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Narrations on the pastimes of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and Radha-Krishna.

Svarasiki bhajan - From Gadadhar Pran's Govinda-lilamrita

Jagat - Mon, 23 May 2005 19:26:13 +0530
Svarasiki bhajan

Now a good question can arise from the consummate bhaktas: “After one has learned the ashtakala lilas, received the seed of his siddha svarupa from his guru, and anxiously yearns to get started—how does one combine all of ingredients to properly perform manasi seva?” The answer is the process called svarasiki bhajan. Before defining this term, let us refer to Srila Bhaktivinoda’s Siddhi-lälasä, where he says:

sakhIra caraNe kobe koribe Akuti
sakhI kRpA kore debe svArasikI sthiti

When will I be able to feelingly plead unto the sakhis’ lotus feet? For they will mercifully award my svarasiki sthiti.

The way one conceives of oneself in the lila will form one’s eternal role, which is called svarasiki sthiti. Hence, the sadhana meant to bring this about is called svarasiki bhajan. Svarasiki means one’s personal ruchi, and because such bhajan directly follows the course of one’s yearning, it is rightly termed. In his RAga-vartma-candrikA, Srila Vishwanath Chakravarti refers to this technique using a slightly different term: svAbhISTamaya-bhajana. Even so, both basically mean the same thing: The sadhaka manjari’s zeal to uncover her svarupa and identity with Radha, Krishna and the other gopis, which she may call her very own. Hence, svarasiki bhajan is the meditation that the sadhaka performs to attain his cherished goal.

Although everyone is to follow the Goswamis’ lila descriptions, all the fine details of the sadhaka’s personality, dress, features and seva mood come about from his own anuraga and ruchi. And this is what makes everyone’s svarasiki bhajan a unique experience, for no two persons are alike. Svarasiki smaran is the sadhaka’s ashtakala lila meditation, which flows like a river. Yet because Krishna’s Radha’s and the sakhis” emotions constantly change from moment to moment, the sadhaka manjari will have an exciting time in pursuing her seva when envisioning the lila. The deeper one focuses, the more one’s eligibility to relish transcendental emotions increases through sadharanikarana. In other words, when Radharani cries in separation, or rejoices in union, the reflection of these emotions will touch the sadhaka’s heart to form a deep impression. And perfecting this art brings about siddhi—direct darshan of the lila that one beholds within the mind. Sri Jiva Goswami confirms this:

sAkSAt prAdurbhUya AtmAnaM smartur vazIkarotIty arthaH

Owing to subjugation, Sri Bhagavan will directly appear and give himself to the bhakta who always meditates on his lotus feet. (Bhakti-sandarbha, 177)

Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur says:

sAkSAt darzana, madhyAhna-lIlAya,
svArasikI siddhi, vraja-gopI dhana
parama caJcala satI
yogIra dheyAna, nirvizeSa jJAna,
na pAya ekhAne sthiti

I got direct darshan in the madhyahna lila for serving Radha’s lotus feet. Svarasiki siddhi is the Vraja gopis’ gift—for they are the most restless chaste women. Although, the void meditation of the Brahma yogis has no place here. (Siddhi Lalasa, 6)

Jagat - Mon, 23 May 2005 20:05:35 +0530
An Example

Quickly revised edition.--Jagat. Feel free to comment. On language issues, here

Although every individual’s svarasiki bhajan will vary to form a unique personal relish, there are some guidelines to follow. For example, the transcendental environment that one enters, the mood of the sakhis that one encounters and the lilas that one envisions should all match the Gaudiya mahajanas’ descriptions. Moreover, one’s manasi seva should submissively follow one’s guru manjari and manjari parampara. So, combining these factors, we shall now insert an example from a sadhaka dasi follower of Sri Lata and Sri Kamala Manjari. While in the sadhaka deha, the devotee is chanting the maha mantra on a japa mala, her vision of Radha Krishna’s noontime yugala milan unfolds in this way:

It is mid-morning at Radha Kund. Sitting upon a jewelled vedi under a golden champak tree in Vishakha sundari’s kunja, the sadhaka dasi chants the names of her Ishwari Radha and her beloved Shyama. The celestial beauty that surrounds her is captivating—the cooing kokila, the flowers, the buzzing bees and the cool breezes that escort the fragrant aroma from the blooming lotus in the kund—all create an intoxicating pleasure.

