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radhacharan das Bhakti Rasamrita Sindhu Bindhu NOTES FOR SELF STUDY

Chaya Rati Abhasa AKA Chaya Bhava Abhasa


Rati and Bhava mean the same thing, in this context, so when you see rati/raty, take it as meaning the stage of bhava*** This term chaya rati abhasa/chaya bhava abhasa means a shadow of bhava or a shadow of a semblance of bhava.

From Rupa Goswami and Visvanath Chakravarti Thakuras Bhakti Rasamrita Sindhu Bindhu, a drop from the ocean of bhakti rasa
Chaya-ratyabhasaThat ratyabhasa which bears some resemblance to shuddha-rati (pure bhava), which possesses curiosity or inquisitiveness of an insignificant nature, which is unsteady, and which relieves material distress is known as chaya-ratyabhasa. By even incidental association with activities such as kirtana, times such as Janmashtami, places like Shri Vrindavana, and persons dear to Lord Hari (the Vaishnavas), chaya-rati sometimes arises even in ignorant persons. This chaya-rati can never arise without extreme good fortune. Good fortune here refers to the samskaras of bhakti acquired in a previous life or the association of devotees from this life or the previous life. When shuddha-rati manifests to a very slight extent by virtue of the association of jata-bhava-bhaktas (bhaktas who are already at the stage of bhava) or at the time of performing sadhana in vaidhi-bhakti (devotional practice in regulated worship_, it is called chaya-ratyabhasa (a shadow of rati). This shadow of rati is not steady. This semblance of rati is sometimes observed even in ordinary persons who are ignorant of the truth by the influence of the association of devotees. It is a great fortune for the jivas when chaya-rati, which is of the form of the lustre (kanti) of shuddha-rati, arises in them, for upon its appearance the jivas gradually obtain good fortune.

From Jaiva Dharma


Vijaya-kumara: What is chaya-bhavabhasa (the dim shadow of ecstatic love). Babaji: An honest neophyte devotee (kanishta adhikari vaishnava) not very learned in the science of spiritual life may come into contact with activities, times, places, or persons that are dear to Lord Hari, and by this contact they may attain a small, pleasant, suffering removing, flickering shadow of true love (rati) for the Lord. That is called "chaya-raty-abhasa".

When a person has a small quantity of pure devotion to the Lord, but that devotion is not very strong, then this kind of shadow devotion (raty-abhasa) is manifested. This shadow of devotion may appear in a person because in the past he performed many pious deeds. This shadow of devotion may gradually bring more and more auspiciousness to the person who obtains it. By the mercy of a pure devotee of Lord Hari, this shadow love can be transformed into genuine pure love for the Lord (suddha-bhava). However, if one commits offenses to pure Vaisnavas, this shadow love may gradually diminish, like the waning of the moon in the dark fortnight. This is not said only of the shadow of love.

The nature of Sattvika bhavas (ecstatic symptoms) in chayarati-abhasa, the shadow of pure rati/bhava
The sattvika-bhavas (ecstatic symptoms) can be categorised in 8 types: (1) stambha - becoming stunned (2) sveda - perspiration (3) romanca - standing of the hairs on end (4) svara-bhanga - faltering of the voice (5) kampa - trembling (6) vaivarna - change of body colour (7) ashru - tears (8) pralaya - loss of consciousness or fainting In actuality, sattvika-bhavas (the ecstatic symptoms) can occur only in persons in whom proper rati/bhava has been aroused. When symptoms resembling the sattvikabhavas (ecstatic symptoms) are manifest in persons who are devoid of true bhava/rati, they are known as sattvikabhasa (a semblance of sattvika-bhava/full ecstatic symptoms). Vishvanath Chakravarti Thakur

Sattvika bhavas (ecstatic symptoms) in the shadow of bhava Chaya-rati-abhasa literally means an abhasa or semblance of rati/bhava, and sattvikabhasa means a semblance of the symptoms known as sattvika-bhavas (ecstatic symptoms). Ratyabhasa sattvikabhasa, therefore, refers to those symptoms which resemble sattvika-bhavas arising due to a semblance of rati/bhava. When such persons chant the holy name in the association of bhava-bhaktas, they may manifest tears, horripilation and other ecstatic symptoms. Because these symptoms arise from a reflection of the rati/bhava situated in the hearts of genuine bhavabhaktas, they are known as ratyabhasa sattvikabhasa.

Jiva Goswami says that the transcendental association of jata-bhava-bhaktas (Vaishnavs with proper bhava) is so powerful that even when there is separation from such Vaishnavas, the reflection of bhava remains in the hearts of the devotee who has experienced a shadow of bhava for a long time in the form of subtle impressions (samskaras). These ecstatic symptoms may also last for some time even without the direct association of a bhava bhakta.