Radharani’s Manjaris: Tattva & Lilas 041 “Radha’s Abhisara Lila”

Radha’s Abhisara Lila

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.

Lila: Radha Abhisara

While relaxing after dinner in Yavat, Radharani hears Shyam’s murali calling Her to the kunja. Sri Radha says, “O Visakhe! The form of Shyam appears in My heart day and night and when I dream!” Becoming maddened by love, Radha runs out to meet Krishna in the forest.

Radharani goes out alone, not bothering about the different dangers She encounters on the path. Although Vrindavan is enveloped in darkness Radha’s finds Her way Her with the fire light of Her Cupidity. Radha’s abhisara is powerful and passionate; nothing can stop its course! It’s inconceivable that Radharani who is softer than a flower can move so swiftly. The cause of all this power is Her strong attraction to Krishna’s form.

Sweat drops adorn Radha’s anxious face. Radha thinks all Her gold and jewel ornaments are a heavy burden. So, Radha casts off Her bangles and jewelled anklebells.

Because of running Swamini gets pain in Her tender lotus feet. Seeing this, Tulasi Manjari thinks, “Although Radha is very shy, I hope that because of Her love for me Radha will call me by name and ask me to massage Her painful lotus feet!”

Swamini lifts Her feet on Tulasi Manjari’s chest and Tulasi starts serving them. Tulasi Manjari washes Radha’s lotus feet with her tears of love and kisses them in an unseen way, thinking: “By caressing Radha’s feet I have everything!”

Tulasi Manjari’s massage fully relieves Swamini’s fatigue. Radha continues running and soon arrives in the kunja. Radhe-Shyam become eager to make love, so Tulasi Manjari discretely exits the kunja. After sometime Tulasi Manjari hears Radha’s anklebell sweetly jingling ‘tu’. Tulasi understands it’s time for seva and renters the kunja. Tulasi Manjari then disentangles Swamini’s hair from Krishna’s earrings and quietly leaves the kunja so that Lila Yugal can resume Their love play.

Tattva: Kinkaris’ Life Is Radha Seva

How can the kinkaris, the embodiments of seva, live without serving Radharani? Radha kinkari bhava cannot be attained without being totally absorbed in Radha’s seva. Chanting harinama, diksha mantras, reading shastras and Thakurji puja should create an intense desire to serve and please Radharani.

If this is not happening one does not understand the secrets of bhakti bhajan. Sri Krishna wants to see this seva vasana, pure desire for service, appear in one’s heart before He blesses one with His intimate seva. This is Krishna’s special mercy.

Tatttva: Intimacy Radha & Manjaris

As much as Radharani trusts Her maidservants that much Radha loves them. Radha thinks, “I can make this manjari serve Me just the way I want.” Radha cannot count on everyone like that.

During the Rasa dance Radha sees that Shyam’s feet are paining Him, so She tells Her loving kinkari: “Massage Shyam’s feet!” How much affection Swamini shows Her maidservant!

To attain this great fortune a ragamayi sadhaka prays, “O Radhika! Will I ever get a drop of Your mercy, either in dreams, visions or smarana?”

The sincere sadhaka must cry to receive Radha’s karuna. By fully surrendering to Swamini’s sweet lotus feet one will attain this matchless fortune. A real Radha bhakta will think, feel and act like Sri Raghunatha Das Goswamipada who cried out one day at Radha Kunda:

 “I worship lotus-eyed Radha, I remember Radha’s sweetly smiling face, and I speak only of Radha, who melts of compassion. I have absolutely no other shelter than Radha!”

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

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