Fourth Wave: Parenthood


Fourth Wave: Parenthood


vibhāvādyais tu vātsalyaṃ sthāyī puṣṭim upāgataḥ |
eṣa vatsala-nāmātra prokto bhakti-raso budhaiḥ ||3.4.1||

“When vatsala-sthāyī-bhāva is nourished by vibhāva and other elements [of bhakti], it is called vatlasa-bhakti-rasa by the wise.”

tatra ālambanāḥ —
kṛṣṇaṃ tasya gurūṃś cātra prāhur ālambanān budhāḥ ||3.4.2||

“The learned say that Kṛṣṇa and the devotees acting as elders are the ālambana for this rasa.”


Kṛṣṇa as the viṣaya of vātsalya-rasa:
“On seeing her son, who had the complexion of a fresh blue lotus, who had a soft body with lotus eyes touched by bee-like locks of hair, Yaśodā became wet with milk flowing forcefully from her breasts.”


“The vibhāva of the vātsalya-rasa is Kṛṣṇa, with attractive dark, soft body, endowed with all wonderful characteristics, speaking lovely words. He is honest, shy, obedient, respectful and generous.”


“Kṛṣṇa, endowed with the above-mentioned qualities, but without manifesting powers, is famous as the vibhāva of the vatsala-rasa by accepting Himself as the object of compassion.”


From the Tenth Canto of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam [10.8.45]:
“The glories of the Supreme Personality of Godhead are studied through the three Vedas, the Upaniṣads, the literature of Sāṅkhya-yoga, and other Vaiṣṇava literature, yet mother Yaśodā considered that Supreme Person her ordinary child.”


Another example:
“Because my husband and I have worshiped Viṣṇu constantly, Pūtana and
other demons have been destroyed. The two arjuna trees were uprooted by the wind (and Viṣṇu protected Him). I saw with my own eyes that Govardhana was held up by my husband with Balarāma’s help, because of worshipping Viṣṇu. How would it be possible for my baby to perform all those difficult tasks?”


The elders (aśraya):
“The elders become vibhāva of vatsala-rasa by thinking themselves greater than Kṛṣṇa, protecting Him and teaching Him.”


An example:
“I take shelter of the countless elders, full of desire to remove Kṛṣṇa’s sorrow, who are eager to care for Him, with hearts filled with great desire to protect Him, though He is the guru for the entire universe.”

||3.4.10|| ||3.4.11||

“The elders of Kṛṣṇa are Yaśodā, Nanda, Rohiṇī, the gopīs whose sons were stolen by Lord Brahmā, Devakī and other wives of Vasudeva, Kunti, Vasudeva and Sāndīpani Muni. Among the elders, the first in the list are superior to the later ones.”


The form of Yaśodā, from the Tenth Canto of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam [10.9.3]: “Dressed in a saffron-yellow sari, with a belt tied about her full hips, mother Yaśodā pulled on the churning rope, laboring considerably, her bangles and earrings moving and vibrating and her whole body shaking. Because of her intense love for her child, her breasts were wet with milk. Her face, with its very beautiful eyebrows, was wet with perspiration, and mālatī flowers were falling from her hair.”


Another description of her form:
“The queen of the cowherds, Yaśodā, has wavy hair bound by cords, with a dot of sindhura at the part of her hair. She does not wear many ornaments. Her eyes become filled with tears on seeing Kṛṣṇa. Her complexion is dark like a blue lotus, radiating a dark glow, and she wears colorful clothing. May she protect us!”


Yaśodā’s motherly affection:
“Early in the morning, with milk dripping from her breasts, with choked voice and tears in her eyes, Yaśodā uttered mantras on Kṛṣṇa’s limbs, placed tilaka on His forehead for His protection, and tied protective herbs on His arm. She was the personification of maternal love.”


Nanda’s form:
“I worship Nanda, the corpulent king of Vraja, who has a mixture of black and white hair on his head, an attractive beard as white as the moon, and clothing the color of a new banyan leaf.”


