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Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

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

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

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

Manjari Tattva:  Mentally Meeting Sri Krishna

Sri Raghunatha Dasa Goswami personally relished the sweet rasa of manasi-seva and taught it in his books like Vilapa Kusumanjali. Mental service is the very life-force of the externally rendered devotional service. Srimati Radharani accepts all service rendered within the mind by a raganuga sadhaka.

Regarding Sri Krishna’s acceptance of manasi-seva, Sri Rupa Goswamipada says (Bhakti-rasa-amrita 1.2.182)

manasen -opacarena
paricarya -harim -sada
pare -van -manasa -gamyam
tam -sakshat -pratipedire

“One who always serves Bhagavan Sri Hari with items produced in the mind, will directly meet Sri Hari, who is otherwise not perceivable with material words or mind.”

Manjari Lila: Bihari the Barber Girl

The service of Sri Radha is so attractive that Sri Hari sometimes dresses like a barber-girl, dhari -napitani –vesh, to enter mother Jatila’s house. Holding a mirror and nail polish in His hand, Krishna goes to the place where Radha is sitting.

Then that humorous, amorous “barber girl” sits down, opens her golden box and fills a clean jug with scented water. She makes Radhika’s nails as beautiful as the moon with Her wonderful nail polish.

Then she rubs Radha’s feet with footlac while constantly seeing whether it looks good. Holding Kishori’s feet to her chest, the barber girl writes her name on Radha’s footsoles in a wonderful way.

The barber-girl says: “O fortunate girl! Look at Your feet and consider if my work is good or bad.”

Looking carefully, Suvadani Radha says, “Ohe! What name have you written there? Introduce yourself to Me!”

“O fortunate girl! My name is Shyamaa and I live in Your town.”

However, the barber girl accidentally wrote her name Shyamaa as Shyam which means Krishna.

Radha says, “Why did you write THAT name?”

The barber girls apologizes saying, “I am sorry, I cannot spell so well.”

Seeing through Krishna’s hoax, Radhika Rai says, “Rogue! It’s YOU (Krishna).”

The service of Premamayi Radha is the greatest wealth of Rasika Raja Sri Krishna. The manjaris witnessing Krishna’s spoof feel very proud of their Swamini Radha, whose seva is most desirable even for atmaramata –svayam Bhagavan Sri Krishna.

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: Chaitanya Mahaprabhu as s Manjari

How glorious are the kinkaris, who are dedicated to the service of the full madana -mahabhava personified, Srimati Radhika! Krishna became Gaura to taste the prema that Radhika feels for Him. And after Mahaprabhu experienced that, Sri Chaitanya also wanted to taste the nectar of the kinkari’s service.

While Mahaprabhu relished the mood of Radha’s manjaris, sometimes Gauranga’s hands, legs and head would all enter within His body, just like the withdrawn limbs of a tortoise, kurma-chaitanya (Chaitanya Charitamrta 2.2.13). Or sometimes Mahaprabhu’s limbs would loosen and stretch out.

Chaitanya Charitamrta (Antya 14.105-110) describes Mahaprabhu’s mad words after He came out of His kurmakrti (turtle-form). Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu said:

“Today I went to Govardhana Hill to see if Krishna was tending His cows there. Climbing on Govardhana Hill, Krishna played His flute, surrounded by the cows. Hearing the flute song, Srimati Radha came there. O sakhi, I cannot describe Her form and mood! Krishna took Radha by the hand and entered a cave with Her, while the sakhis told Me to pick some flowers.”

Here it is clear that Mahaprabhu, in the pinnacle of His ecstatic absorption, is relishing the mood of Radha’s manjaris. For the service of Radha-Madhava the sakhis have asked the kinkaris to pick flowers and Mahaprabhu is amongst them.

Another example of Mahaprabhu’s manjari bhava is the time He almost drowned in the ocean due to divine rapture (Chaitanya Charitamrta 3. 80-105). All His joints became disconnected out of ecstasy, and Mahaprabhu told His devotees in half-external consciousness:

“Seeing the Yamuna-river I went to Vrndavana, where I saw Vrajendranandan playing in the water with Sri Radhika and the gopis, having great fun. I stayed on the shore with the other sakhis, while one sakhi showed this pastime to the others.”

Here Mahaprabhu explains that He did not play an active role in Krishna’s pastimes, but that He was relishing a service-position like that of a manjari witnessing these sweet pastimes. Besides tasting and experiencing manjari bhava, Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu taught it to the devotees through Sri Rupa Goswamipada and Sri Raghunatha Dasa Goswami.

