A new controversy has blown up in regards to what rasa Srila Prabhupada has. The battle lines are drawn between those thinking he is in madhurya-rasa or sakhya rasa. Most people (myself included) have presumed that he was in madhurya-rasa, since Srila Gurudeva (Narayana Maharaja) has made no doubts about what stayi bhava he’s in.
Those that believe he’s in sakhya-rasa states several sources for claiming he’s in sakhya-rasa. The first is the Jaladutta Prayers where he uses the word “Brother” about Sri Krishna. A gopi in madhurya-rasa would never use that title about Sri Krishna.
kṛṣṇa taba puṇya habe bhāi e-puṇya koribe jabe rādhārāṇī khusī habe dhruva ati boli tomā tāi
I emphatically say to you, O My brother Krishna, you will obtain your good fortune only when Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī becomes pleased with you.
The first verse in the Jaladutta prayer
The main arguments that opposes that Srila Prabhupada is in sakhya-rasa is the books that Srila Prabhupada has written and that Srila Gurudeva have many times stated that Srila Prabhupada is in madhurya-rasa. Mukunda dasa has a lot of arguments as well and it simply becomes to much if I’m to give a refereee of the whole debate.
One of the Swami’s (I have forgotten his name, and he left Srila Gurudevas sangha many years ago) that was there during Srila Prabhupadas disappearance told me a story of when he was in the room with Gurudeva. Gurudeva leaned over to him and indicated the posture of Srila Prabhupada (the way he was lying on the bed) and whispered: “rasa lila”, thereby implying that Srila Prabhupada was immersed in the rasa lila pastime. Now this doesn’t necessarily mean Srila Prabhupada is in madhurya-mood since it can be an external observation.
I’m not so concerned about what rasa Srila Prabhupada is in, since he’s a pure devotee either way. I’m more interested in the implications of Srila Prabhupada being in sakhya-rasa:
The most important inner reason for Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s advent in this world was to experience the moods of Srimati Radhika, the moods the manjaris of Srimati Radhika experiences and it’s been preached as the highest mood. How can Srila Prabhupada write a commentary on Sri Caitanya Caritamrita if he’s not a rupanuga? Since it’s the highest mood, how can he understand that mood?
If he’s in sakhya-rasa then he can’t award madhurya rasa to his disciples, can he?
I can only fathom that Srila Prabhupada may have different manifestations (which requires different moods), just like Narada. But, at the same time I respect Srimati Krishna-priya didi and Madhusudana Maharaja and believe them as well.
So I’m confused.
What I do know is that this whole controversy is very enlightening as it makes me learn more siddhanta and question presumptions I have. I’m beginning to love these controversies that keep rearing their heads up. I hope we get more of those 😀