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: Serving Beside Radha
Meanwhile, one gopi named Candanakala comes to Yavat, and tells Radhika that Queen Yashoda has ordered Her to cook Krishna’s evening meal. Rasavati Rai personally begins to cook sweets for Shyam just to remain patient. Swamini wears a thin sari, and Radha’s head is not covered with Her veil because Srimati is in Her own home.
One new manjari, Mallika-dasi, then cleans Radha’s kitchen, makes a fire in the stove, cleans the pot and puts it on the stove. Mallika brings water, coconuts, ghee, small bananas, sugar and farina.
Then she grinds black pepper and hands it to Radha while Radha blissfully sits down on a stool. Mallika-dasi’s eyes flood with delight while watching Priyaji prepare Amrita Kelika pies and other savories for Her Priyatama.
While assisting Srimati, Mallika-dasi jokes with Swamini saying, “Hey Shyamaju! The cooling camphor and sandalpaste I just put on Your body to extinguish the fire of Your separation from Krishna immediately dried into dust! But how amazing! Now the fire You’re using to cook cakes for Krishna is quickly cooling You off!” Hearing this, Kishori then affectionately taps Mallika on the cheek with Her finger.
Jai Jai Sri Radhe!
Manjari Lila: Radha Trusts Her Manjaris
After cooking Krishna’s evening meal in Yavat, Swamini puts all the preparations on golden plates and covers them with sheets. Sriji has full faith that Tulasi-manjari and the other maidservants will feed Krishna as if She Herself is doing it.
Tightly hugging Tulasi-manjari, Radha says: “Tulasi, go now to Nandagram! I cannot go Myself, but I will be as much satisfied when you feed Krishna as when I would do it Myself!”
Srimati holds Tulasi to Her chest and lovingly hands her the dishes for Her Prananatha. How affectionate Swamini is to Tulasi-manjari!
The practicing devotee should awaken feelings like: “O! Will I not get such affection from Radha even one day in my life? My heart cries for getting that affection! O Radhaju, please have mercy and keep me at the feet of Your Rupa and Your Tulasi!”
Crying like this, the sadhaka will faint and bring down the shower of Swamini’s mercy. How mercifully Swamini keeps the maidservant at Her chest! Such compassion as the maidservants enjoy cannot be found anywhere else.
“O Swamini! I want to spend my whole life with the awareness that I am Your maidservant!” If one cherishes this desire one will indeed be able to spend one’s whole life in this mood.
The manjari prays, “I have to serve Shyam while my heart is merged in Swamini’s heart and my eyes are merged in Madhavi’s eyes.” Such a sweet service cannot be found anywhere!
Radharani considers the kinkaris to be Her own: “My Rupa! My Tulasi! My Mallika! My maidservant!”
Mallika-dasi prays, “O Swamini! I don’t want anything else but to belong to Your group! Please take me by the hand and accept me as Your maidservant!”
Such an aspiration should also awaken within the hearts of the practicing devotees. What an excellent service this is! The Goswamis cried for such service with breaking hearts!
Radharani’s manjaris ki jai! Jai Jai Sri Radhe!