Third Wave: Involuntary Ecstatic Expressions


Third Wave: Involuntary Ecstatic Expressions


kṛṣna-sambandhibhiḥ sākṣāt kiñcid vā vyavadhānataḥ |
bhāvaiś cittam ihākrāntaṃ sattvam ity ucyate budhaiḥ ||2.3.1||

“On the topic of rasa, when the heart becomes overwhelmed by rati or bhāva in relation to Kṛṣṇa, either directly or indirectly, the learned call this sattva.”

sattvād asmāt samutpannā ye ye bhāvās te tu sāttvikāḥ |
snigdhā digdhās tathā rukṣā ity amī trividhā matāḥ ||2.3.2||

“The transformations that arise solely from this sattva are called sāttvika-bhāvas. There are three types of sāttvika-bhāvas: snigdha (affectionate, arising from genuine rati), digdha (tainted, arising from other emotions) and rukṣa (contaminated, arising in a person without rati).”


has two divisions: principal and secondary.


Principal snigdha-sāttvika-bhāva:
“The principal sāttvika-bhāvas arise from a principal rati. The wise call this relationship with Kṛṣṇa direct.”


An example of principal snigdha-sāttvika-bhāva:
“Rādhā, whose teeth were whiter than the kunda flower, while making an excellent garland of kunda flowers for Mukunda, heard the sweet song of the flute. She became stunned.”


In this example, being stunned is the principal snigdha-sāttvika-bhāva, because it arises from a principal rati, madhura-rati. The appearance of other sāttvika-bhāvas should be understood similarly.


Secondary snigdha-sāttvika-bhāva:
“Sāttvika-bhāvas that arise from a secondary rati are called secondary snigdha-sāttvika-bhāvas. The relationship with Kṛṣṇa is somewhat indirect.


An example of secondary snigdha-sāttvika-bhāva:
“When Kṛṣṇa the raincloud for the cātaka bird of her eyes, was brought to Mathurā, Yaśodā, turning red-faced in anger, began to scold Nanda Mahārāja in a choked voice.”

In this example, the change of color and choked voice of Yaśodā have been caused by the secondary rati of anger (krodha-rati).


“When the heart of a person who possesses genuine rati is overcome by an emotion other then the primary or secondary rati, and if this emotion appears along with a genuine rati, this is called digdha-sāttvika-bhāva.”


An example:
“One time Yaśodā, while dreaming at night, saw the huge body of Pūtanā rolling on the ground in her house. Her body began shaking. Then in great agitation, she began to search for Kṛṣṇa.”


“Since the shaking of her body accompanies the actual rati for Kṛṣṇa, it is called digdha.”


“Sometimes there are apparent sāttvika-bhāvas similar to those of persons possessing rati, appearing in persons without real rati, through astonishment or bliss caused by hearing about the sweet and astonishing Lord. This is called rukṣa-sāttvika-bhāva.


An example:
“A person who is revealed to be devoid of rati by absorbing himself in the pursuit of material enjoyment may develop hairs standing on end after being excited by songs concerning the pastimes of Mādhava.”


“The standing of hairs on end that arises without real rati being present in the person is an example of rukṣa-sāttvika-bhāva. Raty-abhāsa which appears in persons desiring liberation, as described previously (1.3.44) gives rise to rukṣa-sāttvika-bhāva.”


“When the heart becomes overwhelmed with bhāva related to Kṛṣṇa, it offers itself to the prāṇa with force. The prāṇa undergoes change, and disturbs the body. Then the sāttvika-bhāvas such as paralysis become visible in the devotee's body.”


“The eight sāttvika-bhāvas are paralysis, perspiration, haris standing on end, choking of the voice, trembling, changing color, tears and fainting.”


“The prāṇa takes shelter of the four elements earth, water, fire and ether, and sometimes takes shelter of itself. The prāṇa then moves through out the body.”


“When the prāṇa takes shelter of earth, paralysis arises. When the prāṇa takes shelter of water, tears arise. When the prāṇa takes shelter of the fire element, perspiration and change of color arise. When the prāṇa takes shelter of the ether element, fainting arises.”