Although her gurudevi resides in Lalita’s kunja, the sadhaka manjari* was given a residence here instead. When learning about Vishakha’s mood, she hankered to serve under her. So her guru-manjari placed her under Vishakha’s care as a palya-dasi*. Unlike Lalita, Vishakha has a softer nature, for she eagerly yearns to see Radha unite with Shyama—even when he misbehaves. By contrast, at such times, Lalita really becomes tough to defend Radha’s mana (self-esteem). And she will even chase Krishna away by firmly telling him. “Madhava! Today won’t be allowed to have Srimati’s darshan!”

But seeing Radha suffering for want of Shyama’s sanga, Vishakha then plots to get Rai out of Lalita’s clutches. “Aparadha or no aparadha," she contemplates, “we just want to see Rai Rangini* smiling again in Shyama’s company!” Hence, she canvasses to bring notorious Shyama to beg forgiveness at Rai’s charana kamala...and he agrees! Thus becomes a svadhina bhartrika nayika*, Vishakha is the first to enjoy the spoils of Radha’s love-victory!

Anyway, because Radha and Krishna’s mid-day milan generally occurs in Vishakha’s bower, the sadhaka manjari’s gurudevi comes to see her at this time to help get ready. Then under hr direction, she prepares the flower-bed with a thick pile of pink lotus petals. But today she and Kamala haven’t come, and it’s getting late! Unlike other days when many sakhis and manjaris assemble here to increase the excitement with their rasamaya laughter and joking—today the kunja appears nearly deserted….but where are they? “Hmm," she thinks, “I’d better go to Lata to see what’s happening.” Thus getting into a crystal boat moored at the ghat of her kunja, she swiftly crosses Lalita Kund to arrive at her Gurudevi’s residence. Ananga Sukhada kunja is a breathtaking abode, and as the dasi walks along the crystal pathway—a previous lila comes to mind. But now no-one is in sight! Approaching Lata’s manimaya kutira*, there is a message left under the coral door-latch: zrI-kamalA-zaraNaM gatA.

“Oh, she must have gone to Svananda Sukhada Kunja," she surmises. “It’s just the next kunja over. “So continuing along the crystal pathway, beside a dense thicket of madhavi latas, she enters. But this beautiful kunja is almost deserted too- except for one gopa-kishori stringing malas seated under a shady tamal tree. The sadhaka manjari inquires: “Oh, where are Lata and Kamala? “They have gone to Ananga’s kunja," she replies, as her meditation remains fixed on the mala.

“Oho! That’s right! Today is Ananga Manjari’s birthday. How could I have forgotten?”, the dasi says.” Shyamasundar must be going there to meet Srimati.”

Hastening her pace, the sadhaka manjari heads for the kunda’s shore. And beside a huge bakula tree there is a crystal bridge leading to Ananga Manjari’s abode in the kunda’s center. But the bridge is almost invisible being crystal it reflects the environment around it—so the dasi nearby misses seeing it. And just now many other sakhis are arriving to cross the bridge. They are carrying baskets of flowers along with various scents, chandan and kunkuma. The sadhaka manjari ponders: “Surely an exciting event is going to happen!” Yet, following behind the others to enter Ananga’s breathtaking Padma-mandir, she spots her gurudevi. And with a glance, Lata calls her over. “Oh dasi,” she says, “Today our Swamini will be parama sukhi*, Ananga Manjari is planning to have Nagara Raja perform her maha-abhisheka. So you can help us get ready.”

“Where is Srimati?, the dasi inquires.

