~ Jagad Guru Chris Butler (Siddhaswarupananda Paramahamsa)

Two types of jiva-sakti

"The marginal region (tatastha) of the para-sakti manifests the jiva-sakti. The jiva is eternal, inconceivably and simultaneously one with, yet different from, the Supreme Lord. He is Lord Krsna's energy and is therefore counted among the paraphernalia of the Lord's service.

There are two categories of jivas: nitya-baddha and nitya-mukta, or eternally conditioned and eternally liberated souls. The eternally liberated jiva is entitled to render eternal devotional service. The eternally conditioned jiva is engrossed in material activities. He can be said to be of two types: extroverted and introspective. The introspective nitya-baddha jivas are endeavoring to reach out to Lord Krsna. The extroverted jivas are totally absorbed in gross matter and thus are far removed from Krsna; they simply want to exploit things originally meant for Lord Krsna's service for their own enjoyment.

The more fortunate and pious jivas amongst the introspective ones come into contact with sadhus,and in their association take to chanting the Lord's holy name, which ultimately transports them to the portals of the spiritual sky. The less fortunate introspective jivas are attracted to the paths of karma and jnana, by which they worship many demigods or finally merge into the impersonal Brahman.

Rasa and its different aspects

"The holy name of Lord Krsna is the bud of the flower of rasa. Rasa is the essence of pure transcendence, and this rasa, by the grace of Krsna, is propagated in the material world in the form of His holy name.

"With the first appearance of the bud of the holy name is invoked the enchanting Syamasundara form of Krsna in Goloka Vrndavana. The sixty-four transcendental qualities of Lord Krsna exude like an irresistible fragrance from the flower-bud, now partially blossomed. When this flower comes into full bloom, it manifests the eternal and confidential pastimes of Lord Krsna known as the asta-kaliya-lila, or the eight three-hourly pastimes. And although this manifestation is transcendental, it still appears to the devotee within the material world.

The bhakti-sakti

"Latent within the jiva are the miniscule spiritual potencies of ahlada (bliss) and samvit (knowledge). The svarupa-sakti (the internal potency of the Lord Himself) descends to contact and awaken these tiny spiritual potencies of the jiva. All this is effected by the causeless mercy and influence of the holy name. The svarupa-sakti contains the very essence of the hladini and samvit potencies. The amalgam of the svarupa-sakti with the jiva's bliss and knowledge produces a mentality conducive to pure spontaneous devotion, known as the bhakti-svarupam-sakti.

Rasa and the bhavas*

"Thus one reaches a state of perfection known as sthayi-bhava, or permanent emotion, which is also called rati. Four bhavas combine to transform rati to rasa. The four bhavas are: vibhava, anubhava, sattvika, and vyabhicari (or sancari).

"Vibhava, the element that excites sentiment, has two subdivisions: alambana and uddipana. Alambana, or the person who is the object of sentiment, is again of two types: visaya (subject) and asraya (receptacle). The devotee of Lord Krsna is the asraya, and Lord Krsna Himself is the visaya. Uddipana or the impetus is Lord Krsna's beauty, qualities etc.

"Anubhava (the physical expression of permanent emotions) is what results from vibhava, or the activities of alambana and uddipana. Later, when these emotions become more intense, they are transformed into sanvika-bhava (the eight principal ecstatic symptoms). At the same time all the sancari-bhavas (vyabhicari-bhavas, or apparently disturbing symptoms) also come into play.

* For a more complete discussion of the principles and expressions of rasa, along with numerous examples from the scriptures, please see The Nectar of Devotion [op. cit.]. — Ed.