Manjari Tattva: Manjaris’ Responsibility

To taste the sweetness of the love in Vraja, one must give up the attitude of awe and reverence towards Bhagavan Sri Krishna. Vraja is the kingdom of sweetness and the upasana (method of worship and meditation) of Vraja rasa is a sweet upasana. The love of Vraja is as pure as molten gold, and there’s not even a whiff of personal happiness in the hearts of Krishna’s Vrajavasi devotees.

Srimati Radharani sings (Chaitanya Charitamrta 3.20.58):

“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 on My heart and I make Krishna happy with My service. I always meditate on this.”

And Radha’s maidservants always meditate on the pleasure of Yugala Kishora. Radha and Krishna have given Themselves to Each other and left all responsibilities for the arrangements of Their loving affairs to the sakhis and the manjaris. The playful Sri Yugala have taken shelter of them. Sometimes Radha and Krishna become helpless and find no other means to meet without taking shelter of the manjaris.

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: My Radha is Raseshvari

Why is Srimati Radharani called “Raseshvari”, the Queen of the rasa-lila? The extraordinary fortune of Sri Radha is established in the Maha Rasa wherein Sri Krishna left millions of gopis to be alone with Srimati Radharani.

Sri Krishnadas Kaviraj Goswami says:

radhe -saha –krida -rasa -vrddhira karana
ara -sab -gopigana -rasopakarana
radha -vinu -sukha -hetu –nahe -gopigana

“All the other gopis help increase the joy of Krishna’s pastimes with Radha. The gopis act as the instruments of Radha-Madhava’s mutual enjoyment.  Without Radha, however the gopis cannot make Krishna happy” (Caitanya Caritmarita 1.4.217-218).

Although the Vraja-gopis have different forms, flavors and natures, they are all Radha’s expansions. The gopis are Krishna’s shaktis and mahabhava -svarupini Sri Radha is their fountainhead, hence Radha alone is called Raseshvari. Without Radhika, Krishna gets no taste in the Rasa-lila. Radharani’s extraordinary madanakhya -maha -bhava is not present (to the full extent) in any of the other billions of gopikas, hence all them cannot fulfill Krishna’s desire.

Although millions of gopis are dancing along, Krishna’s mind falls only on Radha. Radha Govinda are both totally absorbed in tasting each other’s love. For Shyamsundar the greatest and most desirable rasa of Vraja is maha bhava, and Sri Radha has the parama rasa called madana –maha -bhava, hence Radha is called Raseshvari.

Sensitive devotees will directly experience this pastime by hearing about it. Their purified hearts are like clear mirrors that will directly reflect Radha-Krishna’s lila-rasa, which will spontaneously manifest in them.

Sri Jiva Goswamipada writes (Bhakti Sandarbha 304): tad -drshatv –abhimanen -api -siddhir –bhavatiti, “Simply by considering oneself to belong to Radharani one attains perfection.” In other words, a manjari bhava upasaka always thinks, “Radharani is mine and I belong to Radharani. I really feel that I’m actually with Radha!” Nothing but this will please the heart of a raganugiya sadhaka.

Manjari Tattva: Vivid Smarana

When one reads Sri Raghunatha Dasa Goswami’s descriptions of Radha-Madhava’s different pastimes like rasa-lila, it seems as if Sri Raghunatha Dasa Goswami is standing directly in the Rasa-sthali. That’s how vivid his visions are! When the devotee becomes advanced in smarana one will no longer think: “I’m doing smarana.”

One will feel as if one is directly experiencing the lilas in transcendental revelations. Through constant meditation the heart becomes ripe, and then the transcendental revelations come to enhance and nourish the sadhaka’s lives. Engagement in the material world will lessen and attachments to sense-objects will vanish. Gradually the visions will become deeper and deeper. There is nothing sweeter than this in the world.

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: Reflect Radha’s Feelings

Manjari bhava means to have your mind completely reflect the picture of Srimati’s moods and feelings (bhava –citra). This is not easy because Srimati Radhika is the embodiment of the full madanakhya -maha-bhava. Besides that, Radharani is completely mad with attraction to Sri Krishna’s form, qualities and pastimes. However, with the association and blessings of like-minded more advanced saints these feelings and flavors will gradually be experienced in a purified heart.

