By: Mahanidhi Swami
One aspect of raganuga-sadhana is learn about the identities, relationships, feelings and moods of love of Radha and Krishna’s friends and family members. Why you may ask? Attaining the spiritual perfection of Krishna prema means to enter Goloka Vrindavana, and to lovingly serve Radha-Krishna alongside all of Their friends and family members. Therefore, here as part of our sadhana we must prepare ourselves to know where we are going, and with whom we will live and serve with upon getting there.
To facilitate this “spiritual family familiarization sadhana”, our compassionate Gaudiya Vaisnava acharyas Srila Rupa Goswamipada and Srila Raghunatha dasa Goswamipada wrote two essential books for our study:
Radha-Krishna Ganoddesha Dipika and Vraja Vilasa Stava. Also Sri Kavi Karnapura wrote Gaura Ganoddesha Dipika to help us learn the dual identities of Krishna’s eternal associates in both Vraja-lila and Gaura-lila.
To celebrate Radhastami, we are listing the key personalities in Srimati Radharani’s transcendental family of loving servitors. Wherever known, we’ll include their Gaura-lila names in brackets.
But first however, we should warn everyone with a few words of caution. If you are at all attached to your relativities in the form of friends and family members, then definitely
DO NOT READ THIS description of the pure and loving, beautiful people in Radha’s realm of eternal transcendental bliss!
Paternal grandfather: Mahibhanu
Paternal grandmother: Sukhada
Father: Vrishabhanu (Pundarika Vidyanidhi)
Maternal grandfather: Indu
Maternal grandmother: Mukhara
Mother: Kirtida (Ratnavati)
Elder brother: Sridama (Abhirama Gopala)
Younger sister: Ananga-manjari (Jahnava-devi)
Paternal uncles: Bhanu, Ratna-bhanu, Subhanu.
So-called husband: Abhimanyu
Mother-in-law: Jatila (Ramachandra Puri)
Radha’s Ashta Sakhis:
Lalita (Svarupa Damodara Goswami)
Vishakha (Ramananda Raya)
Chitra (Govindananda Thakura)
Indulekha (Vasu Ramananda)
Champakalata (Shivananda Sena)
Tungavidya (Vakreshvara Pandita)
Ranga-devi (Govinda Ghosh)
Sudevi (Vasudeva Ghosh)
And: Vrinda-devi (Mukunda Dasa)
Dhanishta (Raghava Pandita)
Nandimukhi (Saranga Thakura)
Sri Rupa-manjari: (Srila Rupa Goswamipada)
Rati-manjari: Srila Raghunatha dasa Goswamipada)
Lavanga-manjari (Srila Sanatana Goswamipada)
Raga-manjari (Srila Raghunatha Bhatta Goswami)
Guna-manjari: (Sri Gopala Bhatta Goswami)
Manjulali-manjari: (Sri Lokanatha Goswami)
Vilasa-manjari (Sri Jiva Goswamipada)
Kasturi-manjari (Srila Krishnadasa Kaviraja)
Radha’s Favorite Pets:
Chakori bird: Charu-chandrika
Cows: Bahula, Sunada, Yamuna
Talking Parrots: Shubha, Sukshmadhi
Sri Radha’s premika nitya-parisads ki jai!
Jai Jai Sri Radhe!