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Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

Srimati Radharani’s personal maidservants (aka manjaris, kinkaris or dasis) have divine, transcendental bodies that are sweetly saturated with gopi seva/bhava from head to toe.
Radhika’s beautiful, playful and most trusted friendly servants, Her manjaris, have so much love and attachment for Sri Radha that, “if even for a moment, the manjaris can’t see Radhika, they practically die, radha kshana adarshana mriyante!” [Vraja Vilasa Stava 40]
During asta-kaliya-lila, Radha-Madhava and all the sakhis take rest at about 2 a.m. every night. While the sakhis are resting, Radhika’s manjaris are busy busy busy with sevas! However, there is an example of a manjari who “falls asleep on the job” which shows that even Radharani’s serving girls get tired too.
Sri Prabodhananda Sarasvati describes one manjari who was massaging Radha-Krishna’s lotus feet as They slept. But while doing that seva, the manjari felt so tired that, “she fell asleep at the end of the bed, padambhoja samvahanani shayyante kim, kim api patita prapta tandra bhaveyam!” (Radha Rasa Sudhanidhi 213)
But factually there is just no time or necessity for Radha’s servants to sleep. While Yugala and the sakhis pass the time in peaceful and ecstatic lila “dreams”, Radha’s loving serving girls are collecting flowers, stringing fresh garlands, grinding sandalwood paste, gathering juicy forest fruits, and a host of other the services for the blissful pleasure of Radha and Krishna when They arise from Their flower bed at 4:30 a.m. or so.
To give some idea of the bliss-busy seva day of a Sri Radha’s seva-nishta handmaidens, the manjaris, we offer you the following list of about 150 DAILY SERVICES collected from the books of our Gaudiya Vaisnava acharyas.
Manjari bhava sadhakas may use this outline for meditation and internal seva within their individual siddha svarupas, transcendental eternal forms. The sadhaka should focus on the particular time of the day, and deeply think, “I am right next to Srimati Radharani, personally performing each one of these many sevas for the divine happiness of my most worshipable Ishvari Sri Radha.” Now we’’ begin describing 150 daily sevas of Sri Radhika dearest maidservants, the manjaris.

Radha-Govinda Yugala Asta-kaliya-lila & Manjari Sevas

I. Nisanta Lila 3:36—6:00 a.m. Pre Sunrise Sevas
1. WAKING SEVA: During Brahma-muhurta time [2 hrs. before sunrise], on Vrinda’s order, the male and female mynas, parrots, peacocks, cuckoos and doves start sweetly singing to arouse Radha-Madhava. Hearing the birds, I, in my beautiful, transcendental, spiritual body as Srimati Radharani’s loyal maidservant, quickly get up and prepare for Priyaji’s personal services.
2. DARSHANA SEVA: Going to the nearby groves, I wake up Gaurangi’s gopis. Bringing them to Sri Sri Radha-Krishna, I show them the charming vision of the disheveled Sporting Pair sleeping on Their flower bed.
3. RADHA’S HAIR SEVA: Sri Radhika becomes startled, however, by the ecstatic whispering of all the sakhis peeping inside the kunja. Waking up suddenly, Sundari tries to rise from the flower bed. But She can’t because Her hair, necklaces and other ornaments are entangled with Krishna’s. Tip-toeing into the kunja, I quickly and expertly untie all the knots.
4. PAINTING SEVA: When Radha-Madhava want to paint pictures on each other, I hand Them paint brushes, and stand beside Them holding a small golden tray containing freshly prepared, sandalwood pulp, musk, kunkum etc.
5. ORNAMENTS SEVA: When Yugala Kishora want to decorate each other, I present Them pearl necklaces, jeweled ornaments, flower garlands, etc.
6. MANGALA ARATIKA SEVA: After Radha-Govinda Yugala dress, I devotedly offer mangala-arati by waving various auspicious presentations before Them.
7. GOING HOME SEVA: When Gandharvika leaves the garden grove to return home, I walk behind Her carrying nicely prepared betel nuts and a golden water jug.
8. PRASADI SEVA: When the pearl necklaces and other ornaments break off and fall from Radha’s neck as She rushes home, I pick them up, tie them in my sari, and later repair them to share that rasa-laden Radha prasadi with Her sakhis.
9. PRASADI SEVA: With Her beautiful golden hand, Pranapriya lovingly rewards me with Her pan prasadi, which I then later share with the other sundari sakhis.
10. RESTING SEVA: As soon as Radha arrives in Yavata or Varshana just before sunrise, I immediately and affectionately lay Lajjavati in Her bed. Then I go to rest in a special bedroom set aside for Devi’s dasis.

