Radharani’s Manjaris: Tattva & Lilas 051 “Radha’s Betel Nut Prasada”

Radha’s Betel Nut Prasada

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’s Betel Nut Prasada

After enjoying amorous delights with Krishna, Radha thinks how to reward Tulasi Manjari for her loving seva. Fearing the teasing of Lalita or other sakhis, Radha in an unseen way pushes the chewed betelnuts from Her mouth into Tulasi’s mouth while Tulasi hangs a necklace on Her neck. Because this is Krishna’s prasadi pan, Radha knows Tulasi Manjari will cherish it immensely.

Pandit Sri Ananta Dasji Maharaja says, “Radha gives Tulasi Manjari betel nut by embracing, kissing her and transferring Krishna’s prasadi pan from Her mouth into Tulasi’s mouth.” (VK 93)

Manjaris are partial to Srimati so they will not accept anything which is not first tasted by Ishvari. Tulasi Manjari feels supremely blessed with this reward. When this transcendental revelation suddenly disappears, Sri Raghunatha Das Goswamipada cries with tear-filled eyes:

“O Devi Radha! When will You affectionately give me Your betel nut prasada from Your mouth into mine?”

Tattva: Desire in Bhajan

The heart of Raghunatha Das Goswami is always filled with desires to lovingly serve Radhika. Sadhakas should do bhajan with the same aspiration. Constantly meditating upon different ways to serve and please Sri Radha will form permanent samskaras in the unconscious mind (chitta).

Sri Jiva Goswamipada says, “Only by having the right desires and mentality, abhiman, one can attain spiritual perfection, kevala abhiman siddhir bhavatity.” (BS 304) Sri Sanatana Goswami says, “Devotees desire only to become servants of Sri Radha, radha-dasya icchavah param.” (BB 2.1.21)

In other words, one who simply thinks, “I am Radha’s maidservant, ami radha dasi,” and considers this to be the highest spiritual perfection will automatically attain it.

Jai Jai Sri Radhe!

Tattva: Love & Sweetness

Acharyas say that Krishna prema, immaculate divine love, is needed to taste the sweetness of Krishna’s voice and vamshi, and His touch and taste.

Visvanatha Cakravartipada says in his tika (Cc.1.4.143): “Prema enables one to relish Shyam’s sweetness. Greater the prema, greater the sweetness! One’s amount of Krishna prema can be known by how much one savors Shyam’s sweetness. Radha has unlimited love for Krishna so Radha relishes Krishna’s sweetness to the utmost.”

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

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