Monday, September 28, 2015

(4) The Rasa Shastra Perspective

This is the second last of the series. I have some reflections that I will make in a subsequent article, but for the time being, just getting this file up on line has been time consuming. I will give a table of contents with links as soon as I can. I will try to put a bit of order into everything. The files have been fairly long for a blog and the Sanskrit puts the spell checker through a frenzy, poor beast, and I do not know what magic words to whisper in his ear to quieten his spirits.

(4) Does Krishna Marry the Gopis in the End? Rasa Shastra.

Rupa's UN commences with an outline of the romantic hero (nāyaka), who to the author can only be Krishna. He describes him as being of two kinds, either a husband (pati) or a paramour (upapati). His incarnation as husband takes place in Dvaraka, while that of paramour is found in Vraja. As an example of Krishna the paramour, Rupa quotes with relish an old verse by Acarya Gopika found in SKM (275) and also in Pv (205). He footnotes that verse by saying, in total contradiction to the previous traditions of Indian dramatic theory, that the most perfect state of love is found in the paramour.(50) In support of such a bold statement he quotes a verse purported to be that of Bharata:
That love on account of which many obstacles arise,
where desire must of necessity be concealed,
and in which the lovers find it difficult to meet,
is the strongest that Cupid [can bestow].(51)
The section concludes with Rupa warning (UN 1.21) that any levity or baseness (laghutvam) imputed to the paramour by the arbiters of poetic good taste refers to lovers other than Krishna, for he has descended "to relish the essence of the sentiments (rasa)."(52) Jiva chooses to make this verse the locus of the bulk of his arguments supporting the svakīyā position.

4.1 Adultery is unacceptable for rasa

Jiva's long commentary under UN 1.21 (cited above) refers to a tradition of opposition to the positive treatment of the extramarital sexual liaison in Sanskrit literary circles. He takes a quote found in Vishwanath Kaviraj's Sāhitya-darpaṇa which declares the superior nature of the śṛṅgāra sentiment,
The word śṛṅga is taken to mean the sprouting forth of love. The sentiment which produces this love is of the highest nature and is called śṛṅgāra. Thus, the nāyikā can be neither one married to another man nor a prostitute who has no affection for the hero.(53)

The attribute of purity is given preeminence in the sentiment of love, which is further confirmed by the synonyms for it used by the ālaṅkārikas such as śuci "pure" and ujjvala "bright". How then could extramarital love, which is synonymous with sin (jāraḥ pāpa-patiḥ samau), be acceptable therein? Vishvanath in SāhD delineates the situations which would produce contradictory sentiments in the śṛṅgāra-rasa (rasābhāsa). Included as taboo for the Sanskrit author are descriptions of relations with the wife of a saint or a teacher, a woman's possessing numerous lovers, or love between inferior persons or animals, etc. First in this list is the nāyikā's taking of a paramour (as the word upanāyaka is interpreted by Vishvanath).(54) In cases where such love is described, it is never to be done as the main theme of a literary work, i.e. as it’s aṅgī rasa, but as a secondary theme to be mocked or as comedy relief, etc. This attitude is also referred to by Rupa in a later verse of UN.(55)

In society, of course, adultery was supposed to be frowned upon and even Krishna himself spoke against it to the gopis when they came to meet him on the night of the Rāsa dance: "For a well-bred family woman, consorting with a man other than her husband is not the path to heaven; it leads rather to infamy, falsehood, distress, fear, and is everywhere considered with distaste."(56) The gopis indicate their concurrence in principle when they say in wistful criticism of Krishna and the ways of the world, "A prostitute deserts the man who has lost his wealth, a paramour the woman he has seduced." (57)

Parikshit further confirms the social attitude towards extramarital love when he inquires about Krishna's apparently paradoxical behaviour, "The Lord of the Yadus is completely fulfilled, yet he performed acts that are regarded as abhorrent."(58) Thus the word laghutvam ("levity") in the UN verse (1.21) is equated with "abhorrent behaviour."

When Krishna is said to be a paramour (upapati), however, it should be understood that he is only temporarily acting as such. The purpose of such a charade is that it gives him an opportunity to enjoy "essence of rasa", i.e. various aspects of love-in-separation with their final climax in the joys of samṛddhimat sambhoga. At that point Krishna's true and eternal marital relationship with the gopis is revealed. In view of this it should be taken that Bharata's verse about obstacles, etc., enhancing the romantic sentiment (l.c. 7.32 above) was cited by Rupa in order to praise those aspects of the relation, but not the state of being a paramour itself. Krishna's desire to experience samṛddhimat sambhoga, etc., is not a sign of levity on his part, but of greatness. In the absence of such a background, however, the mundane hero who indulges in like behaviour is condemned as wanton. The ignorant take use Krishna as an example of such a condemnable mundane nāyaka, (59) not understanding that Krishna's engaging in paramourship is like a man's eating something nourishing and beneficial, even though it has been forbidden him by one ignorant of the food's value.(60)


