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Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

This series of posts will present facts (tattva) regarding the identity, moods (gopi-bhava), intimacy and sevas of Srimati Radharani’s beautiful and talented handmaidens known as manjaris, kinkaris, or dasis.

Also, we will present many astonishing and wonderful lilas to highlight the manjaris most personal and confidential sevas to Srimati Radhika and Her dearest Priyatama Shyamasundara.

The information here is based on the commentaries of Advaitavamsa Acharya 108 Sri Ananda Gopala Goswami and 108 Sri Ananta Dasa Babaji Maharaja taken from “Vilapa Kusumanjali” and “Radha Rasa Sudhanidhi” translated by Sri Advaita Dasji.

Ma Yashoda Feeds Sri Radha

“Anxiously mother Yashoda sits Radhika Rai on her lap and says: “O my beautiful girl! Please eat something before You go home!” Mother Yashoda then affectionately touches Swamini and makes Her sit down to eat.

“Don’t think that I’m different from Your own mother. You can laugh, joke, sleep and eat in my house just as You do at home! Why are You so shy?” Mother Yashoda sits beside Radha and personally feeds Her.

While eating Krishna’s nectarine remnants Sri Radhika is overwhelmed in bliss. The manjaris and sakhis really enjoy seeing mother Yashoda feeding Srimati. Tulasi-manjari is beside herself of ecstasy beholding the sweet mutual love of Yashoda and Radhika

Tulasi stands close by Swamini, silently hoping that Radha will give her some of Her remnants. Understanding what’s on Her mind, Radha secretly drops some of Her chewed food in Tulasi’s hand. Blessed is Radha’s loving maidservant!

Sadhakas in manjari bhava will meditate that they are sitting right next to Tulasi-manjari observing this sweet exchange between Yashoda, Radhika and Her loving maidservant, or standing beside Srimati fanning Her as She eats. And one fine day during lila smarana, you may see Radhika dropping Her remnants into your eager loving hand! Jai Jai Sri Radhe! 

Priyaji’s Prema Binds Priyatama Shyam

Radha does know anything else but loving Krishna. Radha’s divine body, senses and mind are all made of love for Krishna. So Krishna surrenders completely to Radha’s service by applying red lac to Her lotus feet, putting tilaka on Her forehead, combing Her hair, massaging Her feet and so on.

In the mood of an independent lady-love (svadhina bhartrka) Srimati can order Shyam to do these things without any hesitation! This is not the service of Krishna, it is prema itself serving Radha. The sweetness of Shyam’s love manifests in Radha’s face, eyes and smile. Prema becomes tasteful because of Radha-Krishna’s mutual love. Their relationship is completely free from awe and reverence.

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

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

This series of posts will present facts (tattva)  regarding the identity, moods (gopi-bhava), intimacy and sevas of Srimati Radharani’s beautiful and talented handmaidens known as manjaris, kinkaris, or dasis.

Also, we will present many astonishing and wonderful lilas to highlight the manjaris most personal and confidential sevas to Srimati Radhika and Her dearest Priyatama Shyamasundara.

The information here is based on the commentaries of Advaitavamsa Acharya 108 Sri Ananda Gopala Goswami and 108 Sri Ananta Dasa Babaji Maharaja taken from “Vilapa Kusumanjali” and “Radha Rasa Sudhanidhi” translated by Sri Advaita Dasji.

Seeing Swamini’s Eager Face

Ayi Madhuri Radha! How beautiful You are when Madhava looks at You while eating His breakfast! Just by a glance Shyam can understand Radharani’s blissful eagerness. Swamini’s face is marked with eagerness. The sadhaka manjari should also relish that blissful eagerness of Madhuri’s beautiful face.

Narottama Dasa Thakur prays,

“My eyes desire to see the golden form of Radhika and I am crying out of that desire!” (Prem Bhakti Candrika)

Reality of Manjari Meditations

In Radha Kunda, Sri Raghunatha Das Goswamipada was anxiously crying out of the pain of separation from Srimati Radharani. At the stage of bhava-bhakti, a sadhaka can see Radha-Krishna through the eyes in sphurtis, vivid visions. Before attaining bhava however, a fortunate sadhaka may “see” Radha-Krishna in meditation or dreams.

When sadhakas follow in the footsteps of acharyas like Sri Rupa Goswamipada, Sri Raghunatha Das Goswamipada, Sri Krishnadas Kaviraja Goswami, and Visvanatha Cakravartipada by praying to them, studying their books and trying to imbibe their moods, meditations and sevas, they too can relish the sweetness of Srimati’s face in their meditations.

As one repeatedly practices deep meditation on Radha Madhava’a asta-kaliya-lila one will feel that Radha-Krishna are very near. When one experiences this, one will think, “I am not practicing lila smarana, I am there!”

When one’s meditation ends one will feel great anxiety to directly meet Radha Govinda Yugal. The more one enjoys lila smarana, the more anxious one will become for more. As thirst and eagerness for direct darshan of Radha-Krishna increases, the sooner one will attain it.

Radha-Krishna Asta-kaliya-lila smarana bhajan will make a new life for a sadhaka.

Sri Radha will certainly respond to one’s humility, enthusiasm, and determination to practice bhajan in manjari svarupa.

Karunamayi Radha is a boundless ocean of compassion, endowed with a lovely nature.

Thus, Kishori will come close to you and accept your sevas. Radhika is a wish-fulfilling vine for devotees.

