Radharani’s Manjaris: Tattva & Lilas 013

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: Earrings to Spin Shyamsundara

In a vivid vision Tulasi-manjari places hoop-earrings above Srimati’s ears. The kinkaris are very proud of the sweet form of their Ishvari, and they say: “O Radhe! Although it is just an insignificant ornament, these disc earrings will still cause Krishna to spin around after I them put on You! That is my intention! I want to agitate Krishna and make Him spin around like this, searching and searching for You until He meets You!”

Krishna is very dear to the manjaris when He becomes anxious to meet their Sri Radhika. The heart of the kinkari is filled with pride when she sees the sweet form of Radha. How many hundreds of experiences of Krishna Tulasi-manjari gives to Swamini in this way!

The manjari prays to Radharani, “Although I am not qualified to serve You, Radha are so merciful that You have accepted this maidservant!”

Manjari Lila: Radhika’s Musk Dot

Holding a cup with fragrant musk in her left hand and a brush in her right, Tulasi-manjari stands before Swamini. She holds it close to Swamini’s nose so that Radha will remember Krishna’s bodily fragrance. While Radha’s eyes, that extend to Her ears, move around restlessly, Radha asks Tulasi:

“Where is this fragrance coming from? I understand that My Priyatama is coming!

O sakhi! The fragrance of Krishna’s body defeats the smell a blue lotus flower anointed with musk and it maddens the world! It enters women’s noses and always remains sitting there, holding them and taking them to Krishna. It steals the bodies and minds of women and then they become like madwomen.”

Srimati Radha is agitated by smelling the musk and thus shows many sweet emotions through the expressions of Her face and eyes. Understanding that Radha is feeling separation from Krishna, Tulasi-manjari says: “You know what this chin of Yours is? It is the temple of Mukunda’s bliss! This musk drop looks like a baby bee drinking honey from a golden lotus flower!”

Tulasi-manjari prattles on, “Krishna is black so He will become jealous of this drop. The owner of this temple will come and wipe off that drop by kissing Your chin! And that’s exactly what I want!”

In this way, the expert manjari serves Sri Radha by lovingly making so many luscious jokes while putting the musk-drop on Swamini’s chin. This drop makes the natural beauty of Sri Radha’s face even more brilliant! Tulasi-manjari brings strong emotions into Swamini’s heart that is suffering separation. How many memories of different pastimes Tulasi awaken in Swamini’s heart. Blessed is her expertise in service!

Being fully surrendered to Radhika, the maidservants know exactly what is on Swamini’s maha-bhava filled mind, and they serve Radha accordingly. By Swamini’s grace the manjaris know exactly what Radha needs!

Manjari Tattva: Unlimited Mercy

Those who want to make their bhajan a success must depend on the words of the great teachers of manjari bhava sadhana like Sri Rupa Goswamipada and Sri Raghunatha Dasa Goswami (Tulasi-manjari). Each syllable of these compassionate rasika acaryas crystallizes one-pointed loyalty to Sri Radha’s lotus feet.

Sri Krishna bestows his mercy after due consideration, but Swamini Radha is endlessly merciful personality because Radha bestows Her mercy without any consideration! Radharani’s compassion will certainly descend when She hears a devotee anxiously praying: “O Radhe! My heart is blinded by illusion! Please purify me and give me shelter at Your sweet lotus feet.”

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

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