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The following is taken from Obscure Religious Cults by Shashibhushan Dasgupta, MA, PhD.

(Calcutta, irma !"M, #$%&'. This is a famous book, first e(ition #$)&, which was the first
thorough treatment of the sub*ect in +nglish. The first four chapters co,er -u((hist Saha*iyasim.
.aishna,a Saha*iyaism is co,ere( in chapters / (pp. ##01#)&' an( & (pp. #)&1#/&', -auls in % (#/%1
#2%'. The 3aths an( Dharma cult are co,ere( in the rest of the book. This first entry co,ers pages
(i) Transition from Buddhist Sahai!a to Vaishna"a Sahai!a
T5+ .aishna,a Saha*iya mo,ement of -engal marks the e,olution of the -u((hist Saha*iya cult in
a (ifferent channel as strongly influence( by the lo,e1religion of -engal .aishna,ism. The
.aishna,a Saha*iya cult has a consi(erable literature to its cre(it. As many as two hun(re( an( fifty
manuscripts of small te6ts containing the ,arious (octrines an( practices of the cult are preser,e( in
the Manuscript "ibrary of the Calcutta 7ni,ersity an( about an e8ual number of te6ts (many of
them being common with those preser,e( in the Manuscript "ibrary of the Calcutta 7ni,ersity'
belong to the Manuscript "ibrary of the -angiya Sahitya Parisha(. These te6ts, howe,er, (o not
possess much intrinsic literary ,alue an( as such their contribution to -engali literature woul( not
ha,e been of much importance but for fact that they help us in stu(ying a large number of lyrical
songs belonging both to the Saha*iya .aishna,a an( the stan(ar( .aishna,a cults, both of which
accepte( the i(eal of Parakiya lo,e as contraste( with the i(eal of S,akiya lo,e in their (octrines.(#'
These lo,e lyrics, belonging to the pro,ince of .aishna,ism, combine in them a genuine poetic ,ein
of an absorbing human interest with an a,owe(ly religious sentiment an( as such they offer a goo(
specimen of how far it may be able for erotic sentiment, aesthetic sentiment an( religious sentiment
to combine in popular poetry. 9n the history of the .aishna,a literature of -engal, the most
important factor is the gra(ual e,olution of the i(eal of Parakiya lo,e: but whereas the i(eal of
Parakiya lo,e was merely recognise( as a theological speculation in stan(ar( .aishna,ism, it was
accepte( e,en in its practical bearing by the Saha*iyas. 9n the history of -engal .aishna,ism there
seems to ha,e been a process of interaction between the two sects11the practice of the Saha*iyas
influencing to a great e6tent the i(eal of the .aishna,a poets, an( the i(eal of the .aishna,as in its
turn influencing the practices of the Saha*iyas. Though the story of the lo,e episo(es of Chan(i Das,
the greatest lo,e poet of -engal, with the washer1woman, ;ami, is still shrou(e( in mystery an( as
such cannot be cre(ite( historically as supplying proof of Chan(i Das himself being an e6ponent of
the Saha*iya practice, yet we shoul( remember that tra(ition always in(icates possibility. <u(ging
from the heaps of tra(ition centering foun( the figure of poet Chan(i Das an( also from the number
of Saha*iya poems ascribe( to him, it will not be far off the mark to hol( that there might ha,e been
some truth in the tra(ition of Chan(i Das himself being a Saha*iya sa(haka an( that his practical
culture of the (i,inisation of human lo,e supplie( him with the (eep inspiration that ma(e him the
immortal poet of the ;a(ha !rishna songs. The in(ebte(ness of Sri Chaitanya to the lo,e lyrics of
<aya(e,a, .i(yapati an( Chan(i Das is well1known through the Caitanya1caritamrita (the stan(ar(
biography of Chaitanya' an( the songs of some other poets: the inspiration (eri,e( from these songs
was not negligible in moul(ing Chaitanya=s i(eal of (i,ine lo,e. Apart from the contro,ersy o,er
the religious ,iewpoint of Chan(i Das an( its influence on Chaitanya=s i(eal of lo,e, it may be hel(
that the general history of the .aishna,a Saha*iya mo,ement with its stress on Parakiya lo,e was
closely relate( to the general (e,otional mo,ement of -engal: it is because of this close relation
between the two that the rich fiel( of -engali lyrics cannot be fully an( properly stu(ie( without a
proper stu(y of the Saha*iya religion an( literature.
The lyrics belonging to the .aishna,a Saha*iya school are generally ascribe( to the well1known
poet Chan(i Das an( to some other poets like .i(yapati, ;upa, Sanatan, .rin(a,an Das, !rishna
Das !a,ira*, 3arahari, 3arottama, "ochan, Chaitanya Das an( others, an( the innumerable Saha*iya
te6ts are also ascribe( to their authorship. Such assignment, which was e,i(ently ma(e with a ,iew
to securing authoritati,e support from the great .aishna,a poets an( thinkers for the
uncon,entional practice of the Saha*iyas, nee( not be cre(ite( historically. 9n their >eal for
propagan(a these Saha*iyas ha,e hel( all the great poets like <aya(e,a, .i(yapati, Chan(i Das an(
others, an( the great .aishna,a apostles like ;upa, Sanatan, S,arupa Damo(ara, <i,a ?oswami an(
others to be the e6ponents of Saha*iya practice. +,en Sri Chaitanya himself has been hel( by some
of the Saha*iyas as ha,ing practise( Saha*a sa(hana with female companions an( attaine(
perfection through it,(4' as "or( -u((ha was hel( by the -u((hist Saha*iyas as ha,ing practise(
Saha*a sa(hana in company of his consort ?opa. 9t seems, howe,er, that almost all the songs
(inclu(ing the enigmatic songs ascribe( to Chan(i Das@s well1known as the ;agatmika Pa(as' an(
the te6ts were compose( by the e6ponents of the Saha*iya cult in the post1Chaitanya perio(, an(
mostly in or after the se,enteenth century A.D.
Ae ha,e hinte( on se,eral occasions that the secret yogic practices, roun( which grew the
paraphernalia of the (ifferent Saha*iya cults, belong neither strictly to the -u((hist fol( nor
e6clusi,ely to the 5in(u fol(: they are essentially yogic practices, which by their association with
(ifferent theological systems, either -u((hist or 5in(u, ha,e gi,en rise to (ifferent religious cults.
