“Adhirudha-bhâv is a state of love in which the lover has all the characters of rudha-bhâv, but expresses inconceivable symptoms of ecstasy.” – (U.N.)
We have already mentioned that when a lover reaches rudha-bhâv, she expresses five, six or all the eight symptoms of ecstasy simultaneously.
“In adhirudha-mahâbhâv the lover expresses all the symptoms of ecstasy and they are much more beautiful. However her expressions do not shine so brilliantly as they do in another higher stage of love called ‘mohan’.” – (Aananda-Chandrikâ purport)
Later on we shall discuss ‘mohan’. Now let us learn the classification of adhirudha-mahâbhâv.
Classification of adhirudha-mahâbhâv
“Adhirudha-mahâbhâv is of two types –
- Mâdan” – (U.N.)
Srimat Jiva Goswâmipâd says – “Modan and mâdan arise during conjugation only. ‘Modan’ comes from the root ‘mud’. It means ‘joy’. Hence ‘modan’ indicates the bliss of union. ‘Mad’ is the root for ‘mâdan’. It means ‘intoxication’. Thus ‘mâdan’ signifies the intoxication caused by exquisite hone-wine. Here mâdan refers to the blissful intoxication caused by meeting Sri Krishna.
“When Sri Krishna and Sri Râdhâ meet one another, They express brilliant ecstasy that is very beautiful. Then we call such a bhâv as modan”. – (U.N.)
In the stage of rudha-bhâv too the lover expresses ecstasy; however we should remember that the symptoms of ecstasy are inconceivably special in adhirudha-mahâbhâv. When both Sri Krishna and Srimati Râdhârâni express these symptoms as they are extraordinarily beautiful, then we can say it is modan. Sri Ujjwal-Neelmani says –
“Modan is a supremely rich bhâv. It is present only in the gopis of Srimati Râdhârâni’s group. It does not exist elsewhere. Modan is the topmost character or function of hlâdini shakti. It is extremely sweet and lovable. It is also very great. Only Srimati Râdhârâni and Her group-members have this bhâv. It is not possible in Chandrâvali or any other group. This proves that Srimati Râdhârâni and Her sakhis are the greatest of all the Vraja-gopis.
When a lover feels separation her modan-bhâv turns into mohan. She is overcome by the pangs of viraha and cannot help but express symptoms of ecstasy that are exceptionally brilliant (suddipta).
This signifies that only in mohan, a lover expresses all the signs of ecstasy in a ‘suddipta’ manner. When the lover exhibits each and every ecstatic symptom very brilliantly, that is she displays each sign of ecstasy to the utmost degree, then alone we can call it ‘suddipta’ (prominently brilliant).
“Almost only one person exhibits mohan-bhâv – and She is Srimati Râdhârâni – the Supreme Controller of Vrindâvan.” – (U.N.)
Sri Chaitanya-Charitâmrita describes the suddipta signs of ecstasy as displayed by Sriman-Mahâprabhu when He relished the mohan-bhâv of Srimati Râdhârâni in Neelâchal –
“Lord Goursundar’s flesh sprouted pimples all over and His hair stood at their ends. He resembled a Shimuli1 tree full of thorns. It was scary the way His each tooth rattled and you would think all His teeth will fall off. Perspiration flowed all over His body and on top of that it was oozing blood (All the more why He looked like a Shimuli tree). He could utter only ‘ja ja ga ga’ since His voice was choked. Tears sprang from His eyes like water from a pichkaari2 that wet everyone around Him. His complexion would sometimes be golden, and pink the next moment. At other times He would be as radiant as the Mallikâ3 flowers. Sometimes He would be stupefied and the next moment He would be rolling on the earth; at other times He would lie like a stiff dry log. He would fall on the earth and lie without breathing – seeing this devotee would nearly die.” – (C.C.Madhya.102-108)
|Symptoms of mohan|
The signs of mohan as glorified by the wise are as follows –
- Sri Krishna faints in spite of being embraced by His consorts
- The lover bears intense pain and still desires only Sri Krishna’s happiness.
- It agitates the entire universe.
- Even the animals weep.
