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Manjari Svarupa Nirupana - passages from Manjari Svarupa Nirupana

Rasaraja dasa - Sat, 14 Aug 2004 08:57:35 +0530
Passages from Manjari Svarupa Nirupana
by Srila Kunja Bihari dasa Babaji
Translated by Jagadananda das

Devotees relish the nectar of Krsna’s sweetness according to their own particular dominant mood of love. The cause of relishing is thirst (trsna) and thus, according to the genus and degree of thirst or desire, it is possible to guage the relative values of the tasting of sacred rapture. The manjaris are very clever; they think that their degree of desire to serve the Lord is very little and that therefore it is best not to try to enjoy Krsna directly; they choose rather to remain constantly absorbed in the mood of Srimati Radharani, the embodiment of the ocean of desire for Krsna’s service, the epitome of the highest devotional affection of maha-bhava in its ultimate, maddening stage known as madana. They thus show more devotion to her than to him, convinced that by so doing they will be able, not just to attain a higher level of pleasure themselves, but will also be able to please him more.
Rasaraja dasa - Sun, 15 Aug 2004 07:52:00 +0530
Passages from Manjari Svarupa Nirupana
by Srila Kunja Bihari dasa Babaji
Translated by Jagadananda das

2.4 The cowherd girls of Vrindavan are the repositories of competent affection

In the Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu, the following verses are found in the chapter on erotic sacred rapture:

asmin alambanah krsnah priyas tasya tu subhruvah|
tatra krsnah asmanordhva-saundarya-lila-vaidugdhi-sampadam|
asrayatvena madhure harir alambano matah|| BRS 3.5.3-4

In this madhura-rasa, the props are Krsna and his beautifully-browed mistresses. There Krsna is characterized as the object of romantic affection, possessed of unequalled assets of beauty, clever and attractive movements, urban wit, etc. The most excellent repositories of that love are the dear milk-maids of Vrindavan.

Krsna, the embodiment of Eros and the king of sacred rapture, always has desires for amorous fulfilment arising within him; to fulfill those desires there is a corresponding state of existence, naturally functioning with a compliant lusty attitude and its subsequent actions. This state of existence as it is personified is known by the name “gopi.”

Premera svarupa deha prema-vibhavita|
krsnera preyasi srestha jagate vidita ||
krsna-vancha-purti-rupa kare aradhane | CC 2.8.162.

The gopis are functions of the internal personal energy of the Lord; all their senses are in existence only for the pleasures of the Supreme Lord; they are the life of the supreme enjoyer. From the tips of their toes to the tips of their hairs, they are created from such materials as will be useful to fulfill his desires. Amongst the gopis, Srimati Radharani is especially so constructed. “She is the very form of divine love; her entire body is saturated with divine love; she is famed throughout all existence as the best of the Lord’s beloved ones. Her worship of him consists of fulfilling his every desire.”

vibhur api kalayan sadabhivrddhim | DKK, 2. Quoted at CC, 1.4.131

If two mirrors are held face to face, as soon as some object falls between them, its reflection appears in both simultaneously; similarly the desires for conjugal union which appear in the gopis and Krsna are coinstantaneous. This is an eternal fact, nevertheless, it always increases with newer and newer freshness. The nature of Radha’s love is that it is unlimitedly great and yet it continues to increase with newness at every moment. Radha’s love is so vast that there is no place for it to increase, and yet it increases at every moment.

radha prema-vibhu yara barhite nahi thani | tathapi se ksane ksane barhaye sadai || CC 1.4.128
ksudha ara bhojya-vastu madhyete jeman | ubhaye ubhaya hay nasera karan || prema-rajye ei riti ati
vilaksan | ubhaye ubhaya hay vardhana-karan || gopé-prema kare krsna madhuryer pusti | madhurya
barhay prema haiya maha-tusti || CC 1.4.198.
trsna santi nahi hay satata barhay | ksane adarsane koti yuga mane hay || CC 1.4.149.
gopi bhava darpan, nava nava ksane ksan, tar age krsnera madhurya |
domhe kare hurahuri, barhe mukha nahi muåi, nava nava domhara pracuryya || CC 2.21.118.

When one eats, one’s hunger dissipates and so food and hunger have a mutually destructive relationship. On the other hand, look at the unique nature of spiritual love where desire and its object cause each other to increase. The gopis’ love nourishes Krsna’s sweetness and as it grows, their love becomes greatly satisfied. Their craving never becomes completely pacified, however, and keeps on increasing forever. If they should be separated from him for even a fraction of a second, it seems like an age to them. Krsna’s sweetness held before the mirror of the gopis’ minds increases with new freshness at every step; their love and his sweetness compete with one another to see which can increase the more and neither wants to admit defeat. There is an ever-fresh, unlimited supply of both!
Rasaraja dasa - Mon, 16 Aug 2004 02:24:41 +0530
About the Author from Manjari Svarupa Nirupana

The author of Manjari Svarupa Nirupana, Kunja Bihari Das Babaji, was a Tewari Brahmana from Meshya, a small village near Jhalda in the district of Purulia in northwestern Bengal. He was born Kunja Kishor Tewari on the Jhulan Purnima of 1896, the only son of Nilakamal Tewari and Muktamala Devi. He became interested in religious subject matters as a boy, learning the Bengali versions of Mahabharata and Ramayana from his uncle, Nilamadhab Tewari. It would appear that the Caitanyaite religion was not well known in the area at the time and his first religious attraction was to the Ram-carit Manas of Tulasi Das. It was only in the mid-1920's that he first encountered the Bhagavata-purana with Radhavinoda Goswami's translation and commentary.

As is often the case in such circumstances, Kunja Kishor's parents worried about their only son's religious interests and had him married at a young age in order to assure his commitment to the family.

Even though he had only limited formal education, Kunja Kishor opened a primary school in his village where he taught for twenty years. His primary interests continued to be religious, but at the same time, he engaged his students in the nationalist (Svadeshi) movement by growing cotton and spinning it for the purpose of making homespun cloth. He was particularly influenced by Nibaran Chandra Dasgupta, the publisher of Mukti magazine, which was the main organ of the Congress party in the district. Nibaran Chandra was also a Vaisnava who saw independence as a means for improving the status of the Caitanyaite religion. Kunja Kishor was much influenced by his teaching, in particular, his attitude toward the proliferation of religious leaders in Bengal claiming to be incarnations of God. He was also introduced by him to some of the more subtle aspects of the Caitanya-caritamrta teachings.

In 1922, Nilakamal Tewari died. Kunja Kishor followed the obligatory mourning rituals ending with the srddha ceremony, but shortly thereafter he fell ill and for about eight months was repeatedly attacked by strong fevers. After this long illness, Kunja Kishor underwent a period, which lasted for about a month and a half during the rainy season of 1923, of what he himself described as unmada, “insanity.” He experienced this time as one of great joy and liberty, claiming to have had visions of Radha and Krsna and hearing divine sounds, etc. In his later life looked back on this period as a precursor of his experiences as a adept in Radha Kund.

In spite of all these distractions, Kunja Kishor's school continued to be a success with many of its graduates going on to win scholarships for further study. Thus, though he tended to use the school as a platform for religious and political activity, there was little objection from the school inspectors. One of his stranger classroom practices was to keep a human skull, found in a field, on display in order to remind his students of the impermanence of life. Gradually, the school grew and a new building with the aspect of an ashram was erected in the middle of a field and was given the name Sevasrama. A three-day Vaisnava festival, which continues to be held there annually, was inaugurated by Kunja Kishor's uncle Subal Chandra Tewari.

In the early 1930's, the influence of Sahajiya and Baul teachings began to be felt in the district and some close friends of the Tewari family also became members of these sects. Kunja Kishor felt very fortunate to meet a Vrindavan Vaisnava who was travelling in the area at the time. From him he learned about many aspects of Vaisnava teaching as preserved in Vrindavan, including the disciplic succession and the importance of the siddha-pranali in Gaudiya Vaisnava tradition. Kunja Kishor had been initiated by Gopal Chandra Thakur Goswami of Jhalda when only ten or eleven years old. He now took steps to recover the knowledge of siddha-pranali which was the key to further advancement on the spiritual path. With renewed enthusiasm and armed with this deeper understanding of the orthodox tradition, he managed to convert several of his Sahajiya and Baul neighbours to the path of pure Vaisnavism. This caused a stir and the Bauls started in a campaign of criticism against Vaisnava orthodoxy. A great assembly was called together at the Sevasram in November, 1934, to establish the supremacy of the orthodox movement. Many guest speakers from all over the Vaisnava world were invited, led by the scholar Vrajendranath Chakravarti of Jhalda. The result of the meeting was that the influence in the district of the various Tantric subsects of Gaudiya Vaiñëavism was seriously impaired.

Unfortunately, only a few weeks after this success, Kunja Kishor's wife died in childbirth. He continued his life as a teacher for several more years as he fulfilled his responsibilities towards his two daughters, Vinodini Devi and Janaki Bala, seeing to their education and marriage. During this time he continued to organize large assemblies in the name of the Gaudiya-Vaisnava-Dharma-Samraksini Sabha (“Council for the protection of the Gaudéya-Vaisnava religion”). Those who had been initiated were encouraged to find out their siddha-pranali, while those who were initiated in heterodox movements were encouraged to seek reinitiation. He collected money so that mrdanga and kirtana classes could be given at Sevasram and formed a kirtana group with the students who participated.

Word of Kunja Kishor's close adherence to the Vrindavan orthodoxy reached the ears of Krsna Caitanya Das Babaji of Radha Kund, also originally from Jhalda, who wrote to him saying that he felt that Kunja Kishor must have been a friend of his through many lives. The kindness of a great monk like Krsna Caitanya Dasji had a deep effect on Kunja Kishor and his interest in material life diminished further. In 1937, during the Kumbha period (mid-winter), he went to Radha Kund for a month's holiday and accepted Krsna Caitanya Dasji as his siksa-guru, taking the Panca-tattva and other mantras from him, as well as instructions about worship. Krsna Caitanya Dasji died a year later.

In 1939, Kunja Kishor went back to Braj with his mother, this time for good. He was immediately initiated into the renounced order of life by the renowned scholar Advaita Das Babaji of Govardhan, receiving the name Kunja Bihari Das Babaji. A few months later his mother also took the renounced order from Advaita Dasji, receiving the name Madhavi Dasi. She continued to live in a room near the Gopa Kuwa at Shyam Kund before dying in 1944.

Kunja Bihari Dasji found a cottage at Brajananda Ghera, and with the help of donations received from his countrymen, he was able to greatly improve the building. In it, he established a publishing house which he named the Krsna Caitanya Sastra Mandir after his siksa-guru. He published not only numerous books such as Bhavakupe Jiver Gati, Paratattva Sammukhya, Bhakti-kalpa-lata, Bhakti-rasa-prasanga and Manjari-svarupa-nirupana, but many paintings and charts as well. The well-known scholar of Vaisnava history and Bengali literature, Biman Bihari Majumdar, used Bhakti-rasa-prasanga as a required text for his M.A. course at the University of Patna.

