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: Radha One in a Billion
Sri Ramananda Raya told Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu:
shata -koti -gopite -nahe –kama -nirvapana
-ihatei -anumana –sri -radhara -guna
“Not even a billion gopis can extinguish the blazing fire of Krishna’s lusty desires. Only Radha is qualified to do this.” (Caitanya Caritamrita 2.8.116)
From this one can understand Sri Radha’s uniquely magnificent glories!
Jai Jai Sri Radhe!
Manjari Tattva: Meeting Minds
While doing bhajan the sadhaka’s mind must meet the minds of the acharyas. Devotional service cannot be rendered while the mind remains in material consciousness. We must be able to exchange thoughts with each other. How pure the mind must be for that!
The sadhaka thinks, “Won’t I become the way Radhika, to whom I have given my life, wants me to be? O Swamini! Then You will not keep any secrets from me anymore!”
To attain Radharani’s seva, a devotee must give one’s whole mind to Radha, giving up everything else! Sri Raghunatha Dasa Goswami’s mind is in the kingdom of transcendental pastimes. So we forever pray to him for his mercy to accept us into that kingdom too.
Manjari Lila: Seva and Rasodgara
Rasodgara means amorous recollection. For example, while dressing Swamini in Varsana in the morning, the sakhis and manjaris will remind Radha about Her previous intimate amorous pastimes with Shyam, and thereby increase Radha’s prema for Her Priyatam.
While Tulasi-manjari hangs the garland around Swamini’s neck, she reminds Radha of Her past sports with Shyam: “If Shyam was now embracing You, there would be no need and no chance for me to put this garland on You!”
After adorning Srimati with the flower garland, Tulasi-manjari places a big jeweled mirror before Kishori and says: “Hey Shyamaju! Just see now how I decorated You!”
Swamini is enchanted when She sees Her sweet reflection in the mirror, and proudly says: “Tulasi! You really know how to make Krishna enjoy! Even when He sees Me without make-up Krishna becomes enchanted, so I cannot imagine how Krishna will feel when He sees this extraordinary beauty! Everything will be wasted if My hero cannot enjoy all this!”
In this way, Swamini speaks out Her heart to Tulasi in so many beautiful and intimate ways. Suddenly the vision (sphurti) ends so Sri Raghunatha Dasa Goswami laments and prays for another lila sphurti.
Blessed is this maidservant! How much rasa she makes Swamini relish while serving Radha and engaging Her in rasodgara! This cannot be experienced without allegiance to Sri Rupa Goswamipada and Sri Raghunatha Dasa Goswami. We must be very very eager to follow them as Sri Narottama Dasa Thakura prays:
rupa-raghunatha-pade -ha-ibe -akuti
kabe -hama -bujhaba -se -yugala-piriti
“When I shall be eager to follow Rupa and Raghunatha, only then I shall be able to divine love affairs of Lila Yugala Radha Govinda.”
Manjari Lila: Radha’s Rasodgara Showing Her Supremacy
One day in Varsana, Sri Radha engaged on rasodgara with Her confidante Visakha-sakhi.
Swamini said, “O Visakhe! I know My beloved Shyam loves Me! From whatever I see and hear I understand that Krishna has given His heart fully to Me! Shyam wears yellow cloth because Bihari loves My bodily luster so much!
“When I go out to bathe at the ghata, Giridhari bathes in the next ghata; and when Shyam is splashed by the water from My body, Hari comes running towards it with wide open arms. Just to touch at least My clothes, Krishna gives His clothes to the same washerman.
“When Hari hears even half a syllable of My name, Krishna becomes very happy. Just to touch My shadow Murari makes so many turns. Wherever My bodily breeze blows Krishna keeps His face in that direction.
“Wherever Shyam smells My bodily fragrance carried by the wind, Shyam stretches out His arms, turns His face, and runs in that direction like a madman. Krishna can’t find ways to express His mind’s eagerness!”
Srimati Radharani ki jai! Radharani’s manjaris ki jai! Jai Jai Sri Radhe!