Book excerpts Śrī Bhakti rasāmṛta sindhu bindu Verse 25: Compatible and Incompatible Rasas

Verse 25: Compatible and Incompatible Rasas

athaiṣāṁ maitrī-vaira-sthitiḥ. śāntasya dāsasya parasparaṁ maitrī. sakhya-vātsalyau taṭasthau. vātsalyasya na kenāpi maitrī. ujjvala-dāsya-rasau śatrū. iti maitrī-vaira-sthitiḥ.

Śrī Bindu-vikāśinī-vṛtti

Śānta- and dāsya-rasa are compatible with each other. Sakhya and vātsalya are neutral (neither compatible nor incompatible). There is no other rasa (among the five principal rasas) that is compatible with vātsalya. Mādhurya and dāsya are incompatible.

The above description is a very brief summary of compatibility and incompatibility of rasas based only upon the consideration of mukhya-rasa or the five primary rasas. A complete analysis of compatibility and incompatibility of both primary and secondary rasas is given in Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu (4.8.2–62), as outlined below. The following code may be referred to: (c) compatible, (i) incompatible and (n) neutral.

A reminder of the secondary rasas is provided here for the reader’s convenience: hāsya (laughter), adbhuta (astonishment), vīra (heroism, which is of four types: yuddha-vīra (heroism in fighting), dāna-vīra (heroism in giving charity), dayā-vīra (heroism in compassion) and dharma-vīra (heroism in religious principles)), karuṇa (compassion), raudra (anger), bhayānaka (fear) and bībhatsa (disgust).


  1. Śānta
    • (c) dāsya, bībhatsa, dharma-vīra and adbhuta
    • (i) mādhurya, yuddha-vīra, raudra and bhayānaka
    • (n) sakhya, vātsalya, hāsya and karuṇa
  2. Dāsya
    • (c) bībhatsa, śānta, dharma-vīra, dāna-vīra and adbhuta
    • (i) mādhurya, yuddha-vīra and raudra
    • (n) sakhya, vātsalya, hāsya, karuṇa and bhayānaka
  3. Sakhya
    • (c) mādhurya, hāsya, yuddha-vīra and adbhuta
    • (i) vātsalya, bībhatsa, raudra and bhayānaka
    • (n) śānta, dāsya and karuṇa
  4. Vātsalya
    • (c) hāsya, karuṇa, bhayānaka and adbhuta
    • (i) mādhurya, yuddha-vīra, dāsya and raudra
    • (n) śānta, sakhya and bībhatsa
  5. Mādhurya
    • (c) hāsya, sakhya and adbhuta
    • (i) vātsalya, bībhatsa, śānta, raudra and bhayānaka
    • (n) dāsya, vīra and karuṇa


  1. Hāsya
    • (c) bībhatsa, mādhurya and vātsalya
    • (i) karuṇa and bhayānaka
    • (n) śānta, dāsya, sakhya, adbhuta, vīra and raudra
  2. Adbhuta
    • (c) vīra, śānta, dāsya, sakhya, vātsalya and mādhurya
    • (i) raudra and bībhatsa
    • (n) hāsya, karuṇa and bhayānaka
  3. Vīra
    • (c) adbhuta, hāsya, sakhya and dāsya
    • (i) bhayānaka and (in the opinion of some) śānta
    • (n) vātsalya, mādhurya, karuṇa, raudra and bībhatsa
  4. Karuṇa
    • (c) raudra and vātsalya
    • (i) hāsya, adbhuta and sambhogātmaka-mādhurya1
    • (n) śānta, dāsya, sakhya, vīra, bhayānaka and bībhatsa
  5. Raudra
    • (c) karuṇa and vīra
    • (i) hāsya, mādhurya and bhayānaka
    • (n) śānta, dāsya, sakhya, vātsalya, adbhuta and bībhatsa
  6. Bhayānaka
    • (c) bībhatsa and karuṇa
    • (i) vīra, mādhurya, hāsya and raudra
    • (n) śānta, dāsya, sakhya, vātsalya and adbhuta
  7. Bībhatsa
    • (c) śānta, hāsya and dāsya
    • (i) mādhurya and sakhya
    • (n) vātsalya, adbhuta, vīra, karuṇa, raudra and bhayānaka

When there is a mixture of rasas, the rasa which receives nourishment is known as the whole or aṅgī-rasa and the rasa which provides nourishment is known as the component or aṅga-rasa. Whether a rasa is mukhya (one of the five primary rasas) or gauṇa (one of the seven secondary rasas), when in a mixture it becomes the whole or aṅgi-rasa, it is nourished by the component or aṅga-rasas. When there is a meeting of many rasas, both mukhya and gauṇa, the rasa that is tasted most prominently above the others in a given situation is known as the aṅgi-rasa. That rasa which is self-impelled and nourishes the aṅgi-rasa is known as aṅga-rasa.