“She is bathing at the ghat over there." (Lata directs her attention with a rolling eye gesture)

The sadhaka amnjari looks over to Swamini-ji, she is submerged in water upto her neck, and there are half a dozen manjaris surrounding her.

Lata says: "After bathing, Srimati will be dressed and decorated with flowers. So come this way, you can make her outfit.”

Following Lata, the dasi notices that Ananga Manjari is busy directing many others who are decorating the entire mandir with thousands of fragrant Mallika-malas. They are hanging them everywhere—from the high ceiling, over the windows, and over the archways too. Others are covering the jewelled floors with a thick carpet of pink lotus petals, and in the center is a huge raja-singhasana bedecked with flowers and wreaths. Then they arrive in a corner of the padma-mandir where Kamala attentively directs a group of manjaris who are preparing Radharanis dress. It is made from soft, white lotuspetals. The dasis are sewing the petals together with silken thread to make Srimatis kanchuli, odana and gaghara. Nearby, others are busy making Swamini’s flower ornaments. The sadhaka dasi’s eyes are drawn to the flowers crown. As today it is Ananga Manjari’s desire to crown her Didi* as Vrindavan’s Maha-prema-rajeshvari- this superbly gorgeous crown is exactly befitting the occasion.

Lata asks Kamala: “Do you need any more help?”

“We’re almost done," she replies. Although glancing over to the sadhaka dasi with a grin, Kamala says: “But she can make Srimati’s kusuma-angada (flower-armlets).” Kamala says: “Oh Late! Why don’t you go and see if Rai’s bath is complete –it must be almost time to begin her vesha and shringara (dressing and decorating).”

As Lata scurries off, the sadhaka dasi kneels to take the dust from her parama gurudevi’s lotus feet, purify her hands with fresh water, and seat herself to begin fashioning Rai’s angada. There are a vast array of flowers to choose from. She thinks, “Since Srimati wears nava-ratna-angada (armlets made of nine types of gems)—I’ll make a kusuma angada with nine types of flowers. And they’ll be better than jewels. After all, Srimati’s delicate madhura anga is soften than a Shirisha-flower-so those jewels must be uncomfortable to wear. Yet these soft, scented flowers will please all of Rai’s senses- and they’ll enhance her good looks too!”

A few minutes later- Lata returns with a beaming smile to tell Kamala and the others: “Ai,ai!” (come ,come!) And bring all of your outfits and ornaments- Ananga is calling. Srimati has just finished bathing and she wants to have her shringara performed by the ghat. Thus everyone proceeds outside the Padma mandir. As the sadhaka dasi glance back at the mandir, it appears like a sixteen-petalled,red lotus baking in the sun; the petals are contoured from bright padma-raga* gemstone. And the ghat, which looks like a huge lotus leaf from the opposite shore, is molded from glistening emerals. Placed over the water there are numerous statues of huge swans crafted from moonstone. But there is Ananga Manjari waving over to us! she is standing in a moonstone pavillion near the ghat where Srimati is seated.

“Ai, ai!” coaxes Ananga, “There’s not much time left—Shyama will be arriving at any minute!” “Let’s see the dress you have all made,” she continues.

The sadhaka manjari glances over to Srimati. Her back is turned, and she is wearing a thin, white cloth. These are two dasis expertly perfuming her hair with incense smoke. Her eyes go to Rai’s lotus feet as she mentally offers a million obeisances from her heart! Srimati’s eyes are closed. And as she sits motionless like a serene devi murati-her mind is fixed in samadhi on Shyama’s imminent arrival.

Ananga takes charge, for she is expert in shringara.* But unlike Radha’s morning outfit when she appears modestly to go and meet Yashoda-now she will be portrayed quite differently-as Madana Mohan’s most devastating mana-mohini! And herein lies Ananga Manjari’s specials talents- for she will dress Radha just as if Ananga (Cupid) were to do the job himself, without a pinch of modesty. After all, when Ananga hosts her Didi within her hidden nikunja- no-one shall be allowed to enter except her rasika Shyama. And this is the most exciting moment of the day—the moment when Rai’s dearest sakhis eagerly yearn to see her contest shringara’s rasa raja* and win! But to win, Srimati has to outfitted just like Rati* herself.