In his introduction to the Manjari-svarupa-nirupana, Kunjavihari Dasji writes that his first acquaintance with the mood of the manjari was through his renunciation guru, Sri Advaita Dasa Babaji of Govardhana, whom he called the foremost scholar of the Vaisnava world, especially in the matter of sacred æsthetics or rapture. From that time on he became especially interested in the subject and began collecting references to the mood of the manjari whenever he came across them, paying special attention to the different ingredients necessary to produce the experience of sacred rapture in that mood. Later on, he had the opportunity to live for a long time with another great scholar and resident of Radha Kund, Dinasarana Dasa Babaji, and was able to study thoroughly all the literature on the subject. During that time, most of the materials found in this book were compiled. Later, other residents of the Kund gave their encouragement and through financial help received from a number of sources, these materials were published as “An inquiry into the nature of Radha's handmaids.”

Kunja Bihari Dasji made a great number of disciples, several of whom later became abbots of Radha Kund. His most celebrated disciple, Ananta Das Babaji, is a great scholar in his own right, who has published numerous works from the Krsna Caitanya Sastra Mandir. Kunja Bihari Das's influence continues to be felt in his homeland which its inhabitants identify with Jharikhand, the wild jungle country through which Caitanya passed on his way from Puri to Våndävana in 1513, avoiding the more frequented route along the Ganges. The proportion of babajis living in Radha Kund who come from the westernmost part of Bengal is well over 50%. Vaisnavism in Puruliya district continues to bear the strong stamp of the practices found in Radha Kund.
Rasaraja dasa - Thu, 19 Aug 2004 09:37:05 +0530
Passages from Manjari Svarupa Nirupana
by Srila Kunja Bihari dasa Babaji
Translated by Jagadananda das

3.1 The Spirit of RAdhArANI’s girlfriends

In the previous chapter, the sthAyi-bhAva of KRSNa's mistresses was described in extenso. Here we turn to the dominant mood of affection of RAdhA's girlfriends and its various divisions.

Tad-bhAvecchAtmikA bhakti is defined as a type of devotion that is saturated with the desire to realize the fullness of the sweet mood which succeeds in winning the interest of the lover and his beloved, because it finds extreme joy in helping RAdhA and KRSNa’s other leading ladies enjoy erotic dalliances with him and takes pleasure in seeing their fulfillment. This mood (bhAva) is also called the mood of the girlfriends (sakhI-bhAva).

SakhI-bhAva means unqualified love for the leading lady or yUthezvarI. That love is without limit and is free from even the slightest touch of selfishness, to the extent that the sakhI thinks that the leading lady is dearer to her than her own life or her own self.

The essence of sakhI-bhAva is trust, or vizrambhA, which JIva GosvAmin has further defined as meaning a feeling of mutual identity (vizrambho gADha-vizvAsa-vizeSaH | BRS 3.3.106. JIva’s gloss: gADha-vizvAsa-vizeSo’tra parasparaM sarvathA svAbheda-pratItiH |). As a result of maintaining this intimate trust, the sakhIs are able to understand the nAyikA spontaneously, without her having to say anything, or make the slightest hint or gesture.

Kavi KarNapUra has also defined the sakhI in the following way:
Those who are dedicated with an untainted love, who feel happiness and distress in accordance with the moods of the nAyikA, and who are similar to her in age and temperament, and are thus able to know her heart, are called sakhIs (nirupAdhi-prIti-parA sadRzI sukha-duHkhayoH | vayasya-bhAvAd anyo'nyaM hRdaya-jJA sakhI bhavet || AK 5.279)

RUpa GosvAmin's definition is found in Ujjvala-nIlamaNi:

Those who sincerely feel greater love for each other than they do for even themselves, who have intimate confidence in one another, and who are equal in age, dress, talent, beauty and temperament, are known as sakhIs (svAtmano’py adhikaM prema kurvANAnyo'nyam acchalam | vizrambhinI vayo-veSAdibhis tulyA sakhI matA ||UN 7.70. (KAvya-mAlA edn., 7.66, p. 178).

In the chapter treating the subject of the sakhI in the same book, RUpa writes:
The sakhIs are the perfect expanders of the loving affairs and intrigues of the Divine Couple and are veritable treasure chests of the rare and valuable secret jewels of faith and trust (prema-lIlA-vihArANAM samyag vistArikA sakhI |vizrambha-ratna-peTI ca tataH suSthu vivicyate || UN 8.1.)

The nAyikA’s mood is one of desiring to give pleasure to her lover (nAyaka) by serving him with every limb of her own body. The sakhI's mood is one of desiring especially for the union of the lover and his mistress, the nAyaka and the nAyikA. The nAyikA is her friend and by giving her pleasure in this way, she achieves her own plenitude and perfection. This is the difference between the two types of gopIs participating in the creation of erotic sacred rapture.

The worshipable object of zrImatI RAdhArANI and the other leading lady-loves of the Lord is zrI KRSNa alone and no other. On the other hand, the sakhIs have the feature of wanting to see KRSNa with zrImatI RAdhArANI (or some other nAyikA, as the case may be). As Narottama DAs ThAkur has put it, “My life and soul are the Divine Couple, RAdhA and KRSNa.” The purpose of this work is to explain sakhI-bhAva specifically where the nAyikA is zrImatI RAdhArANI.

There are primarily three divisions amongst RAdhA's girlfriends. Some are equal in their affection for both KRSNa and his mistress, others lean toward KRSNa, while others are more sympathetic to RAdhA. The sakhIs belonging to this last category are otherwise known as maJjarIs. No matter how intense the feeling of friendship the maJjarIs have for RAdhA, their special interest is to exclusively serve the Divine Couple. This is their life; it is as if their feelings of intimate friendship and servitude have merged. It is as though their friendship has become the manifestation of their service and their service identified with their friendship.
In his StavAvalI, zrIla RaghunAtha DAsa GosvAmin expresses this feeling of dedication to RAdhA’s service in the following famous prayer:

pAdAbjayos tava vinA vara-dAsyam eva nAnyat kadApi samaye kila devi yAce |
sakhyAya te mama namo’stu namo’stu nityaM dAsyAya te mama raso’stu raso’stu satyam || VilApa-kusumAJjalI, 16.

O Goddess! I pray for nothing from you at any time
other than single-minded service to your lotus feet.
If you should say, “Become my friend, my equal,”
then my answer is, “I offer eternal obeisances to such friendship.
I bow down to it, but in truth I pray
that my taste for being your hand-maid
should ever increase, yes, increase forever.
This is my prayer, and this is my vow.
Rasaraja dasa - Sat, 21 Aug 2004 21:37:37 +0530
Passages from Manjari Svarupa Nirupana
by Srila Kunja Bihari dasa Babaji
Translated by Jagadananda das

2.33 KRSNa is the original god of love or KAma-deva

The following important verse is found in the BhAgavata PurANa:

jayati jananivAso devakI-janma-vAdo
yadu-vara-pariSat svair dorbhir asyann adharmam
sthira-cara-vrijina-ghnam susmita-zrI-mukhena
vraja-pura-vanitAnAM vardhayan kAma-devam BhP 10.90.48

May that KRSNa who resides in the hearts of all living beings be ever victorious; for though he is their resting place, he becomes incarnate in the womb of DevakI. [This is thus generally accepted as being the truth although it is only an appearance.] That Lord is served by the best of the members of the Yadu dynasty; he removed the influence of the irreligious with the help of the PANDavas and others who are like his own arms, killing all the demons through them. He removed the sufferings of all the moving and non-moving creatures and, by the glances from his softly smiling, beautiful face, caused the quickening of desire (kAma) in the hearts and minds of the womenfolk of the pastures [of Vraja] and the city [of DvArakA], who thus desired for romantic intrigues with him.

This verse has been elucidated in SanAtana’s commentary on his own BRhad-BhAgavatAmRta (2.7.154). He particularly elaborates at length on the use of the word kAma-devam found in the fourth line.

[This verse makes three apparently self-contradictory statements. The first of these is that] he who resides as the Supersoul in the hearts of all living beings has appeared in the womb of DevakI as her son; for others he remains within, unseen. Though he likewise remains within DevakI also, he externalizes himself and walks and talks with her.

[The next apparent contradiction is that though] the great powerful heroes of the House of Yadu were all fully dedicated servitors of his and were competent to destroy any number of unruly opponents, he himself removed the oppressive irreligious elements by the strength of his own arms.

[The third such statement is that] even though he removes the sins of all creatures, stationary or moving, he still acts as the paramour of the gopIs, increasing their lusty desires (kAma), i.e., their “sin.” Despite this appearance of contradiction, there is actually none: there is no offence on KRSNa’s part because it is the nature of his sweetly smiling beautiful face to set the minds of others aflame. Even so, the gopIs count the glories of his world-enchanting smile, which destroys the effects of material desire (kAma) in the life of family attachments.

This last portion of the verse (vardhayan kAma-devam) can also be taken in this way: “He has become victorious by manifesting in the hearts of the gopIs all those manifold desires that will bring about his own personal pleasure” or “He becomes victorious over material desire (kAma) by increasing the gopis’ celestial love (kAma) for him.”

Lust or material desire (kAma) is said to be the destroyer of all honorable intentions in life, yet for the gopIs this lust is the destroyer of the cycle of material existence (saMsAra). This is because it is in fact love (prema); it brings KRSNa under their control and thus becomes the fruit of devotion as well as liberation. It became newer and fresher at every moment until it reached its transcendental climax. In other words, zrI KRSNa manifested himself in the hearts of the gopIs in an uninterrupted series of ever-new blossoming appearances, enkindling this love-lust of theirs to ever newer and greater heights. This is the way in which he establishes his glories.

Furthermore, because kAma or lust when related to KRSNa becomes elevated to the highest and most perfect type of love, the world deva used in the verse in composition with kAma indicates its divine nature. On the other hand, the word deva is derived from the root div which has the meaning “to play,” implying that this kAma is not nocuous like the destructive desire of this material world, but is full of sportive amusements. Thus the meaning reached here is that the Lord is ever glorious because, by manifesting unlimited masses of beauty and sweetness, he produces the different erotic sports and dalliances in the gopIs. That devotion which has such amorous amusements as its external form causes the experience of a specific joy that arises from the direct vision of KRSna’s glowing lotus-like face. That joy is the bliss-giving potency (hlAdinI zakti) emanating from his personal form which causes all the other achievements of human life to dwindle into insignificance. For this reason, this lust-love of the gopIs is the ultimate perfection of all kinds of devotion and should be recognized as the highest wealth of divine love. The vision of KRSNa’s glowing lotus face, etc., here implies all the glories of his beauty, sweetness, charm, etc., in short, all of his opulences in their most intense aspect.