His parental affection:
“Kṛṣṇa held the fingers of Nanda as He walked about the yard on unsteady feet. Seeing his son begin to walk, Nanda was inundated with bliss, and his chest became covered with tears.”


“The uddīpanas for vatsala-rasa are said to be Kṛṣṇa’s three ages starting with kaumāra, His form, His cloth, His naughty activities, His laughing and His playing.”


“The kaumāra age has three stages: beginning, middle and end.”


The first part of kaumāra:
“At the beginning of the kaumāra age, His waist and thighs are chubby. The edges of His eyes are white, His teeth beging to appear slightly and His body is very tender.”


An example:
“This young boy, showing three or four teeth, with chubby waist and thighs, who was as soft as a fresh blue lotus, gave extraordinary joy to Nanda and Yaśodā.”


“Kṛṣṇa’s activities at the beginning of the kaumāra age are kicking up His legs, momentary crying or laughing, sucking His thumb and sleeping on His back.”


An example:
“Yaśoda could not stop looking at Her son sucking His big toe, throwing His two feet in the air, lying on His back, sometimes crying and sometimes laughing.”


“The ornaments of the kaumāra age are a tiger claw around His neck, tilak for protection, mascara on His eyes, a cord around His waist and a string tied on His wrist.”


An example:
“Looking at her son possessing the complexion of a new tamāla leaf, with a tiger claw around His neck, with yellow gorocana tilaka, with a string tied around His wrist and a silk cord around His waist, Yaśoda could never satisfy her eyes.”


Middle kaumāra age:
“In the middle kaumāra age, Kṛṣṇa has locks of hair falling to His eyes. He appears with partial clothing, He has pierced ears, He utters sweet, unclear words, and He begins to crawl.”


“Mother Yaśodā drowned in an ocean of bliss on seeing her partially naked son with locks hanging down to His brow, with darting eyes, inarticulate words and fresh holes in His ears, as He crawled about more frequently.”


“The decorations of the middle kaumāra period are a pearl at the tip of His nose, butter in His hand and bells around His waist.”


An example:
“Nanda’s wife derived great pleasure from seeing Kṛṣṇa in front of her, with small gold bells jingling around His waist, with a pearl in His nose and butter in His hand.”


Late kaumāra age:
“During the last part of the kaumāra age, Kṛṣṇa’s waist becomes slightly thinner, His chest becomes slightly broader, and three braids hang down His back.”


An example:
“The sight of the charming child with thin waist, slightly broadened chest, and three braids ties at the back of His head completely stunned His mother.”


“A long narrow cloth wrapped around the waist, cloth folded to resemble a serpent’s head at the front, flower ornaments and a small stick in His hand are considered the ornaments of the last part of the kaumāra age.”


“The activities of the last part of kaumāra age are herding the calves near
Vraja, playing with friends, and playing on small flutes, horns and leaves.”


An example of activities of late kaumāra:
“O dear wife! Just look! Your son, with a peacock feather on His head and the hood-shaped cloth decoration, carrying a stick and surrounded by His friends, is herding the calves at the edge of Vraja. By seeing Him, our eyes have become successful.”


Paugaṇḍa age:
“Since the paugaṇḍa age was described previously [as the uddīpana for sakhya-rasa, 3.3.61-77], it is only summarized here.”


An example:
“My son with white edges on His eyes, wearing a turban and jacket, is returning to Vraja from the riverbank, following behind the cows while His attractive ankle bells jingle.”


Kaiśora age:
“O Yaśoda! That jewel of a man, dark in color, who came from the mine of your womb, with reddish edges on His eyes, with raised chest and necklace hanging on His throat, and a line of hair raising on His belly, is giving pleasure to my eyes.”


“Though Kṛṣṇa is beautiful in the age of nava-yauvana (late kaiśora), He appears as if He were still in the paugaṇḍa age for those fixed in pure vātsalya-rasa.”


