Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

The word paddhati means a few verses or even a small book of mantras, prayers, pujas and instructions meant to guide a sadhaka in successful bhajana. Dhyana Chandra Goswami, a grand-disciple of Mahaprabhu parishad, Pandita Sri Vakreshvara Ji, wrote the famous Paddhati Traya to help sadhakas attain the eternal seva of Srimati Radharani in manjari bhava.

Sri Rupa Gosvami’s Stava Mala contains a small paddhati of only seven verses praising Sri Radha. It concludes with very wonderful prayers of humble surrender petitioning Priyaji for Her eternal service.

Reciting, imbibing, feeling and realizing the deeper import of the following prayers from that paddhati will enrich the devotional hearts of all sadhakas.

“[O Sri Radharani!] I am full of offenses, have wicked intelligence and I am unqualified in all respects. But still I beg You, Sri Radha: ‘You are Karunamayi, so please give me the matchless gift of a little seva at Your lotus feet.’”

krtagaske py ayoge pi, jane smin kumatav api
dasya dana pradanasya, lavam apy upapadaya

“O most merciful Radharani! Your butter-like, tender heart is always melting with the warmth of Your compassion. So please don’t neglect this most pitiable person.”

yuktas tvaya jano naiva, duhkhito yam upekshitum
krpa dyota drava citta, navanitasi yat sada
(Sri Prarthana-paddhati 6, 7)

Sri Rupa Gosvamipada ki jai! Begging Radha for krpa ki jai! Jaya Jaya Sri Radhe!

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

In Prema Bhakti Candrika, Narottama dasa Thakura presents five essential practices of raga-bhakti and manjari-bhava sadhana to attain erotic love (Vraja srnghara-prema) in the mood of the Vraja damsels (gopi-bhava). His program incorporates four of the nine limbs of bhakti-sadhana, namely;

1) Sravanam,

2) Kirtanam;

3) Smaranam; and

4) Vandanam.

5) ** He adds a special fifth practice he calls Darshana. This concise sadhana package describes five limbs of bhakti which include a total of nine individual daily practices. If one regularly pursues these nine practices he will quickly obtain the treasure of Radha-Krishna’s eternal prema seva in Sri Dhama Vrndavana in this life.

Now let’s examine Narottama dasa Thakura’s manjari-bhava sadhana program.

I. HEARING (sravanam)

  1. Be attached to hearing the acharya’s descriptions of Radha-Krishna’s loving pastimes (rati prema maya parabandhe v 60).
  2. Constantly hear devotees chanting Radha-Krishna’s names and qualities (dunhu nama shuni shuni, bhakta-mukhe punee punee v 76).

II. CHANTING (kirtanam)

3. Chant the rasa-filled names of Radha-Krishna (krishna nama radha nama, upasana rasa-dhama v 60).
4. Always sing about the rasa-filled lilas of Yugala Kishora (lila-rasa-sadaa gaana, jugala-kishora v 100) in a loving way                 (prema bhaave lila katha v 106); which means full of eagerness and yearning.


  1. Seva smaranam—Fix your mind only the seva of Radha-Krishna (radha krishna sevana ekaanta koriyaa mana v 76; both externally in sadhaka-rupa, and mentally serving in your siddha-svarupa, ashta-kaliya-lila smaranam.
  2. Kirtana smarana— Singing Radha-Krishna’s Holy Names is the topmost meditation (radha-krishna nama gaana parama dhyaana v 73).
  3. Lila smarana—Remember the sweet daily vraja-lilas of Radha Govinda, the essence of all practices and goals (yugala vilasa smarana sadhya sadhana saara v 61).