Manjari Tattva: Meditation on Siddha Deha

Sri Krishnadas Kaviraj Goswami, in his “Saranga Rangada” tika on verse 2 of Krishna Karnamrita, says, “On the path of raganuga bhakti, even before one attains bhava (anutpanna -rati), one should meditate on one’s mentally conceived (manasi –parikalpya) siddha deha, and serve Sri Krishna in that body (bhagavat –sevadhikam –kriyate). When bhava appears that siddha deha will be directly seen (jata –ratinam –svayam –tad –deha –sphurteh).

The sadhaka should try to see and feel one’s real and eternal spiritual self as having a special form and feelings like the nitya siddha manjaris Sri Rupa and Sri Rati. The stronger and clearer one’s meditation on the siddha deha becomes, the faster the raganuga sadhaka will advance to the stage of bhava.

A time will come when one will forget the sadhaka deha due to intense absorption in one’s beautiful, playful siddha deha.

Sri Raghunatha Dasa Goswami lost all appetite for sense gratification because he was always absorbed in remembering Sri Radha’s lotus feet with feelings of separation from Radha. The sweetness of Srimati Radharani’s gorgeous form, matchless qualities, and blissful pastimes completely stole his mind and made it totally fully absorbed in Radha.

Our mahajanas say, “When you think in the way that the great devotees do like Sri Raghunatha Dasa Goswami and Sri Rupa Goswamipada, then you will forget everything else. The external and the internal world will then take one single form, and in the mood of the great saints you will be able to relish rasa.”

Manjari Lila: Radha’s Reward

One day in Varsana, Visakha-sakhi was teaching Tulasi-manjari how to sing love songs. Swamini suddenly passed by and said, “O how sweet! Won’t you let Me hear it?”

Tulasi then sang so expertly and sweetly that the subject of the song took shape before Swamini. To reward Tulasi, Radhika gave her one of Her necklaces. Blessed is this fortunate manjari!

Manjari Lila: Radha’s Resolutions

Sri Krishna is Radhika’s Hari because with His own sweetness He takes away (harana) all Radha’s shyness, opposition and other obstacles to Their meeting. And Krishna is catura shiromani, the crownjewel of clever pranksters. By cleverly attracting Sri Radhika with the sweetness of His form, qualities, pastimes and flute-playing Krishna makes Radha forget everything!

One day, Sri Radha is angry with Krishna and makes three resolutions. Radha’s first resolution is: “I will not look at Krishna anymore!” But Krishna speaks in such a sweet way and stands before Radha as if He begs Her: “Look at Me just once!”

Seeing the sweetness of Krishna’s form the sakhis tell each other: “Aha! How sweetly Shyam stands here in His threefold bending form! The life of that lady-love who does not see this sweetness is wasted!” Hearing these words of Her friends, Srimati becomes eager to see Krishna and looks at Krishna once. Thus Radha’s first resolution is broken!

Radha’s second resolution is: “I won’t speak with Krishna!” Hearing how nicely Krishna is speaking to the sakhis, however, Swamini can’t stay silent anymore and tells Krishna: “Go to that gopi that You love, why are You standing here, speaking such clever words?” Thus Radha’s second vow is gone!

Radha’s third vow is: “I won’t touch Krishna!” Krishna gradually brings His foot forward and touches the tips of Srimati toes. This makes Radha unsteady, so She angrily takes Krishna by the hand and pushes Him out of the kunja.

Srimati thinks: “Just see, now I’ve also touched Krishna! If I could not keep any vow, then how can I keep Krishna away?” So Radhika holds Shyam by the neck and brings Him back into the kunja. Thus Hari steals Swamini’s heart in so many ways.

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: Making Shyama Ju’s Tilak

Tulasi-manjari sits close to Srimati while lovingly holding Shrimati’s chin with her left hand and a brush in her right hand. She starts by drawing a black circle of aguru mixed with musk in the center of Srimati’s golden forehead. Inside that black circle she draws a beautiful red lotus with lines of sindura. In the middle of this red lotus, Tulasi-manjari paints a dot with sandalwood paste mixed with camphor.

This dazzling tilaka shimmering on Swamini’s sweet forehead is known as the Kama-yantra, which controls and gladdens Shyamsundara. And its black color and musk fragrance reminds Swamini of Shyam. Raganuga sadhakas should remember pastimes like this, and think they are sitting next to Tulasi-manjari observing how expertly she applies Radha’s tilaka. 