50. UN 1.19;
atrāsya paramotkarṣaḥ śṛṅgārasya pratiṣṭhitaḥ//

51. UN 1.20;
bahu vāryate khalu, yatra pracchanna-kāmukatvaṁ ca/
yā ca mitho durlabhatā sā manmathasya paramā ratiḥ
The closest verse to this one traceable in Nāṭ is 22.207, which contains the same meaning though the language differs. Despite these differences, Jiva appears to have known the Nāṭ context, Cf. below
yad vāmābhiniveśitvam yataś ca vinivāryate/
durlabhatvaṁ ca yan nāryah sa kāmasya parā ratiḥ
Verses with a similar purport are quoted by Rupa at UN 3.20-21: Rudra Bhatta’s Śṛṅgāra-tilaka (2.30) and the unknown Viṣṇu-gupta-saṁhitā.

52. UN 1.21;
laghutvam atra yat proktam tat tu prākṛta-nāyake/
na kṛṣṇe rasa-niryāsāsvādārtham avatāriṇi//

53. SāhD 3.258:
śṛṅgaṁ hi manmathodbhedas tad-āgamana-hetukaḥ/
uttama-prakṛti-prāyo rasaḥ śṛṅgāra isyate//

54. SāhD 3.263.

55. UN 5.3;
neṣṭā yad aṅgini rase kavibhiḥ paroḍhās
tad gokulāmbuja-dṛśāṁ kulam antareṇa/
āśāṁsayā rasa-vidher avatāritānāṁ
kaṁsāriṇā rasika-maṇḍala-śekhareṇa//

56. BhP x.29.26.

57. BhP x.47.7.

58. BhP x.33.26.

59. This is undoubtedly a reference to Vishwanath's own use of Krishna as an example in his discussion of rasābhāsa. SāhD 3.263f.

60. UNc 1.21; tasmād upapatīyamānatvenaivāsāv upapatir ity upadiṣṭaḥ. varyamāṇatvādy-aṁśena laukika-rasa-śāstra-kṛdbhir api stutaḥ, kintūttaratra vyakta-dampatye vipralambhāṅgasyaupapatye bhramasya samṛddhimad-ākhya-sambhoga-rasa-poṣakatvāt | tasmiṁs tu na laghutvaṁ yuktaṁ, kintu mahattvam evety āha--na kṛṣṇa iti. tatra hetum āha--rasa-niryāsa iti. etat-paripāti-sad-bhāvābhāvāt prākṛta-nāyaka eva, na tu śrī-kṛṣṇe | vāstavenaupapatyena laghutva-śabda-vācyaṁ nikṛṣṭatvaṁ ghaṭate. apathya-buddhyā lobhyaṁ pāthyaṁ bhuktavati bhukta-pathyatvavat tad etat tattvam avidvāṁsa evānyathā manyamānās tam api tathodahārantīti bhāvaḥ.

4.2 The excitement of forbidden love: Rupa Goswami's Lalita-mādhava

Having denied that Rupa's purpose in citing Bharata's verse was to confirm that Krishna was an upapati, Jiva alludes to its original context, remarking that Bharata's intention was to point to a type of romantic situation found described in plays like Ratnāvali or Yayāti-carita.(61) In these and other dramas of the genre, obstacles are created by rival queens to the hero and a particular type of heroine, called abhyantarā according to Bharata.(62) I have discussed this above as “the essential romantic myth of Hindu royalty.” The theme, quickly summarized, is that the heroine is already intended for the king in some way, but he falls in love with her without knowing this. Obstacles arise from his other wives, but eventually overcome and destiny is put aright. This plot appears in various permutations in many Sanskrit plays, but most importantly for this discussion, however, is that Rupa's own Lalita-mādhava uses the same structure.

The heroine in most of these plays is the kanyā. Nevertheless, because she is destined for marriage to the royal hero both through the arrangements of men and gods, and does indeed later marry him, she must rather be classified svakīyā, as indicated by Bharata's nomenclature (abhyantarā). By pointing out the above tradition, Jiva confirms his statement that the verses cited to show that the parakīyā relation is more exciting do not in fact praise the parakīyā relationship at all, but rather the excitement alone.

