Radharani’s Manjaris: Tattva & Lilas 009

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: Reflect Radha’s Feelings

Manjari bhava means to have your mind completely reflect the picture of Srimati’s moods and feelings (bhava –citra). This is not easy because Srimati Radhika is the embodiment of the full madanakhya -maha-bhava. Besides that, Radharani is completely mad with attraction to Sri Krishna’s form, qualities and pastimes. However, with the association and blessings of like-minded more advanced saints these feelings and flavors will gradually be experienced in a purified heart.

Manjari Tattva: Meditation on Siddha Deha

Sri Krishnadas Kaviraj Goswami, in his “Saranga Rangada” tika on verse 2 of Krishna Karnamrita, says, “On the path of raganuga bhakti, even before one attains bhava (anutpanna -rati), one should meditate on one’s mentally conceived (manasi –parikalpya) siddha deha, and serve Sri Krishna in that body (bhagavat –sevadhikam –kriyate). When bhava appears that siddha deha will be directly seen (jata –ratinam –svayam –tad –deha –sphurteh).

The sadhaka should try to see and feel one’s real and eternal spiritual self as having a special form and feelings like the nitya siddha manjaris Sri Rupa and Sri Rati. The stronger and clearer one’s meditation on the siddha deha becomes, the faster the raganuga sadhaka will advance to the stage of bhava.

A time will come when one will forget the sadhaka deha due to intense absorption in one’s beautiful, playful siddha deha.

Sri Raghunatha Dasa Goswami lost all appetite for sense gratification because he was always absorbed in remembering Sri Radha’s lotus feet with feelings of separation from Radha. The sweetness of Srimati Radharani’s gorgeous form, matchless qualities, and blissful pastimes completely stole his mind and made it totally fully absorbed in Radha.

Our mahajanas say, “When you think in the way that the great devotees do like Sri Raghunatha Dasa Goswami and Sri Rupa Goswamipada, then you will forget everything else. The external and the internal world will then take one single form, and in the mood of the great saints you will be able to relish rasa.”

Manjari Lila: Radha’s Reward

One day in Varsana, Visakha-sakhi was teaching Tulasi-manjari how to sing love songs. Swamini suddenly passed by and said, “O how sweet! Won’t you let Me hear it?”

Tulasi then sang so expertly and sweetly that the subject of the song took shape before Swamini. To reward Tulasi, Radhika gave her one of Her necklaces. Blessed is this fortunate manjari!

Manjari Lila: Radha’s Resolutions

Sri Krishna is Radhika’s Hari because with His own sweetness He takes away (harana) all Radha’s shyness, opposition and other obstacles to Their meeting. And Krishna is catura shiromani, the crownjewel of clever pranksters. By cleverly attracting Sri Radhika with the sweetness of His form, qualities, pastimes and flute-playing Krishna makes Radha forget everything!

One day, Sri Radha is angry with Krishna and makes three resolutions. Radha’s first resolution is: “I will not look at Krishna anymore!” But Krishna speaks in such a sweet way and stands before Radha as if He begs Her: “Look at Me just once!”

Seeing the sweetness of Krishna’s form the sakhis tell each other: “Aha! How sweetly Shyam stands here in His threefold bending form! The life of that lady-love who does not see this sweetness is wasted!” Hearing these words of Her friends, Srimati becomes eager to see Krishna and looks at Krishna once. Thus Radha’s first resolution is broken!

Radha’s second resolution is: “I won’t speak with Krishna!” Hearing how nicely Krishna is speaking to the sakhis, however, Swamini can’t stay silent anymore and tells Krishna: “Go to that gopi that You love, why are You standing here, speaking such clever words?” Thus Radha’s second vow is gone!

Radha’s third vow is: “I won’t touch Krishna!” Krishna gradually brings His foot forward and touches the tips of Srimati toes. This makes Radha unsteady, so She angrily takes Krishna by the hand and pushes Him out of the kunja.

Srimati thinks: “Just see, now I’ve also touched Krishna! If I could not keep any vow, then how can I keep Krishna away?” So Radhika holds Shyam by the neck and brings Him back into the kunja. Thus Hari steals Swamini’s heart in so many ways.

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

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