Sri Narottama Dasa Thakura says, “The prana of man (mind) is smarana, which is the abode of all sweetness, and the essence of smarana, remembrance, is Radha Govinda lila.”

Manjari Tattva: Radha Manjari Oneness

There is no comparison to the manjaris’ love, which is marked by an abundance of feelings of mine-ness toward Sri Radha. Radharani trusts Her maidservants even more than She trusts Herself! Radha’s dasis understand things before Swamini  Herself understands them.

There is a kind of feeling of non-difference of heart between Sri Radha and Her maidservants. All of Radharani’s heart’s experiences also awaken within the hearts of Her maidservants. The maidservants feel the same pain of separation from Krishna that Radharani feels and the same bliss of meeting with Krishna that Radharani feels. Radha’s kinkaris ki jai!

Manjari Lila: Radha-Krishna’s First Touch 

Once upon a beautiful time when Radhika first fell in love with Shyam (purva raga) She heard Shyam’s enchanting flute song. Then Swamini fell into an ecstatic swoon for six hours and the sakhis could do nothing to wake Her up.

One manjari went to inform Vraja’s yogini named Paurnamasi, the embodiment Yogamaya, who arranges all of Radha-Madhava’s lilas. Paurnamasi in turn sent Madhumangala to tell Krishna that Sri Radha had fainted because of His flute playing and bring Krishna to see Radha.

When Krishna finally arrived Vrindadevi forcibly placed Krishna’s lotus foot, that resembles the reviving Sanjivani plant, on Radhika’s heart, making Radha wake up instantly. When Sriji opened Her eyes and saw Shyam She softly wept.

Krishna became shy and walked away. Which poet could possibly describe even a drop of the transcendental bliss that Sri Sri Radha-Madhava experienced when Krishna’s lotusfoot touched Radhika’s heart?

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: Experience in Smaran

Upasana means to hold on to a certain subject of meditation with such one-pointedness that no other subject matter can enter. In Bhakti-rasamrita Sindhu, Sri Rupa Goswamipada cites the following example from Puranas to prove the power of smarana. A brahmin from Pratishthanapura burned his finger after touching an offering of hot sweet rice (kheer) which he had just cooked in his meditation.

In Srimad Bhagavatam (7.1.28), Narada Muni gives the example of the absorption of the grassworm: “The grassworm, who gets trapped in a hole by a hostile bee, becomes a bee also by always thinking of that bee out of fear and enmity.”

If one can go through such a change of body just by meditation, then certainly one can attain a manjari svarupa through intense transcendental meditation. Smarana means: mental association. When a devotee is fully absorbed in Radha-Krishna asta-kaliya lila smarana it is as if one directly serves the Lila Yugala. By simply continuing to meditate on these things the revelations will come.

Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu confirms this saying;

bhavite -bhavite –Krishna -sphuraye antare
Krishna -krpaya -ajna -paya -rasa -sindhu -pare

“Through constant meditation Krishna will appear in the heart, and by Krishna’s grace even an ignorant soul will cross over the ocean of rasa.” (Caitanya Caritamrita 2.19.236)

Manjari Lila: Reminding Radha of Shyam

One day while bathing Srimati Radharani, Tulasi-manjari reminds Swamini of the sweet history of a painting of Shyamsundar that hangs in Her home.
“O Swamini! I remember you once wrote a letter to Krishna, saying: ‘You are living in My house as a picture and wherever I flee, there You are standing to stop Me with stretched-out arms!’

In this way Tulasi-manjari helps Swamini relish the sweetness of Her previous pastimes and simultaneously brushes Radha’s pretty teeth. Blessed is this maidservant who has nothing in this world except her connection with Sri Radha!

Radha’s kinkaris know exactly how to serve according to time, place and circumstances, bringing all these relishable memories to Bhavamayi’s heart and making Radha swim in waves of rasa!

This is the internal beauty of Radha-dasya that by identifying with the Guru-given siddha svarupa one serves Swaminiji’s ujjvala murti. The raganuga sadhaka identifying with Tulasi-manjari (Sri Raghunatha Dasa Goswami) should feel as if Swamini is taking one by the hand.

The practicing devotee should learn Radha’s various services like tooth brushing by meditating on how the eternally perfect maidservants like Sri Rupa Manjari and Tulasi perform them. These nitya-siddha manjaris are the gurus of the Yugala-seva, who have descended from the Vraja-nikunja along with Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu to take the neophyte devotees out of this material world, and into Vraja’s nikunjas by teaching them manjari bhava sadhana.