Before Rai’s flower dress can be on, her body is smeared with an assorted collection of divine scents- catuh sama, chandan and kunkuma. Then Vishakha takes up a brush to carefully paint Srimati’s kama-yantra tilak, along with the beautiful designs that rest over her forehead. Upon finishing, Vishakha hints to the sadhaka dasi: “It’s time for your seva.”

Being her palya dasi, she taught her the art of painting Cupid’s designs above Rai’s splendid kucha-yugala. But as Ananga Manjari lowers the cloth covering them—the onlooking manjaris gasp! What spectacular objects they are to behold! Gazing in wonder, the dasi remembers Sri Tungavidya’s advice: ‘Oh mind! Just to toVrindavan and meditate on Sri Vrishabhanu-nandini’s svarna kucha kalasa (golden, pitcher like breasts )- for they have the power to subjugate a milion Cupids! Thus, Gokula-kishor-chandra’s ‘life-soul’ is preserved within these two indescribable treasure chests!’” (RAdhA-rasa-sudhA-nidhi)

The sadhaka dasi contemplates: “Our Raja-kumari Rai has the alluring kucha-yugala amongst all the Vraja sundaris. And her pride rests in them because they conquer Krishna’s mind! Hence, we’re proud of them too-for they establish her unique subjugating power as Krishna-kanta-shiromani!”*

Although Rai Rangini maintains her gravity—a slight sliver of a smile emanates like camphor from her moon-face. Thus the sadhaka dasi surmises: “Srimati must have understood my mind—for she appears to be diving within an amrita sagara as she too meditates on the objects of her Priya-nagara’s supreme fascination!”

Taking up a brush dipped in kasturi, the dasi begins painting Cupid’s panca bana*. Undoubtedly Krishna will be mesmerised! How will he maintain his patience? she remembers his attempt to do her seva-his hand shook, he became dizzy, and he fainted in ecstasy! It was only after Karunamayi Rai layed him upon her lap, whispered into his ear, and brought him back to consciousness, that he could resume the lila!

Thus he remains completely under Swamini’s control like a pet play stag…and seeing Radha sukhi*, the sadhaka dasi becomes parama sukhi!

Then Lata, Kamala, Yuthi and Rasa Manjari complete Rai’s beautiful shringara—and Ananga Manjari takes up a full-length mirror to show Srimati. What incredible madhuri! It is more than breathtaking! Radha is crying for want of Shyama, whose restless eyes will crown the sakhis’ endeavour a grand success! But aho! The sadhaka manjari spots him! There he is walking with Kundalata and Vrinda near the kunda’s sangama! her surprised eyes convey the message to Ananga. She,being cleverness personified, tilts the mirror to reflect the sun and cast Bhanu-nandini’s superb darshan madhuri to the opposite shore. Krishna instantly sees it and swoons! Previously he had been dancing in step with every moving leafs as his intense Radha anuraga reflected her divine sphurti* everywhere! But now, seeing Rai’s actual reflection, his zealousness escalates! he must be pleading with Vrinda to lead him to the reflection’s source.

Ananga tells Swamini: “Quickly go inside and get ready; Shyama will be here any minute!” Taking the sadhaka dasi and a few others, Ananga Manjari goes to where the crystal bridge reaches her kunja’s shore and, to make herself look busy, beings plucking lotus flowers.

“Hey put these flowers in your baskets," she says. Within a few moments Vrinda and Kundalata arrive—and they are leading Radha’s Rasika Madhava by the hand. Hedefinitely appears to be drunk within a stupor for want of Srimati’s wonderful anga sanga!

Sizing up the situation, Ananga speaks to increase Krishna’s utkantha (eagerness), and to control the lila on her own terms: “Hey Vrinde! Why are you bringing Candra’s* play-stag into our kunja—why don’t you escort him to Sakhi-sthali * instead?”

