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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.

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!

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

Krishna Frees Shakatasura

In Gokula, at the age of three months Krishna rolled over and crawled out of the bed. To commemorate the event Yasoda observed a special ceremony. The elderly gopis, looking like creepers of maternal affection, felt intoxicated with bliss by taking part in this function. It seems this pleasure came result of their previous piety. Since the gopis’ hearts overflowed with compassion, they always observed auspicious rituals for the satisfaction and protection of Krishna.

All the Vrajavasis anxiously rushed to see Krishna. The arrival of the splendidly dressed elderly gopis greatly enhanced the joyous atmosphere of the festival. Yasoda and other gopis smeared oil on Krishna’s body to celebrate the auspicious occasion of His leaving home for the first time to crawl about on His hands and knees. Mrdangas played melodiously while Yasoda bathed her son and honored the guests. Krishna-kumara looked extremely beautiful after His auspicious bath and the application of kajala to His lotus eyes.

Vrajesvari Yasoda pleased all her relatives by performing the traditional family rituals. Vrajaraja Nanda also relished boundless happiness during the festival. As an expert in domestic affairs, Rohini remembered her husband and distributed charity to all the guests. Afterwards, Yasoda put Krishna to rest on a soft mattress, which was whiter than powdered camphor, in an ornately decorated cradle, which she placed under a handcart. Mother Yasoda worshiped the guests while Krishna rested peacefully.

Melodious music from rumbling mrdangas, bherries, dundubhis and other instruments filled the air. The waves of music produced by the talented musicians sweetened all directions. Satisfied brahmanas recited Vedic hymns to bless the child. Yasodanandana, whose beauty defeats beauty personified, started crying due to hunger and a desire to drink Yasoda’s breast milk. But Vrajesvari could not hear Him due to the loud music and singing.

At this time, Krishna decided to kill Sakatasura, a demon who was hiding in the cart under which He lay. Opening His joyful eyes, Krishna simultaneously destroyed the cart and killed the demon by playfully kicking His feet. Without any effort Krishna vanquished that demon with His tender feet, which were unlimitedly beautiful and softer than the petals of a lotus flower. These were not the thunderbolt nails He used to kill Hiranyakasipu; nor were they the legs He extended throughout the universe in His Vamana incarnation.

The gentle tinkling of Krishna’s ankle-bells increased the splendour of His delicate little legs. Although the cart stood considerably higher than the child, Krishna easily kicked the wheel of the cart with His feet. The brass pots on the cart made a tremendously loud sound as they tumbled over the ground. From the force of Krishna’s kick the wheels split from the axle, the hubs and spokes fell apart, and the handcart collapsed. Everyone’s hearts stopped when they heard the shattering sound of Shakatasura falling down dead.

Thinking that Krishna may have been hurt, the Vrajavasis filled with anguish. Their hearts overwhelmed in fear, they anxiously rushed to the spot.With great anxiety they met Krishna and said, “Alas! Is this the beginning of some imminent danger? This cart represented auspiciousness since it remained in their house for so long without moving. How did this cart suddenly become inauspicious? This perfect boy is the sum total of all pious activities.

Although many heavy brass pots crashed down, hone of them touched the tender limbs of Krishna whose glossy body is smeared with musk. O Lord of Vrindavana, Nanda Maharaja! In any assembly you are the natural leader, and along with your wife Yasoda you are the embodiments of all fortune. Our words fail to describe the extent of your wonderful glories.” Thus the Vrajavasis praised the King of Vrindavana.

The cowherd boys met their parents and described the heroic deeds of Krishna in broken language. They said, “It is not His fault. Krishna felt hungry and started crying loudly for some milk. When He did not get any, then why blame Him if He did something wrong? You should not scold Krishna. Unless driven by the wind how can a lotus bud move, similarly, the cart broke and fell to the ground because Krishna kicked it with His legs while crying.” Assuming there must be some unknown cause, the elderly persons did not believe the statements of the children.

Fearing that the death of Sakatasura must have brought some danger to her son, Yasodarani fell down on the ground. Rohini and the gopis affectionately picked up Yasoda, and pacified her with the good news about Krishna’s safety. By their comforting words Yasoda regained her senses .and wiped away her tears.

Mother Yasoda said, “Alas! My three-month old baby, whose body is softer than butter, has suffered so much. Suddenly this cart broke and fell upon my son. Since my heart did not stop upon hearing about this, it must be harder than a thunderbolt. Shame on my motherly love! Alas! I am His mother in name only.

“The earth shook from the crashing of the cart and the people became speechless. When that cart fell down around my child He cried in fear but did not get hurt. I guess it must be the result of my misfortune. Otherwise, why are such evil events occurring like Putana’s visit and the breaking of the cart? Therefore the auspicious King of Vrindavana must arrange to prevent any further calamities coming to my child. From this incident I can only guess what further misfortune awaits me.”

Thus lamenting and feeling apprehensive, Mother Yasoda ran quickly to her son. She saw Krishna’s attractive face conquering the effulgent beauty of the moon with its ever-increasing charm. Yasoda drowned in an ocean of sweetness when she placed Krishna on her lap. Surcharged with feelings of bliss, Yasoda’s mind became pacified and free from worry.Nanda and Yasoda observed an auspicious religious ritual on behalf of Krishna-kumara, whose radiant body looked gorgeous.

Although Krishna is the Supreme Brahman, He appeared in Vrindavana as a boy with curly dark bluish black hair and a tender transcendental form. As Yasoda fondly fed Krishna the milk dripping from her breasts, He gradually fell asleep. Then she tucked Krishna back in His bed under the cart just as before. Rohini, the wife of Vasudeva, whose lustrous beauty surpasses all the women of heaven, engaged the brahmanas in chanting auspicious mantras to counteract the evil effects caused by Shakatasura.

Krishna Frees Trnavarta

One blissful day during Krishna’s first year, Yasoda lifted up her resplendent, jewel-like son while passing through the main chamber of the palace. She lovingly fondled and caressed Him. With His perfect intelligence Krishna immediately perceived some danger. Employing His Yogamaya potency, Krishna decided to reveal an ecstatic childhood pastime to show compassion to those rotting in the material world.