IV. PRAYERS (vandanam)

8. Always pray that you can hear, read or speak Radha-Krishna prema-katha with a pure heart free from personal motives            (praarthanaa kariba sadaa, shuddha-bhaave prema-katha v 75)

V. SEEING (darshanam)

9. Rupa-darshana— Always cry with intense desire to see the splendid golden body of Rai (Radharani) and the enchanting           raincloud blue form of Ghanashyama (hema-gaura-tanu rai, ankhee darashana chai, rodana karaye abhilaashe,                         jaladhara dhaara dhaara, anga atee manohara v 77).

Jai Jai Sri Radhe!

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

After becoming established in one’s siddha svarupa by the mercy of Sri Guru and Sri Krishna, a sadhaka will contemplate his/her personal form, qualities and seva while mentally remembering and serving within Radha-Madhava’s asta-kaliya-lila.

The young girls (12-13 yrs) who personally and very intimately serve Srimati Radharani are called Radha’s dasis, kinkaris, manjaris or simply maidservants. The following description is generic and refers to “You” or anyone among the unlimited handmaidens of Srimati Radhika.

The following passages, taken from Prabodhananda Sarasvatipada’s Vrindavana Mahimamrita, which describe a manjari’s form, feelings, movements and services are very helpful in deepening and culturing the persona of a maidservant of Srimati Radharani.

By reading these, one will see how dynamic, beautiful and exciting it will be when one attains prema, and enters Radha-Krishna pastimes to lovingly serve Them eternally in one’s siddha svarupa as Radhika’s kinkari.

To attain success in manjari meditation, one must completely forget once and for all one’s external body and all false material attachments. By the mercy of Sri Hari and Sri Guru, I have received a spiritual form, siddha svarupa/deha so that I may affectionately and intimately serve Sri Sri Radha-Govinda Yugala in the eternally blissful realm of Sri Vraja Dhama.

Thus to permanently fix my eternal and REAL spiritual identity, I will deeply concentrate, meditate upon and internally visualize my true self as follows. Hear/read the passages very attentively while thinking: “This is the REAL ME—the ETERNAL ME—the EVER BLISSFUL ME!” Try to think of your eternal, individual, transcendental, sac-cid-ananda siddha svarupa as being like this…

“I am a lovely kinkari maidservant of Ishvari Radha, and I have a glistening, pleasing golden complexion and I abound in honey sweetness. I am a fresh maiden adorned with jeweled necklaces and a multicolored blouse.

My arms are beautifully shaped like lotus stems and glorified with bracelets and jeweled armlets. Like a dangling vine, my hair shiny black braid hangs down to My captivating buttocks, and its swinging movements enhance My beauty.

As Radhika’s kinkari (manjari), I have an enchantingly thin waist. A divine silk garment with artistic folds hangs down to My ankles. A fine cloth embroidered with flowers and leaves covers My hair and the sides of My face.

A sweet shy smile plays upon My reddish lips. My glances are light and playful, and My movements are extremely attractive. The amorous affairs of Radha-Madhava Yugala always excite My pure tender heart.

Among my unlimited good qualities, humility and sweet behavior are foremost. Having been personally taught by Radharani, I am now expert in all arts.

I appear especially attractive due to wearing the Playful Pair’s prasadi malas, clothes and ornaments. I regularly relish Radha and Krishna’s astonishingly tasty prasadi pan and betel nut. Being an expert manjari, I immediately know what Radha wants just by a hint or a glance. Radha and Krishna are always very affectionate to me.

I carry whatever is needed for seva i.e. scents, water, garlands, kunkum, pan, cosmetics etc. for Radhe-Shyama’s nightly meetings. As a Radhika kinkari, I constantly taste the sweet madhura rasa arising from Sri Radha’s beautiful form, qualities and pastimes. I remain forever thrilled by remembering Radhika’s intimate affairs with Shyama.

Because I have intense loving affection for Radharani, I am always submerged in an ocean of happiness. In all times, whether I am awake, dreaming or deeply asleep, I desire nothing but Radha’s seva. I know absolutely nothing but Sri Radha sweet lotus feet.