- The lover is ready to accept death and wants to quench her thirst for Sri Krishna with the remnants of Her bodily elements.
- Divine lunacy”. – (U.N.)
We shall now discuss these points in detail.
1. Sri Krishna faints in spite of being embraced by His consorts
“When Srimati Râdhârâni Who is in Vraja, feels mohan-bhâv, Sri Krishna Who is in Dwârakâ, faints in spite of being embraced by His queens such as Rukmini and Satyabhâmâ.” – (Aananda-Chandrikâ purport)
This shows the impact of mohan on the object of love (in this case, Sri Krishna).
2. The lover bears intense pain and still desires only Sri Krishna’s happiness
In spite of suffering from unbearable pain the lover wishes to please Sri Krishna. When Sri Uddhav asked Srimati Râdhârâni before departing from Vrajadhâm – “Dear Radhe, what message shall I gift Sri Krishna on Your behalf?” Then Srimati Râdhârâni replied – “O Uddhav, if Mukunda would have come to this cattle-field, we would be extremely happy – it is true. However if this causes even the slightest loss to Him, then He should never come.”
< ! [if !supportLists]–>3. It agitates the entire universe
Mohan bhâv has such a powerful impact on the material and divine worlds that Sri Ujjwal-Neelmani describes –
“When Srimati Râdhârâni Who was in mohan-bhâv prem-exhaled, the love-smoke pervaded the universe and humankind yelled in pain, the Nâgas (celestial serpents) are agitated, the heavenly beings perspire profusely and even Kamalâ devi in Vaikuntha, shed abundant tears. In this manner, all universes, although joyous, was extremely miserable.”
4. Even the animals weep
When Srimati Râdhârâni heard that Sri Krishna had gone to Dwârakâ, She was seated in a kunja on the banks of the Kâlindi. Hearing this terrible news She covered Herself with His golden yellow robe and embraced a beautiful creeper. Then She let out such a heart-rending cry that even the fish and other aquatic animals of the Kâlindi wailed with Her.
5. The lover is ready to accept death and wants to quench her thirst for Sri Krishna with the remnants of Her bodily elements
The Mahâjan has described –
“jâhân pohuaruno charane choli jâto,
tânhâ tânhâ dharani hoie mojhu gâto.
jo sarobare pohu niti niti nâho,
mojhu anga salilo hoi tathi mâho.
e sakhi biroho morono nirodondo,
oichhe milobo jobo gokulochando.
jo darapane pohu nijo mukho châho,
mojhu anga-jyoti hoi tathi mâho.
jo beejane pohu beejoi gâto,
mojhu anga tânhi hoi mridu bâto.
jânhâ pohu bharamoi jaladhara shyâmo,
mojhu anga gagano hoi tochhu thâmo.
gobinda dâso oho kânchano gori,
so rasamoy tonu tohe kiye chhori.”
Meaning – “Wherever His rosy feet tread, I wish my body to mingle with the earth there. May my body turn into water of the lake my Beloved bathes everyday. Dear sakhi, I do not hesitate to die in viraha if I can get the Moon of Gokul (Sri Krishna) by doing so. When my Beloved looks at Himself in the mirror, may my radiance illuminate that room (to enable Him to gaze at Himself). When my Beloved is fanned, may my body be the soft breeze blowing on Him. When I mistake the dark clouds as Shyâm, may my body become the sky that holds such clouds. Poet Gobinda dâs says – O golden maiden, Your body is so full of ras - why do you want to give it up?”
6. Divine lunacy -
It is the topmost symptom of mohan-bhâv. Sri Ujjwal-Neelmani says -
“Divine lunacy has an aura of illusion. It is an inexpressible characteristic of mohan-bhâv”.
True, divine lunacy is an extraordinary event in the realm of bhâv. It has an aura of illusion. However the lover, who experiences this bhâv, is not really in any illusion. A delusion appears in the lover’s heart only because she is immersed in extreme bhâv! Due to this when Srimati Râdhârâni experiences divine lunacy; She mistakes the clouds and the Tamaal to be Sri Krishna! When Srimati Râdhârâni is overwhelmed by viraha She has so many hallucinations. Her sweet lamentations form an incomparable priceless treasure in the empire of Vaishnav literature. Her expressions of grief are the highest truth and the topmost relish for all devotees who have entered the sphere of bhajan.
