2. Five mellows of Love

CC. Madhya 19.183-184:

bhakta-bhede rati-bheda païca parakära
çänta-rati, däsya-rati, sakhya-rati ära
vätsalya-rati, madhura-rati,—ei païca vibheda
rati-bhede kåñëa-bhakti-rase païca bheda

“According to the devotee, attachment falls within the five categories of çänta-rati, däsya-rati, sakhya-rati, vätsalya-rati and madhura-rati. These five categories arise from the devotees’ different attachments to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The transcendental mellows derived from devotional service are also of five varieties.

PURPORT

Çänta-rati is described in the Bhakti-rasämåta-sindhu (2.5.16, 17, 18) as follows:

mänase nirvikalpatvaà çama ity abhidhéyate

“When one is completely free from all doubts and material attachments, he attains the neutral position called çänta.”

vihäya viñayonmukhyaà nijänanda-sthitir yataù
ätmanaù kathyate so ‘tra svabhävaù çama ity asau
präyaù çama-pradhäïanäà mamatä-gandha-varjitä
paramätmatayä kåñëe jätä çänta-ratir matä

The çänta-rati realization of Kåñëa is in the neutral stage between the conception of impersonalism and personalism. This means that one is not very strongly attached to the personal feature of the Lord. An appreciation of the greatness of the Lord is called çänta-rati. This is attachment not to the personal feature but to the impersonal feature. Generally, one in this stage is attached to the Paramätmä feature of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

éçvaraù sarva-bhütänäà håd-deçe ‘rjuna tiñöhati
bhrämayan sarva-bhütäni yanträrüòhäni mäyayä

“The Supreme Lord is situated in everyone’s heart, O Arjuna, and is directing the wanderings of all living entities, who are seated as on a machine, made of the material energy.” (Bg. 18.61)

On the strength of this statement from Bhagavad-gétä, we can understand that in the çänta-rasa, a devotee sees the Lord’s representation everywhere. Däsya-rati is explained in the Bhakti-rasämåta-sindhu (2.5.27) thus:

svasmäd bhavanti ye nyünäs te ‘nugrähyä harer matäù
ärädhyatvätmikä teñäà ratiù prétir itéritä
taträsaktikåd anyatra préti-saàhäriëé hy asau

When the Supreme Lord in His localized aspect is appreciated and a great devotee understands his subordinate position, not only does he surrender to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, but, due to his subordinate position, he wishes to render some service and thus become favored by the Supreme Personality of Godhead. A devotee in the çänta-rati is not very much willing to render service to the Lord, but a devotee in the däsya-rati voluntarily wants to render service. Due to this attitude, the devotee in the däsya-rati realizes the Supreme Personality of Godhead more fully than a devotee in the çänta-rati. He considers the Lord to be a worshipable object, and this means that his attachment for the Lord increases. On the däsya-rati platform a devotee is attached to rendering service to the Lord, and he is detached from material activities. The çänta-rati is neither material nor spiritual, but the däsya-rati is actually on the spiritual platform. There is no attachment for material things on the spiritual platform. A devotee in däsya-rati has no attachment for anything but Kåñëa’s service.

Sakhya-rati is described in the Bhakti-rasämåta-sindhu (2.5.30) as follows:

ye syus tulyä mukundasya te sakhäyaù satäà matäù
sämyäd viçrambha-rüpaiñäà ratiù sakhyam ihocyate

According to the opinion of advanced devotees and learned scholars, a devotee in sakhya-rati feels equal to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. This is a relationship in friendship. Due to having a friendly relationship with the Lord, not only is one free from material attachment, but one believes in equal dealings with the Supreme Personality of Godhead. This is called sakhya-rati. The sakhya-rati devotee is so advanced that he treats the Lord on an equal level and even exchanges joking words. Although one is never equal to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the sakhya-rati devotee feels equal to the Lord, and he does not feel guilty because of this. Actually it is offensive to consider oneself equal to the Lord. The Mäyävädés consider themselves equal to the Lord, but such feelings entail bereavement because they are material. The sakhya-rati, however, is a feeling experienced in the mind by a pure devotee, and he is eternally related with the Supreme Personality of Godhead in that feeling.

Vätsalya-rati is described as follows in the Bhakti-rasämåta-sindhu (2.5.33):

guravo ye harer asya te püjyä iti viçrutäù
anugrahamayé teñäà ratir vätsalyam ucyate
idaà lälana-bhavyäçéç cibuka-sparçanädi-kåt

When a living entity is situated on the platform of vätsalya-rati, he thinks of the Supreme Personality of Godhead in His childhood feature. In this feature, the Lord has to be protected by the devotee, and at this time the devotee takes the position of being worshiped by the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The feelings of paternal love are called vätsalya-rati. When the devotee is situated on this platform, he wants to maintain the Lord like a son, and he desires all good fortune for the Lord. He offers blessings to the Lord by touching His feet and head.

Madhura-rati, or attachment in conjugal love, is described as follows:
mitho harer mågäkñyäç ca sambhogasyädi-käraëam
madhuräpara-paryäyä priyatäkhyoditä ratiù
asyäà kaöäkña-bhrükñepa- priya-väëé-smitädayaù

The conjugal relationship is experienced between the Supreme Personality of Godhead and the young damsels of Vrajabhümi, and due to their conjugal love they continuously exist in eight kinds of remembrances called madhura-rati. This intimate relationship brought about by conjugal love produces movements of the eyebrows, glancing, sweet words and exchanges of joking words. (Madhya 183-184)

païca-vidha rasa—çänta, däsya, sakhya, vätsalya
madhura-näma çåìgära-rasa—sabäte präbalya

“There are five transcendental mellows-neutrality, servitorship, friendship, paternal affection and conjugal love, which is also known as the mellow of sweetness. Conjugal love excels all others.” (Madhya 23.53)

Çréla Bhaktisiddhänta Sarasvaté Öhäkura points out that in Vrajabhümi there is the Yamunä River with its sandy banks. There are kadamba trees, cows, Kåñëa’s sticks with which He herds cows, and Kåñëa’s flute. All of these belong to the çänta-rasa, the mellow of neutrality in devotional service. There are also the direct servants of Kåñëa, such as Citraka, Patraka and Raktaka, and these are the embodiments of service in the mellow of servitude. There are also friends like Çrédämä and Sudämä who embody service in fraternity. Nanda Mahäräja and mother Yaçodä are the embodiments of paternal love. Above all of these are Çrématé Rädhäräëé and Her assistants, the gopés Lalitä, Viçäkhä and others, who embody conjugal love. In this way all five mellows-çänta, däsya, sakhya, vätsalya and mädhurya-exist eternally in Vrajabhümi. They are compared respectively to copper, bell metal, silver, gold and touchstone, the basis of all metals. Çréla Kaviräja Gosvämé therefore refers to a mine eternally existing in Våndävana, Vrajabhümi. (Madhya 8.294)

Returning home, back to Godhead, is the ultimate goal of life and is called prayojana.(Madhya 20.124)

 

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