If madhurya rasa is highest then how are those in other rasas satisfied? Do all souls progressively rise from shanta rasa to madhurya rasa?

by Chaitanya CharanOctober 28, 2012

Transcription: (By Namrata Rajdev Mataji & Bhavesh Rajdev Prabhu)

Question: Question from Chandan Prabhu. Is the madhurya rasa the highest? Has Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu come to give madhurya rasa alone or all rasas? If all rasas are perfect then is Krishna equally satisfied with all the rasas? And nectar of devotion one place seems to say that as love of Godhead develops then one moves from shanta rasa to dasya rasa like that up to madhurya rasa. So is it that the same soul moves from one rasa to higher rasas or is the constitutional position of the soul fixed?


Answer: Firstly, this madhurya rasa is the highest in terms of intimacy of the relationship that the soul enjoys with Krishna. So we need to understand that there are two perspectives, there is a subjective perspective and there is an objective perspective. To understand this for example if I have five pots and one is of one liter, two liters, three liters, four liters, five liters. Now from the perspective of the pot itself, if all of the pots are filled to capacity, from the perspective of the pots all of them are filled. So that is a self-perfection. But from the perspective of an objective observer all the pots are filled but the capacity of water in each of the pots is not the same. The five liter of pot, it’s much more. So like that from the subjective perspective of the soul, who is in say dasya rasa like Hanumanji, he is completely satisfied in dasya rasa. Hanumanji doesn’t think that I want to be Sita. Similarly Udhava, even when he understands that the gopi’s love is so great, Udhava desires, let me get the dust from their feet so that I will also develop love of God. Now Udhava to a large extent was said to be in sakhya rasa. So he doesn’t feel that because the gopis love is so high let me develop madhurya rasa. He says let me get their blessings so that I can develop my love for Krishna more. So from the self-perspective, from the subjective perspective of a devotee in each rasa, that devotee is completely satisfied and how is that possible? That is possible by Krishna’s all attractiveness. Krishna’s expertise in reciprocating with each devotee. So Krishna at whatever rasa a devotee is serving, Krishna makes the devotee completely satisfied in that rasa itself. So you could call it from our perspective inconceivable but this is the omnipotent power of Krishna that every devotee is satisfied in loving Him in whichever way the devotee loves Him. Now at the same time the Chaitanya Charitamrut describes that each of these rasas, so the basic characteristic of shanta rasa is that he has complete detachment from matter and complete attachment to Krishna, and when this is went further the desire to service is added then there is dasya rasa. And like that there has to be addition. So when friendship is added to it then it becomes sakhya rasa and when there is a feeling that I have to care for the Lord, then it becomes vatsalya rasa and when there is a feeling of extreme intimacy, conjugal intimacy, then it becomes madhurya rasa. So in that sense if we look at it objectively there is something added, some additional sentiment in the higher rasas as compared to the lower rasas and that’s why its right to call them higher rasas. So in that sense madhurya rasa is the highest. But that is the objective perspective, that doesn’t mean that the person experiencing a lower rasa is less satisfied. Now from Krishna’s perspective is it that madhurya rasa devotees give Him more satisfaction? We could say it that way but from Krishna’s perspective He loves all His devotees. And all the devotees are united in serving Krishna together. So even among the madhurya rasa, there are thousands of gopis and all of them know that Radharani pleases Krishna the most. But that doesn’t cause any envy among other gopis. They feel, “Oh if she only pleases Krishna the most then let us assist her in serving Krishna”. So Krishna’s, if we could say partiality. We cannot call it exactly partiality because partiality involves favor to one person at the expense of disfavor to another. So umpire who is partial. He gives the batsman out when he is not out. Then he is favorable to the bowler but is unfavorable to the batsman. But Krishna’s… So generally partiality in this world means good for one and bad for another. But in the case of Krishna if He is partial to some devotee, in the sense that He loves Radharani more, actually He has arranged in such a way that the manjris, manjris are the secondary associates of the gopis. The manjris do not directly normally perform pastimes with Krishna but they observe the pastimes that Krishna performs with the gopis. So Krishna has arranged in such a way that in observation itself the manjris get immense happiness and they get such a sense in observation that they feel this is all that I want, they do not feel the need to directly interact with Krishna. So like that same way, applies when Krishna is interacting with Radharani, the other sakhis don’t feel that I have to interact with Krishna. Just by seeing Krishna and Radharani interacting they get ecstasy like that. So that’s why it is not that Krishna’s partiality for one leads to any problem for others. No. Krishna has arranged everything in such a way that every devotee whatever be the rasa and the swarupa and the seva of that devotee, that devotee becomes perfectly satisfied in that service.


Has Chaitanya Mahaprabhu come to give us madhurya rasa?

