Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das
Sri Vilapa Kusumanjali by Sri Raghunatha Dasa Goswamipada is the best bhajana guidebook for raganuga sadhakas pursing manjari bhava. However, this is not really a book.
Rather here in a tangible and approachable form one discovers an ocean of loving outpourings for humble seva from the anguished heart of Srimati Radhika’s manjari maidservant crying in separation:
“Ha Radhe! Ha Radhe! Where are You now? I beg to see You and serve Your lotus feet in every possible way. Ha Radhe! Where are You?”
Each and every verse of Vilapa Kusumanjali is like a fragrant flower (kusuma) sprinkled with the pollen of lamentation (vilapa), and offered with the hands (anjali) of a heart hankering for Srimati’s eternal service.
Sadhakas aware of their siddha-svarupas or spiritual forms should regularly read these verses while deeply meditating on the pastimes described therein; the services being offered; and the moods and feelings being exchanged between Priya Sundari and Her loving maidservant.
With a purified mind and a sensitive, service-oriented heart, a sadhaka can identify with Sri Dasa Goswami in his manjari form as Tulasi-manjari and the sweet confidential sevas she’s doing for Radharani’s pleasure.
With the mercy of Sri Guru, Sri Harinama, and sweet foot dust of Sri Raghunatha Dasa Goswamipada, one will gradually see these seva lilas in the mind, and render the same sevas too in one’s individual siddha-svarupa.
To facilitate the sadhana of manjari bhava upasakas, Sri Vilapa Kusumanjali is herein presented. Manjari bhava upasana ki jai! Guru krpa hi kevalam ki jai! Jaya Jaya Sri Radhe!
Sri Vilapa Kusumanjali
Sri Raghunatha Dasa Goswami
1 My dear friend Rūpa Mañjari! In the town of Vraja, you are well known for your chastity. You don’t even look at the faces of other men! It is surprising therefore that your lips, that are as beautiful as red Bimba-fruits, have been bitten although your husband is not at home. Perhaps this has been done by the best of parrots?
2 O Sthalakamalini (land-lotus)! It is fitting that you are laughing very proudly through your flower bunches, since the black bee Krishna has left all the fragrant flowers in the forest to search only for you!
O Rati Mañjari! You are the most fortunate cowherd girl in the abode of the king of Vraja! When your mistress Śrī Rādhikā forgets Her beloved sash of bells due to absorption in Her love play, She asks You to fetch it from the cave where She left it!
4 I take shelter of my teacher Yadunandana Ācārya, who is so powerful because he is so dear to Yadunandana Śrī Krishna, and who personally showered me with the nectar of his matchless mercy.
5 I worship Sri Chaitanyachandra, who with the ropes of His mercy suddenly pulled me out of the deep, inescapable, waterless well of household life, which is full of limitless suffering, and gave me shelter at the tips of His feet, that defeat the beauty of lotus flowers, and entrusted me into the care of Śrī Svarūpa Dāmodara.
6 I take shelter of my lord Sanātana Gosvāmī, who was an ocean of compassion and who always felt sorry for the suffering of others. Although I was blinded by ignorance and unwilling to, he diligently made me drink the nectar of devotion laced with renunciation.
7 O Svāmini Radhe! The heart of this maidservant constantly burns in a great fire of separation from You. Being thus afflicted and crying with great love, I lament in the following verses!
8 O Devi Radhe! I’m helpless and afflicted in the middle of an ocean of sorrow! Please take me to the wonderful abode of Your lotus feet in the powerful boat of Your mercy!
9 O Devi! This person has died from the bites of the black snake of separation from You. Please revive me with the medicinal lac that anoints Your lotus feet!
10 O Devi, I am a maidservant of Your lotus-like feet, but my vine-like body burn is burning in the forest fire of separation from You. Please revive me at once with Your nectarean glances!
11 O Sumukhi! When will I, even in a dream, be justified in calling my head the highest limb (uttamāṅga) of my body by beautifying it with the glistening fragrant pollen of Your lotus feet?
12 O Kalyāṇi! When will the jingling of Your anklebells, that resembles an ocean of nectarean rasa, cure my deafness?
13 O Devi! When You go out to meet Krishna in the moonlit night Your eyes fearfully move in all directions, like bumblebees turning the whole forest into blue lotus petal-interiors. Is this person not to be seen by these eyes?
14 O Vrindavaneshvari! Ever since some mañjarī named Rūpa filled my eyes with light in Vrajabhūmi, I have strongly desired to see the red lac on Your lotus feet!
