Book excerpts Śrī Bhakti rasāmṛta sindhu bindu Verse 15: 
Description of Vyabhicāri-bhāvas

Verse 15: 
Description of Vyabhicāri-bhāvas

atha vyabhicāriṇaḥ sthāyi-bhāva-poṣakā bhāvāḥ kadācitkāḥ. nirvedo ’tha viṣādo, dainyam glāni-śramau ca mada-garvau śaṅkā-trāsāvegā unmādo ’pasmṛtis tathā vyādhiḥ moho mṛtir ālasyaṁ, jāḍyaṁ vrīḍāvahitthā ca smṛtir atha vitarka-cintā-mati-dhṛtayo harṣa-utsukatvaṁ ca augrāmarṣāsūyāś cāpalyaṁ caiva nidrā ca suptir bodha itīme bhāvā vyabhicāriṇaḥ samākhyātāḥ.

athaiṣām-lakṣaṇam – ātma-nindā nirvedaḥ, anutāpo-viṣādaḥ, ātmani ayogya-buddhir dainyam, śramajanya-daurbalyaṁ glāniḥ, nṛtyādy-utthaḥ svedaḥ śramaḥ, mado madhu-pānādi-mattatā, ahaṅkāro garvaḥ, aniṣṭāśaṅkanaṁ śaṅkā, akasmād eva bhayaṁ trāsaḥ, citta-sambhrama āvegaḥ, unmattatā unmādaḥ, apasmāro vyādhir apasmṛtiḥ, jvara-tāpo vyādhiḥ, mūrcchaiva mohaḥ, mṛtir maraṇam, ālasyam spaṣṭam, jāḍyaṁ jaḍatā, lajjaiva vrīḍā, ākāra-gopanam avahitthā, pūrvānubhūta-vastu-smaraṇaṁ smṛtiḥ, anumānaṁ vitarkaḥ, kiṁ bhaviṣyatīti bhāvanā cintā, śāstrārtha-nirdhāraṇaṁ matiḥ, dhṛtir dhairyam, harṣa ānandaḥ, utkaṇṭhaiva autsukyam, tīkṣṇa-svabhāvatā augryam, asahiṣṇutā amarṣaḥ, guṇe ’pi doṣāropaṇam asūyā, sthairye aśaktiś cāpalyam, suṣuptir eva nidrā, svapna-darśanaṁ suptiḥ, jāgaraṇaṁ bodhaḥ, avidyākṣayaś ca, iti vyabhicāriṇaḥ.


viśeṣaṇābhimukhyena caranti sthāyinaṁ prati. iti vyabhicāriṇaḥ

Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu (2.4.1)

The vyabhicāri-bhāvas are thirty-three in number. Because they are specifically directed towards and offer special assistance to the sthāyibhāva, they are known as vyabhicāri-bhāvas. The word vyabhicārī here has a special technical meaning. It can be broken down into three parts: vi (distinction or intensification), abhi (towards) and cārī (going). In other words an emotion that moves distinctively in the direction of the sthāyibhāva and that serves to intensify it is called vyabhicāri-bhāva. The vyabhicāri-bhāvas are made known by one’s speech, by the limbs such as the eyes and eyebrows, and by sattva, or in other words, by the anubhāvas arising from sattva. All these vyabhicāri-bhāvas move towards the sthāyibhāva; therefore they are also called sañcāri-bhāvas. The word sañcārin means moving. The vyabhicāri-bhāvas are like waves which emerge from the nectarean ocean of the sthāyibhāva and cause it to swell. Then they merge back into the ocean and disappear.

Śrī Bindu-vikāśinī-vṛtti

There are thirty-three vyabhicāri-bhāvas that nourish the sthāyibhāva. The causes and symptoms of each one are described below.

