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By: Mahanidhi Swami

For the conjugal pleasure of Sri Krishna, Srimati Radhika and the other gopi heroines (nayikaas) of Vrindavana display a wonderful variety of emotions in eight different service situations. We will describe them and then cite a pastime, if mentioned, of Srimati Radharani to illustrate them. During these situations the gopi nayikaas taste different varieties of separation and union. All eight of these nayikaa bhaavas are fully, unlimitedly and uniquely experienced by Sri Radha alone. Yet acharyas have mentioned particular moods in relation to individual sakhis, which we will indicate with brackets. The information here comes from Ujjvala Nilamani and Jaiva Dharma.

1) Abhisarika: (Chitra-sakhi) This heroine leaves her home and travels to meet her lover at the assigned rendezvous bower, all the while thinking, “I will serve Sri Krishna.” At the time of going for abhisara, she is absolutely silent and gorgeously decorated from head to toe. As if out of shyness she contracts Her bodily limbs, and moves along the footpath accompanied by one affectionate sakhi.

Lila: Sriji said, “O Vishakha! When you make the appointment, you should tell Madhava about My beauty and character. But don’t let Pyare-mohana know how much My heart suffers with love for Him. O My friend, please expertly appeal to Nanda Kishora on My behalf, and affectionately bring Bihari here to meet Me before this wretched moon kisses the horizon and robs Me of My life-breath.”

Vishakha replied, “O Sundari, the great orb of the moon is now bathing the forest of Vrindavana with its soothing rich rays. Vrajapati-nandana has

now marked the footpath You have taken and He is about to follow it. O Shyama-priya, You are nicely dressed in a white silk sari, and anointed with camphor and sandalwood. Will You not now place Your two beautiful lotus feet on this path that leads to Krishna?”

2) Vasaka-sajja: (Champaka-lata) This gopi ornaments and perfumes her body and prepares and decorates the bed-chamber in the kunja in eager anticipation of her lover’s arrival. She is determined to engage in games of Kamadeva. Hoping that her lover will come as soon as he can, the vasaka-nayikaa gazes down the path along which her lover will approach. While sitting with her sakhis she glorifies her lover, and hears his lila-katha from them. At every moment she eagerly waits for a messenger to bring news of her lover.

Lila: Rupa-manjari said to a gopi-friend, “When Radharani sees the conjugal pastime grove with its beautiful flower bed, and Her own nicely decorated body, She begins to smile. Repeatedly meditating on Her association with Krishna, Gaurangi’s heart becomes intoxicated by amorous desires.”

3) Utkanthita: (Ranga-devi) This gopi repeatedly glances down the path in great eagerness, anxiously anticipating the arrival of her beloved Sri Krishna. When Shyama is late for the rendezvous however, through no fault of His own, the restless nayikaa becomes excessively impatient and eager to meet her lover.

Her heart burns in agony, her body trembles, and she wonders why her lover has not come. Losing all desire to do anything, the utkanthita heroine thinks of her sorry plight while shedding tears of lamentation

The previous condition of the vasaka-sajja ultimately transforms into utkanthita. While waiting and seeing that her lover has not come, she becomes excessively eager and restless and is then called an utkanthita nayikaa.

4) Khandita: (Lalita) The gopi heroine enters the condition of khandita when Hari arrives late, long after the appointed time for meeting, practically at sunrise. Seeing the clear signs of Krishna’s amorous affairs with another lover, she becomes extremely jealous, either chastising Shyama or pouting in silence. And in her anger she exhales long drawn out breaths.

Lila: Sri Radha chastises Krishna: “Listen Madhava! Which artful girl has stolen the precious gold of Your love, and in return decorated You with her own cheap tinsel? Your lips are tinged with her collyrium; Your eyelids are reddish from her chewed betel, and Your chest is tinted red from the lac-dye on her feet. Is there any girl so naive that she will touch Your body in its present defiled condition? Unscrupulous as You are, what allurement can You offer now with Your soiled person?” (Kavi Govinda dasa)

Responding to Radha’s rebukes, Muralidhara pleads, “O Sundari, lovely lady! Why are You speaking such pungent words to Me? While touching Your feet, I swear I love none other than You. I spent the whole night awake in expectation for You; that’s how My eyes became reddened. Somehow this dark musk paste has tainted My lips.