II. Pratah Lila 6:00—8:24 a.m. Morning Sevas
1. CLEANING SEVA: At sunrise, I wash Vinodini’s clothes from the previous night. Then I clean the trays, dishes, bowls, brushes, and other items previously used in the kunja.
2. UNGUENTS SEVA: To decorate Swamini’s gorgeous divine body, I grind together saffron and sandalwood pulp.
3. WAKING SEVA: Hearing the voices of the palace ladies approaching Her bedroom, I lovingly waken Srimati by gently touching Her lotus feet. Then I sit Bhanu-tanya on Her bathing platform.
4. BATHING SEVA: I offer scented water to wash Radha’s face, and hand Kishori Her tooth-powder, golden tongue-scraper, and other items.
5. COSMETICS SEVA: While Kalyani brushes Her teeth, I prepare a fine powder of kunkum, musk, saffron and scented sandalwood, for cleaning Kunda-danti’s body. I make mascara for Madhuri’s beautiful blue eyes and prepare other body ointments.
6. MASSAGE SEVA: With great care and attention, I affectionately rub invigorating, scented oil all over Radhika Sundari’s beautiful divine form.
7. CLEANING SEVA: I then remove the massage oil from Rai’s body by using a special cleansing powder.
8. SHAMPOO SEVA: I wash Priyaji’s long, silky black hair with a mixture of tamarind juice and scented oil.
9. BATH SEVA: Using golden jugs of scented cool water in summer or warm in winter, I bathe Vrishabhanu-nandini.
10. DRYING SEVA: I dry Sundari’s lovely body and hair with fine cloth towels.
11. DRESSING SEVA: I dress Nagarimani in a jewel-embroidered blue silk sari.
12. HAIR SEVA: I dry and scent Swamini’s hair with smoke of fragrant aloe-wood.
13. SRNGARA SEVA: I dress and decorate Radha Ji with 16 kinds of ornaments, including tying Priya’s braid, attaching flower-earrings, weaving flowers into Her hair, applying eye mascara, painting creepers upon Radha’s limbs, tilaka on Her forehead, and finally giving Navina Kishori a play lotus to twirl.
14. FOOT SEVA: I paint red lac dye on Radhika’s divine foot soles.
15. MIRROR SEVA: After dressing Her, I show Sriji a mirror and notice how happy Hemangi is with Her radiant beauty, knowing it will give great joy to Her Gokulendu.
16. PUJA SEVA: I prepare the trays and paraphernalia for Shyama-jivani’s upcoming Surya puja.
17. INTIMATE SEVAS: On Ramani’s request, I return to the keli-kunja to retrieve Rai’s forgotten corset, pearl necklaces and other ornaments.
18. WALKING SEVA: When Nikunja-jivani goes to Nandagrama to cook Priyatama’s breakfast, I walk behind Bhanunandini carrying Her water jug and betel nut tray.
19. HEARING SEVA: I relish the joking and laughing of Sriji and Her sakhis as they walk to Nandagrama.
20. ADMIRING SEVA: Sri Radhika, the sakhis and I too bow down to Mother Yashoda upon arriving in Krishna’s palace. While listening to Yashoda praising Priyaji, I admire how Yashoda lovingly embraces Lajjeshvari, smells Her head and kisses Kalavati again and again.
21. DRESSING SEVA: I help Harinakshi change into Her cooking robe, and then prepare different items for Kishori’s cooking.
22. FANNING SEVA: I fan Kishori-mani with refreshing breezes while She cooks or serves the food.
23. FOOD SEVA: I help Rasavati Rai and Mother Rohini display the cooked items for Yashoda Ma’s approval and then bring the serving pots.
24. SERVING SEVA: I help Haripriya hand trays and pots of food to Yashoda.
25. DARSHANA SEVA: Standing beside Radhika, I watch Sri Krishna enjoying His meal as He laughs and jokes with the sakhas.
21. FANNING SEVA: I continually fan Chanchakshi as She relishes Krishna’s prasadi.
22. WATER SEVA: I offer Kunkumangi cool, rose-scented drinking water.
23. WASHING SEVA: I offer Sarvanga-sundari scented water to wash Her mouth and hands.
24. RESTING SEVA: I lay Radha down on a comfy bed, and offer Her betel nuts mixed with camphor and cardamom.
25. CLOTHES SEVA: I meet Subala Sakha and trade Krishna’s yellow shawl for Sriji’s blue one. The Playful Pair had mistakenly swapped clothes when rushing out of the kunja at daybreak.
III. PURVAHNA LILA 8:24—10.48 a.m. FORENOON SEVAS
1. ESCORT SEVA: Radha and the sakhis follow Krishna when He goes for cow herding. Praneshvari exchanges forlorn glances with Her Priyatama before returning to Yavata. I walk behind Radha holding a tray with betel nuts and a water pot.
2. FOOT SEVA: After settling Radha in Her palace, I wash and massage Her lotus feet.
3. GARLAND SEVA: I pick some flowers so Madhura-mukhi can string a mala for Murari.
4. COOKING SEVA: I assist Anuragini when She cooks Acyuta’s favorite sweets.
5. DELIVERY SEVA: I deliver Srimati’s sweets, flower malas, and Her messages to Madhavananda in the forest. I return with Radha-vallabha’s response and thus satisfy both Rai and Kanu.
6. ESCORT SEVA: On the pretext of Surya Puja, Shyama-priya and Her sakhis come to Radha-kunda to meet Govinda. Following Sriji like Her shadow, I carry Her tray with betel nuts and a water pot.
IV. MADHYAHNA LILA 10.48 a.m.—3.36 p.m. MIDDAY SEVAS
1. DARSHANA SEVA: Upon arriving in the bowers of Sri Radha-kunda, I arrange Radha Govinda’s mutual darshana.
2. DECORATING SEVA: With other manjaris, I clean the kunja and attractively decorate it with wondrous arches, pavilions and thrones made of colorful, fragrant flowers.
3. FLOWER BED SEVA: I prepare an astonishing flower bed with artistic patterns made of different colored forest flowers.
4. FOOT WASHING SEVA: I clean the beautiful lotus feet of Radha and Krishna.
5. FOOT DRYING SEVA: Using my soft, fine hair, I dry Lila Yugala’s lotus feet.
6. FANNING SEVA: I refresh Radha-Madhava with cooling breezes from a huge peacock-feather fan.
7. NECTAR SEVA: I make honey nectar from sweet forest flowers like kadamba.
8. BHOGA SEVA: I then offer full pots of honey nectar to Radha-Govinda for Their pleasure.
9. HEARING SEVA: I go mad with bliss listening to Radha-Madhava’s outrageous joking and laughter with Their sakhis.
10. BETEL SEVA: I offer delicious betel nut packets flavored with cardamom, cloves and camphor to the Divine Pair.
11. PRASADI SEVA: Out of love for me, Radhe-Shyama give me Their prasadi betel to relish.
12. DISCRETION SEVA: I discreetly exit the bower as soon as I sense that Sriji and Shyama want to be alone.
13. SMELLING SEVA: While waiting outside, my nose delights in the divine, natural bodily fragrances of Priya-Priyatama that resemble an exotic mixture of musk, kunkum, camphor, lotus flowers and sandalwood paste.
14. HEARING SEVA: My ears dance along with the excited, sweet jingling of Radha-Madhava’s bangles, waist-bells, ankle-bells and so.
15. SEEING SEVA: Gazing at ground near Gauri-Shyama’s lotus feet, I marvel at the wondrous sight of Their most auspicious and divine footprints marked with the designs of a flag, goad, cakra, chariot, conch, thunderbolt, lotus, and so on.
16. KUNJA SEVA: After Radha-Krishna finish Their amorous affairs inside the grove, I enter to render various sevas.
17. FANNING SEVA: I caress Radha-Madhava’s lotus feet and fan Them with gentle breezes.
18. WATER SEVA: I offer cool, flower-scented drinking water for Rai Kanu’s pleasure.
19. TILAKA SEVA: Using sandalwood pulp and a fine brush, I expertly repaint Thakurani’s tilaka and flower-creeper designs removed by Her perspiration.
20. COSMETICS SEVA: I anoint Sumukhi’s wonderful transcendental body with scented cosmetics like musk, saffron, camphor, and vermilion.
21. NECKLACE SEVA: I pick up the pearls scattered around the grove from Premamayi’s broken necklace and re-string them.
22. SHRNGARA SEVA: To decorate Radha-Madhava in various attractive ways, I pluck heaps of colorful fragrant flowers from the gardens surrounding the kunja.
23. ORNAMENTS SEVA: I string Vinodilala’s favorite vaijayanti-mala (five flower mix), and then use some colorful fragrant flowers to make all of Madhavi’s garlands, earrings, crown, armlets, bracelets, and chokers.
24. MALA SEVA: While Lila Yugala enjoy joking and laughing together, I offer my pearl necklaces and flower garlands to Their lotus hands.
25. DECORATING SEVA: Per Yugala’s request, I place the garlands and necklaces on Their divine necks.
26. HAIR SEVA: With a golden comb, I very carefully comb Radha’s flowing tresses.
27. VENI SEVA: I expertly tie Radha’s hair in a nice braid that hangs down Her elegant back.
28. KAJALA SEVA: I encircle Radha’s beautiful blue eyes with Shyama-black kajala
29. LIPSTICK SEVA: I apply bright red lipstick to Radha’s divine, naturally red lotus petal lips.
30. TILAKA SEVA: I paint dark musk dots on Gandharvika’s radiant golden lotus face.
31. SWEETS SEVA: I offer Krishna’s favorite sweets like Ganga-jal laddus, ananga-gutika and sidhu-vilasa to both Radha and Krishna.
32. FRUIT SEVA: I collect fresh, juicy sweet fruits from the forest orchards.
33. OFFERING SEVA: I prepare the fruits and arrange them attractively on a tray to present to Rasika Yugala.
34. HEARING SEVA: My ears drink the nectar of Madhuri-Madhava’s sweet murmuring and love-prattles during Their romantic exchanges.
35. DARSHANA SEVA: I taste great bliss in seeing and taking part in Radha-Madhava’s astonishing pleasure sports as They wander through the forest, enjoy flower-fights, steal Krishna’s flute, drench each other in Holi colors, soar on a swing, splash each with water, play hide ‘n seek, and stake ridiculous wagers during Their board game (pasha khela).
36. VINA SEVA: I walk behind Radhika carrying Her vina. I hand it to Radhika-sundari whenever She wants to play solos or duets with Her Beloved Shyama. As Radha-Damodara ramble through the forests, They sing songs, and touch the trees and creepers while looking at the colorful tropical birds and listening to their sweet chirping.