We have already seen that Jiva has relied to some extent on LalM in our earlier discussion of samṛddhimat-sambhoga. In the context of this discussion, it is worthwhile examining this work in somewhat greater detail. The LalM is the second of Rupa's two plays, completed some four years after Vidagdha-mādhava (1533-4).(63) Evidently, Rupa himself set great store by this play; in his work on dramaturgy, Nāṭikā-candrikā, he uses examples almost exclusively from it. The plot of the play is more complex than that of the light-hearted ViM and arguably met with less favour amongst the community of Vaishnavas than the ViM.(64) Jiva states that the two plays are rather like his two campūs, i.e. the pūrva and uttara divisions of what is essentially the same play: the former concerned exclusively with the amusements of Vrindavan, while the second attempts to resolve, in a rather idiosyncratic manner, the problems presented by Krishna's departure for Mathura and separation from the gopis.(65)

Jiva leaves other clues to the great importance this play has for him. The last chapter of the Pūrva-campū is given the same title as the last act of the Lalita-mādhava, "the fulfilment of all desires" (pūrṇa-manoratha). The same words (lalita-mādhava-pūrṇa-manoratham) are used as a pun to refer specifically to Krishna's wedding when the astrologers are fixing the auspicious moment for the ceremony (GCU 32v37). It might be said that in writing GC, Jiva was following in the footsteps of his uncle, but whereas Rupa was free to improvise in his play without binding himself by the strictures of the scriptural evidence, Jiva took the challenge of basing his restructuring of Krishna's life from within the confines of Puranic revelation.

In LalM, Rupa tells too complicated a tale to give a full summary here.(66) The key factor is that Chandravali, Radha and the other gopis are all, like Krishna, possessed of dual identity. Though they are primarily Vrindavan-based, they were born elsewhere (like Krishna in Mathura) and were subsequently transferred to Vraja. After Krishna's departure with Akrura, this premise permits Rupa to imagine the reunion of the gopis with Krishna in Dvaraka, where they reappear as his wives.(67)

From this long and somewhat convoluted play, two remarkable points can be made. The first is that Rupa adapts the above-described royal polygamy myth of Sanskrit drama to the dramatis personae of Krishnaite mythology. Radha, though given in marriage to Krishna in her alterego of Satyabhama, being unable to identify the prince of Dvaraka as her beloved Krishna, asks Rukmini (Chandravali) to be placed under her protection so that she may avoid any contact with any man. Rukmini, the chief queen, is only too glad to accommodate the request of her potential rival, whom she does not recognize as her Vrindavan cousin Radha. This is followed by the stereotyped themes of meeting, love, the surmounting of obstacles presented by Rukmini, until finally the identity of Radha is made known to all and her marriage to Krishna is sanctioned by her rival. The clear adoption of this tradition by Rupa gives further credence to Jiva's contention that being the wife of another is not an indispensable precondition for a more intense experience of the erotic sentiment as is the prima facie indication of Rupa's citation from the Nāṭ (UN 1.20).

The second point to be remarked upon here is that Rupa adhered to Chaitanya's instruction to keep Krishna in Vrindavan, albeit by a sort of trick. When Krishna marries Radha and asks her whether she has any further wishes to be fulfilled, Radha assures Krishna that everything is perfect as it is. When pressed, however, she admits that she actually preferred everything as it was in the old Vrindavan. Krishna says, tathāstu and in springs the heretofore unseen Ekanamsa (Krishna's sister and another form of Yogamāyā), to announce that, in fact, no one had ever left Vrindavan, and that these events had taken place "simply to pass the time."(68) Radha then asks that everyone take their original form and return to Gokula.(69) It would appear that Rupa's intention is that they all enter here into the nitya- or aprakaṭa-līlā, which as we have seen from Jiva's exposé‚ has a simultaneous existence and into which the prakaṭa-līlā of the incarnation merges. This is evident from the expression bahiraṅga-janālakṣatayā, "outside the range of vision of the uninitiated.”(70)

Radha's expression of a desire to return to Vraja near the end of the play also has its parallel in GC. The LalM verse is as follows:
That fortunate land in Mathura
which is filled with sweetness, surrounded by forests
which spew forth the odours of līlā-rasa,
is where you must sport again,
the flute sitting joyfully on your lips,
and surrounded by us, our minds unsophisticated
due to the frivolous nature of cowherd girls.(71)
In LalM, Radha and the gopis wish to return to the Vraja that they knew. Parakīyā (i.e. paroḍhā) supporters say that the words caṭula-paśupī-bhāva and mugdhāntara indicate a desire on Radha's part to return to the former parakīyā state. Jiva uses a well-known verse with a pointed history in Chaitanya legends to make a parallel statement in GC, while denying any possibility of such a parakīyā interpretation:
My husband (vara) is the same who took my maidenhead
and these the moondrenched nights we knew;
the very breeze is blowing from the Vindhya hills,
heavy with the scent of newly blossomed jasmine.
I too am still the same;
and yet with all my heart I yearn for the reedbeds by the stream
which knew our happy, graceful,
unending bouts of love.(72)
This verse is quoted no less than three times in the Caitanya-caritāmṛita, for it was mysteriously uttered by Chaitanya during the chariot festival in Puri and is said by Krishna Das Kaviraj to have been particularly revealing of his mind. According to Krishna Das and a pastiche verse written by Rupa,(73) the verse reflects the mood of Radha at Kurukshetra where she meets Krishna after such a long interval, a situation of which Chaitanya was reminded by the hurly burly of the Rathayatra. Radha cannot be fully content amidst the pomp and majesty of Krishna's Dvaraka manifestation and his entourage; she thus yearns for the old days in Vraja.