As rivers rush to the sea, I immediately run toward anything even remotely connected with Radha. And I practically die if even a moment passes without Radha. As a shadow follows an object, I am always beside Sri Radha throughout the day and night. My deep attachment to Radha immerses me in the boundless ocean of ecstatic love for Radha.

Sometimes when Kunjeshvari enjoys with Priyatama in a keli-kunja, Radha pulls me onto the flower bed and under the sheets with Her. Ah ha! Just see the intimacy that Srimati showers upon me, Her most fortunate maidservant!

Tasting the bliss of serving Kishori Jeu, I thrill and tremble in ecstasy. My brilliant bodily luster and loveliness enchant everyone as I run from place to place in My anxiety to nicely serve Priya Sundari.

My soothing bodily effulgence beautifies and enriches all ten directions. When I sometimes hear Priya-Priyatama’s secret love talks, I experience inconceivable joy, the utmost happiness and FULL satisfaction. The soothing, nectar-sweet words flowing from the lovely lotus mouth of Srimati Radhika continually dance in waves of joy in My heart. (Vrindavana Mahimamrta 8.17-42)

Sri Radha’s manjari ki jai! Jaya Jaya Sri Radhe! Manjari Bhava Upasana ki jai! Manjari Sadhana ki jai! Sri Guru ki jai!

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

1) Early Morning Pastimes (03:36-06:00)

In the forest of Vrndavana, Vrnda-devi engages peacocks, parrots, cuckoos, and doves to sing, and finally the old monkey “Kakkhati” to speak to awaken Radha and Krsna. The Divine Couple leave Their flower cottage and hastily and secretly return to Their homes in Javat and Nandagrama.

2) Morning Pastimes (06:00-08:24)

Radharani in Javat and Krsna in Nandagrama are awakened by Their superiors who are completely unaware of the preceding night’s events. Krsna greets His cowherd friends and goes to the cowshed to milk the cows. Meanwhile, Radha, splendidly bathed and dressed, proceeds with Her gopi friends to Nandagrama to cook Krsna’s breakfast. After milking the cows and joking with His friend, Krsna bathes, dresses and enjoys breakfast while surrounded by Sri Baladeva and His boyfriends, Madhumangala, Subala and Sridama.

3) Forenoon Pastimes (08:24-10:48)

Sri Govinda and His boyfriends take the cows out to eat the soft, sweet grass at the bottom of Govardhana Hill. The boys frolic in the forests, bathe happily in Manasi Ganga and enjoy eating tasty snacks of fruits and sweets. Missing Sri Radha, Krsna tricks the boys and slips away to nearby Kusuma Sarovara. Here, Krsna meets with Subala, Madhumangala, Dhanistha-sakhi, Vrnda-devi and Tulasi to arrange for His impending rendezvous with His beloved Radhika.

4) Midday Pastimes (10:48-15:36)

Radha and Krsna meet and enjoy unlimited nectarean pastimes in Radha-kunda, and in the surrounding forest grove’s belonging to Radha’s dearest friends. Radha and Krsna dispute over flower picking, They ride on a lotus swing, stroll through the six seasonal forests, engage in color squirting wars, water splashing contests, flute stealing, decorating one another with flowers, drinking honey nectars and eating forests fruits, playing board games, resting on flower petal beds, hearing parrots sing Their glories and Surya-puja.

5) Afternoon Pastimes (15:36-18:00)

Sri Radha returns home to Javat, bathes, dresses gorgeously, and begins cooking delicious sweets to send for Krsna’s evening repast. Playing His flute, Sri Krsna calls the cows by name and leads them home to Nandagrama. Yasoda and Rohini organize the kitchen to produce many sumptuous offerings for Krsna’s pleasure.

6) Dusk Pastimes (18:00-20:24)

Krsna and Balarama bathe, dress and relish the sweet snacks sent by Srimati Sundari (Radha). Krsna then milks the cows, or alternately goes to the Yamuna to sport with Radha. After Nanda Maha¬raja’s sandhya-arati Krsna and all His boyfriends eat supper in a joking, festive mood. Yasoda sends Krsna’s remnants to Radha who eagerly honors them.