  1. Nirveda (self-disparagement) – To reproach oneself considering oneself to be fallen and worthless is called nirveda. Nirveda arises from great distress, feelings of separation, jealousy, non-performance of duty and performance of non-duty. In nirveda anxiety, tears, change of colour, feelings of worthlessness, heavy sighing and other anubhāvas are manifest.
  2. Viṣāda (despondency or depression) – This arises from non-attainment of one’s desired object, Śrī Kṛṣṇa, from inability to complete some endeavour that was begun for Kṛṣṇa, due to the appearance of some calamity that befalls Kṛṣṇa, or due to committing an offence. The symptoms of viṣāda are seeking a remedy and assistance, anxiety, crying, lamentation, breathing heavily, change of colour and drying of the mouth.
  3. Dainya (wretchedness or humility) – To consider oneself despicable and unworthy is called dainya. Dainya arises from distress, fear and offences. The symptoms of dainya are speaking words of adulation, awkwardness (incompetence of the heart), gloominess, anxiety and inertia of the limbs.
  4. Glāni (physical and mental debility) – The principle of vital energy and action throughout the body is called oja. The weakness that arises due to the waning of this vital energy, brought about by excessive labour (śrama), by mental oppression or by conjugal activities, is called glāni. The symptoms of glāni are trembling, inactivity, change of colour, weakness and restlessness of the eyes.
  5. Śrama – Fatigue or exhaustion accompanied by perspiration which arises from vigorous movement in pursuit of Kṛṣṇa (like Mother Yaśodā running to catch Kṛṣṇa), dancing and conjugal activities is called śrama. The symptoms of śrama are sleep, perspiration, yawning and heavy sighing.
  6. Mada (intoxication) – The delight or exuberance that extinguishes knowledge is called mada. This mada arises from drinking honey and from excessive conjugal agitation. The symptoms of mada are stumbling movements, tottering, stammering speech, rolling the eyes and redness of the eyes.
  7. Garva (pride) – The disregard for others that occurs due to one’s own good fortune, beauty, youth, qualities, obtainment of the supreme refuge (Śrī Kṛṣṇa) or attainment of one’s desired object, is called garva. The symptoms of garva are disdainful speech, not answering another simply to amuse oneself, displaying one’s limbs, concealing one’s intention and not listening to another’s words.
  8. Śaṅkā (apprehension) – The apprehension of calamity arising from having stolen something that belongs to Kṛṣṇa, from committing an offence or from the viciousness of others (that is, the enemies of Kṛṣṇa), is called śaṅkā. The symptoms of śaṅkā are drying of the mouth, change of colour, looking here and there, and hiding.
  9. Trāsa (fear) – The fear that arises suddenly or unexpectedly due to lightning, a fearsome creature or a fearful sound is called trāsa. The symptoms of trāsa are taking shelter of nearby objects, becoming stunned, horripilation, trembling and perplexity.
  10. Āvega – Agitation, excitement, tremendous outburst of emotion and bewilderment of the heart are called āvega. This āvega arises from eight causes: priya-vastu (a pleasing object), apriya-vastu (a displeasing object), agni (fire), vāyu (wind), varṣā (rain), utpāta (an unusual or startling event or calamity), gaja (an elephant) and śatru (an enemy). Each one of these causes gives rise to different symptoms. In priya-vastu-āvega there is horripilation, comforting words, fickleness and standing to welcome the beloved. In apriya-vastu-āvega there is falling on the ground, screaming and dizziness. In āvega arising from fire there is disorderly movement, trembling, closing the eyes and shedding tears. In āvega arising from wind there is covering of the body, rapid movement and wiping the eyes. In āvega arising from rain there is running, taking an umbrella and contracting the body. In āvega arising from calamity there is change of facial colour, astonishment and trembling. In āvega arising from an elephant there is running, trembling, fear and looking behind oneself repeatedly. In āvega arising from an enemy there is putting on armour, taking up weapons, and leaving home to go to another place.
  11. Unmāda (madness) – Bewilderment of the heart that arises from extreme bliss, calamity or acute separation is called unmāda. The symptoms of unmāda are loud laughter, dancing, singing, futile action, incoherent speech, running, shouting and behaving in a contrary manner.
  12. Apasmṛti (confusion or absence of mind) – The bewilderment of the heart that occurs due to an imbalance of the elements of the body arising from some great distress is called apasmṛti. In apasmṛti there are symptoms such as falling on the ground, running about, delusion, trembling, foaming from the mouth, throwing up of the hands and legs, and loud shouting.
  13. Vyādhi (disease) – A feverish condition produced by separation or due to an excess in the humours (doṣas) of the body (mucus, bile and air) is called vyādhi. Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura explains in his commentary to verse 2.4.90 of Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu that this imbalance of bodily doṣas arises from severe distress due to separation or hearing of Kṛṣṇa’s defeat at the hands of the demons. In actuality it is the bhāvas or spiritual transformations of the heart arising from separation and severe distress that are called vyādhi. The symptoms of vyādhi are becoming stunned, slackening of the limbs, breathing heavily, severe distress and fatigue.
  14. Moha (fainting or delusion) – The loss of consciousness arising from jubilation, separation, fear or despondency is called moha. The symptoms of moha are falling on the ground, cessation of the functioning of the senses, dizziness and absence of activity.