The devotee who is fixed in smarana should be completely free from external consciousness and should identify himself only with his siddha svarupa. The form, sound, touch, taste, and fragrance of Svamini Radha is the only means of survival for such a devotee. A raganuga sadhaka has closed eyes for the material world, and all other thoughts but Radhika’s seva have become insignificant.

When the sadhaka is immersed in remembrance of Sri Radha (smarana- nishtha) it feels as if one is directly serving Radha floating in an ocean of sweet bliss. But when that remembrance recedes and worldly thoughts return, one feels that one has fallen into a desert. Hope for experiences in smarana keeps the sadhaka alive. The hope for attainment takes a seat in the heart of the smarana –anga –sadhaka.

Manjari Lila: Reminding Radha of Rasika Mohan

Madhuri loves Madhava, and the manjaris love Madhuri. One day in Yavata, while Tulasi-manjari is brushing Radha’s beautiful black tresses, she serves Swamini by awakening the remembrance of one of Her sweet sports with Krishna.

Tulasi says: “At the end of Your pastimes in the kunja, Shyam is making Your braid with His own hands, and You are putting on Krishna’s crown. Or sometimes, out of deep love, You may reverse roles. So then Shyam puts His crown on You, and You tie Bihari’s beautiful locks in a veni.

“O Swamini! When can I, Your poor unqualified maidservant, also once serve You as expertly and lovingly as Shyam does? Be merciful and please give me that service! That is my desire!”

While listening to Tulasi-manjari’s harikatha, Radharani becomes overwhelmed and thinks that it is Shyam making Her braid instead of Tulasi. Radhika keeps Her eyes half closed while relishing that thought and feeling.

Raganuga sadhakas should try to remember these sweet pastimes every day. If one continually remembers one’s siddha deha, maya will have no chance to contaminate the devotee’s mind. All of maya’s disturbances are caused by bodily consciousness.

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:  Pleased by Shyam’s Submission

Sri Raghunatha Dasa Goswami describes the footlac ati -sulalita –laksha because Krishna’s loving submission to Radhika’s prema is mixed with this footlac, therefore it is very charming. The hearts of Radha’s maidservants are very pleased whenever Krishna is submissive to Radha.

Radha Rasa Sudhanidhi (2) says, “Krishna feels Himself blessed when He even once feels the breeze coming from Radharani’s flapping veil?”

In this way, the manjaris want to see Sri Radha’s superiority, but that does not make Shyam, rather it brings His superiority to the limit! This is the specialty of the manjaris meditation.

The idea of worshiping Krishna without Radharani is intolerable for Sri Raghunatha Dasa Goswami. In his Sva Niyama Dashaka (6) he says, “It is my solemn vow that not even for a moment will I go near that impure place where a proud hypocrite worships Govinda alone while neglecting or disrespecting His most expert lover Sri Gandharva Radha, whose glories are sung by the Vedic scriptures and by great sages like Narada Muni!”

Whoever cherishes Radha’s sweet lotus feet in the heart will have such a beautiful mind. Sripad Raghunatha Dasa Goswami ki jai! Jai Jai Sri Radhe!

Manjari Tattva: Manjaris Maha Mantra

While bathing, dressing and decorating Radhika in the morning in Yavat, the manjaris ease Radha’s pain of separation from Shyam by singing the Hare Krishna maha-mantra. For the manjaris the mantra meaning is from Radha’s perspective. Thus ‘Hare’ means “O Hari, You take away all My attachments to My husband, family and prestige.”

‘Krishna’ means “You attract Me with Your sweet beauty and enchanting flute song to leave My home and You draw Me into the forest to meet You.”

‘Rama’ means “Then You enjoy intimately (ramayati) with Me.”

Radha fully appreciates the manjaris’ singing Hare Krishna with this conception. One meditating upon oneself as a manjari of Srimati Radhika can always remember Radharani in this sweet way throughout the day while chanting:

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare 

Manjari Lila: Becoming Radha’s Marked Maidservant

After Rasika Yugal’s love dalliance is finished, the surrendered maidservants enter into the kunja. Sri Radhika assumes the nayika-bhava of svadhina -bhartrka (controlling the lover). Kishori lies down and submissive Shyam sits at Swamini’s feet, desiring to paint red lac on them.

