Who will not appreciate Madhurya Rasa ?

In Bhakti-rasamrita-sindhu, the five chief types of sacred feelings with all their component ingredients are described in an comprehensive manner. Sacred erotic love (madhura rati) has there been characterized as standing above all other kinds of sacred attitude towards the Supreme; nevertheless, it was only summarized there briefly as Rupa reserved his extensive treatment of the subject for the exhaustive Ujjvala-nilamani. Rupa himself explains why in Bhakti-rasamrita-sindhu, 3.5.2.

“Three types of person are unqualified to hear about sacred erotic rapture:
(1) renunciates who are excessively inclined to asceticism
(2) others who are unable to distinguish between mundane sexuality and the divine eros
(3) those who, though devotees, are indifferent to the erotic mysticism of the Bhagavata-purana.
Since the subject is esoteric and rather difficult to understand, as well as being expansive, I have only given an abbreviated description of it here.”

One need spiritual greed to dive deep into the topics of madhurya rasa. Where does such spiritual greed come from? Rupa Gosvamin summarizes this in Bhaktirasamrita-sindhu 1.2.292:
“When one has gained some perception, from hearing the Bhagavata Purana or other books on the Lord’s sports written by rapturous devotees, that all of Krishna’s senses are pleased by the feelings, beauty and qualities of the residents of Vraja such as Nanda and Yasoda, an attitude arises that is indifferent to scripture or argument and is a symptom of the development of eagerness or greed (lobha). This attitude is, more specifically, the innate, spontaneous desire for the sweetness of those various moods: “May I also have the same kinds of feelings and qualities”

Even though spontaneous attraction to the mood of the residents of Vrindavan is so natural, not all persons develop it instantly upon first hearing about it. The Caitanya caritamrita 2.22.87 says:
“Some rare fortunate soul develops greed on hearing the glories of the residents of Vrindavan.”

One needs the mercy of a devotee who is himself endowed with this spirit and the candidate must be possessed of certain qualities on his own a certain lucidity or clearness of mind before such greed can appear. Therefore, Rupa says in
Bhaktirasamrita-sindhu (1.2.309) that it is kripaikalabhya, only available through the mercy of the Lord and his devotees.

The candidate who is qualified for practicing devotion in pursuit of erotic passion(kamanuga bhakti) is further described in Rupa Gosvamin’s Bhakti-rasamrita-sindhu BRS 1.2.300:

“Those who have seen the beauty of the image of the Lord or who have heard about his sports with his lovers, from their falling in love (purvaraga) to the ecstasies of the circle dance, and who have become eager for the feelings of either the heroines or their friends are qualified for the practice of one of the two types of this form of devotion.”

Jiva Goswami’s commentary on this verse is as follows:

“Previously [in verse 1.2.292], only the process of hearing was mentioned.Now it appears that it is necessary to see Krishna’s form also. Seeing Krishna’s images, certainly, is also dependent on hearing, for without hearing, there is no possibility that the Lord’s beauty or activities will spring into reality. Moreover, even without seeing the image of the Lord, hearing of his sports will be effective.”

Who then is not qualified? Expanding on the verse from Bhakti-rasamrita-sindhu (3.5.2), which was quoted above , Vishnu Dasa writes in his commentary on Ujjvala nilamani (1.2):

(1) This spiritual discussion is unedifying for those who, though they are devotees of Krishna, have no inclination toward erotic sacred rapture and for those who, considering the Lord’s erotic dalliances to be the same as mundane sexuality, feel dispassion or lack any taste for them.
(2) Although there are many devotees in erotic sacred rapture, still, because they have not been properly trained or purified, not all of them are proficient at tasting rapture. For them, this discussion is difficult to grasp.
(3) It is improper to discuss this topic before those whose minds are deeply absorbed in the path of injunctions, who, because of having various tendencies, are by nature unaware of the path of passion. The superiority of the path of passion means, after all, that there are unlimited lesser natures unsuited for it.

This conception of the Manjari(Radha dashyam) is as difficult to comprehend as it is rare. Yet, as it is extremely important we have no other recourse than that of familiarizing ourselves with it. Although such a task is beyond the capabilities of an uneducated, foolish and most unqualified person such as myself, still, because of the indomitable influence of this holy land and of the blessings of the Vaisnavas, who are all embodiments of Srimati Radharani’s compassion, I have been inspired to take up this task with enthusiasm.

From Manjari Swarupa Nirupana by Srila Kunjabihari Das Babaji Maharaj


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