  15. Mṛti (death) – Giving up the life air (prāṇa) due to disease, despondency, fear, physical debility or an assault is called mṛti. The symptoms of mṛti are indistinct speech, change of colour, shallow breathing and hiccups. In Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu (2.4.102) Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī explains that the vyabhicāri-bhāva known as mṛti does not refer to actual death. Because the symptoms resemble the condition of the heart just prior to death, it is called mṛti.
  16. Ālasya (laziness) – When, in spite of being able to do so, there is non-engagement in activity arising due to satisfaction or fatigue, it is called ālasya. The symptoms of ālasya are yawning, aversion to activity, rubbing the eyes, laying down, drowsiness and sleep.
  17. Jāḍya (inertness or insensibility) – When one is deprived of the power of deliberation due to separation or due to seeing or hearing about either that which is cherished or a calamity, it is called jāḍya. Jāḍya is the condition just prior to or just following moha (loss of consciousness). The symptoms of jāḍya are blinking the eyes, remaining silent and forgetfulness.
  18. Vrīḍā (shyness or shame) – The bashfulness or shame that arises due to new association, performance of misdeeds, praise or scorn is called vrīḍā. The symptoms of vrīḍā are silence, anxiety, covering the face, writing on the ground and lowering the face.
  19. Avahitthā (concealment of emotions) – To display emotions artificially in order to conceal one’s true confidential feelings or emotions is called avahitthā. The symptoms of avahitthā are hiding the limbs which betray those emotions, looking elsewhere, futile action and impaired speech.
  20. Smṛti (remembrance) – Recollection and love for some previously experienced object brought about by seeing a similar object or by constant practice is called smṛti. The symptoms of smṛti are moving the head and contracting the eyebrows.
  21. Vitarka (deliberation or reasoning) – The deliberation performed to determine the truth about something is called vitarka. This deliberation may be instigated either by doubt or curiosity to determine its cause. The symptoms of vitarka are contracting the eyebrows and moving the head and fingers.
  22. Cintā (anxiety) – The thinking which arises due to non-attainment of one’s desired object or due to attainment of an undesired object is called cintā. To think, “Now what will happen?” is called cintā. The symptoms of cintā are breathing deeply, lowering the head, writing on the ground, change of colour, sleeplessness, lamentation, inflammation, weakness, tears and meekness.
  23. Mati (resolve or understanding) – The conviction or resolve that arises from ascertainment of the meaning of the śāstras is called mati. The symptoms of mati are performance of duty, giving instructions to disciples and deliberation on the pros and cons of a subject.
  24. Dhṛti (fortitude) – The steadiness of the mind that arises from knowledge (here meaning realisation of the Lord), absence of distress (due to one’s relationship with the Lord) and attainment of the topmost object (bhagavat-prema), is called dhṛti. In dhṛti one feels no distress on account of things which are not obtained or those which have already been destroyed.
  25. Harṣa (jubilation) – The bliss that arises in the heart from seeing or obtaining one’s desired object is called harṣa. The symptoms of harṣa are horripilation, perspiration, tears, blossoming of the face, impassioned outburst, madness, inertness and bewilderment.
  26. Autsukya (ardent desire) – The inability to tolerate the passing of time instigated by an intense longing to see or to obtain one’s desired object is called autsukya. The symptoms of autsukya are drying of the mouth, haste, anxiety, breathing heavily and unsteadiness.
  27. Augrya (fierceness or dreadfulness) – The anger or fury arising from another’s offence or injurious speech is called augrya. The symptoms of augrya are killing, binding, trembling of the head, reprimanding and beating.
  28. Amarṣa (intolerance or indignation) – Intolerance arising from being rebuked or disrespected is called amarṣa. The symptoms of amarṣa are perspiration, trembling of the head, change of colour, anxiety, seeking relief, shouting, turning the face away and admonition.
  29. Asūyā (envy) – The malice that arises upon seeing the good fortune and qualities of others is called asūyā. The symptoms of asūyā are jealousy, disrespect, accusations, projecting faults upon the qualities of others, slander, scowling and raising the eyebrows.
  30. Cāpalyam (restlessness, fickleness, rashness or impudence) – The loss of gravity or the lightness of the heart that arises due to attachment or aversion is called cāpalya. The symptoms of cāpalya are want of discrimination, harsh speech and whimsical behaviour.
  31. Nidrā (deep sleep or complete unconsciousness) – The absence of the external function of the mind arising from anxiety, lethargy, natural disposition or exhaustion is called nidrā. The symptoms of nidrā are yawning, inertia, closing the eyes and shallow breathing.
  32. Supti (dreaming) – Sleep in which there are many impressions within the subconscious mind and the manifestation of many different pastimes is called supti. The symptoms of supti are cessation of the external function of the senses, breathing in, and closing the eyes.
  33. Bodha (awakening) – The enlightenment or awakening of knowledge that occurs upon the cessation of ignorance, fainting or sleep is called bodha.

These thirty-three bhāvas are called vyabhicāri-bhāvas. Their characteristics along with examples are elaborately described in Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu.

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