“Seeing You turning Your face away from Me, My eyes are shedding tears and My heart is breaking. If You slight Me out of pride, then where shall I go? You know My heart very well. Why then are You speaking unfavorably.” Hearing these shallow words, the charming Radhika became doubly angry. (Kavi Jnana dasa)

5) Vipralabdha: (Tungavidya) When the heroine sits waiting in the secluded bower, and her lover does not show up at all, then she feels greatly disappointed. It sometimes happens that by the will of providence, Krishna cannot come for one reason or another, even after fixing the time and place of the tryst by a signal or hint. At that time, the vipralabdha heroine is severely afflicted by pangs of separation from her beloved. She decries her own worthlessness, becomes anxious, laments, weeps bitterly, sighs deeply and faints.

Lila: Radha sighed, “O Vishakha! The moon has now left the sky and the time for meeting has passed. O sakhi, I have been cheated by this lover of the goddess of fortune. What shall we do now? Please instruct me so that My self-respect does not manifest, for I no longer want to live.” After

speaking these words, doe-eyed Radharani fainted.

6) Kalahantarita: (Sudevi) Whenever, due to some quarrel with Hari, the nayikaa severely reprimands her Pranavallabha Shyama, and then spurns Him, even after Krishna falls at her feet before all her sakhis. However, after dismissing Shyama she becomes even more bereaved, and exhibits various emotions such as anguish, delirium, incoherent speech, debility of body and mind, exhaling drawn-out breaths.

Lila One: Radha said to Herself, “I have thrown far away all the garlands presented to Me by this Krishna, the enemy of Kesi. I have not allowed Shyama’s sweet words of supplication to enter My ears. I do not even glance at Him when Krishna bows down before Me with His hair scattered on the ground. All of this is making My mind split open like a pot being heated in a fire.”

Lila Two: Lamenting to Her sakhi, Sri Radha said, “I built a house for living happily, but fire has burned it down. I wanted to bathe in an ocean of nectar, but I dove into a pool of poison. I adored that particular Moon believing He is soothing, but instead I was scorched by the sun. I climbed a mountain to rise to great height, but plummeted into the depths of the sea. I looked to the raincloud to quench My thirst, but instead a thunderbolt pierced My heart. Love for Kanu is like an arrow stuck deeply in the heart.” (Kavi Chandidasa)

7) Proshita-bhartrka: (Indulekha) When Krishna leaves Vrindavana and goes to Mathura, and does not return even after many days have elapsed, then the heroine becomes most miserable and suffers terribly in His separation. She experiences many things including inertia, anxiety, melancholy, sleeplessness, and not dressing or bathing herself.

Lila: Radha said to Lalita, “Krishna is now happily enjoying pastimes in Mathura without Me. But for Me, this springtime brings pain at every step and from every direction. Alas, My enemy, the impossible hope that perhaps Krishna may return, has become a great obstacle in fulfilling My desire to kill Myself. Where can I find shelter from this enemy.”

8) Svadhina-bhartrka: (Radhika especially, and Vishakha too) This type of heroine experiences great joy because she dominates her lover, tames him according to her own whims, and engages him for enjoying her own flavor of amorous sports. Being controlled by her prema, the hero cannot leave her for even a moment. Together they relish various pastimes like vana-vihara, jala-keli and picking flowers.

Lila: Radha ordered, “O Shyama, Please draw some nice pictures on My breasts and cheeks. Decorate My hips with a sash, and twine a flower garland in My braid. Put bracelets on My wrists and jeweled anklets on My feet.” With great pleasure Krishna obediently carried out all of Radha’s orders.

In summary, among the eight types of heroines just described, three (svadhina-bhartrka, vasaka-sajja and abhisarika) are cheerful at heart, and always wear ornaments and other decorations. The remaining five heroines however, throw away their ornaments and finery due being afflicted with anxiety. Suffering in separation from their hero Shyama, they lament bitterly, resting their left cheek on their left hand.

One should not think that the gopis’ suffering is anything like the searing pain and misery arising from the love affairs of this mundane world. The gopis’ apparent suffering is actually a transformation of ecstatic divine bliss in Krishna prema. Such a transcendental experience is far far beyond our minds to conceive or our words to convey.