Manjari bhava sadhana ki jai!  Jai Jai Sri Radhe!

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

This series of posts will present facts (tattva) regarding the identity, moods (gopi-bhava)Manjaris, RaganugaBhakti, Gopis, Radharani, RadhasSeva, VrajaPrema, intimacy and sevas of Srimati Radharani’s beautiful and talented handmaidens known as manjaris, kinkaris, or dasis.

Also, we will present many astonishing and wonderful lilas to highlight the manjaris most personal and confidential sevas to Srimati Radhika and Her dearest Priyatama Shyamasundara.

The information here is based on the commentaries of Advaitavamsa Acharya 108 Sri Ananda Gopala Goswami and 108 Sri Ananta Dasa Babaji Maharaja taken from “Vilapa Kusumanjali” and “Radha Rasa Sudhanidhi” translated by Sri Advaita Dasji.

Selfless Mood of Manjaris

Most devotees think: “I want to become happy by serving Krishna.” 

Radha’s maidservants, being the exemplars of selflessness, are completely free from this. Serious  manjari-bhava upasakas should always be thinking: “What seva can I do to please Priya-Priyatama?”

Bhajan is impossible in the presence of personal desire. Maintaining personal agendas keep one from tasting the bliss in selfless worship.

Manjaris Sevas After Radha’s Cooking

After Swamini finishes cooking Krishna ‘s breakfast She takes rest. The kinkaris change Radha’s clothes, wipe Her hands, feet and body with a wet towel and fan Radha while Dhanishtha brings a nectar drink. While Swamini  enjoys the drink She closes Her beautiful eyes.

Radha Serves Bhoga 

Shyam peeks at Radha in the kitchen without being noticed by others. Swamini casts a furtive glance back toward Her Nagar while handing food to Rohini. A little later, Yashoda tells Radha to serve sandesh to Krishna. Just as Swamini shyly tries to put the sweet on His plate, Krishna opens His hand to receive it. Seeing this sign of affection, Srimati blushes of shyness. How beautiful is Radha’s shyly blushing, blooming face at that time!

The manjaris relish this sweetness and intensely desire to see Radha’s blossoming lotus face again and again.

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

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

Herein we present a continuous sweet selection of tikas from the great rasika-acarya, Sri Jiva Goswamipada’s Krishna prema-filled comments on the Venu-gita (Srimas Bhagavatam 10.21). By reading and studying these comments along with the verses of Venu-gita, you will attain a happy feeling in your heart, and renewed enthusiasm to love and serve Radha and Krishna more and more. Jai Jai Sri Radhe!

10.21.15 Translation:

Vraja-gopis: When the rivers hear the flute-song of Krishna, the flow of their currents is broken and their waters are agitated out of desire, moving around in whirlpools. Presenting offerings of lotus flowers with the arms of their waves, the rivers grasp Murari’s lotus feet, covering them in their embrace.

Sri Jiva Goswamipada tika:

Unable to hide their emotions as previously, the Vraja-gopis attribute their emotions to an inanimate object out of intensity of attraction in attempting to describe their rasa. 

The Vraja-gopis say, “The water bodies like Yamuna and Manasa-ganga come close and listen with attention (upadharya) to the attractive sound of Krishna’s flute. That song, having a raga of the highest bliss, frees one from all suffering. They offer lotuses in their waves acting as arms.

“They grasp Murari’s feet with their waves. Then they embrace Krishna surrounding him with water up to Krishna’s chest by increasing the flow of water. The rivers are most fortunate and we are not, because we cannot stop our course of household duties.

“We do not have many long arms by which we can embrace even one of Krishna’s feet to our breasts. The truth is this. When Krishnachandra plays His flute song, dry branches blossom, rocks melt and rivers stop flowing. When the water stops, the rivers swell and their waves overflow with lotuses, touching Krishna’s lotus feet.”

Seeing this, the gopis see the rivers as conscious entities.

10.21.16 Translation:

Vraja-gopis: In the company of Balarama and the cowherd boys, Krishna plays his flute loudly as he herds all the animals of Vraja, even under the full heat of the summer sun. Seeing this, the cloud in the sky expands himself out of love, rises high and constructs out of his own body, with its multitude of flower-like droplets of water, an umbrella for the sake of his friend.

Sri Jiva Goswamipada tika:

In two verses the gopis conceal their emotions as previously. Not being able to conceal their emotions, they imagine emotions in unconscious entities in two previous verses. In this verse they hide their feelings by describing sakhya-rasa. The cloud sees by means of lightning as eyes (this phrase should be added).

In the very intense heat (atape), Krishna   with the boys herds the many cows, for which plenty of grass is necessary. Since there are many boys, lots of shade is necessary. Krishna plays the flute loudly (udiryantam) in order to attract the clouds behind him (anu). Filled with prema, a cloud rises and increases in size, by means of water drops (kusumavalibhih).

The Vraja-gopis say, “The cloud is a friend to Krishna because he is the same color. The cloud makes an umbrella out of his body. That umbrella is made of water droplets. Out of friendship, the cloud offers his own body or treasure. The cloud is most fortunate and we are unfortunate since we cannot even see him sufficiently.

“The truth is this. When they herd the cows in the heat, Krishna’s friends become tired and the cows begin to wander restlessly. At that time, Krishna plays on his flute the mallara-raga (named after the clouds) to attract the clouds.

