August 2020
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Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha


(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, 22.08.2015 morning, Ludashto)

In order to help us to find our relationship with the Supreme, let’s read something about the original relationships, the rasas. This is the book of Shrila Rupa Goswami about the science of devotional mellows. It describes the different qualities of Krishna and also the feelings and the relationships through which His devotees are attached to Him. And finally the last chapters are dedicated to a very special topic – the mixing of rasas.

“As already described, there are twelve different kinds of rasas or ecstatic relationships that are shared with Krishna. 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 Vaikuntha world, the spiritual kingdom, whereas the seven indirect rasas are eternally manifesting and unmanifesting in Gokula Vrindāvana, where Krishna displays His transcendental pastimes in the material world.”[1]

Usually devotees think: ‘Only five rasas are there’. But actually if they are more polished in philosophy, they will say: ‘Four rasas are there,’ because they exclude the neutral. And as they find exceptional happiness in their own rasa, they will say: ‘There is only one – ours’.

But here we have understood that there are five basic and seven extra rasas. The other day we discussed atheism. Therefore we have to decide very precisely which our rasa is. Hate, anger, dread, ghastliness? This is atheism – you are horrified by the thought that God exists. So, you can see that even the atheists are cultivating rasa, but a little bitter rasa. Please, understand properly – even the secondary rasas are properly placed in the spiritual relationships; but an atheistic person who rejects God in all respects, even he is a kind of reflection of these secondary rasas, because he is afraid of the topic.

“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.”

Now this is interesting. So, there is a multiplicity of feelings. There is a basic color and different-different shades are there. This is reflected in the fashion industry also, because you don’t put on a green garment with something blue. It doesn’t fit; it’s a bitter mixing of rasas. We have to cultivate our feelings, we have to cultivate our shades in the proper manner, so that more harmony and more beauty are manifested – not like conflicting, opposing tastes and elements are manifested in our life. This harmony should be reflected even in the association with the devotees. Orwith our spiritual master, or with our ishta-deva.

So, how to mix the feelings properly? How much do you know about the science of love? All right, let’s learn something from our Rupa Goswami.

“When in the rasa of neutral love (shanta-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.”

This is horrible – that if you add some hate or some dreadful feelings to neutrality, this is harmonious. And then when you add love to neutrality – this is disharmonious?! Therefore we don’t support these neutral feelings, because how can you achieve harmony in neutrality? Only with some dreadful feelings, with some antagonistic feelings – then it is harmonious. And when you add some drops of love, this is disharmonious – it’s so horrible! Let’s jump to some different rasa. Here you find a long analysis that if you add heroic feelings or chivalry to friendship, it’s all right; but only a very special kind of chivalry is possible in a loving relationship. And here it is said: “The ecstasy of loving attachment with laughing and friendship gives a harmonious mix.” Here we have another combination: “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.”

Now I see that you are tired of analyzing the different rasas – maybe you have lost the red thread. But have you ever had the feeling that ‘I cannot live without this guy’ and ‘I cannot tolerate his presence’? Or the other way round: ‘I cannot tolerate this lady, but I’m fully in love with her’? Now you understand something about the mixing of different rasas; sometimes opposing things, hatred and burning love are there. Why? Because it comes from the spiritual sky. What can we do except to analyze very scientifically the rasa theory?

This is what I mean – if we accept that in the spiritual realm with Krishna His devotees have different, multiple and sometimes mixed rasas, don’t be surprised that sometimes on the planet Earth in your private life, even in your devotional life, you will perceive different-different rasas and mixes. So please, try to apply the conclusions of the philosophy in your daily experience. But what is the essence – harmony is the essence. Even if you have some contradictory feelings, if this is harmonious, “opposition enhances the beauty”[2]. If you can catch on that, then you are very close to perfection. Opposition enhances the beauty – all conflict management is accomplished by this one sentence. It’s very insignificant comparing to Shridhara Maharaj’s teaching. He’s the best conflict manager.



[1] Bhakti-rasamrita-sindhu, Chapter 49 Mixing of rasas

[2] Quote from Shridhara Maharaj


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