Thinking thus, Krishna made His body so heavy that He forced His mother to set Him down. Mother Yasoda, who is worshipable by all the three worlds, suddenly felt very tired from carrying her heavy son. As a creeper hangs down from the weight of ripened fruits, similarly, mother Yasoda bent over from the heavy weight of her maternal affection. Afraid of dropping her beloved son, Yasoda carefully sat Krishna down.

By the sweet will of the Lord, Yogamaya influenced Yasoda’s mind. Without the slightest worry, She left Krishna alone outside the house and went inside to perform other domestic duties. Mother Yasoda had no idea that she had left Krishna in a dangerous position. Yasoda’s bewilderment had no other apparent cause than the all-powerful manifestation of her son’s majesty. Realizing her mistake upon entering the house, Yasoda ran back to get Krishna.

Meanwhile a demon named Trnavarta descended upon Vrindavana. Taking the form of a huge cyclone, he terrorized all the people and animals. The whirlwind created by the demon seemed like a blacksmith’s bellows emitting a loud sound in all directions. Trnavartacovered all of Vrindavana in a dense cloud of darkness.

Trnavarta was one extremely powerful demon sent by Kamsa, whose very presence disturbed the natural balance of the material world made of five gross elements. He converted the three worlds into one element, namely wind. At its zenith it was so dense that it blinded everyone on earth.

Intent on killing Krishna, Trnavarta quickly attacked Him with his powerful winds. He dropped a deadly shower of dust, grass, and broken pots on the people of Vrindavana. Mother Yasoda worried about her son’s safety. She did not realize that her darling son, whose soft hands and feet possess the beauty, fragrance, and coolness of a lotus flower, could easily kill the biggest giants or the immortal demigods in heaven.

Suddenly Trnavarta kidnapped that tender baby who would soon cause his death. But Krishna did not feel the slightest pain or distress. The whirlwind sent the sweet fragrance of Krishna’s body into the celestial abodes. Krishna happily assumed a powerful feature while contemplating how to kill the demon. Trnavarta felt that he was carrying a fire bound in a cloth, a deadly poison within his throat, or death personified.

To satisfy the celestial damsels desirous of His darsana, Krishna rode the whirlwind into the heavens. When Krishna struck the demon with His hand, which smelled like musk and looked as splendid as the stem of a lotus, the demon’s life air slowly left his body. Then with a final blow Krishna crushed the demon to dust.

Krishna looked like a blue sapphire locket hanging from the demon’s throat. When they crashed on the ground the demon died, but Krishna landed safely on the earth. Seeing this amazing feat, the Vrajavasis filled with joy. Though appeared as a mere baby, Krishna sometimes proved His by displaying His unlimited potency. That great whirlwind demon, who showered dust, rain and clumps of earth all over Vrindavana, touched Krishna’s body, and by that attained the supreme fortune of becoming eligible for liberation.

Thus Trnavarta did the best possible act to purify his family line. When Yasoda could not find her son after the cessation of the storm, her heart turned into a desert of lamentation. At that time, she lost all patience, and unconsciousness personified appeared as her only companion. Feeling helpless and overwhelmed, Mother Yasoda collapsed on the earth. Though suffering immensely, Yasoda’s faint breathing indicated that she still lived.

Understanding her intense pain of lamentation, the Vrajavasis tried to revive Yasoda by sprinkling water on her face and speaking comforting words. They said, “O pious and learned lady! The extent of your good fortune is unlimited. Your son gives happiness to the eyes of everyone. . The honey-sweet dealings of Krishna-kumara continually increase our attachment to Him. Due to your purity your son is still alive.

“O King and Queen of Vrindavana! Now we realize that all your fortune and prestige is caused by your illustrious son. Ma Yasoda! Although you are apprehensive about your son’s safety, you can give up your distress, for the illusion has left our village. Do not let your mind burn any longer. Lift up your son and rejoice.”

Thus reassured, Yasoda regained consciousness, but she was still in anxiety. She said, “Just a few minutes ago I could not tolerate the weight of my son so I put Him down, and then that demon captured Him. Can you explain how a tiny baby can suddenly become so heavy that even his mother cannot carry him? I guess this must be due to my bad luck. Alas! How could my son, who is as soft as butter and cannot even tolerate the pain of my lap, endure the tremendous pain generated by that demon who attacked Vrindavana with a shower of grass, high winds, and pieces of bricks?

“Previously Providence protected my son from the poisonous breasts of Putana and the falling cart demon. Now I pray to Him to always protect my beloved son. Alas! I got my son back because of the Narayana’s protection. From now on I will never take Him off my lap and put Him on the ground. Quickly help me find my son. Where is He? Has the wind demon snatched Him and carried Him away? As long as I live I will never again leave Him outside alone.”**

Saying this,Yasoda fell down unconscious. Sympathizing with the plight of Yasoda, the elderly gopis again tried to pacify her. Due to the burning fire of lamentation, Yasoda’s lotus face looked morose and took on the hue of a red lotus. Her sadness submerged the Vrajavasis in an ocean of distress.On the outskirts of the village, where He had previously played upon the breast of Putana, Krishna-kumara triumphed over His enemy by smashing him on the earth. This location brought success, just as victory is assured for one choosing a favorable constellation before fighting.

******

While vanquishing that demon, Krishna, the greatest of all relishers, looked like a blossoming aparajita flower amidst a garden of thorns, or a blue lotus rising above a lake choked with tall reeds, or a small shining lamp atop a dense cloud of darkness. Krishna stood as the embodiment of transcendental knowledge amidst an ocean of ignorance. He resembled a river of nectar flowing in a desert, or a flower of personified bliss atop of a tree of misery.

Seeing the beautiful blue baby in a safe position, the crowds gradually dispersed. One person commented, “This low-class, faithless demon has kept the demigods from blessing us with their association. Taking the form of a whirlwind, he prevented all auspicious acts and tortured Mother Earth. Finally he destroyed himself by the reaction of his heinous sin of attempting to kidnap the Prince of Vrindavana. Since he did even have enough piety to approach Krishna’s house, he died outside of town instead.”

