Category: bhāva

The rāsa līlā is to be understood in its vyañjanā meaning. Part 1

In Sanskrit kāvya, words have three kinds of meaning. Kavi-karṇapūra’s Alaṅkāra-kaustubha describes these meanings in detail 1. They are abhidhā-vṛtti, lakṣaṇā-vṛtti and vyañjanā-vṛtti. The meanings of these words are best understood through an example. Consider the words: gaṅgāyāṁ ghoṣaḥ. The abhidhā or primary meaning of these words is […]

Uttama bhaktas are very rare among both muktas and siddhas

Rupa Goswami quotes the following verse from the sixth canto of the भागवतम् in भक्तिरसामृत सिंधु 1.2.52: मुक्तानाम् अपि सिद्धानां नारायणपरायणः| सुदुर्लभः प्रशान्तात्मा कोटीषु अपि महामुनेः|| muktānām api siddhānāṁ nārāyaṇa-parāyaṇaḥ su-durlabhaḥ praśāntātmā koṭiṣv api mahā-mune Jiva Goswami helps us translate this verse by defining the terms in it. […]

Is the sādhya, bhāva or prema?

Rupa Goswami in his भक्तिरसामृत सिंधु has presented three divisions of उत्तमा भक्ति (uttamā bhakti): sādhanā, bhāva and prema. sādhya and sādhana are only two. Jiva Goswami and Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakur have given two different explanations for why Rupa Goswami makes three divisions. Their explanations offer deeper insight into bhāva and […]

bhāva: dormant or absent?

There are two opposing views on where bhāva, the sādhya of sādhanā bhakti1, exists before it manifests in the heart (heart refers to the unconscious mind). One view is that bhāva is dormant in the heart, that is, it has been eternally present. This is the view in some modern […]

Cause and effect in uttamā bhakti

In Indian philosophy1, साधन (sādhana) and साध्य (sādhya) refer to cause and effect, or ingredient and product. Say for example, we are preparing soup. Before the soup comes into existence, only its separate ingredients exist – vegetables, tomatoes, some masala, water, salt etc.. Mixing the ingredients together and […]