The external symptoms of perfection are given in the Siksastaka (6):
vadanam gadgada-ruddhaya gira
pulakair nicitam vapuh kada
tava nama-grahane bhavisyati (1)
My dear Lord, when will my eyes be beautified by filling with tears that constantly glide down as I chant
Your holy name? When will my voice falter and all the hairs on my body stand erect in transcendental
happiness as I chant Your holy name?
Without love of Godhead, my life is useless. Therefore I pray that You accept me as Your servant, and
give me the salary of ecstatic love of God.
The form of bhava is stated in Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu:
bhava ity abhidhiyate
satvikah svalpa-matrah syuh
The first stage of prema is known as bhava, where the eight sattvika vikaras (bodily transformations)
such as standing of the hairs on end and crying, slightly manifest.
The characteristics of sthayi-bhava (permanent ecstasy) are described in the Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu
nama-gane sada rucih
ity adayo 'nubhavah syur
jata-bhavankure jane (3)
When the seed of ecstatic emotion for Krsna fructifies, the following nine symptoms manifest in one's
behavior: tolerance, concern that time should not be wasted, detachment, absence of false prestige,
hope, eagerness, a taste for chanting the holy name of the Lord, attachment for glorifying the qualities
of the Lord, and affection for those places where the Lord resides that is, a temple or a holy place like
Vrndavana. These are all called anubhava, subordinate signs of ecstatic emotion. They are visible in a
person in whose heart the seed of love of God has begun to fructify.
If love for Krsna in a seedling state has fructified in one's heart, one is not agitated by material things.
Not a moment should be lost. Every moment should be utilized for Krsna or connected with Him. In the
material field, people are interested in material enjoyment, mystic power and sense gratification.
However, these things do not appeal to the devotee at all. Although a pure devotee's standard is above
all, he still considers himself to be in the lowest stage of life. A fully surrendered devotee always hopes
that Lord Krsna will be kind to him. This hope is very firm in him. This eagerness is chiefly
characterized by an ardent desire to attain the mercy of the Lord. Due to having great relish for the holy
name, one is inclined to chant the Hare Krsna maha-mantra constantly. At this stage of bhava, a
devotee has awakened the tendency to chant and describe the transcendental qualities of the Lord. He
has attachment for this process. A devotee absorbed in ecstatic emotion for Krsna always has
affection for residing in a place where Krsna's pastimes were performed. These are the symptoms of a
person who has developed attraction (bhava) for Krsna.
The various anubhavas which manifest when bhava is nourished are listed in the
nrtyam viluthitam gitam
hunkaro jrmbhanam svasa-
lalasravo 'ttahasas ca
ghurna hikkadayopi ca (4)
Dancing, falling down and rolling on the ground, singing and crying very loudly, bodily contortions, loud
vibrations, yawning, deep breathing, disregard for others, frothing of saliva, mad laughter, spitting,
hiccups and other similar symptoms are called anubhavas.
The asta-sattvika vikaras are also given in the Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu:
svara-bhedo 'tha vepathuh
ity astau sattvikah smrtah (5)
The eight symptoms of bhava are, being stunned, trembling, perspiring, standing of hairs on end,
fading away of color, weeping, choking and devastation.
The living entity in his siddha-deha is the eternal servant of Krsna. Therefore, when his attachment for
service manifests, his false identification with the material body is diminished. In Padyavali the
following statement of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is found:
naham vipro na ca nara-patir napi vaisyo na sudro
naham varni na ca grha-patir no vanastho yatir va
gopi-bhartuh pada-kamalayor dasa-dasanudasah (6)
I am not a brahmana, I am not a ksatriya, I am not a vaisya or a sudra. Nor am I a brahmacari, a
householder, a vanaprastha or a sannyasi. I identify Myself only as the servant of the servant of the
servant of the lotus feet of Lord Sri Krsna, the maintainer of the gopis. He is an ocean of nectar, and
He is the cause of universal transcendental bliss. His is always existing with brilliance.
In the Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu it is stated that the devotee in raga-marga is simultaneously fixed in two
kinds of service in his sadhana-deha and in his siddha-deha.
siddha-rupena catra hi
The advanced devotee who is inclined to spontaneous loving service should follow the activities of a
particular associate of Krsna in Vrndavana. He should execute service externally as a regulative
devotee as well as internally from his self-realized position. Thus he should perform devotional service
both externally and internally.
Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu indicates the mood and public behavior of the devotee in raga-marga in the
following words (quoted from Cc. 2.1.211):
tad evasvadayaty antar
If a woman is attached to a man other than her husband, she will appear very busy in carrying out her
household affairs, but within her heart she is always relishing feelings of association with her paramour.
In this state of raga-marga, the condition of one's mind is exhibited by affection for staying in a place
dear to Krsna. As described in the Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu:
namani tava kirtayan
racayisyami tandavam (9)
O Lord Pundarikaksa, while chanting Your holy name with tears in my eyes, when shall I dance in
ecstasy on the bank of the Yamuna?
The living entity in his eternal form is the servant of Krsna. In the conditioned state, the living entity is
covered by ignorance. By serving Krsna favorably one easily revives his original consciousness. One's
duty is to serve Krsna favorably without duplicity. Excluding those who are actually desirous of
krsna-prema, the emotions exhibited by those who are hard-hearted because of offenses are impure
and therefore artificial. According to the Srimad Bhagavatam (2.3.24):
tad asma-saram hrdayam batedam
yad grhyamanair hari-nama-dheyaih
na vikriyetatha yada vikaro
netre jalam gatra-ruhesu harsah (10)
Certainly that heart is steel-framed which, in spite of one's chanting the holy name of the Lord with
concentration, does not change when ecstasy takes place, tears fill the eyes and the hairs stand on
The Krsna-karnamrta (107) says the youthful form of Krsna easily manifests as one's attachment for
the holy name develops:
bhaktis tvayi sthiratara bhagavan yadi syad
daivena nah phalati divya-kisora-murtih
muktih svayam mukulitanjalih sevate 'sman
dharmartha-kama-gatayah samaya-pratiksah (11)
If I am steadily engaged in devotional service unto You, my dear Lord, then I can easily perceive Your
transcendental youthful form. And as far as liberation is concerned, I think that liberation stands at my
door with folded hands waiting to serve me and all the material conveniences of dharma, artha and
kama stand with her.
The favorable cultivation of chanting the holy names in the association of pure devotees at the stage of
attachment is described in the Srimad Bhagavatam (11.3.30/31) as follows:
mitho ratir mithas tustir
nivrttir mitha atmanah
smarantah smarayantas ca
mitho 'ghaugha-haram harim
bhaktya sa?jataya bhaktya
bibhraty utpulakam tanum (12)
One should learn how to associate with the devotees of the Lord by gathering with them to chant the
glories of the Lord. This process is most purifying. As devotees thus develop their loving friendship,
they feel mutual happiness and satisfaction. And by thus encouraging one another, they are able to
give up material sense gratification, which is the cause of all suffering.
The devotees of the Lord constantly discuss the glories of the Personality of Godhead among
themselves. Thus they constantly remember the Lord and remind one another of His qualities and
pastimes. In this way, by their devotion to the principles of bhakti-yoga, the devotees please the
Personality of Godhead, who takes away everything inauspicious from them. Being purified of all
impediments, the devotees awaken to pure love of Godhead, and thus, even within this world, their
spiritualized bodies exhibit symptoms of transcendental ecstasy, such as standing of the bodily hairs
Sometimes the pure devotees, free from pride, wander throughout the world chanting and preaching
love for the holy names of the Lord. As stated by Narada Muni in the Srimad Bhagavatam (1.6.26):
namany anantasya hata-trapah pathan
guhyani bhadrani krtani ca smaran
gam paryatams tusta-mana gata-sprhah
kalam pratiksan vimado vimatsarah (13)
Thus I began chanting the holy name and fame of the Lord by repeated recitation, ignoring all the
formalities of the material world. Such chanting and remembering of the transcendental pastimes of the
Lord are benedictory. So doing, I travelled all over the earth, fully satisfied, humble and unenvious.
And again from the Srimad Bhagavatam (11.3.32):
kvacid rudanty acyuta-cintaya kvacid
dhasanti nandanti vadanty alaukikah
nrtyanti gayanty anusilayanty ajam
bhavanti tusnim param etya nirvrtah (14)
Having achieved love of Godhead, the devotees sometimes cry out loud, absorbed in thought of the
infallible Lord. Sometimes they laugh, feel great pleasure, speak out loud to the Lord, dance or sing.
Such devotees, having transcended conditioned life, sometimes imitate the unborn Supreme by acting
out His pastimes. And sometimes, achieving His personal audience, they remain peaceful and silent.