Someone else said, “O look at this boy! He is the eternal

Parambrahma and the Supreme Personality of Godhead! The effulgence of His unlimited opulence is always expanding. He is an invincible razor sharp sword annihilating the asuric kings with His awesome power. From the very beginning, Krishna established the glories of His name by killing the Putana demon. It is He who freed everyone from distress by destroying Sakatasura. He also demolished that demon who terrorized the three worlds.”

Another Vrajavasi said, “Like King Indra, Nanda Maharaja must have performed severe austerities and done many good deeds to accrue such vast piety. As a result, Nanda Baba received a boon that enabled his son to defeat formidable asuras like Putana and others. There is no other way to explain how all these demons met their death.”

Having accepted Krishna as the wealth of their lives, the Vrajavasis rejoiced upon finding Him free from danger. Picking Him up in their loving arms, they carried Krishna into Yasoda’s inner chambers. The atmosphere filled with the happy news of Krishna’s well-being. Witnessing the pleasure of the Vrajavasis also brought waves of bliss to the mind of Asurari, Krishna, the destroyer of demons.

Observing this joyful pastime of Krishna, the elderly gopis. smiled and said, “Hey Bhagavati! You are worshipable by everyone in the world. Due to your good fortune your son is now safe and happy.” Such reassuring words greatly pleased the mind of Yasoda. When rain clouds forcefully pour water on a burned out forest, a fresh abundance of life reappears to beautify that forest with elegance and contentment. In a similar way, Yasoda looked refreshed and beautiful upon regaining her beloved son.

Though happy, Yasoda felt somewhat anxious and confused by the unusual event. In this state of bewilderment she said, “Where is He? Where is He?” Compassionately taking charge of Yasoda, the Vrajavasis gradually nursed her back to consciousness. At that time Yasoda’s eyes looked like a pair of lotus flowers moistened with cool drops of dew. Her name, fame, and position surpass everyone in creation. Waking from her trance, Yasoda stood up and drowned in an ocean of joy upon beholding her all-attractive son.

Other ladies glorified Krishna-kumara, “Hey Krishna! Hey Krishna!” A dying man receives new life by taking sanjivam rasa. Similarly, Yasoda, who nearly died in separation, revived upon meeting her dearest son Krishna. She felt she had retrieved an invaluable lost treasure. Sitting Krishna on her lap, she lovingly gazed at Him with unblinking eyes. But being only semi-conscious, Yasoda could not relish the full bliss of Krishna’s direct association.

As her sleeping senses awoke in the service of her beloved son, she said, “O darling! From the time of Your birth You have caused so much trouble to Your mother. Of course, this is not Your fault, so how can J blame You? I am the one who left You outside and unprotected. This shows my heart is as dry as wood, and therefore I qualify as Your mother in name only. But since I am known as Your mother, You have never treated me cruelly.

“Although that demon kidnapped You, because You of Your innocence You somehow escaped and returned. O my beloved! Your love for me is unprecedented and transcendental. I should be punished for my grave mistake.”

Out of intense motherly affection, Mother Yasoda suckled Krishna with her breast milk and put Him to rest. Although appearing in a human form to act as the son of Yasoda, Krishna-kumara eternally exists as the personification of transcendental bliss.

Kaviraja Sri Karnapura Goswami’s AnandaVrindavanaCampuki jai!

Radha-GovindaVraja Lilas ki jai! Jai Jai Sri Radhe!

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

The Witch Becomes a Mother

The Supreme Brahman, taking the form of a human being, descended on earth and assumed the mood of a village boy. Although He appeared like an ordinary human to the common people, Sri Krishna, who is famous as the beautiful form of supreme transcendence, has a completely pure spiritual body. Manifesting along with His divine consort Srimati Radharani, Krishna fully satisfied the minds of everyone.

Once, Vrajaraja Nanda, having accepted the customs of ordinary people, followed the proper etiquette to protect his city. Nanda and other senior men went to Mathura to pay taxes to King Kamsa for their yearly milk production. The Yadus and their faithful servants accompanied him.

Meanwhile, in Mathura, the cruel and wicked Kamsa, remembering his past enmity toward Lord Vishnu, tactfully sent Putana rakshasi to Vrindavana to kill baby Krishna. She was as foreboding as an evil planet. Capable of assuming any form, Putana disguised herself as the most beautiful woman in the three worlds and went to Nanda’s capital. The villagers became attracted and bewildered by seeing such an exceptionally charming woman. In this way, Putana astonished the minds of everyone with her superbly enchanting form.

Seeing the extraordinary elegance of Putana, the Vrajavasis openly mocked the famous society girls of heaven, saying, “O Urvasi! You are the best of the heavenly damsels, but in the presence of Putana you are no more than a beggar! O Rambhe! Very soon you will become the consort of a frog. O Ghitachi! Your fame is now as valuable as a crematorium covered by water. O Citralekhe! Your captivating form appears now like lines in a painting.”

The Vrajavasis, speculating as to the identity of Putana, thought, “Is this lady the presiding demigoddess of Vrindavana? Is she the goddess of fortune of the three worlds? Is she a creeper of lightning appearing without a cloud? Is she a friend of the kumuda flowers blossoming under the moon?”

When Putana entered Yasoda’s home, the Vrajavasis concluded that the goddess of the three worlds had favored that great soul, the King of Vrindavana by personally coming to render all kinds of service. Baby Krishna lay on a bed as white as the rays of the full moon, or the foam produced from churning the ocean of milk. Nandulala looked like a great emerald sprouting from a field of powdered camphor.

Putana played the part of the sweet deceiver who outwardly speaks pleasing words, but harbors cruelty within his vicious heart. She exactly resembled a well concealed by straw in order to trap a wild elephant. Her attractive form rivaled the jeweled sheath of a deadly sword. Although assuming the form of a desire creeper, Putanawas really a poisonous plant.

Displaying motherly affection, Putana held Nandu in her lap. Yasoda and Rohini wondered, “Is this woman Bhagavati Gauri? Or is she the presiding deity of the material elements? Is she the consort of Indra, the queen of Varuna, or the consort of Agnideva? Has she appeared here to display affection toward my son?” Thinking thus, they did not prevent Putana from offering her breast milk to the baby.