“When the prāṇa takes shelter of itself to a small degree, the hairs stand on end. When the prāṇa takes shelter of itself to a moderate degree, the body shakes. When the prāṇa takes shelter of itself to the extreme, the voice chokes up.”


“Because of this, the sāttvika-bhāvas produce extreme disturbance both internally and externally. The wise call the disturbance to the body the anubhāva aspect of the sāttvika-bhāva, and the disturbance to the heart the vyabhicārī aspect of the sāttvika-bhava.


“Paralysis arises from joy, fear, astonishment, disappointment and indignation. There is immobility of the active and knowledge-acquiring senses.”


Paralysis arising from joy, from the Third Canto of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam [3.2.14]:
“The damsels of Vraja, after pastimes of laughter, humor and exchanges of glances, were anguished when Kṛṣṇa left them. They used to follow Him with their eyes, and thus they sat down with stunned intelligence and could not finish their household duties.”


From fear:
“When Devakī saw her son Kṛṣṇa, dearer than billions of lives, being attacked by wrestlers, her eyes became dry and she became paralyzed.”


From astonishment, from the Tento Canto of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam [10.13.56]:
“Then, by the power of the effulgence of those viṣṇu-mūrtis, Lord Brahmā, his eleven senses jolted by astonishment and stunned by transcendental bliss, became silent, just like a child's clay doll in the presence of the village Deity.”


Another example of stambha arising from astonishment:
“Seeing that Govardhana Mountain, touching the sky, was held up by the hand of a small child, the inhabitants of Vraja became immoble like figures in a painting.”


From sorrow:
“Seeing before them that Kṛṣṇa was entering the stomach of Aghāsura, who was the brother of Bakāsura, the devatās in the sky, overcome with sorrow, because still like painted pictures.”


From indignation:
“When merciless Aśvatthāma became eager to shoot arrows at Kṛṣṇa, Arjuna, though hasty to respond to his enemy, became motionless for some time on account of his anger.”


“Perspiration: Perspiration arises from joy, fear and anger. It makes the body damp.”


From joy:
“O Rādhā with joyful eyes! Why are You deriding the heat of the sun and emanating such an amiable nature? I understand that You have been pierced by the arrows of love, for You are perspiring on seeing the lotus-eyed Kṛṣṇa in front of You.”


From fear:
“Kṛṣṇa one time put on the dress of Abhimanyu for fun. His servant Raktaka, thinking Him to be Abhimanyu, called out to Him using impudent words. After understanding that He was actually Kṛṣṇa, he became very frightened and for some time became covered with perspiration.”


From anger:
“Seeing Indra showering down excessive rain because his sacrifice had been stopped, Garuḍa, situated on a could at a distance, became filled with anger. Profuse drops of perspiration fell from his limbs.”


“Standing of hairs on end takes place from astonishment, joy, enthusiasm and fear. In this state, all the hairs of the body stand on end, sending a thrill throughout the body.”


From astonishment:
“Yaśodā became astonished from seeing the heavenly, middle and lower planetary systems within Kṛṣṇa's mouth when He was beginning to crawl about. The creeper of her body began to blossom with hairs standing on end.”


From joy, from the Tenth Canto of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam [10.30.10]:
“O mother earth, what austerity did you perform to attain the touch of Lord Keśava's lotus feet, which has brought you such great joy that your bodily hairs are standing on end? You appear very beautiful in this condition. Was it during the Lord's current appearance that you acquired this ecstatic symptom, or was it perhaps much earlier, when He stepped upon you in His form of the dwarf Vāmanadeva, or even earlier, when He embraced you in His form of the boar Varāhadeva?”


From eagerness:
“When Kṛṣṇa sounded His horn during a mock battle, Śrīdāma became eager to fight and his bodily hairs stood on end.”


From fear:
“When Arjuna saw before him the Supreme Personality of Godhead Lord Kṛṣṇa as the astonishing Universal Form, his face dried up and the hairs of his body suddenly stood on end.”


Choking of the voice:
“Distortion of the voice is called svara-bheda. It arises from sorrow, astonishment, anger, joy and fear. It causes convulsions in speaking.”


