Radharani’s Manjaris: Tattva & Lilas 001

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

This series of posts will present facts (tattva) regarding the identity, moods (gopi-bhava), intimacy and sevas of Srimati Radharani’s beautiful and talented handmaidens known as manjaris, kinkaris, or dasis.

Also we will present many astonishing and wonderful lilas to highlight the manjaris most personal and confidential sevas to Srimati Radhika and Her dearest Priyatama Shyamasundara.

The information here is based on the commentaries of Advaitavamsa Acharya 108 Sri Ananda Gopala Goswami and 108 Sri Ananta Dasa Babaji Maharaja taken from “Vilapa Kusumanjali” and “Radha Rasa Sudhanidhi” translated by Sri Advaita Dasji.

Manjari Tattva: Forms of Seva

Just as Radhika is the personification of the topmost maha bhava, Radha’s maidservants are the personifications of seva rasa (the divine mellow of service). Their very forms are made of seva rasa. No one understands Radha-Krishna’s desires as well as Radha’s manjaris. The maidservants are like the Cintamani-stones that fulfil the desires of both Radha and Krishna.

Sometimes Krishna pitifully prays to the manjaris for Radharani’s mercy. In the same way, when Radhika desires to meet Krishna, She also takes shelter of the kinkaris, who are one with Radha’s heart. Within Their minds Radha Shyamsundara praise the wonderful seva expertise the manjaris.

All the activities of Radhika’s maidservants are meant for the pleasure of Radha-Madhava. Indeed, they lose themselves in the ecstasy of serving Yugala Kishora and are thus blessed with the sweet savour of Their love. The experience of the sweetness and beauty of serving Shyama Ju as Her kinkari is incomparable.

The manjaris can understand what Swamini needs during Her pastimes with Krishna and they know what pastimes will be played. So they go ahead of Lila Yugala and decorate the kunja accordingly before Radha and Krishna get there.

They make a bed with one pillow for only one person to lie on. They know by experience what pastime will be performed! Kishori Rai’s sakhis know that the kinkaris have entrance into the intimate pastimes, so they engage them accordingly.

Manjari Lila: Kick Krishna Out of the Kunja

One day Swamini is angry with Shyam, so Krishna comes to Her kunja dressed as a girl trying to please Her. But Swamini gives a hint to Tulasi manjari to kick Krishna out of the kunja, saying, “I will not look at this cheater anymore! I will keep the wealth of My honour! Subala’s friend has entered My kunja disguised as a girl! Stop Him!”

Tulasi then tells Krishna: “O rogue! There are no demons here that You can delude in Your enchanting dress like Mohini! We are Radha’s kinkaris, we understand all Your tricks! Realize Your own deceitfulness and get out of this kunja!”

Manjari Tattva: Eagerness for Swamini’s Seva

When one becomes absorbed in one’s spiritual identification (siddha deha) one can give up the false identification with the material body. When the devotee experiences the taste, smell, form, sound and touch of sweet Radha, one starts yearning greatly to attain the Radharani and always prays: “Your surrendered devotees experience the pinnacle of bliss. But I am so unfortunate that I don’t feel anything!

“O Vrndavana! Where is that Divine Couple, tell me! In which kunja must I search? I’m calling, but They don’t respond! How can I be satisfied?”

In this way, the practicing devotee will slowly attain the stage of divine madness. If Swamini appears sometimes like a lightning flash, only then there will be consolation!

Sri Raghunatha Dasa Goswami was always very eager to attain Radha and Krishna, and always lamenting without a moments peace. The service of Sri Radha is only understood with the proper feelings, which one will attain by the mercy of the great devotees like Sri Rupa Goswamipada and Sri Raghunatha Dasa Goswami.

Dasa Goswamis prays: ‘Ha Swamini! You are playing in the forest around Radha-kunda, which is Your favorite place in Vraja! There’s no more beautiful place for You and Your Priyatama to play than this one! But I’m so unfortunate that I cannot see You, although I’m living in this forest around Your kunda!’

Radharani’s Manjaris ki jai! Jai Jai Sri Radhe!

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