Fearlessly, Putana picked up baby Krishna and cuddled Him in her lap. The compassionate Lord, who is absolute knowledge personified, acted as if He was unaware of the situation. Krishna immediately accepted Putana as His mother and climbed up on her lap. Yasoda and Rohini watched attentively as Putana expressed motherly affection toward Krishna by pressing her poison covered nipple into His mouth. Krishna’s soft, copper-colored lips resembled drinking cups made of the petals of a cluster of bandhuka flowers. Expert at performing pastimes, Krishna skillfully sucked out both Putana’s milk and her very life, which left her helpless and stupefied.

Feeling intense pain, Putana shrieked, “Please leave me, leave me!” while trying her best to throw the baby off her breast. But Krishna held tightly with both hands and sucked her breast milk with the cup of His soft lips. Then Putana assumed her raksasi form as a horrible demon. Krishna immediately killed her and cast Putana’s huge and hideous body out of town to prevent her crushing the Vrajavasis. However, when Putana fell to the ground, her dead body smashed all of Kamsa’s favourite mango trees in his fruit orchard. The ugly body of Putana extended for twelve miles.

The Vrajavasis froze in fright upon seeing the gigantic body of that witch. Everyone was amazed to see Krishna sitting playfully in the rakshasi’s lap. Yasoda sighed, “Alas! How painful, what happened to my son? While thus lamenting, Yasoda staggered a few steps and fell senseless. But the moment she heard that her son was safe and sound, Vrajesvari Yasoda regained her consciousness.

To relieve His grieving family and friends, Krishna crawled up on Putana’s chest so they could see Him freely playing there. Upon seeing Krishna, the gopas cried out, “O look! That woman came to kill the son of Nanda, but she died as a result of her grave offense. O how fortunate we are!” Beholding that gentle yet fearless, beautiful boy with a sweet smile, the cowherd men picked Krishna up and handed Him from one to another.

The gopis consoled Yasoda, “O pious one, here is your son, please embrace Him.” Yasoda swelled with joy upon seeing her son’s face. Thereafter, Yasoda and Rohini, along with the other elderly gopis, waved about the switch of a cow, bathed the beautiful child with cow’s urine, and performed other purifying acts to create auspiciousness. To further protect the child they chanted the holy names of the Lord.

The Vrajavasis chopped up the gigantic body of Putana, took it away, and burned it. From a distance that burning body, spewing forth deep black smoke and many sparks, looked like a monsoon cloud illuminated by streaks of lightning. Because Krishna had touched Putana the smoke rising from her burning body filled every planet up to Vaikuntha with a sweet aroma. Everyone enjoyed that fragrance which smelled like incense of aguru and sandalwood. The rain falling through that fragrant smoke saturated the earth with a sweet smell.

Vrajaraja Nanda returned from Mathura amidst all this commotion. Observing the smoke and feeling apprehensive, the associates of Nanda said, “O King of Vrindavana, what is this dense cloud of dark blue smoke?” Moving closer to Putana, the elderly gopas wondered, “Where has all this aromatic smoke suddenly come from? Has the fragrance of the earth expressing its desire to conquer the sky, taken the form of smoke to spread throughout the world?”Thus, the gopas argued amongst themselves about the amazing event.

Vrajaraja Nanda anxiously said, “What happened? What is wrong?” Within minutes the Vrajavasis assembled before Nanda Maharaja and told him all about Putana’s demoniac deeds. Upon seeing the face of his beloved child, Nanda felt relieved and refreshed. Picking up Gopala, Nanda Baba affectionately smelled His head. Overwhelmed with unlimited pleasure, his mind melted with ecstatic feelings and his eyes streamed tears of happiness.

Who can describe the mercy of the Lord? Even though Putana rakshasi came disguised as a mother to kill Krishna with her poisonous breast milk, the compassionate Sri Krishna gave her the position of a mother in the spiritual world.

Anandakanda Bhagavan Sri Krishna ki jai! Vrajalila ki jai!

Kaviraja Sri Karnapura Goswami’s Ananda Vrindavana Campu 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 Prema Arati

Radharani holds court with Her sakhis while sitting on a beautiful raised jeweled seat. How sweetly Sriji sits there, chewing pan and floating in the nectar of laughter and joking with Her girlfriends!

Now Lalita-sakhi will perform this loving ceremony of Radha’s arati with lamps, incense and so to remove the obstacles and inauspiciousness in Radha-Madhava’s extra-marital relationship.

Lalita-sakhi orders different people around while the maidservants bring all the paraphernalia. The boat of Swamini’s mind sinks in the river of remembrance of Krishna. This can be seen by the soft sweet smile on Radha’s lotus face. And try to imagine how does Radha laugh?

During the ceremony there are no bells ringing. With sweet voices the sakhis sing new auspicious songs to burn up all inauspiciousness, while Lalita lovingly swings the lamp around before Swamini. Radha’s arati is a great ceremony of divine love.

The light of the lamp even increases the effulgence of Sri Radhika’s that mocks the luster of molten gold. All the sakhis and manjaris sing and dance, spinning around and around. Lalita blows a conchshell and some kinkaris shower their beloved Swamini with flowers. Some sing ‘Jaya Jaya’ and others make the ulu-dhvani.

How brightly Swamini shimmers during the arati! Lalita offers a conchshell with water and then wipes away all kinds of misfortune with a handkerchief. Lalita is the embodiment of love, and with all her love she performs this ceremony.

Sadhakas who relish these pastimes in meditation will find it very sweet. At the end of the arati, Tulasi-manjari, who stands in the back, worships Swamini with billions of hearts by opening her braid, holding it before her bosom and waving it around as an offering to Swamini Radha. The black color of the hair is a wonderful way to remind Swamini of Krishna!

After arati there are singing lessons and examinations in singing and dancing in the assembly of sakhis. There’s no limit to the ecstasy!

Radha’s prema arati ki jai!

Manjari Tattva: Radha’s Pride, Manjari’s Pride

Radha is proud with the feeling of mine-ness making Radha think, “Krishna is Mine!” The devotees should relish this sweetness in their meditations. Sadhakas wanting to perfect their bhajan must certainly study Stavamala and Stavavali. How eager are Rupa and Raghunatha! Are there any words to express it? Allegiance to their mood will surely bring experience. Then sadhakas will taste rasa and experience all these heart’s services.