From lamentation:
“ ‘O Queen of Vraja, Yaśodā! Please personally take Kṛṣṇa from the chariot in front of you (embarking for Mathurā).’ Doe-eyed Rādhā has made Her friends weep by giving up bashfulness in front of elders and uttering half these words in a choked voice.”


From astonishment, from the Tenth Canto of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam [10.13.64]:
“Then, rising very gradually and wiping his two eyes, Lord Brahmā looked up at Mukunda. Lord Brahmā, his head bent low, his mind concentrated and his body trembling, very humbly began, with faltering words, to offer praises to Lord Kṛṣṇa.”


From anger, also from the Tenth Canto of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam [10.29.30]:
“Although Kṛṣṇa was their beloved, and although they had abandoned all other objects of desire for His sake, He had been speaking to them unfavorably. Nonetheless, they remained unflinching in their attachment to Him. Stopping their crying, they wiped their eyes and began to speak, their voices stammering with agitation.”


From joy, also from the Tenth Canto of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam [10.39.56-57]:
“As the great devotee Akrūra beheld all this, he became extremely pleased and felt enthused with transcendental devotion. His intense ecstasy caused His bodily hairs to stand on end and tears to flow from his eyes, drenching his entire body. Somehow managing to steady himself, Akrūra bowed his head to the ground. Then he joined his palms in supplication and, in a voice choked with emotion, very slowly and attentively began to pray.”


From fear:
“I said to Your servant Patrī, ‘Give me that flute kept with you.’ Hearing my words, the careless Patrī changed color and his voice choked up, O Mukunda! Because of his inattention, Your flute has been lost.”


“Trembling: Quivering of the limbs (gātra-laulya-kṛt) due to extreme fear, anger or joy is called vepathu or trembling.”


From fear:
“When Śaṅkhacūḍa, with increasing display of his prowess, reached out his hand to grab Rādhā, She cried out, ‘O son of the King of Vraja!’ Her whole body began to shake out of fear.”


From anger:
“Becoming unsteady with anger on hearing Śiṣupāla criticize Kṛṣṇa, Sahadeva began to shake like a great mountain during an earthquake.”


From joy:
“O foolish friend! Why are you smiling? See—I am now trembling with fear. Keep away the fickle son of Nanda who is approaching.”


Changing of color:
“Change of a person’s complexion (varṇya-vikriyā) due to grief, anger or fear is called vaivarṇya or change of color.”


From grief:
“O Kṛṣṇa! In separation from You, all the inhabitants of Vraja have now turned white, such that Nārada has mistaken Gokula for Svetadvīpa.”


From anger:
“O friend! Just see how the face of angry Balarāma is glowing red like the newly risen moon on seeing in front of Him the assistant of Kaṃsa with weapons in hand, ready to fight with Kṛṣṇa.”


From fear:
“When the inhabitants of Vraja were protected by Kṛṣṇa, the enemy of Baka, as He lifted the huge mountain casually, the face of Indra turned black. This indicated the fear in his mind.”


“It is said that the change of color from grief is white, and sometimes gray or black. Change of color from anger is red. From fear, the color change is black, and sometimes white.”


“When it arises from joy the color change is sometimes red, but since this is not universal, examples of turning red from joy are not given.”


“Where water flows from the eyes (jalodgamaḥ) out of joy, anger or grief it is called tears (aśru). Tears generated out of joy are cool, and tears generated out of anger are hot. In all cases, there is unsteady movement of the eyes, redness of the eyes and rubbing the eyes.”


From joy:
“The Lotus-eyed Rukmiṇī derided bliss because the flow of tears arising from the bliss blocked her vision of Govinda.”


From anger, from the Hari-vaṃśa [2.66.24]:
“From the lotus-petal eyes of Satyabhāmā fell tears like drops of dew, generated by angry affection.”


Another example:
“When Bhīma desired to kill Śiśupāla, his face turned red and became covered with tears of anger. It appeared like the rising full moon covered with drops of water and tinged with red in the sunset.”


From disappointment, from the Tenth Canto of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam [10.60.23]:
“With her tender foot, effulgent with the reddish glow of her nails, she scratched the ground, and tears darkened by her eye makeup sprinkled her kuṅkuma-reddened breasts. There she stood, face downward, her voice choked up by extreme sorrow.”