The most important of the secret practices is the yogic control of the se6 pleasure so as to transform
it into transcen(ental bliss, which is at the same time con(uci,e to the health both of the bo(y an(
the min(. This yogic practice with its accessories, being associate( with the philosophy of Shi,a
an( Shakti, stan(s at the centre of the network of the 5in(u Tantric systems, an( when associate(
with the speculations of Pra*na an( 7paya of later -u((hism ga,e rise to the Tantric -u((hist cults
inclu(ing the -u((hist Saha*iya system: an( again, when associate( with the speculation on
!rishna an( ;a(ha concei,e( as ;asa an( ;ati in -engal .aishna,ism, the same yogic practice an(
(iscipline has been responsible for the growth an( (e,elopment of the .aishna,a Saha*iya
mo,ement of -engal. 9t will, therefore, be incorrect to say, as has really been sai( by some scholars,
that the .aishna,a Saha*iya mo,ement of -engal is a purely post1Chaitanya mo,ement ha,ing no
relation whatsoe,er with the earlier -u((hist Saha*iyas an( that the two cults are (istinct
fun(amentally. A close stu(y of the literature of the .aishna,a Saha*iyas wi9l lea,e no room for
(oubting the clear fact that it recor(s nothing but the spirit an( practices of the earlier -u((hist an
5in(u Tantric cults, of course in a (istinctly transforme( form, wrought through the e,olution of
centuries in (ifferent religious an( cultural en,ironments. The psycho1physiological yogic
processes, fre8uently referre( to in the lyrical songs of the .aishna,a Saha*iyas an( also in the
innumerable short an( long te6ts, embo(ying the (octrines of the cult are fun(amentally the same as
are foun( in the 5in(u Tantras as well as in the -u((hist Tantras an( the -u((hist songs an(
Dohas. There are sometimes (iscrepancies only in (etails an( (ifferences more often pertaining to
terminology an( phraseology than to conception.(0'
9t is ,ery interesting to note in this connection that like some of the te6ts of the Saha*iya -u((hists
some of the -engali te6ts of Saha*iya .aishna,ism, compose( some time between the se,enteenth
an( the nineteenth centuries, are intro(uce( in the form of a (ialogue between Shi,a an( Shakti,
who are (epicte( as (iscussing the secrets of the .aishna,a Saha*iya sa(hana,()' an( in the
Anan(a1bhaira,a it is hinte( that 5ara or Shi,a himself practise( this Saha*a sa(hana in the
company of the (ifferent Shaktis in the country of the !uchnis (women belonging to the !och tribe.
Ae ha,e (iscusse( before at length the salient features of the -u((hist Saha*iya cult an( literature.
The .aishna,a Saha*iyas, like other me(ie,al schools who were Saha*iyas in a broa(er sense, an(
of whom we shall speak in (etail in the ne6t chapter, harpe( on the same string. -ut we ha,e seen
that the angle of ,ision from which the (ifferent schools of 9n(ian religious thought criticise( one
another was (ifferent. Conse8uently, whereas the criticism of the -u((hist Saha*iyas represents an
a(mi6ture of the spirit of -u((hism, .e(anta, Tantra an( Boga, the criticism of the .aishna,a
Saha*iyas is marke( by a (ominating spirit of lo,e, which is the watchwor( of their sa(hana,
although, howe,er, the lurking influence of Boga an( Tantra is not altogether missing. The
-u((hist Saha*iyas, we ha,e seen, inherite( from the Bogic an( Tantric schools in general the spirit
that all truth un(erlying the uni,erse as a whole is containe( in the microcosm of the human bo(y:
this belief, we shall presently see, was brought by the .aishna,a Saha*iyas to a (eeper sigrnficance,
which inspire( them to (eclare to the worl( abroa(, C5earken men, my brothersD Man is the truth
abo,e all truths. There is nothing abo,e that.E (&'
Again, the same spirit of ?uru,a(a that characterises the songs, Dohas an( other Sanskritic te6ts of
the -u((hist Saha*iyas as also the literature of the me(ie,al saints, characterises also the songs an(
other te6ts of the .aishna,a Saha*iyas.(%' Again, as many of the -u((hist Si((hacharyas an(
me(ie,al saints employe( an e6tremely enigmatic an( para(o6ical style in their songs in (escribing
the secrets of their sa(hana, so also it was the custom with the .aishna,a Saha*iyas to couch the
secrets of their cult un(er a similar enigmatic style. Many of the songs ascribe( to Chan(i Das are
goo( specimens of such an enigmatic style. Thus it is clear that in spirit as well as in literary
representation the relation between the -u((hist Saha*iyas an( the .aishna,a Saha*iyas clearly
shows an easy gli(ing from the one to the other.
5istorically it seems that the fall of the Pala (ynasty of -engal also marke( the fall of -u((hism in
the pro,ince an( that there was something like a 5in(u re,i,al (uring the reign of the Senas, who
succee(e( the Palas. .aishna,ism, base( mainly on the lo,e1(alliances of the cowher( !rishna
with the cowher( girl ;a(ha, began to gain popularity (uring the reign of the Senas an( the first
-engali .aishna,a poet to sing the sweet immortal songs of ;a(ha1!rishna was <aya(e,a, who is
sai( to ha,e been the court1poet of the last Sena king, "akshman Sena in the last half of the twelfth
Century A.D. Chan(i Das of the fourteenth century popularise( the legen(s an( i(eals of the lo,e of
;a(ha an( !rishna through his e68uisite lyrical poems. Similar lyrics were compose( also by poet
.i(yapati of Mithila, who was contemporaneous with Chan(i Das an( en*oye( enormous
popularity in -engal: this wi(esprea( popularity of the ;a(ha !rishna songs began to influence the
min(s of people belonging to all substrata of society. 9t was through the influence of this lo,e i(eal
of the ;a(ha !rishna songs that the i(eology of the -u((hist Saha*iyas gra(ually began to change,
an( the change of metho(ology was conse8uent on the change of i(eology.
Aith the popularity of the ;a(ha !rishna songs the i(eal of parakiya1rati, or the uncon,entional
lo,e between man an( woman not boun( by the con*ugal tie, became emphasise(. 9n almost all the
theological (iscussions of the .aishna,as of the post1Chaitanya perio(, the superiority of this i(eal
of parakiya lo,e to that of s,akiya was ,ariously (emonstrate(. 9n his Typical Selections from Fl(
-engali "iterature (.ol. 99, pp. #&021#&)0', Dr. D. C. Sen has 8uote( two ol( (ocuments, belonging
to the first half of the eighteenth century, where we fin( that regular (ebates were arrange( between
the .aishna,a e6ponents of the parakiya an( the s,akiya i(eals of lo,e, an( in the (ebates the
uphol(ers of the s,akiya ,iew were sa(ly (efeate( an( ha( to sign (ocuments a(mitting the
supremacy of the parakiya i(eal of lo,e. This will help us in guessing how much influence this
parakiya i(eal (i( e6ert on the people of the time belonging to the .aishna,a fol(. This i(eal of
parakiya lo,e has been the strongest factor in moul(ing the (octrines of the Saha*iya .aishna,ism
of -engal.
9t is customary to sneer at the .aishna,a Saha*iya cult as an or(er of (ebauchery un(er the cloak of
religion. Abuses an( aberrations there are in e,ery religion, an( there is no (enial of the fact that
(ebauchery foun( its fiel( of play in the Tantric schools, both of 5in(uism an( -u((hism an( in
the school of the .aishna,a Saha*iyas, but that shoul( not be the only point for consi(eration in
*u(ging the ,alue of these religious or(ers. As stu(ents of literature, religion an( culture, let us (like
the wise swan' (rink only milk out of a mi6ture of milk an( water.
Ae ha,e pointe( out before that the innumerable te6ts a,ailable on the (octrines an( practices of
the Saha*iyas few can be sai( to possess much intrinsic merit: but the lyrics the Saha*iyas, whoe,er
might ha,e been their author, really reache( a high pitch of poetry an( philosophy, an( these songs
assigne( a sublime ,alue to human lo,e: an( with this (eification of human lo,e humanity as a
whole has also been (eifie(, an( hea,en abo,e an( earth below ha,e met together in the songs of
the .aishna,a Saha*iya poets.
