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: Mood for Vraja Vasa
The devotee should know that one’s bhajan is in a diseased state if one feels satisfied. One can measure one’s advancement and taste for bhajan by how much one is greedy, eager and unsatisfied with one’s experience of spiritual flavours. How eager Sri Rupa Goswamipada and Sri Raghunatha Dasa Goswami were!
All the pastime-places of Radha Govinda Yugala are still here in Vraja Mandal. Even today Radha-Krishna’s lilas are going on. When the devotee lives in Vraja one should feel: “O Radha-Shyam! Every day Your enjoying Your pastimes here in Vraja. Why I cannot see them? Please let me see Your ecstatic prema-filled lilas. Let me be so fortunate!
“I’m living in Vrndavana, the kingdom of devotional enthusiasm, but I’m simply engrossed in bodily consciousness. How unfortunate I am! When I hear and chant the great words of the acharyas I will certainly attain that devotional eagerness.”
The devotees should eagerly wander from forest to forest of Vraja, crying and crying: “O Vrndavana! O Vrajavasis! O Vrndavana’s sky, wind, trees, vines, deer and birds! Let everyone know that I am Radha ’s maidservant! You all be kind to me! Make this consciousness within me very firm!
‘’Radhe! Where are You? This whole forest is illuminated by Your golden splendour! Keep me alive with just one drop of Your spendor. Day and night this is the only prayer in my heart.”
We should stay in Vraja-vana in this mood, not having a liking for anything else. But unfortunately a soul like me likes many other things like profit, adoration, distinction, money and whatnot, despite living in Vraja-vana. Where will I find this treasure of my heart, for whom I have given my life?
Manjari Lila: Manjaris Revive Radhika
On Swamini’s order Tulasi-manjari has gone to Nandishvara to serve Shyam Radha’s cooked dishes. After Shyamasundara has eaten, mother Yashoda lovingly gives some of Krishna’s sweet remnants to Tulasi, so that she can bring them to Swamini. Dhanishtha had secretly mixed some of Krishna’s adharamrita in it.
Meanwhile, in Yavat, Sri Radhika has fainted out of powerful feelings of separation from Krishna. The sakhis cannot bring Radha back to consciousness. Then Tulasi returns from Nandishvara and sprinkles Radha’s earholes with drops of the nectaean stories about Krishna.
Sri Radhika immediately revives, sits up says: “O sakhi! In My dream My desert-like ears suddenly felt a shower of nectar!” Upon seeing Tulasi-manjari before Her, Srimati embraced her with extraordinary love knowing that Tulasi has come back after serving Krishna wholeheartedly.
Swamini asks Tulasi, “What did mother Yashoda say?”
Tulasi says, “Hey Shyamju! How can I describe mother Yashoda’s affection as she held her forehead on mine calling me Your maidservant?”
Swamini pulls Tulasi on Her lap and repeatedly asks her, “Has Krishna eaten nicely? I couldn’t cook so nicely! I’m sure Krishna didn’t like the sweets! You were nearby weren’t you?”
Swamini thoroughly questions Tulasi, and fortunate Tulasi gives sweet answers to all the questions. Thus rendering a wonderful service by submerging Swamini in the nectar ocean of talks about Krishna.
Radhika asked, “Did Krishna say anything to you?”
Tulasi replied, “How could Krishna speak in front of His superiors? But with His eyes Krishna asked me if He could meet You tonight in Vrndavana? I answered Krishna with hints from my eyes, ‘Surely You will meet Your beloved sweetheart Radhika!’”
Swamini says, “Tulasi! Look at Me once! I’m so unfortunate that I could not see Krishna personally! So let Me see if Krishna is hidden in your eyes or not!” Then Radharani gazes into Tulasi’s eyes without blinking, and sees that her eyes are full of tears and her body is shivering of ecstatic love.
Radha says, “O Tulasi-manjari! When I look into your eyes I can understand that you have seen Krishna! Otherwise your eyes could never have looked so beautiful!”
What a wonderful service Tulasi renders by carrying Krishna’s picture to Swamini in her eyes! Blessed is this maidservant! Now Sri Radha starts to take Her meal. How wonderful is Tulasi’s expertise in service.
Radharani’s manjaris ki jai! Jai Jai Sri Radhe!