KAmarUpA bhakti and worship or devotional practice in its wake (kAmAnuga bhakti) have a particular form of KRSNa with particular attributes which are especially conducive to their development. In his commentary on the thrid verse of KRSNa-karNamRta (“Nectar for KRSNa’s ears”), KRSNa DAs KavirAja states:
This KRSNa is the beguiler of infinite numbers of goddesses of fortune; he is the lover of zrImatI RAdhArANI and the enchanter of even Cupid (KAmadeva), the god of love himself. He is the seed of the unlimited gods of love throughout the unlimited universes. From him alone do they have their birth. Pradyumna of the first catur-vyUha is the original Cupid and his expansions fill the universes. These are the trunk and branches developing out of the first seedling. The leaves are the mundane gods of attraction who manifest only a fragment of the original potency present in the seed, KRSNa. Thus the ever new Cupid of Vrindavan is the root cause of all the gods of love, both divine and mundane.

One should not mistakenly think that Govinda himself has any touch of the mundane Eros in him. It is stated in the Caitanya-caritAmRta that KRSNa is like the sun, whereas the material nature can be likened to darkness. Wherever KRSNa is present, there the powers of illusion have no authority to approach. The BhAgavata (1.1.1) similarly states “The Supreme Truth, upon whom I meditate, is always free from material contamination by virtue of his own divine effulgence” (dhAmnA svena sadA nirasta-kuhakam). The gopIs’ pure love is simply known by the name of kAma as is clearly stated in Bhakti-rasAmRta-sindhu (premaiva gopa-rAmANAm kAma ity agamAt prathAm | 1.2.285).

KRSNa is the source of all existences, material or spiritual; without his nod of approval even one leaf dangling on the branch of a tree cannot move. “Material nature is herself incapable of creation as she is dull and lacking consciousness; only when KRSNa mercifully instills the potency within her does she become so able.” (jagat-kAraN nahe prakRti jaRa-rUpA | zakati saJcare tAre kRSNa kari kRpA || CC 1.5.59). Thus, just as it is through his potency that all the material and spiritual universes spring into existence, so it is also due to him alone that the energies which go by the name of “gods of attraction” or kAmadevas have their creation. These gods also have the epithet of Manmatha, “mind churner,” but the original mind-churning potency remains his. He is the shelter of these energies just as he is the shelter of the entire material nature without having any material tinge to him whatsoever.

In the Agama-zAstras there are injunctions for worshiping Lord KRSNa with the mantra known as kAma-gAyatrI and with the seed mantra named kAma (klIM). Accompanying these mantras is the meditation on KRSna as the “bewilderer of Cupid”: he is the enchanter of millions of Cupids; he attracts an infinite number of minds; he is the ocean of the sweet nectar of charm. Those great sensitive souls who have been able to achieve the highest standards of devotional worthiness perceive him in this way. He is the beguiling cowherd of the sacred land of Vrindavan; he is the source of all the incarnations of the deity, but he is especially the cause of all the manifestations of sweetness. Therefore, the writers of the many scriptures have repeatedly glorified him in his lovely blackish form in the circle dance:

rAsa-lIlA jayaty eSA yayA saMyujyate’nizam |
harer vidagdhatA-bheryA rAdhA-saubhAgya-dundubhiH ||

All glories to the circle dance which forever unite the bugle of the Lord’s urbanity and the drum of RAdhA’s good fortune.

The outcome of the rAsa dance was that the Lord of that dance and the embodiment of mahA-bhAva joined together to become Caitanya—the beautiful golden-coloured form of God, Gaura-sundara. He is none other than KRSNa taking on the mood of zrImatI RAdhArANI. That Lord Gaurasundara spoke to SanAtana GosvAmin while fully absorbed in that mood:

SanAtan! KRSNa-mAdhurya amRtera sindhu |
mora mana-sannipAti, sab pite kare mati
durdaiva-vaidya nA dey eka bindu ||
madhura haite sumadhur, tAhA haite sumadhur,
tAhA haite ati-sumadhur |
ApanAra eka kaNe, vyApe saba tribhuvane,
dazadik vyApe yAra pUr ||
smita kiraNa-sukarpUre, paize adhara-madhure,
se-i madhu mAtAy tri-bhuvane |
vaMzI chidra-AkAze, tAr guNa-zabde paize,
dhvani-rUpe pAiyA pariNAme ||
se dhvani caudike dhAy, aNDa bhedi vaikuNTha yAy,
bale paize jagatera kANe |
sabA mAtoyAla kari, balAtkAre Ane dhari,
vizeSataH yuvatIra gaNe ||
dhvani baRa uddhata, pativratAr bhAGge vrata,
pati kol haite TAni Ane |
vaikuNThera lakSmI gaNe, yei kare AkarSaNe,
tAra Age kebA gopI gaNe ||
nIvi khasAy pati-Age, gRha-karma karAy tyAge,
bale dhari Ane kRSNa sthAne |
loka-dharma-lajjA-bhay, sab jJAna lupta hay,
aiche nAcAy sab nArI-gaNe ||
subalita-dIrghArgal, kRSNa-bhuja-yugal,
bhuja nahe kRSNa sarpa-kAy |
dui zaila-chidre paize, nArIr hRdaya daMz,
mare nArI se viSa-jvAlAy || CC 2..21.137-143.

SanAtana! Just contemplate the sweetness of the Lord!
A mellifluent sea of mead
For which my mind in lusty greed
Has come and sits in waiting by its shore.
And thinking it will quickly drink its fill
Is fated to know it never will.
Misfortune has come in doctor’s guise
and allows it not one drop despite its cries.

Pray tell, can sweetness be still more than sweet?
And then more sweet, a sweetness even more complete?
With just one drop, the entire cosmos fills
And drowns within those lovely honey swills;
In sweetness all directions merge and meet.
The smiling rays of camphor touch his lips,
The smile melts from his misty mouth and drips
Ent’ring by force the ears of all the skies
Beguiles, and ravishing it ties
The hearts of all, and most of all the girls.

Just hear about that dulcet flute’s disgrace!
It steals wives from their husbands’ sweet embrace,
Destroys their dharm and their chasteness vows.
And LakSmI too in heaven is aroused,
So what hope have we poor gopIs to save face?

It looses the brides’ clothes before their grooms,
Makes them leave their chores unfinished in their rooms;
It makes them dance as if tied to a string
Forgetting fear, shame and every thing,
Then drags them to where the lotus lord’s smile blooms.

zrI KRSNa’s arms like jewelled bars of steel
No, not arms but cobras black who steal
Between the furrows of the gopIs’ breasts
To pierce their hearts and put their fangs to rest,
To leave a wound that only he can heal.

The tutelary god of lusty attraction, Cupid, who reigns over the hearts of the gopIs, is embodied in KRSNa himself. “He is the transcendental, ever-fresh Cupid of Vrindavan.” In the material world, lust reigns in the hearts of everyone creating a self-centred substitute for love which results in attraction to members of the opposite sex. The actual attraction is not to the individuals involved at all, but is rather the following of a drive created by the internal erotic impulse. In the case of the gopIs, however, they are directed to the supreme lord of love; their internal impulse and the object of that impulse are not different from one another. They love KRSNa internally and externally; there is no third force called lust which drives them. The driving force and its object are one.

In the Caitanya-caritAmRta, the following passages are found in the conversation of RAmAnanda RAya with Caitanya MahAprabhu:

zRGgAra-rasa-rAja-maya-mUrti dhar |
ataeva AtmA paryyanta sarva-citta har ||
puruSa-yoSit kiMvA sthAvara-jaGgam |
sarva-cittAkarSak sAkSAt manmatha-mathan ||
rAy kahen kRSNa hayen dhIra-lalit |
nirantara kAma-krIDA yAhAra carit || CC 2.8.143, 139, 187.

KRSNa attracts the hearts of all living entities, including himself because he has taken form as the embodiment of the romantic sentiment... He attracts the consciousness of all creatures, whether male or female, still or moving; he is the churner of even Cupid’s mind... KRSNa has the character of a dhIra-lalita, charming lover, whose only business is to engage in amorous sports.

RUpa GosvAmin writes in his Hari-kusuma-stava:

I offer obeisances to him who is the desire tree of all welfare for the pious, who wields the flower arrows which pierce the hearts of all the beautiful young maidens, who is the most expert in protecting those who have taken shelter of him, and who is the scorching sun drying up the lilies of the impious (hita-sAdhu-samIhita-kalpa-taruM taruNI-gaNa-nUtana-puSpa-zaram | zaraNAgata-rakSaNa-dakSatamaM tam asAdhu-kulopala-caNDa-karam || 6)

In the BhAgavata PurANa:

vAma-bAhu-kRta-vAma-kapola-valgita-bhrUr adharArpita-venum |
komalAGgaulIbhir Azrita-mArgaM gopya Irayati yatra mukundaH || BhP 10.35.2

O gopIs! When KRSNa places his left cheek on his own left shoulder and makes his eyebrows dance, he rests his flute on his lips and plays on it with his delicate fingers, then his legs are also crossed in his three-fold bending form by which he has gotten three names: tribhaGga-lalita, “one who charms by standing in this attractive curved position,” tiryag-grIva, “one who stands with his neck held horizontally,” and trailokya-mohana, “enchanter of the three worlds.”

The subsequent verse from the BhAgavata is as follows:

vyoma-yAna-vanitAH saha siddhair vismitAs tad upadhAya salajjAH |
kAma-mArgana-samarpita-cittAH kazmalaM yayur apasmRta-nivyaH || BhP 10.35.3

When the perfected beings hear this sound of KRSNa's flute, they as well as their wives become amazed. They then become embarrassed due to the presence of Cupid’s arrow in their hearts; they become bewildered, for even though their waist-cloths become slackened due to the erotic influence of the flute’s melody, they are not sufficiently aware to adjust them.

VizvanAtha Cakravartin’s gloss on this verse brings out KRSNa’s characteristics as enchanter of the three worlds and his erotic influence on the gods and goddesses:

[The wives of the gods become amazed in the following way:] “O! We have never before perceived such a potent enchanting force as that which this flute possesses, because it is bewildering us even though we are most chaste.” Their husbands are similarly thinking, “We are men, and yet the sound of the flute is bewildering us in such a way that we are having feminine responses to it.”

Aho! veNu-nAdasyaitAvan mohanatvam anubhUta-caraM yato’smAn sAdhvIr api mohayati | asmAn puruSAn api strI-bhAva-yuktIkRty mohayatIti | zrI-kRSNa-viSayaka-kAma-zarAn AlakSya, bhoH zrI-kRSNa-kAma-zarAH | yuSmabhyam etAni asmac-cittAni dattAni, etAni zIghraM viddhIkurutaH asmAbhiH pAtivratyAya jalAJjalir dattaH | kRSNo’smAbhiH saha kRpayA ramatAm iti | tathA asmAbhir api sva-puMstvaM devatvaM ca tyaktam | kRSNo’smAn sadya eva svayogena gopa-strI-kRtyAsmAbhiH saha ramatAm |

Seeing Cupid’s flower arrows which carry desire for KRSNa in them, the demigoddesses say, “O arrows of desire for KRSNa! we all surrender our minds to you; quickly pierce them. We have thrown our fidelity to the winds; KRSNa may freely be intimate with us, by his kindness.” At the same time, their husbands are also thinking, “We disavow our masculinity and our position as gods; may KRSNa immediately give us the bodies of cowherd girls here in Vrindavan so that we may consummate our feelings for him.”

