I’ll come back to this. First, a word-by-word:
All the previous stages of the sthAyi bhAva develop out of the previous, or at least have some relation to them. The definition of anurAga was given as follows:
svAnubhUtam api yaH kuryAn nava-navaM priyam
rAgo bhavan nava-navaH so’nurAga itIryate
When raga is renewed at every moment, and one experiences the beloved in an entirely fresh way each time one sees him, this is called anuraga. (UN 14.146)
2. sva. This is a reflexive pronoun, “itself, himself, or herself”. The trouble here is that the antecedent is not clear. For Jiva it is the “person who already has anuraga, but is headed towards mahAbhAva, in other words, only some special individuals from amongst Krishna’s mistresses” (svasya bhAvonmukhatA-prAptAnurAgavatas tat-preyasI-jana-vizeSasyaiva).
VCT says that it refers back to “anurAga,” which is grammatically more reasonable—a reflexive pronoun usually refers to the nearest reasonably credible noun. The problem of course is “How does anurAga itself perceive anything?” i.e. Can we say, “When love reaches the stage of only being understood by love”? And if we do, what does that mean?
3. saMvedya “to be felt, perceived emotionally.” saMvedanam generally is used to mean intuition, empathy or sympathetic feeling. Of course, this is derived from the same root as saMvit, so “to be known or understood, or even conscious of” seem a reasonable assumption.
However, the dictionary provides an interesting synonym derived from another verb root, which none of the three commentaries touches on, but fits the example in UN 14.156 very well—“joining, uniting, or fusing.” However, this compounds the problems surrounding the word “sva” mentioned above.
4. dazAM. “state, stage, condition.”
5. prApya. “reaching, attaining.” So the first part of the verse is literally this: “When anuraga reaches a state where it is only understandable to itself.”
6. prakAzitaH. “revealed.” Jiva explains this as “manifests externally through the uddiptAdi-sAttvikas, i.e., the most inflamed ecstatic displays.”
7. yAvat. “up to, as far as, to the extreme limit.”
8. Azraya. “the container, receptacle, refuge, resort, foundational basis.” Here again we are faced with a little ambiguity. Jiva and Vishwanath have very different understandings. For Jiva, the Azraya here is the Azraya of anurAga, or its foundational basis, which is raga. (From the definition of anurAga, we know that raga, become ever newer, reveals the object of love as ever newer, even when constantly being dwelled upon. The definition of raga is given as follows:
duHkham apy adhikaM citte sukhatvenaiva rajyate
yatas tu praNayotkarSAt sa rAga iti kIrtyate
When pranaya becomes very strong, one considers even the greatest suffering in love to be happiness. This is called raga. (UN 14.126)
For Vishwanath, however, the Azraya here follows the definition of the rasa shastra, i.e., the receptacle of devotion, as in "the devotee is the Azraya, Krishna the viSaya."
9. vRttiz. This word has basically two meanings, “a state or condition” or “function (activity, work, things it does).” The latter is the more common usage (like in citta-vRtti) and Jiva accepts it here in this context.
This compound as a whole would mean either “fully possesses all the possible functions of its Azraya (raga)” (Jiva) and “its functions (or effects) extend to all Azrayas” (VCT)
10. cet. "if" or perhaps "when." VCT limits its application to yAvad-Azraya-vRtti, as does Jiva in his anvaya. In his commentary, however, he seems to apply it to prakAzitaH.
11. tadA bhAva ity abhidhIyate “Then it is known as bhava.”
So: Translation according to Jiva :
“If anuraga (in its technical sense described in 14.146) reaches the fullest extent of the functions of its own fundamental basis (i.e. raga, described in 14.126), then it attains a state comprehensible only to Krishna’s dearest lovers, a state which when revealed through the most extreme ecstatic symptoms is known as [maha-]bhava.”
Translation according to Vishwanath:
“If anuraga attains a state comprehensible only to itself, is then revealed externally and transmitted to all receptacles of love for Krishna, then it is known as [maha-]bhava.”
Here now is a fuller translation of the commentaries:
Jiva: The word order here should be taken in the following way: Anuraga, which has been defined and discussed earlier, if it possesses the functions to the fullest extent of its basis, then it attains a state where it is perceptible to itself, is revealed externally and is known as bhava. The meaning of bhava here is the extreme semantic limit of the word, just as “Sri Krishna” is the extreme semantic limit of the word bhagavan. Thus, in order to make this distinction, the word “mahabhava” is sometimes used, just as we sometimes say “svayaM bhagavAn” to be clear about what we mean.
The purport here is this: The compound word yAvad-Azrayam functions as an adverb of quantity or extent. Just like we might use it in an adverbial phrase, such as “invite as many Brahmins as there are bowls.” [English and Sanskrit grammatical categories don’t seem to quite mesh.] The word Azraya can only refer to raga, for anuraga takes on the nature of bhava by building further on the characteristics of raga. Evidence of this can be found in the example that follows, where it is written, “To make a wondrous picture, [Love] himself added color to it [caused anuraga in the lovers] with the vermilion of new pigments (ever-new raga).” (nava-rAga-hiGgula-bharaiz citrAya svayam anvaraJjayat).