Madhava answers: “Oh hey Ananga! As your didi is the objects of my samadhi, I’ve come to take your shelter. Why don’t you kindly tell me where she is?”
“Hey Sundara-nagara-bara!” Ananga answer, “Srimati had pledged not to see your dark face today—so why don’t you go and ask Padma* to arrange your milana* with her priya –sakhi? you can light your dejected face again with the chandra’s effulgence!”

Krishna, showing surprise to Vrinda and Kundalata, replies: “Oh ananda taranga* Ananga! Please don’t speak such disinformation- for today I haven’t committed any aparadhas yet unto didi’s charana kamala. So why don’t you hear my side of the story and…..”

Ananga interrupts, “Tulasi has seen your whole escapade at Kusuma Sarovara, and she has already reported the facts to Srimati. So your version won’t pass. Why don’t you just run along and enjoy the rest of the day with Candra at Gauri Tirtha? After all, it’s so far away that Radha’s sakhis would never take the trouble to go there. so you’ll be safe.”

Krishna starts to talk: “But Ananga, listen…”

Ananga quickly answers: “Na, why don’t you listen? (displaying a blue lotus in her right hand, and a golden lotus in her left, she continues:)

“Look, we’re Rai Rangini’s sanginis. And we’re here to unite this svarina kamala*with the Indivara.* So we’re also very sorry that today had to end in such tragedy. But (to make a long story short) you still have one last recourse, as far as I can see.”

“What’s that? What’s that?" exclaims Krishna.

Inwardly, Ananga Manjari is very pleased to see Shyamasundar so eager for Rai’s sanga. Yet, in order to appreciate Srimati’s regal darshan that soon swaits, our Shyama needs to be molded into more submission, she ponders.

Thus directing her glance to the Padma mandir, Ananga says: “Rai’s inside." Yet, telling a white lie, she continues: “Radharani is deeply hurt by Tulasi’s report, and has vowed not to see you today. Although, if you were to fall at her feet and perform her charana abhisheka, perhaps she may forgive your grave aparadha.”

“Sure, of course," Krishna replies. “But if I do what you say, will you help me achieve her favour?”

“Yes, why not?” Ananga answers. “But just wait, let’s see if you’re submissive attitude is enough to sway her.”

“Hey kinkari!” Ananga says, directing her glance to the sadhaka manjari, “Ja, ja! (go, go!) You can approach our devi Radha first to see if she is ready to receive Krishna’s puja.”

As the sadhaka dasi slips behind the curtain to enter the mandir, she goes straight to Lalita, who upon hearing about how Ananga has cleverly hoodwinked Krishna into becoming Radha’s obedient dasa, becomes jubilant!

“Aha!” says Lalita, “Let’s see Radha’s play-stag humbly carry out her charana puja! This is what we’ve been longing to see!”

Radha is shy and feigns disinterest, but Lalita insists: “Oh Rai Kishori! Don’t become softhearted and pass up such a rare opportunity! For this will upset all of your dearest sakhis—and your submissive Nagara-bara too. After all, we know that his heart deeply craves for the chance to worship your supreme beauty.”

Lalita quickly directs all of the sakhis and manjari to surround Rai’s pushpa singhasana. There must be hundreds of seva dasis twirling fluffy white camaras alone, the others encircle the mandir in strategic positions, and, according to Lalita’s cue, will feelingly sing in unison Srimati Radharani’s ‘Sahasra Nama Stotra.”

Lalita next turns to Radha to adjust her crown and to make sure that she is poised just right with the utmost finesse- just like a regal raja kumari.

“All right, we’re ready!” says Lalita. She tells the sadhaka dasi to bring Madhava. “But do one thing," she says, “make sure that Krishna is first blindfolded.” Understanding what to do, the sadhaka manjari exits.

Appearing before Shyama, the sadhaka dasi observes- his eagerness for Rati has increased a hundred times! Losing his balance herests his weight over Vrinda’s shoulder-as Kundalata holds him up from behing.