“In the company of Balarama and the cowherd boys, Krishna plays his flute loudly as he herds all the animals of Vraja, even under the full heat of the summer sun. Seeing this, the cloud in the sky has expanded himself out of love, rises high and constructs out of his own body, with its multitude of flower-like droplets of water, an umbrella for the sake of his friend.”

10.21.17 Translation

Vraja-gopis: “The aborigine women of the Vrindavan become disturbed when they see the grass marked with reddish kumkuma powder. Endowed with the color of Krishna’s lotus feet, this powder originally decorated the breasts of his beloved, and when the aborigine women smear it on their faces and breasts, they feel fully satisfied and give up all their anxiety.”

Sri Jiva Goswamipada tika:

The Vraja-gopis now describe their own rasa by a verse revealing their emotions. The sequence is as follows. What to speak of his friend the cloud having good fortune, what can we say about the outcaste women? These women have reached success (purnah). We also can have a relationship with Krishna, but not with such good fortune as they! We are more lamentable than these outcaste women.

Krishna is called Urugaya because he sings expansively (uru) using his flute, which causes the gopis’ unsteadiness.

Vraja-gopis: Our minds desire to touch those lotus feet colored with beautiful, charming (sri) kumkuma. That kumkuma was on the breast of his lover. It is impossible for such gallant boy not to have a lover. We conclude that this kumkuma attained its beauty by being on the breasts of that dear lover kept secretly. But her good fortune filled with pastimes is far, far away from us.”

Sri Jiva Goswamipada tika:

The Vraja-gopis become agitated on seeing that kumkuma. Immediately just by seeing something related to Krishna, they become bewildered, by their nature or by remembering his pastimes. What to speak of when they actually see Krishna.

Vraja-gopis: That kumkuma has colored the grass. Let us take such a birth! Ah! Those women must be filled with bliss. Attracted by the kumkuma’s nature of creating greed, the Pulinda women bring it to their faces to smell it and see it. They then smear it on their faces and then on their breasts out of lust.

On seeing an object which is related to their lover, they desire association of even that object. By that object the pain caused by their desire becomes relieved to some extent. That gave them some relief, but we have no relief at all. Thus, they are perfect, whereas we are unfortunate.

Sri Jiva Goswamipada tika:

Something should be said in this regard. The Vraja-gopis’ words may be taken as an expression of their emotions since their deep emotions were caused simply by seeing Krishna from a great distance.

The kumkuma from the breast of one gopi was on Krishna’s feet. By describing that kumkuma as sri the gopis indicate that the gopi was special. It is understood that this is Radha.

The meeting between Radha and Krishna was possible during the day, since the Pulinda women were wandering about and it was still fresh since they could smear it on their faces and breasts. However, Radha and Krishna’s meeting was not intimate since it is said at the rasa pastimes was their first meeting.

One time Radha fainted because of attraction to Krishna’s flute. To relieve her of fainting, Krishna reverently touched Radha’s kumkuma covered breast with a flower petal which had touched his foot. This being the first time Krishna touched Radha, he then left quickly since Krishna was still feeling shy.

In speaking this verse, the Vraja-gopis all indicate that they have purva anuraga (attraction before directly meeting Krishna). Because there is absence of envy, even if another gopi has association, it only doubles their attraction.

10.21.18 Translation:

Of all the servants, Govardhana Hill is the best! O sakhis! This hill, blissful with the touch of the feet of Krishna and Balarama, along with their calves, cows and cowherd friends, gives respect with all kinds of necessities—water for drinking, honey, very soft grass, caves, bulbs and roots.

Sri Jiva Goswamipada tika:

In talking about other subjects in Vraja, the gopis hide their emotions by other rasas in two verses. They point out Govardhana (ayam) with their fingers, since they live near Govardhana. Hari indicates that Krishna steals away all the sins, suffering and hearts of everyone in the universe.

That he is the presiding deity is famous in scriptures and local lore. Govardhana is the best servant among all Krishna’s natural servants. His superiority is shown by the fruits he yields. He feels great joy at the touch of their feet, with hairs standing on end, perspiration, and tears by sprouting shoots and flowing with water drops.

He gives respect elaborately (vi—tanoti) in the form of all items. Paniya refers to water, honey, waterfalls, and pleasant places for sitting. Kandara refers to caves, equipped with jeweled beds, chairs, lamps and mirrors. With these items Govardhana serves Krishna and the others.

O young women with no strength, abala! Because you do not have strength you do not have the good fortune to serve. This is our great misfortune.

As in their first verse, the gopis hide their feelings but another meaning becomes evident. Amarakosh says that rama means blue, beautiful and white. Thus, Giriraj becomes joyful with the touch of the feet of Krishna, who is most beautiful (rama).

Tayoh verse can mean Govardhana gives joy to Krishna’s two feet by makes the stones appropriately warm or cool according to the season. Or Govardhana takes pleasure in supplying (sparsha) opportunities for playful (rama) Krishna’s activities (carana). Amarakosh says sparshana can mean giving. Govardhana is always anxious to encourage Krishna’s pastimes.

Or, Govardhana gives bliss to Krishna, us and the world by supplying opportunities for Krishna’s pastimes. Or, the touch of Govardhana is pleasurable like the touch of Krishna’s feet. By touching Govardhana, one accomplishes the bliss of touching Krishna’s feet, since he holds a treasure of the touch of Krishna’s feet as Krishna   constantly performs various prema-filled lilas at that Govardhana.