Svadhina Bhartrka Vrindavaneshvari Sri Radha ki jai!

Jai Jai Sri Radhe!

By: Mahanidhi Swami

Krishna prema is defined as a mood and expression of love, wherein even if there is a very good reason to break the relationship and leave the beloved, the lover will never under any condition or circumstance give up the beloved. Indeed such a completely selfless, immaculate love is transcendental and divine; only found in the loving dealings of Bhagavan Sri Krishna and His beloved bhaktas. This type of “true love” can never be found in this material world.

What follows is a very secret passage from sacred scriptures. Here in the privacy of a dark cave, alone with Her personal divine raptures, Srimati Radhika opens Her heart to show the world the pinnacle of pure love. My dear devoted friends, please read the following passage with the utmost concentration and a mood of submissive reception. Then a few drops from the unlimited ocean of Sri Radha’s pure love may to trickle into the desert we call heart.

One night in the quiet hours aftermidnight, Radhika tightly embraced the darkness and revealed the jewel of Her heart to Her closest girlfriends, Lalita and Vishakha.

Radha cried out, “O My dearly beloved Govinda! I am intensely missing You. Every moment just creeps by like a thousand ages. I cannot control the endless torrents of tears gushing from My anguished eyes, which appear like a downpour from monsoon clouds. Without You, Govinda, I see emptiness in all directions and in My agitation I see that the day never ends.

“Seeing the three worlds as stark and empty, I feel as if I am burning alive in a slow fire. It seems that Krishna has become indifferent to Me just to test My love. And My sakhis are advising Me it’s better to just neglect Krishna.”

After deeply pondering over Her condition in separation from Shyama, Radha then manifested some of the natural attributes of Her pure love. Radha’s mind became agitated with the combined emotions of divine envy, enthusiasm, submission and intense eagerness. In this state of the topmost pure divine love, Krishna prema, Srimati Radharani continued speaking:

“O Lalite! O Vishakhe! Krishna may wrap Me in a pleasurable embrace, or trample Me under His lotus feet, or break My heart by never seeing Me. After all, Krishna is a debauchee and can do whatever He likes. Nevertheless, only Krishna and no one else is My Prananatha, the Lord of My heart.

“I am a just maidservant at Krishna’s lotus feet, and Shyama is the reservoir of transcendental mellows. If Shyama likes He can tightly embrace Me in the oneness of love. Or destroy My mind and body by not appearing before Me. Hey sakhi! I am completely fixed in the idea that Krishna is My Pranishvara in all conditions, whether Krishna showers Me with affection or kills Me with misery.

“Sometimes Krishna leaves the other gopis and becomes completely controlled Me as He enjoys loving affairs with Me. And sometimes that cunning cheater enjoys with other gopis right front of Me just to disturb My mind! But that does bother Me, because in any condition Krishna is always My Prananatha!

“Listen, I don’t care about My personal distress. I only want Krishna to be happy. For Krishna’s happiness of is the only goal of My life. And if Krishna feels great happiness in giving Me distress, than that distress is My greatest happiness. And even if Krishna wants to enjoy another beautiful gopi but can’t attain her, then I will go fall at her feet and take her by the hand to Krishna for His pleasure.”

While concluding Her illumination on the inconceivable level of Her pure divine love for Krishna, Srimati Radhika speaks a wonderful verse which sets the standard for any sadhaka trying to become a pure lover of God, a Krishna premi:

Srimati Radharani said, “Krishna is My life and soul. Krishna is the treasure of My life. Indeed, Krishna is the very life of My life. I therefore keep Krishna always in My heart and try to please Krishna by rendering service. That is My constant meditation.” (Caitanya-caritamrta 3.20.1-60)

Mahabhavati Sri Radha ki jai!

Vishuddha nirmala srngara-prema ki jai!

Jai Jai Sri Radhe!

By: Mahanidhi Swami

Filled with erotic desires, Syama shines like a moon in the Vrndavana forest as He enjoys pastimes of throwing red powder. A blissful reddish wave – filled river of spiritual love flows amidst the circle of beautiful gopis. Radhika, the topmost heroine of amorous pastimes, showers red powder on Syama. Kandarpa Raja Krsna, the King of amorous pastimes, then kisses Radha’s face. Kishori’s moon-faced gopi friends filled with wonder gather together to attack Krsna. Trembling, they bombard Krsna, snatch His flute and run away. The karatalas declare, “Bhali! Bhali! Bhali!!” And everyone shouts, “Ho! Ho! Holi!” The ground is red with powder, the trees saplings are red and every being moving on the ground or in the water is one color only. The water is red, the lotuses are red and now even Govinda das’s heart is covered red (and I hope yours is too).

