Mixing of Rasas
As already described, there are twelve different kinds of rasas, or ecstatic relationships that are shared with Kṛṣṇa. Five of these rasas are direct, and they are listed as neutrality, servitude, fraternal love, parental love and conjugal love. Seven of the rasas are indirect, and they are listed as humor, astonishment, chivalry, compassion, anger, dread and ghastliness. The five direct rasas are eternally manifested in the Vaikuṇṭha world, the spiritual kingdom, whereas the seven indirect rasas are eternally manifesting and unmanifesting in Gokula Vṛndāvana, where Kṛṣṇa displays His transcendental pastimes in the material world.
Very often, in addition to one’s regular rasa, there is found the presence of some other rasa, and the mixture of these loving humors is sometimes compatible, or palatable, and sometimes incompatible, or unpalatable. The following is a scientific analysis of the compatibility and incompatibility of the mixtures of these various rasas, or loving moods.
When in the rasa of neutral love (śānta-rasa) there are found traces of ghastliness or astonishment, the result is compatible. When with this neutral love there are manifestations of conjugal love, chivalry, anger or dread, the result is incompatible.
When in the ecstasy of a serving humor there are manifestations of dread, neutral love or chivalry (such as dharma-vīra and dāna-vīra), the result is compatible. The ecstasy of devotional service in chivalry (yuddha-vīra) and anger are directly produced by Kṛṣṇa Himself.
With the ecstasy of fraternal love a mixture of conjugal love, laughter or chivalry is highly compatible. With the same fraternal love, a mixture of dread or parental love is most incompatible.
Although there are gulfs of differences between them, with the ecstasy of parental affection a mixture of laughter, compassion or dread is compatible.
With the ecstasy of parental love a mixture of conjugal love, chivalry or anger is incompatible.
With the ecstasy of devotion in conjugal love a mixture of laughter or fraternity is compatible.
According to certain expert opinions, in the ecstasy of conjugal love the feelings of chivalry known as yuddha-vīra and dharma-vīra are the only compatible additions. According to this view, except for these two humors, all other manifestations are taken as incompatible with conjugal love.
With the ecstasy of devotional laughter a mixture of dread, conjugal love or parental love is compatible, whereas a mixture of compassion or ghastliness is incompatible.
With the ecstasy of devotion in astonishment a mixture of chivalry or neutral love is compatible, whereas a mixture of anger or dread is always incompatible.
With the ecstasy of devotional chivalry a mixture of astonishment, laughter or servitude is compatible, whereas a mixture of dread or conjugal love is incompatible. According to some expert opinions, the ecstasy of neutral love is always compatible with devotional service in chivalry.
With the ecstasy of compassion in devotional service a mixture of anger or parental love is compatible, whereas a mixture of laughter, conjugal love or astonishment is always incompatible.
With the ecstasy of anger in devotional service a mixture of compassion or chivalry is compatible, whereas a mixture of laughter, conjugal union or dread is completely incompatible.
With the ecstasy of dread in devotional service a mixture of ghastliness or compassion is compatible.
With the ecstasy of chivalry in devotional service a mixture of conjugal union, laughter or anger is always incompatible.
In the ecstasy of ghastliness in devotional service, feelings of neutral love, laughter or servitude are compatible, whereas feelings of conjugal union and fraternity are incompatible.
The above analysis is a sample of the study of rasābhāsa, or incompatible mixing of rasas. This transcendental science of rasābhāsa can thoroughly explain the humors in ecstatic love that are compatible and incompatible with one another. When Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu was residing in Jagannātha Purī, many poets and devotees used to come to Him and offer their different kinds of poetry, but the regulation was that Lord Caitanya’s secretary, Svarūpa Dāmodara, first examined all of these writings scrutinizingly, and if he would find that there were no incompatibilities in the rasas, or transcendental mellows, he would then allow the poet to approach Lord Caitanya and recite his poetry.
The topic of incompatibility is a very important one, and those who are pure devotees always expect to find perfect compatibility in descriptions of the different relationships with the Personality of Godhead. The study of compatibility and incompatibility sometimes becomes very involved, and a hint of why this is so is given as follows. When a friend meets another friend, the mellow produced out of that meeting is generally taken as very palatable. But actually with such meetings between two friends, there are so many feelings involved that it is difficult to ascertain when these feelings are actually becoming compatible and when they are becoming incompatible.
Expert literary scholars have analyzed the rasas that are compatible with one another by contrasting the various rasas in a particular mixture under the names whole and part. According to this method, the prominent feeling is called the whole, and the subordinate feeling is called the part.
The following statement elucidates the subject of part and whole: “All living entities are just like sparks from the supreme fire, and as such, I do not know if I, a tiny spark, shall be able to engage myself in the transcendental loving service of this supreme fire, Lord Kṛṣṇa.” In this statement, the feelings of neutral love are taken as the whole, whereas the desire to serve the Lord is taken as the part. Actually, in the Brahman effulgence there is no chance for reciprocation of loving ecstasy between the Lord and the devotee.