“Rai isn’t ready to see her Rasika Nagara bara!” the sadhaka manjari replies to Ananga (as she looks indifferently towards Shyama).

“Oh that’s a pity," exclaims Ananga, covering her smile as she feigns distress to heighten Krishna’s yearning).

Yet Krishna breaks down in despair and begins shedding a pool of tears! Seeing Krishna downtrodden for want of Rai’s sanga, the sadhaka manjari’s heart melts. Thus she ponders: “Aha! Our Shyamasundar has suffered enough torture in the sakhis’ factory of mana rasa.* For they have squeezed out Shyama’s humility to the peak! Yet now his mood is ideal for tasting Rai’s prema madhuri. So jaya bolihari to the sakhis’ seva-expertise!”

The sadhaka manjari confidentially looks to Ananga and reveals Lalita’s message to restore Krishna’s hope: “But if our Madhavi’s is still eager to worship our Swamini charana kamala, we shall grant his request if he promises to be blindfolded.”

Krishna winces, but the dasi goes on: “Lalita said, ‘After all, his eyes have been staring at the cooling moon* too long—so I don’t think that they can withstand the blaring summer heat emanating from Vrishabhanu-nandini’s durjaya mana surya*! It is for his own protection that Rai has requested him to be blindfolded.’”

Just then a seva dasi exits from the mandir. She is carrying a highly scented mallika flower blindfold. Vrinda takes it and carefully fastens it around Shyama’s eyes. “It looks like we’re ready to go in!” exclaims Ananga. Thus clasping Madhava’s right hand she beings to escort him inside. Kundalata, Vrinda, the other sakhis, and the sadhaka dasi all follow behind.

Lalita is very clever. Before Shyama gets the chance to have Rai’s knockout darshan, she will let him experience some of her other wonderful attributes. “After all," thinks Lalita, “our Rai is Shyama’s guna mani khani (jewel mine of enticing qualities).”

What do the chamara-twirling manjaris do? Just as Madhava comes near Rai’s flower singhasana, they pick up her amazing bodily fragrance from the air and direct it to reach Krishna’s nostrils. Aho! Has as ocean of delightful aroma smothered Krishna? He appears to be swimming through it with intense ecstasy! Because Rai’s anga gandha* envelops Krishna like her direct embrace, his ananda is matchless!

But the manjaris decide to play with him. In unison they direct the air so that Rai’s anga gandha begins flowing like a river throughout the mandir. Enmaddened Madhusudan soars like a bumblebee –sometimes veering to the right...and sometimes veering to the left! The manjari tanning expertise turns Krishna into a mohana-natua (enchanted dancer)!

Lalita smiles to congratulate their talents—but then she delights Krishna with another form of charity. On her cue, the sakhis begins singing Radha’s Sahasra Nama. Sometimes they combine to sing in chorus, and sometimes a very talented gopi sings solo. It appears that Radha is directly appearing from their sweet voices. For as Shyama dances, still blindfolded, he is steeped in relishing Radharani’s numerous attributes, as if he were viewing her! Countless Vraja sundaris sing in unison: jaya radhe radhe, jaya radhe radhe jaya…

Then taking turns they sing the song’s different lines, such as:

jaya vraja tarunigana shikharini…*
jaya damodara pramodana mohita…*
jaya govindadhara shuddha suvasita…*
jaya madhura vacana parita madhava….*

How long can this go on? Govind’s captivation is boundless! So wishing to speed up Sri Yugala Kishor’s milana, Ananga Manjari catches blindfolded Shyamasundar, who is still dancing to the beat of Radha’s namamrita, and leads him by the hand to sit in Rai’s majestic simhasana.