37. FOOT SEVA: Using my soft, Yamuna-black tresses, I wipe the vraja-dhuli from Radha-Gopinatha’s divine lotus feet.
38. DEFENSE SEVA: When Sri Hari and Shyamajiu fight over who owns the forest flowers, I shield Sukumari from Sundarananda’s aggression, and thereby indirectly enjoy struggling with Shyama.
39. STEALING SEVA: On Haripriya’s hint, I steal Hari’s vamshi as They struggle and secretly pass it to Srimati. Not seeing His flute, Mukunda searches me and I hint to Him that Radha has it. Govinda goes after Gandharvika, but She secretly passes the flute to another sakhi. I happily participate in all this mischief.
40. HOLI REFILL SEVA: When Radhe-Shyama play Holi to drench each other with colored dyes, I repeatedly refill the pichkaris (meter long, jeweled golden syringes) with liquid musk, saffron, camphor, sandalwood paste and powdered fragrant flowers and hand them to Sriji and Her sakhis.
41. JHULAN SEVA: When Radha Govinda sit on a swing, I push it back and forth, throw fragrant flowers over Yugala’s divine heads, play the vina and sing songs of Their glories.
42. LUK-LUKI SEVA: To play hide ‘n seek Radha and Krishna scatter throughout the woods. When Krishna asks, I lie about Hemagauri’s hiding place. But when Ananga-mohini asks, I immediately reveal Ananda-Bihari’s location.
43. CLOTHES & KUNDA SEVA: When Radha-Shyama sport in Radha-kunda, I watch Their clothes and ornaments while waiting on the bank. Sometimes, however, Radha pulls me into the kunda to enjoy the fun too.
44. DRYING SEVA:
When the Playful Pair come out of Radha-kunda, I dry Them off and offer fresh clothes, ornaments and cosmetics.
45. GAME SEVA:
When Priyaji and Prana-natha play pasha khela and wager various items, I collect the prizes Jaya Sri wins. I proudly go over to Madana Gopala’s side of the playing board, and forcibly take away His pet deer or flute lost in the match. During the game, I also participate in the sakhis’ joking ridicule of Radha-ramana and His attempts to please His Ishvari.
46. ESCORT SEVA: When Sri Radha leaves Radha-Kunda for puja at Surya-kunda, I follow Kanta-vallabha carrying items for Her service.
47. SURYA PUJA SEVAS: When Jatila asks Radha to bow to the “brahmana purohita” (Krishna in disguise), I restrain my laughter. During the puja, I hand trays, flowers, incense, and other items to Radharani. As Krishna recites various, amorously-tainted and concocted puja mantras, I cover my face with my veil to keep Jatila from my laughing.
48. DARSHANA SEVA: As Srimati returns to Yavata, I lag behind to give Her a pretext for repeatedly turning around to glance at Her beloved Shyama standing in the mandira doorway. When Priyaji can no longer see Shyama, I try to pacify Sriji’s ever-mounting feelings of separation.
V. APARAHNA LILA 3.36—6.00 p.m. AFTERNOON SEVAS
1. MASSAGE SEVA: Back in Radharani’s palace in Yavata, I see that Radhika is feeling very bad due separation from Pyariju. At that time, I very attentively care for Priya Sundari by lying Her down on a cooling flower bed, and washing and massaging Rasavilasini’s lotus feet.
2. COOKING SEVA: Responding to Yashoda’s request, Radharani cooks sweets for Krishna’s supper. I help Vidagdhi Radha by lighting the stove, grinding spices, and bringing other ingredients.
3. BATHING AND DRESSING SEVA: When Madhuri Radha goes for Her afternoon bath, I follow Srimati holding Her fresh clothes and ornaments. After Her bath, I dress and adorn Krishna priya with all these items.
4. DARSHANA SEVA: Sulochana and Her sakhis run to the rooftop to see Ramana Bihari’s uttara goshtha lila [returning with many cows and sakhas]. I offer Radha refreshing cool water to drink, and enjoy watching Govinda-nandini glancing at Her beloved Govinda Deva.
5. BEDROOM SEVAS: I follow Swamini as She descends from the roof with Her sakhis, and then tend to Rai back in Her quarters.
VI. SAYAHNA LILA 6.00—8.24 p.m. EVENING SEVAS
1. BHOGA & HEARING SEVA: At sunset, I go to Nandishvara [Nandagrama] with Tulasi manjari to deliver Radha’s bhoga offering to Krishna which includes food items, betel nuts, flower garlands, etc. I hear Sri Krishna and Tulasi fix the time and place for Lila Yugala’s rendezvous that night.
2. DELIVERY SEVA: Tulasi manjari and I bring Sri Hari’s prasadi to Sri Radha in Yavata.
3. PRASADI SEVA: I distribute Nanda Kishora’s prasadi to Shyama jivani and Her sakhis.
4. INCENSE SEVA: While the sakhis eat, I burn nice fragrant incense for their pleasure.
5. WATER SEVA: I offer cool, rose-scented drinking water to Rasa-sundari and Her sakhis.
6. RINSING SEVA: When they finish eating, I offer scented water to Smita-mukhi and Her sakhis to wash their hands and mouths.
7. SPICE & REST SEVA: I offer fresh betel nuts scented with cardamom, cloves, camphor, etc. to Sundarangi and then lay Her down for a brief rest.
8. NECTAR SEVA: In great bliss, I slowly savor Syamajeu’s nectarean prasadi.
9. WAKING & DARSHANA SEVA: When Raseshvari wakes up, I take Her to a rooftop garden to peek into the goshala to watch Govinda blissfully milking the cows.
VII. PRADOSHA LILA 8.24—10.36 p.m. LATE EVENING SEVAS
1. MOON MATCHING DRESS SEVA: During the light or dark phases of the moon, I dress and decorate Radhika-sundari in the appropriate dark or light clothes and ornaments and unguents.
2. BODY DESIGN SEVA: I anoint Rasavati-rai’s beautiful limbs with camphorated sandal paste, musk etc., and then paint creepers, leaves and flowers upon Radha’s body with tilaka.
3. ABHISARA SEVA: The sakhis and I arrange for Prema-mayi’s rendezvous with Priyatama Shyama by helping Her sneak out of the house. I follow anxious Madhavi, and carry various articles for Radha’s worship, comfort, and for Her to offer to Sri Krishna.
4. KUNJA DECORATING SEVA: I comfort Kunja-vilasini as She anxiously waits in the Sanket Kunja. When Vrinda-devi takes Sriji out to see the splendor of the groves surrounding the bower, I quickly decorate the kunja with flower garlands, scented pollen, burning incense, etc.
5. BRINGING KRISHNA SEVA: After Nandulala sneaks out of His palace in Nandishvara, I meet Him on the footpath and bring Him to Nilambari. By this seva, I enable the Playful Pair to experience the ecstatic bliss of meeting.
VIII. NISHA LILA 10.48 p.m.—3.36 a.m. LATE NIGHT SEVAS
1. DARSHANA SEVA: I lovingly behold Radha-Madhava as They meet in the forest in a most astonishing manner.
2. CHASTIZING SEVA: I chastise Manohara when He is too aggressive in dealing with Madana-mohini.
3. VANA BIHARA SEVAS: While following Them, I gently fan and sprinkle fragrant flowers on Yugala Rasika-vara as They ramble through the forest. I also entertain Lila Yugala with praises in self-composed songs. I point out the wonders of the midnight forest, and decorate Radha-Damodara with beautiful flowers when They sit down to rest.
4. DARSHANA SEVA: Upon arriving on the Yamuna bank, I marvel at how the splendorous moonlight is enhancing the beauty and sweetness of the rasa-dance as it begins so wonderfully.
5. HEARING SEVA: I relish the soothing sweetness of Rasa-vilasini’s anklets and waist-bells jingling along with the enchanting melodies of Shyama’s murali and Her own sweet playing of the vina. As Radha-Madhava sing a duet, my mind melts in the sweetness of Their melodies.
7. DARSHANA SEVA: In great amazement and appreciation, I admire the sweetness of Radha Rasabihariji’s blissful dancing in the center of the rasa-mandala.
8. FLUTE SEVA: When Muralidhara’s flute slips out His dhoti while dancing, I immediately follow Hrimati’s hint and hide under my dress.
9. STRUGGLING SEVA: I enjoy the fun as Shyama Nagara struggles with me and the sakhis while attempting to retrieve His flute. Laughing and giggling, I toss the flute from gopi to gopi as Ghanasyama searches each gopika.
10. RASA DANCE SEVA: To increase the ecstatic bliss of Rasika Yugala, I also dance, sing, and play musical instruments along with the other gopis.
11. COMFORT SEVAS: To alleviate Navina Yugala’s fatigue from rasa dancing, I serve Them rose-scented cool water, tasty betel nuts and flower garlands. Then I smear Radha-Shyama’s sweat-drenched limbs with sandalwood paste, massage Their lotus feet and fan Them with cooling breezes.
12. BHOGA SEVA: As Radha-Gopinatha rest, I join the manjaris to pick ripe, juicy forest fruits. Sitting on the veranda outside the bower house, I cut the fruits into bite-sized pieces, arrange them attractively on a golden tray and bring it inside the bower house. While serving the fruits and special sweets I made earlier with Radha, my bumblebee eyes dance with joy.
13. PRASADI SEVA: Afterwards, I happily serve Govinda-sundara’s remnants to Shyameshvari and Her sakhis. Then in great bliss, I relish Vinodini-rai’s remnants.
14. KUNJA SEVA: I thrill with joy upon seeing Radha-Gokulananda laughing and joking happily together with Their sakhis. When Radha-Vinodilala enjoy amorous delights, I serve Them fresh betel nuts and render other services. Along with other maidservants, I relish immense bliss as my ears drink the sweet nectar of Radha-Madana Gopala’s rasa-laden love talks.
15. SLEEPING SEVA: Seeing it’s time, I lay Radhika-Shyamaraya down on a beautifully designed, fragrant flower bed I prepared earlier. And then gently fan the tired Yugala Rasika, offer chilled water and other relaxing sevas.
16. RESTING SEVA: After Radha Pyare-mohana drift off to sleep, I enter a separate grove with my group of manjaris and take a brief nap. (adapted, list of Sri Dasaratha-suta Dasji)