Tulasi-manjari holds the brush and a cup with lac. As tears of love stream from Shyam’s eyes, Nagara begins to paint Swamini’s foot soles, thinking: “Everyone says that I am nondifferent from My name, so let My name stay on Srimati’s footsoles!” As Krishna writes His name on the sides of Swamini’s feet, He becomes overwhelmed by the intoxicating natural fragrance of Radhika’s lotus feet, and the beauty of His own name written in red lac.

Tulasi enjoys seeing Shyam’s zeal in decorating her Swamini and she giggles, covering her mouth with her veil. Seeing Tulasi giggling, Swamini says: “What’s going on?”, and kicks Tulasi with Her foot covered with wet lac still. Fortunate Tulasi thus receives the auspicious signs i.e. a flag, thunderbolt, barleycorn, chariot, and conchshell of Swamini’s footsoles printed on her shoulder through the footlac.

Swamini does not kick everyone like this: It is a sign of intimacy! With these auspicious signs Tulasi proudly goes from kunja to kunja so that all the sakhis can see that “I’m Sri Radha’s marked maidservant!” Raganugiya sadhakas will treasure this sweet loving exchange between Radhika and Her lucky manjari, and long for such a fortune in their heart of hearts.

Tulasi-manjari ki jai! Manjari Bhava Upasana 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: Introduction Necessary

At every stage of bhakti bhajan from the beginning to perfection, a disciple is dependent on Sri Guru’s mercy, guidance and love. Radha-Krishna’s lila-bhumi of Vrndavana is an eternal realm filled with varieties of loving relationships. Every activity is personal, intimate and performed simply to please Sri Hari.

In his Prarthana Giti, Sri Narottama Dasa Thakura describes how a sadhaka of raganuga bhajan who attains perfection as Radharani’s maidservant, sadhana siddha kinkari, is first introduced to Radha-Krishna by Sri Rupa Manjari:

“When will my Guru-sakhi submit me to Sri Rupa Manjari’s lotus feet? When will that blessed moment come when Sri Rupa Manjari will look at me and order me: ‘O Nava-dasi! Come here! Quickly get the paraphernalia of your service!’

“My heart will fill with joy when she orders me like this, and I will do my service with a pure heart. I will fill a golden pitcher with scented water and quickly come before Radha Govinda.

“I will shyly stand behind Sri Rupa as Radha and Krishna repeatedly glance at me affectionately. Smilingly, They will say, ‘O Rupa! Where did you get this new maidservant?’

Hearing Their inquiry, Sri Rupa Manjari will reply, ‘Krpa-rati manjari has given me this maidservant to bring to You! Knowing her to be very humble I kept her here to serve You.’

“After telling this to Radha-Madhava, Sri Rupa Manjari will engage Nava-dasi in Radha-Madhava’s eternal seva.”

Manjari Tattva: Service not Friendship

Swamini Radha stands before Tulasi-manjari (Sri Raghunatha Dasa Goswami) and wants to offer her a friendly relationship like Radha’s other sakhis such as Lalita-sakhi and Visakha-sakhi.

Radhika says, “O Tulasi! Please accept My friendship! You can become equal to Lalita and the others and serve both Me and Shyamsundara!”

Tulasi replies, “O Devi! I don’t want anything else but the excellent service of Your lotus feet! I offer my obeisances to Your friendship! Let it stay on my head, but I only want to serve You!”

Why does Sri Raghunatha Dasa Goswami say the manjaris’ seva is vara-dasyam which means excellent? It is excellent because it most intimate and devoid of any hesitation, awe and reverence. A manjari is Radharani’s sakhi and dasi at the same time.

Nothing is done for personal happiness, everything is done for the pleasure of Navina Yugala! Although the manjaris are in the category of sakhis, they are dasis or kinkaris because of their complete dedication to Radharani’s service. The sakhis have a superior position in the social hierarchy and pastimes with Krishna.

But the fortune of service intimacy is greater for the manjaris! They know Sri Radhika’s innermost desires, and therefore they can perform their service without hesitation like no one else in the world.     

Radha’s dasis are called manjaris, which means flower bud, because the manjaris enhance the beauty of the flowers known as the gopis. But the flower buds are never separately enjoyable to the blackbee, Madhusudana. The special privileged position of being a manjari of Srimati Radhika is the unique mercy of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Manjari bhava upasana ki jai!

