It is a most ancient and scripturally authorized sadhana practice. Manjari svarupa meditation and asta-kaliya-lila smarana are not “concoctions” “newly invented practices” or the kalpana of some Radha-kunda babajis.
Unfortunately, although it is the rare gift from the preaching treasurehouse of Sri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, some think that manjari bhava upasana, or the meditation upon one’s siddha deha and seva in Radha Govinda Yugala’s daily Vraja pastimes i.e. asta-kaliya lila, is just imagination without basis.
The truth is that for qualified bhaktas, the daily meditation upon one’s desired spiritual body i.e. siddha-deha or siddha svarupa is a most powerful and beneficial daily practice of sadhana originating in the ancient Puranas, and stressed in the Gaudiya Vaisnava granthas of the Goswamis like Bhakti Rasamrita Sindhu, Chaitanya Caritamrita, Raga Varma Candrika and Stavavali by Sripad Dasa Goswamipada.
The Padma Purana, one of India’s oldest and most authentic scriptures, contains Lord Shiva’s answer to Narada Muni’s inquiry about how to practice raganuga sadhana bhakti.
“Shivaji said, ‘O Naradaji, once I met Sri Krishna in Vrindavana and Bhagavan taught me about Radha and how to attain Her eternal seva. At that time, Sri Krishna said, “’O Rudra, one who takes shelter of us (Radha-Krishna) or only My beloved Radhika and serves Radharani with unswerving devotion, he/she WILL COME TO ME!”’
Then Krishnaji said, “O Shiva, you should clearly know that My beloved Radhika is a great ista-devata, surrounded by hundreds and thousands of Her dearest girlfriends, the sakhis. My cows, gopas, gopis and this Vrindavana exist eternally. My Vrindavana is the place of unlimited bliss, so it is called “Ananda-kanda”. If one merely enters Vrajabhumi, they will never take rebirth again. Like Me, Shivaji, you should always live in My Vraja!”
Narada replied, “O glorious Mahadeva, I am glad to hear this. Now please tell me how to practice raganuga sadhana.” (Padma Purana, patalakhanda cp. 82.73-88) More in part two. Ananda kanda Bhagavan Sri Krishna ki jai! Ananda Vrindavana ki jai! Jaya Jaya Sri Radhe!