Divine lunacy is extremely difficult concept. This craziness is transcendental or beyond the material world. When someone in the material world goes mad, he is in illusion, however divine lunacy has an aura of delusion, yet it is the supreme truth, since the lover has only one person in Her sub-consciousness – and He is none other than Sri Krishna – Who is ‘satyam shivam sundaram’4. Srimad-Bhâgavatam (11.2.40) describes divine lunacy as follows –
“evam vratah swapriya-nâma-kirtyâ jâtânurâgo drutachitta uchchaih,
hasatyatha roditi routi gâyâtyunmâdavannarityati lokabâhyah.”
Meaning and explanation – “When one gains anurâg, sometimes he laughs loudly like a madman5, and at other times he weeps. He screams, sings and dances. Although this devotee appears to be crazy like a material lunatic, he is far from it. An ordinary madman suffers from a miserable illness, while an anurâgi devotee is verily liberated from the dreadful disease of material desires and is wandering in the transcendental empire of ras! A mentally retarded person is immersed in the darkest hallucinations, while prem-crazy devotee is advancing towards the transcendental abode called ‘Golok-dhâm’ – the divine place of eternal bliss! One is ignorant while the other is intoxicated with divine joy!”
However divine lunacy is far above the description in Srimad-Bhâgavatam. In this stage the lover constantly relishes revelations of Sri Krishna and incessantly wanders in the realm of ras. She sees Vrindâvan everywhere and beholds Sri Krishna’s divine pastimes wherever she gazes.
We see that the mesmerizing flute forces the maidens of Vraja to forsake self-control, righteousness and bashfulness – they ramble through the woods of Vrindâvan like ones possessed. They ask the trees, creepers and shrubs about Sri Krishna. Undoubtedly, a colossal maddening-shakti is working on them, yet their madness is nothing as compared to divine lunacy. It is not all that special. Srimati Râdhârâni alone has the monopoly over this priceless gem called ‘divine lunacy’. And we are fortunate that we belong to this Kaliyug, when Sri Goursundar has relished the sweet ras of this divine lunacy. Srila Krishnadâs Kavirâj Goswâmi has written –
“During the last twelve years of His divine pastimes, Lord Goursundar constantly expressed sphurti in Sri Krishna’s viraha. He manifested the same symptoms as Srimati Râdhârâni did when She met Uddhav. The Lord incessantly displayed divine lunacy in Sri Krishna’s viraha. He manifested such ecstatic symptoms all day and night. It was as if He was in illusion and He only lamented. Blood oozed form His pores and His teeth rattled. At one moment He would become thin and the very next moment His body would bloat up. He did not sleep a wink in Gambhirâ. He would rub his face and head on the walls and get wounded. The house had three gates, yet the Lord would go out! Sometimes He fell near the Lion-gate and at other times, in the sea.
Sometimes He would mistake the Chatak hill as Govardhan and rush towards it wailing piteously. When He saw a garden He would think it was Vrindâvan. He would go there and start singing and dancing. The next moment He would faint. The Lord expressed such symptoms of bhâv that no one has even heard before. The joints of His hands and legs would come loose; the bones would separate from each other, although the skin remained in place.
At times the Lord’s head, legs and hands would enter inside the body and He would resemble a turtle. In this manner the Lord exhibited remarkable signs of ecstasy. His heart was empty and He would only grieve. He wailed –‘O what do I do? Where do I go? How do I get Vrajendranandan? Where is my Beloved Murali-vadan? To whom do I express my sorrow and who can understand my grief? My heart is breaking without Vrajendranandan!!’ The Lord lamented continuously in this piteous manner.” – (C.C.Madhya.2.3-17)
1 Silk-cotton tree found in Bengal, India. Its botanical name is Bombax Malabaricum.
2 A large syringe-like instrument used to throw water in Holi.
4 Truth, Pure and Beauty Personified
5 Please note that Srimad-Bhâgavatam has called a devotee who has gained anurâg as ‘like a madman’ and not ‘mad’.