By these different references, we have tried to give an idea of KRSNa in his position as the object of the erotic affection or madhura-rasa. Now we shall go on to the Azraya-tattva.
Rasaraja dasa - Sun, 22 Aug 2004 07:37:59 +0530
Passages from Manjari Svarupa Nirupana
by Srila Kunja Bihari dasa Babaji
Translated by Jagadananda das

4.43 Inspirators arising from the activities of RAdhA and KRSNa (carita-uddIpana)

Carita or character is divided into moods (anubhava) and activities (lIlA). Here, lIlA is being dealt with. LIlA is described in the Ujjvala-nIlamaNi as the charming and playful amusements of the Lord such as his dancing or playing the flute, his herding or milking of the cows, his walking and lifting Govardhana, etc. The inspirators for the maJjarIs” love coming from RAdhA's activities can be found in her charming movements, her playing on the vINA, her drawing pictures, making flower garlands, her cooking, her gait while walking, her singing, etc.
Rasaraja dasa - Mon, 23 Aug 2004 08:09:18 +0530
Passages from Manjari Svarupa Nirupana
by Srila Kunja Bihari dasa Babaji
Translated by Jagadananda das

4.1. Defining the term vibhAva

The vibhAvas or causes for experiencing any specific dominant mood of love for KRSNa as sacred rapture are twofold: the props and the inspirators (tatra jJeyA vibhAvAs tu raty-AsvAdana-hetavaH |te dvidhAlambanA eke tathivoddIpanaH pare || BRS 2.1.14)

The purport of this verse is that when a receptive devotee hears the activities, names, forms, qualities, etc. of the Lord and his associates, then they act on his subtle makeup (saMskAra), awakening his desire for a specific type of direct devotional service. This desire, when developed, becomes one of the dominant moods of devotional love (sthAyi-bhAva). The aforementioned activities, names, forms, qualities, etc., are therefore known as vibhAvas because they cause devotion to flourish. [The root meaning of the verb vibhU is “to grow, to flourish or to become glorious.”]

The primary division of the vibhAvas is in two, the first called the Alambanas or props, the second uddIpanas, which can be translated as enkindlers or as inspirators. The Alambanas are again divided into two—the viSaya or love's object and the Azraya or its receptacle. In bhAvollAsA rati, the receptacles or containers of the love are the maJjarIs and the object of their love is the Divine Couple of zrI zrI RAdhA and KRSNa. Those particular things that enkindle their devotional spirit toward the Divine Couple are their uddIpanas. All these things will be progressively described in this chapter.
Rasaraja dasa - Tue, 24 Aug 2004 03:03:42 +0530
Passages from Manjari Svarupa Nirupana
by Srila Kunja Bihari dasa Babaji
Translated by Jagadananda das

4.41 Qualities that enkindle ecstatic love

guNAH kRtajJatA-kSAnti-karuNAdyAs tu mAnasAH | UN 10.3

KRSNa has many varieties of qualities that arouse loving feelings in his devotee. They are primarily divided into three categoriesmental, verbal and physical. His mental qualities are many, mainly gratefulness, forgiving spirit, mercy, etc.
One gopI, after seeing KRSNa began to contemplate his divine qualities and becoming absorbed in them, described them to a friend:

vazam alpikayApi sevayAmum
vihite’py Agasi duHsahe smitAsyam |
para-duHkha-lave’pi kAtaraM me
harim udvIkSya manas tanoti tRSNAm || UN 10.4

O sakhi! My mind has become anxious to meet with KRSNa after seeing him, for he is captivated by even the slightest amount of service (gratefulness); he simply smiles even after being grievously offended (forgiving spirit) and he becomes overwhelmed with compassion upon seeing the smallest distress of others (mercy).

RAdhA's physical features are divided into seven categories according to the Ujjvala-nIlamaNi: (1) her age, (2) her form, (3) her loveliness (lAvaNya), (4) her beauty (saundarya), (5) her nobility (abhirUpatA), (6) her sweetness (mAdhurya), and (7) her softness (mArdava). These qualities have been described by PrabodhAnanda in his VRndAvana-mahimAmRta:

Azcarya-nava-kaizora-vyaJji-divyatamAkRtiH | VMA 7.96

(1) Her age (vayas): “Her divine form reveals a new, exciting youthfulness.”

zeSAzeSa-jagan-mUrcchAkAriNyAzcarya-rUpiNI | VMA 7.92
mahA-mAdhuryaugha-rUpa-mohanAGgocchala-cchaviH | VMA 7.98

(2) Her form (rUpa): “Her amazing form causes the entire universe, including the Supreme Lord, to lose consciousness and fall in a faint. It bewilders the mind, for it is the very picture of sweetness overflowing.”

aGgAny abhUSitAny eva kenacid bhUSaNAdinA |
yena bhUSitavad bhAti tad rUpam iti kathyate || UN 10.25

RUpa is defined as “that quality by which a young damsel appears to be fully bedecked with all varieties of ornaments when in fact she is not.”

nava-lAvaNya-pIyUSa-sindhu-koTi-pravAhiNI | VMA 7.97

(3) Her loveliness (lAvaNya): “She is the embodiment of billions of oceans of loveliness.”

muktAphaleSu chAyAyAs taralatvam ivAntarA |
pratibhAti yad aGgeSu lAvaNyaM tad ihocyate ||
UN 10.28. Rasa-sudhAkara 1.181

LavaNya is defined by RUpa GosvAmin as “an indescribable aura that emanates from within every limb of a young woman in the way that a glow expands from a pearl.

aGga-pratyAngakAnAM yaH sannivezo yathocitam |
susliSTa-sandhi-bandhaH syAt tat saundaryam itIryate || UN 10.31

(4) RAdhA's beauty (saundarya), defined as “the perfect and charming arrangement of all the limbs of the body,”

pade pade mahAzcarya-saundaryAzeSa-mohinI | VMA 7.97

“At every step, RAdhA enchants the world with her amazing beauty.”

sarvAsAM nUtanAbhIra-sundarINAM ziromaNiH |
sarva-lakSaNa-sampanna-sarvAyava-sundarI || VMA 7.91

“She is the foremost of the milkmaidens of VRndAvana, she is decorated with all good qualities and in every limb is perfectly and beautifully formed.”

mohinI-zrI-pArvatI-raty-Adi-rUpavatIr varAH |
kurvatI yan nakha-prAnta-saundaryaughair avAG-mukhIH |
tapta-kAJcana-gaurAGgI susnigdhAnanta-kAnti-bhRt || VMA 7.92-3

“The beauty of even the tip of her fingernails causes the best of the universe's beauties like LakSmI, PArvatI, Rati, etc., to all bow their heads in shame. Her grace and golden lustre are unlimited.”

yadAtmIya-guNotkarSair vastv anyan nikaTa-sthitam |
sArUpyaM nayati prAjJair AbhirUpyaM tad ucyate || UN 10.33

(5) Her exquisiteness (abhirUpatA), defined in the Ujjvala-nIlamaNi as “the unique quality which causes the beautiful properties of one's own body to be transmitted to other objects that are situated in proximity to it.”

The following example is given of this particular quality:

vakSoje tava campaka-cchavim avaSTambhoru-kumbhopame
rAdhe kokanada-zriyaH karatale sindUrataH sundare |
drAg indindira-bandhureSu cikureSv indIvaraAbhAM vahan
nakaH kairava-korako vitanute puSpa-trayI-vibhramam || UN 10.35

One day, by the banks of RAdhA KuNDa, zrImatI RAdhArANI was twirling a white lily that had been given her by VRndA. At that time, KRSNa playfully took it and touching it first to her breasts and then to her hair said, “O RAdhe! How wonderful that this one lily blossom has taken three different forms: When in contact with your golden jug-like breasts, it appears to be a golden campaka flower; when by your hand it takes on the form of a pink lotus, and when held near your hair, which glistens blacker than a bumblebee, it looks just like a beautiful blue lotus.”

In VRndAvana-mahimAmRta:

daza-diG-maNDalAcchAdi-sugaurAGgocchala-cchaviH |
cid-acid-dvaitam Amajjaty ucchalan madhura-cchaviH ||
mahA-prema-rasAmbhodhi-jRmbhaNaikAdbhuta-cchaviH |
zrI-kRSNAtma-prANa-koTi-nirmaJchaika-rasa-cchaviH ||
svayaM prabhA cid-advaita-sat-premaika-rasa-cchaviH || ibid. 7.94-6

Her golden bodily lustre fills the ten directions with its glow and all things, within the universe, conscious or unconscious; all become one in the ocean of her exquisite beauty.... She is the embodiment of all charm arising from the ocean of pure and great love for KRSNa with ten million lives and she bears the charm born of the foremost of all loving sentiments, the conjugal... She is a self-manifested picture of the spiritual non-duality of ecstatic love.

rUpaM kim apy anirvAcyaM tanor mAdhuryam ucyate | UN 10.36

(6) The quality of sweetness (mAdhurya) is defined as an inexpressible quality of all-pervading charm or sweetness in the body of a beautiful girl.

mahA-mAdhuryaugha-rUpa-mohanAGgocchala-cchaviH | VMA 7.99

“It is as if great heaps of sweetness have been gathered together in her body just to enchant the universe.”

mArdavaM komalasyApi saMsparzAsahatocyate | UN 10.38

(7) The Ujjvala-nIlamaNi defines mArdava, “delicacy” or “softness,” as “the inability to tolerate the touch of any hard object.”

se je alpa-vayasI bAlA | tanu gAthanI puhupa-mAlA

VidyApati also writes, “This young girl's body is as soft as a garland of flowers.”

In the Ujjvala-nIlamaNi, a list of RAdhA's twenty-five qualities is given, all of which are said to bring KRSNa under her control. These qualities are divided into four groups: physical, mental and verbal as well as those that are related to her dealings with other people. The six qualifications of the first group are that she is: (1) sweet, (2) a fresh maiden; (3) she has enchanting sidelong glances and (4) a glowing smile; she is (5) decorated with auspicious signs on her hands and feet, etc., (6) her bodily fragrance is potent to enmadden MAdhava himself.

The mental qualities are ten in number: she is (1) modest, (2) compassionate, (3) expert, (4) clever, (5) shy, (6) mannerly, (7) calm and patient, (8) grave, (9) knowledgeable in the ways of love and (10) possessed of the highest perfection of love, namely mahA-bhAva.

Those of her qualities which are related to speech are three in number: she is (1) highly talented in music and singing, (2) expert in speaking attractively and (3) clever in making plays on words.