Pralaya (fainting):
Pralaya or fainting refers to the absence of action of the body and absence of mental functions that distinguish self and objects. This arises either from happiness or distress. It is characterized by falling on the ground, etc.”


From happiness:
“When Kṛṣṇa suddenly appeared out of the tangle of creepers, the gopīs, seeing that they were again united with Him, became motionless and devoid of external consciousness.”


From distress, from the Tenth Canto of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam [10.39.15]:
“Other gopīs entirely stopped their sensory activities and became fixed in meditation on Kṛṣṇa. They lost all awareness of the external world, just like those who attain the platform of self-realization.”


“All the anubhāvas could be called sāttvika, because their root is a transformation of the mind arising from rati. However since the eight states just mentioned, beginning with stambha, arise solely from transformations arising from rati, they are called sāttvika-bhāvas.”


“Because of the variations in sattva (disturbance of the mind due to rati), there is variation in the disturbance of the life airs and body. In other words, there are various degrees of all the sāttvika-bhāvas.


“The sāttvika-bhāvas are of four types when they attain increasing degrees of intensity: dhūmāita (smoky), jvalita (luminous), dīpta (brilliant) and uddīpta (very brilliant).”


“The increase is of three types: duration of the symptoms, pervasion of the symptoms in different parts of the body, and exhibition of the essential nature of the sāttvika-bhāva.”


“Except for tears and choking of the voice, the other sāttvika-bhāvas can spread through many parts of the body. Tears and choking of the voice have some special features.”


“The special features of tears are swelling of the eyes and whiteness of the eyes. The pupils of the eyes become extremely colorful. The special features of choking of the voice are breaking of the voice, weakness of the voice and fluctuation of tone.”


“Breaking of the voice means failure of the vocal chords to pronounce properly. Weakness means the inability to make any sound. Fluctuation means high, low, indistinct and inaudible tones.”


“All the sāttvika-bhāvas in the rukṣa state (in persons without real rati) remain generally at the dhūmāyita level. The sāttvika-bhāvas in the snigdha state appear in all four levels: dhūmāita (smoky), jvalita (luminous), dīpta (brilliant) and uddīpta (very brilliant).”


“Sometimes, however, the rukṣa-sāttvika-bhāva of a person who is enthusiastic to dance or perform other devotional acts among the devotees on the occasion of festivals reaches the jvalita stage.”


Rati is the cause of all kinds of bliss. Therefore rati is called the most excellent bhāva. Being devoid of this rati, rukṣa or other types of bhāva can never be the shelter of bliss.”


Smoky sāttvika-bhāva:
“Any sāttvika-bhāva that appears alone or with others, which manifests slightly and can be hidden by the individual, is called dhūmāyita-sāttvika-bhāva.


An example:
“When the performer of sacrifice heard the glories of Kṛṣṇa killing Aghāsura, the tips of his eyes filled with a few tears, hairs stood up on his cheeks and a few drops of perspiration appeared on his nose. In this way his lotus face shone.”


Luminous sāttvika-bhāva:
“When two or three of the sāttvika-bhāvas appear very clearly and can be concealed only with difficulty, they are called jvalita-sāttvika-bhāvas.


“One sakhi said to Kṛṣṇa, ‘When the sound of Your flute comes from the forest and arrives at my ears, my hands begin to shake and I cannot pick the guñja berries quickly. My eyes become filled with tears, and I cannot immediately recognize the peacock feather. My two thighs become paralyzed and I cannot easily walk one step.’ ”


Another example:
“O friend! When the sound of the flute indicating the presence of Kṛṣṇa manifests in the ravine, I stop the flow of tears, I hide my choked voice and conceal the trembling of my body. However, skillful persons have guessed that I have attraction to Kṛṣṇa in my heart.”


Brilliant sāttvika-bhāva:
“When three, four or five sāttvika-bhāvas appear strongly and cannot be concealed, they are called dīpta-sāttvika-bhāvas.


An example:
“When Nārada saw Kṛṣṇa appear before him, he lost control of his body. Due to trembling of his body, for a long time he was unable to play his vīṇā, and due to choked voice, he was unable to recite verses of praise. Because his eyes were filled with tears, he could not see Kṛṣṇa.”


