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IBSA (ISKCON Bhaktivedanta Sadhana Asrama), Govardhana, India
13 December 2003

prema vrddhi-krame nama--sneha, mana, pranaya
raga, anuraga, bhava, mahabhava haya

The basic aspects of prema, when gradually increasing to different states, are affection, abhorrence, love, attachment, further attachment, ecstasy and great ecstasy.

yaiche bija, iksu, rasa, guda, khanda-sara
sarkara, sita, michari, uttama-michari ara

The gradual development of love may be compared to different states of sugar. First there is the seed of the sugarcane, then sugarcane and then the juice extracted from the cane. When this juice is boiled, it forms a liquid molasses, then a solid molasses, then sugar, candy, rock candy and finally lozenges. [Cc Madhya 19. 178,9]

Prema (transcendental attraction) is to be compared to bija, the seed of the sugarcane. Sneha (transcendental affection) is like iksu, the sugarcane itself; mana (transcendental abhorrence) is like rasa, the sugarcane juice; pranaya (transcendental love) is like guda (molasses); raga (transcendental attachment) is like khanda-sara, solid molasses; anuraga (further transcendental attachment) is like sarkara (sugar); bhava (transcendental ecstacy) is like sita (rock candy); and mahabhava (great transcendental ecstacy) is like sitopala, refined candy lozenges.

Prema develops in three stages: manda (slight), madhya (medium), and praudha (mature). When mature prema results in the melting of the heart, sneha makes its appearance. Sneha is of two types: ghrta, like ghee, and madhu, like honey. The first is full of respect, the second is full of sweet excitement. Ghee may require the touch of heat to liquify, but honey is always liquid. Among the nayikas (heroines of Krsna's pastimes), the two types of sneha manifest in three stages. The kanistha-nayikas are satisfied to hear about their Lord. The madhyama-nayikas are satisfied by seeing Him. The srestha-nayikas must have direct sensual contact with Him to be satisfied.

The two types of sneha mature into two kinds of mana. Mana can be nicely rendered into English by the word pique, which means "a state of vexation caused by a perceived slight or indignity; a feeling of wounded pride. " In mana, the molten sneha-heart is provoked by the Lord to boil and spit fiery emotions. The two kinds of mana are udatta (controlling) and lalita (attractive).

When mana gives way to unreserved confidence in Lord Krsna's love for the nayika, pranaya (love) manifests in her heart. At this stage Krsna becomes the life and soul of the heroine. From two kinds of mana, two kinds of pranaya develop: maitra (friendly) and sakhya (intimate).

Love is not only sweet. It is painful too. When the heroine finds happiness even in the pain of her love for her Hero, raga (attachment) appears. Raga appears in two colors, nilima (blue) and raktima (blood red). Nilima may be of two shades, deep and soft. Raktima may be like kusumbha (saffron), which quickly spreads through the emotion of love to reflect all varieties of raga. Or raktima may be like manjistha (madder, a southwest Asian flower denoted as Rubia tinctorum, the roots of which yield a red dye). This hue of raktima is independent and full of exotic glamour. Manjistha-raktima is the color of the loving affairs of Sri-Sri Radha-Krsna.

When raga is flooded by a sensation of ceaseless novelty, an emotional surge that is rich with newer and newer feelings, it is known as anuraga. It is characterized by paraspara-vasi-bhava, the mutual self-surrender of the Hero and the heroine. Along with this is the forboding of separation (prema-vaicittya, translated by Srila Prabhupada as "love anxieties. ") In anuraga the nayika desires to be born as an object dear to Krsna (aprani-janma). During separation from Krsna, the heroine pines for Him (vipralambha-visphurati).

When anuraga heightens to a state of svasamvedya-dasa (or in Latin, sui juris, "capable of managing its own affairs"), it is called bhava (ecstacy). When in turn bhava transcends its footing upon anuraga, raga, pranaya and so on, it becomes the supremely independent mahabhava. The queens of Dvaraka rarely achieve mahabhava; it is really the emotional province of the gopis of Vraja. Mahabhava is of two types: rudha and adhiruda.

In Teachings of Lord Caitanya Chapter 14, Srila Prabhupada writes:

The situations known as rudha and adhirudha are possible in the conjugal love relationship. Conjugal love exhibited by the queens at Dvaraka is called rudha, and conjugal love exhibited at Vrndavana by the damsels of Vraja is called adhirudha. The highest perfection of adhirudha affection in conjugal love involve meeting (madana) and separation (mohana). In the ecstasy of madana, meeting, there is kissing, and in the ecstasy of mohana, separation, there is udghurna and citrajalpa. As far as citrajalpa is concerned, in Srimad-Bhagavatam, there is a portion known as Bhramara-gita in which various kinds of citrajalpa are mentioned. Udghurna is a symptom of separation, and there is also a symptom called transcendental insanity. In that transcendental insanity one thinks that he himself has become the Supreme Personality of Godhead. In such an ecstasy, he imitates the symptoms of Krsna in different ways.

The characteristics of rudha-mahabhava are 1) intolerance of separation, 2) capacity to stir the hearts of all present, 3) the appearance of an age as a moment, and a moment as an age, 4) extreme depression even within the greatest happiness, 5) being oblivious of everything, even though one is fully conscious (mohadya bhavepi).

The passion of rudha-mahabhava is compared to a raging fire, but the passion of adhirudha-mahabhava is indescribable. Madana is particularly manifest in the yutha (group of gopis) headed by Srimati Radharani; and mohana is really manifest only in Srimati Radharani Herself. By Her feelings of separation from Krsna, sorrow spreads over the whole world. Even the animals weep. In that condition, divyonmada (divine madness) erupts in Srimati Radharani as udghurna (irrational acts) and citrajalpa (mad talks, of which there are ten types).

In mahabhava there is apparent separation from Krsna, but in truth the Lord is "captured" within the heroine's heart, in His bhava-rupa (form of ecstatic emotions). Krsna thus manifests as the madness of the nayika's yearnings for her Lord. As Srila Prabhupada points out above, the heroine even thinks she has become the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

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