Manjaris’ blissful asta-kaliya-lila sevas ki jai! Japa Mini Meditations ki jai! Jaya Jaya Sri Radhe!

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

These amazingly sweet and charming nectar-filled verses will carry you into the realm of Srimati Radharani’s eternal seva. The original Sanskrit verses of Radha Rasa Sudha Nidhi by Sri Prabodhananda Sarasvati are all incomparably beautiful and worthy of remembrance.

However, since most people cannot memorize Sanskrit verses, we have presented mostly just the English translations. These verses paint wonderful lila pictures for meditation on Radha Krishna’s Vrajalilas. And most importantly, they will help a sadhaka to adopt the feelings and sentiments, gopi-bhava, of a dasi of Sri Radha. The verses have titles to facilitate their remembrance.

Verse 191 Manjari Protects Radhika
O Radhe! When will I follow You down the road and fully enchant You and Your rasika lover by pushing Krishna away from You while saying, “O most shameless boy! Don’t come anywhere near my dear friend, who becomes enchanted like a little girl whenever You simply touch the borders of Her breasts!”

Verse 208 Manjari Protects Radhika
O Radhike! When will I hide the signs of Your amorous union with Krishna from Your cruel superiors by saying, “My sakhi was picking flowers far away from here, and on the way back Radha’s breasts were scratched by the thorns, Her tilaka was washed off Her forehead from sweating, and Her lips were bruised by the cold wind!”

Verse 213 Sleeping Manjari
When will I somehow fall asleep at the end of Your flowerbed while I am softly massaging Your lotus-feet, padambhoja -samvahanani -shayyante -patita -prapta -tandra -bhaveyam?

Verse 219Manjari Helps Krishna
O Pranayini Radhe! When You are angry with Krishna, He falls at my feet, holding a straw between His teeth, and prays to me with many pitiful words. Krishna constantly follows me to ask me to arrange a meeting with You. O Radhe! I am tired of this, so now I submit Krishna’s plea to You.

Verse 224 Manjari’s Humor
O Vrshabhanu-nandini! When will I tell Your Priyatama, “O Gopendra-kumara! Don’t vainly make such proud jokes over here! With great difficulty You held one Govardhana Hill on Your hand. But as soon as You even see Sri Radha’s two golden mountains You become afraid, sri -radha -hema -shaila -yugale -drshte -bhayam!

Verse 243 Radha Teaches Manjaris
When will my Ishvari Radha engage me in serving Her Praneshvara Sri Krishna in the solitary places of Vrindavan by teaching me how to string flower garlands, grind sandal paste, make wonderful sweet-balls, and sweep the kunja?

Verse 246 Krishna’s Bewilderment
May Sri Radha’s smile protect us when Radha smiles upon seeing Hari marveling at His own form reflected in Radha’s shining golden breasts. At that time, Krishna says, “O Radha! I see two beautiful boys in Your breasts! Their luster steals the glories of hosts of blue lotus-flowers! I am completely enchanted by their forms. Please make Me Your girlfriend, so that we two girls can tightly embrace these two boys!”

Verse 247 Radha’s Bewilderment
O Radhike! When at the very beginning of Your love festival will I hear You sarcastically tell Shyam, “O Nitigya! (knower of morality) Stay away from Me!”
Then I will watch You push away Krishna’s hand before You storm out of the kunja to go angrily lament with tear-filled eyes to Your sakhi’s that You just saw Krishna with another sakhi. Although it was actually Your own sweet form seen in Krishna’s Kaustubha gem.

Verse 259 Radha: Aim of Sadhana
I always meditate on Krishna wearing a crown of peacock-feathers. I always sing Krishna’s name in sankirtana. I always serve Krishna’s murti, and repeat His best of mantras, Gopala-mantra. During all these activities, however I am holding in my heart the desire to attain the supremely cherished service of Sri Radha’s lotus-feet.

Verse 267 Manjari Darshan
When will I, in a body maddened by ecstatic love, live in Vrindavan, that purifying, effulgent, and most amazing rasika abode that witnesses Sri Radha’s artful loving pastimes? And when will I clearly see my divine spiritual form, eyes, ears and so on that is just suitable for serving Radha Krishna in the effulgent kunjas?
Manjari meditations ki jai! Jai Jai Sri Radhe!

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

These amazingly sweet and charming nectar-filled verses will carry you into the realm of Srimati Radharani’s eternal seva. The original Sanskrit verses of Radha Rasa Sudha Nidhi by Sri Prabodhananda Sarasvati are all incomparably beautiful and worthy of remembrance.

However, since most people cannot memorize Sanskrit verses, we have presented mostly just the English translations. These verses paint wonderful lila pictures for meditation on Radha Krishna’s Vraja lilas. And most importantly, they will help a sadhaka to adopt the feelings and sentiments, gopi-bhava, of a dasi of Sri Radha. The verses have titles to facilitate their remembrance.

Verse 43 Assisting Radha’s First Tryst

When Vrshabhanunandini is shy and afraid of Her eternal first meeting with the king of debauchees, when will I catch Radha’s lotus hand and eagerly bring Radha to the play-bed of soft fresh sprouts in the sanket-kunja?

Verse 48 Falling in a Pool of Rasa

O Sri Radhika! When will this confidential maidservant of Yours fall into a pool of rasa as I stand by the gate of the kunja, dvara -sthita -rasa -hrade -patita kada -syam, listening to the sweet jingling of Your ornaments mixing with the sweet indistinct sounds of Your love prattles with Krishna at the beginning of Your rasa-festival?

Verse 53 Wearing Radha Prasadi Cloth

When can I see myself as Sri Radhika’s tender kishori wearing Swamini’s prasadi dress and blouse lovingly given to me with Her own hand as I always stand by Radha’s side to expertly serve Her in various ways?

Verse 56 Manjari Tastes Madhurya Rasa

O my Praneshvari Radha! Knowing that I am Your fortunate maidservant, Krishna may softly kiss me, embrace me, and intoxicate me with the wine of eros, surata- madhvya- madayati, showing a wonderful treasure of affection towards me. Even then O Radhe! My mind will always remain absorbed in the rasa-filled pastimes of Your lotus-feet, tavaiva -sri -radhe -pada -rasa -vilase -mama -manah!

Verse 59 Rasa Lila Seva

Nagari Rasikshekhara’s cheeks are moistened with sweat drops of fatigue from Their incomparable dancing during Their amazingly enchanting, laughter-filled Rasa festival. When will I joyfully serve Radha Madhava by massaging Their feet and nicely fanning Them?

Verse 61 Govinda Bows to Radha

Govinda experiences a festival of rasa by bowing down and touching the lotus feet of Radha, pada-sparsha -rasotsavam -pranatibhir -govindam, who is Krishna’s only giver of rasa, rasaikadayini.

Verse 63 Confidential Seva to Radha

When will Sri Radha order me to accompany Her and tell Nandanandan, after He repeatedly hints to Radha with His glances, which She seemingly rejects while yet indicating a beautiful trysting-place to Krishna, “O king of cheaters! My Ishvari Radha will not go alone into that solitary grove of Kadamba-trees because She is afraid of You!”

Verse 75 Radha Meditation

O Sri Radhe! In my meditation may I always see Your crooked eyebrows, widened eyes, cherry-red lips, sweet smile, full breasts, thin waist, wide hips, soft body, slow elegant steps, and the stunned condition Your rasika heart.

Verse 87 Manjaris Relish Radha’s Prasad

When will I submerge in ever-new, ecstatic blissful rasa by repeatedly chewing the sweeter than sweet remnants of Sri Radha, which are the essence of nectar?

sri -radhaya -madhura madhur -occhishta -piyusha -saram
bhojam -bhojam -nava -nava -rasananda -magnah -kada -syam

Verse 144 Siddhis Roll at Manjari’s Feet

Millions of amazing siddhis roll at the feet of Sri Radha’s maidservants, sri – radha -kinkarinam -luthati -caranayor -adbhuta -siddhi -kotih!

Verse 156 Radha’s Motherly Affection

When will Radha relish Krishna’s prasadi tambula, and then put it into my mouth to show Her motherly affection, dasi-vatsala, to me?

Verse 166 Fanning Seva

When on the terrace of a bower house of fresh creepers on the bank of the Yamuna will I fan Radha Murari in such a way that They blissfully close Their eyes while enjoying the incomparably cool breeze?

Verse 180 Nikunja Prasad

When will I enter the nikunja in the morning to sweep it, and then decorate myself with the prasadi kajal, camphor, musk, and sandalwood paste from Radha Madhava’s love bed that fell off Their divine bodies at the beginning of Their wonderful love-play? And when will I restring and wear Their broken garlands?

Manjari Meditations ki jai! Jai Jai Sri Radhe!

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

These amazingly sweet and charming nectar-filled verses will carry you into the realm of Srimati Radharani’s eternal seva. The original Sanskrit verses of Radha Rasa Sudha Nidhi by Sri Prabodhananda Sarasvati are all incomparably beautiful and worthy of remembrance.

However, since most people cannot memorize Sanskrit verses, we have presented mostly just the English translations. These verses paint wonderful lila pictures for meditation on Radha Krishna’s Vraja lilas. And most importantly, they will help a sadhaka to adopt the feelings and sentiments, gopi-bhava, of a dasi of Sri Radha. The verses have titles to facilitate their remembrance.