Later in this chapter it will be said,
rAgAnurAgatAm Adau snehaH prApyaiva satvaram |
mAnatvaM praNayatvaM ca kvacit pazcAt prapadyate ||
ata eva prabandheSu zrUyate rAdhikAdiSu |
pUrva-rAga-prasaGge’pi prakaTaM rAga-lakSaNam ||
The sthayi bhava known as sneha sometimes first becomes raga or anuraga, and only afterwards mana or pranaya. This is why in certain works of literature, Radha shows the signs of these higher states even when in the first throes of love (pUrva-rAga). (14.228-9)
So the compound yAvad-Azraya-vRtti is an adjectival compound with an adverb contained within it, meaning “that which has attained all the possible functions found in raga.”
The word sva-saMvedya-dazA means the condition that is comprehensible to those who already have anuraga, but are headed towards mahAbhAva, in other words, only some special individuals from amongst Krishna’s mistresses. Having attained this condition, if on occasion it is revealed through the most extreme sattvikas (uddipta), the sthayi is known as “bhava.”
The intent here is this. Raga has been defined as seeing distressful conditions in love as sources of joy. The most extreme manifestation of distress for married women of good repute from respectable families is to lose their reputation for chastity and to be ostracized by their family and society. Neither fire nor death are as painful for them as this. However, when the relationship with Krishna makes them abandon their religious principles and the loving ties of their families and society, then even these seem to be a source of happiness. This then is the ultimate limit of raga.
This attitude is seen in the Vraja gopis from the very beginning of their love for Krishna, whereas it cannot even be conceived of in the Dwaraka queens. In order to show that this manifests in the very beginnings of their love, the word “new” in the above-cited phrase from the example verse will be given. [“To make a wondrous picture, [Love] himself added color to it [caused anuraga in the lovers] with the vermilion of new pigments (ever-new raga).” (nava-rAga-hiGgula-bharaiz citrAya svayam anvaraJjayat).]
It is as a testimony to the marvel of this love that Uddhava praised the gopis with the words,
AsAm aho caraNa-reNu-juSAm ahaM syAM
vRndAvane kim api gulma-latauSadhInAm
yA dustyajaM sva-janam Arya-pathaM ca hitvA
bhejur mukunda-padavIM zrutibhir vimRgyAm
Ah, but that I could become one of Vrindavan's herbs and plants which are regularly sprinkled with the dust of the gopis’ feet, for the gopis abandoned both their families and their religious principles, both of which are extremely difficult to give up, in order to worship Mukunda, the ultimate goal of all the Vedic literatures. (SB 10.47.61)
This statement indicates that though it was impossible for them to give up these things, they still did so. Thus this proves the degree of their concern for family and religious principles.
VCT's commentary to follow.
Satyabhama - Sun, 31 Oct 2004 01:16:34 +0530
the gopis abandoned both their families and their religious principles, both of which are extremely difficult to give up, in order to worship Mukunda, the ultimate goal of all the Vedic literatures.
Yes, when religious principles are all that stand between ourselves and God, unfortunately, they must be scrapped.
Jagat - Sun, 31 Oct 2004 01:45:51 +0530
Vishnudas: atha bhAva iti | anurAga iti svasyAtmanaH saMvedya-dazAm anubhavAvasthAM prApya prakAzitaH san yAvantaH AzrayAH sajAtIya-bhaktAH siddha-sAdhaka-bhedena dvidhAs teSu vRttir vyAptir yasya saH | yad-anubhavataH sarve te’nurAga-vivazA bhavantIty arthaH ||154||
When anuraga reaches a state where it is only understandable to itself, is revealed, and pervades all the receptacles of bhakti in the same genre, devotees on either the stage of sadhana or siddhi, then that is bhava. In other words, bhava, the experience of which makes everyone helpless with anuraga.
Jagat - Mon, 13 Dec 2004 05:43:20 +0530
I thought this was already in this thread, but it's not. Now it is.
rAdhAyA bhavataz ca citta-jatunI svedair vilApya kramAt
yuJjann adri-nikuJja-kuJjara-pate nirdhUta-bheda-bhramam |
citrAya svayam anvaraJjayad iha brahmANDa-harmyodare
bhUyobhir nava-rAga-hiGgula-bharaiH zRGgAra-kAruH kRtI ||
The God of Love is a great craftsman:
he has taken the lac of Radha's soul and yours,
and melted them together with his perspiring heat.
O king of the elephants in the groves of Govardhan!
He has joined your souls together and washed away
any sense you had of difference between you.
Then, in order to paint the inner chambers
of the universal mansion, he added
yet more vermilion color to the mix.
There's a double meaning to this verse that is very difficult to convey. This will just be a first draft. The idea is that the God of Love is an artist who has joined Radha and Krishna's souls. The metaphor is that the artist is mixing paints in lac, adding vermilion to it so that he can paint the inside of the mansion of the universe. He has to melt the hard lac before he can add color to it. Similarly, Radha and Krishna's hearts are like lac. Placing them in the fire of love (sveda means perspiration, which evokes erotic connotations), and melts them together. Then he adds the red color (anuranj is the same verb that anurAga is derived from) with the "new vermilion read colored dye" (nava-rAga-hiGgula-baraiH).
This brings the ideas of both rAga and anurAga into the picture, as Jiva did with his interpretation of mahabhava. Still, the idea of yAvad-Azraya-vRtti, that this love of Radha and Krishna extends into the universe is found in the words harmyodare--painting inside the belly of the universe. This is the way Vishwanath interpreted the mahabhava definition--that this love expands to envelope everyone within the three worlds.