Radharani’s Manjaris: Tattva & Lilas 044 “Quarrelling Over Flowers”

Quarrelling Over Flowers

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 SriAnanta Dasa Babaji Maharaja on “Vilapa Kusumanjali” and “Radha Rasa Sudhanidhi” translated by Sri Advaita Dasji.

Lila: Quarrelling Over Flowers

In the morning, Radharani feels morose and doesn’t feel like performing Her household duties. Radha’s mind is restless, intensely desirous of Shyam, so Radha goes into the forest on the pretext of getting water for puja.

Srimati walks very far, until She catches Krishna’s fragrance, and then Radha flies towards Krishna like a thirsty bee. When Sundari sees Shyam, She starts picking flowers just to catch His attention. Noticing Radha, Shyam says, “Who is this girl destroying the beauty of the forest by picking all the flowers? Oh, how beautiful You are!”

Sri Radha frowns her eyebrows and conceals Her limbs with Her cloth. Radha then slips away and hides behind some flowering bushes. As if He is bewitched by some mantra, Shyam says, “You come here regularly, cruelly break all the tender sprouts and then hide Yourself! Who are You?”

With a smirky smile and feigned anger, Vinodini Radha says, “O Kala Krishna!  Your behavior gives us great pain. Our minds are devoted to worshiping Suryadeva. We always come here to pick flowers, and we have never seen you before. So why are You speaking such harsh words today?”

Rasaraja Krishna says, “Aren’t You married girls afraid and ashamed to come to this forest every day to steal flowers? Now that I’ve caught You, I won’t let You go!”

Feigning anger, Radhika says, “I know You are a rogue! Don’t you have any manners? Until now no one has ever forbidden us from coming here!”

Krishna replies, “King Cupid, who owns this forest, has entrusted it to Me!”

Swamini says, “There is no King Cupid here! Who in Vraja does not know Your pranks?”

Shyam feels boundless bliss from the sweetness of this quarrel. Thus, Swamini becomes known as Suvrata, which means unflinchingly dedicated to Krishna’s pleasure. Finally, Radha enters a kunja with Her Prananatha to enjoy sweet pastimes.

Tattva: Radha’s Sweetness

Sri Raghunatha Das Goswami prays to Radha’s feet that he may relish the sweet nectarean rasa of Her intimate pastimes with Krishna. Manjari bhava sadhakas should also pray like this.

One cannot estimate how much Dasa Goswami tastes Radha’s sweetness within His heart. Sri Krishna appears on earth as Chaitanya Mahaprabhu to taste the amazing sweetness of Radhika’s prema, asvadyah adbhuta madhurima. (Cc. 1.1.6)

Tattva: Actions of Mahabhava

Radharani is dedicated to the vow of delighting Krishna. The manjari prays when will Radha delight me by engaging in such false and crooked quarrels with Her beloved Shyamasundara? Prema means thinking: “How can I make Krishna happy?”

The Vraja-gopis are the highest class of Krishna’s lovers endowed with mahabhava which is the quintessence of Krishna prema. Their minds and senses are saturated with mahabhava and have no separate existence from mahabhava. All the activities of their senses are dedicated to and dominated by Krishna.

Only Radha however, is called mahabhava svarupini which means Radha consists of nothing but mahabhava inside and out. Sri Krishna is completely delighted and controlled by every action of Radharani!

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

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