Verse 6 Radha, Essence of Rasa

Glory to Nikunja-devi Radha who revives Nandanandan when He faints from the attack of Kandarpa’s millions of  arrows by abundantly sprinkling Krishna with the nectar-waves of Her bodily contact, which is the quintessence of bliss, rasa -sara -nijanga -sanga!

Verse 14 Radha Blesses Vraja

radha -karavacita -pallava -vallarike
radha -padanka -vilasan -madhura -sthalike
radha -yasho -mukhara -matta -khagavalike
radha -vihara -vipine -ramatam -mano -me

May my mind find pleasure in the play forest of Radha, where the sprouts and vines are touched by Radha’s hands, where the lila-sthalis are sweetened by Radha’s footprints, and where the birds madly sing Radha’s glories!

Verse 9 Radha Saves Sadhus

Full of good moods, Radha delivers all the good devotees living in Vrindavan, vrndatavim -sat -tarani – krta -subhava -sudha.

Verse 17 Kunja Seva

O Radhe! After You blissfully pass the night enjoying pastimes with Your rasika nagar Krishna in a kunja, I will bathe You, and serve You some sweet foods. Then You will fall asleep while I massage Your lotus feet with my hands.

Verse 18 Radha Darshan

When will Sri Radhika who is an ocean of play manifest in my heart, sphuratu -me -hrdi -keli -sindhuh?

Verse 23 Taking Radha to Kunja

O Radhe! While carrying garlands, perfumes, and divine, soft sandalwood paste when will I follow You and point out the way as You, eager for love play, go to a sanket-kunja walking slowly like a graceful elephant?

Verse 24 Spying Shyam

O Sri Radhika! After going with You to a lonely spot on the bank of the Yamuna, when will I suddenly see Your Nagarendra Shyam intensely looking at You from a place high in a Kadamba tree, as I massage Your ambrosial limbs that are the very life of Cupid, amrtam -angam -ananga – jivam?

Verse 32 Begging for a Glance

O Sri Radhika! Please cast a merciful glance on me! I want to arrange Your meeting with Shyamchandra and make a bed for You in the trysting-bower.

Verse 39 Power of Radha’s Glance

venuh  -karan -nipatitah -skhalitam – shikhandam –
bhrashtam -ca -pitavasanam -vrajaraja sunoh
yasyah -kataksha -shara -ghata -vimurcchitasya-
tam -radhikam -paricarami -kada -rasena

When can I blissfully serve Radhika whose arrow-like sidelong glances strike Krishna, the Prince of Vraja, to make His flute fall from His hand, His peacock feather crown slip off, and His yellow dhoti fall off before He completely faints?

Verse 41 Manjari’s Only Desire

O Radhe! My only desire is to become Your maidservant, kinkari -bhavitum -mam -abhilash

Manjari meditations ki jai! Jai Jai Sri Radhe!

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

These amazingly sweet and charming nectar-filled verses will carry you into the realm of Srimati Radharani’s eternal seva. The original Sanskrit verses of Vrindavan Mahimamrita by Sri Prabodhananda Sarasvati are all incomparably beautiful and worthy of remembrance.

However, since most people cannot memorize Sanskrit verses, we have presented mostly just the English translations. These verses paint wonderful lila pictures for meditation on Radha Krishna’s Vraja lilas. And most importantly, they will help a sadhaka to adopt the feelings and sentiments, gopi-bhava, of a dasi of Sri Radha. The verses have titles to facilitate their remembrance.

Sataka 14.57 Manjaris’ Guru

Radhika personally teaches her dasi manjaris, radhika -dasih -shikshayate.

Sataka 14.70 Manjari Begs Radha Krishna 

A manjari holds the lotus feet of Radha Madhava and begs, “O Swami and Swamini Radha! Please come to my dear sakhi’s supremely charming kunja.” Radha Madhava then happily go there and lavishly praise that dasi. Just meditate on this.

Sataka 15.2 Manjari Makes a Garden

With her own hands the manjari prepares an astonishing flower garden in the forest of Vrindavan. Within it she builds a charming mandap and decorates it with varieties of fragrant flowers. She sprinkles lots of soft lotus petals on the path leading to that mandap. Radha Govinda Yugal then come there and enjoy many loving pastimes.

Sataka 15.44 Sakhis Teach Manjaris

The main gopis like Lalita and Vishakha personally teach their own extraordinary arts and skills to the newly arrived young gopis, sadhana siddhas, nava -prakata-ballavih -samupashikshya -mukhyalibhir, nijam -nijam -ananyagadbhutatamam -kala-kaushalam.

Radha Govinda merge in happiness whenever They call out the names of these wonderful new manjaris and accept their seva.

Sataka 15.73-75 The Topmost Secret Mantra

I will tell you a mantra hidden from the Vedas, and not found anywhere even in the most confidential scriptures. This infinitely glorious mantra is the sweetest nectar, the zenith of all auspiciousness, and the ultimate goal of all attainments.

It is the supreme madness of all forms of maddening bliss. It is the secret of all secrets. Without thinking of anything else, day and night chant this mantra: RADHA!

Sataka 15.83 Extreme Intimacy of Manjaris

All glories to Radha, who on the pathway just outside the nikunja confides to her manjari saying, “O auspicious well behaved dasi, anuchari -shubha -shile! I have a problem, so please tell me what should I do?

“During our never-ending love battles my lover always becomes totally exhausted, nitya -klanta -sa -kanta, even though Lalita, Vishakha and other sakhis try to encourage Shyam.”

Sataka 16.15 Fanning Radha Krishna 

I blissfully worship Radha Krishna as They sit facing each other on a beautiful cushion at the door of a vine cottage. Within Their hearts They are relishing a recent lover’s quarrel as They happily throw dice, and I gently fan Them with a camara fan.

Sataka 16.62 Reading Radha’s Hints

Remember Radha’s manjaris as they expertly serve Ishvari Radha according to Radha’s every splendid hint, motion or tasteful gesture.

Sataka 17.2 All Senses Connected with Vrindavan

May my feet walk in the forest of Vrindavan; may eyes see the beauty of Vrindavan; may my tongue sing the glories of Vrindavan and may my ears hear them. May my nose smell the sweet fragrance of Vrindavan. May my body, its hair erect in ecstasy, roll on the ground of Krishna’s lila sthalis.

Sataka 17.83 Proper Vision of Vrajavasis

If one lives in Vrindavan committing the offense of thinking that the Vrajvasis do not have eternal spiritual forms of condensed bliss and knowledge, one will not attain Goloka Vrindavan.

Sataka 17.84 Becoming Genuine Servant of Radha

When one understands that the moving and non-moving residents of Vrindavan have forms of eternal spiritual nectar, one will attain the form of a beloved servant of Radha, radha-priya-sevi-rupah.

Manjari meditations ki jai! Sridham Vrindavan ki jai! Jai Jai Sri Radhe!

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

These amazingly sweet and charming nectar-filled verses will carry you into the realm of Srimati Radharani’s eternal seva. The original Sanskrit verses of Vrindavan Mahimamrita by Sri Prabodhananda Sarasvati are all incomparably beautiful and worthy of remembrance.

However, since most people cannot memorize Sanskrit verses, we have presented mostly just the English translations. These verses paint wonderful lila pictures for meditation on Radha Krishna’s Vraja lilas. And most importantly, they will help a sadhaka to adopt the feelings and sentiments, gopi-bhava, of a dasi of Sri Radha. The verses have titles to facilitate their remembrance.

Sataka 6.85 Joy of Manjaris

Due to their naturally intense, sweet loving attachment for Radha Krishna, the manjaris experience ecstatic symptoms like erect bodily hairs as they continually dive into an ever-expanding ocean of transcendental bliss. Radha’s manjaris smile, laugh, and their bodies blossom with excessive loving madness at every moment.

Sataka 7.30 Manjari Abhiman

For manjaris, Radha Krishna are everything, their very life and soul. “Alas! Even in the greatest calamity may I never fall into the bodily conception thinking, ‘My body, my home, and its many things are mine.’”

Sataka 7.36 Mercy of Vraja

All glories to Vrindavan which forgives all one’s faults and offenses, and nicely maintains and nourishes one who vows to take complete shelter there, vrindavanam -ashrita -poshanam -vratam -ashesha -dosha -kshama.

Sataka 8.17 Constant Meditation

Always meditate on Radha’s millions of dasi manjaris, dasi -yutha -kotir -anusmara.