Two preliminary points should be made here which will highlight the somewhat individual nature of Jiva's understanding of this verse. In the context of Chaitanya's usage, the word vara cannot be interpreted as "husband." Second, if the lover is now become husband, then the nāyikā's past situation cannot be construed as that of the paroḍhā, for that would have rendered her later marriage impossible. Even so, this reminiscence of secretive pre-marital "bouts of love" is parakīyā in the context of the kanyā and could thus be considered parallel to that of the gopis by analogy. Chaitanya simply took the verse as an expression of the yearning sentimentality for a beautiful moment of love once known in youth but lost forever, i.e., of the mood of love in separation which dominated his life. The added interpretation found in Rupa's pastiche is that Radha could not be swayed from her constancy toward the Vraja form of Krishna for in his Vāsudeva aspect he had lost all compatibility with the gopis. Seeing Krishna thus aggravated her nostalgia for the old Vraja.

On the other hand, though Jiva's first citation of this verse ("My husband, etc.") in GC includes a very rare reference to the acts of Chaitanya, referring directly to the context in which the verse came to have meaning for the Gaudiyas, his only point, through emphasis on the word vara which he unhesitatingly understands as “bridegroom” or "husband," is that Chaitanya supported the ultimate marriage of Radha and Krishna.(74)

Its second citation (GCU 36.122) serves a function more closely parallel to the LalM verse under discussion ("That fortunate land..."). At some time after the consummation of her marriage to Krishna in Vraja, Radha expresses her lack of complete satisfaction by reciting "My husband, etc." Krishna suggests that the words "the banks of the Reva" be changed to "the banks of the Yamuna" and that her nostalgia can be easily treated by a simple change of locale.(75) This is the signal for the ascension into Goloka which then takes place in the next chapter, the last of the book. Jiva thus ignores the possible inference that a return to former joys hankered for by Radha implies a desire to return to the parakīyā situation.


61. UNc 1.21: ato muninā bharatenāpi ratnāvalī-nāṭikāvad yayāti-caritavac ca dāmpatyam eva sapatnādi-kṛta-vāryamānatvādinā dāmpatye ratiḥ praśastā bhavatīty eva mataṁ, naupapatya-ratiḥ praśastā syād iti. katham tarhi tad-vākyenaivaupapatya-ratiḥ praśasyate?

62. Nāṭ 22.152-4.

63. (ed.) Rama Bandyopadhyaya, Calcutta: Gauranga Grantha Mandir, 1970.

64. Cf. Donna M. Wulff, Drama as a Mode of Religious Realization: the Vidagdhamādhava of Rupa Gosvami, Chico, Cal.: The Scholar's Press, 1984. p.3.

65. GCP 33.319 ...vidagdha-mādhava-lalita-mādhavāhvaye pūrvottara-nāṭaka-dvaye ...

66. For a summary of LalM, see S. K. De (1942), 444-8.

67. Jiva has also made the parallel of the chief gopis with the eight chief queens, following Rupa's identifications, though he never goes so far as to say that they are the same persons as Rupa has done in LalM. Cf. GCU 17v52-3: vivāhā yat kṛtāḥ kṛṣṇenāsīt tat-kalayāpānam/ gopajāḥ kṣatrajātāś ca tad amūr eka-dharmikāḥ// ..tāsām āśu svaika-rūpyam anumodanaṁ ca darśitam. tathā hi, candrālyā bhīṣma-kanyā vṛṣa-ravi-sutayā satyabhāmā viśākhā-nāmnyā dyu-ratna-kanyā sphurati lalitayā jambavad-varṣma-jātā/ śyāmāṅgyā lakṣmaṇākhyā śivi-tanujuṣā mitravindābhidhānā bhadrāvaly atha bhadrā prakṛti-dara-samā padmayā sā ca satyā//

68. LalM 10.261, sakhi rādhe, mātra saṁśayaṁ kṛthāḥ, yato bhavatyāḥ śrīmad-gokule tatraiva vartante, kintu mayaiva kāla-kṣepaṇārtham anyathā prapaJṇcitam. tad etan manasy anubhūyatām, kṛṣṇo’py eṣa tatra-gatā eva pratīyatām.

69. LalM 10.266, bahiraṅga-janālakṣatayā śrī-gokulam api sva-svarūpair alaṅkaravāmeti.

70. The use of the term Gokula by Rupa rather than Goloka, which is preferred by Jiva, though not necessarily contradictory, here may indicate a slight difference in vision of the eternal abode.

