Rupa Goswami defines bhāva, part III

We now examine the remaining qualifiers of bhāva. As we saw before, bhāva is qualified by rucibhiś citta-māsṛṇya-kṛd and prema-sūryāṁśu-sāmya-bhāk. Sri Jiva Goswami explains the meaning of these words, which is reproduced below.

The word ruci =  prāpti-abhilāṣa, sva-kartṛka ānukulya-abhilāṣa and sauhārda-abhilāṣa. That is, ruci implies three things: 1) desire to attain Kṛṣṇa, 2) a natural desire to perform actions pleasing to Kṛṣṇa, and 3) desire to have favorable feelings toward him.

In the word citta-māsṛṇya-kṛd, the quality of citta-māsṛṇya = citta-ārdrtā. The word ārdra means ‘wet’. The originally dry heart becomes wet- that means one has affectionate feelings in the heart. There is no maliciousness or harshness or dryness toward Kṛṣṇa.

Thus, the meaning of rucibhiś citta-māsṛṇya-kṛd is: [that is called bhāva in which state] the heart is softened by ruci.

Sri Jiva Goswami further writes that prema-sūryāṁśu-sāmya-bhāk indicates the first appearance of prema. Here, bhāva is compared to the ray (āṁśa) of the sun (sūrya), and the sun is compared with prema. Once bhāva is attained, prema will follow similar to how the sun follows inevitably after the first rays of dawn. Sun-rays do not and cannot become the sun, but bhāva itself will condense or concentrate to become prema. Put another way, bhāva is the sprout that will mature to become prema. The only difference between bhāva and prema is intensity.

Jiva Goswami goes on to add that this bhāva is aprākṛta- non-material because of three reasons.

  1. It is beyond the happiness of liberation.
  2. it belittles the pleasure one can derive out of Brahman.
  3. It reveals Bhagavan himself.

This topic is discussed in more detail in the Priti Sandarbha. To put all of this together, the definition of bhāva is then:

Bhāva is samvit+ essence of hlādinī śakti, it is the first appearance of prema, and in it, ruci [three types of desires] for Kṛṣṇa softens the heart with affectionate feelings toward Him.

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