(ii) Th# $od# of Transformation
"et us now follow the mo(e of transformation of the i(eology of the -u((hist Saha*iyas into that of
the .aishna,a Saha*iyas. The final aim of the -u((hist Saha*iyas, apart from the customary way of
(escribing it as the .acuity, or the Pra*na, or the -o(hi1citta, was supreme bliss, an( this conception
of the final state of the -u((hist Saha*iyas (iffere( from that of the early -u((hists in this that the
Maha1sukha state of 3ir,ana is a (efinitely positi,e state, while the earlier -u((histic ten(ency was
towar(s negation: again, the conception of the -u((hist Saha*iyas (iffers from the general
conception of the final state of the (ifferent schools of yoga in this that it is not a state of absolute
(issolution: though it is a state of arrest an( a negati,e state insofar as it in,ol,es the arrest of all
states an( processes of min(, it is a positi,e state of supreme bliss. Ff course, sometimes this state
of supreme bliss has been criticise( as a state of mere thought1construction, an( 3ir,ana has been
(efine( as a pure state of negation bereft of all sorts of thought1constructions but in general Maha1
sukha itself, bereft of sub*ecti,ity an( ob*ecti,ity, has been hel( to be the final state11the state of
,acuity an( (irect enlightenment.
The final state of Maha1sukha as the state of Saha*a of the -u((hists is also the final state of Saha*a
with the .aishna,a Saha*iyas: but the .aishna,as concei,e of this Saha*a state as the state of
supreme lo,e, an( this supreme lo,e has been concei,e( as the primor(ial substance which
un(erlies the worl(1process as a whole. -ut how can this Saha*a be the ultimate realityG 9t is the
ultimate reality inasmuch as it is the non1(ual state of the unity of Shi,a an( Shakti, which are but
the two aspects of the absolute reality as concei,e( in the 5in(u Tantras. Again in the -u((hist
school it is the non1(ual state of unity of Pra*na an( 7paya which are also the two aspects of the
absolute reality. The principles of Shi,a an( Shakti or 7paya an( Pra*na are represente( by man
an( woman, an( it is, therefore, that when through the process of Sa(hana man an( woman can
realise their pure nature as Shi,a an( Shakti, or 7paya an( Pra*na, the supreme bliss arising out of
the union of the two becomes the highest state whereby one can realise the ultimate nature of the
absolute reality 3ow the conception of !rishna an( ;a(ha of the .aishna,as was interprete( by the
Saha*iyas in a sense akin to the conception of Shi,a an( Shakti, or 7paya an( Pra*na, an( all males
an( females were thought of as physical manifestation of the principles of !rishna an( ;a(ha.
So the highest state of union of the two, which is the state of supreme lo,e is the final state of
Saha*a. Thus the theological speculations centering roun( the lo,e1(alliances of ;a(ha an( !rishna
in stan(ar( .aishna,ism coul( ,ery easily be assimilate( by the Saha*iyas into their cult. More
o,er, the stan(ar( .aishna,a schools of (e,otion were all (ea(ly against the final aim of liberation
either in any sense of negation or in the merging of the in(i,i(ual self in the absolute. The supreme
state of the .aishna,as is no state of abso#ute cessation or annihilation, it is a positi,e state, though
of a supra1mental nature, of the eternal flow of (i,ine lo,e, like the smooth an( incessant flow of
oil. This i(eal of the final positi,e state of lo,e coul( ,ery well be utilise( by the Saha*iyas in a
slightly mo(ifie( way an( thus the Saha*iyas coul( gra(ually associate their practices with the
whole network of -engal .aishna,a theology. An( once the practices of the Saha*iyas coul( be
thus associate( with the .aishna,a theology, their whole i(eology an( metho(ology began to be
influence( palpably by those of stan(ar( .aishna,ism.
The main (e,iation of the .aishna,a Saha*iyas un(er tue sway of .aishna,ism was towar(s a
psychological (e,elopment, an( it wi9l be more correct to speak of it as an inno,ation through a
process of gra(ual transformation. The Tantric schools, which emphasise( the se6o1yogic practice
(an( all schools (i( not certainly emphasise or encourage it', were essentially schools of psycho1
physiological yogic practices: but alrea(y in the -u((hist Saha*iya we H towar(s the psychological
(e,elopment. There we sometimes fin( it e6plaine( that the most intense se61emotion, pro(uce(
un(er a perfect control of yoga, has the capacity of suspen(ing the or(inary states an( processes of
the min( an( pro(ucing a non1(ual state of supreme bliss, where, absorbe( in the unfathomable
(epth of emotion, our min( shakes off all its relation to ob*ects an( all its character as the sub*ect:
an( this uni8ue state of bliss is the absolute state of Saha*a1realisation. This psychological aspect of
the sa(hana was, howe,er, most emphasise( in the school of the .aishna,a Saha*iya, with whom
the Saha*a Sa(hana soon (e,elope( more into a religion of psychological (iscipline in the culture of
lo,e than a religion of mere psycho1physiological yogic process. 9n fact, the importance of the
.aishna,a Saha*iyas consists in the high pitch which they reache( in their en8uiry an( practical
culture of lo,e psychology an( in the new interpretation of our whole being offere( in the light of
lo,e. 9t was a religious process of the (i,inisation of human lo,e an( the conse8uent (isco,ery of
the (i,ine in man. As we ha,e sai( before, the psycho1physiological yogic process was there, but its
yogic aspect was (ominate( by the psychological aspect of the Saha*iyas with which we are mainly
intereste( in our present stu(y.
(iii' The Psychologica9 Aspect of the Sa(hana of the .aishna,a Saha*iyas
(A' The 9(eal of "o,e
The psychological aspect of the Saha*a sa(hana of the .aishna,as grew mainly with the philosophy
of ;a(ha an( !rishna an( the eternal lo,e between them in the lan( of eternity. 9t is, therefore,
necessary, first of all, to eluci(ate the philosophy of ;a(ha !rishna an( their eternal lo,e as
concei,e( by the .aishna,as.
Accor(ing to the philosophical an( theological works of -engal .aishna,ism (popularly known as
?au(iya .aishna,ism' ;a(ha is nothing but the transfiguration of the infinite potency of lo,e
containe( in the ,ery nature of !rishna. The ultimate -eing, it is hel(, may be concei,e( in three of
its states, either as the un8ualifie( -rahman, or as the Paramatman, the in(welling principle of all
beings, or as the -haga,an, the acti,e an( 8ualifie( ?o(.
!rishna as -haga,an possesses three powers, ,i>., s,arupa shakti, i.e., the power which 5e
possessses by ,irtue of 5is ultimate nature: *i,a shakti or the power through which all the beings are
pro(uce( (also known as the tatastha shakti, the acci(ental power', an( the Maya shakti, through
which e,ol,es the inaterial worl(. This s,arupa shakti of the "or( has again three attributes, ,i>.,
the attribute of e6istence (sat', the attribute of pure consciousness (cit' an( the attribute of bliss
(anan(a'. The potency of the three attributes acts like three powers, in the nature of ?o(, which are
known as san(hini (the power of e6istence', sam,it (the power of consciousness' an( hla(ini (the
power of bliss which is of the nature of infinite lo,e'. The transfiguration of this power of bliss or
lo,e is ;a(ha, an( as such the ,ery being of ;a(ha is alrea(y in,ol,e( in the ,ery nature of !rishna
an( the two are one an( the same in the ultimate principle.
Ahy then the apparent separation of ;a(ha from !rishnaG 9t is for the self1realisation of !rishna.
?o( has within 5is nature two aspects, the en*oyer an( the en*oye(, an( without the reality of the
en*oye( 5e cannot e,en realise 5is own nature as the en*oyer. ;a(ha represents the eternal en*oye(,
while !rishna is the eternal en*oyer, an( the en*oye( an( the en*oyer being co1relati,eI (page #4)'
the reality of the one in,ol,es the reality of the other: or, in other wor(s ;a(ha as true eternal
en*oye( is as much real as !rishna the eternal en*oyer. This inseparable relation between the two is
the eternal lo,e1(alliance of !rishna with ;a(ha, an( as ;a(ha is eternally realising the ,alue of her
whole being with reference to her relation to the eternal en*oyer !rishna, !rishna too is eternally
en*oying ;a(ha to realise the infinite potency of lo,e an( bliss that is in him. This mutual relation
of lo,e is the secret of the whole (rama enacte( in the eternal lan( of .rin(a,an. This eternal sport
(lila' or lo,e1(alliance of ;a(ha an( !rishna (oes not presuppose any kin( of shortcoming or
imperfection in the nature of the ultimate reality: it follows from the ,ery nature of the ultimate
reality as such.