Yes. Anarpita charinchirat karunyea avtarin kalau samarpeitu unnat ujwala that is described. It’s a long verse coming from Chaitanya Charitamrut. Anarpita that which is not offered. Charincirat for a long time, karunyea avtarin kalau samarpeitu, out of mercy the Lord has descended in the kali yuga to give us that. So it is true that Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu has come to give us madhurya rasa that is what is described in this verse and it is not given for a long time. But the process that Chaitanya Mahaprabhu has given us will basically purify us and elevate us to whatever swarupa we may have in the spiritual world. So His special emphasis is madhurya rasa. But we will see even among his associates there was Murari Gupta who was a devotee of Lord Ram and Chaitanya Mahaprabhu appreciated him for his one pointed devotion to Lord Ram. Similarly Anupam was a devotee of Lord Ram. Anupam was a brother of Sanatan Gosvami. So that means Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s special gift is that He has come to take people to Goloka in madhurya rasa. But at the same time the process He has given that can take others back to the spiritual world and reinstate them in their swarupa also. So in that sense the gift that He is offering, you could envision it as two circles. There is a circle at the epicenter which takes you to the apex. Another circle which is broader which also lifts us but takes us to the spiritual world where ever we are. So if we have a pyramid, the bottom is one circle and the top is also another small circle. But the whole pyramid is situated in the spiritual world. So Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, the process He has given us will take every one back to the spiritual world who is practicing it. But where will they be situated? That will depend on their original swarupa. So in that sense the special gift of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is madhurya rasa but it is not that that is the only thing which He has given us. Actually He has come to take souls back to the spiritual world whatever be their swarupa. But the world itself can get benefited in understanding of the highest revelations of the spiritual world which were not given before Him, at least in the recent past. So long ago in the previous day of Brahma, Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu had come and given that is true but since that time is a long time. That’s why it has been said that for a long time this was not given earlier. Not revealed earlier.


Now regarding whether the same soul moves upwards from one rasa to another. Generally our swarupa is fixed. Except in exceptional cases where if a soul has an intense desire to serve the Lord in two forms. Then the Lord by His mercy arranges for the soul to expand and participate in more than two rasas. Somebody is very attracted to Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and Krishna, the Lord will arrange for that soul to be there in both but that is exceptional and that is by the Lord’s mercy. So this exception indicates how far the Lord is ready to go to accommodate our pure desires. And to enable us to serve according to how we purely desire. But in general we will go back to the spiritual world to our swarupa.


And when it is said in nectar of devotion, it seems to say that there is a progressive evolution in the rasa. That is not talking from the subjective point of view of a particular soul. It’s talking from the objective point of view of the gradual development of rasas. So it not that the same soul gets attracted from one rasa to another to another. Rather these rasas are progressively higher higher higher. And the soul actually returns to where it belongs. So this is illustrated by Santana Gosvami in his book called Grihad Bhagvatamrut where there is a story of a gopa kumara. He is a cowherd boy who by the mercy of his spiritual master starts seeking for the absolute truth. And he goes to, in his spiritual seeking, to Vaikuntha but he is not satisfied there. Then he goes to Ayodhya, then he goes to Dwarka. And he initially feels satisfied but then he says, “No I am not satisfied here”. And then he eventually reaches Vrindavan. And there he is fully satisfied. So now this story which is used by Sanatan Gosvami illustrates through the medium of a seeker’s journey, how Goloka is the highest. But it is not that this particular soul actually belonged to Vaikuntha but ended in Goloka. No. He belonged to Goloka itself but while going back to the spiritual world he went through various lives. So this is more of a story that illustrates the journey back to Goloka. And in that sense, like we say when we go back to the spiritual world we also go through the heavenly planets. So we can in the spiritual world also go through various planets and ultimately will reach Krishna. So it is not that the soul’s swarupa is changing or the same soul’s rasa is changing rather the soul goes through a journey upwards upwards upwards till the soul reaches the destination where it belongs. So now although same Sanatan Gosvami has also taught that the highest rasa is madhurya rasa but when the gopa kumara goes to the spiritual world he does not desire to become a gopi or a gopa kumari, he goes back to the spiritual world and is satisfied being a gopa kumara. Because that is his swarupa. So that’s how it is not the soul goes from one rasa to another rather these rasas are objectively at a hierarchical level and the soul returns to his swarupa where he belongs, to the rasa where he belongs.

About The Author
Chaitanya Charan
  • Atulya
    March 24, 2014 at 5:03 am

    Hare Krishna
    All glories to Srila Prabhupad.
    Nitai Nimai Sundar ki jai.
    All glories to the devotees of Lord sri Krishna.
    This article was very nice and blissful to read.
    It was a perfect question and the answer was perfect as well.
    Thank you so much for taking time to write this article.
    Indeed the devotess are merciful on all the fallen souls of all the worlds and only by their mercy such a wonderful discussion is accessible to others.
    Thank you again.

    All glories to all the vaishnavas

    Hari Bol

  • Arpita Singh
    May 31, 2016 at 8:36 pm

    Thank you so much prabhuji.. I am extremely grateful to you for all your answers.. They always show me the right direction and clear all doubts..
    Thank you so much..
    Hare krishna 🙂

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