The sakhis go on singing their solos:

jaya krishna kama kamala vikashita….*
jaya krishna mana khelana sagarika…..*
jaya madhava vashikarana madhavi….*

Just then Ananga places Madhava’s hands on Swamini’s lotus feet and removes the blindfold! Krsna is stunned by the shimmering effulgence of Rai’s toenails! Then Radharani personally takes her turn to sing a solo of the song’s last line:

jaya kaya mano vakyo krishna samarpita*

But as Krishna looks up to view Radha’s superb beauty, Lalita, who is crouching behind Radha, whispers in her ear: “Radhe, don’t be shy! Just look Shyama right in the eye…and don’t succumb to the onslaughts of his madhurya—for your darshan madhuri shall drown him in an ocean of ambrosia!”

Kamala Manjari kneels beside Radha’s charana kamala holding the abhisheka jala* in a jewelled flask. But viewing Rai’s insurmountable beauty—Krishna is stunned, speechless and his downpour of tears automatically wash Rai’s feet! Thus Krishna performs the ideal abhisheka—for his tears flow from his heart’s deep admiration of Radha’s endless qualities and matchless beauty!

Aho! Krishna’s tear-soaked eyes bring about a calamity—they impair his coveted darshan! Thus with great remorse Krishna curses himself: “Oh! Where has my preyasi-mani Radha gone?” he exclaims. “Damn these tears! For I can no longer see her ravishing form!”

Kamala Manjari, using the soft border of her star-clustered odana, beings to gently wipe Krishna’s eyes. But Lalita, wishing to heighten Krishna’s anuraga even more, whisks Rai from the simhasana and escorts her to a specials chamber hidden amongst the Padma mandir’s petals. Because it rests over the water’s edge, no one can perceive this room. But as Lalita enters with Rai Kishori- both are amazed to see how wonderfully decorated it is. From the floor to the ceiling the entire room is profusely smothered in flowers. In the center is a circular flower bed with flower pillows and bolsters. What a splendid view over the kund—and its cooling breezes keep the room refreshed.

Vilasa Manjari comes to fall at Rai’s feet. Lalita praises: “Oh Kishori-mani, this talented dasi has labored for hours with her assistants to prepare this comfortable bedroom for you. So why don’t you come over here and relax for a moment on this soft, fragrant bedstead?”

Meanwhile, back at Rai’s raja simhasana, Kamala Manjari succeeds to restore Shyama’s tear-blinded vision. “But aho! Where is taruni-mani Radha?" he exclaims. Looking towards Ananga with forlorn eyes, Krishna implores, “Hasn’t your teasing gone too far? After all, how much more can a depressed fellow like me endure? And hey Ananga! What about your promise? Haven’t I fulfilled my part of the bargain? I’ve complete Rai Rangini’s charana puja with my own nayana jala.* So where is my due reward?”

Ananga takes one look at forlorn Krishna and surmises: “Hmm, Shyama’s right. It’s about time we do something to relieve his suffering.” Thus she motions to the sadhaka manjari to go and inform Radharani that Krishna is coming.

Entering the vilasa bhavana*, the sadhaka dasi observes: Lata and Vilasa Manjari are busy fanning Srimati; her eyes are closed as she stretches over the bed. But as the sadhaka dasi is about to relate Ananga’s message, Lata motions not to speak for this would upset Swamini’s rest. Thus, with a wink of her eye, Lata directs the sadhaka manjari to massage Rai’s charana kamala.

A moment later Ananga enters, leading Radha’s Rasika vallabha by the hand. Aho! his fascination escalates seeing Rai so enticingly displayed! Krishna is stunned! A few moments pass. Witnessing the sheer ecstasy of his eyes, the sadhaka dasi contemplates, “Krishna’s zeal for my Praneshvari is boundless! And how fortunate I am today to see their yugala milana taking place!”

Lata motions to move aside, for Krishna eagerly waits to perform "your” seva. Thus Lata and the sadhaka dasi scurry outside to pull on the ceiling-flower-fan’s ropes. And placing their minnow-like eyes up to the window, they observe Shyama taking Rai’s carana-yugala and rubbing their dust over his head! The manjaris blush to see his astonishing bhakti!