This relation of eternal lo,e between ;a(ha an( !rishna has been concei,e( an( e6presse( in the
.aishna,a theology an( literature anthropomorphically through analogies of human lo,e. So, to
un(erstan( the nature of this (i,ine lo,e, human lo,e has been analyse( psychologically into all its
,arieties an( niceties to the minutest (etails, an( it has been foun( on analysis that (i,ine lo,e can
be e6presse( only through the analogy of the most intense an( the most romantic an(
uncon,entional lo,e that e6ists between a man an( a woman who become boun( together by the
i(eal of lo,e for lo,e@s sake. Post1nuptial lo,e is not the highest i(eal of lo,e so far as the intensity
of emotion is concerne(, for long association an( ac8uaintance (e,our the strange mystery, which is
the salt of lo,e, an( social con,ention an( legal compulsion take away much from the passion in it
an( thus make it commonplace an( attenuate(. The highest i(eal of human lo,e, which is the most
intense, is the lo,e that e6ists most pri,ately between couples who are absolutely free in their lo,e
from any consi(eration of loss an( gain, who (efy society an( transgress the law an( make lo,e the
be1all an( en(1all of life. This is the i(eal of parakiya lo,e, which is the best human analogy for
(i,ine lo,e. 9t is because of this theological i(eal that in none of the legen(s of ;a(ha !rishna is
;a(ha (epicte( as the (page #4/' wife of !rishna. She is generally (epicte( as the wife of another
cowher(, or as a mai( *ust attaining the prime of youth.
Sri Chaitanya, as he has been (ocetically concei,e( by his followers, combine( in him the en*oyer
an( the en*oye(, an( it has been sai( that he was of the ultimate nature of !rishna hallowe( with the
lustre of the supreme emotion of ;a(ha. This speaks of the religious attitu(e of Chaitanya. Though
he himself became often conscious of his true self as none but !rishna, his (ominating religious
attitu(e was ;a(ha bha,a or the lo,e attitu(e of ;a(ha towar(s !rishna. This ;a(ha bha,a, or the
religious attitu(e of the (e,otee towar(s ?o( as the attitu(e of the most uncon,entional romantic
lo,e of a woman towar(s her belo,e(, may be recognise( as the fun(amental tone of the religion
preache( by Chaitanya, not so much by sermons an( teachings as by his tears an( fre8uent lo,e
The religious attitu(e of the .aishna,a poets of -engal, as represente( in the innumerable lo,e
lyrics compose( by them, was not, howe,er, e6actly the same as that of Chaitanya. The attitu(e of
the .aishna,a poets was sakhi bha,a rather than ;a(ha bha,a. Sri Chaitanya place( himself in the
position of ;a(ha an( longe( with all the tormenting pangs of heart for union with his belo,e(
!rishna : but the .aishna,a poets, hea(e( by <aya(e,a, Chan(i Das an( .i(yapati, place(
thenssel,es, rather in the position of the Sakhis, or the female companions of ;a(ha an( !rishna,
who ne,er longe( for their own union with !rishna, but e,er longe( for the opportunity of
witnessing from a (istance the eternal lo,e1making of ;a(ha an( !rishna in the supranatural lan(
of .rin(a,an (aprAk;ta1,;n(A,ana'. This eternal lila is the eternal truth, an(, therefore, it is this
eternal lila 11 the playful lo,e1making of ;a(ha an( !rishna, which the .aishna,a poets (esire( to
en*oy. 9f we analyse the ?ita1go,in(a of <aya(e,a, we shall fin( not e,en a single statement which
shows the poet=s (esire to ha,e union with !rishna as ;a(ha ha(, he only sings praises of the lila of
;a(ha an( !rishna an( hankers after chance *ust to ha,e a peep into the (i,ine lila, an( this peep
into the (i,ine (page #4&' lila is the highest spiritual gain which these poets coul( think of. The
e6clamation 11 J?lorious be the secret (alliances of ;a(ha an( !rishna on the bank of the <umnaJ
soun(s the key1note of the .aishna,a attitu(e of <aya(e,a. The same is the attitu(e of Chan(i Das
an( .i(yapati, who were absorbe( in the lila of ;a(ha1!rishna who in(ulge( themsel,es in making
comments on the lila an( longe( to ha,e the chance to stan( by when ;a(ha an( !rishna were
unite( in their lo,e.
9t is to be note( that in the religious (iscourse, which took place between Sri Chaitanya an( ;ay
;amanan(a, the latter stresse( sakhi bha,a as the best means for realising (i,ine lo,e. The
theological e6planation of this sakhi bha,a is not far to seek. The general .aishna,a ,iew is that the
*i,a, being the tatastha shakti of !rishna is, after all, a prakriti an( its pri(e as being the purusha
(purushabhimana' must be remo,e( before it can be permitte( to ha,e its proper place in the eternal
region of s,arupa shakti, an( e,en then only as a Sakhi, rather than as ;a(ha, an( ne,er as !rishna.
To put the poetical utterances of the .aishna,a poets in a clear theological form we shoul( say that,
accor(ing to them, the absolute reality has from the ,ery beginning (i,i(e( itself for the sake of
self1realisation into two counterparts as the en*oyer an( the en*oye(, or as !rishna an( ;a(ha: these
!rishna an( ;a(ha are not mere abstract notions, neither are they purely legen(ary figures in,ente(
through the imagination of the poets, they are concrete in their (i,ine form an( represent the
original concrete type of the two aspects of the nature of the absolute as the lo,er an( the belo,e(
ha,ing their eternal (alliances in the supra1 (page #4%' natural lan( of .rin(a,an. The historical
personages of ;a(ha an( !rishna as the cowher( boy an( the cowher( girl in the geographical area
of .rin(a,an are but the temporal manifestation of the eternal type, a con(escension of the supra1
natural in the natural form so as to help man to un(erstan( the eternal in terms of the temporal. The
.aishna,a poets sang of the historical lo,e1episo(es of ;a(ha an( !rishna with the belief that
correspon(ing to these lo,e1episo(es on earth there are the eternal lo,e episo(es of ;a(ha1!rishna
in the aprakrita or supra1natural .rin(a,an an( the historical episo(es will enable them to form an
i(ea of an( to ha,e a peep into the eternal episo(es, the realisation of which is the summum bonum
of the spiritual life.