71. LalM 10v38,
yā te līlā-pada-parimalodgāri-vanyā-parītā
dhanyā kṣauṇī vilasati vṛtā māthurī mādhurībhiḥ |
tatrāsmābhiś caṭula-paśupī-bhāva-mugdhāntarābhiḥ
saṁvītas tvaṁ kalaya vadanollāsi-veṇur vihāram ||

72. In the secular poetic tradition, the verse appears as a supporting example for various different points of concern to the critics. KavP 1, RASK 2.115 ad. (p.91). It appears in many of the anthologies, including SRK 809, SKM 533, Śārṅgadhara-paddhati 3768, Sūkti-muktāvali 7.9, etc. In Gaudiya Vaishnava sources it appears at Pv 382; CC ii.1.6, ii.13.6, iii.1.7 (ref. to Skt. verses only); GCP 33.318, ii.36.122;

yaḥ kaumāra-haraḥ sa eva hi varas tā eva caitra-kṣapās
te conmīlita-mālatī-surabhayaḥ prauḍhāḥ kadambānilaḥ |
sā caivāsmi tathāpi tatra surata-vyāpāra-līlā-vidhau
revā-rodhasi vetasī-taru-tale cetaḥ samutkaṇṭhate ||

This translation is based on that of Ingalls with alterations to fit the reading of the Bengali tradition starting with Sadukti-karṇāmṛta. Singabhupala uses this verse as an example of weak or diminished affection, directing a criticism to the wanton who even after obtaining the desired result of having her paramour for a husband speaks of her lack of strong feeling in the present. Ras 2.115ad; atra kayācit svairiṇyā gṛhiṇītva-paricayena pati-daśāṁ prāpte'pi jāre upekṣāpekṣayor abhāva-kathanān mandaḥ snehaḥ.

73. Pv 383; CC ii.1.7, iii.1.8 (ref. to Skt. verses only);
priyaḥ so'yaṁ kṛṣṇaḥ sahacari kurukṣetra-militas
tathāham sā rādhā tad idam ubhayoḥ saṅgama-sukham |
tathāpy antaḥ-khelan-madhura-muralī-pañcama-juṣe
mano me kālindī-pulina-vipināya spṛhayati ||

74. GCP 33.318;
yaḥ kaumāra-haraḥ sa eva hi varas tā eva caitra-kṣapās
ity adyāpy adhiyan kayācid uditaṁ gopālikā-gīr iti |
bhāvonmāda-ja-gaṇa-nṛtya-vivaśaḥ śrī-guṇḍīca-parvasu
śrī-caitanya-tanur matam sa bhagavān aṅgī-kariṣyaty adaḥ ||

75. GCU 36.123; sādhūktaṁ preyasi sādhūktam | kintu “kṛṣṇā-rodhasi tatra kuñja-sadane” iti paṭhanīyam | yasmād adya sadya eva śrīmat-pitṛ-caraṇānucaran-nija-cāru-kaumāra-pracāra-maya-vihāra-sāra-sandīpita-vara-kālindī-dakṣiṇa-pāra-sanditaṁ vṛndāvanam eva sañcarituṁ gocarayiṣyāmi iti |

4.3 Sthāyi-bhāvas and samarthā rati: problems and their resolution

The later critics of Jiva's understanding of the nature of Radha and Krishna's relation in the eternal world, stress the indispensability of the paroḍhā relation for the most intense quality of love. They primarily base their critique on the hierarchy of the divisions of love, or sthāyi-bhāvas, described in chapter 14 of Rupa's UN, which are said to dominate in any particular dramatic representation. This is in fact a continuation of the classification started in the BRS, and indeed further explains some of the terms used in that book. For some, like Rupa Kaviraj, this chapter is of the greatest importance in establishing the eternal character of paroḍhā love. Jiva has to some extent anticipated and pre-empted many of the arguments of his later detractors.

Rupa's vision of sthāyi-bhāva is original, though clearly following in the tradition of Singabhupala.(76) The general term for the feeling of love is rati, or more exactly, madhurā rati. Rupa classifies this single basic feeling into three separate streams into which its further stages or sthāyi-bhāvas can fall.(77) These appear at first sight to have been categorized by Rupa according to the three types of nāyikā which are familiar from the customary divisions of the poeticians. They are: sādhāraṇī ("common" = sāmānyā nāyikā), samañjasā ("conventional" = svakīyā nāyikā), and samarthā ("competent" = parakīyā nāyikā). These three kinds of rati are graded as progressively superior, compared in turn to ordinary jewels, the thought-jewel (cintāmaṇi) and the kaustubha jewel of Narayan.(78)

Though Rupa rejected the sāmānyā or courtesan for his devotionally based conception of poetics and categorized Kubja as a type of parakīyā nāyikā, (79) he nevertheless here places her in a category of her own in order to account for her rather unrefined and overtly sexual behaviour. Her love for Krishna is based entirely upon sexual attraction and contains a rather strong element of selfish desire. (80) The word samañjasā means "correct" or perhaps "conventional." Its essence is said to be the pride of wifely identity (patnī-bhāvābhimānātmā); it is thus said to contain an element of ego-centred sexuality which occasionally pierces through the veneer of selfless devotion. (81) When such an attitude is struck, the queens are not able to bring Krishna under their own control. The samarthā "competent" rati is defined as being identical in form to sexual desire, but despite such an appearance of identity, the erotic desire never has an independent life of its own. Every effort of the possessor of such competent affection is uniquely dedicated to the pleasure of Krishna.(82) It is thus the most pure and intense of all the forms of love according to the standard mooted by Rupa at the beginning of BRS.(83)