However, the mind cannot be absorbed in Swamini’s lotus feet by force. Without always meditating upon one’s siddha svarupa this cannot be understood. Nor can one think of Radharani’s seva as long as one identifies with a male or female material body. One must stay immersed in identification with the Sri Guru given manjari svarupa. 

It is not easy to become free from the bondage of the material body. As long as we think “I’m a scholar”, “I’m a gosvami”, “I’m a bhajananandi” it cannot be accomplished. Without mercy from above this pride cannot leave. Intense worship can attract that grace. Sri Krishna Himself will reveal how worship can be performed with eagerness. But if there is no eagerness joined to bhajana it will also not work.

No one knows how to serve Radha as expertly as Her maidservants. In their books the acharyas, especially Sri Rupa Goswamipada and Sri Raghunatha Dasa Goswami, have shown how to surrender to Srimati Radharani’s lotus feet.

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: Rasollasa and Bhavollasa 

When Swamini takes Her meal, Tulasi-manjari very carefully offers Radha the most exquisite incense and fans Radha according to the time of the year. Radha doesn’t know whether She tastes the nectar of Krishna’s lips or whether She eats the remnants of Krishna’s food!

After Sri Radhika and Her sakhis have relished the nectar of Krishna’s lips, Tulasi serves them rose and camphor scented drinking water. Tulasi’s pure love gives the water an extra flavour. While Radharani relaxes the manjaris joke with Radha as they did when Radha first fell in love with Krishna.

Mallika-manjari says, “Sakhi Radhe! Who has stolen Your heart? Tell us the truth! You are not so eager anymore as before to read books or to teach Your parrots eloquent verses! We never hear You gossiping or joking with Your friends anymore! How beautifully You were playing Your vina! But where has this all gone now?”

Manjari Tattva: Eagerness is Life

The manjaris are love personified. What to speak of the kinkaris, the whole of Vraja-dhama is the kingdom of love. When Radha meets Krishna She relishes rasollasa and when Sri Radha is separated from Shyam She tastes bhavollasa.

Radha feels a deeper bliss when She is separated from Krishna then when Radha is with Krishna. As Swamini meditates like that it is as if Shyam appears directly before Radha. The sweetness of clearly seeing Krishna enlivens the eyes. But still even the endlessly sweet Shyamsundara is fully subdued when He sees the natural sweetness of Radhika’s glances.

Eagerness to experience and taste all these things is the life of raga bhajana. The acharyas are extraordinary knowers of rasa. Their association can be attained by studying their books.

By hearing and discussing them and becoming absorbed in the mood of the acharyas, devotees can also become absorbed in these moods. Rasa can be relished when we accept the mood of the great saints.

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 Tattva: Mood for Vraja Vasa

The devotee should know that one’s bhajan is in a diseased state if one feels satisfied. One can measure one’s advancement and taste for bhajan by how much one is greedy, eager and unsatisfied with one’s experience of spiritual flavours. How eager Sri Rupa Goswamipada and Sri Raghunatha Dasa Goswami were!

All the pastime-places of Radha Govinda Yugala are still here in Vraja Mandal. Even today Radha-Krishna’s lilas are going on. When the devotee lives in Vraja one should feel: “O Radha-Shyam! Every day Your enjoying Your pastimes here in Vraja. Why I cannot see them? Please let me see Your ecstatic prema-filled lilas. Let me be so fortunate!

“I’m living in Vrndavana, the kingdom of devotional enthusiasm, but I’m simply engrossed in bodily consciousness. How unfortunate I am! When I hear and chant the great words of the acharyas I will certainly attain that devotional eagerness.”

The devotees should eagerly wander from forest to forest of Vraja, crying and crying: “O Vrndavana! O Vrajavasis! O Vrndavana’s sky, wind, trees, vines, deer and birds! Let everyone know that I am Radha ’s maidservant! You all be kind to me! Make this consciousness within me very firm!

‘’Radhe! Where are You? This whole forest is illuminated by Your golden splendour! Keep me alive with just one drop of Your spendor. Day and night this is the only prayer in my heart.”

We should stay in Vraja-vana in this mood, not having a liking for anything else. But unfortunately a soul like me likes many other things like profit, adoration, distinction, money and whatnot, despite living in Vraja-vana. Where will I find this treasure of my heart, for whom I have given my life?

Manjari Lila: Manjaris Revive Radhika

On Swamini’s order Tulasi-manjari has gone to Nandishvara to serve Shyam Radha’s cooked dishes. After Shyamasundara has eaten, mother Yashoda lovingly gives some of Krishna’s sweet remnants to Tulasi, so that she can bring them to Swamini. Dhanishtha had secretly mixed some of Krishna’s adharamrita in it.

Meanwhile, in Yavat, Sri Radhika has fainted out of powerful feelings of separation from Krishna. The sakhis cannot bring Radha back to consciousness. Then Tulasi returns from Nandishvara and sprinkles Radha’s earholes with drops of the nectaean stories about Krishna.

Sri Radhika immediately revives, sits up says: “O sakhi! In My dream My desert-like ears suddenly felt a shower of nectar!” Upon seeing Tulasi-manjari before Her, Srimati embraced her with extraordinary love knowing that Tulasi has come back after serving Krishna wholeheartedly.

Swamini asks Tulasi, “What did mother Yashoda say?”

Tulasi says, “Hey Shyamju! How can I describe mother Yashoda’s affection as she held her forehead on mine calling me Your maidservant?”

Swamini pulls Tulasi on Her lap and repeatedly asks her, “Has Krishna eaten nicely? I couldn’t cook so nicely! I’m sure Krishna didn’t like the sweets! You were nearby weren’t you?”

Swamini thoroughly questions Tulasi, and fortunate Tulasi gives sweet answers to all the questions. Thus rendering a wonderful service by submerging Swamini in the nectar ocean of talks about Krishna.

Radhika asked, “Did Krishna say anything to you?”

Tulasi replied, “How could Krishna speak in front of His superiors? But with His eyes Krishna asked me if He could meet You tonight in Vrndavana? I answered Krishna with hints from my eyes, ‘Surely You will meet Your beloved sweetheart Radhika!’”