“And when Kṛṣṇa is in the delicate paugaṇḍa age, He appears to be in the kaiśora age for certain types of persons in dāsya-rasa.”


The insolence of His kaiśora age:
“Kṛṣṇa gave bliss to Mother Yaśodā by breaking the milk pots, scattering the yogurt, stealing the cream off the milk, breaking the churning rod and constantly throwing butter on the fire.”


Another example:
“O Mukharā! Kṛṣṇa, looking all around in fear and walking softly, has certainly come to steal the butter by darting out from behind the creepers. Remain here, pretending not to know. I desire to see His attractive face, dry and with frightened eyes as He moves His brows, thinking of how to steal the butter.”


“The anubhāvas in vatsala-rasa are smelling Kṛṣṇa’s head, rubbing His body with one’s hands, giving blessings to Him, giving Him orders, caring for Him, protecting Him and giving beneficial instructions.”


Smelling His head, from the Tenth Canto of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam [10.13.33]: “At that time, all the thoughts of the cowherd men merged in the mellow of paternal love, which was aroused by the sight of their sons. Experiencing a great attraction, their anger completely disappearing, they lifted their sons, embraced them in their arms and enjoyed the highest pleasure by smelling their sons' heads.”


Another example:
“Nanda’s wife, with milk flowing from her breasts and soaking her body, after after smelling His head bedecked with peacock feather, began to rub His
limbs with her hands repeatedly.”


“The elders’ activities of kissing Him, embracing Him, calling out His name and criticizing Him are anubhāvas in common with the friends.”


“The sāttvika-bhāvas of vātsalya-bhakti-rasa are the eight starting with stambha (paralysis) and also milk flowing from the breasts of the women.”


Milk flowing from the breasts, from the Tenth Canto of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam [10.13.23]:
“The mothers of the boys, upon hearing the sounds of the flutes and bugles being played by their sons, immediately rose from their household tasks, lifted their boys onto their laps, embraced them with both arms and began to feed them with their breast milk, which flowed forth because of extreme love specifically for Kṛṣṇa. Actually Kṛṣṇa is everything, but at that time, expressing extreme love and affection, they took special pleasure in feeding Kṛṣṇa, the Parabrahman, and Kṛṣṇa drank the milk from His respective mothers as if it were a nectarine beverage.”


Another example, from Lalita-mādhava:
“O Kṛṣṇa! Yaśodā, by most pure streams of milk mixed with the honey of her affection flowing from the pots of her breasts, is washing away the dust raised by the cows’ hooves which covers the painted patterns on Your body, derived from the minerals found in the mountains. In this way she performs Your first bath.”


Stambha and other sāttvika-bhāvas:

“The disturbed queen of Gokula could not embrace Kṛṣṇa, the lifter of Govardhana, because her limbs were paralyzed. Nor could she gaze upon Him, because her eyes were filled with tears. Nor could she instruct Him, because her voice was choked up.”


“The vyabhicātī-bhāvas of vātsalya-bhakti-rasa are the same as those for prīti-bhakti-rasa, with the addition of apasmāra.”


Harṣa (joy), from the Tenth Canto of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam [10.17.20]:
“The greatly fortunate mother Yaśodā, having lost her son and then regained Him, placed Him on her lap. That chaste lady cried constant torrents of tears as she repeatedly embraced Him.”


Another example, from Vidagdha-mādhava:
“O Kṛṣṇa! The great bliss generated from Your touch produces in me the most pleasant coolness, which conquers the coolness of abundant camphor, moonlight, the herb uśīra (spikenard), the blue lotus or sandalwood.”


“The rati of a person dispensing compassion directed toward a worthy object is called vatsala-rati. This vatsala-rati is said to be the sthāyī-bhāva for vatsala-rasa.”


“The vatsala-rati of Yaśodā and others is at the stage of very intense rāga by its very nature. Just as other ratis gradually increase to prema and then sneha, sometimes vatsala-rati also appears externally to increase to prema, sneha and rāga, but internally it is always on the level of rāga.”


