TEXTS 183-184
bhakta-bhede rati-bheda panca parakara
santa-rati, dasya-rati, sakhya-rati ara
vatsalya-rati, madhura-rati,--ei panca vibheda
rati-bhede krsna-bhakti-rase panca bheda
bhakta-bhede—according to varieties of devotees; rati-bheda—the different attachments; panca parakara—five categories; santi-rati—neutral appreciation; dasya-rati—attachment in a service attitude; sakhya-rati—attachment by friendly appreciation; ara—also; vatsalya-rati—attachment by paternal affection; madhura-rati—attachment by conjugal love; ei—these; panca—five; vibheda—divisions; rati-bhede—by attachment on different platforms; krsna-bhakti-rase—in mellows derived from devotional service to Krsna; panca—five; bheda—varieties.
"According to the devotee, attachment falls within the five categories of santa-rati, dasya-rati, sakhya-rati, vatsalya-rati and madhura-rati. These five categories arise from the devotees' different attachments to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The transcendental mellows derived from devotional service are also of five varieties.
Santa-rati is described in the Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu (2.5.16, 17, 18) as follows:
manase nirvikalpatvam
sama ity abhidhiyate
"When one is completely free from all doubts and material attachments, he attains the neutral position called santa."
vihaya visayonmukhyam
nijananda-sthitir yatah
atmanah kathyate so 'tra
svabhavah sama ity asau
prayah sama-pradhananam
paramatmataya krsne
jata santa-ratir mata
The santa-rati realization of Krsna is in the neutral stage between the conception of impersonalism and personalism. This means that one is not very strongly attached to the personal feature of the Lord. An appreciation of the greatness of the Lord is called santa-rati. This is attachment not to the personal feature but to the impersonal feature. Generally, one in this stage is attached to the Paramatma feature of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
isvarah sarva-bhutanam
hrd-dese 'rjuna tisthati
bhramayan sarva-bhutani
yantrarudhani mayaya
"The Supreme Lord is situated in everyone's heart, O Arjuna, and is directing the wanderings of all living entities, who are seated as on a machine, made of the material energy." (Bg. 18.61)
On the strength of this statement from Bhagavad-gita, we can understand that in the santa-rasa, a devotee sees the Lord's representation everywhere. Dasya-rati is explained in the Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu (2.5.27) thus:
svasmad bhavanti ye nyunas
te 'nugrahya harer matah
aradhyatvatmika tesam
ratih pritir itirita
tatrasaktikrd anyatra
priti-samharini hy asau
When the Supreme Lord in His localized aspect is appreciated and a great devotee understands his subordinate position, not only does he surrender to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, but, due to his subordinate position, he wishes to render some service and thus become favored by the Supreme Personality of Godhead. A devotee in the santa-rati is not very much willing to render service to the Lord, but a devotee in the dasya-rati voluntarily wants to render service. Due to this attitude, the devotee in the dasya-rati realizes the Supreme Personality of Godhead more fully than a devotee in the santa-rati. He considers the Lord to be a worshipable object, and this means that his attachment for the Lord increases. On the dasya-rati platform a devotee is attached to rendering service to the Lord, and he is detached from material activities. The santa-rati is neither material nor spiritual, but the dasya-rati is actually on the spiritual platform. There is no attachment for material things on the spiritual platform. A devotee in dasya-rati has no attachment for anything but Krsna's service.
Sakhya-rati is described in the Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu (2.5.30) as follows:
ye syus tulya mukundasya
te sakhayah satam matah
samyad visrambha-rupaisam
ratih sakhyam ihocyate
According to the opinion of advanced devotees and learned scholars, a devotee in sakhya-rati feels equal to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. This is a relationship in friendship. Due to having a friendly relationship with the Lord, not only is one free from material attachment, but one believes in equal dealings with the Supreme Personality of Godhead. This is called sakhya-rati. The sakhya-rati devotee is so advanced that he treats the Lord on an equal level and even exchanges joking words. Although one is never equal to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the sakhya-rati devotee feels equal to the Lord, and he does not feel guilty because of this. Actually it is offensive to consider oneself equal to the Lord. The Mayavadis consider themselves equal to the Lord, but such feelings entail bereavement because they are material. The sakhya-rati, however, is a feeling experienced in the mind by a pure devotee, and he is eternally related with the Supreme Personality of Godhead in that feeling.
Vatsalya-rati is described as follows in the Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu (2.5.33):
guravo ye harer asya
te pujya iti visrutah
anugrahamayi tesam
ratir vatsalyam ucyate
idam lalana-bhavyasis
When a living entity is situated on the platform of vatsalya-rati, he thinks of the Supreme Personality of Godhead in His childhood feature. In this feature, the Lord has to be protected by the devotee, and at this time the devotee takes the position of being worshiped by the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The feelings of paternal love are called vatsalya-rati. When the devotee is situated on this platform, he wants to maintain the Lord like a son, and he desires all good fortune for the Lord. He offers blessings to the Lord by touching His feet and head.
Madhura-rati, or attachment in conjugal love, is described as follows:
mitho harer mrgaksyas ca
priyatakhyodita ratih
asyam kataksa-bhruksepa-
The conjugal relationship is experienced between the Supreme Personality of Godhead and the young damsels of Vrajabhumi, and due to their conjugal love they continuously exist in eight kinds of remembrances called madhura-rati. This intimate relationship brought about by conjugal love produces movements of the eyebrows, glancing, sweet words and exchanges of joking words.

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