Verse 21: Vātsalya-rasa

atha vātsalya-rase komalāṅgo vinayī sarva-lakṣaṇa-yukta ityādi-guṇaḥ śrī-kṛṣṇo viṣayālambanaḥ. śrī-kṛṣṇe anugrāhya-bhāva-vantaḥ pitrādayo gurujanā atra vraje vrajeśvarī-vrajarāja-rohiṇy-upananda-tat-patny-ādayaḥ. anyatra devakī-kuntī vasudevādayaś ca āśrayālambanāḥ. smita-jalpita-bālya-ceṣṭādaya uddīpana-vibhāvāḥ. mastakāghrāṇāśīrvāda-lālana-pālanādayo ’nubhāvāḥ. sāttvikāḥ stambha-svedādayaḥ sarva eva stana-sravaṇam iti nava-saṅkhyāḥ. harṣa-śaṅkādyā vyabhicāriṇaḥ. vātsalya-ratiḥ sthāyī bhāvaḥ. prema-sneha-rāgāś cātra bhavanti. atrāpi viyoge pūrvavat daśa daśāḥ. iti vātsalya-rasaḥ.

Śrī Bindu-vikāśinī-vṛtti

In Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu (3.4.1) vātsalya-rasa is described as follows:

vibhāvadyais tu vātsalyaṁ
sthāyī puṣṭim upāgataḥ
eṣa vatsalatā-mātraḥ
prokto bhakti-raso budhaiḥ


When vātsalya-rati sthāyibhāva is nourished by its corresponding elements of vibhāva and so on, it is called vātsalya-bhakti-rasa by the learned.



Śrī Kṛṣṇa is the viṣayālambana of vātsalya-bhakti-rasa. He is endowed with the following qualities: His limbs are very soft (komalāṅga); they are of a darkish complexion (śyāmāṅga); His beauty gives great happiness to the eyes (rucira); He possesses all divine characteristics in the features and markings of His body (sarva-sal-lakṣaṇānvita); He is mild (mṛdu); His speech is very pleasing even when addressing offenders (priya-vāk); He is simple (sarala); He is shy when praised by others (hrīmān); He is devoid of pride (vinayī); He offers respect to His teachers, brāhmaṇas and elders (mānya-mānakṛt); and He is charitable (dātā).


Kṛṣṇa’s mother, father and other elders who have a strong sense of mamatā or possessiveness in relation to Him, who give instructions to Him and nurture Him, and who desire to bestow their favour upon Him (who regard Śrī Kṛṣṇa as the object of their mercy) are the āśrayālambana of vātsalya-rasa. In Vraja these include Vrajarāja Śrī Nanda Mahārāja, Vrajeśvarī Śrī Yaśodā, Rohiṇī-maiyā, Upānanda and his wife Tuṅgī, the other elder and younger brothers of Nanda Bābā and their wives, and the gopīs whose sons were stolen by Brahmā. In Mathurā or Dvārakā, Kṛṣṇa’s elders in parental affection include Vasudeva, Devakī and her co-wives, Kuntī, Sāndīpani Muni and others. Of all these Śrī Yaśodā is the best.


Kṛṣṇa’s age (kaumāra, paugaṇḍa and kaiśora), beauty, dress, childhood restlessness, sweet words, mild smiling and childhood pastimes are the uddīpanas of vātsalya-rasa.


Smelling Kṛṣṇa’s head, cleansing His limbs with the hands, offering blessings, giving orders, looking after Kṛṣṇa in various ways (such as bathing Him), offering protection, giving beneficial instructions and other such activities are the anubhāvas of vātsalya-rasa.


In addition to the eight usual sāttvika-bhāvas, there is one more item which is unique to vātsalya-rasa, and that is flowing of milk from the breast. Thus in all there are nine sāttvika-bhāvas in this rasa.


The twenty-four vyabhicāri-bhāvas that were listed for dāsya-rasa are also found in vātsalya-rasa. In addition to these, apasmṛti or hysteric convulsions are also found in this rasa.


Vātsalya-rati is characterised by feelings of anukampa, a desire to favour and support a person who is worthy of and in need of support; it is also devoid of reverence. This vātsalya-rati is the sthāyibhāva of this rasa. When vātsalya-rati increases, it attains successively to the stages of prema, sneha and rāga.

The conditions known as ayoga and yoga, as well as the ten conditions of viyoga described previously in regard to dāsya-rasa,1 are also found in vātsalya-rasa.

[CC-by-ND GVP]

Must Read

Which Deities to Worship on the Altar – 25 Feb 1997 Bali

If anyone is in friendly terms with Krsna, thinking that Krsna is my sakha, then, following this, they can worship Gaura Nityananda, but if they are like Svarupa Damodar, Raya Ramanada, Rupa Gosvami, then they always serve Sri Sri Gaura Gadadhar. Others like Abhirama Gosvami and those that were sakhas of Nityananda Prabhu, they worship Gaura Nityananda. Gaura Gadadhar are for those worshipping in the madhurya mood. The devotees of Gaura Gadadhara are rare, only those that have deeply gone in to the mood of...