Vatsala-rati, from the Tenth Canto of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam [10.6.43]:

“O Mahārāja Parīkṣit, best of the Kurus, Nanda Mahārāja was very liberal and simple. He immediately took his son Kṛṣṇa on his lap as if Kṛṣṇa had returned from death, and by formally smelling his son's head, Nanda Mahārāja undoubtedly enjoyed transcendental bliss.”


Another example:
“Today, Mother Yaśodā pricked up her ears in order to hear the sound of the flute. But as evening approached, her longing doubled in intensity. Milk flowed from her breasts, and repeatedly she went out of the house into the yard and then reentered the house. In complete anxiety, she constantly gazed at the path by which Kṛṣṇa would return.”


Yaśodā’s appearing to have prema:
“Knowing from talking to others that Kṛṣṇa was being glorified by the sages at that place, Yaśodā, milk flowing from her breasts, entered Kurukṣetra without reverence for Him as the Lord.”


Another example:
“When Kṛṣṇa went to Kurukṣetra with eager heart to observe the solar eclipse, people glorified Him as the son of Vasudeva. Devakī, performing activities suitable for a mother, wiped the tears from His face, while Nanda and Yaśodā’s prema simply increased even more.”


Yaśodā appearing to have sneha:
“O queen of Vraja! The Gaṅgā River has sprung up through streams of sweet milk falling from the mountains of your breasts, and the Yamunā has sprung up through the tears mixed with black mascara falling from your lotus eyes. Those rivers are mixing on the altar of your torso. Being bathed at the junction of the two rivers, you clearly desire to see the face of your son.”


Yaśodā appearing to manifest rāga (though she always has rāga):
“O Mukunda! If Yaśodā is placed on a fire made from grain chaff, but can see You, the fire becomes as cool as ice. If she is placed in an ocean of nectar, but cannot see You, the ocean of nectar becomes as sharp as Kālakūṭa poison.”


Utkaṇṭhita (separation before meeting for the firs time):

“When Kṛṣṇa was playing on the grounds of Vraja, the daughters of Devaka thought ‘O! When will we see the face of Kṛṣṇa, which conquers the autumn moon?’ All glories to their great impatience!”


Another example:
“O Akrūra! Tell Kṛṣṇa, the son of my brother, that Kuntī, dwelling among the enemy, is longing to see Him.”


Viyoga (separation after meeting), from the Tenth Canto of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam [10.46.28]:
“As mother Yaśodā heard the descriptions of her son's activities, she poured out her tears, and milk flowed from her breasts out of love.”


Another example:
“Just see! Now that Kṛṣṇa has gone to Mathurā, thin Yaśodā, her face covered by scattered gray hair, injures her body by falling roughly on the ground. She shouts ‘O my son! O my son!’ and beats her chest with her two hands.”


“Though many vyābhicārī-bhāvas are possible in vatsala-rasa, during viyoga only cintā, viṣāda, nirveda, jāḍyam, dainyam, cāpalya, unmāda and moha are prominent.”


Cintā (pondering):
“O Yaśoda! Your mind, tied up with heavy fatigue, has become devoid of function. The pupils of your eyes remain motionless, staring in a crooked manner. The milk flowing from your breasts has become cooked by your hot breathing. Certainly you are afflicted by unsteadiness due to separation from your son.”


Viṣāda (remorse):
“I have not seen the attractive, shining face of my son in His period of new youth (late kaiśora period) after His childhood. I have not performed the gṛha-praveśa of my son when He got married. Oh! Akrūra has struck my head with a thunderbolt.”


Nirveda (self-disgust):
“What an unfortunate life, in spite of all unlimited wealth, for I did not smell Kṛṣṇa’s head while milk flows from my breast. How unfortunate are the millions of cows that give continual milk like fresh nectar, for fickle Kṛṣṇa does not steal their fragrant yogurt.”