Attachment to seeing the beautiful form of the Deity is described in these words from the Srimad
syamam hiranya-paridhim vanamalya-barha-
vinyasta-hastam itarena dhunanam abjam
His complexion was dark blue and His garment golden. Wearing a peacock feather, colored minerals,
sprigs of flower buds, and a garland of forest flowers and leaves, He was dressed just like a dramatic
dancer. He rested one hand upon the shoulder of a friend and with the other twirled a lotus. Lilies
graced His ears, His hair hung down over His cheeks, and His lotuslike face was smiling.
Again from the Srimad Bhagavatam (10.21.5):
barhapidam nata-vara-vapuh karnayoh karnikaram
bibhrad vasah kanaka-kapisam vaijayantim ca malam
randhran venor adhara-sudhayapurayan gopa-vrndair
vrndaranyam sva-pada-ramanam pravisad gita-kirtih (16)
Wearing a peacock-feather ornament upon His head, blue karnikara flowers on His ears, a yellow
garment as brilliant as gold, and the Vaijayanti garland, Lord Krsna exhibited His transcendental form
as the best of dancers as He entered the forest of Vrndavana, beautifying it with the marks of His
footprints. He filled the holes of His flute with the nectar of His lips, and the cowherd boys sang His
When the holy name blossoms, the devotees' emotions manifest, and they feel enchanted with the
Deity, who is Himself enchanted by His own beauty. In the Srimad Bhagavatam (3.2.12), Uddhava
says to Vidura:
yan martya-lilaupayikam sva-yoga-
maya-balam darsayata grhitam
vismapanam svasya ca saubhagarddheh
param padam bhusana-bhusanangam (17)
The Lord appeared in the mortal world by His internal potency, yoga-maya. He came in His eternal
form, which is just suitable for His pastimes. These pastimes are wonderful for everyone, even for
those proud of their own opulence, including the Lord Himself in His form as the Lord of Vaikuntha.
Thus His (Sri Krsna's) transcendental body is the ornament of all ornaments.
The sweetness of Krsna attracts the hearts of all. While having darsana of Krsna, the devotees
condemn the creator for making eyelids which momentarily block their vision of Krsna. This is
explained in the Srimad Bhagavatam (9.24.65) as follows:
nityotsavam na tatrpur drsibhih pibantyo
naryo naras ca muditah kupita nimes ca (18)
Krsna's face is decorated with ornaments, such as earrings resembling sharks. His ears are beautiful,
His cheeks brilliant, and His playful smiling is attractive to everyone. Whoever sees Lord Krsna enjoys
a festival. His face and body are fully satisfying for everyone to see, but the devotees are angry at the
creator for the disturbance caused by the momentary blinking of their eyes.
The proficiency of the creator in making the form of Krsna is glorified in the following words of the
Srimad Bhagavatam (3.2.13):
yad dharma-sunor bata rajasuye
niriksya drk-svastyayanam tri-lokah
kartsnyena cadyeha gatam vidhatur
arvak-srtau kausalam ity amanyata (19)
All the demigods from the upper, lower and middle universal planetary systems assembled at the altar
of the Rajasuya sacrifice performed by Maharaja Yudhisthira. After seeing the beautiful bodily features
of Lord Krsna, they all contemplated that He was the ultimate dexterous creation of Brahma, the
creator of human beings.
The results of seeing the Deity in the stage of attachment are described in the Srimad Bhagavatam
(3.2.14) in these words:
vraja-striyo drgbhir anupravrtta-
dhiyo 'vatasthuh kila krtya-sesah (20)
The damsels of Vraja, after pastimes of laughter, humor and exchanges of glances, were anguished
when Krsna left them. They used to follow Him with their eyes, and thus they sat down with stunned
intelligence and could not finish their household duties.
The Srimad Bhagavatam (3.2.21) describes how Sri Krsna, the personification of sweetness, is the
abode of all opulences.
svayam tv asamyatisayas tryadhisah
balim haradbhis cira-loka-palaih
The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krsna, is the master of the three worlds and the three principal
demigods (Brahma, Visnu and Siva). No one is equal to or greater than Him. By His spiritual potency,
svarajya-laksmi, all His desires are fulfilled. While offering their dues and presents in worship, the
predominating deities of all planets touch the lotus feet of the Lord with their crowns. Thus they offer
prayers to the Lord.
