Srimat Jiva Goswâmipâd has discussed the characteristics of love in Priti-Sandarbha, 78th chapter. He has written -
“Now let us discuss the characteristics of love and what we conclude from them. Love for Sri Bhagavân is like a full moon that radiates the moon rays of all supreme bliss, it is the essence of all good fortune in the creation and is the source of all goodness in the material world. It is full of ecstasy that constantly arises out of transcendental especially pure goodness. It has insurmountable pleasure. Sri Bhagavân is so sweet – one can neither equal nor surpass His sweetness. Yet love can madden Him completely and make Him dizzy with happiness. Circumstances cannot diminish Divine love and it cannot bear any change in the relation. It is a characteristic of condensed Hlâdini. Love only wants what is favorable for Sri Krishna and desires only Him. Love resides in the heart of such a devotee. Love is more ras-full than condensed Amritam and conceals its excellences from everyone, except the devotees. It is decorated with the pearl like tears1 and contains all good qualities. Every single goal of life – how much ever precious or important it may be – is reduced to nothing in front of divine love. In fact when we accomplish love, nothing else remains to be attained. Love is entirely absorbed in serving Sri Bhagavân like a chaste wife. Its only job is to steal His heart. Love is the sovereign ruler because it serves Sri Bhagavân to the fullest extent.”
Let us scrutinize Srimat Jiva Goswâmipâd’s description. It reveals the primary as well as secondary characteristics of love. We have already mentioned that primary characteristic comprises character and nature. They indicate what this substance is actually.
|Character of love|
Srimat Jiva Goswâmipâd says that love’s character is – “bhagavad-aanukulyaatmak-tad-anugata-tat-sprihaadimay-gyaana-visheshaakaaraa”. It means that love is knowledge. What sort of knowledge? We should have the knowledge of what is favorable for Sri Bhagavân – that is – what pleases Him and we should also know what sevâ we should perform so as to make Him happy. He has further clarified this point with “tâdrishabhaktamanovrittivisheshadehâ” – this means – when a devotee gains love he strongly yearns to please Sri Bhagavân and love is made up of such extreme longing.
Nature of love
Love is – “hlâdinisâravrittivishesharupâ” – a characteristic of condensed Hlâdini shakti.
Now Srimat Jiva Goswâmipâd is describing the secondary characteristics of love – kârjyadwârâ gyân ei tatasthâ lakshan – we learn the secondary characteristics of anything from the way it acts. Following are the activities of love.
- anapekshitavidhih – Love for Sri Bhagavân (Divine love) does not depend on whether or not the scriptures instruct us to do so. Love is self-manifested.
- swarasata eva samullasanti - Divine love is pleasurable due to its own ras. It is sweet on its own and does not require any external sweetener. This is because it is a characteristic of Hlâdini.
- vishayântarairanavachchhedyâ - Divine love desires only to please Sri Bhagavân – nothing can deter it – the temptation for heaven, liberation or any other attraction.
- tâtparyântaramasahamânâ - A devotee who has love always stays away from all desires other than Sri Bhagavân’s sevâ.
- peeyusha-purato’pi sarasena swenaiva swadeham sarasayanti – It is sweeter than a sweet with Amritam-filling; this means sweetness is at its zenith in Divine love. Also it keeps its sweetness intact on its own. It is blissful by itself. A loving devotee enjoys its taste and so this characteristic too is secondary.
- bhakta-kritâtma-rahasya-sangopana-gunamaya-rasanâ, vâshpamuktâdi-vyakta-parishkârâ - This statement mentions a few ornaments of Divine love. A loving devotee always tries to conceal himself – he never reveals to anyone the fact that he has gained love. This excellent quality is like precious necklace dazzling around his neck. Srimat Jiva Goswâmipâd has compared the tears of love shed by a loving devotee as gems and pearls. These ornaments make Divine love all the more attractive. Love makes the devotee want to conceal himself and makes him shed tears. This is a secondary characteristic of love.
- sarva-gunaika-nidhaana-swabhâvâ – Divine love is naturally a repository of excellent qualities. Srimad-Bhâgavatam (5.18.12) says – “When Divine love manifests in a devotee’s heart, he gains all good qualities.”
- dâsi-kritâshesha-purushârtha-sampattikâ – Even the most important goals of life seem like maidservants of love – the topmost achievable goal – and they wish to serve love.
- bhagavat-pâtivratya-vrata-varyâ-paryâkulâ – A chaste wife always longs to please her husband by her sevâ. Similarly when Divine love manifests in someone he constantly strives to perform sevâ and please Sri Bhagavân.
- bhagavân-manoharanaikopâyahârirupâ – Divine love has only one function – to steal Sri Bhagavân’s heart.
(to be continued……..)