Jāḍyam (inaction):
“O lotus-eyed one! Seeing Your stick that was the ornament of Your lotus hand while You were in Gokula, Your mother has today become like a stick, with all her senses stopped.”


Dainyam (lowness):
“O selfish Lord! With tears in her eyes and grass in her teeth, Yaśodā prays to
You, ‘Give up Your hatred of me and bring my son within my vision, just once for a short time today.”


Cāpalyam (insolence):
“What is this shameless person doing sitting in the mansion? Ignorant people call him the lord of Vraja while smiling. How astonishing! (It is true.) Giving up a son dearer than life, this hard-hearted person, entering the village freely, thinks he is happy.”


Unmāda (insanity):
“ ‘O kadamba trees, where is my son? O deer, is my son wandering about
near you? O bees! Please tell us some news about Him.’ O Lord of the Yadus, in this way, with completely confused mind, the suffering Yaśodā wandered about in all directions asking for news of You.”


Moha (vacant mind):
“ ‘Dear wife! Why are you suffering so much in your mind? Open your eyes and see. Your son is standing in front of you. Dear wife! Do not make this house empty.’ O king of the Yadu dynasty! In this way, Your father Nanda reveals his grief to your mother.”


Siddhi (meeting Kṛṣṇa for the first time):
“When Vasudeva’s wives saw that Kṛṣṇa, object of their eyes’ desire, had entered the arena, for a short time their flowing breast milk dampened their new bodices.”


Tuṣṭi (meeting Kṛṣṇa after separation) from First Canto of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam [1.11.30]:
“The mothers, after embracing their son, sat Him on their laps. Due to pure affection, milk sprang from their breasts. They were overwhelmed with delight, and the tears from their eyes wetted the Lord.”


Another example, from Lalita-Mādhava [10.14]:
“Out of affection, the wife of Nanda began to bathe her son in the water streaming from her eyes and the milk streaming from her breasts.”


Sthiti (permanent association) from Vidagdha-mādhava [1.19]:
“O Mukunda! Our mother, fixing her eyes on the beauty of Your moon-like face, fragrant as a lotus, out of great jubilation continually purs forth streams of milk from the mouths of two pots of her breasts. In this way her clothing becomes soaked.”


“Some literary experts accept vatsala-bhakti-rasa as one of the rasas.”


“The learned recognize vatsala-rasa as one of the rasas because of its clear expression of bliss. In this rasa, the sthāyī-bhāva is vatsala-rati and the ālambana is the son or other offspring.”


“When a dāsya- or sakhya-bhakta cannot discern if the Lord has rati for himself, his prīti-rasa weakens and preyo-rasa disappears, but even if the vatsala-bhakta cannot discern the Lord’s rati, vatsala-rasa is not affected at all.”


“What is astonishing is that all the three rasas just described—prīti-rasa, preyo-rasa and vatsala-rasa—are said to appear mixed together in some devotees.”


“Balarāma’s sakhya-rasa is mixed with dāsya and vatsala-rasa. Yudhiṣṭhīra’s vatsala is mixed with dāsya and sakhya.”


“Ugrasena and others have dāsya, mixed with some vatsala. Aged gopīs have vatsala mixed with sakhya.”


“Nakula, Sahadeva, Nārada and others have sakhya mixed with prīti (dāsya). Śiva, Garuḍa, Uddhava and others have prīti (dāsya) mixed with sakhya-rasa.”


“Some say that Aniruddha and other grandsons have dāsya mixed with some sakhya-rasa. In this way the mixture of rasa should be understood in other devotees also.”

iti śrī-śrī-bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhau paścima-vibhāge mukhya-bhakti-rasa- pañcaka-nirūpaṇe vatsala-bhakti-rasa-laharī caturthī ||

“Thus ends the Fourth Wave of the Western Ocean of Śrī Bhakti-rasāmṛta- sindhu, concerning vatsala-bhakti-rasa.”