Fourth Wave: Devotional service in Love of God


Fourth Wave: Devotional service in Love of God


samyaṅ-masṛṇita-svānto mamatvātiśayāṅkitaḥ |
bhāvaḥ sa eva sāndrātmā budhaiḥ premā nigadyate ||1.4.1||

“When bhāva becomes extremely condensed, it is called prema by the learned. It softens the heart completely and produces extreme possessiveness of the Lord in the devotee.”


In the Pañcarātra it is said:
Prema is defined by Bhīṣma, Prahlāda, Uddhava and Nārada as that bhāva which has possessiveness related to Viṣṇu (or any other form of the Lord) and to no one else.”


“The analysis of the grammar of the previous verse is as follows: Prema is called by Bhīṣma and others where there is possessiveness (mamatā) related to (saṅgatā) Viṣṇu and where possessiveness of other things (ananya- mamatā) is absent.”


“This prema for the Lord has two types: that arising from bhāva and that arising from mercy.”


“Prema arising from bhāva is explained: That bhāva which reaches the
highest excellence by continual service using all aṅgas is called prema arising from bhāva.”



An example of prema arising from vaidha-bhāva is supplied by the Eleventh
Canto of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam [11.2.40]:
“By chanting the Holy Name of the Supreme Lord, one comes to the stage of love of Godhead. Then the devotee is fixed in his vow as an eternal servant of the Lord, and he gradually becomes very much attached to a particular name and form of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. As his heart melts with ecstatic love, he laughs very loudly or cries or shouts. Sometimes he sings and dances like a madman, for he is indifferent to public opinion.”


Prema arising from bhāva based on rāgānuga-bhakti is described in the
Padma Purāṇa:

“In this Manvantara period, the beautiful-faced Candrakānti observed continuous celibacy, and continuously meditated only on the form of Kṛṣṇa, thinking, ‘One should not desire anyone else as a husband.’ She sang songs about Him with her hairs standing on end. She developed complete affection for Kṛṣṇa by hearing stories about Kṛṣṇa.”

||1.4.9 ||

Prema arising from the great mercy of the Lord is explained: The great mercy of the Lord includes such things as the Lord giving His association to the devotee.”


Prema arising from the great mercy of the Lord is explained in the Eleventh Canto of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam [11.12.7]:
“The persons I have mentioned did not undergo serious studies of the Vedic literature, nor did they worship great saintly persons, nor did they execute severe vows or austerities. Simply by association with Me and My devotees, they achieved Me.”


Prema arising from the Lord’s mercy has two types: that endowed with knowledge of the Lord’s powers, and that endowed only with knowledge of the Lord’s sweetness.”


Prema arising from the Lord’s mercy endowed with knowledge of His powers is explained in the Pañcarātra:
“Affection for the Lord more than anyone else, which is very firm, and includes knowledge of the Lord’s powers, is called bhakti. By that bhakti, a person attains powers in the spiritual world as well as other rewards. There is no other way of attaining such things.”

||1.4.13 ||

Prema arising from the Lord’s mercy endowed with sweetness is also explained in the Pañcarātra:

“That bhakti inundated with prema, with continuous spontaneous desires to please the Lord free from desires for other results (even the desire to see His powers) brings Viṣṇu under control.”


“Those who have practiced vaidhī-bhakti and then get the great mercy of the Lord attain prema with knowledge of the Lord’s powers. Those who have practiced rāgānuga-bhakti and then get the great mercy of the Lord usually attain prema with sweetness.”

||1.4.15|| ||1.4.16||

“In the beginning one must have a preliminary desire for self-realization. This will bring one to the stage of trying to associate with persons who are spiritually elevated. In the next stage one becomes initiated by an elevated spiritual master, and under his instruction the neophyte devotee begins the process of devotional service. By execution of devotional service under the guidance of the spiritual master, one becomes free from all material attachment, attains steadiness in self-realization, and acquires a taste for hearing about the Absolute Personality of Godhead, Śrī Kṛṣṇa. This taste
leads one further forward to attachment for Kṛṣṇa consciousness, which is matured in bhāva, or the preliminary stage of transcendental love of God. Real love for God is called prema, the highest perfectional stage of life.”


“This ever-fresh prema arises in the heart of a person who is very fortunate. That person’s behavior is very difficult to comprehend even for those who are knowledgeable in scriptures.”


Therefore, in the Nārada-pañcarātra it is is said:
“O goddess Pārvatī, the person who is mad with love of the Lord, being absorbed in the highest bliss, does not at all know his own happiness and distress.”


Sneha and other advanced stages are the manifestations of prema, but because they are rare, even in those who have practiced bhakti, the distinctions will not be described here.”


“My Master Śrī Sanātana Gosvāmī has very clearly described all the sweetness of the conclusions of bhakti in his Bṛhad-bhagavatāmṛta, though it is very esoteric.”

gopāla-rūpa-śobhāṃ dadhad api raghunātha-bhāva-vistārī |
tuṣyatu sanātanātmā prathama-vibhāge sudhāmbu-nidheḥ ||1.4.21||

“May the eternal Lord in the beautiful form of a cowherd boy, who distributes His mood of love to Rāma and other forms, be pleased with this first part of Śrī Bhakti-Rasāmṛta-sindhu.”
Alternate translation:
“May the person named Sanātana Gosvāmī, who glorified Gopāla Bhaṭṭa Gosvāmī and Rūpa Gosvāmī and bestowed Kṛṣṇa-prema to Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī, be pleased with this first section of the ocean of nectar!”

iti śrī-śrī-bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhau
pūrva-vibhāge prema-bhakti-laharī-caturthī

“Thus ends the Fourth Wave in the Eastern Ocean of Śrī Bhakti-Rasāmṛta- sindhu, concerning prema-bhakti.”

iti śrī-śrī-bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhau rasopayogi-sthāyi-bhāvopapādano nāma pūrvavibhāgaḥ samāptau|

“Here ends the Eastern Ocean of Śrī Bhakti-Rasāmṛta-sindhu.”