Though a parallel has been made above of the three types of nāyikā to these three types of rati, some clarification is necessary. First, even though Rukmini is at first technically a kanyā parakīyā who had to face numerous obstacles presented by her family before she could be wed to Krishna, she is never considered to possess anything other than samañjasā rati. Rupa's example clearly indicates what is meant by "pride in wifely identity":
What lofty virgin, Mukunda, thoughtful and of noble birth,
seeing you to be equal to her in nobility, character, beauty,
education, age, wealth and effulgence,
would not in time choose you, oh lion amongst men,
who are pleasing to the minds of the world of men. (84)
Again, though Rupa clearly indicates the paroḍhā gopis of Vraja including Radha when he speaks of samarthā rati, in his definition of this category of love, Rupa nowhere specifically links it to the parakīyā nāyikā in the way that samañjasā is linked by definition to the married woman.

The subsequent stages or degrees of rati are named prema, sneha, māna, praṇaya, rāga, anurāga, and bhāva.(85) All these sthāyins are further subdivided (see Fig.), the primary criterion being whether the nāyikā is possessive or not. Madīyatā, or possessive love, is considered superior to its opposite, tadīyatā. There is no point in here detailing the various subtle differences between these sthayi-bhavas, suffice it to say that sādhāraṇī rati reaches only as far as preman, samañjasā as far as anurāga, while the samarthā rati attains the very limits of mahā-bhāva. (86) Even amongst the gopis, Radha is shown to be supreme, for only she and those close to her know the intoxicating condition of madana-mahā-bhāva. (87)

[Table of sthayi-bhävas]

It would superficially appear that according to Rupa, only a parakīyā nāyikā was able to reach the highest stage of love. If we look at the definitions of the different types of mahā-bhāva, however, we see that the highest stage, known as madana, encompasses the gamut of features found in every other stage and degree of love, including those of union (modana) and separation (mohana). It is manifested, however, in union in the nitya-līlā and not in separation. (88) Rupa's example also stresses the inseparability o undivided (advaita) aspect of the Divine Couple. (89)

Jiva draws attention to the consistency of Rupa's presentation by saying that the three types of rati are sui generis. Thus, by definition, even when the obstacles, etc., which enhance love are present, samañjasā and sādhāraṇī cannot change and become samarthā, the only type which can attain to the very limit of bhāva. Due to its special qualities, this samarthā rati is desired by the seekers of liberation (as stated by Uddhava, x.47.58) and even by the queens of Dvaraka (as stated by them in x.83.43), yet neither the seekers nor the queens actively wish for the obstacles and interference faced by the adulteress, what to speak of marriage with someone other than Krishna. Thus, the particular emotional status of each group remains unique to itself even when obstacles, etc. are experienced equally by all.

Moreover, the obstacles faced by the gopis desirous of meeting Krishna reveal the strength of their love, like the chains which bind an elephant in rut; they are not in any way responsible for the existence of the love itself.(90) Therefore, when it is said, "The gopis abandoned their own kith and kin, and the path of morality, so difficult to give up" (x.47.61) and "ignoring their obligations to this world and the next, they offered their hearts out of love" (UN 3.17), this should not be taken to imply that the obstacles, in this case those presented by the par"dha situation, are of a permanent nature, or indeed that they are integral to the particular rati which they experience, i.e. they do not preclude the marriage.

Jiva further anticipates the argument that separation improves the quality of love on the basis of Krishna's own statements in BhP,
My beloved friends,
I do not deal with those who deal with me
strictly according to the way in which they desire.
Think, rather, of the poor man who loses the wealth he has gained,
and alone, thinks of nothing else. (91)
Jiva answers that such statements are meant to show that love within a particular class is increased, not that one type becomes another. He gives the example of the digestive powers of different species of animal. Though exercise might increase the hare's power of digestion, it will never increase to the point of equalling that of an elephant no matter how much it jumps about. Similarly, samañjasā or sādhāraṇī rati will not become samarthā even if subjected to similar conditions, i.e. of separation or obstacles, etc. (92)

Jiva continues with the same example to show that separation is not an end in itself. The hare's (or indeed the elephant's) hunger is not itself mitigated by its exercise, rather it is increased. In other words, any amount of separation produced by obstacles etc., cannot satisfy the hunger that a devotee feels for the association of the Lord, no matter how much such separation serves to increase their desire. Therefore, the opinion of the mundane literary critics which was mooted in the verse bahu vāryate [UN 1.20] is for the superficial understanding of those who also follow the school of thought in which separation and obstacles, etc., are necessary ingredients in the increase of love.