7) Evening Pastimes (20:24-22:48)

In Nanda Maharaja’s palace auditorium, Krsna is entertained with dramas, dancing, recitations, instrumental music, Vedic mantra chanting, and a magic show.

Afterwards, Mother Yasoda feeds warm milk to Krsna and sends Him to bed. Meanwhile in Javat, Radharani is dressed in beautiful clothes with colors coordinated to the moon’s phases—wearing white garments during the light moon and blue cloth during the dark moon. Accompanied by Her intimate gopi friends, Sri Radha travels to the assigned kunja (forest grove) on the bank of the Yamuna for Her rendezvous with Syamasundara. Krsna feigns sleep, assigns a couple of boyfriends to guard, locks His door from inside, and secretly slips away to meet Radha.

8) Midnight Pastimes (22:48-03:36)

Singing responsive songs, Srimati Radhika, Sri Krsna and the gopis wander throughout the Vrndavana forest along the Yamuna River. The amazing rasa dance begins with thousands of gopis beside thousands of Krsnas, all whirling and spinning gracefully in indescribably wonderful circular patterns.

Vrnda-devi distributes musical instruments, and hundreds of gopis begin playing complex rhythms on vinas, mrdangas, flutes, finger cymbals, stringed and wind instruments. All the musical instruments blend sweetly together. The tempo gets faster and faster. The tunes become more and more complex. And the dancing becomes more and more frantic, as the gopis sing thousands of varieties of songs. Krsna admires the melodious compositions of all the talented gopis.

Srimati Radharani brings the topmost happiness to Sri Krsna by enacting a special dance that no one else could possibly imitate. After the exhilarating rasa dance Radha, Krsna and the gopis refresh Themselves with inebriating fruit and honey nectar drinks. Then They relax upon luxurious natural beds made from flower petals and lotus stems.

To further mitigate Their transcendental fatigue and to enjoy more pastimes, Radha, Krsna and the gopis dip in the Yamuna for a sportive water fight. Vrnda-devi provides fresh cloth and decorations for Sri Radha and Sri Krsna. She then brings the Divine Couple to Their resting temple, where The enjoy some fresh forest fruits before retiring for pleasure pastimes.

(An excerpt from Appreciating Sri Vrndavana Dhama by Mahanidhi Swami)

Mahanidhi Swami

A raganuga sadhaka pursuing the madhurya bhakti of the Vraja ragatmika gopis of Sri Krishna will concentrate on the sevas and feelings of a few manjari dasis of Sri Radhika.

The goal of a manjari bhava sadhaka is the seva and pleasure of Srimati Radharani. The sadhaka will read and meditate upon all the sevas performed by different manjari’s i.e. Sri Rupa Manjari and Rati/Tulasi.

The manjari bhava sadhaka will think, “I am assisting and serving side by side with Radhika’s nitya-siddha manjaris, and my individual guru sakhi and parama guru sakhi in various ways for Srimati’s satisfaction as described in Vilapa Kusumanjali, Govinda-lilamrta, Sankalpa Kalpadrum etc. One should also think that sometimes I am alone with Radha to personally perform all these sevas for Radha’s pleasure throughout the day and night.

When reading about the sevas, sentiments, and interactions of Sri Rupa-manjari, Tulasi-manjari and others, I try to visualize and relish their exchanges with Radhika, with Krishna, and with each another. I try my best to identify with their feelings of oneness with Srimati Radharani.

As Srimati Radhika’s kinkari or loving maidservant, I have tad bhava icchatmika bhava or devotion. This means that I only desire to identify with, nourish and experience the sentiments and feelings (madhurya-bhava) within the heart of Sri Radhika, who is the sole Mistress of my life.

“O Srimati, my life is sharing Your sentiments, not enjoying Your Shyama.”

