Virah rasa

Different forms of virah


Virah = emotion of separation, being alone, painful feeling of missing someone you love intensely

There are many different types of virah bhavas.  This article will explore some of them from Pushti / bhakti marg's angle.

Virah in sakhya bhav – missing the opportunity to play !  Play and fun has its own ananda whilst you are engaged in the plan and very special anticipatory ananda when you are not playing !  Infact, during the time when you are not together and have no opportunity to play, you dream up new games you will play and anticipate the joy on the face of your friend when you reveal your plan.  That joy is even more intense than the joy of playing the game ! 
For this though, you have to be child-like and enjoy each and every moment for what it is.  There is no past, no future, no plans, no “big picture” – just the sheer joy of being in the present – here and now.  Than even the temporary moment of virah becomes an anada.


Virah in madhurya bhava - Love is reflected in many bhavas and hence virah that goes with each bhava is also different.

Priya – as in the sakhyabhav, virah is madhur – sweet.  You are anticipating the milan-ananda and hence even virah loses its sting.  Each moment of virah bring the hour of milan closer to you.  How can that virah be bitter ?  Each moment that goes is gone and is drawing my beloved closer to me.  The appoint hour is nigh.  As Shakespear says,
     Good night, good night. Parting is such sweet sorrow,
     That I shall say good night till it be morrow.

(2.2.197-8), Juliet   

Swamini Virah to a swamini is an anathema.  Why would my beloved want to go away from me ? even for a moment ?  No – if he has gone, it must be for a reason.  I will be patient and wait quietly.  When he returns, he is bound to explain to me why he had to stay away from me for so long.  Oh, each moment is an eon, but I will endure it in anticipation of his return and his sweet attempts at making up for the time we were separated.  I am sure he misses me as much as I miss him.  I am sure of it !  Swamini, like priya has faith in her lover.  Unlike priya, swamini is assured of her position in his life as the official wife and has no fear of ever losing him.  So, even virah of separation is just part of daily routine that every couple must endure.     

Manini – how dare he go away from me ! ME !  Wait till he is back – I will tell him what a cad he is and how he has made me suffer !!  He wont dare do it again !!! 
Who has he gone with ? 
Where has he gone ? 
Why did he not let me know ? 
Where could he be ? 
Oh he is such a distraction !! 
Why am I giving him so much importance !! 
I should feign upset when he back and make him beg for my forgiveness !!
Oh for love of life – where is he ? 
Even God fears the wrath of such a manini and limits the virah to a few moments, least he has to endure her tongue lashing !  Virah for a manini is an intense longing to be together again so that she can assert her love with her beloved.

Parajana nayika (jar bhav) – stolen moment of love are treasured by the lovers with great care.  Hidden from others, their love grows in the closet of their own heart.  In this bhav, virah moments are many and milan moments are few and far between.  Ah but that is inevitable when you are a parajananayika !  For such a niyika, virah is an integral part of life and is an accepted lot of the unacknowledged mistress.  Best to deal with virah as a regular bitter companion enjoy the furtive moment of togetherness while you can.

Tyakta – Oh to live for that moment of togetherness we shared so long ago !  A tyakta has been rejects, abandoned, lost her love for good.  She lives in virah !!!!  The intense pain of separation and loneliness are her lot in life.  She knows there is nothing else in her life.  Only a faint, distant, almost non-existent hope, hope beyond hope, that maybe, just maybe, one day the errant lover will see the folly of his ways and will come running back to me !
Till then, let me relive each moment of our togetherness during this terrible period of virah.  The bitterness of virah is made sweet only by the memories of our togetherness.  Reliving those moment, every single millisecond of those moments, is all that makes tyakta’s life bearable and liveable.  If those memories fade, she will die for sure.  Such intense are her feelings, that she re-lives those “together” moments as if they were alive – here and now.  In her virah, she lives through memories of milan.


Vattsalya – parents miss their child when he / she is not front of them and are intensely worried about his / her welfare.  They worry if their beloved child has eaten or not, has put on enough clothes, is too hot or too cold or is tired from recklessly playing out in the sun when they should be resting.  Oh children are so careless !  What will they do with their parents ?  Virah moment for the parent is awful because they care so intensely for their child.  But the parent is aware that the child has to grow up and separation is a necessary part of growing up, so they endure the virah of separation with stoic patience.


Dasa – servant is there to serve.  Master’s every wish is their opportunity to please.  To be close to the master and server in HIS presence is precious.  However, if the master commands, it is the servant’s great good fortune to serve.  If that command means to serve from afar, so be it.  Master’s wish is not be questioned.  Dasa accepts virah as his master’s wish and patiently awaits a time when the master will command him / her back into HIS presence.


Viraha in reverse - when Thakorji misses his beloved bhakta !

Rasa lila is definitely full of virah rasa from the gopijan when they find He has disappeared from their midst.  BUT, God also misses playing with them and hence comes back to them.
Its like playing hide and seek.  The seeker is obviously distressed at not having found the object or person they seek.  As time increases, that distress piles up further.  
BUT, the person who is hiding is also desperate to be found - even if he wants to remain hidden for as long as is possible, the game can only end once the two sides meet again.  You have to reveal yourself to conclude the game.

God loves to play hide and seek with is favourite devotees.
If God decides to give you viraha-rasa, you are truly lucky because God has chosen to play a most intimate lila with you.  
Don't dwell on it, just go with the flow and you will find that the game never stopped.
Enjoy the lila and you will see that virah has its own anada.  


Bhagwat Shah © 


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