Radharani’s Manjaris: Tattva & Lilas 049 “Radha Teaches Vina”

Radha Teaches Vina

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 Teaches Vina

One day in Madana Sukhada Kunja, Radha sits down, picks up a vina, and shows Tulasi Manjari how to play it. Tulasi attentively watches Swamini while sitting at Her feet.

Meanwhile a parrot tells Shyamasundara, “Sriji is in Madana Sukhada kunja teaching kacchapi-vina to Tulasi Manjari!”

Shyam immediately goes there and becomes enchanted to see Swamini absorbed in twanging the strings of the vina, while bees are sweetly buzzing around. Radha suddenly sees Shyam and stops playing. Shyam says, “Can’t I watch how You teach Tulasi to play the vina?”

Srimati is thrilled to see Shyam so She orders Tulasi Manjari to play. While playing the vina Tulasi also sings a wonderful love song. Radhika becomes happy when She pleases Shyam through Her maidservants.

Hearing this song, Shyam and Swamini become inspired to make love. Tulasi discretely leaves and peeks through the vines to relish Lila Yugal’s sweet erotic pastimes in Madana Sukhada-kunja. Fortunate Tulasi fills up her heart with this sweet vision. Blessed are the manjaris who can make Radhe-Shyam float in a nectar ocean of rasa!

Tattva: Kinkaris’ Expertise in Seva

After learning rasika poetry and vina, Tulasi Manjari thinks, “I want to become expert in anything connected with serving Radha Govinda Yugal!” It is also Radharani’s desire: “May My manjari become expert in My service!” An aspiring manjari prays, “O Devi Radha! When will You teach me how to play the vina in a kunja in Radha Kunda?”

Tattva: Sri Chaitanya’s Way of Bhajan

Sri Chaitanya showed the way of bhajan full of taste, constant attraction, divine love, possessiveness and bliss. The natural experience of bhakti rasa has been mercifully given by Mahaprabhu.

Sri Chaitanya taught the worship of Radha-Krishna in the mood of the manjaris, maidservants who have taken shelter of the lotus feet of Sri Radha. All rasa and bhava is available to the fullest extent in the bhajan introduced by Mahaprabhu.

A ragamayi sadhaka thinks, “My Gurudeva has offered me to the lotus feet of such a merciful Queen. He has shown me that the greatest thing in life is Radhika’s seva as a manjari.

“But I am wasting my life by being indifferent towards Radharani, who personally teaches Her maidservants how to serve Her! Even now I don’t think of myself as Radha’s dasi.

“I remain immersed in bodily consciousness and mundane activities. A genuine sadhaka becomes ashamed when comparing one’s own condition with the bhajan lives of our great acharyas like Sri Raghunatha Das Goswamipada.”

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

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