Ae ha,e seen that the religious approach of Sri Chaitanya, as (epicte( by !rishna(as !a,ira* in his
work, the Caitanya1caritamrita, was somewhat (ifferent from that of the .aishna,a poets. The post1
Chaitanya .aishna,a poets stuck mainly to the tra(ition of the pre1Chaitanya .aishna,a poets in
their poetic treatment of the lo,e1episo(es of ;a(ha an( !rishna, an( the .aishna,a Saha*iyas
recei,e( their philosophy of ;a(ha !rishna from these .aishna,a poets. The Saha*iyas belie,e( in
the eternal (alliances of ;a(ha !rishna in the highest Spiritual lan(, but they further hel( that the
eternal concrete spiritual type manifeste( itself not only in the historical personages of ;a(ha an(
!rishna, but that it re,eals itself in actual men an( women themsel,es. +,ery man has within him
the spiritual essence of !rishna, which is his s,arupa (page #42' (real nature' associate( with his
lower e6istence, which is his physical form or rupa, an( e6actly in the same way e,ery woman
possesses within her a lower self associate( with her physical e6istence, which is her rupa, but
within this rupa resi(es the s,arupa of the woman, which is her ultimate nature as ;a(ha. 9t is none
but !rishna an( ;a(ha who resi(e within men an( women, an( it is this !rishna an( this ;a(ha
that are making (alliances as men an( women. These rupa lila an( s,raupa lila of ;a(ha !rishna
ha,e also been e6plaine( as the prakrita lila an( aprakrita lila (i.e., sports in the natural plane an(
the supranatural plane'.
This ,iew of hol(ing men an( women to be nothing but physical manifestations of ;a(ha an(
!rishna seems to ha,e been inherite( by the .aishna,a Saha*iyas from the earlier Tantric
philosophy. 9n the 5in(u Tantras, we ha,e seen, all men an( women ha,e been hel( to be nothing
but the incarnations of Shi,a an( Shakti manifeste( in the physical form, an( in the -u((hist
philosophy they ha,e been spoken of as the embo(iment of 7paya an( Pra*na respecti,ely, an( this
philosophy has most probably influence( the .aishna,a Saha*iyas in their belief of men an( women
being !rishna an( ;a(ha in their s,arupa. Ae ha,e pointe( out before that many of the .aishna,a
Saha*iya te6ts are intro(uce( in the form of the earlier Agamas an( 3igamas, an( in these te6ts
!rishna an( ;a(ha ha,e always been e6plaine( as nothing but the (ifferent forms of Shi,a an(
Shakti, an( we ha,e also pointe( out that Shi,a has sometimes been (escribe( as practising the
Saha*a sa(hana with Shakti as !rishna with ;a(ha.
+,en in a popular .aishna,a te6t like the -rahma1samhita, which was brought by Sri Chaitanya
himself from South 9n(ia, the Tantric influence on .aishna,ism is palpable. 9n the fifth chapter
(which only is a,ailable nowa(ays' of the -rahma1samhita we fin( that the lotus of thousan( (page
#4$' petals in the cerebrum region is (escribe( as ?okula, the abo(e of !rishna. Aithin the lotus
we fin( (escription also of the Tantric yantra (the physiological machinery through which truth is to
be realise(' as also of the kitaka (the we(ge, the support'. Shi,a of the nature of the linga (the
symbol of the male pro(ucti,e energy' is (escribe( as the"or( 3arayan an( Shakti of the nature of
the yoni (the symbol of the female pro(ucti,e energy' is (escribe( as ;ama De,i (the consort of
3arayana'. Again, it has been sai( in the 5ayasirsha1pancaratra, J5ari (the sa,iour' as the
Paramatman is the "or(, Sri is calle( his power (shakti': go((ess Sri is the Prakrti an( !esha,a is
the Purusha: the go((ess can ne,er be without .ishnu an( 5ari (.ishnu' cannot be without the
go((ess, born in the lotus. 9t has also been sai( in the .ishnu purana, JThe mother of the worl( is
eternal an( she remains inseparable with .ishnu: as .ishnu is all1permeating, so also is she.J
9t is ,ery interesting to note in his connection that there is a small poetical work, entitle( Sa(haka1
ran*ana, by !amalakanta (who flourishe( in the first half of the nineteenth century' where the yogic
!ula1kun(alini shakti has been concei,e( e6actly in the image of ;a(ha: she is (escribe( in e6actly
the same way with the same imageries an( e,en in the same (iction as ;a(ha is (escribe( in the
.aishna,a literature. The rise of the shakti to meet Shi,a in the Sahasrara has been sung as the
coming out of ;a(ha to meet her belo,e( in pri,ate. The (page #0K' philosophical concepts of the
pairs Shi,a1Shakti an( !rishna ;a(ha were generally confuse(: an( as a matter of fact, Purusha1
Prakriti, Shi,a1Shakti an( !rishna1;a(ha mean all the same in popular theology. This fact has
helpe( the (e,elopment of the theological belief in the .aishna,a Saha*iya school that men an(
women are but the rupa of the s,arupa as !rishna an( ;a(ha. -ut the important point to be
remembere( in this connection is that while in the Saha*iya sa(hana the !rishnahoo( of man has
been a(mitte( it has ne,er been a(mitte( in the stan(ar( .aishna,a school un(er any
Accor(ing to the .aishna,a Saha*iyas the region of Saha*a is an i(eal transcen(ental region an( it is
generally style( as the Clan( of eternityE (nitya (e>a'11this is the 3itya .rin(a,an or the eternal
.rin(a,an as contraste( with the other two kin(s of .rin(a,an, ,i>., Mana1 .rin(a,an an( 3a,a
.rin(a,an or .ana1.rin(a,an. -y 3a,a .rin(a,an the Saha*iyas refer to the geographical
.rin(a,an' an( by Mana1.rin(a,an the .rin(a,an of the mental plane of the Sa(haka, an( the
3itya .rin(a,an transcen(a both. 9n this 3itya .rin(a,an (also calle( the (page #0#' gupta1
can(ra1pura' resi(es Saha*a of the nature of pure lo,e, which flows between ;a(ha an( !rishna in
an( through their eternal (alliances. This Saha*a as the Supreme Delight is the ultimate substance
un(erlying the whole worl( an( it can ne,er be realise( as such in the gross material worl( of ours.
-ut how shoul( the men an( women of this worl( attain Saha*aG 9t is sai( in reply that there is a
passage or transition from this worl( to the other, or rather this gross worl( can itself be
transforme( into the 3itya .rin(a,an by the process of spiritual culture, an( the principle of
nescience, which is responsible for the grossness of the worl( can thus be remo,e(. This remo,al of
the fun(amental principle of nescience an( of the principle of grossness with it through a process of
continual psychological (iscipline, is the primary re8uisite for Saha*a sa(hana, an( when this is
effecte(, it is re,eale( to the Sa(haka that the (ifference between this worl( an( that is more
imaginary than real. At that moment there remains no (istinction between our physical e6istence
an( our spiritual e6istence. 9t has been sai( in a poem ascribe( to Chan(i Das, J?reat is the
(ifference between this worl( an( that, this is the truth known to all or(inary people: but there is a
way of transition from the one to the other. Don=t speak of it to anyone else.J (page #04'
Ae ha,e seen that Saha*a as the absolute reality of the nature of pure lo,e in,ol,es within it two
factors, i.e., the en*oyer an( the en*oye(, represente( in the 3itya1.rin(a,an by !rishna an( ;a(ha.
These principles of the en*oyer an( the en*oye( are known in the Saha*iya school as the Purusha
an( the Prakriti, manifeste( on earth as the male an( the female. 9t has been sai( in a song (ascribe(
to Chan(i Das' 1JThere are two currents in the lake of lo,e, which can be realise( only by the
rasikas (i.e., people ,erse( in rasa'. Ahen the two currents remain unite( together in one, the rasika
realises the truth of union.J= (page #00'
Through man an( woman flow these two currents of lo,e, man an( woman are, therefore, the gross
manifestations of the same principies of which !rishna an( ;a(ha are the pure spiritual
representations. Man an( woman, in other wor(s, are manifestations on earth of the eternal types
that are en*oying each other in their eternal .rin(a,an, an( the bliss of intense lo,e that 9s en*oye(
by man an( woman through their mutual attachment e,en in the physical bo(y is but a gross
transformation of the eternal purest lo,e that e6ists only in .rin(a,an. Man an( woman as the
representati,es of the two flows of lo,e are known in the Saha*iya literature as ;asa (the ultimate
emotion as the en*oyer' an( ;ati (i.e., the ob*ect of ;asa', or as !ama (the lo,er that attracts
towar(s him the belo,e(' an( Ma(ana (the e6citing cause of lo,e in the lo,er'.
