Śānta-rati is described in the Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu (2.5.16-18) as follows:
- mānase nirvikalpatvaṁ
- śama ity abhidhīyate
“When one is completely free from all doubts and material attachments, he attains the neutral position, called śānta.”vihāya viṣayonmukhyaṁ nijānanda-sthitir yataḥātmanaḥ kathyate so ’tra svabhāvaḥ śama ity asauprāyaḥ śama-pradhānānāṁ mamatā-gandha-varjitāparamātmatayā kṛṣṇe jātā śāntī ratir matāThe śānta-rati realization of Kṛṣṇa 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 śānta-rati. This is attachment not to the personal feature but to the impersonal feature. Generally, one in this stage is attached to the Paramātmā feature of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
īśvaraḥ sarva-bhūtānāṁ hṛd-deśe ’rjuna tiṣṭhatibhrāmayan sarva-bhūtāni yantrārūḍhāni māyayā“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 the Bhagavad-gītā, we can understand that in śānta-rasa a devotee sees the Lord’s representation everywhere.
Dāsya-rati is explained in the Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu (2.5.27) thus:
- svasmād bhavanti ye nyūnās te ’nugrāhyā harer matāḥ
- ārādhyatvātmikā teṣāṁ ratiḥ prītir itīritā
- tatrāsakti-kṛd anyatra prīti-saṁhāriṇī 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 śānta-rati is not very much willing to render service to the Lord, but a devotee in dāsya-rati voluntarily wants to render service. Due to this attitude, the devotee in dāsya-rati realizes the Supreme Personality of Godhead more fully than a devotee in śānta-rati. He considers the Lord to be a worshipable object, and this means that his attachment for the Lord increases. Thus dāsya-rati is characterized as bhaktiḥ pareśānubhavo viraktir anyatra ca. (SB 11.2.42) In other words, on the dāsya-rati platform a devotee is attached to rendering service to the Lord, and he is detached from material activities. Śānta-rati is neither material nor spiritual, but dāsya-rati is actually on the spiritual platform. There is no attachment for material things on the spiritual platform (viraktir anyatra ca). A devotee in dāsya-rati has no attachment for anything but Kṛṣṇa’s service.