Sataka 8.23 Manjaris Unique Position

What more can I say about the special mercy Radha gives to her manjari? When Radha enjoys pastimes with Priyatama in a cottage of creepers, she sometimes sits her manjari on the bed and covers her with a sheet, paryanka -sthapitam, -vastrair -vacchaditam -kvachit

Sataka 8.42 Why Hear About Manjaris

By repeatedly hearing about the forms, feelings and sevas of the manjaris and their intimate relationship with Sri Radha, you will become happy and hanker to hear more, shrutva -srutvati -sukhitam, punah shravana lalasam

Therefore, surely in all times and places you should always remember and meditate upon this. Even if you have not seen or realized these topics, still you should hear and speak about them and live in beautiful Vrindavan, asphurtitah -kathato -pi -srimad -vrindavane -va.

Sataka 8.73-74 Manjari Sevas

As Radha’s kinkari, you repeatedly fan your dearest Radha with the edge of your veil, offer her betel nuts, and offer Radha to her beloved Prityatam Shyam. You lovingly offer Radha a delicious cool, nectar drink scented with camphor and other spices poured from a jewel studded water pot.

Sataka 9.72 All Senses Engaged

The manjaris’ ears are immersed in the sweet nectar of Radha Hari’s conversations. Their eyes are fixed on Radha Krishna’s effulgent forms and loving pastimes. And their minds are greatly intoxicated from arranging the festive meetings of Radha and Krishna.                                                                                     

Sataka 10.89 Radha’s Lotus Feet

I always remember the incomparable effulgence of Sri Radha’s lotus feet, smarami -sri -radha -charan -kamal -jyotir -atulam

Sataka 10.96 Mother Vrindavan

“I am full of great faults and I don’t have even the slightest trace of good qualities. I repeatedly commit many unforgiveable offenses. But still, O Vrindavan! You are like my mother and I am your son. So please don’t reject me.’’

Sataka 11.116 Manjari Abhiman

“I have a beautiful body of a Radha dasi, and I always live in Radha vana. I satisfy Radha’s heart by tastefully serving Radha’s lotus feet day and night, radha -dasya -lasad -vapur, anisha – radha -pada -seva, antas -toshita – radha, rasiko – radha -vane -sada -nivasa.”

Sataka 12.64 Fortune of Vraja Vasa

Only the most fortunate attain residence in Vrindavan, where the fragrant air purifies everyone it touches, vrindavan -sakala -bhagyavatam -varishthair -labhyam -surabhy -anila -pavita -sarva -sabhyam

Sataka 13.2 Faith in Vrindavan

One will not see the mercy of Radha’s lotus feet until one has firm faith in the land of Vrindavan,

vrindavan -bhuvi -bhaven -napi -nishtha -garishtha -radha -carana -karuna -naiva -drshi.

Jai Jai Sri Radhe! See part four manjari meditations.

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

These amazingly sweet and charming nectar-filled verses will carry you into the realm of Srimati Radharani’s eternal seva. The original Sanskrit verses of Vrindavan Mahimamrita by Sri Prabodhananda Sarasvati are all incomparably beautiful and worthy of remembrance.

However, since most people cannot memorize Sanskrit verses, we have presented mostly just the English translations. These verses paint wonderful lila pictures for meditation on Radha Krishna’s Vraja lilas. And most importantly, they will help a sadhaka to adopt the feelings and sentiments, gopi-bhava, of a dasi of Sri Radha. The verses have titles to facilitate their remembrance.

Sataka 3.55 Crying in Bhajan

When with the wealth detachment will I stay in the forest of Vrindavan? I will rest my cheeks on my palms and repeatedly cry out, “O Krishna! O Krishna!”

Sataka 3.109 Life and Soul

A manjari’s supreme love for the lotus feet of Radha Krishna is her very life.

radha -krishna -padaravinda, parama -premaika -jivatubhis

Sataka 4.48 Solitary Bhajan

Even if my hair turns grey, my body becomes weak, and kaupins, torn garments, and an old shawl are my only possessions, still I will remain peaceful while staying far away from others as if I am low and fallen. But in my heart, I will always be completely absorbed in serving the lotus feet of Sri Radha.

Sataka 4.81 Mother Vraja

O beautiful land of Vrindavan! You are supremely more affectionate than millions of mothers, sri -vrndatavi -koti -matr -parama -snigdha!

Sataka 4.88 Vraja Ultimate Atonement

Radhika’s forest of Vrindavan is the perfect atonement for all sins; the ultimate shelter for all offenses to great souls; the crest jewel of all dharmas, and the crest jewel of all goals of human life.

Sataka 5.71 Vraja Only Shelter

Even though I am bewildered by lust and other material desires, still I hanker to attain that pure love which is hidden in the Vedas. Thus, I continue to stay here because the compassion of Vrindavan is my only shelter, vrindaranya -karunaika -me -sharanam.

Sataka 5.96-99 Radha Describes Krishna’s Love

One day Radhika privately met Her priya sakhi and revealed how much Krishna loves Her:

“O sakhi! Day and night your Krishna stays with Me. Krishna braids My hair in various ways; draws artistic designs on My face with musk, kunkum, and sandalwood paste. Krishna dresses Me with beautiful clothes, ornaments and flower garlands.

“Krishna always keeps His radiant moon-like face before mine and gazes at me with unblinking eyes. Krishna is very eager to talk to me. Krishna lies down holding me on His heart, and He always keeps me by His side.

“O sakhi! How can I describe the love that jewel of all romantic lovers has for me. Don’t ask me to tell you how I became so fortunate. I cannot describe my unlimited pastimes to you. Because as soon as Shyam holds my hand I forget who I am, where I was, and later I can’t remember anything.

“Alas! Shyam decorates my braid with exceptional flowers, draws a line of red sindhur in my hair part, anoints my eyes with kajal, dresses me in silken garments, and repeatedly gives me betel nuts to chew.

“Thus, in so many ways Shyam shows His love for me. Krishna is so attached to me He won’t even move me from His lap to put me in the bed.”

Sataka 6.29 Power of Vraja Connection

If you live in the earthly land of Vrindavan; or meditate upon and offer obeisances to Vrindavan; or travel to, see or touch Vrindavan; or have any connection with Vrindavan; then aho, this supremely purifying land of Vrindavan will carry you to Goloka Vrindavan!

Sataka 6.71 Intimate Seva

Alone with Lila Yugal inside the nikunja, the manjari says, “O Swamini Radha! Please stay still for a second so I can remove all the signs of amorous sporting from your eyes, limbs and clothing. Lalita and the other sakhis are coming soon. If they see you like this, they will all make jokes and laugh loudly. Then you will feel very embarrassed.”

Sataka 6.74 Intimate Sevas

Inside the nikunja, a manjari serves Radha Muralidhar by arranging Their hair, applying tilak, daubing sandalwood paste, offering betel nuts and flower garlands, feeding Them tasty foods and drinks, massaging Them, and many other sevas.

Sataka 6.75 Varieties of Sevas

Some expert manjaris decorate the kunja, some string beautiful flower garlands, some prepare varieties of fragrant things, and some sew fine silk clothes.

Sataka 6.81 Seva Bhava

I pray that Sri Radhika’s maidservants, who bitterly lament when any obstacle stops their seva to the master and mistress of their lives, may appear before me, sphurantu -mama -sri -radhika -aradhikah.

Jai Jai Sri Radhe! See part three manjari meditations.

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

These amazingly sweet and charming nectar-filled verses will carry you into the realm of Srimati Radharani’s eternal seva. The original Sanskrit verses of Vrindavan Mahimamrita by Sri Prabodhananda Sarasvati are all incomparably beautiful and worthy of remembrance.

However, since most people cannot memorize Sanskrit verses, we have presented mostly just the English translations. These verses paint wonderful lila pictures for meditation on Radha Krishna’s Vraja lilas. And most importantly, they will help a sadhaka to adopt the feelings and sentiments, gopi-bhava, of a dasi of Sri Radha. The verses have titles to facilitate their remembrance.

Sataka 1.54 Manjari’s Fortune and Bliss

All the festivals of bliss experienced in relation to Bhagavan Sri Krishna don’t equal even one fraction of the happiness Radha’s manjaris experience when their eyes plunge in the ocean of Radha Krishna’s intimate pastimes.

If you want to experience the incomparable bliss of Radha’s manjaris, then simply give up your body in the topmost abode of Sridham Vrindavan.

Sataka 2.22 Manjari Sthayi-rati

Remember Radhika’s kinkaris (manjaris) who are full of madhurya rasa, the rapturous moods of srngar- rati, smara -rasamaya- radhika -kinkaris.

Sataka 2.39 Ecstatic Bliss

I worship the manjaris who become overwhelmed in bliss, and start rolling on the ground after continuously watching Radha Madhava’s wonderful playful amorous battle on a charming flower bed in a Vraja nikunja.

Sataka 2.56 Manjaris Intimate Sevas

I will serve Radha Krishna by offering fragrant forest garlands, smearing cooling sandalwood paste on Them, putting betel nuts in Their mouths, gently fanning Them, and massaging Their lotus feet when Radha Krishna lie down together enjoying the happiness of a tight loving embrace.