Text 10.21.19 Translation:

My dear sakhis! As Krishna and Balarama pass through the forest with Their cowherd friends, leading Their cows, They carry ropes to bind the cows’ rear legs at the time of milking. When Krishna plays on His flute, the sweet music causes the moving living entities to become stunned and the nonmoving trees to tremble with ecstasy. These things are certainly very wonderful.

Sri Jiva Goswamipada tika:

What can be said about the glory of Govardhana, aptly named his best servant. But most fortunate are all the moving and non-moving beings there. Since Krishna must travel far because of the unlimited number of cows, he gives joy to all the living beings over a wide area. The gopis feel most unfortunate, being cheated of seeing Krishna.

The suffix ka on gopakaih indicates mercy since the boys are objects of Giridhari’s mercy, being part of Krishna’s family. The word gopa also indicates that they protect Krishna from places where there is fear and sorrow. But we gopis are not qualified to perform such service. The two boys wander at their leisure from forest to forest (nayatoh), but we do not have that fortune.

That flute is generous (udara), giving the highest joy to them all. That flute sound is special, producing soft, sweet tones (kala-padaih). The sound is attractive because of its sweetness. Because of its softness, it seems to be sending some hidden message.

Being filled with many emotions, it becomes most excellent. Or that sound becomes mixed with the footsteps (padaiù) which make sounds because of Krishna’s ankle bells. This indicates that the Vraja-gopis remember Krishna’s pastimes. 

All those who have bodies (tanu-bhrteshu) fall under Krishna’s control. O sakhis, you know this. The rope refers to two pieces of cloth decorated with flower clusters and pearls placed on top of a turban on Krishna’s head. Though Krishna’s cowherd dress is attractive to all, it is especially attractive, enchanting and astonishing (vicitram) to the young gopis.

The verse indicates the Vraja-gopis complete absorption in Krishna as previously. O friends! Very clearly on the pretext of herding the cows Krishna wanders in the forest with his friends and brother and appears like a cheater. Krishna is a powerful flute player with attractive, invisible notes like a bewitching mantra.

Krishna is thus the chief cheater. The others follow him. Therefore, like us, you gopis should not hear Krishna’s flute filled with a bewitching spell. Otherwise, your minds will be bound up by Krishna’s two binding ropes. In this way they express their sorrow at being completely bewildered.

Venu-gita ki jai! Sri Jiva Goswamipada ki jai!

Radha-Govinda Yugala ki jai! Jai Jai Sri Radhe!

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

Herein we present a sweet selection of rasika-acharya, Sri Jiva Goswamipada’s Krishna prema-filled comments on the Venu-gita (Srimad Bhagavatam 10.21). By reading and studying these comments along with the verses of Venu-gita, you will attain a happy feeling in your heart, and renewed enthusiasm to love and serve Radha and Krishna more and more.

10.21.3 When the Vraja-gopis hear Shyama’s flute song, which incites Cupid’s influence, some gopis privately describe Krishna’s qualities to their intimate friends.

Sri Jiva Goswami’s tika: Seeing the autumnal beauty, Sri Krishna gets excited and practices flute playing to attract the gopis. Thus they become aroused (verse word smaraudaya), and start glorifying Krishna in this chapter. Although now Krishna is in pauganda period (5-10 years), His flute playing arouses amorous desires in the gopis because it magically manifests the kaisora age (10-15).

Not only ladies but all living entities in Vraja become immensely attracted (verse word sarva-bhuta-manoharam) to Krishna’s venu-nad. For Yashoda, it arouses vatsalya, motherly affection, and not smara or amorous intimacies. But for Radha it is smara, and thus Sriji herein reveals Her mental anguish to Her confidantes like Lalita-sakhi.

10.21.4 While speaking about Krishna, the damsels of Vrajabhumi remember His lilas. The power of Cupid, however, arises to agitate their minds and then they stop speaking.

Sri Jiva Goswami’s tika: This verse describes the sequence of rising love. Although they try, because of love’s impulses (verse word smaravegena), the gopis become mum. They simply think about that “heart stealer”, Muralimanohara, again and again.

10.21.5 Featuring a peacock-feather ornament upon his head, yellow karnikara flowers on his ears, a brilliant golden yellow garment, and a Vaijayanti garland, Sri Krishna looks like the best of dancers as He prances into Vrndaranya, beautifying it with the unique marks of his footprints. As Krishna fills the flute with the nectar of his lips, the gopas sing his glories.

Sri Jiva Goswami’s tika: Among all the sakhas, Govinda is most attractive, and even more so because now Krishna is dressed as a dancer (verse word natavesa). Filling the flute with the nectar of his lips means Krishna’s flute song is as attractive as Krishna’s adharamrta. The verse word vrndaranya means that sakhi Vrnda-devi has already cleaned and specially decorated the forest to stimulate Krishna’s lilas. The presence of Krishna’s extraordinary 19 footprints in the forest of Vrndavana gives bliss (verse word ramanam), to everyone especially Vrnda-devi. And the charming, soft dust, fragrant flowers, leaves etc. give delight (ramanam) to Radha-ramana’s lotus feet.

The verse describes Krishna’s natural adornments of feathers, leaves and Vraja flowers, and not His usual gold and pearl necklaces etc. Why? Because upon entering Vrndaranya, Krishna sets these aside in preference to decking Himself out with Vraja’s natural opulences of leaves, flowers, feathers, mineral pigments and gunja berries. Krishna is also sporting only forest decorations as appropriate for the first day of His Autumnal pastimes.