15 O blooming lotus-eyed girl (Rādhe)! When my eyes directly saw Your pond, Rādhākuṇḍa, which is filled with sweet water and lotus flowers surrounded by blissfully humming bees, then I really got the desire to taste the nectar of Your service!
16 O Devi! I shall never pray to You for anything else but the excellent service of Your lotus feet! I offer my constant obeisances to the idea of becoming Your friend, but I really relish the idea of becoming Your maidservant!
17 O You whose golden hue possesses the pride of the color of a turmeric-bulb scratched by a fingernail! When will You, having, out of great satisfaction, marked my arms with Your emblems of good fortune that are anointed with Your very lovely footlac, bestow the service of Your lotus feet on me?
18 O Devi! When may I daily make Your latrine, which is very dear to me, fragrant with nice incense after I joyfully rinse Your drain with sweetly scented water and lovingly sweep it with my loosened hair?
19 O Bhāvini Radhe! When can I diligently bring camphorated clay and a jug of scented water into Your room, wash Your lotus like feet in a basin and dry them with my hair?
20 After washing Your lotus feet and brushing Your teeth with a twig, when may this maidservant seat You in the bathroom and massage You after anointing You with very fragrant oils?
21 O You whose lotus like face defeats the beauty of the moon! When may I expertly bathe You with jugs of pure water scented with camphor and flowers, brought in advance by a sakhi who is beautified by her love for You?
22 O Śaśimukhi! After Your bath, may I gently and carefully wipe the water from Your tender limbs with fine towels as the borders of Your fish-like eyes joyfully move in all directions. After covering Your hips with a red silken petticoat, my body will erupt with thrill bumps of joy. Then may I cover Your entire body from Your head down with an incomparably beautiful blue sari?
23 O Radhe, beloved of the Prince of Vraja! When will this person, after washing Your lotus feet, lovingly braid Your hair with the beautiful fine garlands made by the florist girl Narmada?
24 O Devi, may I then joyfully make a full moon-like tilaka on Your forehead, anoint Your body with fine glistening vermilion and make pictures on Your breasts with perfumes?
25 O Devi! When will I beautify Your tresses by making a stripe of sindūra on Your hair part with a jeweled pencil?
26 O Devi! With a steady hand when can I make red fragrant spots all around Your tilaka that is the best enchanting herb for Krishna?
27 O Varoru! Your excellent earrings are like ropes that the flower archer Cupid has placed to bind the elephant king-like heart of the Prince of Vraja! When can I happily hang these ornaments on Your ears?
28 O Sundari! I did not desire that Śyāma would not see Your breasts when I placed this kañculī (bodice) on them. Actually, O Swamini, I wanted Shyama Himself to become Your blouse by suddenly coming and firmly embracing Your jewellike breasts that are more dear than His very life.
29 O Hemagauri! When You tire of lovemaking You lie down on the pillow of Mukunda’s chest, which is as soft as cotton. When can this maidservant decorate Your nice chest with a charming necklace of gems and big pearls?
30 O Indīvarakṣi! Will I ever get the chance to ornament You with blue bangles inset with jewels? When will I adorn Your hands, that are expert in all arts and very dear to Śrī Hari, with beautiful glistening rings?
31 O Sunetre! When will I worship Your lotus feet by carefully putting jeweled ankle bells on them, and worship the petals of those lotuses with Your dearest toe rings? When will I worship Your waist, Krishna’s matchless loveseat, with a golden sash of jingling bells
32 When can I humbly and joyfully decorate Your arms, that are like very lovely lotus stems that expertly destroy the patience in the swan-like intelligence of Murajayi Krishna, with gem studded armlets or render any other service to You?
33 O Subhage! When will that day come when I worship Your neck, which attained all good fortune from the touch of Gokulachandra during the Rasa Utsava, with a Graiveya-ornament?
34 O Sumukhi! After Krishna killed the proud Śaṅkhacūḍa-demon, He gave the Syamantaka jewel removed from that demon to His brother Balarāma (the enemy of Pralambāsura). With a happy heart Balarāma gave it to Madhumaṅgala who in turn gave it to You. When can I hang this Syamantaka jewel, the friend of Krishna’s Kaustubha-gem, in a locket around Your neck?
35 O Kṛśodari! Your waist is so thin that I’m very much afraid it will break when I bind it with a golden string with tassels at both ends!
36 O Hemagauri (golden girl)! When will I fasten a round nose pearl attached to a golden string on Your nose that defeats the beauty of a sesame flower? The great bee Madhumathana Krishna will be very agitated by the honey suddenly appearing there.