Another example:
“O Rādhā my friend! Because tears have come to Your eyes, why are You unnecessarily scolding the flower pollen? Because Your hairs are standing on end and Your body is quivering, why are You uselessly scolding the cool wind? Because Your limbs have become paralyzed, why are You uselessly showing anger about walking in the forest? Your choked voice which You cannot hide, reveals the pain of love.”


Very brilliant sāttvika-bhāva:
“When five, six or all of the sāttvika-bhāvas manifest at the same time, in their most extreme form, it is called uddīpta-sāttvika-bhāva.


“O Kṛṣṇa, wearing yellow cloth! Today the inhabitants of Gokula are covered in perspiration out of separation from You. Their limbs are paralyzed and their bodily hairs are standing on end. In distress they converse in choked voices. They have become faded in complexion due to the extreme heat of separation, and they have become wet with the profuse flow of tears. They are now repeatedly fainting out of separation.”


“When all the uddīpta-sāttvika-bhāvas appear in mahā-bhāva they are called sūddīpta-sāttvika-bhāvas. All the sāttvika-bhāvas attain their highest state in mahā-bhāva.”


“However, four types of sāttvika-bhāvābhāsas should be described. They are called ratyābhāsa-bhāva (generated from ratyābhāsa), sattvābhāsa-bhāva (generated from sattvābhāsa), niḥsattva (false sattva) and pratīpa (enmity). They are listed in order from superior to inferior.”


Ratyābhāsa-bhāva-sāttvikābhāsa, symptoms appearing to be sāttvika-bhāvas, generated from ratyābhāsa described previously, arises in people desiring liberation.”


An example:
“When a person living in Vārānasī glorified the qualities of Hari repeatedly in the assembly of sannyasīs, his hairs stood on end and tears moistened his cheeks.”


“When a shadow (ābhāsa) of joy, astonishment or other emotion appears in the heart of a person who is soft (sentimental) by nature, the heart is said to have developed a state of sattvābhāsa. From this state of sattvābhāsa arise symptoms similar to sāttvika-bhāvas, called sattvābhāsa-bhāva. ”


An example:
“When an aged person expert in the study of the Mīmāṃṣa scriptures heard the pastimes of Kṛṣṇa, he became joyful in heart and his hairs stood on end.”


Another example:
“How can I describe the sweetness of your skillful words pouring a stream of nectar with descriptions of the pastimes of Mukunda? When the materialists who do not even desire to hear about Him hear the pastimes of Mukunda from your mouth, their eyes quickly become filled with tears.”


“When a person has a hard heart and practices exhibiting the sāttvika-bhāvas without even a touch of emotion, the appearance of tears or other symptoms is called niḥsattva.”


“When a person, though hearing the pastimes of the Lord, does not feel either happiness nor distress because of hardness of the heart, how can tears constantly flow from his eyes? It must be from practice alone.”


“Those whose minds are either soft or hard generally show sāttvikābhāsa only in festive gatherings of chanting the Holy Names if the Lord.”


Sāttvikābhāsa within the enemies of Kṛṣṇa, generally from anger or fear is called pratīpa-sāttvikābhāsa.”


From anger, from Hari-vaṃśa:
“With red lower lip and trembling upper lip, Kaṃsa’s face appeared like the sun, red with anger.”


From fear:
“Seeing Kṛṣṇa in the arena, the wrestler’s face turned pale, and drops of perspiration appeared on his forehead. His forehead seemed like a conchshell offering arghya with great reverence to the goddess of liberation, who had just arrived in front of him.”


Another example of fear:
“Hearing of Kaṃsa’s extreme fear during a recital of the Purāṇas, one person (identifying with Kaṃsa’s fear) began to tremble within and his face darkened.”


“Though there is no necessity of describing sāttvikābhāsa, a sketch has been given to familiarize the readers with all aspects of sāttvika-bhāvas.”

iti śrī-śrī-bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhau dakṣiṇa-vibhāge
bhakti-rasa-sāmānya-nirūpaṇe sāttvika-laharī tṛtīyā |

“Thus ends the Third Wave in the Southern Ocean of Śrī Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu, concerning sāttvika-bhāva.”