Going deeper: Rasa of Srila Prabhupada

I’ve been so busy for the last couple of weeks, that it wasn’t until now I realized that part two of Nemi Maharajas posts on Priya narma sakhas had already been published. I had seen the post, but mistakenly thought it was the first post. So joy! There was something new for me to relish.

I found part 1 to be a bit of a rehash of old argument,where Nemi Maharana continues with that priya narma sakhas is in sakhya rasa. Nobody disagrees with this, so I don’t understand the need to argue this point. But still – it’s siddhanta and all good. As mentioned previously, the first posting have a very interesting development. It was the first time we see that the madhurya-rati side aknowledges that Gurudeva have never specifically stated SP is a manjari, but instead uses describing words like gopi-bhava etc. This is a progression of understanding as the madhurya-rati side now moves away from the idea that Gurudeva lied to us and that he was duplicitous. Instead, there’s an understanding that there is room for interpretation of Gurudevas words. Of course, the madhurya-rati side claims there is nothing there to interpret.

The second part of Nemi Maharajas postings is where it gets interesting for me. Previously in this debate, I found the madhurya-rati sides arguments to be weak and not really understanding or even approaching the claims made by the sakhya-rati side. At times I even wondered whether they had even read any of KBMs statements, the public statement suggest they didn’t.

This changes with the current postings by Nemi Maharaja where in the second posting he goes into the following question: Can priya-narma-sakhas enter into madhurya-rasa so deeply that terms such as “madhurya-rasa”, “gopi-bhava” and “maidservant” can legitimately be applied to them?

This goes into the heart of the matter and requires a deep understanding of the function and moods of Priya narma sakhas.

Nemi Maharaja begins by entering this statement by KBM and Damodar Maharaja:

Srila Swami Maharaja is in the mood of a sakhi, he feels internally that he is a sakhi, but for the sake of lila he has the body of a male. For example, sometimes Subala dresses as a sakhi and behaves like a sakhi. This is’ sakhi rupena’, and in this way he likes to give happiness to Radha Rani. BV Damdar Maharaja: SAKHI RUPENA BUT NOT SAKHI


When priya-narma-sakhas become absorbed in tadatmika-bhava with Srimati Radhika, they enter in madhurya-rasa because She is madhurya-rasa-siromani. They taste something of Her mahabhava. At that time, they have gopi-bhava. They completely lose their sakha mood and male identity, and experience tadatmya with Radhika like manjaris. This is tat-tad-bhava-icchamayi, nothing like a sambhogamayi relation with Sri Krsna

 Nemi Maharaja references verses in Bhakti Rasamrita Sindhu (does anybody have this book with better view of verses and formatting?) to show how pns never looses their primary rasa:

bhaty eva na tu Uriah syad esa sancari-gaunavat ||4.8.48|| “However, the primary rasa for a particular devotee, which manifests in his heart by the power of innumerable previous experiences, does not disappear, as the vyahhicdrT-hhdvas or secondary rasas do.”

ahgi mukhyah svam atrahgair bhavais fair abhivardhayan sajatiyair vijatiyaih svatantrah san virdjate ||4.8.49|| “In a combination of rasas, the primary rasa that is the main ahgi-rasa remains independent by nourishing itself through supportive bhdvas, which may be of the same variety or different, but not enemies.”

yasya mukhyasya yo bhakto bhaven nitya-nijdsrayah ahgisa eva tatra sydn mukhyo ‘py anyo ‘hgatdm vrajet ||4.8.50|| “The primary rasa that is revealed as one’s own, for which a particular devotee is the constant dsraya, remains predominant in that particular devotee (ahgt), and other primary rasas become ahgas”

kirn ca — dsvddodreka-hetutvam ahgasydhgatvam ahgini tadvind tasya sampdto vaiphalydyaiva kalpate ||4.8.51|| “However, the other rasas assume the role ofahga only to increase the taste. Their appearance except for this purpose would be useless.”

So, the interesting part here is that there seem to be an inconsistency between the statement by KBM and Bhakti Rasamrita sindhu. The statement by KBM is found in one of these books:

“Radha -krsna-ganoddesa-dipika, Ujjvala-nilamani, Jaiva-dharma and Prema-pradipa all give this indication”.
I would love to get the exact reference, because in BRS it says that the primary rasa cannot disappear, while KBMs statement indicates this. So there we have an inconsistency that needs to be addressed.

Furthermore, priya-narma-sakhas **cannot** have madhurya-rasa **as part of their permanent relationship** (sthayi-bhava), because the sakhya-rasa of the priya-narma-sakhas is not mixed with any other rasa (BRS 3.3.36-37). Srila Gurudeva relates to our Nemi Maharaja: Srila Prabhupada as a manjari in madhurya-rasa

Again, I need a better source to reference of Bhakti Rasamrita sindhu, but still this does address an interesting question. How much a part is the madhurya rasa in pns? My understanding is that it’s not part of their permanent relationship.

The priya-narma-sakhassthayi-bhava is angi-rasa. And madhurya-rasa is anga. When anga-rasa is mixed with angi, that anga-rasa should increase the taste of rasa. Otherwise, that anga-rasa (madhurya-rasa) becomes useless.

KBM: Be honest, see deeply

So, how to understand this (because I don’t)? Again, this is a point that need to be further clarified by the sakhya-rati side.