10.21.6 When the young Vraja-gopis hear Krishna’s venu, which steals the minds of all living beings, they embrace each other and describe it.

Sri Jiva Goswami’s tika: All the gopis (verse word vraja-striyasarva) indicates all degrees of attachment to Krishna i.e. deep, medium and light. Some gopis mentally embrace (verse word abhirebhire) Krishna who is seizing their hearts. Or due to arising love, other gopis mistake their sakhis to be Krishna and embrace them. And some sakhis embrace each other because their natural love is awakened.

Venu-gita ki jai! Sri Jiva Goswamipada ki jai!

Radha-Govinda Yugala ki jai! Jai Jai Sri Radhe!

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

Herein we present a continuous sweet selection of tikas from the great rasika-acarya, Sri Jiva Goswamipada’s Krishna prema-filled comments on the Venu-gita (Srimas Bhagavatam 10.21). By reading and studying these comments along with the verses of Venu-gita, you will attain a happy feeling in your heart, and renewed enthusiasm to love and serve Radha and Krishna more and more. Jai Jai Sri Radhe!

Srimad Bhagavatam 10.21.11

Translation: The gopis say, “Blessed are all the less intelligent deer because, on hearing the sound of Krishna’s flute, they and their husbands do the best worship by glancing affectionately at Nandanandan, who is gorgeously dressed.”

Sri Jiva Goswamipada tika: Such is the glory of Vrindavan that all the jivas taking shelter there are very dear to Sri Krishna. Now, let us describe the good fortune of the animals in Vrindavan. The does are without discrimination yet as they wander through Vraja they are directly seen by Krishna.

The Vraja-gopis mention Nanda’s name because their minds are bewildered by uncontrollable agitation. They performed Krishna’s worship with glances filled with affection. Love is the greatest treasure in worship. In great astonishment the gopis speak with lamentation. “O! We do not have such good fortune!”

Srimad Bhagavatam 10.21.12

Translation: The gopis say, “When the devatas’ wives flying in vimans with their husbands see Krishna, whose form and qualities fill all women with joy, and when they hear Krishna’s venu-gita, their hearts are agitated by Cupid, and they become so bewildered that the flowers fall out of their hair and the ropes holding up their undergarments loosen.”

Sri Jiva Goswamipada tika: Both the animals on the ground and the devatas flying in the sky have become supremely fortunate by seeing Krishna whose all-attractive form and qualities immediately incite anuraga in all women. The devis hear Krishna’s flute playing a raga drenched in madhurya-rasa.

They came along with their husbands since they didn’t have the adhikari for direct association with Krishna. Just by seeing Shyam the Svargadevis became intensely afflicted with lust for Krishna. Their enchantment was further enhanced by hearing Krishna’s venu-gita. Hearing and seeing  were both causes of bewilderment. 

This is the anubhava called mottayita which is the appearance of desire in the heart from the arousal of the sthayi-bhava from remembering or hearing about Krishna.

The gopis pine, “We are most unfortunate for not having seen Krishna, the astonishing ocean of all auspiciousness, who bewilders the foolish female deer and the most intelligent wives of devatas. Or, we are most unfortunate for not seeing Krishna as He wanders in the forest, whereas they are fortunate.”

Srimad Bhagavatam 10.21.13

Translation: The gopis say, “Using their upraised ears as cups, the cows drink the nectar of Krishna’s flute-song flowing out of from His mouth. The calves, their mouths full of milk from their mothers’ moist nipples, with tear-filled eyes, stand still as they embrace Krishna within their hearts.

Sri Jiva Goswamipada tika: Other gopis speak three verses to hide their amorous emotions by describing the cows which have maternal affection for Krishna. “Even cows that are famous for not being able to distinguish good from bad, are relishing the sound of Krishna’s flute coming from His moon-like mouth which is endowed with more nectar than billions of nectar-filled moons.

“Krishna is the fullest embodiment of the highest bliss. In astonishment the cows simply stand, stunned, overcome by sattvika-bhava. Govinda indicates the master of the cows. They touch Krishna with affection. Some calves have mouthfuls of their mothers’ milk flowing from their mouths. Other calves are chewing grass.

“They all start crying as they embrace Govinda in their minds. Since their eyes are covered with tears, they can only see Krishna in their minds. We however are most unfortunate since we cannot even see Krishna.”

Srimad Bhagavatam 10.21.14

Translation: “O Amba! In this forest all the birds have risen onto the budding branches of the trees to see Krishna. With closed eyes, like sages, they are simply listening in silence to the sweet vibrations of Krishna flute, and they speak of nothing except Krishna.”

Sri Jiva Goswamipada tika: In astonishment, the gopis say, “O mother!” (amba)

It is the nature of those immersed in prema to make such statements. Since no mother is present, the gopis address their friends in this manner.

The gopis say, “What to speak of the good fortune of the cows protected by Krishna, how can we describe the fortune of these forest birds? Most of the birds are like this, but some like the peacocks are like the greatest devotees because they are dancing in prema, not just sitting in the tress.

“The birds climb on the branches of trees in order that they can see Krishna or so that Krishna can see them.  But the buds create obstacles to seeing Krishna, so they listen to Krishna’s venu-gita with half-closed eyes.” This indicates lassitude because of intense prema.