I am totally made of seva. I exist only to please and satisfy Radha in every possible way throughout the day. Radha’s joy is my joy and Radha’s distress is my distress.

“O Swamini Sri Radha! I’m also trying my best to become bhava tadatmya, which means that I am exactly one in feeling with You—one heart, one mind and one life: YOURS. O Sriji! You never have to tell me what You need or what to do. I know it already because You are in my heart and I’m in Yours—ETERNALLY!”

Whatever Radha needs or feels immediately produces a thought within the manjari to offer that exact seva at that moment. Because of her oneness in heart with Radharani, the Radha bhava tadatmya manjari directly experiences the bliss and ecstasy that Rasa-vilasini Radha relishes with Rasabihari Shyama.

But at all times, the focus of the manjari is Radha’s pleasure, and not relishing the paramount euphoria of sharing the quality but never the quantity of Radhika’s mahabhava. Removing Radha’s anxieties and rendering expert, pleasing sevas to Radha is the only activity of a manjari. It’s her life and soul. This angle of vision coupled with a humble seva bhava automatically fills the manjari with supreme bliss. For the sadhaka and the siddha—Seva Is bliss!”

“O Radha, please feel my heart crying in the loneliness of Your separation! I am Yours! For even a second, I cannot live without Your most trusted, intimate seva. O Priyaji, please just once look my way and take this fallen wretch to Your sweet lotus feet.”

Sri Radha’s nitya Vraja kunja seva ki jai! Jai Jai Sri Radhe! Sri Vraja Dhama ki jai!

Mahanidhi Swami

When portraying Sri Krishna’s divine Rasa Lila in his Ananda Vrndavana Campu (chapter 20), Srila Karnapura Kavi says, “Because it is impossible to describe the fantastic dancing of the individual gopis, the dancing of one favorite gopi of Radha’s group [Her asta-sakhis] will now be described, from which everything can be understood.”

Karnapura Kavi then highlights the most amazing Rasa Lila solo dance performance of one confidential sakhi of Srimati Radhika. Because the esteemed author does not name that gopi, that special sakhi could be Lalita, Visakha, Citra or perhaps Rangadevi. Every reader and commentator on the Rasa Lila will see Krishna’s divine love dance according to his/her own angle of vision [drsti-kon], heart’s devotion and spiritual realization.

Being in the Gaudiya Vaisnava spiritual lineage of Sri Advaita Prabhu, we choose to see and will now present that this “special gopi” is none other than Sri Visakha sakhi, our personal sakhi leader, yutesvari. Thus we present Sri Karnapura Kavi’s most beautiful portrayal of the amazing solo dance of Srimati Visakha-sakhi.


“As the voices and instrumental music blend in a pleasant way, Visakha-sakhi, the embodied essence of the art of dancing, stands up amidst the singers to appear like the corolla center of a flower surrounded by golden petals. When the beat drops off, Visakha-sakhi appears like a devata making a sudden appearance amidst the clanging of musical instruments.

Visakha-sakhi’s waist is very thin waist and her breasts are heavy and swollen. While bending her delicate left and right hands to display the ardhendu (half-moon) and padmakosa (lotus bud) mudras, Visakha-sakhi glances slowly from right to left. Perspiring profusely, her body seems to be as soft as molten wax as Visakha-sakhi moves gracefully executing the most intricate dance steps.

According to the proper method, Visakha-sakhi extends and contracts her arms while touching her waist, forehead, neck and knees, and forming mudras such as hamsasya. Dancing in this way, Visakha-sakhi’s waist becomes even thinner and her breasts more firm. Her braid licks her heels and the three lines on her belly disappear.

When the beat stops, Visakha-sakhi waves her hands in the air and suddenly bends her back in such a way as to conquer the beauty of the campaka flower bow of Cupid. Fixing her knees firmly on the ground and stretching her arms out to the sides, Visakha-sakhi twirls around with lightning speed. Her ornaments jingle, her necklace and earrings swing, and swarms of bees circle around, being attracted by the fragrance of her mouth.

