Radharani’s Manjaris: Tattva & Lilas 028 “Shyam’s Bliss in Serving Radha”

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

This series of posts presents the facts (tattva) regarding the identity, moods (gopi-bhava), intimacy and sevas of Srimati Radharani’s beautiful, talented handmaidens known as manjaris, kinkaris, or dasis.

Many wonderful lilas are also presented to highlight the manjaris intimate sevas to Srimati Radhika and Her beloved Krishna.

The information here comes from the commentaries of Advaitavamsa Acharya 108 Sri Ananda Gopala Goswami and 108 Sri Ananta Dasa Babaji Maharaja on “Vilapa Kusumanjali” and “Radha Rasa Sudhanidhi” translated by Sri Advaita Dasji.

Need Separation in Bhajan

Swamini goes on abhisara holding Sri Rupa Manjari’s hand. Waves of divine lust manifest in each of Radha’s limbs. Priyaji’s passionate love for Priyatama is like a wave seen in Radha’s glances, gait and words. Sriji’s passionate desires to meet Shyam, however are only for Shyam’s pleasure!

Radha anxiously asks Sri Rupa, “How long will it take before I can see Madhava again? Tell Me Rupa, how far is it still? Aha! How eagerly Madhava must be waiting for Me!”

There is delight in separation, although it brings suffering. Such delight cannot be found in this world. Unless feelings of separation appear, one will not develop a strong desire to attain Radha-Krishna. Therefore, a raganuga sadhaka must first experience love-in-separation.

Unless one feels eagerness to see Radha-Krishna, born from a sense of want, one will never experience anything. A sincere sadhaka should feel ashamed when comparing the intensity of one’s bhajan with the bhajan of Sri Raghunatha Das Goswamipada.

How Shyam Serves Swamini

Together with Tulasi and Rupa manjaris, Radha arrives at the gate of the kunja. They see that Sri Hari has personally decorated the kunj beforehand and is eagerly waiting inside for Radha. Hari made a flower asana for Radha with flowers moistened with His tears of love. The kunja is adorned by Hari’s form, qualities, and craftsmanship. It appears Krishna has decorated the entire kunja with His pure love for His Priyaji, thinking: “Here I will sit with My beloved!”

This is the expertise of prema seva, the mutual service of love. Swamini is amazed when She enters the kunja with Rupa and Tulasi. The kunja delights Cupid, and it is decorated by the very hands of the transcendental youthful Cupid of Vrindavan!

Swamini asks: “Shyam! Who has decorated this kunja?”

Hari: “Who knows? Can You tell!”

Srimati: “You have done it, nobody else can decorate like this! You have done all this work, knowing that I would come! I should have been here to help You!”

Today Radha is very munificent. It is Swamini’s Hari, who steals Radha’s heart with His loving expertise. Two teardrops trickle from Radhika’s eyes. With tender affection Shyam helps Sriji onto Her asana.

How much love Hari has in His heart as He sits at Radha’s soft lotus feet. Try to feel and visualize how beautiful Shyam looks sitting at Swamini’s feet. Krishna clutches Kishori’s feet to His chest and says, “O Radha! How did You come all the way here with these tender feet? The ground of Vraja is so hard!”

Krishna repeatedly looks at Swamini’s lotus feet that are greyed by dust. Tulasi understands the mood and brings a golden water pitcher and a golden bowl. Tulasi pours the water while Shyam washes Swamini’s feet and dries them off with His yellow dhoti. Tears trickle from Shyam’s eyes.

Radha lifts Krishna up and sits Him next to Her. How beautiful Shyam looks with loving tears for Radha in His eyes!

Holding Hari’s cheek on Hers, Swamini asks Shyam, “Why do you love Me so much? I cannot do anything for You! I have so many shortcomings! How many qualified girls are there not always waiting for You? How You could leave them all for an unfortunate girl like Me?”

Overwhelmed by hearing this, Shyam simply stares at Swamini’s gorgeous face. Krishna is completely unaware of what a rare and priceless treasure He has received!

Without the mercy of acharyas like Sri Raghunatha Das Goswamipada no one can experience pastimes like this during smarana. By their grace such sweet, charming pastimes will appear in the heart of a sincere sadhaka. The mind must be absorbed in this subject. Jai Jai Sri Radhe!

The full series of “Radharani’s manjaris tattva & lilas” can be found here.

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