“No words except the words of the flute are sensed by their minds, ears or voice. Thus, they are fortunate.”

The word munayah refers to atmaramas like the Kumaras who have become birds to see Krishna. When they hear the sound of Krishna’s flute which they have never experienced before, that enchanting sound attracts them away from their brahma-samadhi. These sages have surpassed the branches of the Vedas and given up study of the Vedas. Their consciousness of their bodies has disappeared (milita-drsha—closed vision). The have become silent on all topics except Krishna. What else can they deliberate on?

Venu-gita ki jai! Sri Jiva Goswamipada ki jai!

Radha-Govinda Yugala ki jai! Jai Jai Sri Radhe!

Herein we present a continuous sweet selection of tikas from the great rasika-acarya, Sri Jiva Goswamipada’s Krishna prema-filled comments on the Venu-gita (Srimad Bhagavatam 10.21). By reading and studying these comments along with the verses of Venu-gita, you will attain a happy feeling in your heart, and renewed enthusiasm to love and serve Radha and Krishna more and more. Jai Jai Sri Radhe!

Srimad Bhagavatam 10.21.7

Translation: The sakhis say, “O sakhis! Is there any other purpose for the eyes than seeing the beautiful youthful face of Krishna as He and Douji pasture the cows from forest to forest in Vrndavana?”

Tika: I, Sri Jiva, surrender to the gopis by whose mercy one can understand their words, and by whom the fathomlessly deep heart of Sri Krishna heart is conquered, gopih-prapadye-ta-yabhih,-sa-gambhirasayo-jitah.

To hide their complete attachment to Krishna, the gopis here externally glorify both Krishna and Balarama. In essence the  gopis are saying, ‘All senses attain success if they can taste the sweet nectar of Syama’s lotus face.’

Srimad Bhagavatam 10.21.8

Translation: Krishna and Balarama look so attractively gorgeous (vicitra vesa) with Their colorful flower malas; water lilies hanging over Their ears; Their wavy locks entwined with peacock feathers, mango buds and clusters of flowers; and twirling pastime lotus flowers in Their hands. Shining magnificently among the gopas, Govinda and Douji look like a pair of professional dancers on a dramatic stage.

Tika: In this verse and others, the gopis try hard to conceal their intense loving attachment for Sri Krishna. Here the gopis are saying, “These two feel great happiness singing and dancing amidst Their cowherd friends. Sometimes Kanai Balai sing or listen to the gopas glorify Them with special songs. The gopas sometimes challenge, “Of you two, whoever sings best should sing for us.” Then to create a particular sweetness in their play, Krishna Balarama both proudly sing different songs.

Though not spoken, the gopis emotions are saying, “O these gopas are so fortunate! But we are not since we can not freely associate with Krishna due to fear public opinion!”

Srimad Bhagavatam 10.21.9

Translation: My dear gopis! What good deeds did Krishna’s flute perform to now independently enjoy the nectar of Damodara’s lips while leaving only a drop for us gopis who deserve that nectar!

Tika: In the madness of mahabhava, the gopis here express their desire mixed with envy, while falsely imagining that the flute has performed many pious deeds even though it’s just a piece of dry bamboo. ‘We will also do such pious acts to get the taste of Krishna’s lips.’

By calling Krishna “Damodara”, the gopis suggest that they have had a special  natural loving relationship. with Him since Krishna’s balya-lila [age 1-5], wherein the sprouts appeared of their present blossoming emotions. In the daze of love, Damodara’s darlings disclose, “We see that even after enjoying Damodara’s lips for so long, His lips are still juicy and not dry, so the flute has not really enjoyed Krishna’s lips at all!”

Srimad Bhagavatam 10.21.10

Translation: O sakhi, Vrndavana has made the earth glorious because she possesses the treasure of Devakinandana’s lotus feet. Upon hearing Govinda’s vamsi, the peacocks madly dance, and all the creatures become stunned while standing on the hilltops to watch the dance.

Tika: Losing their interest in glorifying Krishna’s flute, the gopis focus on the glorious land of Vrndavana as being far superior to Vaikuntha for all the above reasons. In Vaikuntha, Krishna/Vishnu wears golden slippers and leaves no footprints for anyone to see or relish.

The gopis think, ‘Ah! The peacocks are dancing with Krishna to the thrill of all. But we, the most unfortunate, cannot see this. It should be understood that in all these verses, the gopis are actually expressing their dissatisfaction, an inherent quality of Krishna prema.

Venu-gita ki jai! Sri Jiva Goswamipada ki jai! Radha-Govinda Yugala ki jai!

Jai Jai Sri Radhe!

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

This series of posts will present facts (tattva) regarding the identity, moods (gopi-bhava), intimacy and sevas of Srimati Radharani’s beautiful and talented handmaidens known as manjaris, kinkaris, or dasis.

Also we will present many astonishing and wonderful lilas to highlight the manjaris most personal and confidential sevas to Srimati Radhika and Her dearest Priyatama Shyamasundara.

The information here is based on the commentaries of Advaitavamsa Acharya 108 Sri Ananda Gopala Goswami and 108 Sri Ananta Dasa Babaji Maharaja taken from “Vilapa Kusumanjali” and “Radha Rasa Sudhanidhi” translated by Sri Advaita Dasji.

Manjari Lila: Krishna’s Nama Japa

While Srimati Radharani is cooking Krishna’s breakfast in Nandagram, Shyam finishes His bath, dresses and sits down in His bhajan kutira. His mother and father had Krishna initiated into Narayana-mantra by Bhaguri Muni.