Manjari Lila: Fixing the Sanket Kunja

A sanket kunja means a prearranged meeting place for Rasika Yugal Radha Shyam. Once, when Krishna takes His supper in Nandishvara, a kinkari fans Him. Without being seen by others Shyam keeps His left hand on that kinkari’s foot, as a means of asking her: “Will I meet My Dearest Radha or not?”

That maidservant then places one toe on Shyam’s hand to indicate that a meeting will be possible. Then the kinkari touches a particular finger of Krishna’s to indicate the specific sanket kunja where Shyam can meet His beloved Radhika. This code was previously agreed upon. The assembly of elders is absorbed in speaking with each other and thus does not notice this exchange.

This is vara dasya, the most excellent service of Radha’s manjaris!

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.

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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: Desiring the Unattainable

Although Sri Raghunatha Dasa Goswami understands that he desires something which is hard to attain, he cannot give up hoping. “O Radhika!  I see that I’m unworthy, yet my mind is still greedy for Your attributes.”

Although he sees that he’s completely unqualified, his mind is still illuminated by the hope for getting Radha-Madhava’s sweet mercy.

In Utkalika-vallari (34-35), Sri Rupa Goswamipada says, “O Radha-Krishna, King and Queen of Vrndavana! Although the greatest souls are not able to get Your darsan for even a moment, this fallen soul desires it, swallowing all fear and shame! But what is my fault in this? Who will not be intoxicated by the ever-fresh sweetness of Your qualities?”

Manjari Tattva: Radha’s Krishna

The acaryas teach: “We must see Shyamsundara from Radharani’s perspective and Radharani from Shyamsundara’s perspective.” Sri Krishna bestows welfare on the world and Kalyani Radha embodies Krishna’s welfare.

Once to inform Radharani about how intensely Krishna is hankering for Her, Visakha-sakhi said, “O Shyama Ju! When Subala gives Krishna a garland of golden Campaka-flowers, His mind trembles and tears of passionate love flow from Krishna’s eyes. O Sundari! Your form always awakens great love in Shyam’s heart!”

“Shyam can only pronounce the first syllable of Your name, ‘Ra’, but out of ecstasy Krishna cannot pronounce the other one, ‘Dha’. Krishna eyes cry streams of tears. That jewel of men rolls on the ground; who can describe Govinda’s distress?”

Sri Krishna bestows auspiciousness on the world, but Srimati Radhika bestows auspiciousness even on Krishna. Sri Govinda considers Himself blessed when He attains Radhika’s company. Krishna feels that His world is empty without Radha, and Radha feels the same towards Krishna.

Sarvanga-sundari is the Queen of the kunja, who excites eagerness in Shyam to enjoy. It’s as if Madhava is a beggar getting a meal in the royal palace.

Manjari Lila: Radha Kicks Her Manjari

In his spiritual identity of Tulasi-manjari, Sri Raghunatha Dasa Goswami brings Radha and Krishna together in a lonely kunja on the bank of Radha-kunda. How expertly Radha-Madhava sweetly play! Vrndavaneshvari fulfills desires that Krishna could never even dream of! Tulasi witnesses all of Radha-Madhava’s sweet pastimes through a hole in the kunja wall.

Afterwards, the enchanted Shyam sits at Swamini’s feet, staring at Kishori’s sweet face with unblinking eyes. Understanding that her time to serve has come, Tulasi enters the kunja. Krishna holds Srimati’s lotus feet to His chest and is stricken by symptoms of ecstatic love, and tears of love flow from Shyam’s eyes.

His chest is moistened with sweat drops, so that the fragrant powder on Krishna’s chest starts sticking on Swamini’s footsoles. Seeing this, Tulasi giggles, covering her mouth with her hand. Seeing her laughing, Swamini kicks the fortunate Tulasi with Her foot, so that the fragrant powder from Krishna’s chest adorns Tulasi-manjari’s head, making it worthy to be called her best and highest limb (uttam-anga).

Indeed, Tulasi is a most fortunate manjari. Just hearing this lila makes the sensitive sadhaka rejoice over the wonderful loving intimacy between Srimati Radhika and Her loyal dasis like Tulasi. O will I, even in my dreams, experience the tender touch of Sri Radha’s sweet feet sprinkled with the rasa-filled red vermillion from Shyam’s love anointed chest?

Radharani manjaris ki jai! Jai Jai Sri Radhe!