There is another quotation, from a devotee who laments as follows: “Alas, I am still trying to relish different pleasurable states from this body, which is simply some skin covering mucus, semen and blood. In this state of consciousness I am so condemned that I cannot relish the transcendental ecstasy of remembering the Supreme Personality of Godhead.” In this statement there are two ecstatic loving humors, namely, neutrality and ghastliness. Neutrality is taken here as the whole, whereas the ecstasy of ghastliness is the part.
There is a similar statement by a devotee as follows: “I shall now begin my service of fanning the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Śrī Kṛṣṇa, who is seated on a golden throne. He is the supreme Param-brahma in His eternal transcendental form of a cloudy blackish complexion. Now I shall give up my affection for my material body, which is nothing but a bunch of flesh and blood.” Herein also there is a combination of servitude and ghastliness, where the ecstasy of servitude is taken as the whole and the ecstasy of ghastliness is taken as the part.
There is another statement as follows: “When shall I be freed from the mode of ignorance? And being thus purified, when shall I attain the stage of serving Kṛṣṇa eternally? Only then shall I be able to worship Him, always observing His lotus eyes and beautiful face.” In this statement the whole is the ecstasy of neutrality and the part is servitorship.
There is another statement as follows: “Please look at this devotee of the Lord who is dancing just from remembering the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa. Simply by observing his dance you will lose all interest in even the most beautiful women!” In this statement the whole is in neutrality and the part is in ghastliness.
One devotee boldly said, “My dear Lord, now I am turning my face from any thought of association with young girls. As far as Brahman realization is concerned, I have lost all interest because I am completely absorbed in thinking about You. And being absorbed so blissfully, I have lost all other desires, even the desire for mystic powers. Now my mind is attracted only to worshiping Your lotus feet.” In this statement, the whole is the ecstasy of neutrality and the part is chivalry.
In another statement, Subala is addressed thus: “My dear Subala, the damsels of Vṛndāvana who had the opportunity of enjoying Kṛṣṇa’s kissing must be the foremost of all the fortunate women in the world.” In this example, the ecstasy of fraternal devotional service is the whole and the ecstasy of conjugal love is the part.
The following statement was made by Kṛṣṇa to the gopīs: “My dear enchanted, don’t gaze at Me with longing eyes like this. Be satisfied and return to your homes in Vṛndāvana. There is no necessity of your presence here.” While Kṛṣṇa was joking in this way with the damsels of Vraja, who with great hope had come to enjoy the rāsa dance with Him, Subala was also on the scene, and he began to look at Kṛṣṇa with wide and laughing eyes. Subala’s feeling contained a mixture of fraternity and laughter in devotional service. Fraternity is considered here to be the whole and the laughter is considered the part.
The following example contains a mixture of ecstatic fraternity and laughter, taken respectively as the whole and part. When Kṛṣṇa saw that Subala, in the dress of Rādhārāṇī, was silently hiding under the shade of a beautiful aśoka tree on the bank of the Yamunā, He immediately arose from His seat in surprise. Upon seeing Kṛṣṇa, Subala tried to hide his laughter by covering his cheeks.
There is also an example of a mixture of parental love and compassion in devotional service. When mother Yaśodā was thinking that her son was walking in the forest without any umbrella or shoes, she became greatly perturbed to think of how much difficulty Kṛṣṇa must have been feeling. In this example the whole is the parental love and the part is compassion.
There is the following example of a mixture of parental love and laughter. A friend of mother Yaśodā told her, “My dear Yaśodā, your son has very cunningly stolen a lump of butter from my home. And to make me blame my own son for His mischief He has smeared some of the butter on my son’s face while he was sleeping!” Upon hearing this, mother Yaśodā shook her curved eyebrows. She could only look at her friend with a smiling face. May mother Yaśodā bless everyone with this smiling attitude. In this example the whole is the parental love and the part is the laughter.
There is an example of a mixture of several humors with devotional service as follows. When Kṛṣṇa was holding up Govardhana Hill with His left hand, His hair became scattered all over His shoulders and He appeared to be perspiring. When mother Yaśodā saw this scene, she began to tremble. Then, as she stared at the scene with broadened eyes, she saw Kṛṣṇa begin to exhibit varieties of facial caricatures. Mother Yaśodā then became very happy and began to smile. Then again, when she thought that Kṛṣṇa was holding up the hill for such an extremely long time, her clothes became soaked with perspiration. May mother Yaśodā Vrajeśvarī protect the whole universe by her infinite mercy! In this example, the whole is parental love and the parts are dread, wonder, laughter, compassion, etc.