Other than these 19 qualities, RAdhA has six virtues that are connected to her dealings with others: she is (1) the object of all Vraja's love; (2) her glories are spread throughout the entire creation; (3) she is treated with the greatest affection by all the older folk in VRndAvana. She is (4) controlled by the devotion of her girlfriends and is (5) the chief of all those beloved of KRSNa. Finally, (6) KRSNa himself is always ready to obey her slightest command.

PrabodhAnanda gives a further description of RAdhA in the seventh and eighth chapters of VRndAvana-mahimAmRta:

Her long black hair falls like a net over her head, above which is a veil of exceedingly fine cloth; her braid, which tumbles down to her buttocks, is decorated throughout with flowers, and at its end dangles a string while at its base are flowers and jewels. This braid that enchants the entire universe has the appearance a long black snake.

Her face is golden like the whorl of a lotus flower; her teeth are effulgent like a row of pomegranates. Her lovely lips are red like the bimba fruit, spreading forth an ocean of sweetness. Her chin is decorated with a black beauty spot made of musk which makes her even more bewitching.

Her eyes are extended; they move back and forth like hummingbirds as she smiles sweetly. The playful movements of her eyebrows defeat the expertise of Cupid's bow and are an indication of her good fortune.

Her beautifully shaped nose has a gold decoration with a pearl in it. Her ears have rings piercing through them both at the bottom and the top. Her neck is smooth like a conch shell and has a golden necklet (niSka) of jewels around it.

Her breasts are like two golden flowers fully bloomed. Their beauty is amazing; they are filled with an inner glow of loveliness. They are the full, upraised embodiment of her sweetness. Even though covered by her bodice, the shy RAdhA covers them again and again with the hem of her upper garment.

Her arms are decorated with bangles and armlets, all of which are sprinkled with a variety of precious gems. Every one of her fingers is decorated with a jewelled ring.

Her lovely waist is alluringly thin. Her hips are broad, nourished with the very essence of beauty and sweetness. Her thighs glow; they are soft and yet shaped ike golden bananas. Her knees are charming and her calves are like the stems of lotus flowers.

The beauty of her feet bewilders all the moving and non-moving living beings; their charming movements attract the mind of even the supreme Cupid himself, KRSNa. They are decorated with golden ankle bells and a golden string of little jingling bells. Her neatly pleated silken garment covers her ankles. Each of her toes has a ring decorating it.

Thus RAdhA charms the entire creation by the glory of each of her limbs, all of which are equal to millions of oceans of splendour. Her form of fresh maidenly beauty moves with such delightful gestures, so erotically enticing that not only KRSNa, but even her girlfriends all fall into a swoon. (VMA 7.99-8.15)
In the Caitanya-caritAmRta it is said that SatyabhAmA envies RAdhA her good fortune; all the damsels of VRndAvana come to her to learn the techniques and arts of love. LakSmI and PArvatI wish to have her beauty; ArundhatI, the greatest of the devoted wives desires to possess a devotion like hers. KRSNa himself is unable to describe satisfactorily her virtues, so what can poor humans like us hope to achieve in glorifying her?
Rasaraja dasa - Thu, 26 Aug 2004 01:33:17 +0530
Passages from Manjari Svarupa Nirupana
by Srila Kunja Bihari dasa Babaji
Translated by Jagadananda das

4.3 The receptacles of maJjarI-bhAva, the maJjarIs

In the VRndAvana-mahimAmRta:

zrI-rAdhA-pAda-padma-cchavi-madhuratara-prema-cij-jyotir ekA-
mbodher udbhUta-phena-stavaka-maya-tanUH sarva-vaidagdhya-pUrNAH|
kaizora-vyaJjitAs tad-ghana-rug-apaghana-zrI-camatkAra-bhAjo
divyAlaGkAra-vastrA anusarata sakhe rAdhikA-kiGkarIs tAH || VMA 2.8

O friend, just follow the hand-maids of zrImatI RAdhArANI, whose bodies are made of the froth coming from the ocean of solidified spiritual effulgence that emanates from her lotus feet; they are expert in all aspects of conjugal love and are in the charming fullness of maidenhood; their forms have become wonderfully enchanting due to the new manifestation of adolescence and decoration with jewels and beautiful garments.

In the Govinda-lIlAmRta, KRSNadAsa glorifies RAdhA's handmaidens as follows:

sakhyaH zrI-rAdhikAyA vraja-kumuda-vidhor hlAdinI-nAma-zakteH
sArAMza-prema-vallyAH kizalaya-dala-puSpAdi-tulyAH sva-tulyAH |
GLA 10.16, quoted in Caitanya-caritAmRta, 2.8.211.

RAdhAraNI's girlfriends who are entirely devoted to her service are like the branches, leaves and flowers of a divine creeper of love that is RAdhA herself, the pleasure-giving potency of KRSNa, who is like the moon giving delight to the lily-like damsels of VRndAvana. Thus they are also equal to her very self.

It should be pointed out in describing the qualities of the maJjarIs that all the good qualities of the Lord are manifest in his devotees. Of course, this rule has its limitations due to the differences between the jIva and the Supreme Lord—not all of his qualities can be fully manifest in the tiny receptacle of the jIva. RAdhArANI's girlfriends are all her personal expansions, so they also have her qualities, with some differences in the type and quantity.

RAdhArANI has twenty-five qualities that are especially described in the Ujjvala-nIlamaNi (4.11-15) beginning from madhurA (“sweet”), “blossoming maidenhood,” “enchanting sidelong glances,” “glowing smile,” etc. In the VRndAvana-mahimAmRta, 8th chapter, these and other qualities are described in connection with RAdhArANI's handmaidens:

kAntyAnantAM zriyA’nantAM mAdhuryair apy anantakAm |
susnigdha-lalita-svarNa-gaurIM madhura-cchaviM | VMA 8.24
tArA-hArAvalI-cAru-citra-kaJcuka-dhAriNIm |

The maJjarI is of a glistening, pleasing golden-coloured, a charming picture of sweetness. Her bodily lustre, her loveliness as well as her stocks of honey-like sweetness are all unlimited.

tArA-hArAvalI-cAru-citra-kaJcuka-dhAriNIm |
vyaJjad-adbhuta-kaizorAM sujAta-mukula-stanIm || ibid. 8.25

She is in the first flush of maidenhood and her breasts have budded beautifully. She wears star-like spangled necklaces and multicoloured blouses.

snigdha-cchaTA-kanda-doH-kandalI-cuDAGgada-zriyam |
cAru-zroNi-taTe krIDan-mahA-veNI-latojjvalAm | ibid. 8.26

Her arms are as shapely as bananas and are further enhanced by bracelets and jewelled arm bands. The vine of her braids hangs down to her captivating buttocks and its lolling movements augment her beauty.

atyanta-cAru-sukRza-madhya-deza-manoharAm |
divya-kuJcita-kauzeyenAgulphaparimaNDitAm || ibid. 8.27

She has an enchantingly thin waist. A divine silk garment, folded alluringly, hangs down over her ankles.

nicolenAtisUkSmeNa sva-gucchaJcala-zobhinA
alakAnta-parivRtAm muhur mohana-vIkSitAm || ibid. 8.28

A fine cloth decorated with flowers and leaves covers the hair and sides of her face. The enchanter KRSNa glances at her again and again.

sa-vrIDA-madhura-smera-salIlApAGga-vIkSaNAm |
nAnAzcarya-kalodArAM nAnA-bhaGgi-mayAkRtim || ibid. 8.29

She has sweet and shy smiles. She has playful glances. She knows how to make many attractive movements.

rAdhA-kRSna-mahA-premodaJci-romaJca-saJcayAm |
zrIzvarI-zikSitAzeSa-kalA-kauzala-zAlinIm | ibid. 8.3

She is always feeling thrilled by the loving affairs of RAdhA and KRSNa. She is expert in the many arts, having been taught by RAdhArANI herself.

preSTha-dvandva-prasAda-srag-vastra-bhUSAdi-mohinI |
mahA-vinaya-sauzIlyAdy-anekAzcarya-sad-guNAm || ibid. 8.31

She is especially attractive due to being decorated by the Divine Couple's gifts of leftover garlands, ornaments and clothes. She is endowed with unlimited good qualities of which humility and mannerliness are foremost.

zrIzvarI-dRSTi-vAg-Adi-sarveGgita-vicakSaNAm |
zrI-kRSNa-datta-tAmbUla-carvitAM tat-tad-AdRtAm || ibid. 8.32

She is competent to understand RAdhA's wishes by her slightest glance or hint. She relishes KRSNa's leftover pAn and betelnut and is very much the object of the Divine Couple's affections.

guDha-zyAmAbhisArAGga-bhRGgArAdibhir anvitAm |
rAdhA-pr Ity-anukampAdi-pravRddha-prema-vihvalAm | ibid. 8.33

She carries the necessary paraphernalia (like golden water jugs, etc.) for the nightly meetings of the Holy Pair. She constantly tastes the sacred rapture arising from RAdhA's form, qualities and pastimes, and thinking of her affairs with KRSNa, she always feels a thrilling sensation.

rAdhA-prIti-sukhAmbodhAv apAre buDitAM sadA |
rAdhA-padAbja-sevAnya-spRhA-kAla-trayojjhitAm || ibid. 8.34.
rAdhA-pAdAmbujAd anyat svapne’pi na jAnatIm |
rAdhA-sambandha-sandhAvat-prema-sindhogha-zAlinIm | ibid. 8.35.
kSaNaM caraNa-vicchedAc chrIzvaryAH prANa-hAriNIm |
padAravinda-saMlagnatayaivahar-nizaM sthitAm || ibid. 8.22

She is always immersed in an ocean of happiness due to her intense loving affection for RAdhArANI. In past, present or future, whether awake, dreaming or in deep sleep, she desires nothing other than service to RAdhA's lotus feet. Other than RAdhA's lotus feet, she knows nothing, not even in her dreams. She rushes toward anything that bears even the most insignificant relation to RAdhA in the way that the rivers rush to the ocean; she is washed away by the ocean of love. In separation from RAdhArANI for even a moment she almost dies. Day and night she remains inseparable as a shadow from her mistress's lotus feet.

seSAzeSa-mahA-vismApaka-kaizora-rUpiNIm |
kSaNe kSaNe rasAsvAda-prodaJcat-pulakAvalIm ||
sarvAGga-kAnti-saundaryair apAraiH sarva-mohinIm |
rAdhA-karmAkulatayA tatra tatra vicAlinIm || ibid. 8.36-37

Her maidenly beauty is so great that not only the whole universe but even ziva and Ananta are astonished by it. At every moment, her skin is covered with goosebumps as she tastes the sacred rapture of service. She enchants everyone with her bodily lustre and loveliness as she moves from place to place in her anxiety to better serve RAdhA.

citrayantIm iva dizo vicitraGga-cchaTA-cayaiH |
sa-lIlA-pada-vinyAsaiH sunUpura-raNat-kRtaiH ||
kAJjI-valaya-nAdaiz ca madhurair vizva-mohinIm |
rAdhA-kRSNa-raho-goSThI-sudhA-madhura-zItalAm || ibid 8.39-40

Her bodily effulgence fills all the ten directions which are beautified and enriched by it. She is satisfied and happy with the sweet secret conversations enjoyed in private by RAdhA and KRSNa.