Swamini says, “Tulasi! Look at Me once! I’m so unfortunate that I could not see Krishna personally! So let Me see if Krishna is hidden in your eyes or not!” Then Radharani gazes into Tulasi’s eyes without blinking, and sees that her eyes are full of tears and her body is shivering of ecstatic love.

Radha says, “O Tulasi-manjari! When I look into your eyes I can understand that you have seen Krishna! Otherwise your eyes could never have looked so beautiful!”

What a wonderful service Tulasi renders by carrying Krishna’s picture to Swamini in her eyes! Blessed is this maidservant! Now Sri Radha starts to take Her meal. How wonderful is Tulasi’s expertise in service.

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: Serving Beside Radha

Meanwhile, one gopi named Candanakala comes to Yavat, and tells Radhika that Queen Yashoda has ordered Her to cook Krishna’s evening meal. Rasavati Rai personally begins to cook sweets for Shyam just to remain patient. Swamini wears a thin sari, and Radha’s head is not covered with Her veil because Srimati is in Her own home.

One new manjari, Mallika-dasi, then cleans Radha’s kitchen, makes a fire in the stove, cleans the pot and puts it on the stove. Mallika brings water, coconuts, ghee, small bananas, sugar and farina.

Then she grinds black pepper and hands it to Radha while Radha blissfully sits down on a stool. Mallika-dasi’s eyes flood with delight while watching Priyaji prepare Amrita Kelika pies and other savories for Her Priyatama.

While assisting Srimati, Mallika-dasi jokes with Swamini saying, “Hey Shyamaju! The cooling camphor and sandalpaste I just put on Your body to extinguish the fire of Your separation from Krishna immediately dried into dust! But how amazing! Now the fire You’re using to cook cakes for Krishna is quickly cooling You off!” Hearing this, Kishori then affectionately taps Mallika on the cheek with Her finger.

Jai Jai Sri Radhe!

Manjari Lila: Radha Trusts Her Manjaris

After cooking Krishna’s evening meal in Yavat, Swamini puts all the preparations on golden plates and covers them with sheets. Sriji has full faith that Tulasi-manjari and the other maidservants will feed Krishna as if She Herself is doing it.

Tightly hugging Tulasi-manjari, Radha says: “Tulasi, go now to Nandagram! I cannot go Myself, but I will be as much satisfied when you feed Krishna as when I would do it Myself!”

Srimati holds Tulasi to Her chest and lovingly hands her the dishes for Her Prananatha. How affectionate Swamini is to Tulasi-manjari!

The practicing devotee should awaken feelings like: “O! Will I not get such affection from Radha even one day in my life? My heart cries for getting that affection! O Radhaju, please have mercy and keep me at the feet of Your Rupa and Your Tulasi!”

Crying like this, the sadhaka will faint and bring down the shower of Swamini’s mercy. How mercifully Swamini keeps the maidservant at Her chest! Such compassion as the maidservants enjoy cannot be found anywhere else.

“O Swamini! I want to spend my whole life with the awareness that I am Your maidservant!” If one cherishes this desire one will indeed be able to spend one’s whole life in this mood.

The manjari prays, “I have to serve Shyam while my heart is merged in Swamini’s heart and my eyes are merged in Madhavi’s eyes.” Such a sweet service cannot be found anywhere!

Radharani considers the kinkaris to be Her own: “My Rupa! My Tulasi! My Mallika! My maidservant!”

Mallika-dasi prays, “O Swamini! I don’t want anything else but to belong to Your group! Please take me by the hand and accept me as Your maidservant!”

Such an aspiration should also awaken within the hearts of the practicing devotees. What an excellent service this is! The Goswamis cried for such service with breaking hearts!

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 Tattva: Radha’s Speciality

Although millions of gopis dance ecstatically during the Rasa-dance Krishna’s gaze is fixed only on Sri Radha. How wonderfully sweet are these pastimes! During the rasa, Shyam embraces one gopi, kisses one gopi and enjoy intimately with another. Krishna can please everyone, but only Sri Radhika can please Krishna. This is Radha’s speciality!

Sri Ramananda Raya told Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu: “Not even a billion gopis can extinguish the blazing fire of Krishna’s lusty desires.” (Caitanya Caritamrta 2.8.116) Only Radhika can do this, so just see the unique glories of Sri Radha!

Manjari Tattva:  Awaken Divine Wants

While doing bhajan the mind must meet the minds of the acharyas. For attaining Radharani’s service the devotee must give one’s whole mind to Radha, giving up everything else! Srimati Radharani’s face looks very beautiful when Radha looks at Her dedicated maidservants after they have satisfied Radha with their seva.

The neophyte should not serve as one likes. One should serve according to Sri Radha’s wish, following in the footsteps of those who understand Radha’s mind.

The Gaudiya Vaisnavas taking shelter of Radha-Krishna Yugala bhajana should wholeheartedly follow in the footsteps of Sri Rupa Goswamipada and Sri Raghunatha Dasa Goswami. They are Radharani’s manjaris from Vraja Dhama who have descended to earth with Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu to teach expertise in serving Radha and Krishna.

They are very eager to teach the world how the maidservants must serve Radha Govinda Yugala. Because their books Stavamala and Stavavalli are filled with their experiences and expertise in bhajana, they are most valuable and relishable for raganuga sadhakas. From these confidential treasures of bhajana one can learn how to be eager for devotional service.

The acharyas have taught: do bhajana by awakening your want! When feelings of separation have awoken everything can be given up. This stage should be reached through the sane process of balanced detachment and sincere selfless devotion.

One must practise great patience and not try to jump artificially to soaring heights. When I will attain Radha-Madhava’s lotus feet, then all contamination will disappear from my mind and all anxiety will go far away.

Radharani manjaris ki jai! Jai Jai Sri Radhe!

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s Nandotsava in Puri

Srila Raghunatha Dasa Goswamipada describes Mahaprabhu’s celebration of Nandotsava: Krishna On Nandotsava, Sri Gauranga and His devotees dressed as cowherd boys and carried heavy pots with yoghurt and milk on their shoulders. When they came to the festival-grounds, they chanted ‘Hari! Hari!’ Kanai Khutiya dressed as father Nanda and Jagannatha Mahati as Queen Yasoda.