37 O Svarṇagauri! When on Your order will I tie the nava-ratna armlet on Your left arm with a string beautified by a silken tassel?
38 O Cañcalākṣi! Although Muraśatru Krishna agitates all the gopīs, I make Krishna spin like a disc with the chakra-shaped hairpins that I place above Your ears!
39 O Mṛga Śāvākṣi! When can I beautify Your chin that is the abode of Mukunda’s bliss with a drop of musk?
40 O Devi! When will I decorate Your teeth with reddish lines, making them look just like pearls with lines of ruby on them?
41 O Gāṅgeya Gātri! When will I color Your excellent Bimba fruit reddish, nectarlike lips with lipstick of catechu mixed with fresh camphor? Will the Krishna parrot suddenly come then and forcibly bite them?
42 With just a blink from the corners of Your eyes You immediately tightly tie down the king of elephants Krishna. When will I worship Your two eyes that defeat the fickleness of the wagtail bird with eyeliner?
43 Just to soothe Your proud love sulk, the Prince of Vraja holds Your feet on His head to enhance its beauty with the mark of Your footlac! When will I make Your feet most splendid with this nectarean footlac?
44 O Devi, when Muradvisha Krishna touches Your lowered shoulders in the Rāsa dance, He looks like a full moon (Kalānidhi) shining with an abundance of lust. O Kalāvati (artistic girl)! When will this maidservant joyfully place a garland of sweet jasmine flowers, surrounded by wandering humming bees, on Your shoulders?
45 O Mugdhāṅgi! O Sumukhi! When will this maidservant sit next to You, who are surrounded by Your sakhis, and lovingly hand You the paraphernalia to offer formal oblations to the Sungod sitting on an altar made of sunstones?
46 O Varoru! After You very carefully cook a variety of sweets for Madhumathana on the order of the Queen Yaśodā, You hand them to Your girlfriends like me [to bring them to Krishna].
47 O Bhavye! Seeing me bringing Your sweets and knowing me to be Yours, when will the Queen of Vraja hold her forehead on my forehead in loving joy as if she is my mother and inquire about Your wellbeing?
48 O Devi! When will I most affectionately bring and present to You the remnants of Krishna’s lotus like mouth given to me by Dhanishtha.
49 O Kuṅkumāṅgi! When will I carefully serve You the many remnants left by Krishna, that are like an elixir of the quintessence of nectar, mixed with other eatables and drinks, as You sit down, surrounded by Lalitā and other girlfriends?
50 O Taralākṣi! When will the time come when I can offer You sweet drinking water scented with fresh roses and camphor for flushing Your mouth, along with a twig for brushing Your teeth?
51 O Devi! While You are eating, when can I lovingly and attentively fan You, light lots of nicely fragrant incense, or serve You in other appropriate ways at that time?
52 O Madhura Gātri! When will my hair stand erect in ecstasy when I place a betel-leaf packed with camphor, catechu, cloves and guvak into Your lotus like mouth?
53 O Devi! While Lalitā joyfully offers arati to You, and the other sakhīs worship You with auspicious songs and fresh flowers, when can this maidservant, to whom You are dearer than billions of lives, worship You with her hair?
54 O Devi! While You are absorbed in an intimate joking discussion with Your girlfriends, headed by Lalitā, I will make a beautiful play bed for You with my own hands. When will You decorate that bed by dreaming on it?
55 O Manojña Hṛdaye! O Sadaye! When will that beautiful, blessed day come when this maidservant of Yours will massage Your feet as Śrī Rūpa Mañjarī takes care of Your hands?
56 O Sumukhi! When will I, like a vine of devotion, on the strength of great arising fortune, obtain the remnants of food that You spat out along with Your gargling water and the water that has washed Your lotus like feet? With love I shall enjoy it in so many ways along with Your other loving friends!
57 O Devi! When will You, while You are eating, affectionately give me, whose heart is dedicated to You, the nectarean remnants from Your lotus like mouth?
58 O Svāmini! Can I ever obtain Your darshana as You walk to Nandishvara to cook for Mādhava Sri Krishna, with Your gait faltering and Your hair standing on end out of joy?
59 Rūpa Mañjarī will lead You on the path, Lalitā and Viśākhā will be at Your sides, Your friends will be all around You, and I will walk behind You holding Your gracefully slender waist.
60 When You arrive in Nandīśvara, the great abode of Vrajaraja Nanda, which is filled with the bellowing of cows, the shouts of the cowherders and the different songs of the artists and panegyrists, and which shines with love, being dearer to Krishna, the Prince of Vraja, than even Govardhana.