Next Nemi Maharaja goes into the claim that pns assist in the intimate amorous pastimes (what is Rkgd?) The lovely thing is that now we really have to reference the verses that are being used.  This goes into the the claims that pns are not manjaris. The sakhya-rati side does not claim that pns are manjaris, but there is still a piece missing from the puzzle: what is the difference in service between pns and manjaris when pns can get a shadow of mahabhava? KBM have statement that only touches upon the subject, but doesn’t really dive into it.

What I’m also wondering about is if there are divisions within the priya-narma sakhas, because KBM specifically states that SP is a follower of senior pns. What of pns who follow not senior pns?

Our Srila Swami Prabhupada is a follower of the senior priya-narma-sakhas like Subala and Madhumangala.  Because of this he has gopi mood like them, and because he is of her level, he also has Rupa-manjari’s mood. KBM: Open the door for dhira-samira

Syamananda prabhu in the comment makes also some interesting references:
So, I think Nemi Maharaja has pointed out an inconsistency in the understanding of siddhanta that needs to be addressed. Furthermore, there is a piece of the puzzle missing in the sakhya-rati side which is to explain in further detail the difference between manjaris and PNS like Srila Prabhupada.


Syamananda prabhu points out that KBM have answered these points in their statement PRIYA NARMA SAKHA SUBALA IS NOT SAMBHOGA-ICCHA-MAYI (IN SAMBHOGА-RASA)

Syamananda prabhu pointed out to me that Nemi Maharaja argues against Damodar Maharaja in this post and not KBM. This is a very good way of circumventing any vaishnava aparadha one might make when one has a differing opinion from high class devotees like Krishna priya didi and Madhusudhana Maharaja. Nemi Maharaja argues siddhanta with an equal instead. If I ever go into a disagreement with my seniors, I hope I will use his example.

2 thoughts on “Going deeper: Rasa of Srila Prabhupada

  1. It is indeed a rehash of all of Prem Prayojan Prabhu’s points. It seems that he hasn’t read KBM’s response to PP (or heard Tripurari Maharaja’s) though, and I don’t blame him, because it can only be found on your timeline: https://vk.com/wall-69829667_69

    Therein is the quote from Jiva Goswami’s UN commentary, saying that the male mood of the priya-narma-sakhas gets covered by sakhi-bhava.

    That the sakhya-bhava “disappears” doens’t mean that it’s non-existent, just non-apparent.

    “Radha-krsna-ganoddesa-dipika, Ujjvala-nilamani, Jaiva-dharma and Prema-pradipa all give this indication”. KBM has given all these references:

    “dvayor milana-naipunyo madhuro bhava-bhavitah… (Subala) is
    most expert in arranging meetings between the Divine Couple,
    and he is absorbed in madhurya-bhava (amorous love).” (Rkgd,
    Lb 46) In other words, “nikunja-yuno-rati-keli-siddyai.”

    “The special prerogative of the priya narma sakhas is to assist in
    Krsna’s madhura-lila.” (Jaiva-dharma, 5th ed, chapter 29, pg
    621). They do not participate in madhurya-lila like nakayas, but
    “assist” like manjaris.

    “The priya narma sakhas are eligible for srngara-rasa to some
    extent.” (JD chapter 30, 625).
    “His priya narma sakha, srngara-rasa himself, reigns splendidly,
    fully manifest in Vraja” (JD, chapter 34, pg 707). The meaning
    more clearly derived from the original Bengali and Gurudeva’s Hindi
    edition, is “The priya narma sakhas are the deity (murtiman) of
    srngara-rasa in Vraja.”

    “Sakhya is also of two types: siddha sakhya and unnati-garbha
    sakhya. The characteristics of siddha sakhya are that rati,
    prema and pranaya are in a fixed unchangeable form. In unnatigarbha
    sakhya there is a sprout of vatsalya and kanta
    (madhurya) bhava… When sakhya rasa is nourished then it will
    become either vatsalya rasa or madhurya rasa.” (Premapradipa).
    So priya narma sakhas go to madhurya rasa side, and
    suhrt sakhas go to vatsalya rasa side.

    Nemi Maharaja dismissed the quote from Prema Pradipa saying that it’s about sadhakas aspiring for madhurya-rasa but have yet only attained sakhya-rasa. That is not in line with BRS. You don’t go through different sthayi-bhavas. And if you look at the section from Prema Pradipa, it’s more clear:

    Consideration of dasya, sakhya, vatsalya, and madhurya rasas

    “When vibhava is added, then dasya-rasa is awakened. Dasya-rasa is of two kinds siddha-dasya and unnati-garbha. In siddha-dasya, dasya is the limit. In unnati-garbha-dasya, sakhya, vatsalya, and madhurya rasas germinate.

    “In this way sakhya is of two kinds siddha and unnati-garbha. In siddha-sakhya, rati, prema, and pranaya are found to be steady. In unnati, vatsalya and conjugal feelings germinate.

    “Vatsalya is always siddha. Vatsalya does not turn into any other rasa. When sakhya is nourished, it becomes vatsalya or madhurya. Although vatsalya is one form of culmination, it is inferior to madhurya. In madhurya-rasa, pranaya, mana, sneha, etc. are not reckoned. They are completely independent.”

  2. Thank you! I will have to read all these posts again and try to go deeper in my understanding. It’s getting really technical now – and I again find that my qualification in this debate needs to be raised 🙂

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