The Lord took King Prataparudra, Kasi Mishra, Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya and Tulasi Podichapatra all along in a swinging dance, and everyone was sprinkled with yoghurt, milk and turmeric-water.” (Gauranga Stava Kalpadruma 9)

Krishna’s Childhood Nandotsava

In Krishna’s sixth year, Nanda Maharaja organized a grand festival (Nandotsava) to celebrate Krishna’s auspicious birthday. Krishna sat upon a celestial golden throne and all the Vrajagopis came to worship Him. The loud pounding of the bheri drums, the dhintadhinta sounds from the mrdangas and dundubhis, and the skillful beats on the dolaks announced the auspicious festival of Krishna’s birthday. The joyous vibration of the occasion was enhanced by the excited voices and jingling ankle-bells of the elderly gopis as they greeted the various guests.

The learned brahmanas bathed Krishna with thousands of streams of pure water poured from crystal pitchers while purifying the environment with perfectly enunciated mantras. This added waves of attraction to Krishna’s already gorgeous body. They dried Krishna with a fine linen cloth, dressed Him in a yellow silk dhoti and chaddar, decorated Him with glittering gems, and anointed Krishna’s forehead with gorocana tilaka. After fixing His jeweled bracelets and armbands, they tied some durva grass around Krishna’s wrist with turmeric soaked thread.

Following the local customs of such blissful festivals, the merciful Yasoda blessed Krishna by showering flowers upon His head. The elderly gopis sang traditional Vrajabhasha songs and waved lamps respectfully before Krishna. He, who is kind to His friends and the object of the gopis’ love, sat quietly on His asana accepting arati. Then the Vrajavasis very enthusiastically and joyfully offered Krishna wonderful gifts and a variety of creamy milk sweets.

To properly complete the festival, Yasoda had her servants invite the general public. Yasoda offered palatable food to the wives of the village leaders, the married women and the young girls of Vrindavana. Nanda Maharaja invited the cowherd men such as Sananda, Upananda, and their wives to take the sumptuous foods cooked by Rohini, the crest-jewel among women. When the cowherd men arrived Yasoda honored their youngest sons by worshiping them and offering pearl necklaces.

Though pained by separation from their husbands because they had to accompany their mothers-in-law to the festival, the newly married gopis put on ornate and elegant ankle-length dresses. The tender faces of these newlyweds glowed splendidly under the fine fabric of their veils.

The gopis felt intensely attracted to Krishna, so they revealed their loving sentiments by offering Him their sidelong glances in charity. Their bangles fell silent as they embraced Krishna with their eyes. They felt as if they were beholding a bouquet of beautiful flowers. No one noticed the auspicious meeting of Krishna and the gopis.

Though they had seen Krishna before, the young unmarried gopis like Dhanya-sakhi just stood with their mothers and gazed timidly upon Him as if it was the first time. While bathing in the lake of Krishna’s exquisite beauty, the unmarried gopis expressed their desire to be His wives by offering Him mental flowers scented with camphor. They became shy, however, when Krishna accepted their proposal with a favorable glance. No one could detect the infinite bliss the gopis now relished within their hearts.

At that time, Krishna’s pet parrot left His side and landed on the lotus held by gopi whose heart throbbed with love. Hoping to hear news of Krishna that excited gopi respectfully welcomed the parrot. Understanding the parrot’s hint, Krishna cast the fresh lotus garland of His glance toward Radha, the daughter of Vrshabhanu. Krishna’s glance seemed to say, O parrot! I saw this same gopi gazing at Me from the watchtower as I took the cows to the forest.

No one else saw this secret exchange of sweet love. Understanding that Radha’s body had become slender due to Her purva-raga, Krishna looked upon Her with great compassion. Then Yasoda, shining with all auspicious qualities, smiled gently and took lotus-faced Radhika and the other gopis to another room to feed them.

After worshiping His best cows with scents and garlands, Vrajaraja Nanda escorted his guests to a wide jeweled veranda and sat them down on wooden seats. Then he bathed their feet, performed acamana, and offered arghya. Nanda arranged for Rohini and the wives of Sananda and Upananda to respectfully serve them first-class food and drink on gold plates. At the conclusion of the meal, Nanda personally gave them betel nut, cardamom, scents, garlands, and ornaments.

After the elderly men, children, and babies had eaten the feast, the married women and girls sat down in two rows to eat. Radhika and others received respect according to their position. Yasoda swam in an ocean of happiness as she personally served the gopis. In a voice that sounded as sweet as pattering raindrops of nectar, Yasoda spoke to each guest, “Please do not feel shy. Just eat to your heart’s content.”

Yasoda affectionately served everyone, and then honored them with offerings of betel nuts, garlands, ointments, sindura, and gold embroidered cloth. Finally, Yasoda, the crest jewel of good fortune, embraced each of the gopis before sending them home. Smiling broadly, Yasoda distributed the remnants of the feast to the sinless residents of the village.

Nanda Maharaja presented gifts to the dancers and musicians while Yasoda blessed them with her upraised palm. Upon concluding the festival, Yasoda thought holding such a festival everyday would surely fulfill all her desires. For a moment she felt a touch of sadness, fearing that she may not have fully satisfied all the guests.

Sri Krishna Nandotsava ki jai! 

Kaviraja Sri Karnapura Goswami’s Ananda Vrindavana Campu ki jai!

Jai Jai Sri Radhe!

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

SRI GURU GIVES THE SIDDHA DEHA

The reception of a disciple’s eternal transcendental form, siddha deha, begins with receiving a siddha bhava from Sri Guru at the time of diksha.

The Guru’s individual siddha bhava i.e. one’s eternal fixed loving relationship with Sri Krishna (sthayi-rati) is hidden within the Gopal and Kama-gayatri mantras Sri Guru gives at the time of diksha. Sri Sanatana Goswami confirms the non-difference of Sri Guru and the diksha mantras:

yo- mantra -sa -guruh -sakshad -yo -guruh -sa -harih -svayam

Sri Brahmaji said (Vaman Kalpa), “The diksha mantra is identical to the Guru and the Guru is identical to Bhagavan Sri Hari Himself.” (Bhakti Sandarbha 237: Hari Bhakti Vilasa 4.353). Thus by chanting the diksha mantas, the sincere disciple gradually develops the same sthayi-rati, siddha bhava, as that of Sri Guru.