She is overjoyed to listen to the nectarean words, cooling and sweet, which spill from the mouth of zrImatI RAdhArANI.

In the SAdhanAmRta-candrikA of Siddha KRSNadAsa BAbAjI of Govardhana, a meditation on the form of a maJjarI is given as follows:

zrI-guru-caraNAmbhoja-kRpA-sikta-kalevarAm |
kizorIM gopa-vanitAM nAnAlaMkAra-bhUSitAm ||
pRthu-tuGga-kuca-dvandvAM catuHSaSThi-kalAnvitAm |
rakta-citrAntarIyAm AvRta-zuklottarIyakAm ||
svarNa-citrAruNa-prAnta-muktAdAma-sukaJculIm |
candanAguru-kAzmIra-carcitAGgIM madhu-smitAm ||
sevopAyana-nirmANa-kuzalAM sevanotsukAm |
vinayAdi-guNopetAM zrI-rAdhA-karuNArthinIm ||
rAdhA-kRSNa-sukhAmoda-mAtra-ceSTAM supadminIm |
nigUDha-bhAvAM govinde madanAnanda-mohinIm ||
nAnA-rasa-kalAlApa-zAlinIM divya-rUpiNIm |
saGgIta-rasa-saMjAta-bhAvollAsa-bharAnvitAm ||
tapta-kAJcana-zuddhAbhAM sva-saukhya-gandha-varjitAm |
divAnizaM mano-madhye dvayoH prema-bharAkulAm |
evam AtmAnam anizaM bhAvayed bhaktim AzritaH ||

Taking refuge in devotion, one should constantly meditate
on one's own form as a maJjarI,
whose body is drenched with the mercy of the spiritual master,

a cowherd girl decorated with many and various ornaments,
with elevated and fully-developed breasts,
expert in the sixty-four arts and crafts,
wearing a red skirt and white shawl,
wearing a blouse covered in pearls
and bordered with red and gold ribbon,
anointed with unguents of musk and sandalwood,
who is always sweetly smiling,
who is always eager for service
and expert in finding out new ways of serving,
who is endowed with all good qualities like humility,
who always prays for RAdhA's mercy,
whose every action is only for the pleasure of zrI zrI RAdhA and KRSNa,
who is like a beautiful lotus flower herself,
who has a deep and secret feeling of love for KRSNa,
whose beauty bewilders even Cupid with joy,
who is expert in making conversation
that increases the pleasures of the conjugal affairs,
who is transcendentally, beautifully formed,
who is always jubilant due to absorption
in songs that are pleasing to the Holy Couple,
whose bodily lustre is of molten gold,
who is free from even the slightest hint of self-centred desire,
who is overwhelmed day and night
by feelings of love for the Divine Couple.

And this meditation is augmented by further verses from the same author's Paddhati-traya:

parakIyAbhimAninyas tathAsya ca priyajanAH |
pracchannenaiva kAmena ramayanti nijapriyAm ||
gAndharvikA-sva-yUtha-sthA lalitAdi-gaNAnvitA |
rUpa-maJjary-anugatA yAvaTa-grAma-vAsinI ||
rAdhikAnucarIM nityaM tat-sevana-parAyaNAm |
kRSNAd apy adhikaM prema rAdhikAyAM prakurvatIm || Paddhati-trayam

...who is always in the spirit of a paramour in extra-marital love,
who is always bringing the two lovers together in a secretive fashion,
who is situated as a part of RAdhArANI's galaxy of friends, specifically as a member of LalitA's group,
who follows in the footsteps of zrI RUpa MaJjarI and is a resident of JAvaT village,
who is dedicated exclusively to zrImatI RAdhArANI and absorbed constantly in her service, loving her even more than she loves KRSNa.
Rasaraja dasa - Fri, 27 Aug 2004 10:13:50 +0530
Passages from Manjari Svarupa Nirupana
by Srila Kunja Bihari dasa Babaji
Translated by Jagadananda das

5.14 Arranging meetings of the Divine Couple:

gaveSayantAv anyonyaM kadA vRndAvanAntare |
saGgamayya yuvAM lapsye hAriNaM pAritoSikam ||
StavamAlA, KArpaNya-paJjikA-stotram, 35

O RAdhe! KRSNa! When the two of you are searching in the forests of VRndAvana, unable to find one another, then I will arrange your meeting and bring you together. Thus I will earn so much affection that you will reward me with a gift of a necklace.
Rasaraja dasa - Fri, 27 Aug 2004 10:14:44 +0530
Passages from Manjari Svarupa Nirupana
by Srila Kunja Bihari dasa Babaji
Translated by Jagadananda das

5.15 Giving beneficial instructions:

govinde svayam akaroH saroja-netre
premAndhA vara-vapur arpanaM sakhi |
kArpaNyaM na kuru darAvaloka-dAne
vikrIte kariNi kim aGkuze vivAdaH || PadyAvalI 197 (Anonymous)

O lotus-eyed one! Blind with love, you have already offered your entire body of unequalled beauty to Govinda. Now why don't you glance at him with a little affection? After selling the elephant, what trader quibbles over the price of the stick used to control it?
Rasaraja dasa - Fri, 27 Aug 2004 10:15:29 +0530
Passages from Manjari Svarupa Nirupana
by Srila Kunja Bihari dasa Babaji
Translated by Jagadananda das

5.16 Taking them to the appointed trysting place:

aklAnta-dyutibhir vasanta-kusumair uttaMsayan kuntalAn
antaH khelati khaJjarITa-nayane kuJjeSu kaJjekSaNaH |
asmAn mandira-karmatas tava karau nAdyApi vizrAmyataH
kiM brUmo rasikAgraNIr asi ghAtI neyaM vilamba-kSamA ||
PadyAvalI 209 (RUpa GosvAmin)

O humming-bird eyed RAdhA! The lotus-eyed KRSNa is playing in the forest groves, decorating his ears with bright spring flowers in a most attractive way. You are well-versed in amorous dealings, so how is it that these hands have not yet abandoned their meaningless household duties? What shall we say to you? This is not the moment to procrastinate!

There is a saying that if anyone sees a humming bird in a lotus flower that he becomes a king. The intention of the sakhIs in describing RAdhA and KRSNa as hummingbirds and lotus flowers respectively is that if the two of them meet one another then not only will they be highly fortunate, but the sakhIs who unite them will also get the highest pleasure in seeing them come together, just as though they had become kings. Therefore, the implication is, “for our benefit, RAdhA, kindly go and meet with KRSNa.”
Rasaraja dasa - Thu, 09 Sep 2004 07:46:04 +0530
Passages from Manjari Svarupa Nirupana
by Srila Kunja Bihari dasa Babaji
Translated by Jagadananda das

3.7 The maJjarIs’ way of devotion

The maJjarIs pray to RAdhA:

bhavatIm abhivAdya cATubhir varam Urjezvari varyam arthaye |
bhavadIyatayA kRpAM yathA mayi kuryAd adhikAm bakAntakaH || UV, 20

O goddess of the month of KArttika,
I beg you with sweet words to give me
the best of benedictions:
by which KRSNa, the killer of Baka,
knowing me to be yours,
will become more merciful to me.

And their prayer to KRSNa:

praNipatya bhvantam arthaye pazu-pAlendra-kumAra kAkubhiH |
vraja-yauvati-mauli-mAlikA karuNA-pAtram imaM janaM kuru || ibid, 19

O son of MahArAja Nanda!
I fall at your feet and beg
with thousands of tearful prayers
that I may become the object of RAdhA’s mercy,
for she is the crown diamond of all the beauties of Vraja.
Please fulfill this desire.

The sentiment can thus be summarized: “My mistress is the queen of VRndAvana; I worship the lifter of Govardhana knowing that he is her lover.” RaghunAtha DAsa GosvAmin expresses the same idea in the “Teachings to the Mind” where he states:

mad-IzA-nAthatve vraja-vipina-candraM vraja-vane-
zvarIM tan-nAthatve tad-atula-sakhItve tu lalitAM |
vizAkhAM zokSAlI-vitaraNa-gurutve priya-saro-
girIndrau tat-prekSA-lalita-rati-datve smara manaH || ManaH-sikSA 9

O dear mind! Remember always
that the moon of the forests of Vraja
is my mistress zrImatI RAdhArANI’s lover,
and that she is the one who rules him.
Think of LalitA as her unequalled and chief sakhI,
of VizAkhA as the spiritual master who delivers
the different intimate teachings of loving service;
and remember that the king of mountains and the dear pond
are the givers of attachment, eagerness and devotion
whereby RAdhA and KRSNa’s direct presence can be perceived.
Rasaraja dasa - Thu, 09 Sep 2004 08:07:02 +0530
Passages from Manjari Svarupa Nirupana
by Srila Kunja Bihari dasa Babaji
Translated by Jagadananda das

3.8 BhAvollAsA rati is the gift of Caitanya MahAprabhu’s special mercy

Caitanya MahAprabhu is the combined form of the king of all transcendental tastes and the embodiment of mahA-bhAva. After fulfilling his three special desires he also relishes this mood of the maJjarIs. This bhAvollAsA rati is the gift that was never before bestowed on the world and the special mercy of his incarnation.
KRSNa, known as the foremost amongst the relishers of sacred rapture, accepted the mood and lustre of his chief consort zrImatI RAdhArANI with a view to fulfilling three desires (viz., to know what is the nature of RAdhA’s love, what is the extent of his own sweetness, and what is the nature of the happiness that she experiences in her love for him). After he, in his form as Gaurasundara, had experienced the fulfillment of those desires through various pastimes, a new desire manifested within him: due to being filled with sweet and beneficent love, he wished to experience the sentiment of the friends of zrImatI RAdhArANI in their intimate service of the Divine Loving Couple and after relishing it himself, to distribute it to the people of the world. This is the devotion that is glorified in the beginning of the Caitanya-caritAmRta as anarpita-carIM cirAt... unnatojjvala-rasAM sva-bhakti-zriyam, “the most elevated and effulgent, flavorful, intimate devotional beauty that had not been offered to the world for an inestimable length of time.” (Caitanya-caritAmRta 1.1.4 (Vidagdha-mAdhava 1.2)

From KRSNadAsa KavirAja’s account in the Caitanya-caritAmRta we can get a little idea of how this unique pastime of the Lord was experienced by him in this special manifestation as the combination of rasa-rAja and mahA-bhAva.

kAhAG nAhi zuni je je bhAver vikAr |
sei bhAva hay prabhura zarIre pracAr |
hasta-pader sandhi sab vitasti pramANe |
sandhi chARi bhinna haye carma rahe sthAne ||
hasta pada zira sab zarIre bhitare |
praviSTa hay kUrma-rUpa dekhiye prabhure || CC 2.2.11-13

Those ecstatic transformations that had never before been seen anywhere were all manifest in the Lord’s body. Sometimes the joints of his arms and legs would separate to a distance of 8 or 10 inches with only the tightened skin holding the limbs together. Then again, sometimes his head and limbs would contract and withdraw into his body in the manner of a tortoise.

kRSNa guNa-rUpa-rasa, gandha-zabda-paraza, se sudhA AsvAde gopI-gaN|
tA-sabAra grAsa-zeSe, Ani paJcendriya ziSye, se bhikSAy rAkhaye jIvan || CC 3.14.49

The gopIs constantly relish the nectar of KRSNa’s qualities, his form, taste, fragrance, sound and touch; my mind is a mendicant who comes to them with his five ragged disciples, the senses, to beg from them the remnants of their feast by which he will maintain his life.