Śrī Guru Mahimā: Glories of the Spiritual Master – Text 3

Scripture is spiritual. Without Śrī Guru’s mercy and the spiritual vision he bestows, one cannot understand scripture. When Śrī Guru-pāda-padma gives transcendental eyes, a disciple can understand who his true friends are. Before this, he will have relation with many so-called material friends and will have no taste for spiritual life. After spiritual vision comes...


They have this desire. Bilvamaṅgala Ṭhākura watches which person likes Kṛṣṇa and thinks continuously about Kṛṣṇa. Whose heartfelt love increases at every moment? With that love they serve Kṛṣṇa, Who accepts this love. This is called service tendency; otherwise, service is only dry. A person will do service for some time, then, because of no taste, he will leave. There are many sevakas here now, but after sometime, perhaps none of them will be here, like a garden with many flowers that get picked and taken away. But the garden’s beauty is its flowers. In that way, Kṛṣṇa’s beauty is in His followers. And they do not remain far away from Kṛṣṇa for even a moment. “Kṛṣṇa, You are vibho, very great, and You mitigate the worry and sadness of all. You steal their poverty, and by your unlimited ānandinī-śakti, you make them happy.” Now, today, the gopīs pray, “When will I comb Your hair and bind it on top of Your head, and decorate it with flowers and peacock feathers?” Your hair will come together, meaning, all the gopīs, Vraja-devīs, have a desire to be in one group and serve Kṛṣṇa all together. But how can Kṛṣṇa accept them all? They all have a desire and sweet mood for service. But how can Kṛṣṇa accept all their service at once? In this world there are many bumblebees and honeybees, and also many flowers. So many bees drink the flowers’ honey. Even though many young bumblebees are always being born, still there is no lack of honey. God arranges honey for all the bees. Is Kṛṣṇa present in only one form and place? No. All the sakhīs and Vraja-devīs’ groups have leaders. They go with their leader and decorate Kṛṣṇa and serve Him. In a hidden way, one gopī tells another what to do, and she understands this. But how can any other understand? They think that only their group is serving and decorating Kṛṣṇa and are nearby to Him. But another group thinks the same thing. They think, “I am serving Kṛṣṇa, and He is very happy. We are decorating Kṛṣṇa.” Then another gopī waits, “When will Kṛṣṇa tell me something in a happy mood?” They wait to drink His words, and they wait for a chance to kiss Kṛṣṇa. They think, “I am restless. Will Kṛṣṇa accept me? How can I become peaceful?” They have desires that come one by one like waves. They think, “I will become peaceful, silent and satisfied like a sage, and will only think of Kṛṣṇa in my meditation. This is much better.” But while thinking of Kṛṣṇa, so many inspirations begin to come for service, and they can’t stop themselves from running to Kṛṣṇa. (CLICK ON THE TITLE TO READ THE FULL ARTICLE)

Radharani’s Perfect Chastity and the Gopis’ Candana Medicine

Now we will try to understand the tattvas of the anubhava-mayi bhava-sarira Vrajavasis. We shall try to learn what...