Right at the time of diksha, the Guru may give a siddha deha to an exceptionally qualified disciple. But usually this is done after some time. One can think that the following direct words of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu indicate receiving a siddha deha from Sri Guru at the time of diksha:

diksha -kale -bhakta -kare -atma-samarpana
sei-kale –krishna -tare -kare atma-sama

“At the time diksha, when a disciple fully surrenders to Sri Guru, Sri Krishna accepts the disciple and makes one as spiritual as Himself.”

Mahaprabhu further says:

sei -deha -kare -tara –cid -ananda-maya
aprakrta-dehe -tanra -carana -bhajaya

“Krishna makes the sadhaka’s body full of transcendental bliss (cid-ananda-maya). Then in one’s spiritual body, siddha deha (aprakrta-deha), one worships the lotus feet of Sri Krishna.”
(Caitanya Caritamrta 3.4.193-4)

In the following verses, Sri Jiva Goswamipada explains how at the time of diksha, the merciful Guru gives divine knowledge of one’s constitutional nature, and special knowledge about the disciple, which many Gurus take to mean revealing the disciple’s siddha deha.

divyam -gyanam -srimati -mantre -bhagavat-svarupa-gyanam,
tena -bhagavata -sambandha-vishesha-gyanam

“At diksha, the Guru gives knowledge of Bhagavan Sri Krishna’s form within a potent mantra, and special knowledge of the disciple’s specific relationship with Bhagavan Sri Krishna, the beautiful mantra Devata.” (Bhakti Sandarbha 283)

In the Gaudiya Vaisnava Sampradaya, divya gyanam means knowledge of the jiva’s particular relationship with God which is one of eternal service, jivera -svarupa -haya -krishna -nitya-dasa (Caitanya Caritamrta 2.20.108). Knowledge of a specific relationship can mean the sadhaka’s manjari form (siddha deha) with Sri Gopijanavallabha, the mantra Devata.

upasanam -sakshad -vraja-jana-visheshayaiva –mahyam
sri -guru-caranair -mad-abhishta-vishesha-siddhy-artham -upadishtam

“While worshiping the Gopal diksha mantra, I meditate to develop myself as a specific person in Vraja (my siddha deha) that Sri Guru’s lotus feet have instructed me in to attain the specific siddhi I covet.” (Bhakti Sandarbha 312)

In verse 283, Sri Jiva Goswamipada speaks in a general way about Sri Guru giving special knowledge to the disciple. But in verse 312, Sri Jiva Goswamipada tells exactly what is that special knowledge, namely the knowledge of the disciple’s individual siddha deha!

SADHANA BHAJAN IN SIDDHA DEHA

Chaitanya Mahaprabhu instructs how to practice raganuga bhakti sadhana in siddha deha:

ataeva -gopi-bhava -kari -angikara
ratri-dina -cinte -radha-krishnera -vihara
siddha-dehe –chinti -kare -tahanni -sevana
sakhi-bhave -paya –radha -krishnera -carana

“Certainly, one must accept gopi-bhava, and think of Radha-Krishna’s asta-kaliya lila. Also one must think of doing seva in one’s siddha deha. By this gopi-bhava one will attain the lotus feet of Radha-Krishna.” (Caitanya Caritamrta 2.8.228-9)

KRISHNA MANIFESTS THE SIDDHA DEHA OF YOUR MEDITATION

In the Srimad Bhagavatam, Sri Brahmaji describes how Bhagavan Sri Krishna reveals the siddha deha to the raganuga bhakti sadhaka.

yad -yad –dhiya -ta -urugaya -vibhavayanti,
tat -tad -vapuh -pranayase -sad -anugrahaya

Sri Brahmaji said, “O Bhagavan Sri Krishna! You are so merciful to Your devotees that You manifest Yourself in the particular eternal form of transcendence in which they always think of You.” (Srimad Bhagavatam 3.9.11)

The key words are tat -tad-vapuh, which mean a corresponding body. It can be Krishna’s body or one’s individual spiritual body, siddha deha. Grammatically both are possible and both are explained as such by the tikakaras. Sridhar Swami and Srinatha Chakravarti say it refers to Krishna’s showing a particular form of Himself.

However, in his tika, Sri Visvanatha Cakravartipada says that Sri Krishna gives the sadhaka the siddha deha that one has been continually meditating upon.

sva-bhavanurupam -yad-yad-dhiya -bhavayanti,
tat -tad -eva -vapus tesham -siddha-deham,
pranayase –prakarshena -tan –prapayasi

“The sadhaka bhaktas, according to their bhava, meditate on their siddha dehas which Bhagavan Sri Krishna will give them.”

In His final personal teaching to Sri Rupa Goswamipada, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu said:

bhavite -bhavite -krishna -sphuraye -antare
krishna-kripaya -agya -paya -rasa-sindhu-pare

“Krishna will manifest whatever siddha deha one continually thinks of. And by Krishna’s mercy one will attain the ocean of rasa.” (Caitanya Caritamrta 2.19.236)

Based on the Shastra praman of the Srimad Bhagavatam, Caitanya Caritamrta and the teachings of the Six Goswamis, this post has shown how the combined mercy of Sri Guru and Bhagavan Sri Krishna gives one a siddha deha, eternal spiritual form.

For the last 535 years, the traditional parivars within the Gaudiya Vaisnava Sampradaya have been teaching the method of raganuga bhakti sadhana as introduced and personally taught by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu to His followers. That system has been presented here.

In summary, one takes diksha from Sri Guru, and receives specific information about one’s individual siddha deha, either immediately during diksha or sometime later according to the will of Sri Guru. The disciple then practices raganuga bhakti sadhana as delineated above by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.

Then the all-merciful Bhagavan Sri Krishna will kindly give that same siddha deha to the fortunate disciple. Thus the mercy of Sri Guru and Sri Krishna work beautifully together to bring one to spiritual perfection.

(shastra insight courtesy of Sri Advaita Dasji)

Sri Krishna kripa ki jai! Sri Guru kripa ki jai! Jai Jai Sri Radhe!