9n stan(ar( .aishna,ism also !rishna is known as !ama or !an(arpa, as he attracts the min(s of
all creatures towar(s him, while ;a(ha is Ma(ana or the ob*ect that ren(ers pleasure to the en*oyer.
Saha*a is the emotion of the pure lo,e flowing between ;asa an( ;ati or !ama an( Ma(ana. or the
realisation of this Saha*a nature, therefore, a particular pair of man an( wornan shoul( first of all
realise their true self as ;asa an( ;ati or !rishna an( ;a(ha,11an( it is only when such a realisation
is perfect that they become entitle( to realise the Saha*a through their intense mutual lo,e. This
realisation of the true nature of man as !rishna an( that of wornan as ;a(ha is technically known as
the principie of Aropa or the attribution of (i,inity to man. Through continual psychological
(iscipline man an( woman (page #0)' must first of all completely forget their lower animal1sel,es
an( attribute !rishnahoo( to man an( ;a(hahoo( to woman. Through this process of attribution
there will gra(ually (awn the realisation of the truc nature of the two as !rishna an( ;a(ha. Ahen
man an( woman can thus realise themsel,es as !rishna an( ;a(ha in their true nature, the lo,e that
e6ists between them transcen(s the category of gross sensuality, it becomes lo,e (i,ine, an( the
realisation of such an emotion of lo,e is realisation of the Saha*a.
(B) Th# Th#or! of Aro%a
The abo,e, in a nut1shell, is the fun(amental basis of the religious cree( of the .aishna,a Saha*iyas
e6presse( in their lyrical poems an( other prose an( poetical works. The principle of Aropa is the
most important in the process of Saha*a sa(hana. Ae ha,e seen that the Saha*iyas ha,c spoken of
two aspects of man, ,i>., the aspect of physical e6istence which is the rupa an( the aspect of
spiritual e6istence (as !rishna or ;a(ha as the case may be' which is the s,arupa (i.e., Ctrue
spiritual selfE'. This s,arupa must be attribute( to an( realise( in the rupa to attain any kin( of
spiritual gain. -ut this Aropa of s,arupa to rupa (oes not mean the negation of the rupa: it is rather
the act of imbuing e,ery atom of the rupa with the s,arupa. The Saha*iyas are (ea(ly against the
principle of (enying the ,alue of life on earth an( un(er,aluing our human lo,e. The gross physical
form with all its charm an( beauty is as real as our spiritual e6istence, for it is the charm of physical
beauty, the ma((ening passion we call human lo,e that lea(s us gra(ually to a new region where we
can fin( a glimpse of (i,ine lo,e. The spiritual e6istence (page #0/' of man in (i,ine lo,e (oes
not mean the negation of human lo,e: it is this human lo,e, beginning in the form of carnal (esires
an( progressing gra(ually through a process of continual physical an( psychological (iscipline
towar(s an emotion of supreme bliss, boun(less an( unfathomable in e6tent an( (epth, that itself
becomes the lo,e (i,ine, the highest spiritual gain. There is no categorical (istinction in kin(
between human lo,e an( (i,ine lo,e: it is human lo,e, transforme( by strict physical an(
psychological (iscipline, that becomes (i,ine. Di,ine lo,e is rather an emergence from the carnal
(esires of man as the full blown lotus, with all its beauty an( gran(eur abo,e the surface of water, is
an emergence from the mu( lying much below.
5ere there is a (ifference of outlook among the Saha*iyas an( the stan(ar( .aishna,as of -engal.
!rishna(as !a,ira* has unambiguously (eclare( in the Caitanya1caritamrita that kama (lo,e in its
grosser aspect' an( prema ((i,ine lo,e' are charateristically (istinct in their nature like iron an(
gol(, an( while the keynote of kama is the fulfilment of selfish (esires, the keynote of prema is self1
elimination an( the fulfilment of the (i,ine (esires in an( through our whole being. -ut the
Saha*iyas, while agreeing to the latter part of the statement, (o not agree to the former part of it. The
same flow of emotion, they hol(, that becomes kama in association with the selfish (esires,
transforme( itself into prema when (issociate( from such (esires through physical an(
psychological (iscipline. Prema is but the purifie( form of kama, an( as such the former has its
origin in the latter. There cannot be prema without kama, an( hence, prema cannot be attaine(
through the absolute negation of kama: it is to be attaine( rather through the transformation of
kama. The prema of the Saha*iyas is not the emotion of the most intense (e,otion of man towar(s
?o(, it is the most intense emotion of lo,e e6isting between !rishna an( ;a(ha resi(ing as the
s,arupa in the rupa of e,ery man
(page #0&' an( woman. 9t is from this point of ,iew that Can(i Das e6claime(, J5arken men, my
brothers, man is the truth abo,e all truths, there is nothing abo,e that.J
9n another song of the Saha*iyas, we fin(, C5umanity is the essence of (i,inity, an( man becomes
?o( in the strength of lo,e: man is the highest in the worl(, for it is only he who re,els in supreme
lo,e. The religion of the .aishna,a Saha*iyis was thus a religion of humanity. The Saha*iyas ha,e
not go(s or ?o( other than man. +,en ;a(ha an( !rishna are ne,er regar(e( as (eities to be
worshipe(, they represent principles to be realise( in humanity. 5umanity itself is thus ,iewe( from
a sublime perspecti,e.
Ahat is then the real significance of the Aropa of the Saha*iyasG 9t is nothing but ,iewing our whole
being in all its physical, biological an( psychological aspects from an ontological point of ,iew.
An( when e,erything is thus ,iewe( from the ontological perspecti,e, human lo,e ac8uires an
ontological significance. This act of ,iewing all the gross realities of bo(y an( min( from the
perspecti,e of the eternal is what is meant by the mi6ing up of the rupa an( the s,arupa. Ahen such
an un(erstan(ing (awns on man there remains to him no (ifference between the (page #0%' rupa
an( the s,arupa. The s,arupa remains in the rupa *ust like the scent of flower permeating e,ery
atom of it. 9t is sai( in a song, CMany speak of s,arupa, but it is
not the gross reality (of our sense perception'. 9t is of the nature of the scent of the lotus. Aho is the
man capable of knowing itG 9f one worships this S,arupa, he will be able to (isco,er the =real man=,
but without the Aropa, one is boun( to go to hell.J
As the s,arupa permeates the rupa, it is to be realise( through the rupa. 9t is sai( in the ;atna1sara
that one can atain the supra1natural lan( of .ra*a only by lo,ing an( worshipping the human form.
Man realises his ultimate nature as the pure emotion of lo,e through his most belo,e( sweetheart.