Visakha-sakhi appears like a golden wheel spun rapidly by a mad potter. The combination of the pale luster of her gold necklace, the redness of Visakha-sakhi’s lips, and the blackness of the bees make an extraordinary picture.

While contracting her belly, dropping her sash, and expanding her breasts, Visakha-sakhi digs her toes into the earth, straightens her legs and raises herself on her feet. Clenching her fists and pressing her thumb against her breasts, Visakha-sakhi recites the bol “tat-ta, ta-thai, tiki-da, tiki-thai in unison with the beat while ringing her bangles and ankle-bells.

When the song finishes, Visakha-sakhi suddenly disappears from the center of the circle and positions herself on the circumference of the rasa mandala. While the voices, vinas, flutes, karatalas, and mrdangas resound, Visakha-sakhi stands behind the singers, resting rests her arms on the shoulders of a friend.

While chewing betel nut, Visakha-sakhi extends her legs so that a manjari can untie the strings of her heavy, dancing ankle-bells. To relieve Visakha-sakhi’s fatigue her manjaris fan her with their shawls. Her breasts heaving, Visakha-sakhi takes a few deep breaths and falls asleep with her head on the tender lap of a blessed manjari.

After resting for some time, Visakha-sakhi hears the singers expertly recite the alapa to introduce a new song. Then Visakha-sakhi reenters the rasa mandala like Cupid personified. Illustrating the song with intricate mudras, Visakha-sakhi dances so enthusiastically that Siva becomes inspired to dance His perform His tandava dance.

Visakha-sakhi’s thumb is supremely beautiful, her forefinger excels the pride of Cupid, her middle finger defeats the grace of the universe, her ring finger defeats the pride of Cupid’s wife, and her little finger establishes the meaning of colorful expression.

Visakha-sakhi is most beautiful with her sparkling white teeth, raised firm breasts, and nicely shaped buttocks. While expertly dancing, Visakha-sakhi waves her graceful hands, and excites her golden bracelets to jingle attractively. Visakha-sakhi raises her knees and arms in turn to the beat of “tat-ta, ta-thai, tiki-da, tiki-thai.”

Golden-bodied Visakha-sakhi appears like continually rising golden light as she twists and turns higher and higher. Visakha-sakhi appears like a stream of golden pollen stirred up by a storm amongst a group of lotuses composed of singers and musicians.

As Visakha-sakhi sways in the sky like a glowing vine, she displays many complicated movements. Indeed, her unique dancing is not due to dance lessons.

As the essence of gracefulness, Visakha-sakhi’s feet never touch the ground. If a group of lightning bolts from a cloudless sky remains stationary for a long time swaying in the breeze and roaring with the beat “tat-ta, ta-thai” it might compare with Visakha-sakhi’s dancing. As the beat subsides and Visakha’s footsteps lighten, she sways her body back and forth, revealing the perfection of beauty in her upper limbs.

Visakha’s sakhis fear that her thin waist, unable to bear the bending, will break like a tender lotus stem. Jingling her golden ankle-bells to start, Visakha-sakhi then dances with great skill. Moving her feet to the different beats (laghu, guru, pluta, druta, drutata, and ardha drutapada), she rings ankle-bells. Sometimes Visakha-sakhi jingles only a few, and most amazingly, sometimes not even one bell resounds!

Being very satisfied with Visakha-sakhi’s extraordinary dance performance, Radha and Krishna cheer, “Very good! Very good!” and warmly embrace her. Visakha-sakhi’s most astonishing and uniquely spectacular solo dance performance completely astounds all the assembled Apasaras the leading Devatas of music and dance!

Radha-Krishna’s divine Rasa Lila ki jai! Srimati Visakha-sakhi ki jai! Jai Jai Sri Radhe!