Saturday, April 24, 2010

Viraha Ras

There are two aspects of Shringar Ras. One is milan, and the other is viraha.

Milan is communion, uniting, togetherness.

Viraha is loneliness, rejection, yearning. Separation from the beloved.

I sometimes feel that most of the human condition is Viraha . We are all separated from God. The seekers entire journey is from Viraha to milan, then back to viraha.

Examples: St. Francis of Assisi once went through an all time low and declared that the Lord has abandoned him.

Nearer home, the Gopikas ran after his chariot when Krishna left Vrindavan for Mathura to kill his uncle, Kamsa. Radha died of jaundice when Krshna left Vrindavan I haven't heard this bit, but I can imagine Radha's last moments, with Krishna's name on her lips, his form throbbing in her heart.

Nearer still, Buddha's wife, when she was abandoned for the sake of enlightenment, wept to her girlfreind, 'Sakhi woh mujse kehke jate.' ( He could have told me when he left.)

I just learnt a trick to make Viraha bearable, or perhaps, even beautiful.

Only she can experience Viraha who has known Milan. So Viraha is nothing but an extension of Milan.

Further, Viraha is a ras, loosely translated as juice, or essence, or something to be savored. So loneliness, rejection, yearning, all are to be savored. Deep inside unfullfillment is hidden the fragrance of intense fulfillment.

Skimming the surface wont squeeze the juice out, however. Let there be tears, let there be pain, keep checking your cell, don't switch off the comp. You don't have to call, you don't have to yell. Anger does not help either. Continue to be in love and more shades will be revealed to you. The Beloved cannot stay away from that which is ardent.

Here is a song to take you there.

Some times when we cannot tolerate Viraha we go into Vibhatsa and get dropped off from Shringar. Vibhatsa is the worst state of mind, and the least of the rasas. Vibhatsa means disgust, neglect, bad intent, bad words, low self esteem, depression, etc.

Natya Shastra has categorically mentioned that Vibhatsa is to be used less, avoided. Dip in, dip out. Vibhatsa is like a black hole, it can make you wallow in it if you are not aware.

So Viraha is more graceful place to reside in. When the heart breaks, there is another way out than anger and resentment. It needs compassion, forgiveness, and acceptance. And Viraha will always, always end in Milan.

St. Francis got re-adopted by his Lord. The Gopikas all went into Nirvikalpa Samadhi (where love can exist without a form attached). Radha died and became immortal. It is she who stands next to Krishna, not Rukmini. In fact, Radha-Krishna playing the same flute together is an epitome of Shringar ras.

Buddhas wife, met him again and became his disciple. Ah, to have Buddha himself as the master.
All the Viraha she experianced must have been her sadhana. All the yearning, the rejection, the loss.

Sakhi woh mujse kehke jate...

Sakhi woh mujse kuch kehte....

kuch to kehte....

3 comments:

Banno said...

This was beautiful. I understood something today. So often, we plunge straight into Vibhatsa, when rejected, abandoned, lonely. Instead of Viraha.

Manjushree Abhinav / Atmapreeta said...

Thanks for the comment Banno. I know its a nice post only when you comment.
You are my filter. ;)

JOY said...

viraha,milan,
one more dimension vibhatsa.
viraha and milan can be spiritual reactions.
and vibhatsa is the intolerable cry.

and the beauty of human evolution is that , only in human life it is possible to grow subtle, subtler.