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: Pleased by Shyam’s Submission
Sri Raghunatha Dasa Goswami describes the footlac ati -sulalita –laksha because Krishna’s loving submission to Radhika’s prema is mixed with this footlac, therefore it is very charming. The hearts of Radha’s maidservants are very pleased whenever Krishna is submissive to Radha.
Radha Rasa Sudhanidhi (2) says, “Krishna feels Himself blessed when He even once feels the breeze coming from Radharani’s flapping veil?”
In this way, the manjaris want to see Sri Radha’s superiority, but that does not make Shyam, rather it brings His superiority to the limit! This is the specialty of the manjaris meditation.
The idea of worshiping Krishna without Radharani is intolerable for Sri Raghunatha Dasa Goswami. In his Sva Niyama Dashaka (6) he says, “It is my solemn vow that not even for a moment will I go near that impure place where a proud hypocrite worships Govinda alone while neglecting or disrespecting His most expert lover Sri Gandharva Radha, whose glories are sung by the Vedic scriptures and by great sages like Narada Muni!”
Whoever cherishes Radha’s sweet lotus feet in the heart will have such a beautiful mind. Sripad Raghunatha Dasa Goswami ki jai! Jai Jai Sri Radhe!
Manjari Tattva: Manjaris Maha Mantra
While bathing, dressing and decorating Radhika in the morning in Yavat, the manjaris ease Radha’s pain of separation from Shyam by singing the Hare Krishna maha-mantra. For the manjaris the mantra meaning is from Radha’s perspective. Thus ‘Hare’ means “O Hari, You take away all My attachments to My husband, family and prestige.”
‘Krishna’ means “You attract Me with Your sweet beauty and enchanting flute song to leave My home and You draw Me into the forest to meet You.”
‘Rama’ means “Then You enjoy intimately (ramayati) with Me.”
Radha fully appreciates the manjaris’ singing Hare Krishna with this conception. One meditating upon oneself as a manjari of Srimati Radhika can always remember Radharani in this sweet way throughout the day while chanting:
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare
Manjari Lila: Becoming Radha’s Marked Maidservant
After Rasika Yugal’s love dalliance is finished, the surrendered maidservants enter into the kunja. Sri Radhika assumes the nayika-bhava of svadhina -bhartrka (controlling the lover). Kishori lies down and submissive Shyam sits at Swamini’s feet, desiring to paint red lac on them.
Tulasi-manjari holds the brush and a cup with lac. As tears of love stream from Shyam’s eyes, Nagara begins to paint Swamini’s foot soles, thinking: “Everyone says that I am nondifferent from My name, so let My name stay on Srimati’s footsoles!” As Krishna writes His name on the sides of Swamini’s feet, He becomes overwhelmed by the intoxicating natural fragrance of Radhika’s lotus feet, and the beauty of His own name written in red lac.
Tulasi enjoys seeing Shyam’s zeal in decorating her Swamini and she giggles, covering her mouth with her veil. Seeing Tulasi giggling, Swamini says: “What’s going on?”, and kicks Tulasi with Her foot covered with wet lac still. Fortunate Tulasi thus receives the auspicious signs i.e. a flag, thunderbolt, barleycorn, chariot, and conchshell of Swamini’s footsoles printed on her shoulder through the footlac.
Swamini does not kick everyone like this: It is a sign of intimacy! With these auspicious signs Tulasi proudly goes from kunja to kunja so that all the sakhis can see that “I’m Sri Radha’s marked maidservant!” Raganugiya sadhakas will treasure this sweet loving exchange between Radhika and Her lucky manjari, and long for such a fortune in their heart of hearts.
Tulasi-manjari ki jai! Manjari Bhava Upasana ki jai! Jai Jai Sri Radhe!