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.
Radharani’s Manjaris: Tattva & Lilas (5)
Manjaris: Tattva & Lilas (5)
2020-07-30 (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.
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 Vrindavan
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
“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.”
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 is 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 black bee, Madhusudana. The special privileged
position of being a manjari of
Srimati Radhika is the unique mercy of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.
Manjari bhava upasana ki
Lila: Fixing the Sanket Kunja
A sanket kunja means a prearranged meeting place for Rasika Yugal RadhaShyam.
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 varadasya, the most excellent service of
Radharani’s Manjaris ki
jai! Jai Jai Sri Radhe!