76. RASK (Rasārṇava-sudhākara) 2.104ff. Compare for instance, the definition of raga, RASK 2.116, UN 14.182.

77. See UN 14.43-60.
sādhāraṇī nigaditā samañjasāsau samarthā ca
kubjādiṣu mahiṣīṣu ca gokula-devīṣu ca kramataḥ

78. UN 14.44:
maṇivac cintāmaṇivat kaustubhamaṇivat tridhābhimatā
nātisulabheyam abhitaḥ sudurlabhā syād ananya-labhyā ca

79. UN 5.8-9;
sāmānyayā rasābhāsa-prasaṅgāt tādṛg apy asau
bhāva-yogāt tu sairindhrī parakīyā iva sammatā

80. UN 14.45:
nātisāndrā hareḥ prāyaḥ sākṣād darśana-sambhavā
sambhogecchā-nidāneyaṁ ratiḥ sādhāraṇī matā

UN 14.47:
asāndratvād rater asyāḥ sambhogecchā vibhidyate
etasya hrāsato hrāsas tad-dhetutvād rater api|

81. UN 14.48:
patnī-bhāvābhimānātmā guṇādi-śravaṇādijā
kvacid bhedita-sambhoga-tṛṣṇā sāndrā samañjasā

UN 14.50:
samañjasataḥ sambhoga-spṛhayā bhinnatā yadā
tadā tad-utthitair bhāvair vaivaśyatā duṣkarā hareḥ

82. UN 14.52-3:
kāṁcid viśeṣam āyantyā sambhogecchā yayābhitaḥ
ratyā tādātmyam āpannā sā samartheti bhaṇyate
sva-svarūpāt tadīyād vā jāto yat-kiñcid-anvayāt
samarthā sarva-vismāri-gandhā sāndratamā matā

UN 14.54-5:
sambhogecchā-viśeṣo'sya rater jātu na bhidyate
purvasyāṁ kṛṣṇa-saukhyārtham eva kevalam udyamaḥ

83. BRS i.1.11;
anyābhilāṣitā-śūnyaṁ jñāna-karmādy-anāvṛtam
ānukūlyena kṛṣṇānuśīlanaṁ bhaktir uttamā

84. Note Rupa’s example drawn from BhP x.52.38:
kā tvā mukunda mahatī kula-śīla-rūpa-
vidyāvayo-draviṇa-dhāmabhir ātma-tulyam
dhīrā patiṁ kulavatī na vṛṇīta kanyā
kāle nṛsiṁha nara-loka-mano'bhirāmam
(UN 14.49)

85. The expanded description of the sthāyi-bhāvas appears to originate with Bhoja, though Sharadatanaya (Bhāva-prakāśikā 4.55, p.82) gives the credit to Abhinavagupta. I have not, however, been able to trace any reference to the subject in Abhinavabharati. Rupa appears to have based his discussion of the sthāyi-bhāvas on Singabhupala though he has quoted at least two verses from Bhoja that are not found in Ras. Rupa has however shown a great deal of originality in his description of the sthāyi-bhāvas. Singabhupala's (p.152-3) three divisions of sneha, i.e., prauḍha, madhya and manda and their definitions match those given by Rupa for similar divisions of prema. His characteristics of anurāga are those Rupa gives for bhāva. Rupa's description of the divisions of (<>mahā
)-bhāva into rūḍha and adhirūḍha, and then into madana, mohana and madana are original.

86. UN 14.232:
adya premāntimāṁ tatrānuragāntām samañjasā |
ratir bhāvāntimāṁ sīmāṁ samarthāiva prapadyate ||

87. UN 14.219:
sarva-bhāvodgamollāsī madano'yam parāt paraḥ |
rājate hlādinī-sāro rādhāyām eva yaḥ sadā ||

88. UN 14.225:
yoga eva bhaved eṣa vicitraḥ ko'pi madanaḥ |
yad-vilāsā virājante nitya-līlāḥ sahasradhā ||

89. UN 14.220:
asṛṣṭer akṣayiṣṇuṁ hṛdaya-vidhu-maṇi-dravāṇāṁ vakrimāṇāṁ
pūrṇatve'py udvahantaṁ nija-ruci-ghaṭayā sādhvasaṁ dhvaṁsayantam |
tanvānam śaṁ pradoṣe dhṛta-nava-navatā-sampadāṁ madanatvād
advaitaṁ naumi rādhā-danuja-vijayinor adbhutam bhāva-candram ||