The cause of Krsna's mercy is inconceivable, that is, His mercy is causeless. This is confirmed in the
Srimad Bhagavatam (10.16.36):
kasyanubhavo 'sya na deva vidmahe
yad-va?chaya srir lalanacarat tapo
vihaya kaman su-ciram dhrta-vrata (22)
O Lord, we do not know how the serpent Kaliya has attained this great opportunity of being touched by
the dust of Your lotus feet. For this end, the goddess of fortune performed austerities for centuries,
giving up all other desires and taking austere vows.
The topmost devotion of the gopis of Vraja is glorified in the Srimad Bhagavatam (10.47.60) as
nayam sriyo 'nga u nitanta-rateh prasadah
svar-yositam nalina-gandha-rucam kuto 'nyah
rasotsave 'sya bhuja-danda-grhita-kantha-
labdhasisam ya udagad vraja-vallabhinam (23)
When Lord Krsna was dancing with the gopis in the rasa-lila, the gopis were embraced by the arms of
the Lord. This transcendental favor was never bestowed upon the goddess of fortune or other consorts
in the spiritual world. Indeed, never was such a thing even imagined by the most beautiful girls in the
heavenly planets, whose bodily luster and aroma resemble the lotus flower. And what to speak of
worldly women who are very beautiful according to material estimation?
Other devotees hanker after the mood of the gopis. Evidence is found in the following statement by
Uddhava from the Srimad Bhagavatam (10.47.61):
asam aho carana-renu-jusam aham syam
vrndavane kim api gulma-latausadhinam
ya dustyajam sva-janam arya-patham ca hitva
bhejur mukunda-padavim srutibhir vimrgyam (24)
The gopis of Vrndavana have given up the association of their husbands, sons, and other family
members, who are very difficult to give up, and they have forsaken the path of chastity to take shelter of
the lotus feet of Mukunda, Krsna, which one should search for by Vedic knowledge. Oh, let me be
fortunate enough to be one of the bushes, creepers, or herbs in Vrndavana, because the gopis trample
them and bless them with the dust of their lotus feet.
From the Srimad Bhagavatam (10.47.58) it is understood that even Lord Brahma is agitated seeing
the devotion of the gopis.
etah param tanu-bhrto bhuvi gopa-vadhvo
govinda eva nikhilatmani rudha-bhavah
va?chanti yad bhava-bhiyo munayo vayam ca
kim brahma-janmabhir ananta-katha-rasasya (25)
Among all persons on earth, these cowherd women alone have actually perfected their embodied lives,
for they have achieved the perfection of unalloyed love for Lord Govinda. Their pure love is hankered
after by those who fear material existence, by great sages, and by ourselves as well. For one who has
tasted the narrations of the infinite Lord, what is the use of taking birth as a high-class brahmana, or
even as Lord Brahma himself?
Devotees attracted by the opulences of the Lord also desire the devotion of the gopis. In the Srimad
Bhagavatam (10.44.14) the ladies of Mathura speak as follows:
gopyas tapah kim acaran yad amusya rupam
lavanya-saram asamordhvam ananya-siddham
drgbhih pibanty anusavabhinavam durapam
ekanta-dhama yasasah sriya aisvarasya (26)
What austerities must the gopis have performed! With their eyes they always drink the nectar of Lord
Krsna's form, which is the essence of loveliness and is not to be equaled or surpassed. That loveliness
is the only abode of beauty, fame, and opulence. It is self-perfect, ever fresh, and extremely rare.
An introduction to sayam-lila (evening pastime) is given in the Govinda-lilamrta:
sayam radham sva-sakhya nija-ramana-krte presitaneka-bhojyam
sakhyanitesa-sesasana mudita hrdam tam ca tam ca vrajendrum
susnatam ramya-vesam grham anu-janani lalitam prapta-gostham
nirvyudho 'sralidoham svagrham anu punar bhuktavantam smarami (27)
In the evening Sri Radha sends Her girl friends with many exquisite sweet preparations for Her beloved
Krsna. When Her friends return with Krsna's remnants, Radha becomes very happy tasting those
Vrajendra Krsna takes His bath at home and He is then very nicely dressed. Mother Yasoda lovingly
attends Him. Krsna then goes to the cowshed, and after milking the cows He again returns home to
take His meals in great happiness. I remember these pastimes with great affection.
Thus ends the Sastha-yama Sadhana of the Sri Bhajana-rahasya.