Sataka 2. 61 Beautiful Meditation on Radha

Overwhelmed by a flood of love, speaking with a broken voice, shedding tears, and the hair of Her body erect with excitement, Sri Radha sends Her dearest manjari to Krishna with a letter of humble apology (after a lover’s quarrel).

Later, when They meet again in the forest of Vrindavan, Radha falls at Krishna’s feet and binds Krishna’s feet with Her braided hair. All glories to the most beautiful Radharani who is the light of my life.

Sataka 2.84 Intimate Sevas

One day Radha sees a golden vine decorated with fresh buds and lovely smiling flowers oozing honey wrapped around a dark tamal tree. Suddenly Radha becomes overwhelmed with a desire to meet Krishna and starts to faint. But a clever manjari quickly supports Radha.

Sataka 2.86 Manjari Identity

Radha’s manjaris are like wonderful bubbles from the effulgent spiritual ocean of sweet love flowing from the beautiful lotus feet of Radha. O friend! Just become a follower of the kinkaris of Radhika, anusarata -sakhe -radhika -kinkaris -tah.

Sataka 2.95 Three Important Truths

Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu revealed that sadhakas of manjari bhava must always remember and meditate upon three spiritual truths, tattvas:

1. Sri Vrindavan Tattva
2. Radha Krishna Tattva
3. Nija Tattva

Nija tattva means the truth about yourself i.e. your siddha deha as revealed by Sri Gaurachandra, who inaugurated the practice of raganuga-bhakti which includes meditation upon one’s individual spiritual body.

sri- vrindavan -tattvam
sri- radha -krishna -tattvam
nija -tattvam -ca -sada -smara
yat -prakatitam -asti -gauracandrena

Sataka 3.1 Cultivating Gopi Bhava

Gradually, give up all activities that go against your internal mood and feelings as a manjari dasi of Srimati Radharani. Always remember that Radha Krishna are eternally staying in your heart.

With eyes of love always see that all the moving and non-moving entities in Vrindavan are absorbed in thoughts of Radha Krishna. You should not see in any other way.  Day and night celebrate a great festival of serving Radha Krishna as They enjoy pastimes in the forest of Vrndavana.

Sataka 3.15 Nikunja Seva

O my beloved Madan Mohan! You are more enchanting than Kamadeva! When in the beautiful forest of Vrindavan will I serve You, who are smiling and agitated by intense amorous desires as You passionately lay on a bed of flowers in a nikunja with my Ishvari Radha, who rules my entire existence.

Jai Jai Sri Radhe! See part two manjari meditations.

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

If you ask twenty different initiated Gaudiya Vaisnavas (aka Chaitanya Vaisnavas) to explain what is a Gaudiya Vaisnava; who is their worshipable ishta-devata; what is the goal of attainment (sadhya); and what is the practice (sadhana) or means to attain that goal—you will get TWENTY DIFFERENT ANSWERS!

Now we will cite the sacred scriptures to correctly answer these questions. First of all, who is Sri Chaitanya? Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is directly Bhagavan Sri Krishna, who, after immersing His heart in Srimati Radharani’s ecstatic loving emotions and covering Himself with Her supremely radiant golden color, appeared as Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu 500 years ago in Navadvipa Dhama, W. Bengal.

To put it simply, a Gaudiya Vaisnava is a Krishna devotee who follows the philosophy, teachings and the sadhana practices taught by Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu Himself, the sole founder of the Gaudiya Vaisnava Sampradaya.

Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s personal words and exact teachings on the worshipable ishta-devata, the daily sadhana practices, and the spiritual goal i.e. sadhya are clearly presented in the books of the Gaudiya Vaisnava  mahajana  acharyas i.e. Six Goswamis, Sri Baladeva Vidyabhusana, Sri Narottama Dasa Thakura, and Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti.

So, if one is not following Sri Chaitanya’s teachings and practices to attain Mahaprabhu’s definition of spiritual perfection, he/she is not really a Gaudiya Vaisnava.

Here are Mahaprabhu’s personal instructions and answers to the opening questions.

In the beginning of Chaitanya-caritamrita, Sri Krishna Dasa Kaviraja presents the basis or foundation of Gaudiya Vaisnava dharma by quoting the direct words of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.

In one of His first teachings, Sri Krishna Chaitanya said, “I have come to this world to taste the essence of ecstatic Krishna prema and TO PREACH RAGANUGA-BHAKTI to the people [what to speak of the devotees!], prema-rasa-niryāsa, kariteāsvādana, rāga-mārga bhakti loke, karitepracāraṇa.” (Caitanya Caritamrita 1.4.15)

Sri Krishna Chaitanya said, “When My devotees hear about the immaculately pure love of the Vrajavasis, they will worship Me on the PATH OF RAGANUGA BHAKTI, and there by give up their duties within the varnashrama-system, vrajeranirmala raga, śunibhakta-gaṇa,  rāga-mārgebhajeyena, chāḍi dharma-karma.” (Caitanya Caritamrita 1.4.33)

Chaitanya Mahaprabhu: “I relished the mellows of love in various ways. And through My pastimes I TAUGHT THE DEVOTEES HOW TO PRACTICE RAGANUGA-BHAKTI, prema-rasa āsvādila, vividhaprakāra, rāga-mārgebhakta bhakti, kare ye prakāre, tāhāśikhāilalīlā, ācaraṇadvāre.” (Caitanya Caritamrita 1.4.264-5)

Throughout Chaitanya-caritamrita, Mahaprabhu describes the Gaudiya sadhana of raganuga-bhakti (raga-marge)—both the physical practices and the internal mental practices of meditation on one’s siddha-deha and the eternal pastimes of Radha and Krishna.

Goal of Gaudiya Vaisnava

The essential teachings of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s Gaudiya Vaisnava dharma is fully described in just two chapters of Chaitanya-caritamrita (adi four, and madhya eight. Every Gaudiya Vaisnava should deeply study these two chapters. By this one will get a clear understanding of the actual true goal (sadhya) and proper means of attaining it (sadhana).

Chaitanya-caritamrita, madhyalila chapter eight is titled “Sri Ramananda Raya Samvad”. Here, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, inspires and empowers His devotee Sri Ramananda Raya to answer His questions concerning Gaudiya Vaisnava sadhana and sadhya.

Chaitanya Mahaprabhu asked, “O Ramananda! WHAT IS THE GOAL OF LIFE, prabhukahepaḍaśloka, sādhyeranirṇaya?” (Caitanya Caritamrita 2.8.57)

Sri Ramananda Raya answered by describing many paths to God realization including varnashrama-dharma, karma-yoga, karmarpanam, niskama karma-yoga, jnana-misra bhakti, shuddha-bhakti, dasya-bhakti, sakhya-bhakti, vatsalya-bhakti, madhurya-bhakti, pure Vrajaprema, Srimati Radharani’s mahabhava, and lastly prema-vilasa-vivarta—the melting of Radha-Madhava’s  hearts and identities in the union of ultimate divine love.

After listening to each of these paths and goals, Mahaprabhu would say, “This is not it, go further, go further.” When Sri Ramananda Raya described the Vrajasrngara-madhurya-bhava, and the love of Radha and Krishna relished in prema-vilasavivarta, Mahaprabhu confirmed, “YES! This is the topmost goal of life, prabhukahesādhyavastura, avadhieihaya.” (Caitanya Caritamrita 2.8.196)

Means to Attain the Goal

Mahaprabhu inquired, “But without practicing the proper sadhana, no one will attain this goal (sadhya). So please tell me the sadhana to attain this goal [i.e. Radha-Krishna premaseva in Vrindavana], sādhyavastusādhanavinu, kehanāhipāya, kṛpākari’ kaharāya, pābāraupāya?” (Caitanya Caritamrita 2.8.197) 

Sri Ramananda Raya replied: “Those who develop the feelings and moods of the sakhis (sakhi/gopi-bhava) can attain the [Gaudiya Vaisnava] goal of life, Radha-Krishna’s seva in the beautiful bowers of Vrindavana. THERE IS NO OTHER WAY TO REACH THIS GOAL.”

sakhīvināeilīlāya, anyeranāhigati//sakhī-bhāve ye tāṅre, kareanugati
rādhākṛṣṇakuñjasevā, sādhyaseipāya//seisādhyapāiteāra, nāhikaupāya

Qualification to Start Raganuga Bhakti

Sri Ramananda Raya: “A Gaudiya Vaisnava who has “divine” greed to attain the gopīs’ nectareanprema (gopibhava amrita) will abandon the rites and rituals of the social/spiritual system i.e. varṇāśrama, and disregard the opinions or prohibitions of others to worship Krishna on the path of raganuga-bhakti, seigopī-bhāvāmṛte, yāṅralobhahaya, veda dharma lokatyaji, se kṛṣṇebhajaya.” (Caitanya Caritamrita 2.8.220)

Attaining Sri Krishna: Vraja or Vaikuntha? 