In his half-conscious state, MahAprabhu babbled the following:

sakhI he! dekha kRSNera jala-keli-raGge | kRSNa-matta kari-var, caJcala kara puSkar, gopI-gaN kariNIra saGge || jAhA kari AsvAdan, Anandita mora man, netra karNa jugma juRAila || CC 3.18.80-82; 84

I saw the YamunA and was immediately transported to VRndAvana where I saw the son of the king of Vraja playing water sports with RAdhikA and the other gopIs. They were frolicking with great amusement in the waters of the YamunA. I stood on the shore with the other gopIs watching; one sakhI particularly showed me everything, pointing out the special features of the sports. O sakhI! See the water games being enjoyed by KRSNa! He is like a maddened elephant agitating the waters of a pond in the association of all his gopI she-elephants. Seeing all these amusements of KRSNa and the gopIs, my mind is overjoyed and my eyes and ears have attained supreme satisfaction.

Apane kari AsvAdane, zikhaIila bhakta-gaNe, prema-cintAmaNira prabhu dhanI | nAhi jAne sthAnAsthAn, jAre tAre kare dAn, mahAprabhu dAtA ziromaNi | ei gupta-bhAva-sindhu, brahmA nA pAy eka bindu, hena dhan bilAila saMsAre | aiche dayAlu avatAr, aiche dAtA nAhi Ar, guNa keho nAre varNibAre || kahibAra kathA nahe, kahile keha nA bujhaye, aiche citra caitanyera raGga | sei se bujhite pAre caitanyera kRpA jAre, hay tAra dAsAnudAsa saGga || CC 2.2.81-83

Tasting this rasa himself, he taught it to all the devotees; the Lord was rich with the jewels of prema. He discriminated not as to the place or recipient; he was the greatest of all philanthropists. Not even a drop of this ocean of secret spiritual emotions is attained by BrahmA and the other demigods, yet this wealth was distributed by the Lord throughout the world. No one can describe successfully the glories of such an incarnation, so merciful and so charitable, the equal of whom has never been seen. All these things should not be revealed openly, yet if they are not explained no one will ever understand, yet only those who become subservient to the servant of the servant of the Lord and who thus receive his mercy will be able to comprehend these wondeful lIlAs of his.

alaukika lIlA prabhura alaukika rIti | zunileha bhAgya-hInera nA hay pratIti || CC 1.17

These pastimes of the Lord are transcendental as are their intricacies and details; the unfortunate develop no faith in them, even after hearing.

ataeva Apane prabhu gopI bhAva dhari | vrajendra-nandane kahe prANanAtha kari || sei kRSNa sei gopI parama virodh | acintya-caritra prabhur ati sudurbodh || ithe tarka kari keho nA kara saMzay | kRSNer acintya-zakti ei mata hay || acintya adbhut kRSNa-caitanya vihAr | citra-bhAva citra-guNa citra-vyavahAr ||CC 1.17.303-6

Therefore the Lord himself accepted the sentiments of a gopI and called out to KRSNa as “the Lord of my heart.” He is KRSNa and yet he is a gopI what a contradiction! How incomprehensible the character of the Supreme Lord! Don’t doubt it by raising many objections. All things are possible by his inconceivable potencies. The Lord’s amusements are inconceivable to the mundane mind, how amusing they are! How wonderful his emotional transformations, how wonderful his qualities, how wonderful his behaviour with his devotees.

In the Caitanya-candrAmRta also, zrIla PrabodhAnanda SarasvatI also states that,
yathA yathA gaura-padAravinde vindeta bhaktiM kRta-puNya-rAziH |
tathotsarpati hRdy akasmAd rAdhA-padAmbhoja-sudhAmbu-rAziH || Caitanya-candrAmRta 78

As much as an aspirant devotee develops devotion for the Lord GaurAGga by the grace of those intimate with him, that is the extent to which the ocean of nectar of love for the service of zrImatI RAdhArANI manifests suddenly in his heart.
The purport is that as much as a devotee experiences MahAprabhu directly through devotion, that is the extent to which he will realize the nature and extent of RAdhArANI’s mahA-bhAva and its different external manifestations. The glory of RAdhA’s love for KRSNa will be comprehended by the aspirant devotees through MahAprabhu to the fullest extent and as a result he will know love for her as her hand-maid. Therefore VAsu GhoSa sings in a famous song:

jadi gaurAGga nA hata, ki mene haJta, kemane dharitAm de |
rAdhAra mahimA, rasa-sindhu-sImA, jagate jAnAto ke?
madhura vRndA-vipina mAdhurI praveza cAturI sAr |
varaja-juvatI bhAvera bhakati zakati haIta kAr ||
gAo gAn puna gaurAGgera guNa sarala haJyA man |
e tin bhuvane dayAra ThAkura nA dekhiye eka-jan ||
gaurAGga baliyA nA gela galiyA kemane dharila de |
vAsur hiyA pASANa diyA kemane gaRila ke

Had Gaura not appeared, then what would have happened? How would I have maintained my life? Who would have revealed the glories of RAdhArANI’s love for KRSNa to the world?

Who would have known the secret of entering into the sweetest chambers of the Lord’s abode in the mellow realm of VRndAvana? Who would have had the strength to worship the Lord in the mood of the damsels of Vraja?

Free your mind from the complication of doubt and simply glorify the great qualities of Lord GaurAGga! I cannot see any person in this entire universe who is as merciful as he.

How is it that even after crying out the name of GaurAGga my heart does not melt? How is it that I am still alive? VAsu GhoSa says that it seems that the creator has made him with a heart made out of stone.
Rasaraja dasa - Mon, 13 Sep 2004 03:51:00 +0530
Passages from Manjari Svarupa Nirupana
by Srila Kunja Bihari dasa Babaji
Translated by Jagadananda das

5.1 Services rendered by the sakhIs

Those activities which are manifested by the body and senses after the different causes of love (vibhAvas) have acted on the dominant feeling of love are called anubhAvas. In other words, the anubhAvas are the expressed effects of those causes. The definition given in the Bhakti-rasAmRta-sindhu is as follows:

anubhAvAs tu cittastha-bhAvAnAm avabodhakAH |
te bahir vikriyA-prAyAH proktA udbhAsvarAkhyayA || BRS 2.2.1.

“Those activities which appear almost as spontaneously as physical transformations revealing internal feelings are called anubhAvas or sometimes as udbhAsvaras.”

These anubhAvas or expressions of love nurture the feelings of love and make them more relishable after the causes have awakened the first loving responses.
In the Ujjvala-nIlamaNi (8.97-99), the major activities of the sakhIs and maJjarIs are listed as follows:

(1) glorifying the qualities of the lover to his beloved or of the beloved to her lover;
(2) increasing their attachment for one another;
(3) taking them out to meet one another;
(4) offering their dear friend (the nAyikA) to KRSNa;
(5) joking with them;
(6) giving consolation to them in times of anxiety;
(7) dressing and decorating the Divine Couple;
(8) getting them to reveal their inner feelings;
(9) concealing the faults of the nAyikA;
(10) deceiving her husband and other guardians;
(11) giving beneficial instructions;
(12) bringing the two together at the appropriate time;
(13) fanning with yak-tail whisks and performing other timely services;
(14) chastising both lover and beloved for their faults in the course of their romantic (14) chastising both lover and beloved for their faults in the course of their romantic affairs;
(15) delivering messages;
(16) protecting the nAyikA from all types of dangers.

Of course, besides these sixteen activities there are many other things that RAdhA’s handmaids and friends can do, such as glorifying the qualities, beauty and sweetness and love of zrImatI RAdhArANI, investigating the activities and intentions of the other competing nAyikAs, bringing the food RAdha has prepared to Nanda MahArAja’s house to be served to KRSNa and returning with his remnants to be relished by her, finding out what KRSNa is doing from Subala and DhaniSThA, etc.
Rasaraja dasa - Mon, 13 Sep 2004 03:52:52 +0530
Passages from Manjari Svarupa Nirupana
by Srila Kunja Bihari dasa Babaji
Translated by Jagadananda das

5.11 The delivering of messages:

gurvAyattatayA kvApi durlabhAnyonya-vIkSaNau |
mithaH sandeza-sIdhUbhyAM nandayiSyAmi vAM kadA ||
StavamAlA, KArpaNya-paJjikA, 34.

When will I give you both joy by bringing you each other’s life-giving messages when seeing each other has become difficult due to the controls of your elders?
Rasaraja dasa - Mon, 13 Sep 2004 03:59:57 +0530
Passages from Manjari Svarupa Nirupana
by Srila Kunja Bihari dasa Babaji
Translated by Jagadananda das

5.12 Describing RAdhA’s love to KRSNa

tvAm aJjanIyati phalAsu vilokayantI
tvAM zRNvatI kuvalayIyati karNapUram |
tvAM pUrNima-vidhu-mukhI hRdi bhAvayantI
vakSo-nilIna-nava-nIlamaNiM karoti || PadyAvalI 186

O KRSNa! Looking at your portrait, the full-moon-faced RAdhA thinks of you as the collyrium for her eyes; hearing your qualities she thinks of you as the lotus which decorates her ears and contemplating you in her heart, she thinks of you as the blue sapphire that adorns her bosom.

gRhItaM tAmbUlaM parijana-vacobhir na sumukhI
smaraty antaH-zUnyA murahara gatAyAm api nizi |
tathaivAste hastaH kalita-phaNita-phaNi-vallI-kisalayas
tathaivAsyaM tasyAH kramuka-phala-phAlI-paricitam || ibid., 187.*

O KRSNa! In separation from you, RAdhA is feeling her heart to be completely vacant; although last night her friends somehow persuaded her to take pAn, here it is the morning and the betel nut is still whole in her mouth and the pAn leaf is still intact in her hand.

prema-pAvaka-lIDhAGgI rAdhA tava jagat-pate |
zayyAyAH skhalitA bhUmau punas tAM gantum akSamA || ibid., 188 (Kavicandra)

O Lord of the Universe! RAdhA’s body has completely withered due to separation from you. She has fallen from her bed to the floor and is unable to lift herself onto it again.

gAyati gIte zaMsati vaMze vAdayati sA vipaJcISu |
pAThayati paJjara-zukaM tava sandezAkSaraM rAdhA || ibid., 190.

