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: 16 Sevas of Manjaris
In Ujjvala-nilamani (8.98-99), Sri Rupa Goswamipada describes sixteen wonderful sevas that sakhis and manjaris offer to Sri Sri Radha Govinda Yugala:
1. advising; (shiksha)
2. attachment- create attachment between Radha and Krishna; (asakti-karita)
3. cheating husbands and others; (pati-adi-parivancana)
4. consoling; (ashvasana)
5. dressing Radha-Madhava; (nepathyam)
6. feelings- revealing the heart of one lover to the other; (hrday-udghata-patavam)
7. faults- hiding faults of Radha; (chidram=samvrtir)
8. glorifying the love and qualities of Krishna to Radha and Radha to Krishna; (mitha-prema-guna-kirti)
9. joking; (narma)
10. meetings- arranging meetings of Lila Yugala; (abhisara dvayor)
11. messages- delivering between Radha-Krishna; (sandesh-presanam)
12. offering Radha to Krishna; (sakhi-Krishna-samarpanam)
13. protecting Radha; (nayika-prana-samraksha)
14. scolding Radha and Krishna; (upalambha)
15. serving Radha Govinda Yugala by fanning etc.; (seva-vyajana-adi)
16. uniting Radha and Krishna at the right time (kale-sangamanam)
Manjari Tattva: Don’t Want Krishna Alone
The kinkaris don’t want Krishna alone. Their love for Srimati is so pure that even in their dreams they don’t desire Krishna’s intimate company. When Krishna pulls at Sri Rupa Manjari’s bodice, she hisses like a trampled-down snake, saying: “Shame on You! Don’t You know who I am? I can give my life to You, but not my body! This body I have offered to Sri Radha!” Then Lalaji Shyam will beg forgiveness with folded hands.
No one but the kinkaris can be so loyal to Sri Radha! Sri Radha is the only life-support of Her maidservants, and this increases their pride. The maidservants have such a deep love for Sri Radha; they do not even have that for Krishna! No one but the kinkaris are so worthy of being Radhika’s priya-patras. Where is the bliss of worshipping only Krishna? The real ecstasy lies in Yugala bhajan.
Manjari Tattva: Disconnecting from Maya
Those who have surrendered to Sri Radhika’s lotus feet cannot find consolation in anything of this world anymore. Their minds and their lives are floating like wooden instruments on the stream of Sri Radha’s sweetness. It is the nature of bodily consciousness that the mind and the intelligence remain attached to dull, perishable matter.
But one who is absorbed in meditating on one’s siddha deha and the blissful service if Kishori Ju will no longer have any connection or relation with anything of this material world. Why would such a person like anything in the material world?
The manjari bhava upasaka must certainly experience that, “O Sri Radha! I don’t have anyone else but You in this world!” Unless one thinks like that one cannot proceed towards the lotus feet of Srimati Radharani.
Manjari Tattva: Eagerness for Vraja Bhajan
Out of eagerness for Radhika the practicing devotee cannot sit quietly.
One will eagerly come to Vrndavana, hoping to catch a glimpse Radha-Shyamsundara.
Siddha Krishna Das of Govardhana prays, “O Praneshvari Radha! My heart is constantly burning in the fire of separation from You! Please save me from this ocean of sorrow by keeping me at Your lotus feet and making me Your maidservant!”
“O Radha! When will I hear the delectable words from Your beautiful mouth and the jingling of Your ankle bells? O Priyaji! When in the topmost ecstasy will I drink the nectar of Your indescribable beauty through the cups of my eyes? And when will I smell Your bodily fragrance, making all the hairs of my body stand on end? “Please bless this new maidservant by giving her the nectarean food remnants that emanate from Your lotus mouth! O Radha, You are my japa! You are my penance and You are my meditation. Wherever You sport with Your lover and Your girlfriends, please take me there also as Your maidservant.”
Manjari Tattva: Living on Hope in Vraja
“Ha Radhe! When can I live in Vrndavana in great astonishment, remembering the wave of Your nectarean pastimes? When will I look all around for You, thinking: “Now Radha is here just behind this tamal tree!”
The anguished sadhaka prays, “Although I am living in Vrndavana I don’t experience anything. I have so many things to say about it, but actually my heart is empty. I want to get some result from my life of devotional practice. Even if I can just spend my time with the hope that, ‘Radharani, You are my Ishvari, then I will attain You!’”
Then it is as if Swamini Radha asks the sadhaka: “O, isn’t your heart eager for Me? Then how can you attain Me?” Radha is the limitless ocean of compassion and She knows very well how to take Her maidservants to Her lotus feet by making them eager for Her! How much Srimati relishes the eager lamentations of Her loving devotees! The maidservant is very eager, and Swamini takes Shyam along to listen to her manjari’s lamentations.
Radharani’s Manjaris ki jai! Jai Jai Sri Radhe!