Sri Ramananda Raya: “One who practices raganugabhajana will attain Vrajendranandana Sri Krishna in Vraja, rāgānuga-mārgetāṅre, bhajeyeijana, sei-janapāyavraje, vrajendra-nandana. (Caitanya Caritamrita 2.8.221)

“One, who follows the path of raganuga-bhakti, after accepting the gopi-bhava of one of Sri Krishna’s eternal associates in Vrindavana, will get a spiritual body (siddha deha), and the appropriate bhava and qualification to attain Sri Krishna in Vraja, vraja-lokerakonabhāva, lañāyeibhaje, bhāva-yogyadehapāñā, kṛṣṇapāyavraje.” (Caitanya Caritamrita 2.8.222)

Then Sri Ramananda Raya explains the importance of accepting/following the mood and feeling of a Vrajagopi like Sri Rupa or Tulasi manjari. By doing this the raganuga sadhaka will attain an eternal siddha deha in Vrindavana.

Sri Ramananda Raya: “If one follows the mood and bhava of a gopi, one will attain the spiritual body of a gopi, seibhāveanugati, gopī-deha-prāpti.” (Caitanya Caritamrita 2.8.225)

But then Sri Ramananda Raya gives a stern warning (verses 226, 230) that Gaudiya Vaisnava sadhakas WILL NEVER ATTAIN KRISHNA in Vrindavana without practicing raganuga-bhakti.

Sri Ramananda Raya: “One who just follows the path of vaidhi-sadhana will never attain Krishna’s association, taste the nectar of His lotus feet, nor attain Krishnachandra in Vraja, aṅghripadmasudhāyakahe, krishnasaṅgānanda, vidhimārgenāpāiye, vrajekrishna-candra.” (Caitanya Caritamrita 2.8.226)

The Gaudiya Vaisnava Sadhana & Sadhya

Sri Ramananda Raya concludes his teachings by presenting Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s essential instructions about the actual goal and path of practice for all Gaudiya Vaisnavas. This particular type of sadhana and sadhya is the unique gift to humanity by the Krishna Prema Avatara Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, which He only gives every 310 billion years or so!

Sri Ramananda Raya: “Listen, O Gaudiya Vaisnavas! You all must accept gopi-bhava, and day and night think about Radha-Krishna’s pastimes while mentally serving the Divine Couple in your siddha deha. By practicing raganuga-bhakti like this, you will definitely attain sakhi/gopi-bhava and the lotus feet of Radha-Krishna.” (Caitanya Caritamrita 2.6.228-229)

ataevagopī-bhāva, kariaṅgīkāra, rātri-dinacinterādhā, kṛṣṇeravihāra
siddha-dehecintikare, tāhāṅñisevana, sakhī-bhāvepāyarādhā, kṛṣṇeracaraṇa

After hearing Sri Ramananda Raya’s clear and exact explanations about His own teachings, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was extremely pleased and happy, so He warmly embraced Ramananda as they cried together in ecstatic Krishna prema, eta suniprabhutāṅre, kailaāliṅgana, dui janegalāgali, karenakrandana. (Caitanya Caritamrita 2.8.233)

Later in madhya-lila, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu Himself gave the same instructions on raganuga-bhakti sadhana and sadhya to Sri Rupa Gosvami and Sri Sanatana Goswami. Mahaprabhu empowered the divine brothers, and ordered them to describe the details of raganuga-bhakti in their books for the benefit of all Gaudiya Vaisnavas.

Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu said, “O Sanatana Gosvami! There are two types of sādhana in rāgānugā-bhakti: external and internal. In the external sādhaka body, the devotee performs śravaṇa and kīrtana. Internally, within the mind, one should meditate on one’s own siddha-deha and mentally serve Sri Krishna day and night in Vraja.” (Caitanya Caritamrita 2.22.156-157):

bāhyaantaraihāra, dui ta’ sādhana, bāhyesādhakadehekare, śravaṇa-kīrtana
manenija-siddha-deha, kariyābhāvana, rātri-dine karevraje, krishnerasevana

So…Who is a Gaudiya Vaisnava? It is a devotee who knows and follows the personal teachings of Sri Chaitanya  Mahaprabhu, the founder of Gaudiya Vaisnava dharma, regarding the goal and means of attainment. 

By reading this post, we hope all our devoted friends will now have a clear understanding about what is the Gaudiya Vaisnava siddhanta regarding the actual sadhana and sadhya needed to attain the goal of our precious human forms of life.

May all find the true path, follow it, and attain the eternal prema-seva of Sri Sri Radha Govinda Yugala in the groves of Vrindavana.

Raganuga-bhakti ki jai! Radha-Krishna nitya-sevaki jai! Jaya Jaya Sri Radhe!

 

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Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

Tonight is the Sharad Purnima Maha Rasa-lila. Sri Radha is gorgeously dressed in a moonlight white sari, and adorned with pearl and moonstone necklaces, flower malas of juhi, mogra and chameli, and anointed with camphor and white chandan. Ah, such a beautiful night with soothing, romantic moonshine and cooling sand caressing passionately dancing lotus feet. The perfect night for a rasa dance!

Were Radha’s loyal maidservants, Her kinkaris and manjaris, present in the Rasa-lila? The Srimad -Bhagavatam does not clearly mention the presence of manjaris in the Rasa-lila. Before the advent of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu no one had written about any distinction between the sakhis and manjaris.

Sri Rupa Goswamipada, however, lists the names of eighteen manjaris in Radha-Krishna Ganoddesha Dipika. Thus the secret existence of Radha’s manjaris, and the practice of manjari bhava sadhana is the merciful gift of Sri Chaitanyadeva, and the Six Goswamis, who are themselves eternal manjaris in Vraja.

By their life styles and writings, the Six Goswamis personally taught the way of serving Srimati Radharani in manjari bhava.

From the following verse, Sri Rupa Goswamipada, who is Sri Rupa Manjari in Krishna-lila, proves that Radha’s manjaris were present during the Rasa dance:

“O Radha! When will my heart fill with pride as I see from afar (dure- drshtva) how Keshava leaves all the lotus-eyed girls of Vraja at the start of the Rasa dance, and takes You to a lonely place where He decorates You with flowers under Your command?” (Utkalika Vallari v.42)

Sri Sri Yugal Kishor enjoyed wonderfully intimate pastimes when They left all the gopis during the Rasa-lila. Sri Rupa Manjari was personally there seeing and relishing everything from a short distance.

Radharani’s manjaris are so supremely fortunate that they can enjoy pastimes of Radha and Krishna that even the sakhis cannot. The manjaris accompanied Sri Radha when Krishna abruptly disappeared from the Rasa lila. This is because Radha’s manjaris are one with Sri Radha’s heart, completely equal to Srimati but with separate bodies.

During Krishna’s intimate pastimes, Swamini is not at all shy before Her manjaris, who render special services at that time. The manjaris are always close to Srimati’s lotus feet.

Sri Prabodhananda Sarasvatipada describes the phenomenal closeness of the manjaris, “During Radha-Madhava’s most intimate kunja-lilas, Radharani sometimes sits the manjaris on Her play-bed and covers them with the sheets, paryanka-adhishthapitam-va- vastrair- vacchaditam-kvacit!” (Vrndavana Mahimamrita 8.23)

Sri Visvanatha Cakravartipada says the manjaris were very much present during the Rasa-lila, and they offered many tasteful personal sevas to please Radha Govinda Yugala at that time.

He explains, “When the silvery liquid nectar of moonlight splashes on Yamuna’s camphor white, sandy banks, and You, Radha, euphorically dance the Rasa with Sri Hari, I will expertly play the vina which You personally taught me.”

“After the rasa dance You, Krishna and Your sakhis will rest in a malati nikunja, and I will affectionately give You many sweet grapes, mangoes, bananas and pomegranates.”

“Radha when Your amorous nikunja lilas are over I will sweetly put You and Your beloved Priyatama to rest on a bed of lotus petals. Then I will give You and Shyam betel-nuts to chew.”

‘I will massage Your lotus feet, anoint them with kunkuma powder, smell the wonderful ocean of their fragrance, and gaze on their delicate beauty with my eyes.” (Sankalpa Kalpa Druma v. 16-19)

Just see the incredible fortune and bliss the manjaris experience in Sri Radha’s personal seva! (shastra courtesy Sri Advaita Dasji)

Manjaris in Rasa-lila ki jai! Jai Jai Sri Radhe!