Rasa in the Spiritual World

Question: How can there be samanjasa rati [selfless love satisfying worldly standards of righteous conduct], and sadharani rati [related to one’s desire to receive happiness from the Lord] in the spiritual world while Rupa Gosvami said there are personal desires involved? Can persons with personal desires live in the spiritual world?

Man lila / Vrindavan Art
Man lila / Vrindavan Art

Anwer: The Queens are bound by certain rules, but this is all lila. The rules are laid out by the Lord. This is following maryada marg, the path of protocol, and is vidhi bhakti. This is their type of surrender. You have to see the rasa-scale as a rainbow. The colours don’t just follow each other with a strict dividing line—they flow over into each other, and have grey zones in between. There is a large gamut, like 90% samartha, 10% samanjasa, etc. Also, Vyasadeva wanted to teach us the glories of samartha rati [highest condensed form of love found only on the gopis of Vraja], so he described alternatives like samanjasa and sadharani rati to give a comparison. To create a contrast.

Question: Alright, that is in the context of the Bhagavata, but in the spiritual world we should see it as a type of background for actual full surrender?

Anwer: Krishna is rasaraja and He enjoys all kinds of rasa.

Question: Mathura is considered higher than Dwaraka, yet the Queens, with samanjasa rati, are considered superior to Kubja, who has sadharani rati. How can this be reconciled?

Anwer: Kubja is not following the rules (moral codes) like the gopis and unlike the Queens. This is how this can be reconciled.

Question: Is there svakiya rasa in Goloka? Jiva Gosvami says there is only svakiya rasa there but Visvanath Cakravarti disputes that.

Anwer: Yes, svakiya rasa is there. It is mentioned in other Puranas, like the Brahma Vaivarta, not just in Jiva Gosvami’s books. The Puranas give different levels of understanding and the Bhagavata gives the highest understanding—parakiya rasa.

Question: This could be practised within our sampradAya as well?

Anwer: The suitable guru and mantra must be there for that.