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.
In Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu (3.4.1) vātsalya-rasa is described as follows:
vibhāvadyais tu vātsalyaṁ
sthāyī puṣṭim upāgataḥ
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.