90. UNc 1.21; tathā nivāraṇādi-sāmye'pi tāsāṁ sva-sva-gaṇa-rater jāti-bhedenaiva vaiśiṣṭyasyātraiva nirūpayiṣyamāṇatvāt| tathā jigīṣūṇāṁ matta-hastinaḥ pada-durgārgala iva nivāraṇādikaṁ tāsāṁ rateḥ prabalatāṁ vyajayaty eva na tu janayati| ata evoktam ya dustyajam svajanam ārya-pathaṁ ca hitvā [x.47.61] iti, rāgeṇaivārpitātmāno loka-yugmānapekṣiṇaḥ [UN 3.17] iti. svakīyā-lakṣaṇaṁ tac cānena saṁvadate|
nāhaṁ tu sakhyo bhajato'pi jantūn
bhajāmy amīṣām anuvṛtti-vṛttaye
yathādhano labdha-dhane vinaṣṭe
tac-cintayānyan nibhṛto na veda //

92. yac ca, na vinā vipralambhena [UN 15.3] ity-ādinā, nāhaṁ tu sakhyo bhajato'pi jantūn [x.32.20] ity-ādinā ca viraheṇa rateḥ prakarṣaḥ śrūyate, tac ca prāṇi-bhedanaṁ jaṭharāgner iva jāti-bhedāt para-prakarṣa upalabhyate | na hi laṅghanādinā hastinām iva śaśakānāṁ tad agnir vikāśaṁ prāpnoti | tataś ca yathaiva kāntārādi-laṅghane kriyamāṇā eva yā bubhukṣā syāt, sā tathā na praśamyate, tathā nivāraṇādi-nityatā-maya-viraha-mātra-jīvanā ratiś ca | kiṁ ca, tadvat kādācitka-viraheṇa kadācit praśasyate iti ca gamyate | tasmāt bahu vāryate [UN] ity-ādi yal laukika-rasa-vidāṁ matam utthāpitaṁ, tat khalu tan-mata-rāgiṇām apy āpāta-bodhanāyeti | tatra rasa-niryāsāsvādārtham avatāriṇi [UN 5.3] ity anena yad avatārād anyadā na tādrśāyāḥ svīkāraḥ kim uta kintu dāmpatyasyaiveti labhyate |

4.4 The perfections of the married state

Given the emphasis on both samṛddhimat sambhoga and madana bhāva made by Jiva in his arguments, he has made little effort to demonstrate directly through descriptive poetry exactly what form these emotional states entail. The nature of Radha and Krishna's amorous dealings in the nitya-līlā are only described in a somewhat anodyne fashion at the beginning of GCP 2. Other than this, Jiva makes one further attempt to show the superiority of the marital state in a speech by Vrinda. Essentially, Jiva postulates that fear and disgust are rasas in their own right (bhayānaka and jugupsā). Neither of these is stated to be compatible with the erotic sentiment. Embarrassment or bashfulness (Skt. trapā or lajjā) manifests itself both when one engages in sinful acts or in sexual activity. The two are different in nature, and the shame one feels in sinful acts is identical with fear. Thus when one is married the shame, one feels becomes purified, whereas when one engages in sexual acts with the wife of another man, it does not because of fear and criticism.(93)

The romantic sentiment is weakened when mixed with fear,
while its sweetness is aroused when combined with bashfulness,
when it has been thus ascertained by all the critics of poetry,
then it should also be determined that
the hidden sexual union born of irreligion,
being covered by the first of these (horror)
must truly bring distress,
while that religious union which is combined with shyness
is highly relishable. (94)
Thus though Jiva admits that some purpose might be achieved by a temporary causing of fear or horror, he states that no useful purpose could be served if fear remained permanently. Jiva ends with a verse which states the same conclusions made in his commentary to UN 1.21.
The power of the gopis natural love
is not a result of their fear,
but rather was internalized by them (antaḥ-kṛta)
to see whether or not they could overcome their fear.
If by overcoming the social and religious barriers
the power of their love is increased, it is confirmed;
it is like gold which, already known to be pure,
having undergone the test of fire,
is put in the fires once more
[to increase again its purity].(95)


93. GCU 36v13-4;
patnyāḥ saṅge viviktāṅge sūcitam gacchati trapā |
parāsya bhaya-nindābhyāṁ kliṣṭe tad-rūpatāṁ na tu ||
anācārāt tathā gopyacaral lajjā bhaven nṛṇām |
pūrvā bhayād abhinnātmā parā lajjā paraṁ matā ||

94. GCU 36v15;
śṛṅgārasya bhayānakena milane hānir hriyā mādhurī
tasya syād uditeti sarva-kavibhir bāḍham kṛte nirṇaye |
prācā satyam adharmajā mithunatā dhatte vṛtā vyagratāṁ
dharmyā cāparayā parantu katarā rasyeti nirṇīyatām ||

95. GCU 36v17;
nāmūṣāṁ sahajānurāga-vibhutā bhī-nirmitā kintu bhīr
laṅghyā syān na tu veti kautuka-maya-jñānārtham antaḥkṛtā |
taj-jñātaṁ yadi dharma-setu-dalanāt tasyāḥ punar vistṛtiḥ
śuddho'py agni-parikṣayāgniṣu yathā sthāpyeta tadvan matā ||

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