Although the gauṇa-rasas are secondary, when they rise to prominence by the excellence of the stimulating elements (vibhāva) being nourished by a primary, nourishment-giving rasa which recedes into the background, they attain to the state of aṅgi-rasa. As Vāmanadeva concealed His opulence and nourished Indra, a mukhya-rasa, even though acting as a component in a given situation by nourishing a gauṇa-rasa, does not disappear like the gauṇa-rasas or vyabhicāri-bhāvas. Its influence remains clearly manifest in the heart of the devotee who is firmly established in his perfectional relationship with the Lord.

An aṅgi-rasa that is one of the primary rasas expands itself by its aṅga-rasas and thus shines forth independently. The aṅga-rasas may be of a similar (sajātīya) or dissimilar (vijātīya) disposition to that of the aṅgi-rasa. The word vijātīya here does not refer to those rasas which have already been described as incompatible with the mukhya-rasas.

The devotees who are the āśraya of a mukhya-rasa that becomes the prominent rasa in the development of a particular pastime, are always the āśraya of that rasa. For those devotees, whenever there is a mixture of different mukhya-rasas, that particular mukhya-rasa will always be the aṅgi-rasa and the other mukhya-rasas will be component parts.
Only when an aṅga-rasa increases the relish of the aṅgi-rasa does it serve any purpose as a component part. Otherwise its mixture with the aṅgi-rasa is fruitless. In this case it actually presents some obstacle in relishing the taste of rasa like a blade of grass that accidentally falls into a drink of nectar. When incompatible rasas combine together the result is virasatā or repulsive taste like a salty or bitter-tasting substance added to nectar.

In the chart of compatibility and incompatibility given previously, the rasa that appears with the bold heading refers to a mixture in which it is the aṅgi-rasa. The compatible rasas and occasionally the neutral rasas listed below it can be aṅga-rasas for that aṅgi-rasa. The incompatible rasas are those which when mixed with the aṅgi-rasa create virasatā or repulsive taste. Differences in compatibility are based upon which rasa is acting as the aṅgi-rasa. For example, when dāsya is the aṅgi-rasa, mādhurya is incompatible. But when mādhurya is the aṅgi-rasa, dāsya is neutral. This is because dāsya cannot accommodate the sentiment of conjugal love, whereas mādhurya can accommodate the sentiment of servitude. Other similar peculiarities may be noted.

[CC-by-ND GVP]

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“Vrajācārya-pīṭha and the World Religious Parliament of New Delhi, India, presents ācārya of the millennium. Engrained with the comprehensive spiritual wealth of the Vedas and Vedangas, Ayurveda, Jyotisa and related sciences; the protector of traditional heritages; eloquently knowledgeable in the doctrines of Sanskrit which is the mother of all languages; staunch believer in its spread and propagation; a passionate seeker of human social welfare; dedicated to the traditional path and following Caitanya Mahāprabhu, Caitanya Maṭha, and the bhāskara-gurus; being a disciple of Śrīla Bhakti Prajñāna Keśava Gosvāmī Mahārāja; entrenched in service through bhakti; a remarkable follower and adherent of the aryan-sanātana philosophical traditions; propagator of love to all faiths, humility, and selflessness towards every religion; saintly with pristine spiritualy and giver of the profoundest love to one and all; follower and practioner of luminous sanātana knowledge upholding the great tradition of universal brotherhood; dedicated to the promulgation, propagation, and protection of the unique Vraja culture and environment, and immeasurably desirous of the redevelopment of Vraja—his divine holiness is one who is enlightened and embraced with divine benevolence and is an authoritive ācārya filled with eruditeness, a teacher of teachers, and a guardian and flag bearer of the Śrī kṛṣṇa-bhakti movement—his Divine Grace oṁ viṣṇupāda aṣṭottara-śata Śrī Śrīmad Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja.”

Primary Path – Harinama-cintamani

In sādhu-saṅga, one can realize that one is kṛṣṇa-dāsa, the servant of Kṛṣṇa; not māyā-dāsa, the servant of Māyā. By meeting with sādhus, one can get liberation from māyā. Then one will fully engage his mind, words, and actions in God’s service. This is possible for those with sukṛti.

Snehamrta – Govinda-lilamrta

If you remember these pastimes as described by the gosvāmīs even just a little bit, know that you have come in contact with eternality. Now the button has been pressed on and the process initiated. Gradually these pastimes will be revealed in your heart in full detail and clarity. But if in the early morning you wake, take some tea, read the newspaper, turn on the TV and watch the news, then these pastimes will not manifest to you. Ordinary rasa will come. The best news is the news of vraja-līlā, the activities of the Divine Couple in Vraja-maṇḍala. If you can hear, contemplate, or touch them in any way, then you will become connected to the eternal world. This is the advice of Mahāprabhu’s followers. This connection is not temporary, but permanent. By following this advice of the ācāryas in our guru-varga then inspiration will come, along with so much strength and energy. You will never be hopeless or able to forget these pastimes. Eventually you will find yourself picking flowers at Kusuma-sarovara with the Vraja-devīs in your eternal form, and making beautiful garlands to offer to Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa.

Raya-ramananda-samvada – Holland 09 May 1996

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