For Gopala’s benefit, mother Yashoda says: “Go Gopala! Practice Your mantra.”

Krishna thinks, “Whose mantra shall I practice? No one in the world can possibly be more qualified than Me. I only experience that in Sri Radha!”

Therefore, with His eyes filled with tears of love, Krishna repeatedly chants the two most tasteful syllables ‘Ra-Dha’ while meditating on the spiritual effulgence of Radha’s lotus feet like the king of yogis

One day Krishna confided in a sakhi saying, “O sakhi! Who told Me this name Radha? Hearing it soothed My heart! How much sweetness is there in Radha’s name? The name of Radha fills My ears with nectar!

“How many names aren’t there in Gokula? None of them agitates Me like this name of Radha! When Radha’s form manifests in My heart it is as if I’m drowning in an ocean of nectar! When I see Radha My eyes are fulfilled!”

Manjari Lila: Radha Darshan

No other consort is as fortunate as Srimati Radharani! Krishna can forget everything but not Radha! This is the Prabhu we worship, Krishna the playful enjoyer, lila-vilasi.

Krishna is the carefree dhira-lalita hero, enjoying in every kunja with Sri Radha. Playing and playing, Krishna infuses His prema in the trees and vines, revives the old and dry trees, and causes the rocks to melt with His sweetly seductive flute song.

While practicing this meditation in His bhajan kutira, Krishna becomes eager to see the object of His contemplation, so He goes to the kitchen. When Krishna peeps through the kitchen-window He sees Srimati cooking.

Aha! such sweetness! Radha does not have Her veil on straight, and Radha’s dress and ornaments are loosened because of the hard work. Radha’s face shines with a reddish glow because of the stove’s burning fire and Her cheeks are beautified by pearl-like sweat drops.

Shyam is spell bound and cannot move His feet anymore as He beholds sweet Radha, the object of His meditation. Hari’s eyes are widened of ecstasy from seeing Kishori.

Suddenly Sriji sees Shyam. Out of shyness Radha cannot pull the veil straight on Her head, so Radha gives a wink to Tulasi to pull Her veil back over Her head. Then She chastises Tulasi with a blink from Her eyes:

“Tulasi, didn’t you see Krishna? Why didn’t you tell Me Krishna is watching Me?”

Tulasi replies with her eyes: “I also didn’t see Krishna because I was absorbed in grinding paste!”

Actually Tulasi had seen Krishna before, but our Hero had silently requested her not to tell Swamini that He was watching Her.

Radhika and Shyam’s eyes meet and with Her glances Swamini informs Krishna: “Ma Rohini is here, go now!” Krishna asks with His eyes: “Will I not see You anymore?’

Swamini blinks: “Yes!”

Our hero is enchanted by Radha’s arrow-like glances and thinks: “Aha! How much trouble Radha is taking to cook for Me! Radha’s face has a reddish glow from being close to the fire! Radha’s maidervants are wiping Her face, that is adorned with sweat drops!”

How sweet is this exchange of Radha-Madhava’s loving glances! Sadhakas should try to visualize such scenes in their meditations.

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

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

This series of posts will present facts (tattva) regarding the identity, moods (gopi-bhava), intimacy and sevas of Srimati Radharani’s beautiful and talented handmaidens known as manjaris, kinkaris, or dasis.

Also we will present many astonishing and wonderful lilas to highlight the manjaris most personal and confidential sevas to Srimati Radhika and Her dearest Priyatama Shyamasundara.

The information here is based on the commentaries of Advaitavamsa Acharya 108 Sri Ananda Gopala Goswami and 108 Sri Ananta Dasa Babaji Maharaja taken from “Vilapa Kusumanjali” and “Radha Rasa Sudhanidhi” translated by Sri Advaita Dasji.

Manjari Lila: Radha Rewards Her Manjari

Sri Rupa Manjari has arranged for Radha-Krishna to meet in a kunja, so They want to reward her. Shyam holds Radha’s face and pushes His chewed betel leaves into Radha’s mouth.

Radha then makes a disgusted look as if to say: “Yek! Do I have to chew the remnants of this debauchee, whose mouth kisses so many other girls?”

Glancing toward Sri Rupa Manjari, Radha then spits the chewed betel leaves out on a plate. In this way, the maidservants are also blessed with Radha’s chewed food or spice remnants! How merciful Radha is!

“O Premamayi, Karunamayi Radhe! When will I be blessed by attaining a drop of Your mercy? I’m sitting here in Your Priya Radha Kunda, constantly waiting for the blessed day that I will get Your mercy!”

The practicing devotee should also become greedy for Radharani’s indescribable prasada. With such transcendental greed the devotee should enter the path of raganuga bhakti.

Absorbed in manjari bhava, Sarasvatipada prays:

sri –radhaya -madhura -madhurocchishta -piyusha –saram,
bhojam -bhojam -nava -nava –rasananda -magnah -kada -syam

“When will I be submerged in ever-new blissful rasa by repeatedly chewing the sweeter than sweet remnants of Sri Radha which are the essence of nectar?” (Radha Rasa Sudhanidhi 87)

How great are Radha’s feelings of mine-ness! The kinkaris want nothing else and know nothing else in this world but Sri Radhika’s lotus feet and Radha’s happiness. That’s why Radha is so merciful to them!