Once, a brahmacārī asked Śrīla Gurudeva, “Why do we go on parikramā every year? I heard that in our line mānasī-sevā is the highest practice. So, is it necessary to do parikramā physically year after year? Why don’t we simply visit the holy places mentally?”“Five material elements compose the physical body,” Śrīla Gurudeva answered. “These elements are governed by demigods. If we do not take the body on parikramā and engage it in the service of Hari, Guru and Vaiṣṇavas at the holy places, we will remain indebted to the presiding deities of the elements in our bodies and will not be able to achieve salvation. During parikramā our bodies touch the dhāma and become purified, and we have the opportunity to serve the sādhus. Our bodies thence purified, the senses become favorable to the execution of devotional service. The nine limbs of devotion are naturally performed during parikramā. When we engage in bhakti, the demigods presiding over the elements of the body are pleased and discharge all debt. If we don’t engage our bodies in service, our senses will be agitated, and it is unlikely we will have the mental discipline to serve internally. Laziness is the worst malady. We must cure indolence by forcible engagement in service. For this reason we travel in sādhu-saṅga to all those places where Śrīman Mahāprabhu and Nityānanda Prabhu went with Their associates:gaura āmāra, ye saba sthāne, karala bhramana raṅgese-saba sthena, heriba āmi, praṇayi-bhakata-saṅge‘In the company of devotees that have love for Gaurāṅga Mahāprabhu, I will visit the places where My Lord happily wandered.’“Alone you cannot attain perfection. By going on parikramā in sādhu-saṅga, and smearing the dust of the holy places on your body, you will certainly receive the mercy of Śrī Guru, Kṛṣṇa, and the dhāma.“The Guru-varga serve the dhāma by annually bringing the devotees together for parikramā. They teach us that parikramā of the dhāma must not only be done annually, but daily—no matter where we are physically. We learn from them that we must first offer praṇāmas to the Guru-varga when we wake in the early morning, chant our mantras, and also visit all the dhāmas, praying to Guru and Vaiṣṇavas, ‘Please let me stay nearby you. Without you I am a helpless orphan. Please do not reject me.’ You will always be with Guru and Vaiṣṇavas if you have this humble and prayerful mood.“While chanting harināma, you should mentally go to Vraja-maṇḍala, Navadvīpa-maṇḍala, and Kṣetra-maṇḍala. Offer obeisance at each of the places within these dhāmas, and pray at those places, as well as to all the devotees and associates of Rādhā, Kṛṣṇa, and Mahāprabhu. Render service in the mind by sweeping, cleaning, and decorating the dhāma, and offer gifts to the Deities. By doing so, your mind will be present in the spiritual abodes and will not wander in the realm of illusion, māyā-maṇḍala.“The dhāma cuts our relations with our temporary home and family, and awakens our relation with our eternal home and family. In truth, we are refugees in this world; like guests staying for some time in a boarding house—our material body. In these temporary dwellings we meet with many other refugees, whom we call our relatives. Inevitably however, death will come and all these relations will be lost. We must understand this bitter lesson. The duty of sādhus is to take the conditioned souls to the dhāma and connect them to Kṛṣṇa and His associates. is Navadvīpa-dhāma Parikramā has been going on continually from the time of Nityānanda Prabhu and Jīva Gosvāmī, to the time of Prabhupāda Sarasvatī Ṭhākura. My Guru Mahārāja continued this tradition and that continuation runs on to this day. All branches of the Gauḍīya Maṭha perform Navadvīpa-dhāma Parikramā.”In 1986, a massive celebration was held in Māyāpura for Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s fifth centennial. Millions of people came to Māyāpura from India and all over the world in the days before and after Gaura-pūrṇimā just for a chance to see the birthplace of Mahāprabhu. In preparation for all the people, the Bengal government set up temporary shelters, hand-pump wells, lights, and other facilities all around Māyāpura. The Indian Prime Minister granted 25 lākhas rupees for preparation and orchestration of the festival.Each branch of the Gauḍīya Maṭha organized a party of many thousands for Navadvīpa Parikramā; the overall congregation of Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇavas was well over a hundred thousand adherents from all over India. The fifteen thousand strong Parikramā party of the Gauḍīya Vedānta Samīti, led by Śrīla Gurudeva and his dear godbrothers, Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Vāmana Gosvāmī Mahārāja, and Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Trikrama Gosvāmī Mahārāja, was the largest group.ISKCON invited the Parikramā party of the Gauḍīya Vedānta Samīti to participate in their opulent celebrations at the Māyāpura Candrodaya-mandira on Jagannātha Miśra Mahotsava. Śrīla Gurudeva led the procession from Devānanda Gauḍīya Maṭha to Māyāpura, with dozens of other sannyāsīs and scores of brahmacārīs, all singing, playing instruments, and dancing ecstatically in saṅkīrtana. A hundred and eight mṛdaṅgas played in rhythm to the kīrtana of Mahāprabhu’s names and glories, and devotees carried 108 clay pots of paraphernalia for Mahāprabhu’s abhiṣeka. As the grand procession entered the Candrodaya-mandira’s gates, the devotees were welcomed with showers of flower petals from both sides.Śrīla Gurudeva spoke in the temple room, glorifying Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja, and the specialty of Māyāpura and Mahāprabhu. Gurudeva concluded his speech saying, “The glories and specialties of Sri Guru are always present in the place that Vaiṣṇavas are welcome, and those who respect Vaiṣṇavas can experience the mercy of Śrī Guru. Those who serve and respect the family and disciples of Śrī Guru are true guru-sevakas. Today, the magnanimous disciples of Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Svāmī Mahārāja have conquered the world by their service to the Vaiṣṇavas.”Thereafter, Śrīla Gurudeva offered puṣpāñjali to the deity of Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Svāmī Mahārāja, and then proceeded to Yogapīṭha with the Parikramā party. At midday, over 50,000 Mahāprabhu-bhaktas gathered in a field by Śrīdhara-āṅgana. Śrīla Gurudeva had arranged for the distribution of kicari, sweet rice, chutney, sabjis, and other varieties of prasāda, with generous help from Rāma Praka from Mathurā, Phuland from Āgrā, and other devotees. (click on the Title to read the full article)

More Articles Like This