Madhur prem or sweet love is special because the devotees in this sentiment serve Sri Krishna with their bodies in the mood of sweethearts. The Vrajabeauties are the zenith of sweet love and they are headed by Sri Râdhâ. They are in the mood of extra-marital relationship with Sri Krishna and possess pure sweet love for Him. The queens such as Rukmini and Satyabhâmâ too possess sweet love, but they are in aishwarya bhâv and are within the confinement of marriage. They hold Sri Krishna in awe and serve Him as a wife. On the other hand the Vrajabeauties have pure sweet knowledge and serve Sri Krishna taking Him as a lover and not as a husband. All the devotees – whether they have dâsya, sakhya, vâtsalya or madhur prem in the mood of the queens of Dwârakâ – have a bond with Sri Krishna and serve Him according to that relation. However the Gopis are not bound to Him by any relation, yet serve Him as a lover with pure sweet love. They do not love Him because they have a relation with Him; rather they are bound to Him because they love Him.
“The Gopis love Sri Krishna accepting Him as a lover – this is the height of ras-exultation, and it does not exist anywhere other than in Vraja.” – (C.C.Âdi.4.117)
As a result, the Gopis pure sweet love is replete with all the rasas to the fullest extent. And the relish is incomparable.
“A devotee in the sweet ras (madhur ras) is -
- 1) Firmly established in Sri Krishna and
- 2) Performs plentiful sevâ.
- 3) She cares for Him without any inhibition and
- 4) Very strongly feels that Sri Krishna belongs to her.
- 5) She serves Him with her body in the mood of a consort.
Thus a devotee in the sweet ras has five qualities, just as the five elements have the qualities of the previous ones starting with the sky. Ultimately earth has all the five properties.1 In this way, a devotee in the sweet ras possesses all the bhâvs and as a result, it is so delicious that it makes one wonderstruck!” – (C.C.Madhya.19.189-192)
1 The five elements are – sky, air, fire, water and earth. Sound can echo in the sky. The air can reverberate sound; in addition it has another quality – touch. Fire can transmit sound; we can touch it as well as see it. Water transmits sound, has the quality of touch, is visible and also has taste. The earth has all these characteristics and also smell.