On feeling Krishna’s touch, Radha’s eyes instantly open and, as she begins to fathom the predicament she faces, her hands come forward to block Krishna’s earnest seva endeavors! But aho! The manjaris have played a trick: they failed to fasten her flower kanchuli* properly, so it falls off to award Krishna her first charity—the splendid darshan of her lovely kucha yugala! Krishna’s mind reels in paramananda! Realizing her plight, Radha becomes nervous, her eyes turn restless, and her face becomes contorted! Krishna seizes the opportunity as his red lotus plants spring to attack Radha’s unprotected chakravaka yugala! Radha tries to defend herself—but Krishna pounces like a lion!

“Hey, stop you lusty brute!” exclaims Radha. “I’ve just bathed, and it you touch me I’ll become impure for doing Surya puja!”

“Radhe!” exclaims Krishna, “I’ve bathed also, but in the sarovar of suchi rasa.* Hence, from head to foot I’m totally pure! And now I shall engage you in Madana Raja’s prakara samara* puja.*

Before Radha has a chance to refute Krishna’s outlandish proposal, he bites her lips to silence her! And tasting Krishna’s adhara-sudha-rasa* subdues her! The sadhaka manjari contemplates, “Aha! Who can estimate the power of Krishna’s adhara rasa? For it can enslave even the most defiant sundari ramanis of Vraja!”

But then Radha’s “general of boldness” takes command of the beautiful abode of her bodily limbs (tanu puri). And she also begins to plunder the jewels from Krishna’s tanu puri! Krishna is astonished! “How has vama Radhika suddenly become such a stout wrestler?” Yet Radha’s fortitude continues unabated as she climbs over Krishna’s chest to usurp the dominating role! The onlooking manjaris’ hearts swoon! Their pride overflows as they witness their Praneshvari smashing Krishna’s face with constant sturdy blows from her golden Sumeru-like kucha yugala!

Krishna is intoxicated! How much ecstasy can he withstand? Although Krishna’s is pleasure personified—Radha’s prema seva appears to be smothering him with uncontainable ananda! Then, with her beautiful dark eyes fixed on Krishna’s mukharavinda, and with a robust expression, Radha boldly says, “Hey Giridhari! You’re proud of your feat in lifting an insignificant mountain for seven days, but how can you withstand the heavy weight of my two kucha parvatas? Although I have gracefully supported them since my early youth—still I’m not such an outlandish boaster as you! For amongst my dearest sakhis I always introduce myself as a frail gopa kumari. Yet today I shall topple your arrogance and give you a befitting punishment!”

As the sadhaka dasi watches her painted kasturi designs mix with the perspiration on Rai’s breasts to form black droplets that drip onto tamal Shyamasundar’s forehead—she deems her seva a grand success! After all, when madhurya kadambini* Radha’s prasadi kasturi combines with her rati fatigue it becomes Krishna’s dearest shirobhushana.* And attaining Radha’s parama karuna renders Madhava’s life successful!

Yet the manjaris who witness Premamaya and Premamayi’s nikunja rati keli are even more fortunate—for their objects of pleasure is not only Radha, or not only Krishna (as in the case of the Divine Couple’s). Rather, Radha and Krishna’s yugala vilasa murati is their prana. So as the rati utsava’s contest escalate, the sadhaka manjari becomes unable to contain the high pitch of her excruciating ecstasy! she passes out! But as the time for her cherished seva approaches, it is chaitanya (her divine consciousness) acting as her dearest sakhi who awakens her.

Lata coaxes: “Hey dasi! Hurry up, it’s time to re-dress Srimati! Lalita is becoming anxious to take our Yugala Kishora to her kunja where Holi will soon begin!”

By Guru, Vaishnava and Bhagavan’s kripa, when one can deeply enter the svarasiki stream and flow for hours with a particular given pastime—all other thoughts are forgotten. Hence, such concentrated sadhana forms the ideal means for awakening one’s eternal svarupa seva. This process is based on the mind’s attachment. The more one hankers to live in the spiritual world to carry our Radha Krishna’s prema seva, one progresses towards that goal. Yet such seva is very wonderful because its goal is achieved by “being there now.”