Radharani’s Manjaris: Tattva & Lilas 033 “Manjari Stays Beside Radha”

Manjari Stays Beside 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.

Manjaris Stay Beside Radha

Tulasi Manjari says, “O Madhura-mukhi Radha! When the wind carries Your excellent bodily fragrance to Candravali’s handmade play bed, where Mukunda enjoys with her, Krishna uses a clever excuse to meet You on the shore of Radha Kunda, like a bumblebee leaving an inferior flower. When will I proudly witness this?” (VK 74)

Premamayi Radha is so much in ecstasy that She leans on Tulasi Manjari’s shoulder as they run to Radha Kunda to meet Shyam. How wonderfully beautiful this is!

Bumblebees fly above Radha’s fragrant lotus feet greedy to drink the honey therein. The maddened bees kiss the ground beautified with Radha’s footprints. How sweetly Sriji’s waistbells and anklebells jingle as She walks.

Shyam has not yet arrived in the kunja. Srimati waits patiently for Her Nagara in the bhava of a vasaka sajjika. In Ujjvala Nilamani, Sri Rupa Goswamipada says a vasaka sajjika lover waits in the kunja for her beloved, and meanwhile decorates herself and the grove. She mentally plans erotic games with her hero, and eagerly looks out for him to come. She discusses blissful topics with her sakhis and constantly looks out for the sakhi messenger to come with news.

Shyam is too late for His appointment so Tulasi Manjari looks out for Him again and again. Svamini feels very upset. Radharani becomes anxious out of separation and enters the bhava of an utkanthita nayika.

Ujjvala Nilamani says such a lover experiences a burning heart, shivers, cries, speculates about why Krishna has not yet come, and laments about her predicament.

Radha says to Tulasi Manjari, “I made the bed for Shyam and strung a flower mala for Him. I prepared betel leaves and lit the lamps. I made the kunja very beautiful. But sakhi, all this will turn out differently if I don’t meet My Nagara!

“I decorated My beautiful youthful body to meet My lover. I’m looking down the road for Shyam to come, telling My mind that this Rasa Shiromani Shyam will surely come now.”

Manjari Controls Madhava

Tulasi Manjari stands at the gate of the kunja. When Krishna finally arrives, He says, “Tulasi, I have come! Arrange My meeting with Radha!”

Tulasi admonishes Shyam, “Where have you come from? Where have you been all this time? Svamini is very upset and is crying because of You! Tell me the truth, otherwise I will not let You meet Radha!”

Krishna honestly explains why He is late. When Tulasi hears that Krishna came from Candravali’s kunja, she becomes very upset and says, “Oh! That’s why you’re so late! Go! Go back where you came from! You cannot meet Radha! I will sing all about Your glories to Svamini!”

Folding His hands, Krishna then offers hundreds of prayers to Tulasi Manjari until she finally allows Him to come in and see Radhika. How completely the manjaris control Krishna! Tulasi Manjari’s heart fills with pride knowing that simply the love-fragrance of Radha pulled Krishna right out of Candravali’s kunja. The thought that “Krishna is ours” fills Tulasi’s heart with pride.

Manjari Bhava Sadhaka Meditation

Radharani often plays hide-and-seek with Her surrendered sadhakas doing lila smarana. Radha-Krishna regularly appear and disappear in Sri Raghunatha Das Goswami’s meditations. One minute he floats in an ocean of blissful union, and then he gets trapped in whirlpool of separation.

A raganuga sadhaka should meditate on oneself assisting Radharani in this way, always staying by Her side like Tulasi Manjari. One should float along on the waves of Radha’s happiness and distress. These divine feelings can only be experienced by being completely absorbed in one’s beautiful manjari svarupa.

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

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