Jay Jay Sri Radhe

By: Mahanidhi Swami

Late one night during the monsoon season Madhuri Radha along with Lalita, Vishakha and other intimate sakhis run into the forest to meet Madhava in a keli-nikunja. Sri Rupa-manjari and some manjaris tag along behind carrying various service paraphernalia.

To arrive at the trysting bower, Thakurani Radha overcomes lots of obstacles like dense darkness, rain showers, slippery footpaths, and poisonous vipers hiding along the path.

Meanwhile, Madhava sets out from Nandagrama to meet Kanjanakshi Radha in the same kunja. On the way however, Shyama is intercepted by Padma and Shaibya and whisked off to Chandravali’s private play grove.

Radhika arrives before Shyama, so She and Her girlfriends decorate the kunja beautifully for Shyama’s pleasure. Then Radha sits down eagerly waiting for Krishna. When the appointed time expires, however, Srimati becomes anxious and begins crying profusely.

Pouring out Her tender love-filled heart to Lalita, Sarvanga-sundari whimpers, “O sakhi! How can My lover come in this frightening night thundering with rain clouds? I am just sitting on this flower bed I made, looking down the path which Priyatama will tread.

“O sakhi! Tell Me, what should I do? I overcame so many obstacles due to My blossoming love-thirst for Shyama! How can I possibly pass this night without seeing My Priya Bandhu? Now all My desires are frustrated and My heart is breaking! The rumbling clouds and lightning flashes are all striking My heart.”

Lalita consoles, “O Sundari! Definitely, You WILL MEET Your Priya Bandhu!”

Alas! Although the damsels of Vraja try their best to comfort Kishori, it is to no avail. Can anyone pacify a heart slashed by feelings of love’s separation? Somehow Radha drags through the whole night agonized in separation from Shyama.

Lo and behold! Just as the sun tints the sky with the pink of passion, Pyare-mohana arrives at the gate of Radha’s kunja. Noticing His body covered with the obvious signs of Chandravali’s love sports, Ramani Radha sarcastically remarks, “O My friend! It is very auspicious that You have arrived here at sunrise. Just by seeing Your face I can understand that I will have a wonderful day today!

“But My friend! Can You explain to Me why Your face appears so dry and distraught? Who has made You look like this? I feel very unhappy to see You like this!”

Radha continued, “Alas! Alas! How beautiful Your face looks with that eyeliner (kajal)! And that spot of sindura on Your forehead enchants even the minds of the munis! Your body is scratched by sharp nails. Your chest looks especially nice with that impression of a bangle and that red foot lac! Indeed, You have spent the whole night enjoying with a woman!”

Shyama looks nervously here and there while wiping the marks off His face with His scarf. Observing all this, Lalita starts burning with anger toward Krishna, because she knows that her dearest princess Radhika passed the entire night burning in loneliness, apart from Her beloved. Seeing Lalita’s furious eyes, Shyama wonders, “I can’t imagine how much Lalita will chastise Me now.”

Then some of Sukumari’s pet parrots, chirping in the kunja, start rebuking Shyama: “You made Radha miserable by calling Her to this kunja for nothing! The whole night Swamini pined for You lamenting in separation. Your harsh treatment has even made Vrindavana’s birds, trees and creepers cry! And now You audaciously appear before Radha with the clear signs of delighting amorously with another, just to throw salt in Her open wounds. Clearly Your mind is contaminated, and You have no intelligence whatsoever.”

After listening to the parrot’s scolding, Bihari Shyama flutters His eyes ever more restlessly, fearing further admonishments from Radha’s girlfriends.

Radhika’s maidservants love to relish the special sweetness that Shyama shows when He if afraid of Radhika and the sakhis. During these anxious moments Madhava looks most beautiful to them. Then Radha’s manjaris cleverly pacify Lalita, so that they can arrange the sweet meeting of the Playful Pair.

Jai Jai Sri Radhe!