Thursday, August 10, 2006

Kāma and Rasa

Listening to Radhanath Swami's lecture on the Internet radio. Looking at form rather than content, I can almost feel that Protestant preacher mood when the Prabhupada cadences don't start peeking through. Since Radhanath is Jewish in background, perhaps he picked it up from Kirtanananda Swami.

It's amazing, actually. I have heard Radhanath Maharaj speak two or three times, and it seems that he repeats several things that make it clear just how close to the orthodoxy this Sahajiya doctrine is. I see that what I am saying here is not really so radical after. It is just one small step, one small piece of the puzzle.

The concept of perverted reflection... The idea of transforming this world through consciousness... The idea of yukta-vairägya. It is all there. All that is needed is taking that one vital step that links these ideas to the spiritual power sexuality, that allows for the transforming power of love in this world. Unfortunately, without that, no madhura-rasa. None.

On another note, I came across the following nice verse by Bhagiratha Jha--

tasmāc chṛṅgāra-bījatvaṁ vṛkṣatvaṁ phala-rūpatā
pratiṣṭhitā ca śrī-kṛṣṇe yugma-rūpe sanātane

Therefore, the seeds of the erotic mood, its tree-like form, as well as its manifestation as fruits are all present in the form of God as the eternal Divine Couple. (Yugala-tattva-samīkṣā 1.76)

The idea here is that Radha and Krishna are the seed of the erotic sentiment as it manifests in this world. They are also (as the tree) the true form that this erotic mood possesses. And furthermore, they are the fruit of eros truly understood and manifested.

Here are some more in the same vein:

kāmasya rasa-bījatvaṁ kecid āhur manīṣiṇaḥ
rasasya kāma-bījatvaṁ anye prāhur manīṣiṇaḥ
tayor anyonya-bījatvaṁ nirvācyatvaṁ ca vidyate
ity anye prähur ācāryā rasa-tattva-vicakṣaṇāḥ

Some thinkers say that kāma is the seed of rasa, while others say that rasa is the seed of kāma. Yet other acharyas who are well versed in the nature of rasa say that these two have a mutual cause and effect relationship. (1.100-101)
He then goes on to quote Chāndogya Upaniṣad 3.14.4: sarva-kāmaḥ sarva-gandhaḥ sarva-rasaḥ: "God is all desire, all fragrance, all taste (rasa)." And raso vai saḥ. "God is rasa." (Taittirīya Upaniṣad 2.7)

atas tu kāma-rasayor vibhedo naiva mūlataḥ |
camatkāra-prabhedas tu vijñeyas tattva-vedibhiḥ ||104|
yathā rasatvaṁ yugmasya sākṣād evopapāditam |
tathā manmatha-rūpatvaṁ sākṣād eva nirūpyate ||105||
prākṛtasya tu kāmasya dhātor vikṛti-kāriṇaḥ |
na praveśo nirvikāre sākṣād amṛta-vigrahaḥ ||106||
svataḥ prakāśa-rūpatvāt sūryāntara-nirarthakaḥ |
svataḥ kāma-svarūpatvāt kāmāntara-nirarthakaḥ ||107||
tasmād rasaś ca kāmaś ca sākṣāc chrī-puruṣottamaḥ |
camatkāro ratiś cāpi svataḥ śrī rādhikā ramā ||108||

Therefore there is no fundamental difference between desire (kāma) and rasa. A distinction can be made when it comes to the element of wonder (camatkāra). It has been established that the Divine Couple is rasa itself (raso vai saḥ), so too have they been described as Kama himself (sākṣāt manmathaḥ). The material god of desire corrupted Lord Brahma, but cannot enter into the divine and eternal form of Radha-Krishna, which cannot undergo such transformations. The sun is light itself, so it has no need of another sun to illuminate it. Since Radha and Krishna are the very form of desire, there is no need for another Kamadeva to light their desire. Therefore Krishna is himself both rasa and kāma. Amazement or wonder (camatkāra) and love (rati) are manifest as Srimati Radharani.(1.102-108)

1 comment:

Pavan said...

great stuff, quite reckoning!