Tulasi-manjari has given her heart to Sri Radha. How much love and affection there is between them. The practicing devotee should also relish Swamini’s loving compassion when one remembers these transcendental pastimes. Remembrance of Radharani is most blissful.

Everything in this world is giving trouble and pain. So the devotee anxiously prays, “O Radhika! Don’t keep me in this material world anymore! Make me a maidservant of Your lotus feet! How long will I have to stay in this world while I’m winding up my material existence?”

Manjari Tattva: Intensity in Smarana

In the morning, Sri Radha walks to Nandagram along with Her sakhi manjaris. When Srimati becomes tired on the way Radha holds Her arm on Sri Rupa Manjari’s shoulder. The practicing devotee should think of oneself walking behind Radhika also, always worrying about Radha’s welfare and comfort.

We want to be always near our Swamini Sri Radha. Smarana means mental association. Smarana can only take place in the heart and mind of one who is free from the faults of attachment, hatred and so on.

When smarana becomes very intense this mental association becomes an actual experience. Sripada Ramanujacharya teaches: “When smarana deepens all other thoughts subside and the attention becomes one-pointed, which will result in actual experiences.” Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu said, “By constant meditation, Krishna becomes manifest in the heart. (Caitanya Caritamrta 2.19.235)

When we hear and chant the holy words of the acharyas we experience nearness with Radha Govinda Yugala. Sri Krishna becomes happy when devotees relish the sweetness of each and every item of bhajan. 

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

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

This series of posts will present facts (tattva) regarding the identity, moods (gopi-bhava), intimacy and sevas of Srimati Radharani’s beautiful and talented handmaidens known as manjaris, kinkaris, or dasis.

Also we will present many astonishing and wonderful lilas to highlight the manjaris most personal and confidential sevas to Srimati Radhika and Her dearest Priyatama Shyamasundara.

The information here is based on the commentaries of Advaitavamsa Acharya 108 Sri Ananda Gopala Goswami and 108 Sri Ananta Dasa Babaji Maharaja taken from “Vilapa Kusumanjali” and “Radha Rasa Sudhanidhi” translated by Sri Advaita Dasji.

Manjari Lila: Manjaris Break the Impasse

The maidservants of Sri Radha don’t even dream of their own needs. The manjaris always throw Radha and Krishna into ever-new pools of transcendental fun. One day Yugala Kishora sit down in a kunja with Their backs against each other. They are angry with each other and They both think: “I will not be the first one to speak!”

They don’t want to disgrace Themselves by apologizing, but at the same time Radha-Madhava are suffering because They cannot meet each other. Suddenly Sri Rupa Manjari breaks the impasse by telling Shyam, “What are You telling me by blinking at me? I cannot woo Swamini for You!”

Both think the job has been done, and so Radha-Krishna begin to laugh and joke with each other again. How wonderful is this manjari’s service who thinks, “For Radha-Madhava’s pleasure we can do anything!”

Manjari Lila: Putting Radha to Rest

Tulasi-manjari comes up to Swamini to remind Radha that now is the time to take a little rest. The sakhis are oblivious about this due to being absorbed in their intimate discussion with Swamini. But Tulasi never forgets her service. She made a bed

covered with a blue sheet for Sri Radha to lie on.

Tulasi-manjari says, “Hey Shyamaju! So much time has passed now come and take a little rest!” How much love this maidservant has!

The sakhis admit: “O Radhika! We don’t love You as much as Tulasi does! We completely forgot that now it’s time for You to rest a little bit!”

Tulasi takes Swamini by the hand and makes Her lie down on the bed. A blue oil lamp burns there to soothe Swamini’s eyes with the remembrance of Her lover. Radha is very happy to lie down on the bed prepared for Her by Her beloved manjari. Tulasi sees that Swamini decorates the bed by stretching out on it. It is as if Radha’s sweetness drips from the bed and inundates Tulasi with a stream of rasa.

Swamini is enchanted by dreaming of Shyam’s form. How wonderfully Radha moves in Her sleep while Radha dreams of enjoying with Krishna! How sweetly Srimati moves Her feet and how sweet is the smile on Radha’s face! How much Radha speaks in Her dream!

Later at night, when Radha-Krishna meet in Vrndavana, Krishna asks Radha, “Did You dream of Me this evening? I also dreamt of You!”

Blessed is our Swamini, blessed is our Shyam! Blessed is Tulasi-manjari, and blessed are all the sadhakas meditating on these sweet Vraja madhurya-lilas of Radha Govinda Yugala.

Jai Jai Sri Radhe!

Manjari Tattva: Sweetness of Sriji’s Seva

Sri Raghunatha Dasa Goswami has no other aim than Swaminiji’s lotus feet. In Vraja Vilasa Stava he says, “My heart is very agitated by remembering even a drop of the sweet, divine nectar-ocean that is Yugala Kishora.”

The acharyas are our example. When the practicing devotee performs bhajan in allegiance to the acharyas, a tiny drop of their vast devotional greed may become infused in one’s heart.

Govinda’s seva is bliss and a lack of Krishna’s seva is misery. Sri Rupa Manjari prays, “I desire service alongside the sakhis of Radharani.” That service contains the greatest bliss. When you love Krishna the divine remnants of that love will be scattered throughout the universe.

Then you can experience universal love as it is. Then the spiritual world is sweet, the material world is sweet, and sweet Krishna becomes even sweeter. Sweetness will then pervade your entire being from inside out.

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