Radharani’s Manjaris: Tattva & Lilas 008
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 Lila: Making Shyama Ju’s Tilak
Tulasi-manjari sits close to Srimati while lovingly holding Shrimati’s chin with her left hand and a brush in her right hand. She starts by drawing a black circle of aguru mixed with musk in the center of Srimati’s golden forehead. Inside that black circle she draws a beautiful red lotus with lines of sindura. In the middle of this red lotus, Tulasi-manjari paints a dot with sandalwood paste mixed with camphor.
This dazzling tilaka shimmering on Swamini’s sweet forehead is known as the Kama-yantra, which controls and gladdens Shyamsundara. And its black color and musk fragrance reminds Swamini of Shyam. Raganuga sadhakas should remember pastimes like this, and think they are sitting next to Tulasi-manjari observing how expertly she applies Radha’s tilaka.
Sri Narottama Dasa Thakura says, “The prana of man (mind) is smarana, which is the abode of all sweetness, and the essence of smarana, remembrance, is Radha Govinda lila.”
Manjari Tattva: Radha Manjari Oneness
There is no comparison to the manjaris’ love, which is marked by an abundance of feelings of mine-ness toward Sri Radha. Radharani trusts Her maidservants even more than She trusts Herself! Radha’s dasis understand things before Swamini Herself understands them.
There is a kind of feeling of non-difference of heart between Sri Radha and Her maidservants. All of Radharani’s heart’s experiences also awaken within the hearts of Her maidservants. The maidservants feel the same pain of separation from Krishna that Radharani feels and the same bliss of meeting with Krishna that Radharani feels. Radha’s kinkaris ki jai!
Manjari Lila: Radha-Krishna’s First Touch
Once upon a beautiful time when Radhika first fell in love with Shyam (purva raga) She heard Shyam’s enchanting flute song. Then Swamini fell into an ecstatic swoon for six hours and the sakhis could do nothing to wake Her up.
One manjari went to inform Vraja’s yogini named Paurnamasi, the embodiment Yogamaya, who arranges all of Radha-Madhava’s lilas. Paurnamasi in turn sent Madhumangala to tell Krishna that Sri Radha had fainted because of His flute playing and bring Krishna to see Radha.
When Krishna finally arrived Vrindadevi forcibly placed Krishna’s lotus foot, that resembles the reviving Sanjivani plant, on Radhika’s heart, making Radha wake up instantly. When Sriji opened Her eyes and saw Shyam She softly wept.
Krishna became shy and walked away. Which poet could possibly describe even a drop of the transcendental bliss that Sri Sri Radha-Madhava experienced when Krishna’s lotusfoot touched Radhika’s heart?
Radharani manjaris ki jai! Jai Jai Sri Radhe!
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