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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.

Relative superiority and inferiority of rasas - BRS 2.5.38

Jagat - Thu, 09 Dec 2004 04:30:31 +0530
BRS 2.5.38 is quoted twice in CC

yathottaram asau svAda-vizeSollAsamayy api |
ratir vAsanayA svAdvI bhAsate kApi kasyacit ||

Each of the devotional flavors is tasted as having some special delightful qualities not present in the preceding. In this way, according to the individual character of the devotee, any one of these kinds of love may seem to be more delectable.

Sri Jiva (not the whole commentary): nanv atra vivektA katamaH syAt—nirvAsanaH, eka-vAsanaH, bahu-vAsano vA ? tatrAdyayor anyatara-svAdAd abhAvAd vivektRtvaM na ghaTata eva | antyasya ca rasAbhAsitA-paryavasAnAn nAstIti | satyam, tathApy eka-vAsanasya etad ghaTate | rasAntarasyApratyakSatve’pi sadRza-rasasyopamAnena pramANena visadRza-rasasya tu sAmagrI-paripoSAparipoSa-darzanAd anumAnena ceti ||38||

“Each of the ratis starting with shanta [in the usual order] is always more tasty than the one that precedes it. Even so each devotee adopts the specific mood that he has a taste for. One may ask who could possibly ascertain which of these five ratis is superior or inferior. After all, those who have no desire for devotion (nirväsana) or those who are bound to a single desire (eka-väsana) cannot judge, since they have no experience of any of the other rasas. On the other hand, one who has a taste for more than one mood (bahu-väsana) will be hampered by his inability to fully know or relish any one of them (rasäbhäsa). Who then will be able to judge properly?”

Jiva answers his own question: “These objections are true, but ultimately, it is only the one immersed in a single rasa who can discern the merits and limitations of the different moods of love. Though he does not have direct experience of the other ratis, he can recognize their similarities and see how they do or do not nourish the various ingredients that lead to the experience of rasa.”


I posted this because it reminded me of a question often asked in comparitive religious circles--can a non-believer judge other religions, etc. I think that the answer given by Jiva is the prefered position. Of course, one has to have an openness of spirit. The problem with the "eka-vAsanA" person is that he may easily be prejudiced.
Hari Saran - Thu, 09 Dec 2004 20:02:46 +0530
In my humble opinion both definitions has its merit. It’s just like placing the freedom on a scale; In either way one has to deal with the consequential dilemma.

To be or not to be....
That is the question.