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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!

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

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

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

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

Manjari Lila: Krishna’s Nama Japa

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

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

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

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

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

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

Manjari Lila: Radha Darshan

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Swamini blinks: “Yes!”

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

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

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

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

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

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

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

Manjari Lila: Radha Rewards Her Manjari

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

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

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

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

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

Absorbed in manjari bhava, Sarasvatipada prays:

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

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

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

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

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

Manjari Tattva: Intensity in Smarana

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

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

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

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

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

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

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

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

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

Manjari Lila: Manjaris Break the Impasse

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

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

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

Manjari Lila: Putting Radha to Rest

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jai Jai Sri Radhe!

Manjari Tattva: Sweetness of Sriji’s Seva

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 One in a Billion    

Sri Ramananda Raya told Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu:

shata -koti -gopite -nahe –kama -nirvapana
-ihatei -anumana –sri -radhara -guna

“Not even a billion gopis can extinguish the blazing fire of Krishna’s lusty desires. Only Radha is qualified to do this.” (Caitanya Caritamrita 2.8.116)

From this one can understand Sri Radha’s uniquely magnificent glories!

Jai Jai Sri Radhe!

Manjari Tattva: Meeting Minds

While doing bhajan the sadhaka’s mind must meet the minds of the acharyas. Devotional service cannot be rendered while the mind remains in material consciousness. We must be able to exchange thoughts with each other. How pure the mind must be for that!

The sadhaka thinks, “Won’t I become the way Radhika, to whom I have given my life, wants me to be? O Swamini! Then You will not keep any secrets from me anymore!”

To attain Radharani’s seva, a devotee must give one’s whole mind to Radha, giving up everything else! Sri Raghunatha Dasa Goswami’s mind is in the kingdom of transcendental pastimes. So we forever pray to him for his mercy to accept us into that kingdom too.

Manjari Lila: Seva and Rasodgara

Rasodgara means amorous recollection. For example, while dressing Swamini in Varsana in the morning, the sakhis and manjaris will remind Radha about Her previous intimate amorous pastimes with Shyam, and thereby increase Radha’s prema for Her Priyatam.

While Tulasi-manjari hangs the garland around Swamini’s neck, she reminds Radha of Her past sports with Shyam: “If Shyam was now embracing You, there would be no need and no chance for me to put this garland on You!”

After adorning Srimati with the flower garland, Tulasi-manjari places a big jeweled mirror before Kishori and says: “Hey Shyamaju! Just see now how I decorated You!”

Swamini is enchanted when She sees Her sweet reflection in the mirror, and proudly says: “Tulasi! You really know how to make Krishna enjoy! Even when He sees Me without make-up Krishna becomes enchanted, so I cannot imagine how Krishna will feel when He sees this extraordinary beauty! Everything will be wasted if My hero cannot enjoy all this!”

In this way, Swamini speaks out Her heart to Tulasi in so many beautiful and intimate ways. Suddenly the vision (sphurti) ends so Sri Raghunatha Dasa Goswami laments and prays for another lila sphurti.

Blessed is this maidservant! How much rasa she makes Swamini relish while serving Radha and engaging Her in rasodgara! This cannot be experienced without allegiance to Sri Rupa Goswamipada and Sri Raghunatha Dasa Goswami. We must be very very eager to follow them as Sri Narottama Dasa Thakura prays:

rupa-raghunatha-pade -ha-ibe -akuti
kabe -hama -bujhaba -se -yugala-piriti

“When I shall be eager to follow Rupa and Raghunatha, only then I shall be able to divine love affairs of Lila Yugala Radha Govinda.”

Manjari Lila: Radha’s Rasodgara Showing Her Supremacy

One day in Varsana, Sri Radha engaged on rasodgara with Her confidante Visakha-sakhi.

Swamini said, “O Visakhe! I know My beloved Shyam loves Me! From whatever I see and hear I understand that Krishna has given His heart fully to Me! Shyam wears yellow cloth because Bihari loves My bodily luster so much!

“When I go out to bathe at the ghata, Giridhari bathes in the next ghata; and when Shyam is splashed by the water from My body, Hari comes running towards it with wide open arms. Just to touch at least My clothes, Krishna gives His clothes to the same washerman.

“When Hari hears even half a syllable of My name, Krishna becomes very happy. Just to touch My shadow Murari makes so many turns. Wherever My bodily breeze blows Krishna keeps His face in that direction.

“Wherever Shyam smells My bodily fragrance carried by the wind, Shyam stretches out His arms, turns His face, and runs in that direction like a madman. Krishna can’t find ways to express His mind’s eagerness!”

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