There is an example of a mixture of conjugal love and fraternal affection when Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī said, “My dear friends, just see how Kṛṣṇa is resting His hand on the shoulder of Subala, who is dressed up just like a young girl! I think He must be sending some message to Me through Subala.” The purport is that the superiors of Rādhārāṇī do not like Kṛṣṇa or His cowherd friends to associate with Her; therefore these friends sometimes clothe themselves in female dress so they can give Rādhārāṇī a message from Kṛṣṇa. In this example the whole is conjugal love and the part is fraternity.
The following is an example of a mixture of conjugal love and laughter in devotional service. Kṛṣṇa, in the dress of a young girl, told Rādhārāṇī, “Oh, You hardhearted girl! Don’t You know that I am Your sister? Why are You unable to recognize Me? Be merciful upon Me and please capture My shoulders and embrace Me with love!” While Kṛṣṇa was dressed up exactly like Rādhārāṇī He was speaking these nice words, and Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī could understand His purpose. But because She was in front of many of Her superiors, She simply smiled and did not say anything. In this instance, the ecstasy of conjugal love is taken as the whole and the ecstasy of laughter is taken as the part.
The following illustrates a mixture of several feelings. When one of the consort friends of Candrāvalī saw that Kṛṣṇa was preparing to fight with the Vṛṣāsura demon, she began to think, “How wonderful Kṛṣṇa is! His mind is captivated by the eyebrows of Candrāvalī in a smiling spirit, His snakelike arms are on the shoulder of His friend, and at the same time He is roaring like a lion to encourage Vṛṣāsura to fight with Him!” This is an example of conjugal love, fraternity and chivalry. The conjugal love is taken here as the whole and the fraternity and chivalry are taken as the parts.
When Kubjā caught hold of Kṛṣṇa’s yellow garment because she was feeling almost lusty with sex urge, Kṛṣṇa simply bowed down His head with His cheeks glowing in front of the many people who were standing there and laughing. This is an example of a mixture of ecstatic conjugal love and laughter. The laughter is taken as the whole, and the conjugal love is taken as the part.
Viśāla, a cowherd boy who was attempting to fight with Bhadrasena, was addressed by another cowherd boy as follows: “Why are you attempting to show your chivalrous spirit before me? Before this, you even attempted to fight with Śrīdāmā, but you must know that Śrīdāmā does not even care to fight with hundreds of Balarāmas. So why are you acting so enthusiastically when you actually have no importance at all?” This is an example of a mixture of devotional fraternity and chivalry. The chivalry is taken as the whole, and the fraternity is taken as the part.
Śiśupāla was habituated to calling Kṛṣṇa ill names, and by his insults he irritated the sons of Pāṇḍu more than he irritated Kṛṣṇa. The Pāṇḍavas therefore equipped themselves with all kinds of weapons to kill Śiśupāla. Their feelings were a mixture of ecstatic anger and fraternity, the anger being taken as the whole and fraternity as the part.
Once Kṛṣṇa was watching Śrīdāmā very expertly using his stick to fight with Balarāma, who was an expert club fighter and who had even killed the Pralambāsura demon with His club. When Kṛṣṇa saw Balarāma finally defeated by Śrīdāmā, who was using only a small stick, Kṛṣṇa became filled with pleasure and began to look upon Śrīdāmā with great wonder. In this instance there is a mixture of astonishment, fraternity and chivalry in devotional service. The fraternity and chivalry are considered the parts and the astonishment is considered the whole.
Expert analysts of these various kinds of mellows instruct us that when different mellows overlap one another, the mellow that is the whole, or the prominent humor, is called the permanent ecstasy. It is confirmed in the Viṣṇu-dharmottara that when there are many mellows of devotional ecstasy mixed together, the prominent one, or the whole, is called the steady ecstasy of devotional service. Although the subordinate mellow may be manifested for a certain time, at length it will become merged into the prominent whole. Thus it is called an unconstitutional ecstasy of devotional service.
There is a good analogy in this connection, showing the relationship between the part and whole. Lord Vāmana-deva is actually the Supreme Personality of Godhead, but He appeared to have been “born” as one of the brothers of Indra. Although Vāmana-deva is sometimes taken as a less important demigod, He is actually the maintainer of Indra, the king of the demigods. Thus, although sometimes Vāmana-deva is considered to be a subordinate demigod, His actual position is that of the supreme whole, the source of the entire demigod system. In the same way, a rasa which is actually prominent may sometimes appear to be manifested in a subordinate way, although its actual position is as the main or prominent loving feeling of a devotee.
When an unconstitutional ecstasy of devotional service is manifested prominently at a certain time, it is still accepted as the part. If it is not very prominently manifested, it appears only slightly and merges quickly back into the whole. At such times of slight appearance, no consideration is given to it; when one is eating some palatable dishes, if one also eats a small blade of grass he will not taste it, nor will he care to distinguish what its taste is like.