Man cannot realise his lo,e1nature wihout being in relation to his sweetheart, it is through the touch
of the sweetheart that the lamp is lit within. 9t is sai( in a poem of Chan(i Das that man by himself
can ne,er realise his own grace an( lo,eliness, it is for this reason that there is a continual burning
within: he pon(ers within, but himself (oes not know what his heart wants an( what makes him so
uneasyD The inwar( longing is for the belo,e(, without whom there is the burning sensation in the
heart that makes a man (ea( while li,ing. This (eath in lo,e is the most co,etable (eath, an( he
who knows the real nature of this (eath accor(s to it the most hearty reception, an( he is the only
man who (page #02' really li,es through his (eath in lo,e. Through their terrestrial lo,e, man an(
woman procee( towar(s their (i,ine lo,e. Through the lo,e of bo(y arises in man an( woman pure
lo,e between their inner sel,es as !rishna an( ;a(ha. 9t is for this reason that it has been sai( in a
song that the belo,e( is the pitcher to fetch water in from the lake of lo,e. Again it has been sai(
that as milk (oes not thicken without being boile( o,er the fire, so also the lo,e of man (oes not
become intense enough to be transforme( into (i,ine lo,e without the woman of his heart, who
ser,es as the o,en to boil an( thicken lo,e.
(& ) Th# Strin'#n&! of Sahaa sadhana
As lo,e with Aropa lea(s one to .rin(a,an, lo,e of the ;upa without the Aropa of the s,arupa
lea(s one nowhere but to hell. The Saha*a sa(haka must not be an or(inary man11the samanya
manush who li,es within the pro,ince of (esires an( instincts, or the man of passions (rager
manush'. (page #0$' 5e must rise abo,e the le,el of or(inary animal e6istence an( become the
man CunbornE (ayoni manush' an( thence the saha*a manush or the Jman eternalE (nityer manush'.
9n the same way, Saha*a cannot be attaine( through the samanya rati, or the or(inary woman11it is
to be attaine( through the ,isesa rati, or the e6traor(inary woman who has herself become of the
nature of ;a(ha. 9n the culture of lo,e, the man of the physical bo(y must be realise( by the woman
as the Ceternal man,E i.e., the man as ;asa or !rishna: an( similarly the woman of the physical bo(y
must be realise( by the man as the Ce6traor(inary woman,E i.e., the woman as pure ;ati or ;a(ha.
Ahen the samanya (or(inary' man or woman thus becomes transforme( into the ,isesa
(e6traor(inary', he or she becomes fit for un(ertaking the culture of supreme lo,e.
9n the 7**,ala1nilamani of ;upa ?os,ami we fin( (escription of three kin(s of ;ati, ,i>., samartha,
saman*asa an( sa(harani. Samartha rati is the woman who unites with the belo,e( with no selfish
moti,e of self1satisfaction11the only (esire in her is to gi,e her belo,e( the highest satisfaction by
complete self1surren(er. Among the la(y1lo,es of !rishna, ;a(ha is the only e6ample of samartha
rati. The saman*asa rati, howe,er, wishes to ha,e e8ual share of en*oyment with the lo,er. ;ukmini
an( others are e6ample of this class. The sa(harani rati or the most or(inary rati is the woman who
is inspire( in lo,e1union only with the (esire of (page #)K' self1satisfaction, an( !ub*a represents
a rati of this class. The Saha*iyas accepte( this classification of ratis an( accor(ing to them the
samartha rati is the only rati suite( for the culture of lo,e.
The Saha*iyis lay stringent con(itions regar(ing the practice of lo,e. 9t has fre8uently been sai( that
for the attainment of true lo,e a man must become (ea( first of all11(ea( in the sense that the
animal in him must be era(icate(, gi,ing scope for full play to the (i,ine in him. 9n plainer wor(s,
his bo(y an( min( must be place( abo,e e,en the possibility of susceptibility to the lower animal
instincts an( must be imbue( through an( through with the ra(iant glow of his s,arupa. This
strictness has also been fre8uently emphasise( by the con(ition that a man must (o completely
away with his nature as a man an( transform his nature to that of a woman before he takes the ,ow
of lo,e. 5ere also the emphasis is really on the total transformation of the or(inary attitu(e of man
towar(s a woman.
The stringency of Saha*a1sa(hana an( the great (anger sure to result from the slightest (e,iation
ha,e he repeate(ly sung by the Saha*iya poets in enigmatic statements. The process of sa(hana has
fre8uently been compare( to the process of (i,ing (eep in the ocean without getting wet in the
least11or to the process of making the frog (ance before the serpent, or to wreathe the peaks of
Mount Sumeru with a piece of threa(, or to bin( the elephant with the help of the spi(er@s net.
This stringency in the Saha*a1sa(hana lea(s to the importance of strict physical an( mental
(iscipline without (page #)#' which it is simply (isastrous to enter upon such a course of sa(hana.
9t is for this reason that three stages ha,e been marke( in the course of sa(hana, ,i>., pra,artaka, or
the stage of the beginner: sa(haka, i.e., an a(,ance( stage, an( si((ha or the perfect stage.
Closely associate( with these three stages of sa(hana are the fi,e ashrayas (refuges', ,i>., 3ama
((i,ine name', mantra, bha,a ((i,ine emotion', prema (lo,e' an( rasa (bliss'. 3ama an( Mantra are
associate( with the stage of pra,arta: bha,a with the secon( stage of sa(haka an( prema an( rasa
are associate( with the thir( stage of si((ha.
9t has been repeate(ly en*oine( that the sa(hana in company of a woman can be entere( upon only
in the sa(haka stage, an( real lo,e can be realise( only in the perfect stage an( ne,er before. 9n the
8uestion of perfection, e8ual stress is lai( on the perfection of bo(y as on the perfection of min(, for
the Saha*a can ne,er be realise( without a perfect bo(y. 5erein comes the 8uestion on kaya1sa(hana
or the culture of the bo(y, which is ,ery often stresse( in the Saha*iya te6ts on practical sa(hana.
Ae ha,e seen that this 8uestion of kaya1sa(hana plays an important part in the sa(hana of the
-u((hist Saha*iyas, an( the esoteric yogic practice of the .aishna,a Saha*iyas, being substantially
the same, the 8uestion of kaya1sa(hana is e8ually emphasise( in the .aishna,a school.
Again we ha,e seen that in all schools of esoteric yogic practice, the bo(y has been hel( to be the
abo(e of all truth. The same ,iew is e8ually emphasise( in the .aishna,a Saha*iya school. 9t is sai(
in a song ascribe( to Chan(i Das that truth resi(es in the bo(y. 9t is sai( in the ;atnasara that if one
can realise the truth of the bo(y (bhA3Da' (page #)4' one will be able to realise the truth of the
uni,erse (brahmA3Da'. The realisation of the truth of the bo(y lea(s to the realisation of the truth
of the self, an( the truth of the self is the truth of .rin(a,an. All truth of !rishna an( ;a(ha is to be
known from one@s own bo(y. 9n the Caitta1rupa1pa(ma1mala we fin( that the caitta1rupa is the
Saha*a1rupa an( this caitta1rupa or saha*a1rupa resi(es in the (ifferent lotuses of the bo(y.