O killer of the Mura demon! How can I describe fully the glory of RAdhA’s courage? Though merged in the ocean of suffering due to your separation, she still continues to bear the burden of intense love for you.

O KRSNa! RAdhA sings aloud every word of the messages you send; she plays them on her flute and on her vINA; she even teaches them to her pet mynahs in the cage so that they will recite them again and again.

* This verse is attributed to Harihara by RUpa. It is cited elsewhere (zRGgAra-prakAza, SubhASita-ratna-bhANDara, etc.) as BilhaNa’s.

** This verse is attributed to Govardhana; it is verse 211 of his Arya-sapta-zatI, KAvyamAlA edition

Rasaraja dasa - Mon, 13 Sep 2004 04:03:44 +0530
Passages from Manjari Svarupa Nirupana
by Srila Kunja Bihari dasa Babaji
Translated by Jagadananda das

5.13 Describing KRSNa’s love to RAdhAraNI love:

kelI-kalAsu kuzalA nagare murArer
AbhIra-nIraja-drzaH kati vA na santi |
rAdhe tvayA mahAd akAri tapo yad eSa
dAmodaras tvayi paraM paramAnurAgaH || ibid., 191 (Anon.)

In this town, oh RAdhA, there are many beautiful, lotus-eyed girls, all of whom are easy for this expert charmer to seduce. You must have performed some great austerities in a previous life, for DAmodara is attached to none other than you.

vatsAn na cArayati vAdayate na veNum
Amodate na yamunA-vana-mArutena |
kuJje nilIya zithilaM valitottamAGgam
antas tvayA zvasiti sundari nanda-sUnuH || ibid., 192 (DaityAri PaNDit)

O beautiful one! The son of Nanda is sighing in deep separation from you, sitting in a lonely forest copse with his head bent. He takes no pleasure in wandering by the banks of the YamunA in the cooling breezes; he has given up herding the cows and has even stopped playing the flute.

sarvAdhikaH sakala-keli-kalA-vidagdhaH
snigdhaH sa eSa murazatrur anargha-rUpaH |
tvAM yAcate yadi bhaja vraja-nAgari tvaM
sAdhyaM kim anyad adhikaM bhuvane bhavatyAH || ibid., 193 (RAGga)

O most desired nymph of Vraja! The enemy of the Mura demon, KRSNa, is the most wonderful male in existence. He is expert in all aspects of romantic dealings; he is affectionate and most handsome. Now it seems to me that if he himself comes to you seeking your good graces, then you should be cooperative. Could there be any greater gain in the universe than this, oh beautiful one?
Rasaraja dasa - Sun, 31 Oct 2004 20:47:49 +0530
Passages from Manjari Svarupa Nirupana
by Srila Kunja Bihari dasa Babaji
Translated by Jagadananda das

10.0 The practice that leads to becoming a handmaiden of RAdhA


In this chapter, various devotional practices are examined according to the optic of rAgAnugA bhakti and are judged in terms of their usefulness for attaining the ultimate goal of the state of maJjarI-hood. Specifically, the positions of RUpa GosvAmin, RAdhA KRSNa GosvAmin and VizvanAtha Cakravartin are summarized. The conclusion given is that directly hearing and chanting about the activities of the maJjarIs is the most effective. The chapter concludes with an analysis of the maJjarIs’ sacred rapture in the context of RAdhA and KRSNa’s activities.
Rasaraja dasa - Sun, 31 Oct 2004 20:52:25 +0530
Passages from Manjari Svarupa Nirupana
by Srila Kunja Bihari dasa Babaji
Translated by Jagadananda das

10.1 Varieties of moods, varieties of ecstasies

kRSNa-guNa-rUpa-ras, gandha-zabda-paraz, ye sudhA AsvAde gopI-gaN |
tA sabAra grAsa-zeSe, Ani paJcendriya ziSye, se bhikSAy rAkhaye jIvan ||Caitanya-caritAmRta 3.14.49.

The gopIs constantly relish the nectar of KRSNa’s form, his qualities, his taste, his fragrance, sound and touch; coming to beg from them the remnants of their feast are my mind, the mendicant, with the senses, his five ragged disciples, in the hope that they will be able to maintain their lives.

Apane kari AsvAdane zikhAila bhakta-gaNe,
prema-cintAmaNira prabhu dhanI |
nAhi jAne sthAnAsthAna, yAre tAre kaJla dAn,
mahAprabhu dAtA ziromaNi || CC 2.2.81.

Tasting this sacred rapture himself, the Lord taught it to all the devotees. The Lord was rich with the jewels of prema; never discriminating as to the place or recipient, he gave them freely to whomever he met. He was the greatest of all philanthropists.

The Supreme Lord, his abode and eternal associates, all lie beyond the range of our words and thoughts. The things of the transcendental realm can never be appreciated by the gross material senses. The material mode of goodness can reveal the nature of matter but not the transcendental realm; that is only revealed by the power of the internal potency or vizuddha-sattva, which has absolutely no material components. Another name of this state of pure goodness is vasudeva, from which the Supreme Lord VAsudeva makes his appearance. Until this state of pure goodness or vasudeva manifests individually in the heart of a devotee, he or she has no ability to comprehend the Lord; therefore the Lord does not appear there. The manifestation of pure goodness is possible only by the grace of an advanced devotee.

kRSna-nAma kRSNa-guNa kRSNa-lIlA-vRnda |
kRSNera svarUpa sama saba cidAnanda || CC 2.17.135.

The UpaniSads refer to the Lord, whose form is eternal, full of knowledge and bliss, as the embodiment of sacred rapture. This rapture or relish is manifest in his names, his form, his qualities and his pastimes. “KRSNa’s name, KRSNa’s form as well as all his diversions are as transcendental as his essential nature.”

If one has the fortune to come into contact with a saint who has made the Lord’s name, form, qualities and pastimes his very life and soul, and by his mercy hears all about the Lord’s glories, then just as fire acts on iron to make it gradually take on the properties of fire, so too such a person’s mind becomes gradually spiritualized by constant contact with this transcendental subject matter. It is possible to conceive the Lord along with his eternal associates in a mind thus purified. A devotee thus becomes competent to relish the ways and means of their sweet exchanges of love.

Atmendriya-prIti-vAJchA tAre bali kAm |
kRSNendriya prIti-vAJchA dhare prema nAm ||
kAma andha-tamaH, prema nirmala bhAskar || CC 1.4.165, 171.

The desire to please one’s own senses is called lust, but the desire to satisfy the senses of the Supreme Lord is called prema or love. Lust is the darkness of ignorance whereas love is like the brilliant sun.

hlAdinI dvArAy karena bhaktera poSaN || CC 1.4.60.
sukha-rUpa KRSNa karena sukha AsvAdan |
bhakta-gaNa sukha dite hlAdinI kAraN || CC 2.8.158.

The heart is to be considered impure as long as it is filled with lust or egocentricity. With an impure mind, it is impossible to appreciate the happiness of contact with the Supreme Lord. It is thus necessary for the Supreme Lord’s pleasure-giving potency or hlAdinI-zakti to come and transform the living entity’s material lust into love after which it makes him eager to always experience the happiness of contact with him. The Lord’s name, form and pastimes are like the resplendent sun freed from the veil of any clouds; it shines down on the lust-darkened heart of the conditioned soul through hearing and chanting and dispels that darkness. Then that heart becomes effulgent with the divine light of prema. “Through his hlAdinI potency the Lord nourishes his devotees. He is the personification of joy and himself experiences happiness; his hlAdinI-zakti is the cause of the devotee’s enjoyment also.”

Prema is the essential element in this internal, pleasure-giving potency of the Lord. Devotion is KRSNa’s hlAdinI potency mixed with the essence of his consciousness energy or saMvit-zakti. This essence is the particular desire favorable to the Lord which is the essential condition for devotion—the thoughts, moods or state of mind that are favorable to the pleasures of the Supreme Lord. Devotion implies service; the word AnukUlya (“favorable”) means service.

Prema is the essential portion of the Lord’s internal potency and is therefore an item that is eternal, spiritual and full of sacred rapture. As a result, it is not possible to “produce” devotion as such in this world; rather, it makes its appearance in the heart of the fortunate soul who has been blessed by a devotee, being aided by his cooperative spirit.

KRSNadAsa KavirAja, after stating that the essential portion of the hlAdinI potency is prema, goes on to say that the essence of prema is something called mahA-bhAva, “great feeling.” (hlAdinIr sAra prema, prema-sAra bhAva | bhAvera parAkaSThA, nAma mahA-bhAva || CC 1.4.68) Here we will discuss why bhAva has been indicated by the devotionally oriented scriptures as the very essence of love of God.

If the Supreme Beauty, filled with desires and exultation, is experienced through a mental inclination or sentiment favorable to him, then that is called prIti or love. This favorable sentiment or love must be mixed with a particular dominant mood or taste, otherwise the execution of service will not prove successful. This is not just a vague scriptural statement, but can be seen practically in the world around us also. For example, a mother serves in the spirit of a mother and not as a wife, sister or daughter, etc., and thus her service to her child is successful.

Love is the element which gives one the authority to serve the object of his love; this is something everyone understands. Service without love is nothing more than a superficial imitation; the object of such service is never made happy by it and the servitor also never finds real happiness through it. Nevertheless, even if one does have love, that love must take a particular shape in order for him to be able to engage in that service. A father or mother must have a sense of parental affection which gives shape to their love for their child and creates a situation favorable for serving him. If a servant has some spirit of affection other than that of servitude to his master, then the master will not derive full satisfaction from his service. If the relation of two friends is not mixed with the feeling of friendship (sakhya-bhAva), then many trespasses will be committed in the course of that relationship, which is also one of service. In the same way, if the attitude of a beloved to her lover is not mixed with the proper spirit of wife-hood and mistress-hood, then however intense her love for her mate, it will prove incapable of giving him complete satisfaction. These are facts that any person knowing the world can verify from his own experience.

In the same way, loving devotion to the Lord has to take a particular form according to the major types of relation, viz., service, friendship, parental love or mistresshood, otherwise the devotee will never be able to attain service that is completely favorable to the Lord. The example given is that of LakSmI who, wanting to attain KRSNa in Vraja, performed difficult austerities, but was unable to achieve the fulfilment of her desires because she did not follow in the footsteps of the gopIs of VRndAvana; she did not accept their lead in rendering service to him. “Worshipping KRSNa in a sense of majesty is useless; one will never attain him unless he follows the gopIs of VRndAvana.” (gopI-Anugatya vinA aizvarya-jJAne | bhajileha nAhi pAy vrajendra-nandane || CC 2.8.230)