atha madhura-rase rūpa-mādhurya-līlā-mādhurya-prema-mādhurya-sindhuḥ śrī-kṛṣṇo viṣayālambanaḥ. preyasī-gaṇaḥ āśrayālambanaḥ. muralī-rava-vasanta-kokila-nāda-nava-megha-mayūra-kaṇṭhādi-darśanādyāḥ uddīpana-vibhāvāḥ. kaṭākṣa-hāsyā-dayo ’nubhāvāḥ. sarva eva sāttvikāḥ sūddīpta-paryantāḥ. nirvedādyāḥ sarve ālasyaugrya-rahitāḥ sañcāriṇaḥ. priyatā-ratiḥ sthāyī bhāvaḥ. prema-sneha-rāgādyāḥ śrīlojjvala-nīlamany uktāḥ sarva eva bhavanti. iti madhura-rasaḥ. evaṁ pañca mukhya-rasāḥ samāptāḥ.
Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu (3.5.1) describes mādhurya-bhakti-rasa as follows:
puṣṭiṁ nītā satāṁ hṛdi
bhakti- raso ’sau madhurā ratiḥ
When madhura-rati is nourished in the hearts of pure devotees by combination with its corresponding elements of vibhāva and so on, it is called mādhurya-bhakti-rasa.
Śrī Kṛṣṇa who is an ocean of the qualities of rūpa-mādhurya (uniquely sweet form), veṇu-mādhurya (uniquely sweet flute), līlā-mādhurya (uniquely sweet pastimes) and prema-mādhurya (uniquely sweet prema of His devotees) is the viṣayālambana of mādhurya-rasa.
The vraja-gopīs are the āśrayālambana of this rasa. Of all of them Śrīmatī Rādhikā is the best.
The sound of Kṛṣṇa’s flute (muralī), the season of spring (vasanta), the call of the cuckoo, seeing a peacock’s neck and so forth are the uddīpanas of this rasa.
Sidelong glances, mild smiling and laughter are the anubhāvas of mādhurya-rasa.
All eight sāttvika-bhāvas such as becoming stunned are present in mādhurya-rasa. They manifest up to the intensity known as sūddīpta (found only in the condition of mahābhāva, when all eight sāttvika-bhāvas manifest simultaneously and to the utmost limit of radiance).
All vyabhicāri-bhāvas are present in mādhurya-rasa with the exception of ālasya (laziness) and ugratā (fierceness).
The rati which is found in the deer-eyed ramaṇīs, and which is the original cause of the eight types of sambhoga such as remembering, seeing and so on, exchanged between them and Kṛṣṇa, is known as madhura-rati. This madhura-rati is the sthāyibhāva of mādhurya-rasa. All further developments mentioned in the book Śrī Ujjvala-nīlamaṇi, such as prema, sneha, māna, praṇaya, rāga, anurāga, bhāva, mahābhāva, modana and mādana, are found in this rasa.
Meeting and separation
In mādhurya-rasa meeting and separation are defined differently than in dāsya, sakhya and vātsalya. Mādhurya-rasa is of two kinds: (1) vipralambha (separation) and (2) sambhoga (meeting).
Learned scholars have described vipralambha to be of many varieties, chief of which are pūrva-rāga, māna and pravāsa.
- Pūrva-rāga – The bhāva or mutual feeling of attachment that exists between the lover and beloved prior to their meeting is called pūrva-rāga. The pūrva-rāga experienced by the gopīs (kāntā) is itself bhakti-rasa, whereas the pūrva-rāga experienced by Śrī Kṛṣṇa (kānta) is an uddīpana for bhakti-rasa.
- Māna – In mādhurya-bhakti-rasa, māna (jealous anger) is famous.
- Pravāsa – Separation due to living at a distant place is called pravāsa.
When the lover and beloved meet, the enjoyment they experience is called sambhoga.
This completes the summary description of the five principal rasas.
The rasa described in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam and in the literature of the Gosvāmīs is completely pure, non-materialistic (aprākṛta) and transcendental (cinmaya). It is entirely beyond the reach of the mental speculative powers of the baddha-jīvas and is difficult to attain. The baddha-jīva is compelled either to think about gross matter or to conceive of the non-material as being devoid of all attributes (nirviśeṣa-bhāva). When due to great fortune one is blessed by the mercy of Bhagavān or His devotees, he adopts the appropriate method of performing sādhana and bhajana, his anarthas are dispelled and his heart becomes situated in pure consciousness. Then the nitya-siddha-bhāva of the Lord’s eternal associates manifests in the form of śuddha-sattva. His rati, which is of a general nature, is gradually transformed into the sthāyibhāva, and when it then combines with vibhāva, anubhāva, sāttvika-bhāva and vyabhicāri-bhāva, the jīva tastes śuddha-bhakti-rasa. While analysing rasa-tattva in Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu, Śrī Rūpa Gosvāmī has defined the word rasa in the following manner (2.5.132):
hṛdi sattvojjvale bāḍhaṁ
svadate sa raso mataḥ
That which has an extraordinary taste and is experienced only in the heart which is illuminated by śuddha-sattva or the appearance of the sthāyibhāva, is called rasa. The experience of rasa is far more intense than that of rati and for this reason, when rasa is experienced, it bypasses the individual perception of vibhāva, vyabhicāri-bhāva and so on.
In order to further clarify the difference between rasa and bhāva he further states (2.5.133):
bhāvanāyāḥ pade yas tu
citte bhāvaḥ sa kathyate
That which is contemplated by means of profound impressions (saṁskāras) by enlightened devotees whose intelligence is fully resolute and whose hearts are fit for the perception of vibhāva, vyabhicāri-bhāva and so on, is called bhāva.
In his commentary on these two verses Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura has explained that first, with the assistance of vibhāva (ālambana and uddīpana), bhāva is directly awakened and then attains its svarūpa. Thereafter, by combination with vibhāva and the other elements, rasa is directly perceived. This is the order of progression. The purport is that when rasa is being experienced, the individual elements of vibhāva and so on are not tasted independently. But when rati is being experienced, vibhāva and the other elements are tasted independently. This is so because the experience of rati is not as intense as the experience of rasa. This is the difference between rati and rasa.