61 Surrounded by Your loving friends, You will arrive in Nandishvara. When will I then see Dhanishtha, after seeing You coming from afar, quickly and lovingly bring You inside the palace right in front of me?
62 O Kuśale! You are an expert cook! After I wash Your lotus like feet, You enter into the kitchen and offer obeisances to the queen of Vraja and other superiors. When will You drown me in an ocean of bliss by doing this?
63 O Devi, when can I see Your lowered blushing face affectionately looking at Mādhava while You collect all His food and drinks and place them in Rohiṇī’s hands?
64 O Madhure! When will You gladden me when I see Mādhava glancing at Your joyful and eager lotus face with lowered eyes as He sits in the dining room with His superiors?
65 When will Krishna, the Prince of Vraja, glance at You with His smiling face as He goes out to wander in the forest with the Surabhī cows in whose care He was initiated, being cuddled by His worried mother?
66 O Hrīmati Sumukhi! When will my heart feel great joy when I see the Queen of Vraja, who is more affectionate than billions of mothers, taking eager oaths to make You sit down to eat with Your friends?
67 O Khañjanākṣi! When will I feel a great festival of joy in my heart when I see You being cuddled by the Queen of Vraja, who embraces You, kisses Your head and lovingly stares at You as if You are Her newly married daughter-in-law?
68 O my dear friend Rūpa Mañjari! When can I walk behind you when you lovingly take wide-eyed goddess Rādhikā, who is moved by waves of desire, to the play grove that is decorated by Śrī Hari, as She holds Her vine-like arm with yours?
69 My dear friend Rūpa Mañjari! When will I be able to see you with my mistress decorating Her dearest One with flower-ornaments in the grove-cottage on the bank of Radha-kunda?
70 O Subhage! Can I joyfully decorate You with fine garments, floral earrings, necklaces and so after hearing from the parrot Vicakṣaṇa that the prince of Vraja has gone out for His excellent noontime meeting with You?
71 O Śaśimukhi! O Devi! When will I make a bed of jasmine-flowers for You in the cottage in Madanānandada-kuñja (Visakha’s grove which gives joy to Cupid) which has beautiful gates and erotic vermilion pictures hanging in it, hung with garlands made of various flowers surrounded by humming bees?
72 O Kanaka Gauri (golden girl)! Can I carefully and happily massage Your lotus feet while Śrī Rūpa Mañjarī massages the lotus feet of Krishna, the Prince of Vraja, on whose arm You have placed Your head?
73 Madhusūdana is the crest jewel of clever pranksters! One day He obstructs Your path on the pretext of collecting tax from You as You are walking near Govardhana Hill! Will I then see Your proud eyes crowned with frowned eyebrows?
74 O Madhura-mukhi! When the wind carries Your excellent bodily fragrance to Candrāvalī’s handmade play bed where Mukunda enjoys with her, Krishna finds a clever excuse to meet You on the shore of Radha-kunda, like a bumblebee leaving an inferior flower. When will I proudly witness this?
75 O Śaśimukhi! When will we witness Your ever-fresh water sports with Pranapati Shyama and Your friends all together in Your own sweet lake, which is filled with many lotus flowers and surrounded by singing birds and humming bees?
76 O Varoru! When will the ocean of my bliss expand when I see You being decorated with flowers by joyful Arishtajayi Krishna in a grove with many blooming flowers and bees on the beautiful bank of Your lake?
77 Will the joy of my eyes increase when I see one maiden swiftly and happily bringing various blooming flowers, big guñjā-beads and peacock feathers? While Hari places these things in Svamini’s hair braid, He shivers and Radha’s whole body blooms up with tiny bumps of bliss!
78 O Sumukhi! When will I secretly smile when I see You proudly and excitedly beating Mādhava with Your play lotus during Your love sports?
79 O Subhaga Mukhi! When will You give me great joy by singing sweet love songs with the Prince of Vraja as You embrace Him with Your very graceful arms, and Shyama holds His strong arm on Your low shoulders?
80 O Devi, when You defeat Hari in a dice game You snatch away His flute. When will You throw it to me, so that I can hide it somewhere?
81 O Sumukhi)! When will I have thrill bumps of ecstasy all over my body as I fan You in a temple that gives bliss to Cupid, where You enjoy ever-so-sweet talks with Your lover, Your cheeks blossoming with a smile as You lie on a play bed made of Mālatī flowers?