The important point to be notice( in this connection is that as the psychological sa(hana of lo,e of
the .aishna,a Saha*iyas gra(ually e,ol,e( from the psycho1physiogical yogic sa(hana of the
Tantrics an( the -u((hist Saha*iyas, the culture of lo,e of the .aishna,a Saha*iyas was always
base( on the psycho1physiological yogic sa(hana. 9t is for this reason that in Saha*iya te6ts an(
songs we fin( hints on the yogic sa(hani associate( with the culture of lo,e. Any attempt at the
culture of lo,e without being con,ersant with the secrets of yogic practices will lea( not only to
failure, but to e6tremely (ireful results. The i(eal lo,e of the .aishna,a Saha*iyas can be realise(
only in a perfectly purifie( bo(y an( min(, whence all the principles of (efilement are absolutely
era(icate(. This state has been sai( te be the state of ,isu((ha1satt,a. -y the purification of bo(y
an( min( there is first the subsi(ance of the elements of tamas (inertia' an( ra*as (energy' an( there
is the pre(ominance of the element of satt,a (intelligence1stuff': but e,en abo,e the state of satt,a is
the state of su((ha1satt,a (or pure intelligence1stuff': an( by further purification su((ha1satt,a is
transforme( into ,isu((ha1satt,a. This state of ,isu((ha satt,a is a transcen(ental state where there
is neither the natural nor the supranatural, an( pure lo,e is possible only in such a state. (page #)0'
or the realisaton of the ultimate nature as pure lo,e, the lo,er an( the belo,e( must be i(entical
physically, mentally an( spiritually: they must be of one bo(y, one min( an( one soul. 9t has been
sai(, JDo away with the i(ea of the two an( be of one bo(y, if you ha,e the (esire for real lo,e:
,ery (ifficult is this sa(hana of lo,e, says D,i*a1Chan(i Das.E CAll the accessories of lo,e11the
separate e6istences of the lo,er an( the belo,e(11must merge in a uni8ue flow of lo,e, then an( then
only will this sa(hana be fulfille(.E
About the nature of this lo,e it has enigmatically been sai(, C"o,e1making sits on lo,e1making.
An( lo,e (bha,a' is o,er that: abo,e that lo,e resi(es a higher lo,e, an( o,er that remains what may
be sai( to be the highest consummation. 9n lo,e resi(es the thrill of *oy, an( o,er that thrill the flow,
an( there is the flow o,er the flow, an( that bliss who shoul( knowGE
CThere is the flower of the fruit, an( the scent is o,er that. An( on that scent are these letters three
(i.e., p9, ri, ti L lo,e: Skt. priti'. Ahat a great ri((le it is to un(erstan(DJ
Again, CThere is the fruit o,er the flower, an( o,er that is the wa,e, an( there is wa,e abo,e wa,e11
who (oes this secret knowGE
9t is e6tremely (ifficult to follow these an( many such other enigmatic (escriptions of lo,e closely
an( literally, an( we (oubt if e,ery one of these statements can be e6plaine( rigorously. Such
para(o6ical statements were ma(e only to emphasise the transcen(ental nature of the Saha*a lo,e. 9t
is sai(, CThere is water on earth, an( abo,e that water rises the wa,e: lo,e remains abo,e that wa,e.
Does anybo(y know anything about itGE
9t is about this transcen(ental lo,e that Chan(i Das e6claime(, (page #))' JThe lo,e of the
washerwoman is like teste( gol(: there is no tinge of se6uality in it.J
Thus the sa(hana of lo,e of the .aishna,a Saha*iyas is a transcen(ence from the finite to the
infinite11from the en*oyment of the e6ternal ob*ect to the realisation of the self which in its ultimate
character is but of the nature of pure lo,e. Ahen real lo,e (awns in the heart of the sa(haka, the
belo,e( becomes to him a mere symbol for infinite lo,e, the whole uni,erse with all its gran(eur
an( mystery contracts into the bo(y of the sweetheart, not only that, she becomes a symbol for the
supreme truth. 9n such a state of lo,e (i( Chan(i Das, the great lo,er, e6claim to his sweetheart
;ami, the washerwoman I CDearest ;ami, F thou washerwoman, 9 knew thy feet to be a cool retreat
an( so 9 took shelter there. Thou art to me the re,ealer of the .e(a D Thou art to me the consort of
the Sa,iour "or( Shi,a D Thou art the iris of my eyes D My worship of lo,e towar(s thee is my
morning, noon1ti(e an( e,ening ser,ices D Thou art the necklace of my neck D The bo(y of the
washerwoman is of the nature of the eternal mai( ;a(ha (kisori1s,arupa': there is no scent of
sensuality in it, the lo,e of the washerwoman is teste( gol(, says -a(u Chan(i Das.E
Chan(i Das says, in a similar songI
Fne confession of my heart 9 make repeate(ly to thee,
(earest ;ami, thou washerwoman,
9 ha,e taken shelter un(er thy feet
only because 9 learnt them to be a cool retreat.
Thy form is of the nature of the eternal mai(, ;a(ha.
3o scent of sensuality is there in thy lo,e.
9f 9 (o not see thee, my min( is upset,
an( it is only pacifie( at the sight of thee.
Thou art, F washerwoman, my consort,
Thou art my mother, my father.
All the religious functions performe( thrice a (ay are but thy worship.
Thou art ?ayatri, the mother of the .e(a, the mother of all speech:
the wife of "or( Shi,a, the necklace aroun( my neck.
Thou art hea,en, earth an( hell an( e,erything in between.
Thou art the iris of my eyes. ... .
9 cannot forget the sweetness of thy beauty,
how am 9 to make thee my own G
Thou art my Tantra, thou art all my Mantras,
thou art all the bliss of my prayer.
My (ays fly on in thinking who else
in these three worl(s may be so much my one.
Through the or(er of go((ess -asuli e6claims Chan(i Das,
JThe feet of the washerwoman are the highest truth.E
(i,' Saha*a realisation of the Self an( the 3ot1Self
Ae ha,e sai( that the final aim of the .aishna,a Saha*iyas through a culture of lo,e is the
realisation of the Saha*a nature, not only of the self, but all of the e6ternal ob*ects, or in other
wor(s, of the worl( as a whole. The realisation of the Saha*a nature of the not1self, they conten(,
follows (page #)/' from the realisation of the Saha*a nature of the self. The Saha*a (of the nature of
supreme lo,e' that un(erlies the self as its ultimate reality, un(erlies also the not1self, an( both the
self an( the not1self are mere transformations of the same Saha*a, the plurality of ob*ects with all
their (ifferences owes its origin only to the illusory nature of our sense1perceptions.
The (uality of self an( e6ternal ob*ects is sai( to be (ue to a mere confusion of the senses, an( it
e6ists only as long as there is no attainment of self1knowle(ge. Tht senses are playing with the
ob*ects: but in reality the ob*ect an( the self are one an( the same in their ultimate. nature. Ahen
knowle(ge of the self (awns on man, any (ifferentiation like this an( that becomes impossible, an(
at that time there is not the least cognition of (uality an( the whole uni,erse is realise( as of the
nature of the self. Thus it is conten(e( that the realisation of the Saha*a1nature of the self as pure
lo,e automatically lea(s one also to the realisation of the ultimate nature of the e6ternal worl(.
9n the Tantras we fin( that the worl( procee(e( from the bliss which is the cessation of all (uality
an( which is the nature of the ultimate reality. 9t has been sai( in the 7panisha(s, C-liss (anan(a' is
to be known as -rahman, an( from bliss procee(s all the ob*ects, an( through bliss they li,e an( in
bliss (o they return an( merge.E
Ae fin( an echo of the same truth in the utterances of the Saha*iyas, who say that all the beings are
born in Saha*a, they li,e in Saha*a an( again return to Saha*a. The Saha*a is the ;asa, the supreme
emotion of lo,e, the 8uintessence in e,ery bo(y. (page #)&'
9t is the primor(ial emotion: it is kama an( from kama procee(s e,erything. There is sometimes the
ten(ency of e6plaining the two aspects of Saha*a (i.e., ;asa an( ;ati' un(er the imagery of the see(
an( the o,um an( the cosmos as following from their union, *ust as it is e6plaine( in the te6ts of the
Tantric an( the -u((hist Saha*iya schools. -oth the self an( the not1self being thus the pro(uct of
Saha*a are homogeneous in their ultimate nature an( it is, therefore, that the realisation of the nature
of the self through the culture of lo,e lea(s also to the realisation of the ultimate nature of the not1