82 O Rādhe with a face like a fully blooming lotus flower! When You go out to meet Krishna at night Your swiftly moving feet become afflicted with fatigue. O Devi! When will You, although You are shyness personified, call me by name to massage Your lotus feet? Then I know that You have accepted me as Your own!
83 ‘O Rādhe! O Granddaughter! The time has come for Your worship of the sungod! Where are You?’ Will these angry words of Mukharā sound like nectar to me and make me happy?
84 O Devi! Can I serve Your nectarean words with My ears and Your camphor-scented smile with My eyes?
85 O Suvrate! Will you increase my bliss by falsely and angrily quarreling with Your Prananatha, being supported by Your girlfriends, who are expert in helping You in Your loving tricks while You play the flower picking game?
86 O Sadaye! When will this maiden, whom Mādhava knows to be very dear to You and piteously petitioned in so many unbearable ways, anxiously fall at Lalitā’s feet to plead for Him that You give up Your maan?
87 O Dhīre! When will I see Your great ceremonial bathing as You are crowned the queen of Vṛndāvana by Paurṇamāsī’s personal arrangement? While You are being bathed with many jugs of pure fragrant water, there will be a grand festival of love with dancing, singing of auspicious songs and playing of vīṇās and other instruments!
88 O Mañju-vadane! On the full moon day of Śrāvana (August) named Rakṣa Pūrṇimā, Your brother Śrīdāma comes to Yāvata with ten thousand cows to satisfy the greedy Jaṭilā before affectionately taking You along to Varṣānā, where Your parents lovingly cuddle You in front of me as You melt with weeping from happiness and sorrow.
89 O Sadaye! When will You shyly take me far away from Your girlfriends to a cave of Govardhana Hill to teach me beautiful songs in different tunes?
90 O Devi, when will I shyly lower my head in the assembly as You are requested by Lalitā-devī to lovingly read some beautiful romantic poetry to me?
91 O Devi! When will You teach me how to play the Kacchapī vina in a grove that is filled with humming bees, on the shore of Your lake?
92 O Devi! When will You, being shy before Your girlfriends, order me through a hint to restring Your dear necklace which broke during Your pastimes with Krishna?
93 O Devi! When will You affectionately give me the remnants of Your chewed betel from Your mouth into mine, looking all around (to see if anybody’s looking)?
94 O Śaśimukhi! During intense love-pastimes with Your Prananatha You become bewildered and forget Your dear sweet sash of bells in the kunja. When will You give me a wink to go quickly back and fetch it?
95 O Devi! Although You are generally very grave, You once severely rebuked me and sent me away for committing just the tiniest mistake. When will You cast a slight glance on this pitiful person after Lalitā brings her back to You?
96 I am Yours, I am Yours! I cannot live without You! O Devi! Knowing this, please take me to Your lotus feet!
97 O Lolākṣi! Sri Radha-kunda is always the dwelling place of You and Your Beloved. Here only at Radha-kunda I will live and here alone I will stay!
98 O beautiful Radha-kunda! My Ishvari Radha always plays erotic games in you with Her beloved Krishna. If you are dearer to Them than the dearest, then please show me my Ishvari, who is my very life!
99 O fair-faced Viśākhe! My Queen will not leave your company for even a moment! Because You are of the same age as Radha, you are the realm of Her joking pastimes. Please save my life from the affliction of separation and show me my Ishvari!
100 O Natha, O Gokula-sudhakara! O You who are melting with compassion! O You whose lotus like face smiles sweetly and satisfied! Wherever You go to enjoy loving pastimes with Your beloved, please take me there, so that I can affectionately serve You there!
101 O Ishe Radhe! The goddess of fortune cannot attain even a drop of the beauty of the tips of Your lotus like toenails! If You do not bestow the gift of Your darshana, then what is the use of this life that just burns in a forest fire of sorrow?
102 O Varoru! Thus I somehow spent my time at Radha-kunda aspiring after oceans of nectar. But Radha, if You are not merciful to me, then what is the use of my life—my living in Vraja—and even Krishna to me?
103 O Kṛpāmayi Radha! If You are not kind upon this suffering girl then what was the use of all these lamentations and all my service to Your kunda for such a long time?
104 O Praṇaya-śālini Radha! Thus I am loudly crying, desiring to attain Your mature loving service! Holding Your lotus feet to my heart, which is burning out of intense agony, I’m offering these lamentations to them as a bouquet of flowers. May they be the cause of even the slightest satisfaction to You.
(adapted from translation of Sri Advaita Dasji)